Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Writer's Voice Query and First 250 Words

Title: SILENT BEAUTY
Genre/Category: YA Contemporary, 57k

QUERY:

Struggling with Meniere’s disease and the death of her parents, Alanna is closed off to almost everyone. At seventeen, she should be worried about school dances or kissing boys, not about losing her hearing. The only thing normal in her life is her struggle to pass math.

Desperate not to flunk, Alanna agrees to get a tutor – Jared – who is the same kid she stood up for when a linebacker bullied him in the hallway. Jared is the first guy not to treat her differently because of her hearing aids. He makes an adorable effort at sign language and simplifies the hardest math questions for her. Even his obsession with Star Trek starts growing on Alanna. She wants to open up to him, but she’s afraid he’ll desert her if he learns about the accident that killed her parents, or her attempted suicide. Complicating matters is their shared bully, who knows the truth about Alanna’s attempted suicide since he was the only to pull her out of the car.

As Alanna finds herself falling for Jared, she wants to tell him everything. She must stop lying and accept herself or she’ll lose Jared and never be able to take control of her own life.


FIRST 250 WORDS:

The ball collided with my head, knocking me to the waxed floor. Yeah, yelling at the hearing impaired girl to move as a ball came at her… not the best plan. I should’ve been watching the balls instead of day dreaming about cute shirtless celebrities.

“Sorry Alanna!” The boy’s mouth moved and I managed to figure out what he was saying. The sounds muffled and ran together, but I could hear without my aids in. The words just didn’t always make sense.

Sitting up, I rubbed the sore spot. I didn’t wear my hearing-aids during gym class because I didn’t want them broken if someone threw a ball at my head. I could’ve left them in, but I felt safer taking them out. No one came running to make sure I was okay. No big surprise there. I straightened my dark blue gym shorts and stood. My feet took me straight to the bench. I assumed getting hit in the head meant I was “out”. The teacher, Mr. Carter, watched me with concern. I shrugged and waited. Whoever decided dodge ball was fun, never played with a competitive class of thirty-five students.

When I sat, the boy next to me moved three feet to the left. My fists clenched at my side. Hearing loss wasn’t a contagious disease, but everyone acted like it was. I glanced at the caged clock above the basketball hoop. Sweat ran down my cheek, but I refused to push up my sleeves.


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Thanks for reading my entry! :)

22 comments:

  1. Love that title, and I've never read about Meniere’s disease so I'm definitely hooked because I want to learn more about what Alanna is going through. Good luck!!

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  2. I'm already tearing up from the query alone. This is just my thing in YA. Good Luck!

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  3. loved your query and 250. Good luck!

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  4. I'm a HUGE fan of YA contemporary. I would love to read more of this! "caged clock above the basketball hoop"—took me right back to my high school gym days! :) Good luck!!

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  5. I already empathize with the MC. Great job at getting us into her head. and best of luck!

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  6. Yes, great title. I know nothing of this disease, so the query's piqued my curiosity. Good luck!

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  7. That title!!!! I'm in love with it! Best of luck in the contest, Krista!

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  8. Such a great premise. You had me at the query, I'm excited to read more about her and Jared's relationship. Alanna's got stakes, great voicing, and super intreguing circumstances. Great work so far, best of luck to you in the contest!

    -Jenny

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  9. Loved it! Best of luck Krista!

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  10. The premise really intrigued me! Great job.

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  11. The premise of this is really striking, and I love that voice in your first 250. I would definitely read on.

    I offer everyone a query crit, and if you're daring, how I would have voted if I were a judge. Just give me a holler at DrFaerieGodmother.blogspot.com with your email (you can use the name (at) server dot com method if you like), and I'll email you a crit with some specifics. if you don't like having your email on the interwebs, just say so in the comment, and I'll delete that before the bots can get it!

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  12. Love this premise. Strong Query and first 250!!!

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  13. Ah, yes. This does look good. This premise is unique. Good luck!

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  14. Really unique premise, and I love those stakes. They're big but also very realistic/relatable.

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  15. No one took me up on my twitch offer, so I figure I'll just do them for as many people as I can. PitMad is June 4, use this one or don't, but make sure you tweet something! If you do use this one, please pay it forward and support your fellow writers by retweeting all the good pitches you see (I’m @JD_ODonnell ;) )

    As 17y/o Alanna loses her hearing to Meniere’s, she finds love. But now she must learn to accept herself or risk losing that too #PitMad #YA

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  16. Interesting premise. Best of luck to you!

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  17. There are so many things to love about this! Great job and good luck in the contest :)

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  18. Wow, what a brilliant query and a gripping opening - I'm absolutely hooked already! This seems like just my sort of thing - good luck! :)

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  19. What a great start! Good luck in the contest!

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  20. I like this. I immediately empathized with Alana, and both the pace and the voice of the beginning are perfect. Good luck!
    Connie

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