Friday, May 27, 2016

May Pass Or Pages Entry #5

Welcome to our feedback reveal for Pass Or Pages. In this contest, randomly chosen entries were critiqued by our agent panel. We hope it will give everyone a sense of what is going on in an agent's head as they read queries and first pages. We're so grateful to the members of the agent panel who gave their time to provide feedback on these entries. We'd also like to thank the entrants. It's hard to put yourself out there. Thanks for being brave!


Entry #5: WORST VILLAIN EVER (36,000 words)


QUERY


When twelve-year-old George Pruwell finally gets admitted to the Academy of Villainy and Wrongdoing, he has big plans of making his family proud. Unfortunately George is anything but villainous. So to secure a slot in the school's best roster of classes and prove himself worthy of his family's wonderfully terrible villainy [RW1] name, he takes on a nearly impossible assignment: defeat Captain Perfecto, the world's best superhero.

Now, George has to figure out how one too-nice-villain-in-training can defeat the most impressive superhero of all time. And when Perfecto turns out to have some seriously big problems of his own, George must choose to follow his instincts and help the superhero or crush him and become the most villainous Pruwell ever.

The Incredibles meets Despicable Me [RW2] in this 36,000 word story for kids [RW3] who love comics and capes. I'd be delighted if you would consider WORST VILLAIN EVER for publication [RW4] .
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Moe's notes:
[MF] So this sounds absolutely adorable. There are a lot of books with similar premises (either heroes in school or villains in school) so you need to do what you can to make yours stand out as different and unique!

Roseanne's notes:
[RW1] This isn’t really necessary.
[RW2] Great comp titles.
[RW3] MG book for readers
[RW4] Representation, not publication.
[RW] The query looks pretty good. Nice use of specifics without giving too much away, doesn’t read like a synopsis, and gives us the character, conflict, and choice of the story.

Emily's notes:
[EK] This feels like it has been done?

FIRST 250


If the Pruwell family villains were a perfectly groomed head of hair, twelve-year-old George would be the cowlick that kept sticking out no matter how much spit was firmly applied.

In yet another attempt to reverse this unfortunate reality, today George peered out his second-floor window wearing his Mastermind Magnifying Goggles. With those bad boys on, he could see the yellow centers of Ms. Wutherford's daisies all the way across the street. But George was far less interested in the daisies than in what would hopefully be his first successful villainous trick.

He zeroed in on the location of the tripwire stake next to the sidewalk and saw nothing. Excellent. He’d perfected an invisible tripwire using Gloss Over-It to cover Rule Number One of High Villainy: Don’t get caught.

The thought of someone tripping and landing in a glorious pile of limbs and scattered papers should make George smile with anticipation. It was a classic. Any self-respecting villain would be rubbing his hands together. Perhaps even cackling maniacally. Instead, George felt like he had swallowed a dozen white mice from a mad scientist’s laboratory.

Chewing a thumbnail, he turned his gaze north. Mike Kahn was coasting down the sidewalk on his skateboard as he did every night.
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Moe's notes:
[MK] I love the various inventions through out and how much we’ve learned about George in just a few paragraphs. I think there’s something weird going on in paragraph 3 and I can’t tell if there’s a few missing words in there. In spite of that, this sounds like a lot of fun. Please email the first 50 pages and synopsis to MFsubmissions (at) bookendsliterary (dot) com, with the subject OPERATION AWESOME and the submission pasted in the body of the email.

Roseanne's notes:
[RW1] This metaphor isn’t working because it requires too much explanation, and doesn’t really help us visualize that much. And it seems like a different voice than the rest of the text.
[RW2] This voice sounds like an adult, but not on purpose.
[RW3] Again, a little overwrought.
[RW] The story sounds great, but the narrative is overly wordy, even with the narrator’s voice styling, and the metaphors need to be simpler and snappier. I’m also not sure why we are starting in this place, but it might become more obvious after the 250. I would read pages with revisions.

RESULTS

Moe Ferrara: PAGES!
Roseanne Wells: PASS
Emily Keyes: PASS

2 comments:

  1. I love this, and I don't typically read MG. I'm already sympathizing with George, who seems to be a little too good-hearted to fit in with his villainy family.

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