Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bouncer Post #41

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy
Word Count: 63,600


Victoria Sage always wanted more than a life confined to the small town of Riverton Hills. But no one leaves Riverton Hills for good unless they die. On her seventeenth birthday, Vic learned why: her town was home to a secret society of dragon hunters. And that society was the only thing stopping the complete destruction of the world. When Vic gets the chance to become a Warden and hunt dragons herself, she doesn’t hesitate.

After she risks her life and all of her memories to get inducted into the Ward, Vic is faced with an even more serious problem than her own bruises and burns: learning the truth behind the war between the humans and the dragons. When two dragons are captured, they tell Vic she’s fighting for the wrong side. And worse? She’s in serious danger because she's not like the other Wardens. Vic has to decide for herself who to believe and what side she must fight for.

First 250:

I'm only able to eat a couple bites of toast before giving up on breakfast completely; my stomach can't take it, not after everything I've learned. The world isn't at all what I thought it was. I move the food around my plate with a fork while my family sits in silence. My mom served breakfast the same way she has every Sunday for the past seventeen years, and we all sat down together to eat it. But today is nothing like those days. Today I become a dragon hunter.

"Victoria, eat your breakfast," Mom says. "You'll need your strength for the induction if you want to become a Warden."

"I can't." I push the plate away.

"Just try." She pushes it back at me.

"If I eat anything else, I'll throw up."

I still don't know if I believe dragons are real. I mean, you grow up reading stories, but once you go to school you figure you'll only ever see fantasies in your dreams. I thought I'd turn seventeen, get my diploma, and leave this place forever. It's not that I hate Riverton Hills, but becoming a missionary never interested me. And that was the fate of the people in this town. No one ever told me missionary was code for dragon hunter. If they had, I might have shown a little more interest.

“Why's having my strength so important? What's going to happen today?"


  1. I think you did a great job showing the tension in the first 250. I'd definitely read on.

  2. This entry is rather a reverse for me in that I found the query itself compelling but then that enthusiasm did nto extend to the first 250. But with a good query you;ve already got a good road map to work from. I think some of the problem is in the use of three different words - dragon hunter, Warden and missionary - that all essentialy mean the same thing. Perhaps choose one and stick with it. Also, the sort of whiny "whatever" attitude of the MC is att odds with the natural excitement or tension or even stress at what is supposed to happen today. It seems there should be more nervous energy. FInal point, if the MC has lived in and been surrounded by dragon hunters her whole life - it seems incongruous that she would then wonder if she believes dragons are real or just made up. I think that she would have a deifnite idea about that. But, I like the presmise and I like the way the story is described in the query.

    1. Thank you for this feedback! I had revised both the query and the first 250 (and the entire book!) more times than I can count. But after seeing some of the other entries, I've made some pretty significant revisions. Hopefully they will meet some of these issues.

      I didn't realize I wasn't clear that Vic had no idea dragons existed. Her town has covered up the whole thing, which is why the society is secret. Anyway, I've made some revisions to clear this up, so thanks for the feedback. So glad I entered this contest if only for your comment!