Auntie B’s Book Club Contest July 17 -20


Brenda Drake is at it again.

On July 17 participants in the contest must post a 35-word pitch (logline) and the first 250 words of their manuscript on their blog. Then they need to get feedback from as many followers as possible while critiquing other participants; entries.  Then, when you’re ready to post your entry, come back here and post it to the entry post. It will be up on July 17, and you’ll have until 11:59 PM EST on July 20th to enter it.  The winner will receive a 10 page plus a synopsis critique, and two runners up will receive either a 10 page or a synopsis critique from the fabulous Cassandra Marshall agent intern/editor/cover art designer/writer extraordinaire.

So, with that said, here is my logline:

A millionaire teen and his ‘girl’ friend are thrust into a magical world poised on the brink of war, and must battle a vengeful dragon and a murdering sorcerer if they are to return home.

And here are the first 250 words of my novel, In the Shadow of the Dragon King:

“Hey, David, check it out.  You made the headlines again.”   Charlotte leapt into the middle of her best friend’s four-poster bed.

“Like that’s a surprise.” David finished the charcoal shading on the dragon’s nose and held up the picture to look at it.  “What did I do this time?”

“What else?  Listen to this:

Money can do many things. It can furnish the luxurious plantation home on Chestnut Circle with French antiques and marble statuary, put fountains in the yard and a classic ice blue 1967 Shelby GT500 in the drive. Now, it even seems to be able to buy the love of a good dog. 

The Paxton Road Animal Shelter was praying for pennies from heaven to build a new puppy wing, but was showered instead with an unexpected gift of twenty thousand dollars from fifteen-year-old millionaire, David Heiland.

“Are you kidding me?”  David scrambled to his knees and reached for the paper.  “They promised they wouldn’t snitch!”

Charlotte snatched the paper and laughed.  “Shh.  Keep your voice down.  You’ll wake Lily.”

“Ooo, what’s she going to do, ground me?”  He sat on the bed opposite Charlotte.  “Let me see the paper.”

“Stop being a royal prat.”

“I’m not being a prat.  Now let me see the paper.”

“No,” Charlotte teased and pushed up the sleeves of her sweater.  “It’s too much fun watching you twitch when I read it aloud.”  The pages crinkled as she turned them.  “Now where is that other article?  Oh, here it is.”

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15 thoughts on “Auntie B’s Book Club Contest July 17 -20

  1. I like your pitch–it’s vague, but it’s enticing. The excerpt reads a bit more like exposition, but I think it’s okay. Starting off in the middle of something doesn’t always work, and if this relationship is important to the story then I think it works. Some of the dialogue is a bit weird, but people have already commented on that. Cheers in the contest!

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  2. I, too, love the idea of a millionaire teenager. And I love fantasy, so I’m captivated by your story, though I’d like a bit more foreshadowing of magic.

    Perhaps you could cut the newspaper article to just the second paragraph to tighten it, and I’d also take the “Oh Yeah?” and “What” out of the dialogue.

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  3. I loved your log line and was totally intrigued until I was thrust back into the real world. I know it’s set-up and easy to read, bu-ut I wonder if somehow there can be some foreshadowing of the fantasy that’s to come. The only indication I get is with his sketch – is there a way to build on this a bit here? That being said – the conversations between characters are good – maybe a bit too much banterimg at the end. I was thrown by the newspaper article, but whoa -I like the whole junior millionaire aspect! Is there anyway to trim the article and cut to the chase?
    And last nit-pick: first line into second :”and sat cross-legged.“Oh, yeah?” ”
    Try cutting this and read it aloud. I don’t think you need it.

    Nice job! Hope I helped!

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  4. I actually caught that and liked it. Maybe it was just a bit too much. See if you can cut down on the reading… Just like cutting down your book to a pitch, which you did wonderfully, by the way. I’m going to try to work on this, too!

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  5. A young millionaire is what hooked me on this idea–I’d like to see how this story plays out. I didn’t mind the newspaper article, but what a journalist! I think the feel of this story is very interesting indeed!
    Your logline (like so many others) is a bit vague, but functional. I say keep plugging away at it, but for me it works.

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    1. thank you, Sarah. I really liked this angle, too. And he’s not an Artemis Fowl sort, either. Kind of a rich kid being made to live like a normal kid but not… *wink*.

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  6. I agree with Kate. I’m not crazy about “mayhem” either. I think I’d say “magical world poised on the brink of war”

    Sending out 250 word beginnings always scares me, especially when stories start out in the “real world”. You need to look at these 250 words and ask yourself, “Are these putting my best foot forward?” Maybe is it, maybe it isn’t. Part of what Kate said is absolutely true. Charlotte reading the paper is absolutely an info dump. The question is… is it okay or not?

    I’m thinking, now that someone has called you on it, maybe cut it back a bit. Too much of a good thing may have made it too obvious.

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    1. thanks, Jenn! Just when you think you’ve got it, someone spots something a little off. hmmm. I kind of wanted it in there to show a contrast to the later-revealed secret. Because of what happened between David, Martin and Charlotte’s pup all those years ago, it’s why he is compelled to donate so much money to the shelter… thoughts, Jenn?

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  7. Not sure I like the use of mayhem in your pitch. Mayhem can take many forms and doesn’t really tell me anything in the context.

    Nice opening, although I’m not sure about the newspaper article. It feels like it’s there for an info dump (David is a teenaged millionaire) and that’s its only purpose.

    I also didn’t think it was natural for David to say he was not scared of his godmother. Again it felt like an info dump. Both of them know Lily is his godmother so he’d just say ” I’m not scared of her.” I’m sure the relationship can be made clear further on.

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