Monday, September 17, 2012

Rd 1 Agent Pitch Contest #23 - THE HIDDEN

The Hidden
Upper Middle Grade - Fantasy
65,000

Query

While some might consider a mom who can see the future a blessing, Dagny knows it’s a curse – especially when her mom envisions an accident that involves the most popular girl at school.

Ostracized by the community, and hated by classmates who blame Dagny’s family for what happened, Dagny struggles to cope. Her world spirals further when her mom’s vision of her father dying in a fishing accident comes true. Shaken by the loss of the one person who understood her, she returns with her mom to Alyria, a city under the Icelandic rocks populated by elves and the Hidden—people her mom once claimed as her own. When visions begin to plague Dagny’s dreams, she turns to her new friends, who prove to be her most valuable allies when the visions turn out to be that of a forgotten enemy.

After an attack on Steinn, one of the city’s leaders, the residents of Alyria blame the elves and try to force them from the city. Dagny finds herself on the wrong side of the conflict, and Steinn accuses her of being an elf sympathizer then threatens to have her sent back to Ridley with her memories erased. Desperate to stay in a place she finally belongs, Dagny attempts to reveal Steinn as a traitor to rest of Alyria, but instead unleashes the creature from her visions who could cost her more than just her memories.

First 150 Words:

Footsteps match mine as I make my way down the hallway. Shadows blanket me, and my back tenses. What will it be this time? Tenina Anderson slithers by, knocking into my shoulder. Giggles and snorts come from all sides and my face burns. “This time your mom has gone too far,” Tenina says as she and her comrades surround me.

I back up against the lockers. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I say even though I have a pretty good idea.

“Your mom told my dad that she saw me covered in scars.” She waves her hand in front of her face as though painting a picture of what she’s going to look like.

Tenina’s dad has been obsessed with my mom. Last week he confronted her at the grocery store and again at the post office demanding to know what she saw in his family’s future.

3 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!

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.)

This is a very interesting idea, and your writing is very strong as well. I just get a little lost with your query, because I'm not sure how A leads to B to C. This story initially sounds like a contemporary, so I was surprised when Dagny suddenly went to Alyria. Did she know about it all along? Was it a surprise? Is her mom an elf?

I'm also not sure how the accident with the popular girl at school relates to the conflict with Steinn and the threat of Dagny's memory being erased.

I have no doubt you have all of these points perfectly organized in your story, but there is so much information in this query that it leaves me a little lost.

That being said, I really think this story sounds very action-packed, exciting and memorable. And I'm confident you can easily streamline this query to give us a better idea about the direction of the storyline.

Cat said...

The sample is very good, but the query is slightly confusing. Try to focus on the MC's (Dagny?) most important goal (find a place to belong?) and show us the major obstacles (The people in her hometown who blame her for her mother's vision? Her own visions when they reach Alyria? The loss of her dad? The evil she releases?) and tell her what's at stake if she doesn't win. That way, it'd be more clear.