Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Entry #7: DEFYING THE STARS

Genre: YA Romance/Sci Fi

Title: Defying the Stars

Pitch:

The marks on Alvin Swift’s arms look like constellations, Virginia Sawyer thinks, like she could read his future there. If she knew what the marks meant and where they came from, then she could.

But Virginia doesn’t believe in fate, she doesn’t believe in letting go and she doesn’t believe in the thing that fell from the sky, the thing tied to Alvin and all the Swifts, destined to drag them into a new world when the stars -the real stars- align.

Virginia doesn’t believe what Alvin knows its true, and when the stars come for him, there is no way on earth she will let him go.

First line:

Three months before the world ended, at least for the Swifts, I moved to Ashwood, New York.

16 comments:

  1. PITCH:
    I'm both intrigued and confused. I think your sentences could be shortened to allow for greater impact. For instance in P1: The marks on Alvin Swift’s arms look like constellations. Or rewording it to say Virginia Sawyer thinks the marks on Alvin Swift’s arms look like constellations would flow better. I found myself tripping up on the comma's and sentence lengths.

    Same is true for P2: That whole paragraph is one sentence and you could turn it into shorter sentences to create a nicer flow.

    I'm also curious as to what age Virginia is. While not every agent cares if you put it in the query, I think it's important an helps set the stage.

    I just started watched CW's Star-Crossed and would totally read this. Sounds very similar :)

    FIRST LINE:

    I like this :) I've heard mixed reviews on foreshadowing like this from various editors and agents. Some like it, some don't.

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    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to critique!

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  2. I love what an immediate sense of your character we get from the first line of the pitch. There's a haunting quality to it all, and I find it powerfully intriguing. It's hard to sum up a story in a way that doesn't sound dry and you've achieved the difficult goal of doing so in a vivid, compelling way.

    Small typo: "Virginia what Alvin knows its true"

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    1. Hey Kim! Thank you for taking time to critique!

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  3. It's intriguing - I wonder if referring to the stars both as constellations and in terms of fate is confusing this slightly? Also when I first read it I thought you meant something was literally tied to Alvin :-)

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  4. This sounds intriguing. Having also just started watching Star-Crossed I'm all into aliens at the moment so this is something I want to read.

    I think you need to mention the age of your protagonist somewhere in the query or at least hint at it by saying she's a sophomore or about to graduate etc.

    I think you need to focus more on conflict and stakes. What does Virginia want? How can she get it? What's stopping her from getting what she wants? What does she risk losing if she goes after what she wants? And where does Alvin come into all this? The conflict is the core of any story and that's what you need to show in your query.

    Good luck with this! I really like your first line! :)

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  5. This left me wanting to read more and more. This is definitely a book I would read.

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    Replies
    1. Ha, ha, you jerk! People are going to think I'm reviewing myself lol

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  6. Interesting voice. Airy and poetic. I think someone put it best when they called it "haunting." And the first line mimics the voice and sentence structure. I thought the third paragraph in the query was very powerful.

    I think I need a little more information about the Alvin family and what's going to happen when the stars align. I like the parallel with the marks on his arm looking like constellations.

    Good luck!

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    Replies
    1. Meant Swift family, not Alvin family : ) That being said, your character names were wonderful. How did Virginia connect with the Swifts.

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  7. Hi Eliza, you've got some great comments here and I bet you're going to come out of this with a killer pitch. From what I've garnered, it sounds like you've got an interesting premise and I'm definitely intrigued! However, run-on sentences and vagueness, as noted above, are hampering your pitch. Watch for repeats too, you say "Virginia doesn't believe" twice to start both para 2 and 3. Perhaps you could focus one para on Virginia and one on Alvin to avoid repeats and further develop their characters + conflict? As well, we know a lot about what Virginia doesn't want, and very little about what she does. It would be great if you can find a way to pull that in.

    I think there's some serious punch just below the surface of your pitch and it won't take much to let it shine. Sounds like an awesome concept! Best of luck!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Deana- what a great comment - really helps me see clearly!

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  8. Great first line-funny and intriguing! Concise query, spot-on. Best of luck to you!

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