Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bouncer Round 6 #12


Genre: Young Adult Speculative Fiction 

Word Count: 85,000


It’s hard to focus on mastering telekinesis when you run the risk of being labelled a monster.

Sixteen-year-old Melody doesn’t expect much at Camp Awakening except absolute torture. After all, it’s a hardcore power-training boot camp. The only good thing about the place is Jonas, the junior trainer who makes her almost forget why she’s there.

But if she lets down her guard, the mind-readers will see that she’s a freak with two powers instead of one. And anyone with multiple powers can only be power-draining Psyfons—the monsters that killed her father and the reason she’s out in the middle of nowhere learning how to attack.

When a few trainees collapse, Melody must choose between saving them and protecting herself, and suspects that Psyfons have infiltrated the camp. The dizziness Jonas makes her feel whenever they’re together starts to become less romantic and more suspicious. Is it possible that the boy she’s falling for could be one of the monsters who killed her father?

FIRST 250:

The girl next to me on the bus had ignited several small fires with her bare hands, as if that made her special.

Our destination was Camp Awakening. Our purpose: to master our powers in two weeks. Get it right, you could end up a hero. Get it wrong, you could end up dead.

I wish I were kidding about the dead part.

I stared at the smoke drifting from the girl’s fingertips. Sure, it was freakishly entertaining, but we didn’t need open flames while crammed into a non-air-conditioned school bus on a sticky July day with nearly fifty other sixteen-year-olds. And it wasn’t like she was the only one on board who could do it.

“Stop it, Erika, you’re gonna get us in trouble,” a girl across the aisle whispered. “There’s no smoking on the bus.”

“Or burning,” I added.     
Erika rubbed her fingertips on her charred jeans and smirked. “What are they gonna do, toss me off? It’s up to them to make sure we get ‘proper’ training,” she said. “And I obviously can’t control my power at the moment.”

Power. As in the singular form.

“Hey blondie.” The guy in front of me turned around. “I think you’re hot, too."

I frowned. “Excuse me?”

“I can read you.” He winked.

“You can?” I glared at him and fought off a wave of panic. “How about now?”

“Let’s see.” He shut his eyes. “You think I’m… absolutely doable?”

A girl behind me giggled.

“No, but she does.”


  1. Ha! I love your MC already. She's great!

    Your book sounds so awesome! I'd read in a heartbeat. It's like Divergent meets Paranormalcy - both of which I loved.

    Carissa #24

  2. I enjoyed your first 250 words, especially the last line.

    My only suggestion is in regards to your query. I'd try and avoid ending your query with a question, which will give it more impact as a 'sinker'.

    I think I'd also like a hint of Melody's personal interest into helping the collapsed trainees? Because if she helps she'll expose her two powers?

    Good luck with it. :)

  3. Wow love your query! Well done. My only comment is the first sentence in the last paragraph feels a bit clunky. I think you have two separate thoughts there and I'd consider breaking it up into two sentences.

    Great opening 250. I love the second paragraph it really sets up the issue right off the bat. One minor nitpick with the line "Power. As in the singular form." I think I see what you are trying to do, point out the differences between those with two powers vs those with one, but I'm not sure that line is working. It's a bit confusing as it sounds. Maybe consider adding something like "Power. As in the singular form. Not a dangerous, freak like me with two powers." just a little something extra to tip off the reader that your main character is a bit different from the rest.

    Otherwise great job. I'd definitely read on. I love that you've already set up some potential villains on the bus ride in. Good luck with your entry.

    Jamie # 36

  4. I don't mind the question at the end of your query. As you know, this is very subjective, and while some agents hate any questions poised in a query, others are OK as long as the question is good. Since your question is at the end, and not the beginning of the query (which is a big no-no), I think it's OK and this is definitely a style choice.

    I really enjoyed your 250 and I think the query letter is good! Good luck, and I'd read on if I had more pages!

    Virginia #9

  5. The premise grabbed me right away, suspense, revenge, danger and romance combined. I thought your first 250 were effective as well. I don't mind ending with a question at the end of your pitch either. Well done.I would want to read on.
    Dianne #13