Monday, October 1, 2012

1st Rd Sm Press Contest #23 - Mingled

YA Urban fantasy/dystopian


Seventeen-year-old Macie has one favorite thing in her rule-driven life: Thane. Aside from being her best bud and secret crush, he's an unregistered human so he doesn’t have to bleed to feed the vampeer citizens of the Collective.  Now closer to graduating high school, Macie plans to unregister too, until Jubilee Attendees are announced, and she’s chosen.  Selection as an Attendee makes her registered for life, ripping away any hopes of a future beyond the Collective’s rules…and no chance with Thane.  Ever.

After reaching the capital city, Thane and an underground resistance shatter Macie’s world, forcing her to look beyond the Collective’s smokescreen and face a truth her missing parents never got to tell her.  She is the Beacon of the Fae, a powerful being of energy and element power – once she learns to harness it.  That’s if the Collective’s leader doesn’t capture her first.

Joining the resistance, Macie finds protection, but no peace, not after discovering the Collective holds her mom and dad hostage. Macie has one chance to rescue them.  It’ll only cost the world if her powers slip into the wrong hands.

First 150 words:

Rubbing my parents’ gold coins for luck was a bad habit…and a bad idea. Their disappearance was proof enough. I just couldn’t stop myself. Until graduation, that’s all I had of them, all I could turn to when I needed to feel their presence the most.

I shook my head and slipped the coins into my pocket. Leaning into the hallway, I took in the dim lighting and shadows.

Empty. Perfect.

Carpet muffled the clunky footfalls of my hand-me-down boots and the loud click from closing my bedroom door. I crept along the wall, listening for anything at all. No surprise I only heard my pounding heartbeat. My thermal shirt bounced with every thud.  The other kids were at school, the same place I should’ve been five minutes ago. Screwy alarm clock! Why didn’t it work?  Each step downstairs brought me closer to the first floor, closer to getting away from…


Heather M Bryant said...

Your first 150 have great voice and your query is quite tight. I think your biggest barrier is the whole vampire thing. I know a lot of people out there are over the whole sub-genre but there are still agents and readers looking - you just have to find them.

One thing with your query, you mention 'element magic'. If this mean earth, air, etc. then you're probably better off calling it 'elemental magic'.

Honey Badger said...

Hey, Entry #23!

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

- Unique premise. :)

- I feel like the last line of your query is working against you. The stakes are high--we’re talking about the world here--but the sarcastic ‘only’ lessens that.
- Why is her thermal shirt bouncing? Don’t those tend to cling?
- Ditto what Heather said about ‘element’ v. ‘elemental’.

Best of luck! :)

Lone Star said...

The query is easy to understand and well-written, but the premise doesn't really grab me. Maybe throwing in some unique details to the query would increase my interest. I agree that the thermal shirt bouncing is odd. I know what you mean, but it still was a hiccup for me.