Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Entry #62: HELICA

Title: Helica

Genre: YA-Science Fiction Futuristic Thriller


Avalon is genetically perfect, but that doesn’t mean Helica’s leadership trusts her. The leadership forces the population to take Zephrax, a drug that erases memories of the war fought for genetic supremacy, a cure for PTSD. But Avalon metabolizes Zephrax quickly, allowing her moments in which she remembers the tragedy Helica’s leadership inflicted upon her loved ones.

A time traveler named Asher returns to Avalon’s present. She can’t remember him, but he promises they were once in love. Hoping to alter the horrible future, Asher presents Avalon with a message from her father, the former leader of a Helica resistance group. Unless Avalon can intervene, all genetically imperfect humans -- the resistance -- will be exterminated, causing Earth to become imbalanced and unable to support life. With the extinction of mankind at stake, Avalon & Asher vow to spread the truth to Helica’s brain washed population before it’s too late. 

First Sentence:

Here, in Helica, we live by the decree of survival of the fittest. 


  1. I found this sentence to be a bit confusing "The leadership forces the population to take Zephrax, a drug that erases memories of the war fought for genetic supremacy, a cure for PTSD." - I'm not sure if the leadership tells them it's a cure for PTSD to get them to take it or if they are doing it sneakily? Perhaps cut the line "a cure for PTSD" as I think its enough that we know the drug erases memories. Other than that I thought your query was solid.

  2. Hi! This sounds like a cool premise.

    Here are my thoughts:

    I like that you show the stakes up front and we know what the character has to lose - well done.

    Is Helica a separate planet from Earth? I'm confused as to their relationship, and why Earth not being able to support life effects Helica?

    I think this pitch would work fine without using the drug's name. It can be referred to "as a drug that erases memories," and still relay your point.

    With the last line, I would suggest being more definitive with the cost for Avalon. Will both she and Asher die? What effect does the resistance dying have on both her and Asher?

    Good luck with this!

  3. I second the above comments. Awesome premise and the pitch just needs a little tightening. The first line is intriguing but it's also a bit distancing. It makes me think we have a narrator, rather than a main character whose perspective we get to live through. And in YA, being deep in the MC's viewpoint is very important. Instead of telling us what it's like in Helica, maybe SHOW us your character staring out over the city and thinking something snarky about it? Or having an experience in which this "survival of the fittest" credo is displayed. Just a thought, but I think you could do more with the first line to pull us into the story. Really though, this is intriguing and I'd like to read more. :) Good luck!

  4. Yes, it's not clear why Earth would be imbalanced but I love the time travel and the cure for PTDS, as well as the idea that genetically perfect and imperfect humans battle it our for survival. There are lots of rich possibilities here for big questions--are the perfect humans any less worthy of inheriting the Earth? Are they morally superior than imperfects or the same? Why can't they live together? Big stakes. Good luck!

  5. At first glance this seems like something a little too done (dystopian esc) but there is a lot to love here. I definitely think you could go deeper into the emotional aspects of the story which is where you could shine.

    I don't really know what perfect genetics are so it doesn't pull me in right away.

    Basically, you just need a little more depth and a little more clarity. Good luck. This sounds like something I'd love to read :)

  6. Wow! Thank you everyone for the wonderful feedback! So thoughtful =D

  7. What I like: I love this idea- ‘She can’t remember him, but he promises they were once in love.’

    What I would like: I would love to see more of the human elements in the query. Right now it reads a little logical, this-follows-this for me.

    Great job!


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