Thursday, February 19, 2015


Word Count: 93,000
Genre: YA Romantic Fantasy

Killing never comes easy, but for eighteen-year-old Martia, exterminating those who fall in love is an uncomfortable reality of being a Deathwalker. In the country of Mithos, true love is the most dangerous form of black magic, giving the wielder the power to burn through skin and bone. Those who fall prey to it must be eliminated. When Martia meets Prince Narin, her worst nightmare is realized, as Narin is her true love. After their secret is discovered, Martia must make a decision: plunge her sword into Narin’s heart, or choose Narin and become one of the hunted.
First 250:

The streets of Yuin are no place for love.
I creep through the night, wearing black in a city of pale stone. Even after dusk, Yuin is bright, the firelight blinding me. I slink further into the shadows cast by the alley's gleaming wall, tilting away from the flickering glow. Darkness shields better than any armor.
Something clinks to my left. I reach for the polished hilt of my scimitar.
A giggling couple stumble into the alley after a rolling wine bottle. The woman's sharp snicker drowns out the distant music of stringed vihuelas and beating hand drums. She clutches her sides, bunching up the layers in her floor-length pleated dress. Her glazed eyes rise to meet mine and the laughter squelches.
Dammit. I hate it when people see me. My lips jerk up in a jagged smile.
She grabs the man's hand and pulls him close. "It's one of them."
The man twists in my direction and pales, a whine escaping his throat. They always look at me like that, seeing a monster in the place of a girl. I wish I could shrink back.
I step forward.
The woman whimpers. "Please, don't kill us."
Both man and woman are dark-haired, dark-eyed and dark-skinned like me, like all Mithoians. An ordinary person would only see two drunken lovers. But I see more. A thin maroon aura twists around the couple, reaching out with ebony tendrils.
The aura of someone with black magic.


  1. I love your concept! The pitch sounds great and you do a great job of building your world in the first page.

    The description of the characters' hair and skin jumped out at me. If they look like your MC, she wouldn't think about their hair and skin color. Could you just mention the character diversity in your pitch? Then you could move the description back to somewhere it fit more naturally, and the focus here would be more fully on the aura, which is very cool.

    Best of luck in the contest!

  2. Pitch is clear and well-presented.

    Great voice and atmosphere on the first page. If there's any way it's possible to get the outcome of this encounter into the first 250, I think that would be fantastic.

    Best of luck with it,

  3. Pitch: The premise promises great drama, but I’d like to understand a little better how things work. Specifically, how does true love translate into black magic? Is there non-black magic as well?

    First page: This is a great start: strong atmosphere and we get a good sense of where we are, with the details about the musical instruments and the woman’s dress. We also get straight into the MC’s mindset and she’s faced right away with a challenge. One concern: The couple seem aware they’re at risk but they’re not taking any precautions to avoid being caught. Of course you may go on to explain whether they were being careless or something else on page 2…

  4. Love this! Would love to connect with you so give me a follow on twitter and I'll follow you back :)

  5. I remember reading this somewhere - sunvssnow? - and thinking how much I liked it! The ultimate conflict - kill your true love or die. My heart is breaking already. This is just the kind of story I love. Wonderful world building. Enough detail without being overwhelming. I hope to see your novel in bookstores soon.

    Jenny #23

  6. Good Evening!
    Ok I read your pitch and I know I not supposed to chuckle because it maybe thought of as rude, but my first thought was... 'if they cant fall in love, who is making the babies' (Please don't hate me right away for being slightly immature)
    On a more serious note... Does the Prince feel the same way about her? They both feel it right? If he is the prince, do you think he can get a special dispensation from his dad?
    I like the decision to kill right away. It gets you right into the MC's head, and it tells us that she can see the Black Magic aura which I am sure is important to death dealers. If that is the case though.. won't another death dealer see it when she is around the Prince and catch on?
    I am curious of how much of the book does it take for her to fall for this Prince. What I mean is... if she falls in love in the first few chapters, what is the struggle that keeps the book going for 93K words? If it is later, what keeps me from skipping a few chapters and getting to the internal battle stuff? Right away you get into what she is, so we know that she is fighting against the black magic of love, so what is either the build up to her love that keeps me turning the pages, or what is the struggle that keeps them holding on for the rest of the book? I'm missing that in the Pitch. (I hope that makes sense?)
    Description is good. Like your writing style. Want to feel not only the internal struggle that you portray in the first page, but I need something to cling to as I turn a lot of pages.
    Fellow Contestant & Writing Friend

  7. Pitch:
    Wow, what a cool twist on love stories! I was totally on board with everything until you mention that he's her true love. I just had questions about the mythology of the world. Does this mean they fall in love? Or does everyone have "one true love" that he or she is bound to? Is magic a part of love? Clearing this up may help. I agree with MPEagles, I also wonder what moves the story along for 93 K words--more info could assist readers in staying intrigued!

    First Page:
    No comments, other than I want to read more!


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