Monday, January 21, 2013

Bouncer Post #67

Genre: Young Adult Speculative Fiction
Word Count: 85,000


When sixteen-year-old Melody’s father is killed by psyfons–power-draining psychics–she joins the fight against these evil creatures. This takes her to a boot camp out in the middle of freaking nowhere to master her telekinesis. Although focused on her psyfon-destroying goal, she makes friends with trainees who have other abilities and catches the attention of Jonas, the gorgeous junior trainer whose very presence makes her feel dizzy and distracted.

When a few trainees collapse, Melody begins to suspect that the evil 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, acting like she was 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… super dreamy?”

A girl behind me giggled.

“No, but she does.”


  1. Great query!

    I like the first part of the first sentence of the first 250. (hmm, a little repeitive there?) But the end of that sentence throws me. Possibly rewording to " if that made her special." ??

    I would suggest changing "As in the singular form." to "Singular." and then let us know more if the mc's reaction to that - derision because everyone else has more than one? I felt left hanging.

    Also, "...the guy in front of me..." isn't a tag and needs to be its own sentence.

    Sorry to get nitpicky - can't help myself and it's only because I really enjoyed this and want to see it perfect and go somewhere. Love the story concept and voice!

  2. I appreciate your nitpickiness, GSMarlene! Thank you!

  3. Hi #67,

    I love your first 250, but there's something about the query that I can't quite pin that doesn't grab me. Maybe you need to start with the second sentance of the first paragraph and somehow mix the first part about her father being killed into a lter sentance? hhhmmm---- The voice in the first 250 is great though... Good Luck! ~#68

    1. Thanks Lara!

      Yes, my query and I have had some issues. Le sigh. I could always have Erica set fire to it! Thanks for your feedback and good luck!

  4. Howdy!

    I'll have to agree with Lara, I didn't feel too pulled into the query in the beginning, but I actually was more interested by the time I got to the end of it. Unfortunately, we need to grab agents with the first few lines!

    I would move things around, maybe mix in your first line with the last line about the boy she's around making her dizzy. Something like "Sixteen year old Melody never thought the one boy that promised to help her avenge her fathers death, might be working for the very creatures that killed him."

    Something like that? But BETTER of course! lol

    In your 250, I like the voice of your MC so far, but the voice of the secondary characters seem a bit forced? I think it could be made a bit more natural with the dialogue. Right now it felt a bit static? Hard to describe.

    But! I do like the concept, and I think you're on the right track! I can definitely picture it being an intense story.

    Good luck!

    -Copernicus, post #43

    1. Well hello there, Copernicus!

      After reading your entry, I've decided to outsource my query writing to you. ;) Seriously though, thanks for your suggestions! I'll have to see about those secondary characters too.

      Crossing my fingers for your entry!

    2. I'm far from being a query professional....queries still scare the heck out of me. Surprisingly enough, I actually write queries for my books before I even get halfway through my manuscript. I find it to be a perfect way to see if my story will make sense before I even write it lol.

  5. So I want to give everyone feedback, even when I don't write those magical words. So. I sat a long time with yours, because the query is great, the writing has a nearly-perfect voice with the right touch of snark, and it looks like it will be a fun book...but...oh, the dreaded, but! This might totally just be a personal thing, but I was really looking for that extra spark of what would make this original/different from other paranormal-training YA. My two cents is that you hone in on the unique point of your premise, whatever that might be, and make sure it stands out in your query. I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck with your writing!

  6. Thanks Bouncer AsYouWish! I hear what you're saying (even though it didn't included a "you're in"), and I'll see what I can do to highlight the uniqueness of this manuscript in my query.

    Cupid, thank you for the opportunity to participate, and thanks to all who participated. So glad I worked up the courage to enter!