Sunday, September 30, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch #1 BIRTHRIGHT

BIRTHRIGHT
YA/NA Space Opera/Paranormal Romance/Fantasy
85,000


QUERY:

When her power-hungry sister discovers Olwen Pendragon, President of The Unified Zemele States is a Selchie (half-human/half-seal) she causes Olwen to lose not only her position but the trust in the citizens of the seven planet system. Exiled, she takes a job as a translator on a spaceship bound for the outer planets. Olwen is intrigued by the co-pilot, Kerrick, who is a Were (wolf) despite her seal senses telling her he is dangerous. While plotting her own return to power Olwen must dodge the murderous reach of Anna. The theft of Olwen’s seal skin could prove to be Anna’s deadliest threat.

FIRST 150 WORDS:

Olwen slid off the boulder snout first, her primal need to return to the ocean finally satiated.
She ducked her head under the waves coming up to the surface with a snort. She gazed around seeing the seals, looking back at the shore she spotted a human walking with their head down as if searching for something. Anna. If only she’d love me like a sister would…

Anna turned her head toward Olwen muttering to herself. Fear at being discovered shot through Olwen, and she slid back into the water. Does Anna suspect I am a Selchie? The knowledge of Olwen being a Selchie would not only delay the presidential swearing-in but she would no longer be able to hold the office of presidency. Only humans can be president of the System. Olwen watched Anna scour the shore. Finally, she gave up and left. Olwen barked her happiness.

8 comments:

  1. Interesting concept you have here! Space operas are really making grounds in fiction and that's great to see. :)

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  2. The query was a bit confusing. I'd recommend opening it up with a character. "her power hungry sister" I didn't know who "her" was referring to. It got a bit confusing. The seal skin is a nice twist.

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  3. You had me at Space Opera (I <3 Firefly, Stargate, & Farscape!). I do have to agree that the query is a bit confusing. I think you need to give a bit more on Anna (I figured out she was the sister only with the first 150 words) and Kerrick. I get that she is intrigued by him, but that's not enough to have me root for their story. And the same with Anna--maybe try to build up the suspense a little bit. Introduce us to the fact that she is secretly a Selchie and the president, then move on to the betrayal so that it resonates a bit more. Hope this helps! Sounds like it would be a great read!

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  4. This story sounds like it would be very interesting… I think. There is so much in this query in so few words I’m left a little confused. In a query we should focus only on one conflict and with all the interesting aspects to this story that shouldn’t be hard to do. I would focus on the betrayal of Olwen’s sister as the main conflict. Around this conflict give us more of Olwen (we need to ‘see’ her voice in this) as well as build up the world that you've created here. I wouldn’t mention our werewolf friend. Just too many names in a query. I’d focus on Anna and Olwen. Hook us with that story line, expand this world you’ve created and in 250 words or so, you’ll be set.

    With the excerpt. Four of the five first sentences start with pronoun, verb. Change it up a little bit and it will give better flow to the first words here. Other than that, I feel the small bit of tension and fear as Olwen dodges her sister. I would like to feel a little more sadness that she has to hide from her. A sister’s bond should be one of the greatest so pull at the reader’s heartstrings with the lack of this bond.

    Overall, I think you’ve got a great story idea here. Just a number of things to polish up. I would also consider simplifying your genre. If the MC is over 19 it’s usually NA and I would pick only one, maybe two of the other genres that you list. Good luck!

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  5. I'm leaving comments and then returning with my votes.

    I'm afraid I found your query confusing. It's feels like you based this on an old myth or legend of seal people and it's really cool that you set it in space. But I was confused when Anna's name appeared from nowhere and had to guess she is the power-hungry sister. Also the phrase 'plotting her own return to power' sounds more like the motivation of a villain than the main character. Be careful you don't make Olwen sounds evil when she is not.

    I would suggest that you concentrate on Olwen and Anna. What does Olwen want? What are the stakes? What keeps Olwen from getting her heart's desire?

    From the First 150, I'm wondering how people don't know she is a seal when Olwen has a snout. I'm guessing she must change when she wears the seal skin or something. That might be a better place to start your opening pages. Let us feel her need of the sea and witness the ordeal she undergoes as she changes. In this short piece it felt like Olwen's thoughts and feelings were skimmed over and not fully developed.

    I think a little polish could make this great idea for a story shine.

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  6. Thanks for the suggestions. I agree that the query has too much in it because the plot is complex. Focusing on only Olwen and Anna is a great idea. It's funny you mentioned putting in the part about transforming because I had that in and one of my beta readers told me to take it out. I appreciate the feedback!

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    Replies
    1. You're so very welcome! Glad it was helpful!

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    2. Should I post the new query or is that not allowed?

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