Wednesday, September 12, 2012

GUTGAA PItch Perfect Bloghop

Unfortunately I wasn't one of the 100 able to make it into the pitch contest, but there's a bloghop for those of us who didn't going on. Below I've pasted my query letter and the first 150 words for all of you to shred into little pieces of humility. Okay, so be a little nice with your critiques. Fire and Ice is a YA paranormal romance.


Sixteen year old Shelly Paladine doesn’t need a stupid merit badge to prove she can start a fire, all she has to do is snap her fingers. Suddenly bestowed with a power she never asked for, all Shelly wants is to keep the fire at bay while hiding the secret from her adoptive parents. After she’s attacked by a troll with questionable hygiene, and receives text messages warning her of impending danger, Shelly knows the simple days of just trying to keep herself from spontaneously combusting are long gone.

Enter Kale Vanderhoof, a guy that makes Shelly’s heart race with his easy smile and boy-next-door good looks. But there’s more to Kale than meets the eye. He’s got a power of his own, and he’s not alone. Kale reveals some secrets to Shelly, like the fact she’s a part of a secret organization, the Circle of Elements, that keep scary beasties from harming humanity. Unfortunately Kale isn’t the only one hot on Shelly’s heels. Her mysterious texter makes it clear that if Shelly doesn't do everything she asks of her, well then the whole world is pretty much going to end.

With the fate of the world on her shoulders, Shelly becomes her stalker's puppet and the first thing she wants is for Shelly to get closer to Kale and infiltrate the Circle. As Shelly spends more time with Kale, the line between following orders and free will begin to blur, and Shelly begins to question the control her stalker has over her. But is she willing to break free from her puppeteer if it means losing Kale and all that she's found in the Circle?
And the first 150 are below. (Technically the first 151).
Here’s the deal; I was pissed. Standing there, listening to my mom go on about how I was giving up on my future if I gave up dancing, was the last thing I wanted to be doing.  I’d rather jump out the window of our tenth-floor apartment and take my chances with the sidewalk.
            “You can’t just throw your future away like this, Shelly.”
            “Actually, I can,” I shot back, fighting the urge to grit my teeth.
            “But you’ve worked so hard for this. I’m not saying that going to NYU is a bad idea, but ballet has been your entire life. And you’ll be giving it up for what? A few minutes at some pointless frat party?”
I resisted the urge to, once again, point out how I wasn’t some na├»ve little girl who would get suckered into stripping naked the first day of college to streak the football field.

5 comments:

  1. Excellent job on your query, I love it! It makes me want to read Fire and Ice all over again!

    My only crit is in the last para, you say, "the line between following orders and free will begin to blur..." That doesn't make much sense.

    Love it!

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  2. This query is much stronger than the other one I read, although I do miss the spontaneous combustion line you started that one with. That really got it off with a bang.

    I'd take out the word stupid in the first line. ] Also, I think this is the typo, but the second paragraph says he reveals to her that she's part of the secret organization when I think you mean he.

    I love that the troll has questionable hygiene.What a great detail. Good luck!

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  3. Sixteen year old Shelly Paladine doesn’t need a stupid merit badge to prove she can start a fire, all she has to do is snap her fingers. <--HMMM THE PREVIOUS SENTENCE MADE IT SEEM LIKE SHE COULD DO IT SINCE SHE WAS BORN.--> Suddenly bestowed with a power she never asked for, <--IF YOU BUILD AN OPENING AROUND HER BEING BESTOWED WITH POWERS, YOU CAN CUT THIS SECTION OUT. all Shelly wants is to keep the fire at bay while hiding IT from her adoptive parents. BUT WHEN she’s attacked by a troll with questionable hygiene, and receives text messages warning her of impending danger, Shelly knows the simple days of just trying to keep herself from spontaneously combusting are long gone.

    Enter Kale Vanderhoof, <-- THIS DOESN'T SAY MUCH. DOES HE COMPLICATE THINGS FURTHER? OR IS HE A HIGHLIGHT? EITHER WAY, REWORD TO BRING THIS OUT. a guy that makes Shelly’s heart race with his easy smile and boy-next-door good looks. But there’s more to Kale than meets the eye. He’s got a power of his own, and he’s not alone. Kale reveals THAT she’s a part of a secret organization, the Circle of Elements, that keep scary beasties from harming humanity. Unfortunately Kale isn’t the only one hot IS HE REALLY? EVERYTHING UP TO THE POINT MAKES HIM SEEM QUITE NEUTRAL TOWARDS HER. on Shelly’s heels. Her mysterious texter makes it clear that if Shelly doesn't do everything she asks of her, THE whole world WILL END. <YOU NEED TO TIGHTEN YOUR SENTENCES, I THINK.

    With the WORLD'S fate on her shoulders, Shelly becomes her stalker's puppet. THE first thing HER NEW BOSS/MISTRESS/WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL HER wants is for Shelly to get closer to Kale and infiltrate the Circle. BUT AS Shelly spends more time with Kale, the line between following orders and FREEDOM beginS to blur, and Shelly begins to question the control her stalker has over her. But is she willing to break free from her puppeteer if it means losing Kale and all that she's found in the Circle?

    GREAT SOUNDING STORY. HOPE YOU FOUND MY CRIT USEFUL!

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  4. Your story sounds really interesting. I really liked the voice in this pitch, and lines like "the simple days of just trying to keep herself from spontaneously combusting" made me smile.

    There were two things that stood out to me on the first read:

    Shelly is attacked by a troll. This jarred me a bit, since "scary beasties" aren't introduced as part of the story until paragraph 2. This left me wondering if things like trolls were common place in this world, or if "troll" was a term Shelly was using to describe someone.

    Second was this: "Shelly becomes her stalker's puppet<,> and the first thing she wants is for Shelly..."

    The stalker/texter is mysterious, and in this line we know said stalker is female, when i imagine Shelly is unaware for most of the story. Might want to watch the pronoun.

    Also, is Shelly automatically part of the Circle of Elements, or does she join it? A little unclear in paragraph two.

    Overall I think it's a pretty good pitch and interesting story. Much luck!

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  5. You've gotten a lot of great feedback already on your query. It sounds like a cool book.

    I'll just say something about the first 150 words: If Shelly is only 16, she's at most a junior in high school. It seems a little off that the opening conversation in the book is about college.

    Nice voice and good writing. Good job!

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