Sunday, September 30, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch #10 AbeGale Force

AbeGale Force
Upper MG: Magical Realism Adventure
75,000


Query:

Thirteen year-old Abegale finds Grandma’s medicine book. Can she use it to bring Grandma home before she’s trapped for eternity?

It’s been three years since Abegale’s grandmother disappeared in the Andes, searching for a cure for Abegale’s brother’s illness. While never giving in to the belief that Grandma was dead, Abegale is now asked to meet privately with her best friend’s strange new landlady, the one who eats the weeds, and dresses like she's from the pioneering days. It turns out creepy Mrs. Egrimony was an old friend of her grandmother’s, or so she says.

She tells Abegale her grandmother is close, and only Abegale will know how to locate her. Though, it appears Mrs. Egremony wants to find Grandma too, with all the questions she asks. When Abegale presses her about their relationship, Mrs. Egremony insists Abegale locate her grandmother’s medicine book, where all will become clear.

Abegale finds the book, and learns more about her grandmother’s past. She reads about strange uses for plants and weeds, including the plant her grandmother disappeared looking for. She sets out to find the plant and Grandma. But, if Abegale can’t figure out how her grandmother is trying to contact her, and trust Mrs. Egremony’s intentions before the solstice, her beloved Grandma will be trapped between the fabric of space and time, forever.

First 150 Words:

It’s not as if I want to keep secrets from my best friend, and I sure don’t want to meet her new landlady—privately, or at all, with the way Mrs. Egremony stares at me. She doesn’t even stop, when I catch her doing it.

But I have to speak with her before Stephanie gets home, and find out what she meant saying my “grandmother Rose is near, but far.” Yeah—far, she disappeared in the Andes three years ago—that’s pretty far.

I better hurry.

The Maiden Villas sit at the highest peak of Pine Crest, hiding under a shadow of trees. Why Mrs. Egremony named them Villas, when they’re more like shacks, is weird. Three years ago, they were Donald’s Cliff Cabins.

I sometimes imagine Mrs. Egremony up there in her nest of twisting vines, waiting for some unwilling creatures…

6 comments:

  1. I really like this concept and the plot you are presenting. Before I get to the query, keep in mind that this is all very subjective and ONLY my opinion!

    I was a bit confused by it all. The intro sentences threw me. I was also confused by her best friend's landlord. If she is only thirteen (and her best friend is around that age too?), how would she have a landlord? I'm not sure that it is important that she is the landlord in the query.

    I love the mystery behind Mrs. Egremony (and the name--it sounds nefarious somehow to me) and her relationship to the grandmother. That being said, the race to get to her grandmother in time before she ends up trapped between the fabric of space and time left me scratching my head. That seemed to come out of nowhere. How does she know that this is what happened to her grandmother? Did Mrs. Egremony tell her? You mentioned finding out how her grandmother is trying to contact her, but nothing about when this contact comes about or how. Does she dream of her? Hear a disembodied voice?

    Like I said: I think this is a great concept. I love magical realism and the idea of the young MC heading off into the unknown to save her grandmother instead of a love interest really gets me personally. If you need a critique partner for the query, I'd love to help more. Just shoot me an email. :)

    As for the first 150, I think it is great! It really sets up the voice and already starts building the suspense with the mysterious comment about her grandmother. Great job!

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  2. I'm leaving comment and then will come back with my votes.

    Egrimony is such a neat name choice. It even sounds creepy. Your query told me exactly what Abegale wants and the stakes involved to get there.

    That said, I'm not sure about the effectiveness of the hook. It immediately made me ask how is a medicine book supposed to help bring Grandma home. It doesn't seem like the usual function of a medicine book. Is it a magical book?

    I also felt kind of sorry for the sick brother who never got mentioned again. My mind wanders off into tangents of did the brother get better.

    It might add voice to name some of the plants/weeds that are mentioned in the query.

    You do a nice job near the end of your First 150 with setting a mood using nothing but description. However, I'm not sure 'I better hurry' adds anything to the opening pages. Also the opening sentence felt like a run on to me. Perhaps break it up by ending at 'or at all' and cutting 'with the way'.

    It's not as if I want to keep secrets from my best friend, and I sure don't want to meet her new landlady--privately, or at all. Mrs. Egremony stares at me.

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  3. This story sounds like a very interesting adventure. I love the story idea and I really like Abegale. You were my fourth vote, but alas I only get three. I wouldn’t change anything about this entry. The query is well written and the first 150 words are very, very good. I’m so sad I only get three votes!

    The reason this one wasn’t chosen was just because I didn’t have enough votes. It’s not the explanation anyone wants to hear, I know. But at least you know I loved it!

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  4. Thank you everyone of #GUTGAA for creating this contest, and Ink in the Book for hosting. The query and page critique have been terrificly helpful--priceless!

    A quick mention, as it does stump my brain on how to word--The "medicine" book, is indeed a magical book, but the lines are blurred between what is medicine, and what is magic. Hence, the magical realism genre. Now, I should probably figure a way to show this in the query. :)

    It's such a heart warming community of writers. Love being here. Thank you, again.

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  5. You are welcome! I'm so happy you got some great advice:)

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  6. Thanks Inky. Love these falling leaves...makes me think of a song. xx

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