Thursday, August 26, 2010

9 Pitch Entry #34: Bethany Morrow

Title: The Last Life Of Avrilis


Genre: YA Steampunk Dystopian

Sixteen-year-old Avrilis is an orphaned Sentient living at the end of the age. Like all her kind, she is aware that time replays itself and that the slightest change will make her one of the hunted – the Sentient guilty of deviating from the repetition. When she saves the life of a street urchin meant to die, the two discover the Sentient Underground – and that the father she believed dead is the prophet with a plan to end the world for good. Now Avrilis must uncover the truth about her family, stay one step ahead of the hunters and the end of the world and choose between the boy whose life she saved and the one she’s loved in lives before.

9 comments:

  1. Sixteen-year-old Avrilis is an orphaned Sentient living at the end of the age. Like all her kind, she is aware that time replays itself and that the slightest change will make her one of the hunted – the Sentient guilty of deviating from the repetition. When she saves the life of a street urchin meant to die, the two discover the Sentient Underground – and that the father she believed dead is the prophet with a plan to end the world for good. Now Avrilis must uncover the truth about her family, stay one step ahead of the hunters and the end of the world and choose between the boy whose life she saved and the one she’s loved in lives before.
    *Opening sentence definitely lets you know you’re not reading a contemporary, but I wish it had more of a hook to grab the reader’s interest. Second sentence really needs work: She knows that time repeats, and any Sentient guilty of the slightest deviation will become prey for the hunters. Next sentence is okay. The last sentence, however is a run-on and needs to be cleaned up. Tighten this one up and it could really sing.*

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  2. I think you have an interesting plot here. But the pitch is actually difficult to read. Your sentence structure for me feels off and perhaps too abbreviated. Of course take this from someone who uses every word allowed when pitching a story. Good luck!

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  3. Sixteen-year-old Avrilis is an orphaned Sentient living at the end of the age. Like all her kind, she is aware that time replays itself and that the slightest change will make her one of the hunted – the Sentient guilty of deviating from the repetition. When she saves the life of a street urchin meant to die, the two discover the Sentient Underground – and that the father she believed dead is the prophet with a plan to end the world for good.(Um, so how does she feel about that? Does she want him to succeed? will she help him or fight against him? I THINK that's what you're asking with what her choice is, but it's unclear). Now Avrilis must uncover the truth about her family, stay one step ahead of the hunters and the end of the world and choose between the boy whose life she saved and the one she’s loved in lives before. (more about this last bit - I assume it implies that when the world repeats, she has a love she unites with each time?)

    Really like the premise, sounds fun.

    Good luck!

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  4. Thanks you guys for the feedback! Taking many of your questions/concerns into account, I've been working on it today and thought I'd repost.
    ____

    Sixteen-year-old Avrilis isn’t sure a world that replays is worth saving. An orphaned Sentient living at the end of the age, she knows that time repeats and that any Sentient guilty of change becomes prey for the hunters. When she saves the life of a street urchin meant to die, the two discover the Sentient Underground – and that the father she believed dead is the prophet with a plan to end the world for good.

    Staying one step ahead of the hunters and the end of time, Avrilis must uncover her father’s motive and choose a side. She can join the fight with the boy whose life she saved or face the aboveground while she searches for the one she’s loved in every life before.

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  5. This works better for me, Bethany. Your plot comes across clearer as does Avrilis's motivation. Perhaps the last line could be tweaked a little. [brackets] indicates delete.

    She can join the fight with the boy [whose life] she saved or face the aboveground AND SEARCHED [while she searches] for the BOY [one] she’s loves [d in every life before]. DO WE NEED THIS LAST BIT?

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  6. I love your revised first paragraph! It's far more active - you're not telling me what she knows, you're showing me how her knowledge impacts her world, and you've really captured my attention.

    I found the phrase, "join the fight with the boy" to be awkward and had to read it more than once to determine you didn't mean she was fighting WITH the boy, but alongside. Could you consider something along the lines of "join her father in his battle to end the world or..."? I'd also consider changing "while she searches" to "to search."

    I liked the original query, but this second one ramps up the intensity and seriously makes me want to read more.

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  7. I really like what you have here, but it's hard to parse, especially the beginning. Let me try a rewrite and see if that's helpful.

    The age is about to end and time restart, same as it always does. At least, that's what is supposed to happen, until Avrilis, a sixteen-year-old Sentient, capable of sensing the loop of time, saves a street urchin who was meant to die.

    Fleeing punishment by the other Sentients, Avrilis and her new friend discover the Sentient Underground. There she learns that the father she believed dead is a prophet with a plan to end the world for good. Now Avrilis must uncover the truth about her family, stay one step ahead of both hunters and the end of the world, and choose between the boy whose life she saved and the one she’s loved in lives before.

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  8. Bethany I love your premise and although your first pitch was a little confusing, your second was much faster paced and more concise. I'd consider some of Laurel's suggestions, but I think you've definitely got a winner on the line here!

    Best of luck!

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  9. Hey everyone - so appreciate your feedback, particularly on a second revision! Thank you so much for taking a minute to give me your thoughts!

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