Monday, September 17, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Contest #35: NEW MIDDLEPORT: THE SENSES OF WEILAND KERSHAW

NEW MIDDLEPORT: THE SENSES OF WEILAND KERSHAW
YA Dystopian
50,958

Query:

Weiland’s only hope to avoid death in a dreadfully violent city stems from his father’s training.  His heightened senses and ability to wield a knife, plus constant reminder to stay away from the rebellion provides protection for the ones he holds dearest – even those meant to harm him.

After one of the merciless rulers brutalizes an acquaintance to near death, Weiland saves his life by bringing him to his most trusted protector.  This kind gesture quickly involves him and his friends in a plot with the rebellion to escape the city.  It’s not only dangerous, but it’s been planned for years with the unknowing intention of Weiland to be its leader.

He has spent his youth protecting those he considers family. Now he must decide whether to risk death by either attempting to escape or stay behind in a city that breeds danger.

First 150 Words:

I know something is wrong when the shower cuts off.  It’s fortunate that all showers are only programmed for two minutes; otherwise, whoever has entered my hole of an apartment might’ve gotten the drop while I rinsed the daily filth.  You wouldn’t think that two minutes is enough time to break into an apartment quietly, but I guess it wouldn’t be a normal day without someone being killed.

***

“Do you hear that Weiland?”  I remember when my dad would sit me underneath the bathroom sink during his showers.  The cabinet doors to the sink would be closed, and it was his way of trying to adapt my ears to hear beyond outside noises.  I respond as innocently as possible, “Other than the water?”  My dad appreciated my humor when I was ready to answer his questions correctly.  He used to say that humor is the only way to see beyond the sunshine.

10 comments:

  1. Hi!

    Okay, so I can totally sympathize with your MC's worry over someone breaking into his appartment when he's in the shower. Not that anyone is trying to kill me when I'm in the shower or anything . . . But I get paranoid sometimes. :)
    I like your opener in the first 150, but the second scene seems to have a bit of telling that you may want to hold off on in the first part of your book.
    Good luck with GUTGAA!

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    1. I wanted to say thank you again for your comment. I've had an opportunity to read other entries and you are all over the place. I think it's so great that you're taking so much time to give feedback.

      That's awesome!

      Delete
  2. I really like your query and first 150. I especially loved this line "whoever has entered my hole of an apartment might’ve gotten the drop while I rinsed the daily filth." Awesome voice there.

    I am pretty sure your second paragraph is a flashback and I don't know how I feel about that. You know what "they" say about flashbacks. Not that it can't ever work. Either way, I'd still keep reading because it's an interesting query and a really strong start!

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I am really glad to see that you like my query and first 150. It's also very nice to see, "I especially loved this line..." and "Awesome voice there." It made me smile, so I really appreciate it.

      I'm actually not sure what they say about flashbacks, but I'd love to get some more info on that. I do use flashbacks in this story, so it would be great to gain any insight to potential hazards with flashbacks.

      Perhaps I can ask you through #GUTGAA on Twitter to get some more info later. Again, thank you for the comment! It's so nice to hear that you'd keep reading because of "a really strong start!"

      Delete
  3. You had me at, "ability to wield a knife." This has tension and suspense written all over it--in a good way. (Jason Bourne, anyone?!) I love reluctant heroes!

    Your first sample paragraph was amazing--but something in the last sentence is tripping me up. He believes someone is there to kill him--so maybe just shorten it up?? "You wouldn’t think that two minutes is enough time to break into an apartment and quietly kill someone, but I assure you--it is."

    Just something to consider--I have no idea where this story is taking me so my suggestion may be completely out of line. At any rate, I really enjoyed what you presented. I wish you all the best with this project.

    YOU'VE GOT MY VOTE TO MOVE FORWARD!

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    1. Thank you very much!!! This is awesome. Thank you for the description and mentioning the alternative way to say that last sentence. I'm always looking to improve, so I value the suggestion and it is not at all out of line.

      Also, the mention of my character with Jason Bourne is something no one has ever mentioned before and it was such a fantastic thing to read. I'm so glad that you enjoyed it and the Bourne comment made my day. Again, awesome.

      Thank you for your vote!

      Delete
  4. Oh wow, this really is fabulous as is! Clear, concise, and totally thrilling! You've done a great job showing us this dangerous world, and connecting us with the MC. Wonderful! I have nothing to add to your feedback already!

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    1. Thank you so much!! I am so glad you liked it and like seeing that I've done a "great job showing us this dangerous world, and connecting us with the MC."

      That really gives me a boost and hope you're having as much fun with #GUTGAA as I am.

      Good luck!!

      Delete
  5. PITCH: There’s a very good thing going with the protector aspect of this character! It makes him likeable right away. With the pitch itself, though, the first paragraph is very awkward—I’m not sure if it’s saying that he’s providing protection to the people meant to harm him, or something else. Also the line, “…it’s been planned for years with the unknowing intention of Weiland to be its leader” might be rephrased, because I don’t think there can be an “unknowing” intention, and even “unknown” intention sounds kind of strange. Maybe because the sentence is passive? What about “the rebels have been planning an escape for years, with the secret intention of recruiting Weiland to be their leader” or something like that?
    FIRST 150: The first paragraph gives us some great tension—who likes to be interrupted while showering, PLUS someone could be killed. It could be improved if we know who is in danger. Is Weiland worried for himself, or for the other person? Who is the threat here? Also, it might be better to keep us in this conflict—maybe even resolve the scene—before yanking us to the memory of his father.

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    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my entry and provide feedback!! It's really good to hear how I can tighten up on some things, because I always want to find ways to improve.

      Thanks again!

      Delete

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