10. Son of a Pitch: STATUS: POSITIVE

10. Son of a Pitch: STATUS: POSITIVE

Title: STATUS: POSITIVE

Age & Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/LGBT

Word Count: 88,000

Query:

17-year-old Blue Stevens’ life revolves around the survival of her people. Trained in self-defense and groomed to become the next leader of her LGBT Compound, she knows she can take care of herself. It’s everyone else she’s worried about. Twelve years prior, Blue and her dads were evacuated from their neighborhood and marked as Positive and Negative based on the possession of a newly discovered gene, Gene-x. Also known as the “gay gene.”

Everything changes the day Blue’s best friend is nearly beaten to death by two Positives. Blue hunts down the would-be killer in a confrontation leaves two people dead at the hands of them, officials from the General Population. Blue’s world is shattered. Spurred by her anger, she vows to fight back against Segregation. Only then does she discover that nothing is as it seems. Her dads and community urge her to keep quiet. They are content to live their lives as-is.

Looking down at the mark etched into her arm, Blue realizes something horrific; they were locked up not because of what they are, but because of who they are. Blue discovers she, as High Chancellor’s secret granddaughter, is the reason the Positives and their allies have been allowed to live in peace. If she chooses to leave and accept her inheritance, Blue could give Positives everywhere a fighting chance at de-Segregation. She could also be sentencing everyone in her Compound to death.

First 250:

I was born to a woman who never loved me. I’ve pictured her many times, stumbling into the Children’s Bank with the residue of my afterbirth still clinging to her leg. I can ignore how she turned me over only hours after I was born. It’s the fact that she didn’t bother to give me a name which made me resentful. But no child with big blue eyes stays an orphan forever. Baby 214 was adopted within days. My life was forever changed by my new parents and the name they gave me; Blue Stevens. For five years, we lived happily in our little green house in the Pink District.

Then, they came for us.

If I close my eyes, the events of that night return to me in slow motion. They’re always there, in the back of my mind, ready to make a reappearance. It was the lights that first woke me. They crept along the walls in blues and reds, smashing together to form momentary purples. My little fingers poked through the holes of my crochet blanket. Even at five-years-old, I knew if the sirens started, we’d have to hide in the basement. It would be a pathetic attempt to avoid them. The officers took what they wanted. Three pops and a puff of smoke was all it took to make my little adoptive family disappear forever.

Footsteps trotted up and down the hallway. White light danced against the black darkness of the ceiling as people moved outside of my bedroom.

9 thoughts on “10. Son of a Pitch: STATUS: POSITIVE

  1. And precious with good reason.

    Your query is great and packed with tension. I did, however, pause twice while reading. I want you to revisit those two sections.

    Everything changes the day Blue’s best friend is nearly beaten to death by two Positives. Blue hunts down the would-be killer(do you mean killers? because you mention two Positives doing the beating) in a confrontation leaves two people dead at the hands of them, officials from the General Population. (And I scratched my head here – were the Positives that attacked Blue’s friend officials from the General Population? )Blue’s world is shattered. Spurred by her anger, she vows to fight back against Segregation. Only then does she discover that nothing is as it seems. Her dads and community urge her to keep quiet. They are content to live their lives as-is.

    Now about your 250
    wow.
    that is all.

    best of luck! 🙂

  2. Good afternoon!

    Query: interesting premise. In the first paragraph I’m struggling to put some things together: “everyone else she’s worried about”. Why? How is she different from everyone else? Just because of superior training? And why was she chosen for this training? Her dads were evacuated to the compound she’s in now? Clarify that. And is it not really safe there? Is that why she’s worried?

    Everything changes- omit. Show me. And redundant with “world is shattered” further on. Give me a hint why her friend was beaten by two positives- I don’t yet know how this society works. And give me an image of this confrontation and how the officials became involved- it will give me a hint as to what this society is like. I would also omit “them” here because it’s confusing and too un-grounding for me In a query.

    If I know more about how the society works, I’ll be clearer on why the confrontation made her vow to fight Segregation.

    “Nothing is how it seems.” I know you have to be vague, but I’d be slightly less so. Like, “All the things she thought she knew about Segregation were lies.”

    Last paragraph- mention mark on her arm & significance before- I’m guessing it’s an identifying mark regarding her positive/negative status or something? I also worry you’re giving too many spoilers in this paragraph but maybe not.

    250: great beginning, but no need to have the closing her eyes as the memory returns part, because you haven’t grounded me in the present. And this flashback doesn’t feel like backstory dumping because it’s interesting and relevant.

    Thank you for your diverse entry!

  3. I love the premise here, especially how so many in our current society can so readily relate to your m/c and her society. We need more of that diversity and discussion, especially in Sci-Fi. 🙂

    A couple of places in your query tripped me up. “Blue hunts down the would-be killer in a confrontation leaves two people dead at the hands of them, officials from the General Population.” This seems to be missing a word, and you have her hunting down one would-be killer when two were responsible for the attack. Make sure you’re consistent throughout and that you proofread carefully. Read it out loud; it’s a great way to catch missing words, commas, etc.

    I would also add emphasis to “who” in this sentence. “Blue realizes something horrific; they were locked up not because of what they are, but because of who they are.” I had to read it a couple of times before it sank in. Emphasis might help eliminate that problem for others.

    Best of luck!

  4. You already have a lot of good advice here, but I’m going to throw in my two cents because I like you and your story a lot.

    Simplify. You obviously have a lot going on in this story, but that doesn’t all need to be spelled out in the query. Follow this formula – WHO is your mc. WHAT do they want. WHAT/WHO is in their way. WHAT are the stakes. That’s all a good query really is. Too many names or facts, even though they might be interesting, will lose your reader, and you don’t want that. Pick the very best answers for those four points and polish them to a high shine. I’ve been in your shoes. You’ve got this. Keep going! And good luck!

  5. Great points made by the Clockwork Gnome! Keep at it, you’re close! You just need to make clear your alternate reality for it to work. Good luck and congratulations on your participation in Son of a Pitch – your hard work speaks volumes regarding your courage and willingness to follow your dreams and achieve your goals!

  6. Great points made by the Clockwork Gnome! Keep at it, you’re close! You just need to make clear your alternate reality for it to work. Good luck and congratulations on your participation in Son of a Pitch – your hard work speaks volumes regarding your courage and willingness to follow your dreams and achieve your goals!

  7. You guys have given me such great tips. Thank you 100x’s over! I’ve seriously narrowed down my query to 250 words. It was at one time something like 350. I had to trim back a lot of world-building and set-up in the query because it was just too long. Then, I get the problem of not putting enough in. You really can’t win. :/

    Thank you to everyone who participated in this contest! Your kind words are everything!

  8. You guys have given me such great tips. Thank you 100x’s over! I’ve seriously narrowed down my query to 250 words. It was at one time something like 350. I had to trim back a lot of world-building and set-up in the query because it was just too long. Then, I get the problem of not putting enough in. You really can’t win. :/

    Thank you to everyone who participated in this contest! Your kind words are everything!

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