Monday, September 17, 2012

Rd 1 Agent Pitch Contest #13 - THE RABBIT ATE MY HOMEWORK

The Rabbit Ate My Homework
Homorous middle grade
35,000 words

Query:

All twelve-year-old Drew Montgomery wants to do is fix his broken bike so he can compete in the big upcoming mountain bike race. He has not, does not, and will not ever want a dumb old rabbit. All they do is sit in their cages, eat carrots, and poop. He certainly doesn’t want to be blackmailed by his annoying little sister into hiding the stupid rabbit in his closet. But she knows about the broken bike and that he kind-of-maybe-might-have allowed his dad to believe it was stolen (he called the police and everything!) and now she’s threatening to tell.

Now Drew’s in a real jam. If his “No pets!” parents find the rabbit, or, worse, his sister blabs the truth, he might as well forget about ever competing in the race. Because he'll be grounded for sure. Probably till Grade Seven. And if that’s not enough trouble, two girls at school drag him into a prank war that goes from bad to worse (all the rabbit’s fault). Plus, the weirdest girl in his class wants to be his science partner. If she tells him she wants to be his girlfriend, he just knows he’s gonna die.

Drew needs to think fast if he’s going to outwit the mean girls, wiggle out of the blackmail deal, find a way to fix his bike, and get rid of the rabbit before it destroys his bedroom and his life.

First 150 words:

Chapter One

The Box

I can’t decide which is the worst part of breaking my bike—knowing how much trouble I’m going to be in when Dad finds out or missing the big mountain bike race coming up in three weeks.

The school bus bounces as I unzip my backpack and pull out the glossy flyer.I unfold it and read it again. Not that I haven’t memorized every word on it and could probably recite it blindfolded and backwards.

The Douglas Bay Cycling Club presents:

Island Cup Downhill Extravaganza #3

April 14

First-timers welcome!

Location: Mt. Blaney Provincial Park main parking lot

Time: Registration 9  a.m. – 12 p.m. Racing starts at 1 p.m.

Fees: $35

In the middle of the page, there’s a picture of a guy on a mountain bike flying in the air over a big dirt jump. At the bottom, last year’s winners stand on a podium, hands waving, huge grins on their faces.

5 comments:

SugarMagnolia said...

Thanks for participating! My plan is to read through all the entries and then begin my comments and critiques. I will give out my top ten my votes when I'm finished.

Best of luck to you, and stay tuned!

Cat said...

I just love the query, so full of humor but the first 150 words are missing exactly the humor that drew me in. Does he really have to read the leaflet again at this point? We already know about the race (you mention it) and I, personally, would be more interested in the problems he has regarding his bike.

Anonymous said...

What I missed, in the first 150 words and in the query, is why the race matters to Drew. I hear him say it matters, but I don't see why. Why this race? Won't there be another? Why is the timing important?
Similarly, why didn't Drew tell Dad what really happened to the bike? Just embarrassed, or something darker? The rest of the query feels so light in tone, it left me wondering...

SugarMagnolia said...

(Hi again! I plan to give out comments during this round, and then I'll give out my top ten votes as soon as I have critiqued everyone's queries.)

What a cute idea! Drew and his sister's struggles are awesome, and I can totally see her blackmail working wonderfully. You voice comes through perfectly in the query, and I'm definitely intrigued.

My only critique is that I almost feel like the prank war and the weird girl in class take away from the storyline about the race and Drew's dad. Is it absolutely necessary to mention those things in the query? If not, can you maybe just hint that "other things are happening to complicate this, too?"

Great job, though. I really enjoyed this.

The Rooster said...

The idea of this story sounds great. I felt like the query got a little muddled in the middle. Just stating the main conflict and sticking with that should do the trick. The query gives us a good sense of his voice. Where you lost me was the first 150. It didn't really grab me. Maybe bring more of that voice we get a hint of in query into that first section.

Good job with this in the future!