Sunday, February 23, 2014

Entry #74 - GERALD AND THE AMULET OF ZONRACH

Title: GERALD AND THE AMULET OF ZONRACH

Genre: Upper MG, humorous fantasy

Pitch:

In the realm of Wyverndawn, a wizard’s height is the mark of his power, and shrinking an entire inch is disastrous for twelve-year-old Gerald.

Looking for promotion of an inch or two Gerald attempts to create a village landmark using his superior wizarding skills, but the spell he bought - from a guy who knows a guy - is a tad more powerful than he anticipates. The resulting earthquake, hurricane and escape of a very dangerous wizard from prison really weren’t part of the plan.

A red-faced Gerald is banished from his village and, to complete his shame, shrinks another inch; two more and he’ll join his father as a Royal Equine Poop Disposal Coordinator.

Gerald’s hopes of returning home hinge on repairing the damage to Wyverndawn and thwarting the evil wizard’s plans. Failure could mean Gerald’s next spell might well be his last.

First sentence:

A flash of blinding blue light filled the room, followed by a billowing cloud of dark, acrid smoke.


12 comments:

  1. I love the humor in your pitch! That's hard to pull off, imho, and you did a fantastic job. I also love the idea of height being a mark of power. This sounds like such a fun read!

    My only nitpick is regarding the first sentence. It's a bit adjective heavy, imho. Blinding, blue, billowing, dark, and acrid, is a lot of descriptors for one sentences to carry. Most often, one or two strong adjectives are more powerful than many crammed together. Also, I think you could make it a bit more active and immediate. Ex: Blinding light flashed across the room... Of course, feel free to ignore if you disagree. :)

    I'd keep reading this, for sure!

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  2. I love this pitch, and think it's perfect for MG. I do agree with the above comment about the adjectives. I've read through it three times and each time I've stopped to make sure I got them all. Great job!!

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  3. I also enjoyed the humour in your pitch which will show potential agents what their in for. In the third paragraph to tighten perhaps cut "a red-faced" because in the same sentence you use shame so it's pretty clear that he's embarrassed. Good job!

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  4. This is great. I am curious about how he shrinks that one inch in the first place. Does someone do that to him, or do they shrink or grow based on what they accomplish? I'm also picturing a bunch of really tall super-wizards running around. Lots of opportunities for humor there! I already feel a lot of empathy for Gerald. Good luck!!

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  5. There's a lot of potential here. But the stakes need to be higher. Naming the evil wizard and giving details of his crimes would help. I found "The resulting earthquake..' sentence quite awkward. I think it's because you've given the three side-affects of the powerful spell equal weighting. Did the earthquake help the wizard escape. Otherwise I can't see how his action resulted in that.

    Best of luck!

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  6. Great voice! Just a few notes:

    1. Double-check your punctuation before you query, i.e. replace the hyphens with proper em dashes.
    2. Could you elaborate, even in vague terms, about the evil wizard's plans? It might help raise the stakes.
    3. You might want to rein in the descriptors in your excerpt. It's a great visual, but the abundance of adjectives made me re-read.

    That said, I have no doubt this will be published someday. It sounds like a great MG read! :)

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    1. Thank you for your kind comments, I really appreciate the feedback. Hoping to reach next round :)

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  7. I deleted my first comment as it applies to all of you who have taken the time to read and add your thoughts.

    Thank you for your comments :) I am always open to constructive criticism. Anything that makes GERALD better imho is great. The aim is to obtain an agent and publish my books so listening to opinions is a must for any writer!

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  8. You made some fantastic changes to your pitch! Great voice, and it sounds like an interesting story. I love that height is the mark of power.

    I agree with the comments that others have left, especially about having too many adjectives.

    In the first line of your pitch, I think changing 'and' to 'so' might make it even more powerful. I also wonder if there's some way to weave in how tall Gerald currently is, at least compared to others. I'm trying to picture how far in height he is from the evil wizard he has to battle.

    I definitely think you can give this sentence more oomph: The resulting earthquake, hurricane and escape of a very dangerous wizard from prison really weren’t part of the plan. It sounds passive while this is huge to your manuscript. How would you describe this to a child who asked what your book is about?

    Good luck!


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  9. This sounds like a great upper middle grade fantasy with a touch of humor. The pitch was pretty clear and upped the stakes as it progressed in a way that made me want to read this. Sounds like this story has lots of action and Gerald's voice comes through.. My only suggestion is to try to make it clear Gerald's height reduces because of his actions.

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  10. Thank you all sooo much. Polishing the first page and pitch ready for next round :)

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