Monday, October 1, 2012

1st Rd Sm Press Contest #12 - Demolition

YA dystopian


Two street kids from opposing urban tribes fall in love while struggling to stop the Global Government from turning their all-night dance venue into a recycling depot. Think Lord of the Flies meets Starhawk’s The Fifth Sacred Thing, but with more romance and three genders.

Aidan is an in-between, a member of the middle gender, and it's up to the reader to decide whether Aidan is male or female. Lawson, on the other hand, is all guy. Aidan belongs to the pacifist, celibate Bee tribe and follows the teachings of the Buddha. Lawson is a Real Dealer, a militant anarchist who doesn’t seem to believe in anything except violence and instant gratification. The two tribes don't mix, but after Lawson saves Aidan from one of the frequent beatings Bees endure in D-town, Aidan can’t stop thinking about him.

A demolition sign brings the pair together to save The Dance, but their attraction might just destroy D-town before the wrecking ball does. That is, if the spies who have infiltrated the tribes don’t beat them to it.

First 150 Words:

Noplace in D-town to escape the sound of The Dance, and I’m glad. The techno beat gives something to latch onto as punch number I’ve-lost-count crashes into my stomach like it will tear through and shatter my spine. Air leaves my lungs in a shocked oomph—always a surprise, no matter how many blows have landed—and my body curls, absorbing the violence.

Awareness narrows to brilliant agony and the boom of the bass. If only my meditations were half this focused. A timeless moment later, I can breathe again, but not for long, because the next hit comes, with its oomph exhale followed by aching stillness.

The beat carries me, red flashes of pain pulsing in time, and I lose track of everything else until the blows stop. I am lying on the ground with my right eye swollen shut. I open my left a little and meet the glazed eye of the A who’s been beating me.


Honey Badger said...

Hey, Entry #12!

I’m going around giving everyone at least one critique and one positive today. (Maybe more, if I spot something helpful.)

- I really enjoyed the first 150.

- I saw a lot of telling—as opposed to showing—in this query. We want to see the character, conflict, and choice. Do that, and we’ll draw the appropriate conclusions. :)

Best of luck!

Heather M Bryant said...

The part of your book actually shown has some good writing however the query falls short. The whole concept of a 'third gender' is confusing, and you've listed this piece as being a dystopian however I don't get that from the query. The vibe I got was a political/religious piece. The little snippets of plot I picked up sounded really cool, I'd say focus on the specifics rather than telling us about the genders, the fact the Bees are celibate, etc. Give us the juicy parts of the book and leave those other things to be found out in a more natural way :)

Mara Valderran said...

I agree--the first 150 were great (though I think noplace should be no place?) but the query doesn't show any sign of your voice. Here's what I would suggest:

Paragraph 1: Let this introduce MC1 (I think Aidan) and give us a hook.

Paragraph 2: Intro to Lawson and the tribes.

Paragraph 3: The stakes and the "ruh-roh" factor as I like to call it. You start to do this with paragraph 3, but don't quite give us enough to go on. Why would their attraction destroy D-town? If the two tribes just don't mix, that doesn't link up as well as if the two tribes hate each other.

Hope this helps! Love the concept of a third gender where the reader can essentially choose the sex!

Escape Artist said...

I love the concept of the middle gender. Your writing in the first words is strong. I do agree that the query needs some tweaking.

Escape Artist said...

I'm voting for you.

Lone Star said...

After I read the first paragraph of the query I was like, "What?!" but in a good way. :) The story sounds quirky and refreshingly different. I love the love story between the guy and the third gender person! I would want to read this just to see how that turned out. The structure of the query is a little off. The first paragraph feels like a stand-alone pitch. The second paragraph mentions the reader which is strange for a query. I think you should start with paragraph two and leave out the part about it being up to the reader to decide Aidan's gender and just say he/she is an inbetween. Then add the "Think Lord of the Flies..." comp at the end along with the title, word count, and genre.

I would love to see how you pull this all off, so you've got my vote!