Monday, September 17, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Contest #3: CORRUPTED

YA Cyberpunk


Implanted shortly after birth, as all Citizens are, with a device that tracks every move she makes and listens to every word she speaks, Rynn 713 has learned to live a life of quiet rebellion. A Seller in the day, but a Cyber Hacker in the shadows, she is content with exploiting meaningless glitches in the system (hacks for the best coffee and forbidden hairstyles), hiding behind stacks of illegal books and movies, and longing for the Book Seller next door, whom she can never have.

But when her friend and the disabled daughter she has been hiding away are brutally executed because of Rynn’s careless mistake, she can no longer make herself blind to reality. And when the Seller’s District is raided and all their treasons are exposed, she and the Book Seller are faced with a choice: to run, to fight, or to die. But how do you run when they know everything you say and everywhere you go? And how do you fight when the only weapon you have is a computer? In one move, Rynn is hurtled into an underground world where hope and passion are the only ways to survive and hacking is the only route to freedom.

First 150 Words:

The tracker in my forearm began to beep at 3 a.m., yanking me from a peaceful sleep. I stared at it for a moment, wondering whether the GPS or microphone had prompted the warning. When the words, “…the gunpowder, treason, and plot…” came fuzzily through the television, I concluded it was not a malfunctioning GPS and panicked, leaping from my broken down couch to turn off the television. ‘How did it unmute?’ I wondered, frantically searching for someone besides myself to blame. My eyes came to rest on the loathsome remote, which I had apparently fallen asleep on, forcing the volume to rocket out of control. I never watched television…edit- interesting television…with the volume on, but chose to read subtitles, because any buzzword repeated too many times would undoubtedly trigger an inquiry and a Screener to monitor me for days, until The State realized I wasn’t a threat. Or worse, it could trigger a full-fledged investigation; if my house was raided, I would be dead in a heartbeat.


  1. I think this sounds like a fabulous concept, and a great story! I love that shes a hacker, and a rebel. Snagged me immediately with that.

    My only thing was, the sentences in your query are a bit long and confusing because of it. I think you can do a lot with just a little tightening to make things more clear, concise, and grabby.

    Same with your opening. I love how you've chosen to start out, though! Got my attention!

    Good luck!

  2. I loved the first 150!
    The one word I stumbled on was ”forearm.” If it just said ”arm” I think it would read better.
    This story sounds great!

  3. I agree about the forearm. Other than that, this sounds really interesting. Love that she's a hacker!

  4. This is very interesting! How can she hide with that device? That was my first reaction after I read this, which makes me want to read more.

    Good luck!!

  5. Just re-reading this pitch again made me sit at the edge of my seat. Love all the cool details and that her Cyber Hacking propels her into the inciting event.

  6. PITCH: This really grabbed me, especially the second paragraph. It’s a great teaser, with Rynn changing as a result of the incident with her friend and daughter, and high stakes and intrigue. The first paragraph—the first sentence, especially—could benefit from some decluttering.
    FIRST 150: While I’m glomming on to the uniqueness of Rynn’s world, I also feel like I’m given too much too soon. The GPS, microphone, television, buzzword, Screener, the State, investigation—it’s a little overwhelming, and it all happens in one long paragraph. I do like how it ends, that last line, “If my house was raided, I would be dead in a heartbeat,” is great foreshadowing.

  7. Wow, this sounds awesome! Great voice!