My Request for GUTGAA Help

5:59 PM



In two short days, I'll be entering my query and 150 words to the GUTGAA small press portion of the contest. I gratefully accept any and all feedback! I also appreciate all the help everyone has already given me. 

Quick side note: I've considered renaming my book. While I feel like Uncovered fits perfectly, I think it might be slightly lackluster. Any thoughts on that?


(UPDATED QUERY: In case anyone stops by, here is the edited version)


When Hallie Hartman’s life turns into nothing short of a freak-show, she knows she took her ordinary life for granted. Running into tall, dark, and swoon-worthy Colton Dane changed everything. He’s teeming with secrets and his cryptic answers about who he is and where he’s from have Hallie yearning to punch him—whenever she’s not thinking about kissing him. When she finally uncovers the truth, she finds he’s not just from out of town.

He’s an alien.

Unfortunately, there are other secrets far more terrifying. The Megaera, a deranged alien mafia group, is hunting Hallie. They say she’s a Hamartia, a half human race who isn’t allowed to exist. The Megaera think she could be an asset but they didn’t anticipate finding a Hamartia without any abilities. Hallie’s not sure if Colton can be trusted but she knows she’ll be their prisoner until she decides which is worse, being a pawn or being dead.


UNCOVERED
YA Sci-Fi Romance
62,000 Words

Query: (ORIGINAL)

When Hallie Hartman’s life turns into nothing short of a freak-show, she knows she took her mind-numbingly ordinary life for granted. She didn’t expect running into Colton Dane would change everything. He’s tall, dark, swoon-worthy and teeming with secrets. His cryptic answers have Hallie yearning to punch him--whenever she’s not thinking about kissing him. To her, this is so not awesome. When she finally uncovers the truth, she finds he’s not just from out of town.


He’s an alien.

There are other secrets far more terrifying. The Megaera, an outcasted rebel faction, is hunting Hallie. The deranged alien mafia group says she’s a Hamartia, a half human race who isn’t allowed to exist because they’re a threat. The Megaera thinks she could be an asset but they didn’t anticipate finding a Hamartia unable to manipulate energy like they can. She’ll be their prisoner until she decides which is worse, being a pawn or being dead. 


First 150:

My entire life has consisted of a level of normalcy that makes me want to stab myself in the eye with a pen.
            That was the only sentence of my English essay I had written after thirty minutes of mindless pen tapping. All my brilliant ideas had vanished—if I’d really had any to begin with. Spinning my chair around, I resigned myself to the fact that staring at the screen would not magically make words appear.
            I decided to distract myself with a run. After I’d changed, pulled on my shoes, and grabbed my iPod, I left the house and started pounding pavement. Clearly, I couldn’t write an essay to save my life. In fact, the only thing exceptional about me is how fast I can run but what is that going to do for me? Now, if I could find a way to run straight out of my dull life and into one that’s electrifying, maybe I’d have a use for it.

You Might Also Like

5 comments

  1. Hi Lyndsey

    First of all, don't change the name. Many great books have one word titles. I think they are catchy and they work. If this title is perfect for your story, keep it. When a publisher picks you up, they'll change it if they think its not right.

    I made a few changes to your query to tighten it. But I'm no query expert - so only take on board what you agree with. Good luck with GUTGAA.

    When Hallie Hartman’s life turns into nothing short of a freak-show, she knows she took her mind-numbingly ordinary life for granted. She didn’t expect running into tall, dark, swoon-worthy Colton Dane would change everything. What's more, he's teeming with secrets. His cryptic answers have Hallie yearning to punch him--whenever she’s not thinking about kissing him. This is not awesome. When she finally uncovers the truth, she finds he’s not just from out of town.

    He’s an alien.

    There are other secrets far more terrifying. The Megaera, an outcasted rebel faction, is hunting Hallie. The deranged alien mafia group says she’s a Hamartia, a half human race who isn’t allowed to exist because they’re a threat. The Megaera think she could be an asset but they didn’t anticipate finding a Hamartia unable to manipulate energy like they can. She’ll be their prisoner until she decides. Hallie's not sure what is worse, being a pawn or being dead.

    The only comment I have on your 150, is delete "I decided to" That will make the sentence stronger.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Lindsey! I made it here through the GUTGAA twitter feed. I am by far not an expert either, but I thought I'd share my opinion. The first paragraph feels a little vague to me right now. Why was Hallie's life boring before? How is it a freak show now? What questions does Colton have cryptic answers to? I think we need to know the specific event that caused things to change. Obviously I haven't read your novel, but here's an example:

    When track-star Hallie Hartman literally runs over Colton Dane at a meet, her ordinary life turns into a freak show. Colton follows her everywhere, and though he may be tall, dark, and swoon-worthy, he's also teeming with secrets. His constant presence has Hallie yearning to punch him-- when she's not thinking about kissing him. Then Colton saves her from (an attempted kidnapping?) and she learns the truth.

    He's an alien.

    The Megaera, a deranged alien mafia group, believe Hallie is a Hamartia. The Hamartia are a half human race who threaten the Megaera's (control over their planet?) The Megaera think Hallie could be an asset to their cause, but they didn’t anticipate finding a Hamartia unable to manipulate energy like they can. She’ll be their prisoner until she decides which is worse, being a pawn or being dead.

    Here I want to know how Colton is connected to this group. Is he on their side, or is he against them? I think you have to pull him into the last paragraph. I'm also wondering why Hallie didn't know that she was an alien, and why she was hidden on Earth, but there may not be room for all that in a query.

    I hope this helps a little! This sounds like a really cool concept, and I wish you the best with the next stage of GUTGAA!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Lindsey! I'm sorry but I'm going to admit up front that I do not have time to read the other comments. Forgive me if I repeat what's already been said.

    Title: Don't sweat it. I hear from my published friends that it doesn't matter as long as it doesn't suck totally. Your title is fine, I can see where your cool book (because it sounds SUPER COOL) might beg for a cooler title, but let the experts who buy your work bother with that.

    Edit ideas: (I posted my thoughts in ()'s)


    When Hallie Hartman’s life turns into (either lose "nothing short of" or "mind-numbingly" both add great voice on their own, together they are a bit wordy)nothing short of a freak-show, she knows she took her mind-numbingly ordinary life for granted. (Take this out - She didn’t expect) running into Colton Dane (has -would) change(d) everything. He’s tall, dark, swoon-worthy and teeming with secrets. His cryptic answers have Hallie yearning to punch him--whenever she’s not thinking about kissing him. (LOVE that line! punch/kiss! punch/kiss!) (This line can go or stay, I'd strike it, shows voice, but I don't think you need more voice. Your voice is awesome already - To her, this is so not awesome.) When she finally uncovers the truth, she finds he’s not just from out of town.

    He’s an alien. (Setting this off is good and bad. It was the first thing I read because I was like.. what's that little ditty in the middle. But once I really READ it all it was fun to have it on it's own. Your call)

    (Unfortunately)There are other secrets far more terrifying. The Megaera, (I would put 'deranged aliean mafia group' here) (strike this = an outcasted rebel faction), is hunting Hallie. The(y) (strike -deranged alien mafia group) says she’s a Hamartia, a half human race who isn’t allowed to exist (we don't need to know why, strike - because they’re a threat). The Megaera thinks she could be an asset but they didn’t anticipate (her secret - maybe leave us some mystery?) (strike? - finding a Hamartia unable to manipulate energy like they can). She’ll be their prisoner until she decides which is worse, being a pawn or being dead.


    I hope that wasn't too confusing!! I can't wait to read this book! Your 150 is dripping with voice. I think you've def got that nailed. One question I don' tknow the answer to, should the first line be in ""'s since it's from her paper? MIght set it off a bit. GOOD LUCK!!!


    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi there, and thanks for joining the Follow-Swap Blog Hop (and for posting my badge!) If you're tweeting your involvement, @me (@katherineamabel)and I'll RT you. Now on to your piece.
    Reading that first line I immediately felt it was a bit vague and wanted to be shown her life turning into a freak show, rather than told it. You then went on to show it, but I'd be worried that the judges would be put off by that first line. The rest of that paragraph read fairly similarly to a lot of YA stories - brooding guy, lots of mystery, can't work out but also strangely attracted to him. The mafia alien mob, on the other hand, is a winner. It's so different, and that last paragraph was so full of intriguing action, that I'd try and focus on that.
    Love the first 150 words - good voice, characterization, and excellent first line. I'd read on. :)
    Kat
    beyondthehourglassbridge.blogspot.com.au

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello Lindsey.
    Love your style!
    Would welcome a short story or submission from you to our new
    category @ WritersFunding.com the "Readers Room"
    Graciously,
    Jon-Eric Hartman
    submit to; hartman@writersfunding.com

    ReplyDelete

Penny for your thoughts...

2016 #PitchWars Mentee

2017 #FicFest Mentor

Popular Posts