Wednesday, February 19, 2014



Genre: YA Fantasy


Eighteen-year-old Ravina has spent her entire life secluded from the world. An aberration of magic, she is both human and dragon, created as a weapon but hidden from those who would use her to conquer their enemies. When an ominous power arises in the north, Ravina’s sole protector sends her to a new hiding place with only a nosy Wizard-hopeful and a band of ill-tempered dwarves to guide her. The dwarves, who have already suffered death and injury at the claws of a monster like Ravina, soon discover that Ravina is more girl than beast; and Ravina learns that everything she’s been taught by her guardian is a lie. As they travel, Ravina struggles with her dual nature even as she grows close to her dwarven companions. But the greatest danger they face may have been with them all along.

First Sentence:

I have been told I will not live to see twenty years.


  1. What I like: I love the idea of a dual nature in stories

    What I would like: I feel like a lot of sentences are clever but vague – ie ‘soon discover that Ravina is more girl than beast’ and ‘But the greatest danger they face may have been with them all along.’ I tend to do this too, because I love a clever sentence, but they don’t tell readers enough.

    Great work!

    1. Thanks Eliza! I struggled with this pitch because there's just so much going on in a fantasy, it's hard to decide what's 'need-to-know' and what's 'clutter'. My critique partners and I bounced it back and forth several times. With the 'more girl than beast' line, it's very literal. By being around her, the dwarves discover she's just an average girl - when she IS a girl. As for the last one, it could be reworked as it borders on cliche, though it, too, is actually literal rather than an attempt clever.

  2. I like the twist on the hybrid human dragon. The premise is similar to mine (#64). I have a girl that turns into a dragon, but yours seems different from mine in a few key ways. I was recently told in a query workshop that the dragon-girl thing is not as fresh as I thought, so my advise to you would be how is your dragon hybrid different. I'm picturing her as something in between beast and human. I like that she's a weapon. What destructive powers does she have?

    I would like to know more about the adversaries: that force in the north and the enemy from within.

    Some of the sentences are vague, so specifics could really make yours shine.

    I'm interested to see where your story goes. I love a good dragon story and yours seems very magical and colorful.

    Good luck in the contest and with revisions!

  3. Some great intrigue and drama here, and I love the zing of the first line. Well done. I agree that using more specific terms in the query will help tighten things up. I'm not entirely sure what's at stake or what Ravina wants in the story. We know she's being hidden to keep her from being used for nefarious purposes, but I don't get a sense of what HER purpose is. Is it to discover which aspect of her nature she wants to embrace? If so, spell it out a touch more. Let us feel the conflict in her. If you strike an emotional chord, the pitch's power amplifies by a factor ten or so. :) Really though, great elements here and I'm super curious to know how this unfolds. Good luck!

  4. In agreement with the excellent feedback above. Your first line is great! However, I don't get a sense from your pitch of what Ravina's goals/desires are, and one of the pitfalls of fantasy is losing the character-driven story to greater events. As mentioned by others, more specifics could help with this. I'd also like to know to what extent she's fighting herself, and what that fight means - for random example is she sporadically tempted to eat people? This could help establish her character in your pitch and up the stakes.

    Sounds like an cool approach to dragons on a high fantasy platform. Best of luck!!


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