Monday, October 1, 2012

1st Rd Sm Press Contest #14 - Forget-me-not

YA Speculative Fiction


Anamae’s mother is missing.

She’s been gone for nine years. When seventeen year old Anamae accidently activates technology that makes her invisible, it attracts an attacker, leaving her wondering if this is what happened to her mother. Forced to take shelter in a safe house, she learns the attacker was an agent of a secret society. They suppress the knowledge of technology so advanced it could be straight from a science fiction movie.

Now Anamae knows the secret, she’s at the top of their hit list.

Anamae must stay in hiding until her new protectors secure her safety. But when she discovers the society used mind altering technology on her father, her worst fears become a heartbreaking reality. The society has made her disappear from the world, just like her mother. The need to regain control of her life and restore her father’s memory, leads her to join the fight against the society. But she’s not prepared to idly wait for others to regain her freedom for her. With her newfound tech, allowing her to blink into and out of visibility, she sets out to destroy them. She must learn to depend on her new friends. If they fail she’ll never be able to return to her old life, the society will continue to manipulate the world around her and she will be in danger forever.
First 150 Words:

How do I tell my mother what’s happened, what she’s missed, everything about my life?

I can’t.

Chin cupped in hand, I sit at the desk in my room and stare at the pale yellow notepaper before me. The blue lines across it are as empty as my pounding head. I hold my favourite pen, poised in my hand ready to write, but the words elude me. I let out a long sigh.

Two faces stare up from the photo waiting to be slipped into the envelope along with the letter. It’s a ‘selfie’, not one of my beautiful nature shots that I normally put with my annual letter. My cheek’s pushed up against Will’s. His sandy blonde hair falls into his bright blue eyes. His arm, resting over my shoulders, pulls us close together. Our grins say more than words ever will. I smile, he’s my best friend.


Heather M Bryant said...

I love the second paragraph of your query, it sets the stakes up nicely and really helps us to empathise with your MC. It's the first paragraph I'm worried about. At the moment, her mother's disappearance seems disjointed and her turning invisible seems abrupt. I'd say start with the invisibility - that seems to be the main incident - and weave her mother in throughout.

As for the first 150 words, they have a strong voice and even though there's no 'action' it's still interesting. I would just recommend rewording that first sentence as it reads a little awkwardly.

Good Luck :)

Honey Badger said...

Hey, Entry #14!

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

- I love the tech-driven concept. :)

- Try reading the first 150 out loud to see if anything is missing. “Now Anamae knows the secret, [and] she’s at the top of their hit list.” Or maybe: “Now [that] Anamae knows the secret, she’s at the top of their hit list.

Best of luck! :)

Mara Valderran said...

I agree that the first paragraph needs to be tightened a bit. I was confused as to whether or not she was still invisible when the attacker showed up (Reminded me of an episode of Stargate with these bracelets that shift you into another dimension layered on top of ours). Another point to clarify: Who are her new protectors? Other than that I think you have a strong concept here that is very interesting. I love the stakes at the end. She's already lost her mother and now she's losing her father too! The first 150 really pull at the heart strings--excellent job!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the kind words and great feedback. Her protectors are the people at the safe house. I think I need to work on that first paragraph and clarify a few points. Thanks again :)

Lone Star said...

I thought the first 150 were strong. However, I got lost in the query. The concepts are vague like "the society" "technology", there just isn't anything that jumps out at me as unique. You had a lovely voice in your first 150, but I didn't feel it in the query. Are there ways that you can give your query a little more of your voice? Also maybe more detail that makes it a unique dystopian.