IWSG : Stumbling & Rising, Again

Posted on February 4, 2015


Want to see me take a hit? If so, watch my pitch be reviewed on the QQQE hosted by Matthew MacNish. I won't lie...it was brutal, but it was also an eye opener.

My initial pitch was vague. The version in the QQQE post was utterly horrible - I seriously don't know what I was thinking. I blame the weather and lack of running due to the snow.

The critique was harsh, but totally warranted, and all the comments were very helpful. I recommend folks to test their pitch on the QQQE first, to get some honest feedback.

There was one comment that put it all into focus, kind of like a slap in the face and a shout, "Tanya, just tell me the main story damn you!"

And so, in the end, here is the final version (for now) of the pitch to Family Relic / Box of Souls. All critique and comments welcome. Please. They can only make things better. I know this for a FACT!


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Family Relics - The Box of Souls
Even the darkest magic can't break the bonds of family.

When eighteen-year-old Jasmyn's grandmother passes away, it is eight-year-old Katarina who begins to display their grandmother's gift of magic. This newest rejection proves Jasmyn's life-long claim that her family loves Katarina more than they love her. Instead of mourning with her family, Jasmyn shuts everyone out of her life and suffers her grandmother’s death alone.

After the funeral, sinister dragons appear along the California coastline, and only Katarina can stop them. When her spells fail, her family discovers it is because she didn't inherit all of their grandmother's magic and that her grandmother's magic was split between the two sisters. Now, Jasmyn and Katarina must put their rivalry aside and work together to stop the menace. There's just one problem: a feud that occurred earlier in the day pinned the entire family against Jasmyn and forced her to run away. Their magic will work only if they work together, and every moment the sisters are apart the dragons grow stronger.

Can the sisters reunite in time to stop the dragons from destroying mankind? Can Jasmyn put her pain and resentment aside to wield her grandmother's magic? The bond of sisterhood is strong, but so are powers of darkness.


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11 comments:

  1. You're a very brave woman, Tanya. Very brave.

    But also clearly determined to be the damn fine writer that you are. Good for you. I can't wait to say, "Hey! I follow her blog like a groupie!" :)

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement Katie! Like sunshine in this bleak winter... I so needed it. :-)

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  2. Yes... you're very brave to open yourself up to the masses!

    I think your query is great. :) I think you should clarify in the first lines that "it is her 8 year old SISTER Katarina" because I didn't know they were related until later. I also wonder if you should mention that J has run away due to feud before you mention the discovery that the magic is split. Not sure about that... just thinking aloud.

    Your story sounds very interesting!

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    1. I'm an open-book mess at times. But better to have openly written, and get critiqued harshly and improve, than to never have written at all.

      Your feedback on the pitch is immensely appreciated. :-D

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  3. It takes a lot of courage to do that. The query is good. It needs to be tighter near the end, though. Just cutting a few words and making each sentence pop helps.

    Jasmyn and Katarina must put their rivalry aside and work together to stop the menace. There's just one problem: Jasmyn has run away after a vicious argument with her family. The sisters' magic will work only if they work together, and every moment they're apart, the dragons grow stronger.

    Can Jasmyn put her pain and resentment aside to wield her grandmother's magic? The bond of sisterhood is strong, but so are powers of darkness.

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    1. I've learned that nip and tucking is seriously an art form in writing. Thanks for the feedback Christine!

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  4. Wow, as others have said, you've got major courage to offer your query up for public critique like that! So much respect and props to you for doing that, and I'm so glad to hear you got helpful feedback :). Query writing is a hard thing to master, not sure if I ever got it just right, but I actually came to enjoy it lol!! Great job, very clear plot and characters. I think the first sentence could be a bit snappier, and I wasn't quite clear where this book would fall, MG or YA or even adult because Jasmyn is 18... But I thought it read very well, and I understood the stakes/relationships in the story :).
    Ninja Girl

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    1. Thanks for the feedback Ninja Girl! (I love that name!!)

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  5. I love this! Plenty of conflict, made clear from the beginning. Great job!

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  6. I agree with Christine about cutting down/back. My one issue that stood out for me was the wording "suffers her grandmother’s death alone". That reads to me that she dies the death of her grandmother... it was distracting and nagging at me. Could it be that she suffered the devastation of her grandmother's death? Or something like that.
    At any rate - very courageous of you!
    And thanks for visiting my blog and joining in the Blitz just a bit ago!
    mainelywrite.blogspot.com

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