Monday, October 1, 2012

1st Rd Sm Press Contest #4 - Pure

YA paranormal


In PURE, sixteen-year-old Katie Wickliff makes her home with her grandmother in the small town of Elspeth's Grove – a place they have lived in since coming to the U.S. from Russia when Katie was only five years old. One night, Katie's quiet life is shattered when two strangers arrive from Russia with a dire warning: the creature of evil that killed Katie's mother and forced Katie and her grandmother to flee Russia has returned from the grave and will soon be after Katie.

Katie's grandmother sends the strangers away, but soon people in the town begin to disappear, and Katie finds that she is being followed by the handsome William, who appears to be only a few years older than she is. Katie is attracted to William, but she senses that something is different about him. She begins to suspect that he is a vampire.

William is indeed partially a vampire, but he is also one of the Sídh, an ancient clan whose members are gifted with great power – a clan to which Katie's mother also belonged. After being bitten by a vampire, William has been shunned by the Sídh –he is no longer pure.

When Katie's house is attacked in the middle of the night by a terrible monster, Katie and her grandmother are forced to return to Russia to find answers. William follows them, and despite her feelings for him, Katie is forced to confront the question she wants to face the least: is William her otherworldly protector, or is he the creature who killed her mother?

First 150 Words:

I leaned my forehead against the dark window, welcoming the feel of the cool glass against my feverish skin.

I could feel the night calling to me, though I didn't exactly know what I meant by that. It had been happening more often lately – it was a strange tugging on my mind.  Something was pulling me out into the dark.

In an unguarded moment, my grandmother, or 'GM' as I had always called her, had told me that my mother had had visions. The way the night called to me, I wondered if this feeling was the beginning of a vision. I wished I could talk to my mother. I'd been wishing for that more and more often lately.

I pushed away from the window and walked to my bed. I picked up the picture that always sat on my nightstand by my pillow. A man and a woman, he with curly brown hair, she pale and blond, smiled as they kneeled on either side of a laughing, fair-haired girl of five.


Lone Star said...

I like this concept. Although the dreaded v-word can turn people off these days, I think the fact that they are Russian could give this story a unique flavor. I also like the intrigue of whether or not William is her protector or the creature.

Your query is strong, just a little long. Here is a way to possibly cut down the first sentence. "Sixteen-year-old Katie Wickliff has lived with her grandmother in the small town of Elspeth's Grove since they came to the U.S. from Russia when Katie was only five years old. "

Honey Badger said...

Hey, Entry #4!

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

- I love what’s at stake here!

- Avoid telling whenever possible, e.g. “In PURE, sixteen-year-old Katie Wickliff makes…” Start with the turning point. The day things change. Show us the character, the -conflict, and the choice she faces.

Best of luck! :)

Mara Valderran said...

I love this query so much I just sent it to my roommate so she could be just as tortured by the fact that she can't read it yet as I am!

My only critique would be to take out the beginning "In Pure". The agent/editor will know that, so it seems a bit redundant and dull, especially for the query that follows. A better opening line with more action would serve as more of a draw and a hook, but I think the rest of the query does the trick. At least for me.

If you need a beta-reader, you know where to look!