Monday, September 17, 2012

Rd 1 Agent Pitch Contest #25 - RULES OF RODENTIA

RULES OF RODENTIA
MG Fantasy
38,000

Query:

It’s no mistake Tobin won top seed-finder for junior mice two seasons in a row. After all, he knows the Rules of Rodentia like the back of his paw. He thrives in the forest, not sitting cooped up inside. But when an explosive thunderstorm damages the Great Burrow, exposing his friends and family, Tobin’s outlook on routine forest life crumbles like last autumn’s leaves. Especially when he spies a giant spider scuttle into the woods with a newborn pinkling— his very own baby sister.

Tobin turns to his best friend Wiley and little sister Talia, and they agree if the pinkling’s to have any chance of survival, they must follow the spider— even though the Rules clearly state to run away from predators, not chase them.

After crossing a creek, Tobin ventures into a world of dangerous terrain and strange creatures, discovering he’s hardly the only animal with a grudge against this nasty breed of spider. It’s a race to save his pinkling before a battle falls upon the spider stronghold. But once Tobin sees the horrors lurking inside the spider lair, saving one pinkling will only be the beginning. Sometimes a mouse just has to break the Rules.

First 150 Words:

Crouched in stillness beneath a toadstool, Tobin recalled his training. He knew the Rules of Rodentia like the back of his paw. It’s no accident he was top Seed-finder for Junior Mice two seasons in a row.  Traveling this familiar patch of forest was simple as scratching a flea — as long as he stuck to the Rules.

Tobin concentrated on the final leg of his journey. The Great Burrow loomed just ahead. Shaped like a giant tortoise shell, the Great Burrow possessed dozens of hidden entrances. It was important to use different paths and entrances inside.

Rule #7- A predictable path provides easy pickings for a predator.

Tobin spied a route he hadn’t taken in a while.

His mind ticked through the age-old checklist taught to all young mice, the second-most important rule in all of Rodentia:

Rule #2- Always survey your surroundings before setting a paw in the open.

7 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!

The Rooster said...

This story just seems so stinken cute. I loved Tale of Despereaux and this story sounds different but still might have that sweet heart to it. And I love the rules in the first 150. Good Luck!

YOU HAVE MY VOTE.

Violet said...

I'm starting to think Rooster and I have similar tastes ;)

Anway, I loved this :) I'm not usually a fan of high fantasy, but I have to admit, I have a thing about mice--hate them in real life, but love them in stories (I know, weird). You're query is so well-written and concise. And your opening words were fantastic! It really sets things up nicely and gives me the feeling something good is going to happen! Great job!

YOU HAVE MY VOTE!

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.)

Oh my gosh, I agree with Rooster and Violet that this query totally had me at hello. The concept is adorable, the stakes are high, and I really, really love everything about it.

I was planning on circling back around to give out my votes, but why waste time? You've definitely got a keeper.

YOU HAVE MY VOTE!

Cat said...

Love it.

Sadly, there are a few inconsistencies. The sample is in past tense except for this: "It’s no accident" The repetition of phrases from the query to the sample is irritating. Try phrasing it differently in the query. It's love to read this story.

Marlana Antifit said...

I LOVE this! You do an outstanding job of establishing Tobin as a mouse and I'd definitely would keep reading. Very cute!

Rina Heisel said...

Thank you SO much for the kind words! They really mean a lot. I've battled this query for months trying to get ready for querying. I'm printing off these nice comments and hanging them next to my desk!!