Friday, May 2, 2014

CRYE HAVOC - The Writer's Voice, Entry #37

The W Voice 2014

Many, many thanks to Brenda DrakeMónica Bustamante WagnerKimberly P. Chase, and Elizabeth Briggs for hosting “The Writer’s Voice,” a multi-blog, multi-agent contest based on NBC’s singing reality show!

Still, a little annoyed, because I thought it was an ACTUAL SINGING CONTEST for aspiring troubadours (who happen to write).

*carefully re-hangs lamé pantsuit*

Anywho, below is my entry for The Writer's Voice 2014. I hope you enjoy!

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Title: Crye Havoc
Genre: Sci-Fi YA
Word Count: 99,000 words

Query:

Sixteen-year-old cadet Sig Thomas doesn't hate all girls, just the ones in space. So he's not surprised when stupid Casi refuses his direct order during a simulated space battle, causing Sig to fail his sim-test, and decimating his lifelong dream of commanding a starship.

Relegated to some nowhere duty post after his career meltdown, Sig isn't around when the Videre attack. Ferocious aliens with the ability to generate terrifying hallucinations in humans, they abduct Sig’s crew and present him with a second chance at the command track. All he has to do is board the alien ship and rescue his crew. Easy, right? But the closer he gets to the Videre's mind-bending “carrier waves,” the more Sig's unresolved anger toward Casi gives rise to disturbing visions he can't control. Or escape.

But Casi can. Trained in the art of erecting mental barricades, she’ll guide Sig to a dream construct where they can join forces to build a panic room the Videre can't penetrate. But only if he trusts her.

To stop the Videre, reclaim his life, and save the girl he’s falling for, Sig must do the one thing that could leave him prisoner to his growing madness: open his mind, and his heart, to a girl with the power to crush both.

CRYE HAVOC mixes the kinetic dreamscapes of INCEPTION with the otherworldly romance of ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND. It's about one teen's discovery that space is big enough for two. It will appeal to fans of WHITE SPACE and FEED.

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First 250 Words:


Apart from the figure-improving properties of zero-g, there's really no reason for girls in space. They're always trying to prove something, just like my mother. She died on a blood-stained patch of dirt in the far reaches of some nowhere solar system trying to prove women make good leaders. Instead, she just confirmed what I've known all along: space is for guys like me.
Still, girls have some benefits. Take, for instance, the cadet I'm kissing right now, our lips locked together like a shuttle at spacedock. She's seventeen, a year older than me. She's got a funny name I can never remember. I've been working this angle for about three weeks, and just like I planned, I'm rounding first base the morning of my sim test. I asked her to come to my quarters for a quick make-out session. It'll calm my nerves, I lied.
And, bingo, here we are.
I really wish I could remember her name, though. Maya? Mira? Mi-mi-mi-mi--
"Mithri?" I say softly. She puts a finger to my lips.
"Not gonna happen, Sig."
"Come on, please?” I say in a practiced whine. “You know how important today is. It would. . .relax me."
"Great. So you'd be more relaxed. And I'd lose my post." She puts her lips to my ear, her voice a husky whisper, "But maybe after your test, you can come over and we'll, uh, debrief."
I lean in and kiss her, not to reward her terrible pun, but to maintain the illusion I care.

101 comments:

  1. Best of luck! Sig's a jerk, but I still want to read more. :-)

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    1. I disagree. Calling him a jerk would be an insult to jerks! Thanks for commenting, Emily!

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  2. Ha! I love that you turn the query on its head and show Casi is really the one with the power. Sig seems to be that rare mc who is instantly unlikable, but also interesting and funny. I think it's great you didn't shy away from making him a dick... It'll make the character arc that much sweeter. ;) Great dialogue too! Good luck in the contest!

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    1. Thanks so much, Leila. That was exactly the goal. The worst he was at the beginning, the more dramatic his arc would be (as long as it was believable). We'll see others see it the way you do. Thanks for commenting! And GOOD LUCK TO YOU AS WELL!!

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    2. Leila, I agree!

      I'm a sucker for a good YA space book! This one is feeling a little Star Trek:TNG with the storyline and I like it.

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    3. Funny you say that. The origin began with the question, "What would James T. Kirk be like as a teenager?"

      Thanks for looking!

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    4. I love the kind of "what if" that stems from reading something else. My story started the same way... something like ten years before I wrote it in earnest.

      Anyway, I agree with everyone else-- Sig seems like a character I would love to hate, at first, and love to see grow throughout the book. Great voice and story!

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    5. Thanks so much, Rochelle! Felt the same way about yours! For my money, you and a few others are the top contenders. Good luck!

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    6. I just wanted to come back and say it's definitely believable. I know all too many men in the military and law enforcement who have the same mind set as Sig.

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    7. Thanks, Leila. Maybe they'll find their Casi to turn them around.

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  3. Space,twisted dreams, and a cocky MC. I'm in! Good luck.

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  4. I can definitely see the Inception in that, with a hint of a non-womanizing Kirk. lol. Good luck!

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  5. I'm hooked! Great voice here, interesting concept! Good luck!

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    1. You're too kind, Miriam! Thank you!

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  6. Holy voice! This is great! Best of luck in the contest -- Hope I get to read this someday ;)

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    1. Thanks so much, AK! Loved yours, too!

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  7. Oh wow! I'm not a sci fi girl but this seems fantastic :) Good luck!!

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  8. A character I love to hate. Perfect! Good luck!

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    1. Thanks so much, Angela! Just had a chance to read yours. Loved it! Good luck!

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  9. Love the voice!! Great job, you've got me hooked!

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    1. Thank you, Janet! I felt the same way about yours!

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  10. Love the voice. And how about a cad instead of a jerk?

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    1. Thanks for the kind words! I wouldn't call him a cad, since that word seems to carry some implied charm, and that would forgive Sig a little too easily for being such an ass at the beginning. But don't worry, Casi puts him in his place RIGHT quick. Thanks for reading!

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  11. Excellent voice, and I can't help but notice that Sig is only one letter away from Pig. Good luck!

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  12. Great voice and very cool concept! Love seeing more YA SF :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Kirsten! It's in good company with yours!

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  13. Killer query you have there! And the kind of first line writers would die for. You got this!

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    1. Thanks so much, Susan! LOVED yours! Good luck!

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  14. Quite enjoyable. Love your voice, sort of Adam Levine meets Chris Pine. I dig it. Nice work.

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    1. Thanks so much for the kind words! Miss you!

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  15. I LOVE THIS STORY!!! Love the voice, LOVE Sig! Also, I love that you now have a blog. So glad you made it in! COACHES - choose this one!!!

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    1. You are soooo awesome, Alison, thank you! But I fully expect your fantastic and hilar YA to be singing on the stage in the series finale! Good luck!

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  16. I'm partial to a space story, and this one sounds interesting. Sig is full of personality, and I'd love watching him grow and change. Great job.

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    1. Thank you so much! Good luck to you!

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  17. Like the premise! Best of luck :)

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  18. Super-fun entry!! I love the voice, though maybe not the main character's starting attitude! Ha! But that's great!

    Best of luck!

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    1. Thanks, Leah! Yes, he isn't very nice up front. But I promise he changes. Otherwise, I wouldn't want to spend time with him either!

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  19. What an exciting story! Good luck!

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  20. Great intro to your post, it shows off your humor! Good luck!

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  21. Good luck also. Great voice here.

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    1. Thanks, Eric! Good luck with your entry as well!

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  23. Really drawn to all the mental action going on in your query. Pretty neat!! Good luck!

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  24. This is definitely a character I want to see grow ha! Love the voice in this and the premise is right up my alley. Good luck!

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    1. Thank you, Meredith! I love your Ice Queen, premise and voice are pitch perfect!

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  25. Loved it even though I am not a huge fan of Sci Fi I love the characters and can't wait to see what happens to them!

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    1. Thanks Keryn! I feel the same about your clan of dragons (SUCH a great story idea)!

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  26. Haha, James T. Kirk as a teenager. I already mentioned on Twitter I liked your voice. Still want to give Sig a smack though. ;) Best of luck!

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    1. Casi smacks him for you! Thanks, Laura! Good luck with your Sifters!

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  27. Wowza, I absolutely love this! I actually LOLed on the first line of your query, and as others have said, what a spot-on, humorous voice. I predict great things for this novel!

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  28. Great voice, loved the pacing! Good luck :)

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    1. Thanks, Maureen! Good luck killing grandma!

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    1. Wooooo right back in your face, Jessica! 8-)

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  30. Love this, Copil! It's got great voice and a great, dynamic MC. Thanks so much for being so supportive to everyone in the competition. Hope you get lots of good Karma. :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Breeana! Everyone's made it so easy to be enthusiastic with great entries like yours!

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  31. Just had a chance to start looking at some entries--I have to say I am a total Kirk fan and recognized him right away in Sig. Very interesting how Sig even disses his mom--he does have a long way to go, but I get the feeling he'll make a big turn around. Also love the carrier waves. I am hooked! Love this entry! Good luck!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Heather! Yes, Sig thinks he has it all figured out and he doesn't, he really doesn't.

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  32. Usually I'm not into SciFi, but I love this entry and wanted to read more! Great voice and characterization! Good luck in the contest.

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    1. Thanks, Yamile! Can't wait to read more of yours, as well! I once forgot the lines to "If I Were a Rich Man" in our HS musical, so I know how Carla feels!

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  33. Great voice and best of luck in the contest!

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    1. Thank you so much, Amber! Good luck to you as well!

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  34. Great voice! Everyone else has also mentioned the Kirk-iness here and I agree. The newest reboot Kirk is one of my fave characters at the moment so I am all on board :) Great job! Good luck!!!

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    1. Thanks so much, LT! Your western fantasy is one of my picks in this contest. I want to read that book so bad!

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    2. Thank you, sir :) Glad to see you getting so much love! If you ever want to exchange MSs, email or @ me (@LTHost)! :)

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    3. Thanks, LT! Following you on Twitter now. And CONGRATULATIONS on your pick, so excited for you! I just knew it would be one of the picks! Good luck!

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  35. This is fun and intriguing, and you made me care about a guy who is clearly a jerk. Your writing is smooth and confident, I want to read more. The "de-brief" line is very clever. : ) Best wishes!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! And best of luck to you too!

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  36. Thanks, Melody! And speaking of YA SF, I LOVE your premise! Good luck!

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  37. Hey, Copil! There's a lot like here. =D Well done! Also, wow! So many comments! I had to scroll waaaaaay down to comment, haha! You're so popular! ;)

    I do have a couple of... I don't want to say concerns, but more like... nitpicks? Anyway. Before I make my decision, I'd like to read a little more, please? Could you send the first 5 pages my way? Paste them on the body of the email and send them to: moni.bwATgmailDOTcom.

    Thanks!

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    1. Pages sent, thanks so much, Mónica!

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  38. Hey congrats on the 5 p request! Do love the voice and even Sig with his attitude. Great to make that conflict with the FMC even sharper! Love to see who cons who in the end. best wishes!

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    1. Loving your premise here, would read this in a heartbeat!

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  40. Wow this one made me sit up and pay attention! I love the voice here.

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    1. Thank you, Shana! Love the premise on yours and great first 250! Good luck!

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  41. This sounds like a lot of fun! Good luck in the contest (although I doubt you need it!) :)

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  42. Thanks, Mara, glad you liked it! Good luck to you as well!

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  43. Um... please publish this so I can read it! You have an awesome voice in these first few paragraphs, and the premise is making me want to find out what happens. Your pitch is excellent as well; I loved both Inception and Eternal Sunshine. GOOD LUCK TODAY!

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    1. Thank you so much! High praise from someone with such a great story herself! Good luck today!

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  44. I just saw Ender's Game so that's where my head was at when I started reading your query, but your voice is definitely more teenage Kirk. I love it! Congrats and good luck!

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  45. This is an amazing pitch and 250! And how awesome are you, visiting and commenting on entries! Best of luck to you in the trenches--I hope I get to read this one one day!

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    1. Aw, thanks, Laurie! The entrants were SO good, it was easy to get caught up!

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  46. Hey Copil,

    I just wanted to say that you've been a totally awesome person during this contest! All the supportive blog and twitter comments to other writers were just so nice. Thank you. This is exactly what contests are about.

    Feedback (if you want it): You were on my Yes/Maybe list. The scifi competition in this contest was incredibly fierce and I think one of the issues that held me back was Sig's voice in the query. When I read the first paragraph it came off as more upper MG (13ish). To me anyway. (Example: "Stupid Casi.") The first 250 felt a bit older, but still not quite 16yo boy. Of course, this is only my opinion but maybe it will help you in some way.

    -Kim

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