Thursday, February 19, 2015


60,000 words
YA Sci-Fi

It's been twenty years since the last superheroes died and the power went out in Chicago. The hard line between darkness and light is the only world fifteen-year-old Glenn has ever known. A broken mother and a battered best friend are both his greatest loves and his biggest burdens. With his late father's revolver and a heavy, cynical heart, Glenn provides for them as best he can until the day the mysterious old man at the end of his delivery route tells him a secret: he knows how to bring electricity back. What is more, he'll need Glenn to resurrect the superheroes in order to do it. Spanning five decades, moving back and forth in time and vividly exploring love, loss and hope, this story combines the depth and beauty of THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY with the humor and adventure of GOONIES.

First Page: 



Glenn poked Charlie's body with the toe of his shoe. He was unconscious, shattered glass and milk strewn all around him on the pavement. There was blood, too, escaping from some unseen head wound and stretching its crimson fingers inside the white liquid.

Glenn bent down and shook his burly friend. "Charlie."

The sun had just broke, the weeds and gnarled growth in the field behind the crooked house glistening with frost. The structure looked as though it could be pushed over. Glenn had often thought of doing it himself, of putting the two-story home out of its misery. What little paint remained was no longer colored and the wood beneath it had given way to rot and ominous noises whenever the wind picked up. It was assumed that it had been abandoned and looted, the same as every house on that street, but the boys went by every morning regardless.

Because Charlie had begged and Glenn had relented. Someone at Training had said they'd seen lights on inside the house. Not candlelight, either. Light light. Electric light. It was the stuff of legend, buried with the last superheroes in '64.

It had been relatively easy for Glenn to work the lifeless street into their delivery route, to swing by the house in the dead of morning and let Charlie check for the alleged lights. How quickly that simple choice had become a poor one.


  1. This is a great concept and it sounds dark and twisted which is why i was a little surprised you mentioned humor and compared it to the Goonies. I really like how dark the pitch and first page are.

    Good luck in pitch plus one!

  2. This sounds like a great story. I like the setup and the possibilities. With the pitch, I think it would be more effective to introduce the old man earlier in the sequence, i.e.
    "...fifteen-year-old Glenn has ever known until the day the mysterious old man at the end of his delivery route tells him a secret: he knows how to bring electricity back. What is more, he'll need Glenn to resurrect the superheroes in order to do it."
    Follow this up with the problems keeping Glenn from doing this.

    In the first page, you might move the last paragraph earlier to show why they were there...because it was easy to work the street into their delivery route to check out the rumors of electric lights.

    Good work!

  3. Good Evening Author,
    I like the darkness that surrounds the premise, but having trouble with the light concept. There was the basic concept of electricity in 64, so was there something else keeping them from doing a little copper wire wrapped around a metal tube? If there was something bigger that kept the electric out; what is it? Because 20 years between 64 and 84 is not too long, I'm sure an electrician was around somewhere? "
    I do really like your voice; the book needs to be read with some old jazz record playing and some scotch.
    What threw me a bit though is that his buddy has a head wound and a broken bottle of milk which has me interested already, but then you go on to describe the house that should be fallen over. It's like when Colin Kaperinck (Niners fan) throws a deep ball and my heart starts to race thinking of how exciting a TD would be, and then ABC cuts to a commercial about floor wax. Leaves me a little sad.
    All and all I get the Kavelier and Clay, not yet seeing the Goonies.
    I look forward to seeing this polished. I think the concept is a good one and the title is catchy!
    Good Luck,
    Fellow Contestant & Writing Friend #35

  4. Pitch: A strong premise, combining an electricity-less dystopia with superheroes. The info provided in the pitch raises some questions you might consider answering: Did power only go out in Chicago? Or all over the world? Does Glenn shoot people with the revolver? I assumed the delivery route was drug-related, but from the first page, it sounds like it’s milk—quite a difference!

    First page: The image of the hurt friend is vividly described, but then the description shifts to the house. You might consider waiting on the house and drawing us in further with more about what happened to Charlie. It’s good to get the info about the absence of electricity and the former existence of superheroes right away.

  5. Pitch:
    Dang, this is so cool! Two points stood out as a bit awkward though: "The hard line between darkness and light" Not sure what this means. Also, "With his late father's revolver and a heavy, cynical heart." Is he a murderer? A mugger? Not sure what I'm supposed to take away from this. But you've definitely got an epic-sounding concept that I would LOVE to read.

    First Page:
    You hooked me with those first two paragraphs! However, I too am wanting more info as to what happened to the friend. Good luck!

    Domenic (#28)

  6. This is a strong idea. With the pitch, I think a few more well-placed details will help give us a better sense of this world and the challenges Glenn is facing. The generalities create an engaging tone, but there's room even in 150 words to give us something more to hook into. The first 250 reads well. I'm on the fence about your leaving Charlie lying on the ground bleeding while you describe the house and how they got there. I like the risk-taking but the potential downside is turning off readers so early on. Go with your gut, but you might want to reconsider. All in all, this is an intriguing piece. Good luck!


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