Friday, February 27, 2015


Word count: 50,000
Genre: MG Fantasy


Thalia is a stubborn 13-year-old muse with the power to change any story’s outcome. But she is controlled by a tyrannical writer who threatens her into doing things she wouldn’t do otherwise. This time, he locks her into a manuscript with the reinvented characters of Andersen and wants her to steal Beauty’s mirror, the one that can show someone’s true soul.

But to save the manuscript from destruction and gain her independence, Thalia must reorganize a world with heroes who feel put upon by her. And she must face enemies who may have even greater powers, like the winter queen who wants to steal her muse powers.

Thalia needs to use the secret powers of the manuscript to get up a better defense against her enemies, find the mirror and use it as weapon. Fast; for if she fails, she will end up in the trash with the other crumpled-up, forgotten drafts.

First 250 words:

Thalia flattened her back along the spines of the collected works of Hans Christian Andersen. As a muse, Thalia could make herself as small as an eraser. But today her size did not matter. She was as clumsy as a butterfly without its wings, which didn’t help her crawl along the dusty book shelf. Especially when her creator roamed the library to snatch her. Her legs made a little Bambi split at the thought and she almost stumbled nose first on an overstuffed binder. The binder stood upright on the shelf, dark as ink, packed with rough drafts collected by her writer.

Thalia brushed off the dust covering the silver letters. Her lips whispered the words carved on the cover: “Aeolia: Land of Discarded Characters.” That sounded like music to Thalia’s ears. Somewhere in there, the reinvented story of the Winter Queen was waiting for Thalia to find it. The only story magically alive.

The library cracked. Thalia looked back over her shoulder, on high alert. The writer was here somewhere. She pushed open the binder, her hand shaking like a compass needle. When the first page crinkled, she squeezed between the pages to hide, sweat running down her back. The paper smelled of mildew and leather. Some of the yellowish drafts were probably older than her.


She sneezed under the cloud of dust trapped in the wrinkled pages and slapped a hand on her mouth. It was easy to picture her creator fingering the pages, ready to smash her back into a bookmark.


  1. I like where you are going with the new title. I like thinking of her as Talia--the Spinner of Stories. Also love the new pitch. It is very smooth and not confusing at all. If you had more words to play with I would say use Hans Christen Andersen just so it's a little more clear. But otherwise it's perfect.

    1. Thank you so much, Krista. Thanks for the suggestion. I agree, it sounds better. Thanks. I admire your dedication to literature. So many blogs!

  2. I love the new title and pitch! I also like Krista's idea of making the title Spinner of Stories instead of Stories Spinner; it's a little easier to say. Nice job, and good luck with this!

  3. Pitch: I like the premise. How do the heroes feel put upon by her? I know the word limit makes it difficult, but I'd like more detail about this. And the next sentence reads a little awkwardly-does the winter queen have greater powers? How about something like: And enemies like the winter queen threaten to steal her powers.

    250: You do a good job of showing Thalia's relationship with the writer. I like the tension and the premise. Good luck! (#7)

    1. Thank you Melissa. I really appreciate the suggestions.

  4. Pitch: Still not as good as the spectacular first page, but it's getting there. I suggest combining the 2nd and 3rd sentences, like this: "A tyrannical writer locks her into a manuscript with reinvented Andersen characters and forces her to steal Beauty’s mirror, the one that shows a person’s true soul." It might help to reorganize the rest to follow this formula: say why antagonist wants the mirror, what will happen to Thalia if he gets it, the complication, what she'll need to do to achieve her goal, and finally what will happen to Thalia if she fails.

    +1: Sweet! Only suggestion is to remove the phrase "That sounded like" because "Music to her ears" can stand alone. Something about the tone, voice, and concept reminds me so much of THE NIGHT FAIRY, which is one of my favorite books. The concept reminds me of Jasper Fforde's THURSDAY NEXT series, which is adult fantasy where the protagonist jumps into storybooks and does much the same thing as here. I love that series and I'm thrilled to see a MG version of it here. Despite the similarities to those other two titles. the premise here seems original and I suspect fits the genre of a modern fairy tale (though she's a muse, so I don't know). World building good. Tension present. Sympathetic character.
    Seems like a lovely story.
    (#14 OSN)

    1. Thank so much, Melissa for the suggestions and the similar book titles. I have never read those before. I will certainly check these books out. I mean like right now. No, this story is not a fairy tale; more like an action-packed adventure. Thanks :)

  5. This story is pure magic! Love the idea of a jinni-like muse serving the whims of a cruel writer. Your pitch promises a fairy-tale adventure in two worlds, and your page pulls me in right away.
    Love it!!
    My only comment would be to add "looking" after "library" in: "Especially when her creator roamed the library to snatch her."
    Good luck!
    #10 The Land of Joy and Sorrow

    1. Thank you so much, Katya. Yes, you're right, it's a story that crosses worlds because Thalia is a muse. I'm glad you've seen that :)


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