Saturday, June 28, 2014

Humorous Superhero Story & Upcoming Twitter Pitch Party

So I'm excited, as I'm getting ready to return to my humorous adult superhero story after having put it aside for two months. In light of some feedback I've heard, it's looking more like it's an adult story versus new adult. It'll be really interesting to see what my strange brain has concocted now that I'll have a much more fresher pair of eyes on it. After this read-through/revision, it'll be off to critique partners (well, more crit partners, as a couple have taken a look at parts of it already).

In other news, I have worked on a Twitter pitch (among other things - like a synopsis and query pitch) for this story, and I will be using the Twitter pitch in Authoress's blogpitch party this coming Monday. I'm super-excited for it, as I've been a long-time follower of her blog, and have entered in many of her contests and critique sessions. Of course, only 10 pitches will be chosen, so, as usual, it will be tough (or more accurately, incredibly tough) competition. So wish me luck!

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Fourth Generation Query Pitch

So here it is - it's ready (or at least as good as I can make it) - the query pitch for my 74,000-word YA dystopian novel, THE FOURTH GENERATION, to go along with the logline and first page in my last post. After countless revisions and hours of torment, anguish, and the occasional - OK, very rare - sudden microscopic burst of excitement that something has actually gone well or right, my query pitch is finally done. Queries went out to a few agents last night. Wish me luck, and enjoy the query pitch!
Gorin would rather drop a two-hundred-pound artifact on his bare foot than think about his fast-approaching seventeenth birthday, when a god-awful disease will finally claim his life. After it finishes turning his skin dark gray and making his spine all crooked, that is. Ever since the plague devastated the world a hundred years ago, the remaining people have spent their shortened lives serving the rulers in their off-limits mansion, and Gorin is no exception.
But unlike the herd-minded majority, Gorin wishes to spend his last days studying the heap of artifacts at the forbidden mansion. Not only to help the rulers find a cure to the plague and rediscover electricity, but because some of the unseen objects, collected over generations, must be incredibly extraordinary. But no—according to the rulers’ laws, heavily enforced by the militia, Gorin must stick to finding the few remaining, much more useless artifacts in town.
Unable to fight his growing curiosity, Gorin sneaks a peek at the incredible mansion one night with his friend Marf’s help. Amazingly, a bright light exudes from the windows. Electricity. The rulers lied—they’ve been selfishly hiding it for years. Even more incredible is a group of adults with tall, healthy bodies. But Gorin and Marf are discovered. With massive bounties on their heads, they must gather evidence of the rulers’ corruptness and find a way to share the cure with the rest of town—or everybody, including themselves, will continue to face untimely deaths.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Fourth Generation Logline & First Page

So I've completed my YA dystopian novel, THE FOURTH GENERATION, and figured I'd post the current logline and first page. I would post the query pitch, too, but that is still under construction (one might even say heavy construction), so perhaps at a later date. Anyway, I give you logline & first page!

LOGLINE:

On the verge of perishing from a plague that kills all seventeen-year-olds, Gorin must break into the rulers’ mansion and obtain the cure they’ve been keeping to themselves to save himself and future generations from an untimely demise.
FIRST PAGE:
 
            I raced up the stairwell pretty fast for someone in my god-awful condition.  My empty backpack bounced on my shoulders, my feet landing just in front of the steps’ worn, chipped edges.  Sunlight leaked through the dusty windows at the top of each landing, enough to light my way to the decaying apartment building’s eighth floor.
            The rest of the Valuable Objects had better still be there.  No way I was losing the Tournament of Prestige this year, and the VOs could be worth just enough prestige points to finally push my faction into the top spot.  But if somebody else found them while I was gone…
            At last I made it to the eighth floor.  My chest heaved as I sucked in breath, my burning legs threatening to crumple.
            You’ve gotta be kidding me.  The second door on the right lay wide open.  My heart banged against my ribs, making it tough to breathe, as I crept to the door as quietly as only I could.
            I peeked inside the room.  My gut clenched, even though I’d seen it coming.
            A boy about my size—taller than average, with good-size muscles—stood in front of the old wooden cabinets on the left side of the room.  He had blotchy, dark gray skin, so was about sixteen years old like me.  His back looked a little crooked, like his spine wasn’t quite aligned right.  Mine was probably in similar shape.
            Even from the doorway I could see through the cabinet doors’ inlaid glass. 
 
 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Writing Humor

Wow... It's been a LONG time since I last posted. I've been writing up a storm, so that's at least one reason why it's been a while.

Anyway, as I may have mentioned, well, ages ago, one of the projects I'm working on is a humorous superhero story. I'm currently almost finished with the rough draft, but the third-act villain showdown scene is really giving me a tough time (damn you, third-act villain showdown scene!).

In any case, as I've learned with writing, every project is its own unique challenge, and this one certainly isn't any different. This time around, it's been the humorous aspect that's been so difficult, and after thinking about it for a bit, here are what I think are a couple main reasons for that (at least as they apply to me personally):

1. When writing a comedy you need to, theoretically, have humor consistently throughout the story. This can be a challenge when nothing funny comes to mind for stretches of the story, and it can lead to trying to force humor, which, well, is never a good thing.

2. Getting into a "funny/zany" mood typically happens while writing a comedy (I'd say it's a pretty important aspect), but this sometimes leads to going overboard with the zaniness and humor. In fact, there are a couple stretches of my book I refuse to even look at for awhile, because I'm afraid I went too overboard in those spots and will need a much fresher pair of eyes to see exactly where, so I can tailor appropriately.

The bottom line: Humor is HARD. Like, what, did you expect it to be easy? Also, although putting your work aside for some time in order to come back to it with a fresher perspective is important - nay, essential- for ANY story/writing, it's equally, if not more so, important with humor. Then you'll be able to really see what's working and what's not (I've already done this a couple times while writing this draft, and it's really been eye-opening). I have to admit, when I'm finished with the draft, I'm tempted to stay away from it for several months, but that might be overkill, especially since we can't take FOREVER to write our books. So my goal is to let it sit for about two months before I come back to it. I just hope that's enough time. Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Savage Jungle Query Pitch & First 250 Words

I thought it'd be fun to post the current query pitch and first page of the MG SF book I'm currently querying, SAVAGE JUNGLE. Enjoy!

QUERY PITCH:

Twelve-year-old wimp and self-designated videogame pro Kreith Briggs’s birthday is off to a great, but scary start: a wild safari with his Uncle Tonas through the most treacherous jungle in the whole universe. The tour’s real fun, if not a bit creepy, until Kreith discovers he and his uncle have been set up.
The jungle’s got seven of the ten most exotic—and most lethal—animal species in the universe, including the super-sneaky electrocat and the giant land squid.  But Wilmur Banx, the host of the tour, holds an old, even more lethal grudge against Uncle Tonas and the other twenty-four safari guests.  That’s why he strands each pair of victims in separate places in the jungle with zero protection from the universe's fiercest beasts.

Kreith and Uncle Tonas head toward an old research facility where they can call for help and get off the planet alive.  Only Kreith gets separated from his uncle and now he’s got no plan at all.  Armed with a trusty new guidebook and his knack for all things techno-nerdy, his and his uncle’s survival—not to mention the lives of any remaining safari guests—rests squarely on his puny shoulders.
FIRST 250 Words:


My heart rate doubles as Uncle Tonas hands me what I’ve been waiting for all day.  Heck, all year—a present about the size of my fist.  He always gets me the coolest gifts, like that fluorescent slug from planet Zambor last year for my eleventh birthday.

            I rip the wrapping paper off the present without removing the bow, lift the lid off the cardboard box, and peer inside.  A small electronic chip rests on the bottom.

What’s—?” I ask.

“It’s a book,” Uncle Tonas says, eyes wide in his huge, muscular face.  “Go on, download it.”  He leans forward with those monstrous shoulders of his, a cigar between his pointer and middle finger.  The total opposite of me.  Sure, I’m only twelve years old, but my overly large black sweatshirt and baggy jeans hide the fact I’m as skinny as Uncle Tonas’s pinky finger.

“Uh…okay.”  A book?  That’s what he got me—a book?  I try not to show my disappointment as I pick up the tiny chip and insert it into my Multipurpose Bracelet, my parents and Uncle Tonas looking on from the couch.  I should really try to be grateful.  It’s the thought that counts, after all.

“Would you like to download the book The Top 200 Most Treacherous Creatures in the Universe?” the MB asks in a voice as gruff as Uncle Tonas’s.  I set the MB’s voice to that because it sounds like his and he’s the man, though I’m starting to doubt that after this sorry present…

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Update

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  I know.  Been pretty busy.  I recently entered an online writing contest (with my MG sci/fi novel) called Query Kombat that was a lot of fun and very helpful.  I’ve also been working full-time as a proofreader, so it’s a bit tougher to squeeze in the writing thing, but of course I manage.  I work on writing about 10 hours a week, and try to get in some good reading over the weekend as well.  Overall, it feels like an adequate amount of time. 

Now that my YA dystopian book is off to crit partners, I’ve returned to my humorous New Adult superhero fantasy book.  It’s been a while since I’ve looked at it, so the 10K words I’ve already written felt like an old, alien relic when I first read them again, which was awesome.  I’m going to try to get down a total of 25K words on the MS  before I shift back to the YA, but we’ll see how that goes.

One thing is for certain, it’s always nice to have at least a couple projects going on at the same time, because there will always be times when one is stalled (i.e., off to crit partners/agents/simply stewing/whatever), so it’s good to have a fall-back project to work on in the meantime.  Not sure I mentioned that before, but it’s certainly proven useful for me lately.  Anyway, that’s all for now.  Happy writing, everyone!

Monday, May 13, 2013

It's Official...Again

           So, concerning my MG dystopian story, currently titled The Adult Plague, I’ve decided yet again to change the genre (man, I’ve really been going against some stuff I’ve been saying on this blog lately!).  I am now changing it to YA.  For those who have read past entries on this blog, you’ve seen I’ve gone back and forth on this issue—MG vs. YA.  I even “officially” announced that I would keep the project MG, but, clearly, in hindsight, that wasn’t very official.

            I’ve yet again decided to change my story to YA because, well, despite the fact I had “decided” on MG, somewhere deep in the crevices of my brain something felt just plain off about that.  It just gnawed at me and gnawed at me and gnawed at me.  So, once again, I sought a couple more opinions on the matter, and I’ve decided to convert the story to YA.  This time it feels right (crossing my fingers it continues to feel that way when I actually start to make the changes to the manuscript).

            The interesting thing about this dilemma is that it just goes to show that sometimes you’ll come across tough decisions with your WIP, and sometimes said tough decisions take a long time to figure out.  It also goes to show that deep down you tend to know the correct solution to a dilemma, but might not be willing to listen to it.  And, like I said, eventually (hopefully) that solution makes itself apparent.  All that being said, I would like to thank everyone who’s given me input regarding this issue (you know who you are).  Clearly, I needed a lot of opinions, and they’ve all helped me arrive at the one I’ve made, so thanks so much!  OK, off to do some more revisions and then make the big MG-to-YA revision.  Wish me luck!