Monday, October 1, 2012

1st Rd Sm Press Contest #17 - Uncovered

Uncovered
YA Sci-Fi Romance
62,000 words

Query:

When Hallie Hartman’s life turns into nothing short of a freak-show, she knows she took her ordinary life for granted. Running into tall, dark, and swoon-worthy Colton Reed changed everything. He’s teeming with secrets and his cryptic answers about who he is and where he’s from have Hallie yearning to punch him—whenever she’s not thinking about kissing him. When she finally uncovers the truth, she finds he’s not just from out of town.

He’s an alien.

Unfortunately, there are other secrets far more terrifying. The Megaera, a deranged alien mafia group, is hunting Hallie. They claim she’s a Hamartia, a half human race who isn’t allowed to exist. The Megaera think she could be an asset but they didn’t anticipate finding a Hamartia without any abilities. Hallie’s not sure if Colton can be trusted but she knows she’ll be their prisoner until she decides which is worse, being a pawn or being dead.

First 150:

My entire life has consisted of a level of normalcy that makes me want to stab myself in the eye with a pen.

That was the only sentence of my English essay I had written after thirty minutes of mindless pen tapping. All my brilliant ideas had vanished—if I’d really had any to begin with. Spinning my chair around, I resigned myself to the fact that staring at the paper would not magically make words appear.

I decided to distract myself with a run. After I’d changed, pulled on my shoes, and grabbed my iPod, I left the house and started pounding pavement. Clearly, I couldn’t write an essay to save my life. In fact, the only thing exceptional about me is how fast I can run but what is that going to do for me? Now, if I could find a way to run straight out of my dull life and into one that’s electrifying, maybe I’d have a use for it.

9 comments:

Honey Badger said...

Hey, Entry #17!

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

Positive:
- Overall good entry!

Critique:
- I’m going to assume we see ‘the day things change’ in the first few pages. Otherwise, I’d say make sure you have something impactful early on. :)

Best of luck!

Unknown said...

This query is so much tighter than I remember of the draft I read before. I still love the story but now the voice is really solid in the query. I love that the voice carries into the first 150.

"He’s teeming with secrets and his cryptic answers about who he is and where he’s from have Hallie yearning to punch him—whenever she’s not thinking about kissing him."

I don't remember the original incarnation of this line exactly but I remember it needed some work and you really nailed it now!

I love the stakes at the end, too! Very well written, intense, and hooks you in from the start. Great job! I hope you move on to the next round!

Honey Badger said...

Psst... I’m back. You’ve got my vote! :)

Leigh said...

Hooray for the vote! I remember this query as well! You've done a great job so far. Can't wait to read the book! GOOD LUCK!!

Escape Artist said...

I enjoyed the query and the first words.

You have my vote.

Lone Star said...

The query and first 150 are strong. This line threw me a little, "He’s teeming with secrets and his cryptic answers about who he is and where he’s from have Hallie yearning to punch him—whenever she’s not thinking about kissing him." It was just a little long and messy. I think if you remove "He's teaming with secrets and" it will work much better.

The query is solid, but I'd love to hear more about what makes your story special. Falling for a mysterious, brooding, supernatural stranger is done a lot in YA. It's a premise that's used a lot for a reason, but make sure to emphasize what's fresh about yours.

Slave to the Muse said...

Great voice! Great premise! You have my vote!

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