As this is my first time on a publishing quest, I’m looking to the masters and writing gurus to guide me. A great way to to do this seems to be entering pitch contests that also offer feedback. From my own experience and from the word of many who have come before me, querying agents and crafting synopses are some of the hardest parts of pursuing publishing. After many hours of researching, tweaking, and re-starting, I think I’m ready…to get some feedback and keep polishing. This entry is for the Son of a Pitch contest hosted by editor and author Katie Teller . The challenge begins the week of February 15, 2016!
Without further ado…
Genre: YA/NA Fantasy
Word Count: 89,000
Refugees say the Dragon Stone is dead, but McKenna disagrees. So she steals it.
First 250 Words of Chapter 1:
McKenna never wanted to be a thief. Yet as the torches burned low and her people slept, she ventured to the heart of the underground city to steal the Dragon Stone. A pyramid of light flickered over her open palm as she struggled to sustain the simple magic. She sighed in annoyance, allowing the weak light to extinguish. What was the point of being a caster if she could hardly light her way through the tunnels? She grabbed a torch from the cave-wall and continued down the sloping tunnel.
McKenna crept past guards dozing open-mouthed and slack-necked. She rolled her eyes. She trained far too hard to become one of them. She rubbed her sore bundle of shoulder muscle. So what if she couldn’t win a sparring match if nothing would be expected of her?
McKenna rounded the corner and paused. She stood before the gates of the Crystal Lake. Her stomach flipped. The iron curled and twisted from floor to ceiling and the glassy lake shimmered just beyond. Dreams of stealing the dragon egg plagued her ever since she came to Targaia as a child. No one believed the egg lived, but McKenna could feel the magic trapped inside. She exhaled and bolted into the chamber.
McKenna shoved the canoe into the water and leapt into it, playing out each movement as she had done in so many dreams. Stalactites dipped beneath the surface, while a steady drop of water plunked, echoing in the silence.
If you have any suggestions or tips for helping me improve my pitch (or the first 250 words), please feel free to leave comments!
Please note, I have updated my first 250 words and query since I received my first few helpful critiques in the comments below!
Some of my attempted changes on my query included:
- Varying sentence length