Thursday, August 26, 2010

8 Pitch Entry #13: Vincent Kale

Title: Blackwatch: Order and Chaos


Genre: YA/Sci-Fi

When fifteen-year-old Lamarr Jeffers messes with a funky watch he finds in his Uncle’s pawn shop, he unknowingly stops time and causes a tear in the fabric of order. While the world he knows is frozen motionless, scores of nightmarish demons pour through the rift, overwhelming the warriors put in place to defend it.

With the original Guardians now dead, Lamarr and his best friend Tinka are recruited by a leather-clad biker duo wielding samurai swords and high-tech devices. They are trained in the ways of the Blackwatch, a timeless society of warriors that fight the eternal struggle against creatures from the savage, ash-covered jungles of Chaos. Now it’s up to Lamarr and Tinka to learn fast, train hard and stay alive. If they succeed in ridding their world of the abominations of Chaos, they will earn their ranks among the Blackwatch. If they fail, their world will be annihilated. No pressure.

Blackwatch: Order and Chaos, complete at approximately 60,000 words, is a sci-fi novel for young adults.

8 comments:

  1. I completely love stories like this so I was excited to read your pitch. Other than how is the watch funky, did the Guardians die because of Lamarr, and are the demons in the first paragraph the same as the creatures in the second, I don't see anything wrong with this. Actually, I love it. The name is cool too!

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  2. OMG - first off I have to tell you I LOVED THIS premise. I want to read this book. It's right up my alley, so to speak. That said, I only have a couple of comments really.

    In the opening you use the term "the fabric of order." This bothers me. I feel like it is probably supposed to be "time" but you've already used the word time in the same sentence. Is that the trouble? Or is it really called the "fabric of order?" Obviously, since I am putting so much thought into this, it is pulling me out of the query. So, I suggest you find a different way to phrase this, even if it is absolutely what you meant to say.

    Then you talk of Demons. Which makes me question whether this is truly Sci-fi OR fantasy? Hmm. That's a tough one. Be careful of that though. As tricky as it is, you have to know your own genre or an agent might not think you did your homework and I would REALLY hate for anyone to throw this down without taking a peek.

    I love the Biker Samurais. How cool is that? And the last line is AWESOME. It really gives a flavor of the YA voice. Nice job! Good luck!

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  3. Love this and I'm left wanting to read it! The only little teensy tiny feedback I have is the word eternal seems out of place being that if eternal means "being without beginning or end" how do Lamar & Tinka hope to end that struggle. Or maybe you mean the warriors are always in Chaos fighting the demons back...in that case I get but it did cause me a little confusion.

    Also you say demons in the 1st paragraph and then you call them creatures in the 2nd paragraph, maybe use demonic creatures or just demons because I'm not sure if the Blackwatch are fighting different creatures or the demons.

    Hope this helps and it's awesome no matter what. Good Luck!!

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  4. When fifteen-year-old Lamarr Jeffers messes with a funky watch he finds in his Uncle’s pawn shop, he unknowingly stops time and causes a tear in the fabric of order. While the world he knows is frozen motionless, scores of nightmarish demons pour through the rift, overwhelming the warriors put in place to defend it. (Nice voice, nice hook.)

    With the original Guardians now dead, Lamarr and his best friend Tinka are recruited by a leather-clad biker duo wielding samurai swords and high-tech devices. They are trained in the ways of the Blackwatch, a timeless society of warriors that fight the eternal struggle against creatures from the savage, ash-covered jungles of Chaos. (I take it that's what's on the other side of the fabric of order? nice descriptions) Now it’s up to Lamarr and Tinka to learn fast, train hard and stay alive. If they succeed in ridding their world of the abominations of Chaos,(do you mean the demons?) they will earn their ranks among the Blackwatch. If they fail, their world will be annihilated.(why? by whom?) No pressure.

    Blackwatch: Order and Chaos, complete at approximately 60,000 words, is a sci-fi novel for young adults. (for future reference, this is part of the query, but not the pitch)

    Overall, liked this a lot.

    Good luck!

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  5. I think this pitch is really straightforward and gives a very clear sense for the story’s plot, which is great. I did find myself wondering how on earth two kids can hope to prevail where the unknown number of trained warriors failed, but I’m guessing that this is the whole problem addressed in the novel, so if that’s the case, then it definitely succeeded in getting me wondering about that.

    I don’t have too much to critique, personally. The few suggestions I do have are small. The phrase “leather-clad biker duo wielding samurai swords and high-tech devices” feels weirdly specific and also oddly jumbled, like there are a whole lot of aspects being thrown together for no coherent reason. Which is not to say it’s like that in the book, but for the purposes of the query it might be a good idea to simplify it a little. Also, I want to know why they want to “earn their ranks among the Blackwatch.” What’s in it for them? It seems like saving the world is kind of its own reward... so I wonder why the reward for succeeding is being a part of this military force instead.

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  6. I love your title and premise! I think the query needs to be edited a bit, just to make the details easier to follow. I think in some places there are too many adjectives for the reader to easily grasp onto the unfolding plot. I added my suggestions in brackets below...

    ***
    When fifteen-year-old Lamarr Jeffers messes with a funky watch he finds in his Uncle’s [I think Uncle should have a small u here] pawn shop, he unknowingly stops time and causes a tear in the fabric of order. While the world he knows is frozen motionless, scores of nightmarish [I would leave out "nightmarish" here, as it’s already understood that the demons would be nightmarish.] demons pour through the rift, overwhelming the warriors put in place to defend it.

    With the original Guardians now dead, Lamarr and his best friend Tinka are recruited by a leather-clad [I would leave out "leather-clad" here, as all the adjectives make it difficult to immediately follow what’s going on in this part of the story.] biker duo wielding samurai swords and high-tech devices. They are trained in the ways of the Blackwatch, a timeless society of warriors that fight the eternal struggle against creatures from the savage, [I would leave out "savage" here in order to minimize the list of adjectives. Since we already know there are demons, we have an idea that the place is savage in nature.] ash-covered jungles of Chaos. Now it’s up to Lamarr and Tinka to learn fast, train hard and stay alive. If they succeed in ridding their world of the abominations of Chaos, they will earn their ranks among the Blackwatch. If they fail, their world will be annihilated. No pressure. [I love this line of "No pressure." – Awesome!]

    Blackwatch: Order and Chaos, complete at approximately 60,000 words, is a sci-fi novel for young adults.

    ***
    Good luck with your book and writing career!

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  7. When fifteen-year-old Lamarr Jeffers messes with a funky watch he finds in his Uncle’s pawn shop, he unknowingly stops time and causes a tear in the fabric of order. [**I really like your opening sentence.**] While the world he knows is frozen motionless, scores of nightmarish demons pour through the rift [**I’d call it a tear again to avoid confusion**], overwhelming the warriors put in place to defend it.

    With the original Guardians [**are these the same as the warriors? If not, explain. Otherwise, I’d call them the same thing.**] now dead, Lamarr and his best friend Tinka are recruited by [**add in the word “warriors” here to make it clearer these bikers are warrieros**] a leather-clad biker duo wielding samurai swords and high-tech devices. They are trained in the ways of the Blackwatch, a timeless society of warriors that fight the eternal struggle against creatures from the savage, ash-covered jungles of Chaos. [** I’m a little confused because I’m thinking the guardians/warriors are all dead. If so, who are these people training them? Is the Blackwatch a different set of warriors?**]Now it’s up to Lamarr and Tinka to learn fast, train hard and stay alive. If they succeed in ridding their world of the abominations of Chaos, they will earn their ranks among the Blackwatch. If they fail, their world will be annihilated. No pressure. [**I really like your last three sentences. They have voice and really tell us the stakes that the two characters face.**]

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  8. (Tried to post this earlier but my computer was freaking out)

    Thanks for all the comments! It really helps to have a few extra pairs of eyes. I'm taking your suggestions into account and tightening up the pitch.

    Thanks again for your help and good luck!

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