Monday, February 22, 2016

Buried



Title: BURIED
Category and Genre: Adult Science Fiction

Word Count: 120,000
Query


Mike and Sam must save the world from a time loop, but they only want to save each other--and that's what's causing the loop.

After his boyfriend Sam is killed in a car crash, soldier-turned-copper Mike Scott buries himself in investigating a modern body that's been dug up at an undisturbed sixteenth-century site. But his investigation leads him back to Sam's death, and the existence of a time machine Sam 'forgot' to tell him about. The attraction the machine held for TV historian Sam is obvious. But Mike's more used to burying the past than revisiting it.

Once Mike finds the machine, however, it offers more adventure than he's had since quitting the army: A trip to Tudor England. A way to save Sam. Mike will gladly give his life for Sam's, but, after a few trips round the loop, he realises they've been there, done that. By using the machine to change the past, he and Sam have trapped everyone in a time loop that endlessly repeats.

The time machine can't be resisted and it can't be destroyed. Unless Mike can find a solution in his own past, the only way out is for one of them to die. And stay dead.

First 250 words


The day my mother sat us boys down and told us Dad had gone to live with a new family, I thought it was one of those things adults say when they don't want to deal with the truth. Not 'Your dad's dead' but 'Your dad's gone to live with a new family where he can have lots of room to run about'.
It was exactly like that when Sam died.

#

I was sitting at my desk in CID moving some bits of paper about. Nobody in the office to overhear. I pulled out my phone and hit the speed dial.

Not that I wasn't a little annoyed Sam hadn't rung me. Not this morning. Not the night before. Not since he'd slammed out of the house and gone to stay with his mother.

His visit to his mother being what we'd argued about.

Someone other than Sam answered the phone. I knew that the moment they drew in their breath to speak.

"Who's this?" I said. "I want Sam Ferrier."

"This is Police Constable Sheila Warren. Who am I speaking to, please?"

"My name's Mike Scott. I want to speak to Sam."

Stacking papers on my desk so I didn't have to think about why a PC was answering his phone.

"Are you a relative of Mr Ferrier's?"

Jesus, I'd never expected to be on the receiving end of a death message. "Look, has something happened? What's happened to him?"

"I'm sorry, but I can't release any details until the family have been informed."

*****

Participants do not comment on other entrants' posts, only your own. You can bribe, coax, share, tweet, and do whatever to your entry, but you cannot comment on anyone else's.

The Judges

&

Me!

Visitors welcome!
Please comment as to whether this pitch piques your interest and what feedback you have about making it stronger.
Your assessments will be appreciated by the participants.



7 comments:

  1. Query: The first sentence is great and makes me want to know more. However, I think you can tighten this a bit. Remove the 'buts' and the passive sentences.

    "The time machine can't be resisted and it can't be destroyed." Great tagline! Consider making it the first sentence.

    250 words: Great voice. I definitely wanted to keep reading.

    Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Query: I'm definitely intrigued. Second paragraph, instead of "modern" - which confused me until I'd reread it - I'd use "fresh". And I'd specify "archeological site". Also, you use "buried" a lot, though not in connection with actual bodies, which you also discuss...it's interesting, but if intentional, I'm not *quite* catching what you're trying to do.

    Anyway, this query is pretty darned good, and the concept is AWESOME. Good goal, good stakes.

    First 250, I like it. Great voice. First paragraph, I'm not quite catching what MC is trying to say here. I'm seeing the relation between kids being told a pet has "gone to live with a new family" even though the pet is actually dead...and them being told that about their dad. But dad is actually just divorcing them, right? I REALLY love the analogy, I'd just make it clearer, if that's what you're going for. "It was like when mom had told us our dog Rooster had gone to live with another family..." Something like that maybe.

    Awesome entry. Thanks :)

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  3. The concept of your query entertaining! Awesome.
    The query is good but I wanted to tinker a bit - so I did.

    Mike and Sam must save the world from a time loop, but they only want to save each other--and that's what's causing the loop. (like this catchy intro!)

    After his boyfriend Sam is killed in a car crash, soldier-turned-copper Mike Scott buries himself in the investigation of a modern body dug up at an undisturbed sixteenth-century site. (I see the humor in buries and dug up references ;) Mike’s investigation leads him back to Sam's death (because – why?). Sam’s passion for history doesn’t explain the existence of a time machine Sam 'forgot' to mention. Besides, Mike's more used to burying the past than revisiting it.

    The time machine, however, offers more adventure than Mike's had since quitting the army. On a trip to Tudor England, he realizes this is a way to save Sam. Mike will gladly (trade?) his life for Sam's, but, after a few trips round the loop, he realizes they've been there, done that. And the overuse of the machine to change the past, has trapped everyone in a time loop stuck on endless repeat.

    The time machine epitomizes evil… it can't be resisted and it can't be destroyed. Unless Mike can find a solution in his own past, the only way out is for one of them to die. And stay dead. Love this ending!!)

    First 250 has a nice start and I'd keep reading!

    best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for all the useful comments! (and all the love)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Query: I like the opening sentence. A nice tension there: choosing your love or the world. It lost focus for me in the next paragraph though. I’ve got an unexplained body and a time machine. Are the two connected? I’d clean up the sentences a bit, looking for any filler words you can take out. Keep the focus on our characters and why we should care rather than a blow by blow of plot. The point of the query is to grab your potential publisher or agent and make them want to read the whole thing, not to summarize.

    First 250 words: I like the intro. Since the initials CID don’t mean anything to me, I only knew Mike was a cop from reading the query, which made me wonder how he knew this was a death call, rather than thinking something else might be wrong, like cell phone theft. I was also surprised by the lack of internal reaction to the fear of what this phone call means.

    Hope that’s helpful! -SB

    ReplyDelete
  6. Query: I like the opening sentence. A nice tension there: choosing your love or the world. It lost focus for me in the next paragraph though. I’ve got an unexplained body and a time machine. Are the two connected? I’d clean up the sentences a bit, looking for any filler words you can take out. Keep the focus on our characters and why we should care rather than a blow by blow of plot. The point of the query is to grab your potential publisher or agent and make them want to read the whole thing, not to summarize.

    First 250 words: I like the intro. Since the initials CID don’t mean anything to me, I only knew Mike was a cop from reading the query, which made me wonder how he knew this was a death call, rather than thinking something else might be wrong, like cell phone theft. I was also surprised by the lack of internal reaction to the fear of what this phone call means.

    Hope that’s helpful! -SB

    ReplyDelete
  7. You are so close here. I hope you'll take the suggestions and achieve the goal of publication. Thank you for participating! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete

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