Sunday, February 23, 2014



Genre: YA fantasy


Many covet what sixteen-year-old Jazzlyn has—immunity from the Star’s lethal rays. As Jazzlyn trains to become the next liaison between her darkness-ravaged homeland, and Lumen, the mountain city above the clouds, outcasts take her boyfriend hostage. The exiles have found a way to unlock their own defense against the light and their plan requires an artifact found only in Lumen. Jazzlyn’s the perfect candidate for the heist and if she complies, they’ll return their captive in one piece. If she fails, they’ll return him to her in pieces.

One botched theft later, the black clouds protecting the city threaten to break. Jazzlyn discovers someone doesn’t want her people freed from the dark and everyone, boyfriend included, has something to hide. The light won’t hurt Jazzlyn, but if she can’t uncover who’s controlling the Forever Night before the sky opens up, her city, along with everyone she loves, will burn.

First Sentence:

Mushrooms thrive in the dark, so they’re the only food that isn’t rationed.


  1. Love how you tightened and clarified your pitch (and I was pretty smitten with the original), and paring the first line down works so much better. We still have that hook of intrigue, that sense that this is not OUR world we're going to be reading about. And your pitch makes the stakes so perfectly clear. Beautifully done!

  2. Awesome opening sentence. Characters are why I read, and immediately you give me a reason why I should care about Jazzlyn. If I wanted to read about ordinary characters doing ordinary things, I’d become a professional people watcher. Jazzlyn is certainly extraordinary. Interest = piqued.

    Second thought: boyfriend-damsel in distress. Hehe. This makes me think your story can sell because kick-butt female protagonists seem to be very ‘in’ right now.

    My only concern is that there’s a lot going on in the pitch. Less facts and more connections might not hurt. For instance, are the outcasts from her homeland? At first I thought they were from Lumen. Also, “the city” mentioned in the first sentence of the second paragraph, I wasn’t sure at first whether that was her home city or Lumen.

    One question I had: how does the exiles plan connect with the seemingly greater threat of the Forever Night ending? I think cutting a few details would help you be able to focus on embellishing the really important ones. I love the fact Jazzlyn’s training to be a liaison (sounds interesting!) but that might be one detail worth dropping.

    Finally: You did a great job with the revision of your first sentence. Much tighter, and therefore creepier! World building right off the bat.

    You’re world and characters seem very layered and interesting. Plus, heists are awesome!

  3. I found the second sentence quite long. It could be tightened up. Apart from that tis good.

    Best of luck.

  4. From Judge: "Love the first sentence! It's unclear who the exiles are -- do they live in the city above the clouds, or are they a third player in the situation? I'm also confused by her homeland being both "darkness-ravaged" and threatened by the light; the first sentence mentioning that the dark has led to rationing makes me think breaking the clouds would be a good thing. Her goals are clear but how they relate to the cities could use some clarification."

  5. Other Judge: "Tighten this up, make sure we know what we truly need to know, and you'll have a great pitch to match your terrific opening line.The first clause in the opening sentence is a throwaway, and I'd like to know a little bit more about the outcasts and more about what Jazzlyn and her conncetion to her boyfriend."


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