Monday, February 20, 2017

4. THE LIGHT WITCH: YA Fantasy


4.
Title: THE LIGHT WITCH
Category and Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 107, 000

Query:
Seventeen-year-old Nick Espinosa can’t control his muscular dystrophy, his parents’ divorce, or how people look at him. But when he meets Simran, a young witch desperate to hide her powers from a drug lord, he finally gains something that he can control—her magic.

The catch? The ‘gift’ of Simran’s magic comes at a cost. Nick is pushed into the Otherside—a world where spells are black market currency. Simran is nowhere to be found and Nick discovers that he’s not the only one with her magic; stolen fragments of it are being sold on the market by members of her own coven and without it, she’ll die.

With Simran missing, Nick is abandoned in a world where he’s in danger of being killed for the magic she gave him. He must navigate the Otherside and find Simran before they both end up dead. To save her, he'll need to restore all her magic—including what she gave to him. But the more Nick uses, the more addicted to it he becomes and the more he starts to question if Simran’s reasons for giving him magic were as selfless as he originally thought.

First 250 Words:
The annoying thing about being a teenager in a wheelchair is that it’s depressingly hard to sneak out at night. Not that Nick doesn’t manage it, but it isn’t easy.
He pushes the stiff wooden door to his room open and wills it not to creak. His chestnut colored hair is damp against his forehead. He rubs a palm against it and pulls his hand away wet with sweat.
He grips the push rim of his chair and makes his way down the hallway, only pausing to glance at the door to his mom and step-dad’s room. Their door is shut and the hall is silent. He releases and regrips his push rim.
Nick lines himself up at the edge of the stairs and looks at the steps leading down. This is the worst part.
He had to have a room upstairs. He couldn’t stand the idea of being stuck on the bottom floor, chair or not. He felt like staying down there would mean accepting things would get harder. Even if they did eventually.
There’s a stairlift attached to the railing, but unless he wants to wake everyone up, it’s not an option.
Nick locks the brakes on his chair and slides to the edge of the seat. He lifts his legs out from the footrest and sets them out straight on the staircase landing. Small movements are easy, not like standing or walking.

5 comments:

  1. I'm posting this for Elsie. I'll post my feedback later.

    So, I’ve fallen in love with your first line. Truly. Your pitch is off to a good start. I added a few thoughts/questions/changes as I read. Hope they help you generate new ideas or strengthen your own or not J. Best of luck!

    Query:
    Seventeen-year-old Nick Espinosa can’t control his muscular dystrophy, his parents’ divorce, or how people look at him. (I love this first line. Bam!) But when he meets Simran, a young witch desperate to hide her powers from a drug lord, he finally gains something that he can control—her magic. (wow)

    –By accepting the ‘gift’ of Simran’s magic, Nick is pushed into the Otherside—a world where spells are black market currency. (love this concept) Simran is nowhere to be found and Nick discovers that he’s not the only one with her magic; stolen fragments (of it needed?) are being sold on the market by members of her own coven and without it, she’ll die.

    Abandoned in a world where the magic he carries could get him killed, Nick must navigate the treacherous Otherside and find Simran before they both end up dead. To save her, he'll need to restore all her magic—including what she gave to him. But the more Nick uses her powers, the more addicted he becomes. and the more he starts to question if Simran’s reasons for giving him magic were as selfless as he originally thought. What will happen to Nick without the power? Wondering if the last sentence could be amped up some more? What happens if Simran dies? Did she give him her power so he would fight for her survival?

    First 250 Words:
    The annoying thing about being (a teenager – is this needed?) in a wheelchair is that it’s depressingly hard to sneak out at night. Ha! Good opening! Not that Nick doesn’t manage, but it isn’t easy.
    He pushes the stiff wooden door to his room open and wills it not to creak.((The lube is sometimes helpful or the hinges are temperamental?) His chestnut colored hair is damp against his forehead (from the effort he’s already exerted or from the fear of being caught?). He rubs a palm against it and pulls his hand away wet with sweat.
    He grips the push rim of his chair and makes his way down the hall, only pausing to glance at the door to his mom and step-dad’s room. Their door is shut and the hall is silent. (They stick to their schedule? They never suspect he leaves? They sleep like logs? Add some thoughts and external tid-bits that can naturally break up his actions. The carpet they put down hides the squeaks?) He releases and regrips his push rim.
    Nick lines himself up at the edge of the stairs and looks at the steps leading down. This is the worst part. (ah – love this!)
    He had to have a room upstairs. He couldn’t stand the idea of being stuck on the bottom floor, chair or not. He felt like staying down there would mean accepting things would get harder. Even if they did eventually. (Was being upstairs a victory him?)
    There’s a stairlift attached to the railing, but unless he wants to wake everyone up, it’s not an option. (The darn thing rattles more than a tea kettle/viper? and add another detail?)
    Nick locks the brakes on his chair and slides to the edge of the seat. (does he have the next move down to an art but execution is still tricky?)He lifts his legs out from the footrest and sets them out straight on the staircase landing. Small movements are easy, not like standing or walking.

    I really like the concept of the story and the struggle that Nick is going to endure to sneak out. I added a few spots along the way for internal thoughts and observations that could reveal a bit more detail about Nick’s thoughts/mood and that would break up the movement. I love where this is going and would have liked to read more. Great start.

    All suggestions/thoughts/observations are humbly offered. Thanks for sharing your words.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Whenever I give feedback, I’m not telling you what to do with your story or query. I’m only offering suggestions for how I would change it if it were mine. In the end, no one knows their story as well as the writer, and as such, it is up to the writer how to take any suggestions. Good luck, and it was a privilege having all of you on my blog!

    Query:

    That’s a very solid query. The conflict is good, and the stakes are strong. These are all really good things. The only thing I’m a little foggy on is how Simran gives him magic. Other than that, I’m hooked and I want to know what’s going on. Good work.

    First 250:

    I found myself tense with the thought that he was about to wake up his parents, a sure sign that I’m pretty involved in watching him sneak out, and then? It was over.
    Curse you word limit.
    Okay, so clearly, you’ve got some great work going on here. I wanted to see more, I was engaged, and I was invested enough that I really forgot to critique it. I have nothing to add.

    ReplyDelete
  3. All my opinions are just opinions. Please take what helps and forget the rest.
    Query:
    Seventeen-year-old Nick Espinosa can’t control his muscular dystrophy, his parents’ divorce, or how people look at him. But when he meets Simran, a young witch desperate to hide her powers from a drug lord, he finally gains something that he can control—her magic. (OKAY I MA IN LET'S GO!)

    The catch? The ‘gift’ of Simran’s magic comes at a cost. Nick is pushed into the Otherside—a world where spells are black market currency. Simran is nowhere to be found and Nick discovers that he’s not the only one with her magic; stolen fragments (of it<not needed) are being sold on the market by members of her own coven and without it, she’ll die. (OMG HER OWN COVEN! AND OH NO! This is super cool!)

    With Simran missing, Nick is abandoned in a world where he’s in danger of being killed for the magic she gave him. He must navigate the Otherside and find Simran before they both end up dead. To save her, he'll need to restore all her magic—including what she gave to him. But the more Nick uses, the more addicted to it he becomes and the more he starts to question if Simran’s reasons for giving him magic were as selfless as he originally thought. (Now I wonder about that drug lord you mention earlier and magic being a drug...So his choice is to save Simran and go back to a world where he has no control...no power...or keep the power and watch a new friend die? Why did she give him the power? I love this! The query is pretty solid. The concept is fabulous! I love magic. I love other worlds...I really want to go to Otherside.)

    First 250 Words:
    The annoying thing about being a teenager in a wheelchair is that it’s depressingly hard to sneak out at night. Not that Nick doesn’t manage it, but it isn’t easy.
    He pushes the stiff wooden door to his room open and wills it not to creak. His chestnut colored hair is damp against his forehead. He rubs a palm against it and pulls his hand away wet with sweat.
    He grips the push rim of his chair and makes his way down the hallway, only pausing to glance at the door to his mom and step-dad’s room. Their door is shut and the hall is silent. He releases and regrips his push rim.
    Nick lines himself up at the edge of the stairs and looks at the steps leading down. This is the worst part.
    He had to have a room upstairs. He couldn’t stand the idea of being stuck on the bottom floor, chair or not. He felt like staying down there would mean accepting things would get harder. Even if they did eventually.
    There’s a stairlift attached to the railing, but unless he wants to wake everyone up, it’s not an option. (what does the stairlift sound like? How loud is it?)
    Nick locks the brakes on his chair and slides to the edge of the seat. He lifts his legs out from the footrest and sets them out straight on the staircase landing. Small movements are easy, not like standing or walking. (Ah! No! Does he make it down the stairs? I would love a tiny thought in there about where he's going, a hint at why it's so important to get out. Does he do this all the time? I think the part about having to have an upstairs bedroom is great...shows he likes to be in control, likes to have a say. Really great start!)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you to all of you for your comments. They're really helpful and I hope I do your efforts justice with my editing. I'm especially thankful of the comments about missing details in the first 250 words because I wasn't even thinking about those things

    Thank you again!
    - Liselle

    ReplyDelete

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