Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Writer's Voice - My query and first 250 words of Crystal's Magic

Plot Summary from Query:

God answers nearly all of fifteen-year-old Crystal's prayers. At least that's the way it seems since time slows down so she doesn't miss the bus and speeds up so she doesn't have to answer questions in class.

But after she discovers a note in a box hidden in her attic detailing how her now dead mother sought the help of witches to conceive her, Crystal’s faith becomes one giant question mark. She tracks down the witches and demands answers. Supposedly, Crystal is the human incarnation of magic—the only person whose magical potential is limitless. The witches also claim she's been answering her own prayers with her magic.

Although skeptical about being magic, Crystal's curious and struggles to learn how to fly and plays with magical fire. But it's not all fun and games. Witches and shamans have been fighting for centuries, and now, both sides want to use her power for their own gain. Then a witch hunter captures her boyfriend, and several shamans snatch her aunt. For someone with limitless magic, Crystal should be easily able to rescue them but every time her emotions run amuck, her magic goes haywire.  If she can't learn to control herself, she'll never be able to save them or end the war. Instead, Crystal just might start the Apocalypse and doom the entire world.

First 250 Words:


"Crystal? Are you dressed yet?"

Crystal Miller groaned and rolled over. Covering her head with her pillow, she peeked with one eye at her alarm clock. If she didn't leave the house immediately, she'd miss the bus.

She scrambled around the room, hopping into jeans, trying to throw on a shirt and brush her hair at the same time. Somehow she wrestled her way into some clothes (whether or not they looked good together she hadn't the time to worry about) and ran downstairs. Her kiss missed her mom's cheek. "Bye, Mom!"

"Wait, Crystal, you forgot your school bag." Her mom held it out for her.

Crystal grabbed it and groaned again when she spied the kitchen clock. There was no way she'd make the bus. It probably drove past her house five minutes ago.

Still, she had to try. She'd been oversleeping a lot lately, and her mom couldn't drive her in anymore. Her boss was rather strict, and Crystal knew she couldn't be late many more times before he threatened to fire her.

Crystal threw her bag over her shoulder and hurried out the door. As she raced to the end of the long, windy driveway, she prayed, Please, dear Lord, let the bus be there. Please let the bus be there.

She ran with her eyes closed. She never prayed with her eyes open. When she reached the end of the driveway, she opened her eyes.

The bus was just pulling to a stop.

Crystal grinned. Thank you, Lord.

64 comments:

Sarah Ahiers said...

Woo hoo! congrats for making it in! It was touch and go there for a moment

Matthew MacNish said...

I saw that you made it in - number 68. WOOT! Congrats, Nicole. This is going to be so fun.

Beth said...

I really like the query. This is an interesting concept.

lexcade said...

What a cool concept! Good luck :) :) :)

Adam Oster said...

Good Luck!

Jessica Capelle said...

Good luck!!!

kiperoo said...

*High-fives* on making it in--best of luck!

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Congrats to you thus far. I love the prose. Your words are so descriptive that the imagery just leaps to mind.

Cortney Pearson said...

I literally "ooo-ed" out loud when I read this, what a great premise! Good luck to you!

aberthot said...

Very cool! I LOVED the opening sentence of the query - very original! Good luck!

Sarah Wedgbrow said...

I remember this from YALitChat. Love the lines: "She ran with her eyes closed. She never prayed with her eyes open."
Best of luck, Nicole!

Kelley Lynn said...

Wow, those are crazy stakes! Well done!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Both are awesome. Like really good. Congrats Nicole. Hope you have more good news.

C.G.Ayling said...

"She ran with her eyes closed. She never prayed with her eyes open. When she reached the end of the driveway, she opened her eyes."
very nicely said.
Good luck in the contest!

Jenn said...

Whoo hoo, I'm glad you made it in as well! This sounds AWESOME! Good luck on your entry Nicole!

Cait Peterson said...

Good luck, from a fellow #YALITCHATtter ;)

beccaweston said...

Nice entry! It's got a great hook, and I like the excerpt. Good luck in the contest!

Escape Artist said...

Hey Nicole! Witches, Shamen and God! What a combo! Sounds great!
Good luck! : )

Jennie Bailey said...

Congrats on making it in! This sounds great! Good luck!

Marieke said...

This is so cute! Good luck! :D

Savannah Chase said...

This sounds fantastic..good luck...

Colene Murphy said...

Oh, this sounds amazing!! Good luck!

Amalia T. said...

The idea that she struggles with her faith in the midst of all this other information is what really captured my attention! It's definitely a unique approach I've never seen before! Good luck!

Aubrie said...

Awesome query!!!

I love the beginning. Good luck with your queries!!!

erica m. chapman said...

Awesome!! Very cool concept ;o) Good luck!!

Brandi M. Lynch said...

I like your first 250! Your story sounds really Interesting and original. Good luck!
Brandi #199

Kristen Wixted said...

I like Crystal's voice--nicely done.
Good luck-
Kristen #147
btw I LOVE your blog.

A. E. Welch said...

Good luck one contestant to another. Original premise for sure!

Carrie Butler said...

Good luck, Nicole! :)

Ashley Maker said...

Ooh, what a cool premise to have her be the incarnation of magic! Great job and best of luck :-)

Ashley #78

writesbymoonlight said...

You and I seem to enter the same contest often. :-) Good luck in the contest! tasha #119

Jemi Fraser said...

I like it Nicole! Good luck! :)

SueJay said...

Love her absolute faith that God is doing her a solid by not making her answer questions in class. Great characterization. You've got an interesting concept. Good luck!

Kimberly Gabriel said...

I love your query, especially the first paragraph. Well done! Good luck as the contest continues! Thanks also for stopping by my blog. WVC #28

TYHatch said...

I'd love some of her magic when I'm running late on the busy freeway in the morning. lol

The faith question is intriguing.

Good luck!

Tina (#194)

A. K. Fotinos-Hoyer said...

The premise here sounds like a lot of fun - and definitely unique.

Best of luck in the contest!

ps. I love your blog design :)

Suzi said...

Wow. Looks like a lot of power for one girl to get a handle on.

Good luck!

T. Drecker said...

Nice premise, and great line 'She never prayed with her eyes open..."

Thanks for stopping by! And good luck!

K.L. Layton said...

Good Luck!

Jacky Gray said...

Dear Nicole,
Thanks for your comment - why didn't I spot you as a re-enactor (that's UK for Renaissance) from your piccie?
So what you've done is leave the rest of us pretenders to the magical realms with nowhere to go (if Crystal is the human incarnation, how can anybody top that!) Talk about taking it to the limit ...
Luckily, I love your concept, voice and everything about your blog so I'm not jealous in the slightest, not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.
Best of luck to you and Crystal
Cheers
Jacky (#130)
xxx

Sarah said...

Interesting premise and great writing! Good luck!

-Sarah #146

Eric Steinberg said...

Love the premise and beginning. I'd keep reading to see what happens.

A. Lockwood said...

Huh, interesting concept. How does what happens affect her faith?

the type writer said...

well, i'm impartial to witches...this sounds great! best of luck to you!

G. Donald Cribbs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
G. Donald Cribbs said...

Nicole,

Great concept and interesting read. My only question is your starting point. How does this connect to your inciting incident? Starting points that begin when a character just wakes up have become somewhat cliche. I'd suggest another look to see what precipiates the inciting incident and draw/hook the reader in from that point.

Great so far! And thank you for your kind comment on #142, THE PACKING HOUSE.

J.S. Schley said...

What an interesting concept. I kinda love the idea of magic = crisis of faith. Good luck in the contest!

Mason T. Matchak said...

This sounds interesting; magic and faith conflicting can make for some great struggles for main characters. ^_^ Good luck!

Jani said...

Your premise sounds interesting. Good luck!

Jess said...

This is such an original concept and I absolutely love it that you take a story here~ wishing you the very best of luck getting picked!

Carolyn Abiad said...

Such a beautiful blog you have here. Great entry!
Best of luck!
Carolyn, #157

Jessica Capelle said...

Good luck!!

Hali said...

I love the tension you've established between Crystal's faith in God, and her discovery that it's her magic helping her along. Very cool concept! Good luck.

John said...

Nicole,

I just read your query - it is very tight and polished, well done! Your hook drew me in, and then took me into what seems like an amazing journey for Crystal. Very archetypal and profound.

Good luck in the contest and keep up the writing!

John Krissilas
#196

Donelle Lacy said...

This sounds like it'll be a really fun read! I also like the query. Casual but it gets the points across. Good luck!

DeenaML said...

Good luck! And great ending at your 250 words!

roomthirty3.com said...

I love the first line of your query. I was immediately jealous. :)

Good luck.

Leslie #116

Lisa K. said...

Your query is excellent! Best of luck to you!

Tosha Sumner said...

First - I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog. The wings and the fonts you use for the titles of the posts are so cool!!

Second - I love the premise of your story. Good luck!! :)

~TL Sumner #132

Random Andrews said...

Best of luck - I love you site - and I love the query and first 250!

- Random, Entry #165

C. Issy said...

"... Crystal just might start the Apocalypse and doom the entire world" -- nice!

Best of luck to you!

GSB said...

Loved this! Great writing and made me want to read more! :) Good luck!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Nice!

Pk Hrezo said...

Oh good luck!!! They both sound great. WIll we be seeing it on the committee soon??? :)