Thursday, August 26, 2010

9 Pitch Entry #47: Bekah

Title: Parallel Earth


Genre: Middle Grade adventure/ sci-fi

Haley Parker is a mess when it comes to running, but she gets straight A's. Wyatt Parker prefers to leave his books at the front door and play sports or his beloved videogames; it's what he's great at. The only way anyone can tell they're related, let alone twins, is by their green eyes. Plus, they can barely stand each other. When they see a strange sign at an abandoned tree farm, they agree to investigate. They find a Lens, a view to a parallel dimension, and get transported to a wacky place of shimmering colors.

The twins are lost with flying stump scooters, talking bushes, and two-headed animals. When they meet a friendly race of inhabitants, they are told about the advanced Pyonians who snatch up humans through the Lens' for genetic experiments to make their population stronger and live longer. The Pyonians know where every Lens is, and they have Humadar to hunt humans. Haley and Wyatt want to find the nearest Len without becoming their next genetic victims.

9 comments:

  1. Haley Parker is a mess when it comes to running, but she gets straight A's. Wyatt Parker prefers to leave his books at the front door and play sports or his beloved videogames; it's what he's great at. The only way anyone can tell they're related, let alone twins, is by their green eyes. Plus, they can barely stand each other. (what does any of this have to do with the rest of the pitch?)

    When they see a strange sign at an abandoned tree farm, they agree to investigate. They find a Lens, a view to a parallel dimension, and get transported to a wacky place of shimmering colors.

    The twins are lost with flying stump scooters, talking bushes, and two-headed animals.(fun) When they meet a friendly race of inhabitants, they are told about the advanced Pyonians who snatch up humans through the Lens'(no apostrophe needed) for genetic experiments to make their population stronger and live longer. The Pyonians know where every Lens is, and they have Humadar to hunt humans. (That was all set up.)

    Haley and Wyatt want to find the nearest Len(S?) without becoming their next genetic victims.

    I think you could cut the description of the twins and use the space to give us more about the conflict.

    Good luck!

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  2. I like how they're twins but so different from one another.

    At first when I read that Haley is a mess when it comes to running, I thought she was running from something and didn't at first see it as a contrast to Wyatt and I wondered what straight A's had to do with running...but now I see the effect you are trying to get. (I'm a little slow at times) Maybe for contrast purposes you could follow that first sentence with Wyatt gets straight C's or specify the sport he's good at like track or something.Just to help clarify the contrast you're going for.


    The adventure sounds fun with the bushes, scooters and animals the only thing I would add is the word But before "...When they see a strange sign at an abandoned tree farm..." and then add "together" before "They find a Lens, a view to a parallel dimension, and get transported to a wacky place of shimmering colors."

    And is Humadar a group or just 1 entity after them? I wasn't clear on that.

    Either way sounds like a cool adventure I would totally read. Good luck Bekah!!

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  3. Hi Bekah! Thanks for entering your pitch!

    So I think your pitch suffers from two much set up, not enough plot. We get great descriptions of your characters and this world they are transported to, but not enough sense of the real stakes. What is the danger? What is their goal? Do they need to find the Lens to get home? Do they even WANT to go home? What happens to them if they don't? You hint at some of these concepts but you're not instilling enough sense of stakes for me to care about the plot portion of the pitch.

    Here's my breakdown:

    Haley Parker is a mess when it comes to running, [Maybe something more evocative of sports? I get what you're going for with the twins being opposites, but "running" makes it sounds like she's physically incapable.] but she gets straight A's. Wyatt Parker prefers to leave his books at the front door and play sports or his beloved videogames; The only way anyone can tell they're related, let alone twins, is by their green eyes. Plus, they can barely stand each other. [Not sure what this has to do with either being related or their green eyes. And I'm not sure you need to explain that they hate each other since it seems to have zero to do with the rest of your pitch.] When they see a strange sign at an abandoned tree farm, they agree to investigate. [A strange sign? What does it say? Why are they there? Again, you need to lead the reader through your set up though to be honest, I don't think you need to bring up the sign. The important part is that they accidentally find this Lens. Get right to it, something like: "While exploring an abandoned farm, they find...] They find a Lens, a view to a parallel dimension, and get transported to a wacky place of shimmering colors. [I'd end this after "transported to a parallel dimension. The next description of the place is more evocative than "wacky place of shimmering colors.]

    The twins are lost with flying stump scooters, talking bushes, and two-headed animals. When they meet a friendly race of inhabitants, they are told about the advanced Pyonians who snatch up humans through the Lens' for genetic experiments to make their population stronger and live longer. The Pyonians know where every Lens is, and they have Humadar to hunt humans. Haley and Wyatt want [want? "need" is more urgent.] to find the nearest Lens without becoming their next genetic victims. [You lost me here. What we really need is a sense of the stakes for the twins. There isn't enough feeling of danger and what they need to overcome in order to get home (which you don't even say is what they are trying to do.) Are these Pyonians after them? You tell us they have Humandar but you don't show them using it. Do the twins know what kind of danger they're in? Are the friendly race helping them? If so, are they in danger, too? Can the twins trust anyone? I just found myself desperately needing more information, more urgency, and more of a sense of the twins' voice in this pitch.]

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  4. I like the differences between the twins, but I think you can rearrange their differences to be less wordy and more interesting.

    "When they see a strange sign at an abandoned tree farm, they agree to investigate. They find a Lens, a view to a parallel dimension, and get transported to a wacky place of shimmering colors." How do their differences place them together in this situation?

    When you have a great name like "Stump Scooters" ..."friendly race of inhabitants" leaves me wanting a better first description of the Pyonians.

    I see the potential here and am interested in seeing how you dress it up. Nice.

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  5. I love the premise of your book and the first paragraph, but in the second paragraph I felt there wasn’t enough description of plot. My suggestions are in brackets:

    ***
    Haley Parker is a mess when it comes to running, but she gets straight A's. Wyatt Parker prefers to leave his books at the front door and play sports or his beloved videogames; it's what he's great at. The only way anyone can tell they're related, let alone twins, is by their green eyes. Plus, they can barely stand each other. When they see a strange sign at an abandoned tree farm, they agree to investigate. They find a Lens, a view to a parallel dimension, and get transported to a wacky place of shimmering colors.

    The twins are lost with flying stump scooters, talking bushes, and two-headed animals. [I found “are lost with” somewhat confusing in this sentence. Maybe something like “Suddenly, the twins find themselves in a land of stump scooters, talking bushes, and two-headed animals.” would make your meaning more clear.] When they meet a friendly race of inhabitants, they are told about the advanced Pyonians who snatch up humans through the Lens' [I don’t think you need an apostrophe here. I think the plural “Lenses” is needed here instead.] for genetic experiments to make their population stronger and live longer [Going from “stronger” to “live longer” mixes an adjective with a verb. Maybe something like “stronger with greater longevity”.] The Pyonians know where every Lens is, and they have Humadar [not sure who or what Humadar is] to hunt humans. Haley and Wyatt want to find the nearest Len [Typo: should be “Lens”.] without becoming their next genetic victims.

    ***
    Good luck with this! Sounds like it could be a great book!

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  6. I love scifi and fantasy, and this premise sounded intriguing to me. However, I was confused in the first paragraph. What is Haley running from and what does that have to do with getting As in school? Also, I would keep it in her point of view, ie, "Her twin, Wyatt, prefers to ..." Even still, I’m not sure your hook captures the essence of your novel. It starts out sounding like a novel about contemporary kids dealing with being twins. Then it changes to be about this weird universe.

    Maybe a hook something like: When Haley and her twin brother investigate a tree farm, they find a Lens, a view to a parallel dimension, that immediately transports them to a world that’s nothing like Earth. Haley is happy to ... while Wyatt ....

    So as you talk about them dealing with the world and its problems you can go into how they’re twins. I like that you talk about their differences but I want those differences to mean something plot-wise. For instance, does Haley want to investigate and Wyatt doesn’t, or vice versa? How do their differences help them solve their problem (or not help)of dealing with these aliens? Do they learn to like each other as the novel progresses? That sort of thing.

    Also, I wasn’t wild about the description of “wacky place with shimmering colors.” It made me wonder if the novel was humorous. And I can't picture shimmering colors. Can you be a bit more specific of that. THe rest of the descriptive phrases really do a good job of painting a picture in my mind.

    Tell us what a Humadar is in the second paragraph because it’s not clear. Also, do Haley and Wyatt only want to find the closest Lens? Or do they also want to help prevent the Pyonians from taking other humans too?

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  7. I love the description of the twins and how different they are, but I think it could be shortened to one sentence and tightened a bit. Also, I don't think we need to know they hate each other, unless that is a big part of the story--how they grow closer after their adventure together. If that's the case, then it needs to be mentioned.
    Like the rest of the commenters, I need a bit more detail in terms of plot. 'Lost with flying stump scooters..." had me scratching my head, wondering if I should know what these are. A few more words need to be dedicated to the friendly race they meet, the Pyonians, and the Humadar. Right now, all of these groups are so vague that they blend together. This world sounds very cool, but I need a little more information about it before I can really understand the twins' conflict.
    Neat story and great imagination! I'm excited to get some more details about this wacky world!

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  8. Haley Parker is a mess when it comes to running, but she gets straight A's. Wyatt Parker prefers to leave his books at the front door and play sports or his beloved videogames; it's what he's great at. The only way anyone can tell they're related, let alone twins, is by their green eyes. Plus, they can barely stand each other. When they see a strange sign at an abandoned tree farm, they agree to investigate. They find a Lens, a view to a parallel dimension, and get transported to a wacky place of shimmering colors. (I like the way you describe the twins but I feel that this can be tightened somewhat)

    The twins are lost with flying stump scooters, talking bushes, and two-headed animals. When they meet a friendly race of inhabitants, they are told about the advanced Pyonians who snatch up humans through the Lens' for genetic experiments to make their population stronger and live longer. The Pyonians know where every Lens is, and they have Humadar to hunt humans. Haley and Wyatt want to find the nearest Len without becoming their next genetic victims. (I think you need to make the last two sentences sound a bit more urgent and dramatic---you're telling us but the reader wants a feel for why we should care so much about them. Truly, the story sounds interesting and you have all the makings of a good query--I just think it needs some tightening and a little less telling. Try: Now Haley and Wyatt must work together to find the nearest Lens before they become the subjects of the Pyonian's human experiments. Also I have a question--if these people are friendly..then why do they do the experiments? Or is it only a select few of their scientists??

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  9. Thank you everyone for the comments! I see where you are all confused, but I did have to cut a bit to get the word count. I'm cleaning up and leaving what isn't needed to give a better idea of the main plot : )

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