Thursday, August 26, 2010

8 Pitch Entry #23: Rak M Nay & Sangay Glass

Title: Arcanom: The Forgetful Future


Genre: Y/A Fantasy and Manga

Life is hard for fifteen-year-old, Allix, who lives with her ailing mother in the debris of a town devastated by war.

When she begins to manifest uncontrollable powers, she becomes a target for a government agency rounding up people with mystical abilities.

Caught, Allix is sent to Arcanom, an academy where she’s trained to become a sorceress warrior for good.
But soon future allies start invading her dreams with prophecies and plots. Once she’s told a classmate destined to empower the enemy must die by her hand, she has doubts about the motives of her dream-time comrades.

Being nothing like the hardened commander she’s to become, Allix forms a team of Arcanoids with a mission to change the future without compromising present values.

8 comments:

  1. You had me at "sorceress warrior for good."

    And then you lost me.

    I got a little confused. Allies of whom: the state or Allix or the Arcanoids? Is this part of the class? What does the sentence about the classmate and enemy mean? Obviously, this is not the place for the whole plot, but the confusion was distracting from the overall pitch.

    Love the idea of sorcerer-warriors being trained for good and fighting back against mind-insurgents; sounds very heroic. I would want to read more.

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  2. First things first: you call it a manga- so it's illustrated? that'd be a question for the overall query, not the pitch, but I'm curious.

    Life is hard for fifteen-year-old,(comma not needed) Allix, who lives with her ailing mother in the debris of a town devastated by war.

    When she begins to manifest uncontrollable powers, she becomes a target for a government agency rounding up people with mystical abilities. (no para break needed) Caught, Allix is sent to Arcanom, an academy where she’s trained to become a sorceress warrior for good. (so far so good, if a bit generic.)

    But soon future allies (huh?) start invading her dreams with prophecies and plots. Once she’s told a classmate destined to empower the enemy (what enemy?) must die by her hand, she has doubts about the motives of her dream-time comrades.

    Being nothing like the hardened commander she’s (supposed?) to become, Allix forms a team of Arcanoids with a mission to change the future without compromising present values. (what are present values? they seem to be training the Arcanoids to do what the agency wants? I'd reword this last sentence.)

    Good luck!

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  3. Life is hard for fifteen-year-old, Allix, who lives with her ailing mother in the debris of a town devastated by war. [I like this, and as Jess said, you don't need the first comma]

    When she begins to manifest uncontrollable powers, she becomes a target for a government agency rounding up people with mystical abilities.[uncontrollable powers and mystical abilities is too vague for me... she could be a fire starter, or a psychic for all I know..could you specify?]

    Caught, Allix is sent to Arcanom, an academy where she’s trained to become a sorceress warrior for good.
    But soon future allies start invading her dreams with prophecies and plots [like what prophecy?]. Once she’s told a classmate destined to empower the enemy must die by her hand, she has doubts about the motives of her dream-time comrades. [why would she doubt the motives? I mean, if I were her I would be convinced my comrades are evil...]

    Being nothing like the hardened commander she’s to become, Allix forms a team of Arcanoids [what is this?] with a mission to change the future without compromising present values.

    I like the premise, but I think right now it reads too vague for me. I think that adding more specific actions and words would help. Good luck!

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  4. Thanks so much guys! First, it is a novel in English and (for now) a manga in Portuguese, and (soon)an English version manga for reluctant readers and learning disabled kids. All different markets unless an agent wants to take them on:)

    I knew putting time travel out there wasn't going to be easy in a blurb. When Rak pitched it to me, I was confused until I started reading the manuscript. Then it unfolds nice and slowly.

    The future allies of her dreams are actually her current friends only 30 years older in the future, so she trust them. She also learns she'll become their commander.

    During REM sleep, her future-self is forcing a switch with her past-self's psyche. (based on you can't be two places at once)

    So, while her future-self is in the past trying to kill this classmate, her past-self is in the future being told why this person has to die.

    But since it takes so much psychic energy to maintain the switch, the mission is never accomplished, so her allies try convincing past-Allix to do the deed herself instead.

    Maybe I should stick to the original fairytale version?

    __________________________________
    Life is hard for fifteen-year-old, Allix, who lives with her ailing mother in the debris of a town devastated by war. When she's sad or lonely she closes her eyes and revisits a dream.

    In the dream, a boy with magical powers promises to take her to a place where she'll learn the art of sorcery and together they’ll become champions for good.

    However, her fairytale ideals are unrealistic in a world where magic doesn’t exist. The hearts of men are dark and even the noblest champions often fight for reasons that aren’t always righteous or true.

    Over time hardship forces the little girl to grow up. She stops believing in magic, the dream fades, and she becomes a young lady well-versed in the art of logic ... for her own good.

    But the boy never stopped believing in her.

    ________

    Yeah, I'm winded:)

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  5. Sounds like an interesting story.

    Life is hard for fifteen-year-old,(necessary comma) Allix, who lives with her ailing mother in the debris of a town devastated by war. (Generally your hook comes first - right now you're just setting up the scene and the characters. I think you could pull a lot of the following sentences into a short, concise hook.)

    When she begins to manifest uncontrollable powers, she becomes a target for a government agency rounding up people with mystical abilities.

    Caught, Allix is sent to Arcanom, an academy where she’s trained to become a sorceress warrior for good.
    But soon future allies start invading her dreams with prophecies and plots. Once she’s told a classmate destined to empower the enemy must die by her hand, she has doubts about the motives of her dream-time comrades.

    Being nothing like the hardened commander she’s to become, Allix forms a team of Arcanoids with a mission to change the future without compromising present values. (I'm not understanding what is happening here.)

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  6. Life is hard for fifteen-year-old, Allix, who lives with her ailing mother in the debris of a town devastated by war. [I like your opening sentence, but I wonder if you should mention right off that this is in the future or in a fantasy universe so we don’t think it’s an historical novel. Later, when you mention becoming a wizard, I realize this might be a fantasy novel but that wasn’t clear up front.]

    When she begins to manifest uncontrollable powers, she becomes a target for a government agency rounding up people with mystical abilities. [I like this sentence as well—love the idea of the government rounding up people who might be a threat, but “uncontrollable powers” is very vague. I’d like this to be specific. Do the powers come from something that happened during the war? Also, state why the government is rounding them up.]

    Caught, Allix is sent to Arcanom, an academy where she’s trained to become a sorceress warrior for good. [For good, as in forever? Or for good as in not for evil? This was a little unclear. Again, I want to know why the government is sending kids off to do this. Do they need warriors to fight in the war?]

    But soon future allies start invading her dreams with prophecies and plots. Once she’s told a classmate destined to empower the enemy must die by her hand, she has doubts about the motives of her dream-time comrades. [This paragraph is confusing and the 2nd sentence doesn’t quite make sense as is. “Prophecies and plots” is vague. Who are these future allies? They’re telling her that she’ll have to kill an enemy, but she doesn’t trust them? Did this enemy cause the war?]

    Being nothing like the hardened commander she’s to become, Allix forms a team of Arcanoids with a mission to change the future without compromising present values. [This paragraph is also too vague. I don’t think you need to mention becoming a hardened commander or present values. Maybe just say something like: Allix must become a commander of the sorcerers in order to defeat the enemy before the grim future she envisioned becomes a reality.]

    Best of luck. I love fantasy, and this premise sounds interesting.

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  7. Sounds like an excellent, perhaps more mature analogue to the Harry Potter-esque "wizard academy" genre. I would love to read it, and I like how you have a very unique story and personality going on along with it. My only criticisms are these: first, where and when is this taking place? Second, this sentence is a bit verbose: "Once she’s told a classmate destined to empower the enemy must die by her hand, she has doubts about the motives of her dream-time comrades." I had to re-read it several times to understand that it wasn't some sort of run-on! Otherwise, best of luck, and great job!

    - Jess Pettit

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  8. Thanks everyone for taking the time to review and comment!

    I'm getting ideas. This has all been especially helpful for a one page summary.

    Breaking it down even more is going to be a challenge:)

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