Can you hit a perfect pitch contest


The fabulous Brenda Drake is at it again with another fantastic contest.  This time the grand prize is a request to read more of your novel by the amazing agent, Ammi-Joan Paquette.

Here are the details, as copied from Brenda’s site:

Here’s how the contest is going down …
On January 15th post a two sentence pitch (no more than 35 words) along with the first 150 words (if it falls in the middle of a sentence, go to the end of that sentence) of your finished Young Adult orMiddle Grade manuscript to your blogs. From January 15th-16thhop around each others’ blogs and critique or praise them. Revise your entries, if you want, and post them by 8:00am (EST) January 17th to the official entry post. DO NOT POST THEM TO THIS POST. If you want, you may skip the blogfest/critique portion of this contest and just enter the contest.  I will have the official post up, along with details on how to format your entries, on January 15th so that you can start posting when you’re ready. To participate, sign up on the linky below.You want to know the prizes? The prize (or prizes) is a request to read more from agent, Ammi-Joan Paquette. I’m crossing my fingers for all of you. Have I told you how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE this agent? Okay, well, I can’t say it enough! I totally ❤ her!
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Here is my entry:

Title:  In the Shadow of the Dragon King

Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 87,000
Pitch:     A seventeen- year old boy is thrust into a magical world, awakens an evil threat and sparks a war.  His salvation:  embrace his destiny, even if it means risking the life of his best friend.

First 150:

David Heiland sketched the final details on the cat-like eyes staring back at him.  Just like in his nightmares, the dragon clung to the castle’s battlement, a body clutched in one talon. Small horns jutted from the top of the creature’s head and two leather-like whiskers protruded from both sides of its snout. Crouched in the shadow of a turret were a man and a woman. Their arms were raised like shields above their heads, terror etched into their eyes and mouths.

Charlotte leaned in from behind, her arms folded across his shoulders. “Wow, talk about a major creep out.  I can’t get over how real it looks.” She kicked off her shoes and climbed into the center of the carved, four-poster bed. “Who are the people?”

“My parents,” David said, examining his work.  “You know, it’s funny.  When I was little, all I ever dreamed was for them to be alive, and someday they would walk through the door and all would be right with the world.”

***

Good luck to everyone!  What a great contest.

Can you guess my character’s age?


Brenda Drake has this awesome blogfest contest going on over at her blog. The topic: Can we guess your character’s age?

Being the contest nerd I am (and a huge fan of Brenda Drake’s site), I’ve decided to participate. I’m posting the first 250 words of my novel,  and I am excited to see if I’ve managed to get my MC’s voice right.

I’m going to pop over to everyone’s site to participate. I think this is a fun contest and a great way to interact with other writers. It also lets you know if you’re on the right track with your character’s voice.

So, with that said, here are my 250 words. *rubs hands and smiles really big*

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David Heiland leaned over his desk and blew the eraser crumbs from the cat-like eyes staring back at him in his drawing.  Just like in his nightmares, the dragon clung to the castle’s battlement, a lifeless body clutched in one talon. Small horns jutted from the top of the creature’s head and two leather-like whiskers protruded from both sides of its snout. From its neck hung a pendant on a braided chain – a reptilian eye embedded in a swirling web.  Crouched in the shadow of a turret were a man and a woman, their arms raised like shields above their heads, terror etched into their eyes and mouths.

Charlotte closed the bedroom door and tossed her coat on the bean bag chair, burying the gaming controllers.  She peered over David’s shoulder.  “Wow, that’s amazing and creepy.  I can’t get over how real it looks.” She kicked off her sneakers and climbed into the center of his carved, four-poster bed. “Who are the people?”

“My parents,” David said, examining his work.  “You know, it’s funny.  Up until a few years ago, all I ever dreamed of was them being alive.”  He brushed his thumb over the woman in the drawing.  “I used to pretend the front door would open and they’d walk through it, and all would be right with the world.  Now all I dream about is this,” he said, smacking the picture, “and some woman’s voice whispering to me, ‘Your time is nigh.  Be brave’.”  With a flick of his wrist, the drawing pad sailed across the room and landed on the foot of the bed.  “It’s driving me nuts.  I can’t take it anymore.”  He leaned back in his chair and ran his fingers through his hair.

“It’s just a dream, David,” Charlotte said.  “It doesn’t mean anything.”

“Oh, yeah?” David said.  “Then why can’t I get it out of my head?”

“I don’t know,”  Charlotte said, twisting a loose thread in the bedspread.

***

Don’t forget to hop around the other participant’s sites and leave your comments!

New Blogfest Contest by the fantastic Brenda Drake!


I have got to say, I love these contests Brenda Drake has on her blog.  What a great way to meet other authors and test the waters with snippets of what you’ve written.  This new contest is a great one:  Can we guess your character’s age?

I love the idea of this contest because, while we may know how old our characters are, we may not have conveyed it well to the reader.  I know that was a problem a publisher had with my novel – inconsistencies in ‘voice’.  Sometimes my MC sounded younger, sometimes older than he was.  After this was pointed out to me, I saw it crystal clear.  But not all of us are lucky enough to get a manuscript redlined for us with all the things that need to be improved.  That’s why I love this new contest Brenda has.

If you are a writer, you should give this a whirl to see if your character’s voice matches his/her age.  What a great lesson to learn before you send your MS out to an agent and/or publisher.

Thanks, Brenda, and I can’t wait for the contest to begin!  It’s going to be tons of fun to read other excerpts and guess the ages of the characters.