July 18, 2011

Auntie B's Book Club Blogfest Contest

Brenda Drake Writes is hosting a blogfest where 4 awesome YA readers will be critiquing our work. Before we send in our "official" submissions, we post a log line and the first 250 words of our mss for other writers in the contest to critique. Entries for the contest are accepted until June 20th.

Title: Arrow of the Mist
Genre: YA Fantasy

My 35-word Pitch:

Saving her beloved father is all 15-year-old Lia hopes to do after barbed roots emerge from the woods and attack him, until Lia learns the person she reveres the most is behind the murderous roots.

MY REVISED PITCH: Saving her beloved father is all 15-year-old Lia hopes to do after barbed roots emerge from the woods and attack him, until she's enticed to serve the master behind the roots instead.

First 250 Words:

Koun’s howl alerted Lia to the pair of horses charging up the path. She squinted in the dusky light and recognized Da’s friend, Kenneth, upon one horse. Then her insides went cold. Across the other horse’s back lay Da’s limp body.
Lia dropped the harvested mallow root and sped from her garden to the cottage, her hound darting ahead. Ma’s scream shot like arrows through her heart, but Kenneth’s words, “He’s alive, Carin,” offered Lia a morsel of hope.
            Kenneth carried him into the cottage, and Lia caught a glimpse of Da’s torn and bloodied clothing. “I’ll fetch Granda,” she cried, and hurried to her filly.  
Clad in her usual boy’s breeches and high leather boots, Lia raced her horse down the path with her heart pounding in rhythm to the hoof beats. Stay strong, Da! Just a little longer, and Granda will be there to heal you.
Why hadn’t the dreams forewarned her? They showed her when the mares or ewes would give birth, or when visitors were coming from afar, but her fate-dreams had failed to give a timely warning for Da.  
She blazed across waves of shamrock green hills dotted with the ancient quartz towers unique to Rockberg. She turned down the main road and rushed into the heart of the village. A few villagers lifted curious eyes, but many only cast contemptuous glances her way.


  1. I liked the first part of the pitch. Barbed roots killing someone is a cool concept. I think it needs re-wording though, or tightened, maybe take out reveres the most.

    The first 250 are good. Great setting. The only thing I stumbled on was Koun' first I thought that was a person. I would change it to her bloodhound's howl.

  2. I liked the excerpt a lot. It reminds me of something I read on once. Did you ever post this story there?

    I think the logline needs to be reworded. I like the idea of the roots capturing Lia's father and I even like the concept of her father being the one controlling them. The way it sounds is that she wants to save her father until she realizes her father's the one responsible for the roots capturing him, and then she doesn't want to save him anymore. I don't think that is what you meant. What does Lia want, what is her obstacle and what must she overcome to win? Maybe if you approach from that angle, it might sound more like what you want.

  3. Thanks guys for the comments. I will definitely rework the log line. Her father is actually not the one controlling the roots, so the way I have worded this is obviously confusing ;-)

  4. Great excerpt - you gave a good idea of character and place, and put us right in the middle of the problem from the first paragraph. Good job!

    Agree with the others on the logline. But I suck at loglines and don't really know how to help with that :/

    Good luck in the contest!

  5. Auntie B's FINAL JUDGING (by "Book Girl") had this to say about my entry:

    My comments: I was confused with the pitch and didn't get the barbed roots. I did totally love the excerpt. So good. I would pick this up in the book store because of it.

    So, alas, looks like the excerpt was a winner, but my pitch is still a WIP ;-)