Monday, September 17, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Contest #23: THE BEAUTY OF DESTRUCTION

THE BEAUTY OF DESTRUCTION
YA paranormal thriller
102,000

Query:

The easiest way for fifteen-year-old Mia to cope with her own vicious murder is to forget about it.

When she wakes up in Afterlife, Mia’s blocked out everything – her death, her friends, her family, even her real name. All she knows is that she’s too young to be dead, and she absolutely hates Afterlife’s suffocating serenity.

Mia will do anything to escape it – even serve as Guardian to the lip-glossed and venomous Valerie Wittier. Unseen and unheard, Mia must find a way to prevent Valerie from making fatal errors that, if not amended, will lead to the school shooting that kills six freshmen. But though Valerie holds the power to prevent – not cause – others to die, she’s too selfish and headstrong to care.

Feeling helpless and incompetent, Mia watches the week spin out of control in a kaleidoscope of rumors, fights, rivalry, and romance. She tries to redirect Valerie and save those in jeopardy of dying, but is continually distracted (and obsessively infuriated) by Valerie’s best friend, Grace Hewitt, aka Miss Perpetual Bystander. By the time Mia realizes she’s presiding over the last week of her life, it may be too late to save everyone involved.

First 150 Words:

I was falling, tossed through the sky like a shirt in a dryer. Hair whipped across my face. My arms and legs flailed around, spinning me in circles. I couldn’t tell which way was up or down, but I knew I was dying. I remembered once hearing that when you fell in a dream, you never hit the ground. If you did, you’d die. The thought made my chest constrict so tightly I wondered if my life was squeezing out of me, preparing me for a giant splat of my body against the pavement. A small part of me clung to the hope that I’d never stop falling – that I’d go on like this forever. But, of course, that didn’t happen.

I stopped with a jerk like I’d been riding some rusted carny ride and found myself standing with my eyes tightly closed. I was pretty certain that my bones weren’t broken and my guts weren’t splayed across an empty sidewalk.

10 comments:

  1. YES!!

    I adore this premise (my notes have a big HEART beside it) and I am totally drooling over your voice. The perfect balance of snark and despair. Well done.

    This line: " All she knows is that she’s too young to be dead, and she absolutely hates Afterlife’s suffocating serenity." totally captivated me.

    I love what you're doing here and wish you all the best with this project. You've got all the groundwork laid for an amazing read.

    YOU'VE GOT MY VOTE TO MOVE FORWARD

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    1. Thank you Beezer for the vote and encouragement! I am thrilled to have your vote and greatly appreciate your comments!

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  2. PITCH: Very interesting pitch. The surprise twist at the end grabbed me for sure. As a writer I’m dying to find out how you make Mia a sympathetic character while she doesn’t care about saving lives. As a judge-type-person, I’d actually consider cutting that line about her being too selfish and headstrong to care, only because it leads me to wonder what changes to make her try at the end. Then again, it hints at her character arc…
    FIRST 150: Starting in the middle of intense action like this is pretty risky, but I think the writer pulled it off well, with including plenty of the character’s reaction to what’s happening to her.

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    Replies
    1. Oh no Missus Braidyhead! My MC (Mia) must help Valerie change what happens. Valerie (a not so sympathetic character) is too selfish and headstrong to care. Perhaps I should strengthen that in my query??

      Thank you for your notes and your feedback! I greatly appreciate you taking the time to comment!

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    2. Oh no indeed! I'm so sorry I confused the two. I even read it twice, at least.

      Now I'm puzzling over how to make it clearer...it could be a POV issue, because the last line about Valerie sounds like she's the POV character, & honestly after reading so many pitches, I forget character names although I try to keep them straight. What about something along the lines of, "Mia's enraged to discover that although Valerie..."? Maybe that would help?

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    3. I'll have to play around with it. Thank you for stopping by again Missus Braidyhead. (Your name cracks me up by the way!)

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  3. I love this premise too. I think the query is strong and tantalizing. Your voice is strong and clear in the first 150 too. YOU HAVE MY VOTE.

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    Replies
    1. Hopey!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your kind words and vote! The competition here is very strong - I'm thrilled and honored to have your vote!

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  4. I've seen a lot of "the main character is dead/in the afterlife/a guardian angel" queries before, but this one stands out because of the ticking clock element you've added. I would urge you to try to get the word count below 100k (You're so close! You can do it!), but otherwise, good luck in round 2!

    You've got my vote!

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  5. Congrats on all the votes! Love the premise. I noticed a lot of the sentences in the excerpt began with "I."

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