Sunday, July 17, 2011

Auntie B's Book Club Contest

So I know I posted two weeks ago all ready to start blogging more regularly and all that... then dropped off the face of the earth! Well, my sister got married (I was the maid of honor)...



And me and my two roommates moved...



But now I'm back! And just in time to enter Auntie B's Book Club Contest! Since it's not a requirement that this be a completed manuscript, I'm going to enter with my WIP, Dragons Are People Too!

You can click through to the contest page for more information, but basically y'all have two days to help me get my entry in the best shape possible for our discerning  judges (actual, live teenagers!). So here goes... please provide constructive criticism in the comments!

Pitch
Sixteen-year-old Kitty is a weredragon operative for the US government. When the government turns its back on the dragons, she must choose between loyalty to her country and allegiance to her family. (Keep in mind, the pitch must be 35 words or less! This is 34)

First 250 words
Well, crap. Mission Intelligence got it wrong. Again.

I mean, seriously? Heat sensors? When your operatives have a core body temperature of 142 degrees, that should be the first thing you check for. I daydream about ripping Simon a new one as I scale up the three stories of crumbling stone.

So now I cling to the east stone wall of the Lebanese embassy in DC with a diplomatic document pouch hanging from my belt.

I am overly conscious of the two security cameras aimed at my back, despite the full-body black catsuit with matching ski-mask that Draconic Intelligence Command (or, as I liked to call it, DIC) requires me to wear. Sirens blare, telling me security already knows we are here, but I still can't let them see my face. And, more importantly, I can't let them see me change.

Beside me, Wallace scrabbles, then loses his balance and falls twenty feet to the ground, hitting the wall at least twice in the process. Rookie. His breath comes fast, but he is uninjured. He could probably fall from three times that height without a scratch.

"Kitty," he whispers. Even his whisper has a British accent. He lies sprawled on the immaculate lawn of the Embassy and slowly makes his way to his feet. "I can't make it without changing."

"No!" I yell, then catch myself and lower my voice to something more like a hiss. "Absolutely not. Do you have any idea how many cameras are on you right now?"

 

SO... to the comments with the criticism! Thanks!!

12 comments:

  1. I think it would read better if the third paragraph (So now I cling...) followed the first.

    It's hard to critique just one page. I wish there was a little more dragon in it for the contest.

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  2. Wow! This is so interesting! I'm totally intrigued. And I love the voice. DIC! Love that too.

    I think paragraph three's spot is fine, but the sentence: “Kitty,” he whispers. Even his whisper has a British accent - you could cut the dialogue tag because the whisper is implied in the next sentence. See. Nit-picky stuff.

    Great job. I'd definitely read more about weredragons - totally unique!

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  3. Agree - with only 250 words to work with, it is tough. With four young girls as judges, your female lead may help. I still think the 142 degree body temperature is going to be tough to make work.

    Suggest for this contest, taking out the parenthetical reference to DIC because it slows down the narrative.

    Agree with BrerMatt about switching the second and third paragraphs.

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  4. I like this a lot! Love the MC's voice and you did a great job on that blurb. The 35 words was torture for me.

    I think I'd tweak that opening a bit by losing the first sentence about Mission Intelligence and rearranging the next paragraph a wee bit:

    I daydream about ripping Simon a new one as I scale up the three stories of crumbling stone.I mean, seriously? Heat sensors? When your operatives have a core body temperature of 142 degrees, that should be the first thing you check for.

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  5. I think your pitch is fantastic! I would absolutely pick up this book from that alone. The excerpt was great too. The only thing that stood out in a funny way is "Even his whisper has a British accent." I mean, it's funny and shows voice, but since I'm married to a Brit, well, of course the accent never goes away. singing, whispering, talking, etc. It's by no means anything major and the fact that I'm nitpicking shows how GOOD your writing is. xx

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  6. Thanks! I used to have it in this order until Mike suggested the current order and I kinda liked it. I don't know what I'll do with it, it seems people are divided.

    Yeah, it's too bad I couldn't get more dragons on the first page - but it really doesn't work too well if I try to do that. But there's an explosion of dragon-awesome on the next few pages!

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  7. No fair David, you've seen this before! :-) I think I'm going to leave the DIC in because it does more to establish voice, which is paramount in YA right now.

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  8. Thanks so much Kit! I'm glad you like the pitch! I didn't have one until yesterday when I finally forced myself to put pen to paper for it!

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  9. LOVE IT! Holy carp - I want to read this book right now! Great logline, great excerpt!

    Wish I could help more, but I don't really think you need it :) Good luck in the contest!

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