Monday, September 10, 2012

Pitch Polish #67


FOREVER FRIDAY
YA URBAN FANTASY
85,000
Query:

Friday Anderson’s life is over. She just doesn’t know it yet.

Ever since she survived the accident that killed her mother, seventeen-year-old Friday has felt stuck. She’s lost her only parent, she’s living in a town where dreams go to die, and even her hair and nails have stopped growing. Her only hope for getting out is earning enough money for college tuition, so when a mysterious ad appears in the local paper for a job assisting a rock band, Friday jumps at the opportunity.

Spending time with the gorgeous guitarist, Craig, certainly beats baling hay, but there’s something odd about the four young musicians, who spend most of their time bickering while their instruments gather dust. When Friday overhears a hushed conversation behind closed doors, she finally learns the truth: the band members are Athanatos, immortals trapped somewhere between life and death. Friday isn't just one of them, she’s the only immortal capable of killing another, making her the sole weapon who can end the world's oldest blood feud. Between magic rings, ancient curses, and the fact that Friday’s going to have to live with the same haircut for the rest of her life, it’s definitely going to take some time getting used to this whole “undead” thing.

Forever should just about do it.


First 150:
Un milagro, they called me. A miracle. I heard the nurses whisper it to each other as they passed my hospital room. I saw it on the news for three days before my story was overshadowed by celebrity gossip and political scandals. And it was the first thing the Chilean doctor said to me when my scan results came back normal.

But I didn’t believe in miracles.

“Good morning, señorita,” the nurse said as she pulled back the curtains. “You are going home today, no?”

I nodded, even though I wasn’t sure what “home” meant anymore.

Muy bien. The doctor will be in to release you soon.”

It had already been a week since the accident, but I still felt like if I tried hard enough I could wake myself up from this nightmare. Surely the real me was sitting in a café in Paris, the place I’d dreamed of going since I was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor over a year ago.

10 comments:

Donea Lee said...

Hi there! I really enjoy the voice in the query ~ clever title, with the character's name in it. :) I really like the detail about her nails and hair. But, it seems like it skips the "discovery" part - she thinks she's just a normal girl that survived an accident. And then you have the line, "Friday isn't just one of them, she’s the only immortal capable of killing another..." I'm assuming you mean to say that the hushed conversation gave her this info? But - it's a little confusing. And what happens if she doesn't want to help - or kill an immortal?

And, while I like the writing in your 1st 150 - after reading the query, the last line kind of tripped me up. Is she a miracle because she survived the accident that killed her mother (as the query says)? Or because her brain tumor is miraculously gone? Perhaps you need to slip the accident in before you mention the tumor? Aside from that - nice work! I'd love to read on ~ :)

Shiela Calderón Blankemeier said...

Great opening! I emotionally connected with the MC, you captured the voice and setting early, stellar job overall. Love your title and query hook, too. My only suggestions is to start with her being supernatural. Everything before that in your query is back ground. Albeit well written and interesting background, but I don't really know what the story is about. I've got a great idea about character and voice, though, and for that you get major kudos :) I could be way off here, so wait to see what others think. I imagine your story is about more than her getting used to the "whole undead thing." So let us in on it - I bet it's great! Best of luck and thanks for much for your help with mine (#69).

Michelle 4 Laughs said...

Great voice in the first paragraph.

I was a little unclear on what made her undead. Was it the accident, the brain tumor, or was she always this way?

Laurie Dennison said...

I also really loved the opening and the 150. Just building on some of the other comments, you could trim a little in that opening to give more room for the conflict in the last paragraph. I actually like the backstory sentences, so I might cut the last one down. Maybe, "To earn money for a ticket out, Friday takes a job assisting a local rock band that spends most of their time bickering while their instruments gather dust."

I love the music-immortal connection, and I would certainly read more!

Best of luck to you!
#70

Adriana Ryan said...

Ooh, really solid! I love the premise and the first 150. Similar to Michelle, I didn't understand what was going on regarding the brain tumor, since her mother's accident was also mentioned in connection to her hair and nails not growing. That was my only minor quibble. :D

Heather M Bryant said...

Oh my, Mara. This query has so much voice, I love it.


Friday Anderson’s life is over. She just doesn’t know it yet.

Ever since she survived the accident that killed her mother, seventeen-year-old Friday has felt stuck ['FELT STUCK' DOESN'T REALLY GIVE ENOUGH SENSE OF HER FRUSTRATION]. She’s lost her only parent, she’s living in a town where dreams go to die, and even her hair and nails have stopped growing [NICE]. Her only hope for getting out is earning enough money for college tuition, so when a mysterious ad appears in the local paper for a job assisting a rock band, Friday jumps at the opportunity. [MAYBE SPLIT THIS SENTENCE]

Spending time with the gorgeous guitarist, Craig, certainly beats baling hay, but there’s something odd about the four young musicians, [DON'T NEED COMMA HERE] who spend most of their time bickering while their instruments gather dust. When Friday overhears a hushed conversation behind closed doors [DON'T NEED 'BEHIND CLOSED DOORS'], she finally learns the truth: the band members are Athanatos, immortals trapped somewhere between life and death. Friday isn't just one of them, she’s the only immortal capable of killing another, making her the sole weapon who can end the world's oldest blood feud [THIS SENTENCE READ AWKWARDLY]. Between magic rings, ancient curses, and the fact that Friday’s going to have to live with the same haircut for the rest of her life [LOL], it’s definitely going to take some time getting used to this whole “undead” thing.

Forever should just about do it. [AND....SLAM! GREAT FINISHING LINE]


I really don't think you need to change a whole lot about this query as it works as is. If you WERE making adjustments though, I agree that adding some stakes in there would add that extra hook at the end. That said, it's not a must because honestly, your voice carries this whole thing, and that's the most important part.

Mia Celeste said...

Great voice. Great query.

I was going to write suggestions, but I like the whole entry. To my read, you've got a winner here.

I would line up to get this novel.

All the best,
#99

Jessica L. Foster said...

The voice in the query is awesome. I love the opening line and the concept is so very very cool. I was confused about why her hair and nails stopped growing because I thought it was connected to the town.
There maybe could be a smoother transition between the band is immortals and she is too. It feels abrupt.

The sample pages are good. I'd love to see more details of the setting though. What does she observe about the hospital.
also it was a bit confusing to have the accident, plus the tumor plus Paris and Chili all on the first page. I wasn't sure if she was in the hospital for the accident or for the tumor or if she was just daydreaming about Paris and the tumor.
But otherwise, it's great. The voice matches the query and the story starts off on a great opening line and place.

Rebecca Enzor said...

Wow. The only thing I could suggest is clarifying that she's in Chile in the query. When you said baling hay I thought "midwest US" but the 150 is set in Chile. Or maybe that's where the accident was, and she lives in the midwest? I'd clarify either way, so the query and 150 words don't clash.

But holy carp - I want to read this book!

Jeff said...

I also really loved the opening and the 150. Just building on some of the other comments, you could trim a little in that opening to give more room for the conflict in the last paragraph. I actually like the backstory sentences, so I might cut the last one down. Maybe, "To earn money for a ticket out, Friday takes a job assisting a local rock band that spends most of their time bickering while their instruments gather dust." I love the music-immortal connection, and I would certainly read more! Best of luck to you! #70