Monday, October 1, 2012

1st Rd Sm Press Contest #25 - The Guardian Lineage

The Guardian Lineage
YA / Urban Fantasy
91,000 words


Protect gargoyles during the day? Check.
Escape from ex-girlfriend trying to kill you? Check.
Figure out if new crush is an enemy spy? Um... still pending.

Sixteen-year-old Mike Prior is a Guardian, a protector of the gargoyle clans. He loves being able to throw fire, manipulate energy, and fight along steroid-using bat-wrestlers.

It’s the other perks of the job that have him worried.

Chief among those is Mike’s ex-girlfriend, Laura. Apparently she’s a Slayer, whatever that means, and she's trying to kill him. A shame, considering how well things had been going.

There’s this little problem with Mike’s ancestry – turns out his great-grandfather was the most notorious Guardian traitor of all time, and half the school hates his guts. More than one kid has taken a cheap-shot at him during Sparring class, which, to be honest, wouldn’t be all that bad… if “taking a cheap-shot during Sparring class” didn’t mean firing a bolt of electricity into his back.

Finally, the perk he’d love to figure out - his new crush. She is amazing. Beautiful. And almost definitely an enemy spy. Which complicates things.

Now Mike’s discovered a mole within the Guardian ranks, and a subsequent Black Brethren plot to use Mike's own powers to destroy the Guardians and rule the world. He's got to figure out which side everybody is on, and quick.

Because if the Brethren don’t get to him, his closest friends just might.

First 150 words:

Mike Prior hated it when his girlfriend kicked his butt.

The wind left his lungs as a sharp kick nailed him in the chest. He stumbled backwards, surprised, his bare feet grasping for footing on the carpet. Another roundhouse came, this time aimed at his temple. Mike ducked underneath it. He slipped a hand out of his karategi-sleeve and grabbed Laura's arm to pin her down, but she was too quick. In one fluid motion, she grasped his forearm and flipped him onto his back.

Mike rolled left and handsprang to his feet. Cheering filled his ears. He twirled a fist at her, but she was too far and avoided it easily. Laura took a shot at his torso, but he blocked it and countered with a similar jab. Finally, after a few seconds of punch-counterpunch, Mike landed a shot on Laura's stomach. She lurched forward, eyes squinted and mouth open in a stunned expression of pain.


Mystery Science Theater Geek said...

I am overwhelmed at the creativity you've displayed in making me want to read more from the first three lines of your query. That's wickedly impressive as I'm incredibly critical of queries (in particular). You absolutely grabbed me and *made* me read on. Great job!

Your opening paragraph is great. The second paragraph drags just a tad until we hit the last sentence. You might consider (only consider, mind you) taking out a line of fight, or adding a showing vs. telling element (usually involves one of the five senses or an environmental or emotional detail). Just a thought. I think it would really pull the reader in.

Regardless, your story holds great promise.

You've got my vote!

Honey Badger said...

Hey, Entry #25!

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

- It’s obvious you can write. ;)

- The use of ‘twirled’ lost some of the fight momentum, for me. It brought batons and dancers to mind (which I'm sure wasn't your intention). ;)

Best of luck!

Honey Badger said...

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

Escape Artist said...

This one really stood out to me. Your query clearly defines the characters and plot. I love action in the first words. The other judges have given you some good advice.

You have my vote.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much, guys, for all your flattering (and totally ego-inflating) comments... really appreciate it!!!

Anonymous said...

LOVE LOVE your query and the first line of your 150 words is awesome. Not to mention you began Mike's story in the middle of an action scene -- totally difficult to do well but you managed. I'd definitely read on. Best of luck to you!! (Submission #22)

Lone Star said...

Fantastic voice all around. I found the to-do list beginning of the query to be a little "gimmicky" but I am willing to forgive that because of the voice. The voice holds up in the first 150 too, but the fight went on a little long. I don't know if we need a play by play, especially since after line one I already know what's going to happen.

I like male MCs and I you've got the voice, so you've got my vote.