Monday, September 17, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Contest #20: PHOENIX AWAKENS

PHOENIX AWAKENS
YA Paranormal Romance
60,000

Query:

Julia Lang is starting her junior year with an extra dose of crazy. The nightmares of a secret society’s bloody rituals are weird enough, but when the victim in her lifelike dreams turns out to be her classmate, Southern charmer Graham, she considers therapy.

It’s not until Julia’s relationship heats up with Graham, and she sees his scars that she has proof her nightmares are real. Graham admits he was part of the Phoenixes—a secret society of Charleston elite—but he ran when things got dangerous. As Julia works with Graham to figure out why she is dreaming about his past, she discovers she has some strange abilities. She heals Graham’s migraines with a touch, and there’s her super human strength that comes and goes. Julia doesn’t know where her new talents come from, but there’s no denying that when Graham is near, her powers kick into overdrive.

The Phoenixes use Julia’s dreams to send a message: They want Graham back. They need his blood to awaken ancient magic that will make them unstoppable, and they’re willing to kill to get it. When Graham is kidnapped, Julia must journey across the country to save him while learning to control her new powers.

First 150 Words:

Diesel exhaust mixed with bad breath, and the sticky pleather seats of the school bus. This was my normal ride to school. I know it was weird—I was a junior—but I didn’t have my own car. So I rode, packed in with a bunch of freshmen and sophomores, and a handful of other lame upperclassmen who couldn’t drive to school either.

The school bus pulled up in front of West High School. I zipped up my hoodie, climbed down the steps and out into the chilly September wind. I should have worn a coat, but that meant admitting summer was over. I wouldn’t give up on my favorite season so easily. I wrapped my arms around myself and scurried up the school steps.

The West High building was a drab 1970s-style structure made of gray brick. Rumor had it that the building was designed by the same person who drew the plans for Marsden Prison.

3 comments:

  1. Hi,
    I love your query. The voice is excellent and makes it easy for me to connect with the MC. Clear stakes, too.
    Nicely written first 150.
    Best of luck

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  2. Love your query. This sounds awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  3. PITCH: Strong pitch, with a few telling details but focuses mainly on the story and the stakes.
    FIRST 150: I think the beginning needs more of a hook, either through tension or that “bridging conflict” Donald Maass has written about. The writing is strong, authoritative, I feel that I’m in good hands here, but these days folks want their conflict right up front. Based on the pitch, I’m sure there’s some great tension the writer can bring in earlier.

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