Tuesday, October 8, 2019


TITLE: Hoverboard Superheroes
GENRE: MG Science Fiction

Twelve year old Leonie Fox can make anything except friends. Her repair business doesn’t impress the other kids on her starship, but at least Leonie has her grandmother. Then Magda goes missing. Frighteningly alone, Leonie recruits allies—not friends—and starts hunting. But more people disappear, and social services are on Leonie’s tail. To save Magda and stop a deadly conspiracy, Leonie needs more than a trio of bickering boys at her side. She needs a family.

2092, aboard the starship Hydra

Leonie pressed her shoulders to the bulkhead, catching her breath as her eyes adjusted to the amber lights. She should be safe here. Any haters out for her blood would have a hard time finding her in the salvage bay, where towering shadows hid her navy coveralls and deep brown skin.

The oily tang of scrap metal filled her nose. She bypassed wire heaps and scaled a long ladder to a top shelf, where tracks for retrieval units ran like veins across the ceiling. Saturday afternoons were her salvage diving days, but avoiding the enemies she’d made this past year was putting a serious damper on her fun. Why, why couldn’t she leave other people’s bullies alone?

Leonie wrapped her hands around a ceiling joist and swung to perch atop some baskets, searching for parts for her refurbished equipment business. Far below, a salvage keeper’s lantern flashed across the scaffolding. Her heart skipped. Forcing a breath, she reminded herself the keepers wouldn’t stop her. She’d been allowed in here since she turned twelve last February, but years of sneaking into the salvage bays as a curious little kid had left their mark. When the keeper’s light swept to her level, Leonie gave the man a cheeky wave.

The lantern stalled. An older boy’s familiar voice raked her nerve endings. “You.”

That wasn’t a keeper.

Panicked, she leapfrogged across wire frame baskets full of obsolete consoles. The baskets wobbled on the aluminum-plate shelf, and she grabbed joists overhead to steady herself.


  1. I feel like we have some hopping tenses going on. Consider: Leonie pressed her shoulders to the bulkhead, AND CAUGHT her breath as her eyes adjusted to the amber lights.
    It might certainly just be me, but I'm not quite visualizing everything. Probably because I don't know what these terms mean or what the items look like. One thing I would expect, but am not seeing, is her feet to be sliding around as she's leaping across these baskets full of parts. I can't imagine it would be easy to hop from one to another without stumbling as the objects inside shift. Nevertheless, from your pitch, this sounds like the makings of a great story.

  2. A few things:
    -I had to read your pitch several times. I think Magda is her grandmother, but that's not entirely clear. Also, I feel like I've missed a step. She went from missing to at peril/in the middle of a deadly conspiracy. I think we need the dots connected here.
    -It doesn't make sense for her to think about her own skin color or clothes while hiding from some haters. Honestly, it doesn't EVER make sense for a character to think about their skin tone unless they are buying foundation.
    -Phrases like "she reminded herself" are not necessary in a deep POV. Try to turn this into internal monologue instead.

    Good luck!

  3. This is a cool and exciting way to begin! I loved how she jumped at the end. I'm curious why and I'd definitely read on.

    -Minor quibble: something about the line: "Why, why couldn’t she leave other people’s bullies alone?" didn't quite land with me. I think it's twofold: 1. I question why she doesn't have any friends if she's sticking up for bullied kids, who from (cough) personal experience are desperate for friends. Maybe if they're younger kids she wouldn't befriend them? 2. It felt a little like a ham-handed way to tell me she's a good person. On the first page, I generally want to form my own opinion of a main character. Showing her actually standing up to a bully would make me like her more than being told about it.

    I also really liked your vivid descriptions, including smells. The pitch makes this sound very fun and interesting! Good luck!

  4. I like your pitch! You’ve done a great job of immersing your reader in the world via unique worldbuilding and your use of sensory details beyond the usual sight. Furthermore, sentences like, “Why, why couldn’t she leave other people’s bullies alone?” are an effective way of telling your reader a lot about the protagonist in few words.

    I’d advise you to be careful of overloading the reader with *too* many details or overly complex sentences, though, particularly as this book is geared toward a younger readership. Try to streamline your action into a clearer chain of events, and let your worldbuilding support and shape the action rather than overburdening it.

    This is a solid foundation. Well done!