Thursday, August 26, 2010

12 Pitch Entry #15: Shelley Watters

Title: BLUE LOTUS


Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance

When seventeen-year-old Anna Caerulea travels to Egypt to work alongside her father on an archeological dig in Egypt, she meets the man of her dreams and finds herself caught between sides in an ancient war between Osiris and Anubis.

As the Great Pyramids rise up from the scorching desert sand before her, Anna’s dreams have come true. But when statues whisper to her and touching mummies cause her to collapse with hallucinations of ancient Egypt, she wonders if coming to Egypt was a good idea after all.

Together they explore an ancient tomb, narrowly escaping booby traps and thwarting tomb robbers. After a near-death experience, Anna remembers a past that she didn’t know she had and she discovers that Alex is not what he seems.

It is up to Anna to decipher the clues that lead to the location of Osiris’ tomb before the armies can unleash Osiris on Egypt. Her life, her relationship with Alex, and the fate of the Egypt lay in her hands.

12 comments:

  1. Very interesting. I'm a sucker for romance.

    Alex comes out of nowhere in this query. The second paragraph introduces the main MC and "Together they explore" When I read that, I was like ... Who? Anna and her Father? Then I read some more and saw that there is another character. So I think we need to find a more organic way of working him into the query.

    Also what armies will be unleashed? Egyptian army or armies of the undead?

    There is a super interesting theme in there and I cant wait to see what comes from this query

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree with Jennifer - excellent theme, but there are a few confusing items that muck up the pitch.

    I also had no idea who Alex was until the last paragraph, and the "together they..." threw me.

    You've got some great details in here (touching mummies causing her to collapse, etc.), but perhaps highlighting the ramifications of those details and how they effect her attempt to reach her goals would strengthen this pitch. Also, I definitely think the near-death experience could use more explanation! It almost gets lost in here, but it sounds both interesting and important.

    Best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Totally LOVE the premise! I'd crop a few things and add in other details though.

    Get Alex's name in that first paragraph, 'the man of her dreams, Alex' maybe. And unless it's vital, I don't think it matters why she went to Egypt in just this pitch (working alongside her father) we just need to know that she went.

    The imagery of the Great Pyramids is great, but I don't need to know it. Just say that Anna thinks her dreams have come true. Do put a little more abut the near death experience though. Just a hint of what happened.

    I'd take out the first sentence of the third paragraph altogether. Then I'd meld the third paragraph with the fourth and add a few details. Like if living or dead armies are going to be unleashed. It'd be nice to have some tidbit about Anubis later in the pitch too. You mention that there's an ancient war going on between Osiris and Anubis, but then you only talk about Osiris, indicating that he might be the 'bad' guy. I assume that Alex is somehow related to/on the side of Anubis, since he's with Anna rather than against her, but I want at least a teaser on the matter.

    Great idea though and your premise alone is strong enough to get my interest.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Okay, first let me say I really hope this helps!

    Now, I get that you are going for a pitch in the first line, but what I want to see is the voice coming through as well, so I have a hint at the wonderfulness (great word, I know) that is your novel. SO, if it were me, I'd start with the second paragraph. Seeing the pyramids is great imagery and then we know BOOM we're in Egypt. Just add "...if coming to Egypt WITH HER FATHER was such a great idea..."

    Then I'd put in an entirely new paragraph about the love interest OR just add a line at the beginning of the next one. "Together with Alex (insert who he is)..." Then in place of the name Alex later, just put in the boy she thought she liked or something like that.


    Then last paragraph, you state: It is up to Anna to decipher the clues that lead to the location of Osiris’ tomb before the armies can unleash Osiris on Egypt. Wow, awesome, except why does she need to get to Osiris' tomb? It seems like a big jump from where we were left in the last paragraph.

    Last line is great!

    It really does sound like a great premise. Best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great idea! Egypt is a breathtaking place. I went there for a three week vacation and it blew me away.

    The use of the word man when describing a seventeen-year-olds dream guy conjures up, well, a man. My critique group pointed this out to me, and now I notice it all the time. You could drop the second Egypt in the first sentence, and could change the first between into 'in-between' and change 'in' to 'of'.

    ‘When seventeen-year-old Anna Caerulea travels to Egypt to work alongside her father on an archeological dig, she meets the guy of her dreams, and finds herself caught in-between the sides of an ancient war between Osiris and Anubis.’

    With the second paragraph you could probably drop sand add 'dreams appear to...' drop the second Egypt. For a moment I thought the mummies were touching her – perhaps re-work this sentence a little? You could also change, 'with hallucinations of...' to '...cause her to collapse and hallucinate about...'

    'As the Great Pyramids rise up from the scorching desert before her, Anna’s dreams appear to have come true. But when statues whisper to her, and touching mummies cause her to collapse and hallucinate about Ancient Egypt; she wonders if coming along was a good idea afer all.'

    The third paragraph is a little bit weaker than the others. Who are they – her father? Dream guy? I’m guessing Alex is the guy? You would re-work this, and maybe include Alex’s name in the first paragraph.

    Love the final sentence!

    This is exciting and very cinematic. It reminds me of The Goonies, Tomb Raider and The Mummy rolled into one.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm not going to comment because I already have elsewhere. You know my thoughts, Shelley! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Both the first and second paragraphs feel like first paragraphs. The second paragraph repeats some of the information (Egypt, for example) and even echoes the same word choice “man of her dreams” versus “dreams have come true.”

    This has a lot of vagueness in it. “A past that she didn’t know she had,” a “near-death experience,” “not what he seems”--these are the kinds of phrases that end up applicable to almost every story in existence. I think the key to standing out from the crowd is to really figure out what makes your story unique and then get specific about it in the pitch.

    Other people have already mentioned the late introduction of the name "Alex," so I'll just say that I was thrown a bit, too. But ditto what Janice said about use of the word "man." I did the exact same thing until someone pointed it out to me.

    Typo: “…and the fate of THE Egypt lay in her hands.”

    ReplyDelete
  8. Cool! Archeology and mythology I'm on it. I would've loved such an adventure.

    When seventeen-year-old Anna Caerulea travels to Egypt to work alongside her father on an archeological dig in Egypt, she meets the man of her dreams and finds herself caught between sides in an ancient war between Osiris and Anubis.

    (I agree with another commenter about man. Guy or... since its a paranormal romance, I'd really punch up what makes this guy so awesome. Romance to me means I want to fall in love with this guy too, but throughout the pitch he's just seems like an extra.)

    As the Great Pyramids rise up from the scorching desert sand before her, (literally?) Anna’s dreams have come true. (seems so) But when statues whisper to her and touching mummies cause her to collapse with hallucinations of ancient Egypt, she wonders if coming to Egypt was a good idea after all.

    (I'd say tidy this up. First is almost listing misadventures, and second sentence seems more comical in my admittedly sick mind, but I think you want to go darker and scarier. Also collapsing "with" hallucinations is awkward. You can collapse during hallucinations but they don't make up collapse.)

    Together they explore an ancient tomb, narrowly escaping booby traps and thwarting tomb robbers. After a near-death experience, Anna remembers a past that she didn’t know she had and she discovers that Alex is not what he seems.

    (Again it's listing, I'd prefer to read it in the book, here is where you're supposed to lure me in. It's like seeing a too long movie trailer and saying, "I feel like I just watched the whole movie" The line about Allix adds the perfect mystery)

    It is up to Anna to decipher the clues that lead to the location of Osiris’ tomb before the armies can unleash Osiris on Egypt. Her life, her relationship with Alex, and the fate of the Egypt lay in her hands. ( Just me, but the fate in her hands seems a little melodramatic.)

    I hope this helped. Best to you. Sangay

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks so much for all of your critiques! They were incredibly helpful. With Jessica Tudor's help I revised the pitch to this:

    When seventeen-year-old Anna Caerulea's father invites her to excavate a tomb with him in Egypt over the summer, she sees it as the first step in her path to becoming an archaeologist, which she has dreamed of since she was a child. Instead, she finds a different dream come true – Alex, her father’s intern, is not only so attractive he makes her heart ache, he’s the subject of every dream she had long before she met him.

    Together they discover a secret: their lives have been entwined in a millennia-long war between Anubis and Osiris. Anna and Alex must locate Osiris’ tomb before the death god is unleashed on Egypt, or their past is the only thing they’ll have together.

    Do you feel like you're missing any of the previous pitch? Is there anything from the fist pitch that I should pull out and put into this one?

    ReplyDelete
  10. When seventeen-year-old Anna Caerulea travels to Egypt to work alongside her father on an archeological dig in Egypt, she meets the man of her dreams and finds herself caught between sides in an ancient war between Osiris and Anubis. [interesting, but I sense no real conflict]

    As the Great Pyramids rise up from the scorching desert sand before her, Anna’s dreams have come true. [because what? She's there? Maybe you could make a mention of fulfilling one dream and stumbling upon another--the man you mention]

    But when statues whisper to her and touching mummies cause her to collapse with hallucinations of ancient Egypt, she wonders if coming to Egypt was a good idea after all. [Ooooo me likey] This is a much better hook to me. Love it.

    Together they [who's they? Dad? Alex?] explore an ancient tomb, narrowly escaping booby traps and thwarting tomb robbers. After a near-death experience, Anna remembers a past that she didn’t know she had and she discovers that Alex is not what he seems. [love this part too]

    It is up to Anna to decipher the clues that lead to the location of Osiris’ tomb before the armies can unleash Osiris on Egypt. Her life, her relationship with Alex, and the fate of the Egypt lay in her hands. [cool. A new twist on hidden Egyptian culture] :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Shelly - I love your revised pitch. The last line is awesome. It gave me chills.

    Good luck with this xxx

    Janice

    ReplyDelete
  12. Shelly - revised pitch is much better. I can really follow the story line now. I do like (I'm stubborn but ignore me if you want) the opening for the second paragraph in the original as an introduction to where she is. However, your first line here is a more concise pitch line, which some agents look for.

    ReplyDelete

Tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you! :)