Monday, September 17, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Contest #12: FRINGE TOWNS

Young Adult Science Fiction


Seventeen-year-old Chloe has a few things figured out. She knows she hates being psychic. She likes life out in the lawless Fringe. It sure beats dealing with the persnickety rules inside one of the three walled Texas Cities, the only cities left after the flu killed off most people. She also has a true affection for the family she has formed with six drifters.

What Chloe is most sure of is her love for Michael, a fellow psychic who rescued her from Houston City’s laboratory. Experimentation has augmented Chloe with raw fighting potential that must be controlled by another psychic, and Michael tries to fulfill that role. When unknown miscreants kidnap him, Chloe is torn between protecting her family, and unleashing the monster inside of her.

While searching for Michael, Chloe discovers the kidnappers are plotting to take over Texas and secede from the United States—with Michael plumb in the middle of the conspiracy. But, not even the King of Texas will stop Chloe from rescuing her love.

First 150 words:

The screaming needed to end soon, or we’d all suffer. I curled up on my side, swallowing a hiss when my leg pressed against the bars at the bottom of my cage. It had only taken me a short minute this afternoon to heal my fractured thigh bone—far faster than the other Augmentatives had managed to heal theirs—but the area remained tender. Not that the Keepers knew I felt pain. If they figured out that I was different, the best I could hope for was a double tap to the forehead and a shallow grave.

From two rows behind me, the screams muted to a soft whimper. Maybe the hallway guards wouldn’t hear. At least they hadn’t turned on the lights to conduct a cage check.

The window nearest me had been left open. A breeze touched my sweaty, bare skin and swirled the miasma of unwashed bodies.


  1. YAY Texas! Let's secede from the Union! Um...I mean, no, we shouldn't do that. ;)
    Anyways, I obviously love your ideas. And being from the lone star state as well, would probably pick this up. I think your first 150 is a bit stronger than your query, which is probably what you want, but you may want to work a little on your query hook.
    Good luck with GUTGAA!

  2. I'm with LyndseyLewellen! I LOVELOVELOVE your 150, WANT TO READ this! But the query may give just a bit more info than is really needed. The only other thing I think you might look at is your word choices in your query. This a 17 y/o, right? I happen to have a 17y/o daughter, who has an unusually large vocab because, like her mom, she eats books as fast as we can buy them, but she doesn't use words like miscreants or persnickity. Just sayin'.
    But I do wish you the best best best of luck!
    PS.I'm from TEXAS too, my MS is also set there. Fabulous setting for a book, really. :)

  3. I do think there was too much in your query, but your first 150 are solid.

  4. PITCH: Solid pitch. I love how the stakes are raised—not only is Michael kidnapped, BUT he helps her control her “monster within,” AND she uncovers a dastardly conspiracy! One suggestion: the sentence “It sure beats…” interrupts the flow/promise of the first paragraph. That first sentence promises a sort of parallelism with things that she has figured out, so I’d be tempted to keep every sentence in that paragraph referring to exact things she’s figured out, not further commentary on those things.
    FIRST 150: Very gripping beginning! By the end of the first paragraph I started to get worried that the screaming wouldn’t be mentioned again, but it was! And I’m still feeling the tension. I’d definitely keep reading.