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Welcome to Son of a Pitch! The fifth entry… Please save comment area for the participating authors’ feedback. I will put my thoughts at the bottom of the post. Because I can. If you don’t want to know what I think, close your eyes. If you read my opinions and agree, want to add, or completely disagree… GO FOR IT!

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Title: The Portal

Age and Genre: YA Fantasy

Word Count: 96,000

 

Query:

When Quinn volunteered to walk through the Portal to be eaten by dragons, she knew it wasn’t her brightest idea.

Having lost her cousin, Harley, to the Portal 6 months prior, Quinn offers herself up to fulfill the Coven’s quota of maiden sacrifices.

Instead of a horrific death, Quinn is met by a sacrifice-rescuing renegade named Jack and discovers that a parallel universe exists on the other side of the Portal.  Before she can absorb her new reality, Jack sweeps her into a world of sarcastic wolf-commanders, poorly educated giants, and feisty magical sprites.

Quinn realizes she’s not the first girl the Rebellion has rescued from the Portal. Which means there’s a chance Harley is still alive. Quinn’s determined to find her cousin and to free the Realm from the Coven’s hold.  But her journey is threatened when she learns the Coven is hot on her trail. If she falls into the wrong hands she could end up as a slave to the Coven’s deadliest assassin, the Pied Piper.

 

First 250 Words:

Quinn was in a violent mood, as she tested the bookend’s weight. Potential.

She launched it across the room, letting her frustration fuel the throw. The bookend connected with the floor- to- ceiling mirror. A solid hit.  Shards of glass splintered from the point of impact, but none fell to the wooden floor.

She bunched her fists, her molars grinding together. This wasn’t what she’d been hoping for. A weapon of some sort would have been nice but the Facility wouldn’t allow her the opportunity to escape, not again.

“Wonderful,” she muttered to the room. “Can’t even let us throw a tantrum properly. Just great.” She raised her hands to the security camera dangling in the corner. “WHAT? AFRAID WE’LL OFF OURSELVES BEFORE YOU GET THE CHANCE? IS THAT IT?”

No response.

She didn’t expect one. The only person she expected to see was her escort when he arrived to take her through the ceremony. And ooh buddy that wasn’t going to be a joyful interaction, for him at least.

Quinn began to pace. The glittering, wispy material of her white dress twirled around her legs as she crossed the room over and over. She was fidgety when nervous.

This was her fault. She had no one else to blame. She was the one with the bright idea to volunteer for death- by- dragon.

Oh surelet’s give the depressed girl the option to end her life. Brilliant idea boys! You’ve outdone yourselves. 

This formatted funny…I have no idea why. Oh well, moving on to my reactions! I know you’re all on the edge of your seats. Or not.

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Query:

When Quinn volunteered to walk through the Portal to be eaten by dragons, she knew it wasn’t her brightest idea. (You have me at dragons…but volunteered to be eaten by dragons…WHAT?!?!?)

Having lost her cousin, Harley, to the Portal 6 (spell out six here) months prior, Quinn offers herself up to fulfill the Coven’s quota of maiden sacrifices. (BUT WHY? WHY, QUINN? Seriously, why would she volunteer for death? Because she lost her cousin?)

Instead of a horrific death, Quinn is met by a sacrifice-rescuing renegade named Jack and discovers that a parallel universe exists on the other side of the Portal. (Oh! I like parallel universes!) Before she can absorb her new reality, (Is it a lot like what she knew? Or incredibly different?) Jack sweeps her into a world of sarcastic wolf-commanders, poorly educated giants, and feisty magical sprites. (Sounds fun! I’ll go!)

Quinn realizes she’s not the first girl the Rebellion has rescued from the Portal. (How does she realize this? Does she meet someone else?) Which means there’s a chance Harley is still alive. Quinn’s determined to find her cousin and to free the Realm from the Coven’s hold. (Oh yes! Find Harley…and the Coven? I forgot about them. Maybe keep the thought of them in the last paragraph. The Coven is in the other universe? Why worry about them? Can they get her there or is she thinking of people she knows and loves left under their control?) But her journey is threatened when she learns the Coven is hot on her trail. (They can cross into the other universe? Or did she go back? And they know about her wanting to knock them out of power? Does she have a plan? Does she have help? What about Harley?) If she falls into the wrong hands she could end up as a slave to the Coven’s deadliest assassin, the Pied Piper. (Dude. THE PIED PIPER! That’s cool. But you can’t throw names at us like that. I’d mention his as potential danger earlier. Make him a big threat. Tell us about him.)

 

Overall…sounds fun! Though I question why she’s sacrificing herself. That’s huge. If she’s willing to die…why fight so hard to free her world from the Coven? And what about the dragons? You say she is to be eaten by them, does she see one? Do people travel easily from one world to the other? What is the portal, a hole in the ground, a swirling vortex? I need a transition from her wanting to die…or why she’s giving up her life…to wanting to get rid of the Coven.

 

First 250 Words:

Quinn was in a violent mood, as she tested the bookend’s weight. Potential. (It would be a stronger opener to say… Quinn tested the bookend’s weight. Potential. You can demonstrate her violent mood by how her fingers grip the thing or how her clenches her jaw.)

She launched it across the room, letting her frustration fuel the throw. The bookend connected with the floor- to- ceiling mirror. A solid hit.  Shards of glass splintered from the point of impact, but none fell to the wooden floor.

She bunched her fists, her molars grinding together. This wasn’t what she’d been hoping for. A weapon of some sort would have been nice but the Facility wouldn’t allow her the opportunity to escape, not again. (She’s being held, a prisoner…interesting…)

“Wonderful,” she muttered to the room. “Can’t even let us throw a tantrum properly. Just great.” She raised her hands to the security camera dangling in the corner. “WHAT? AFRAID WE’LL OFF OURSELVES BEFORE YOU GET THE CHANCE? IS THAT IT?”

No response.

She didn’t expect one. The only person she expected to see was her escort when he arrived to take her through the ceremony. And ooh buddy that wasn’t going to be a joyful interaction, for him at least.

Quinn began to pace. The glittering, wispy material of her white dress twirled around her legs as she crossed the room over and over. She was fidgety when nervous. (I saw her as more mad than nervous. I don’t think you need this last sentence, instead, let her rage change to nerves with her wringing her hands…her pacing shows this too.)

This was her fault. She had no one else to blame. She was the one with the bright idea to volunteer for death- by- dragon.

Oh surelet’s give the depressed girl the option to end her life. Brilliant idea boys! You’ve outdone yourselves. (Ah. Depression. I’m not getting that feeling. And maybe that needs to be mentioned in the query.)

Overall…We have an upset mc, who is going to be killed, then we discover that she volunteered. She’s trying to break a mirror to have a weapon, to kill herself…to escape? What does she want? If she’s intent on dying, why escape? Why not sink into the darkness and wait for the end? I’d like a glimpse of why she’s there, what made her volunteer. Who is she?  Just a hint at more.

Thanks for submitting to Son of a Pitch! I hope this helps and if not, just ignore it.

Writers unite!

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