Monday, October 1, 2012

1st Rd Sm Press Contest #20 - Rise: From the Ashes

Rise: From the Ashes
YA Sci-Fi/Dystopian
116,000 words

Query:

Those who are genetically strong are chosen at birth. They are the gifted.

Trained at a Gifted School to be highly skilled physically and mentally, Jaina Indera has the potential to become a Superior. She could live out her life in the Crystal City, the richest, and by far the most beautiful city in the galaxy. But Superiority demands a deadly price.

To gain the title, she must survive the Trials.

Being selected as a competitor is only the beginning. Teamed up with seven of her classmates, Jaina will compete in four challenges against other Gifted Schools around the galaxy. She soon finds that working together is harder than she expected.

With the sudden appearance of a boy called Dragon, her plans for the future are put in question. Secretly, she begins to doubt everything she's been taught to believe. Yet Dragon has a dark secret of his own, which could lead to her demise.

In a world where mercy is a weakness, and only the ruthless prevail, Jaina must discover who she is and what she's really fighting for.

First 150 Words:

Altair raced through the jungle trees. His heart pounded so hard against his ribs it hurt. His legs wanted to give out. Every breath he took was strained, but he forced himself forward. He was almost there.

The edge of the jungle came into view, and he charged out into the open. White Tarnoshian marble buildings surrounded the courtyard, towering over him like giants.

A bell rang. Students rushed into the courtyard. The setting sun made the fountain in the center look gold.

Touching the cool stone of the fountain, Altair stopped to catch his breath. When his opponent ran into view, he smiled.

"I won!" he cried.

"Only because you're two years older," Liam panted between gasps. "I bet you weren't as fast as me when you were six."

Altair laughed. "I was way faster."

Liam kicked at a rock on the ground. "I'll beat you in something, someday."

3 comments:

Honey Badger said...

Hey, Entry #20!

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

Positive:
- Straightforward query.

Critique:
- Consider amping up the stakes. Make us feel invested. :)

Best of luck!

kmckendry said...

Ooh I like this. It makes me want to read on. :) Great job.

Lone Star said...

Since Jaina is the MC (as per the query), you probably should start out in her POV. The query is solid, the story is clear, but it feels like something is missing here:

"With the sudden appearance of a boy called Dragon, her plans for the future are put in question. Secretly, she begins to doubt everything she's been taught to believe."

Why does Dragon's appearance change her plans for the future? I think we need a little explanation to make this meaningful.