Monday, April 22, 2013

#Pitchslap 2: DREAM WISHER

Hello, friends!  This week's #pitchslap comes from YA writer Brad Miller @The_DreamWisher, who shares his YA fantasy DREAM WISHER with us today.  Alright, pitch, here comes the spank!

My 84,000-word novel, DREAM WISHER, tells the story of Ethyder, a young boy living in the enslaved underground city of Eradome, who struggles with an inability to dream that could cost him his life. As is the case with much of fantasy literature, too many proper nouns!  Cut the name of the city. Also, why could not dreaming cost him his life? You move on before addressing something that would confuse most readers.  After losing his mother, Ethyder becomes an orphan and is now charged with taking care of his younger sister. But and when she is kidnapped by the creatures that have enslaved them, Ethyder will face his fears, and will set out on a journey that will change him forever. This part is vague!  Most stories change people forever.  Here's where you can possibly tie in one or two of your themes, because I slap the next paragraph clean off your query.

Filled with fantastic creatures and dark beasts, DREAM WISHER, follows the dreamless Ethyder through tunnels of self-realization, forgiveness, and adventure, ultimately leading to his climactic escape from the underground.  Your story's themes should be clear in the query, no need to point them out to an agent.  I also cut this paragraph to give you a chance to give the agent some of the moment-to-moment details about what this story is like. You give a too-brief summary of the story, then jump into unnecessary themes, then into the closing paragraph about why you selected this agent in particular.  Give them more to work with!  At this point, all we know is that an orphan who can't dream tries to escape a city with his sister.  That's a logline, not a query.  Give us MEAT!  Where's the beef?

DREAM WISHER fits in well with your interest in representing young adult novels. Readers, especially young adults suffering from peer pressure and bullying, will take interest in Ethyder’s story as it explores the self-hatred and the need for acceptance that youth are faced with today, a commonality amongst us all, and a theme I have fought to understand my entire life. Careful here, you sound a bit preachy.  YA writers have to walk a fine line between reaching their audience and preaching to them.  I'd tone this down a bit.

I am currently a member of the PNWA and SCBWI.  Awesome!

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to an opportunity to share the full manuscript with you.


Brad W. Miller

Brad, I think with some specific details and a little more moment-to-moment action of the story, you'll have a killer query.  Thanks for submitting!  ;)


PS-- Anyone who wants to enter #pitchslap just needs to send me their query.  Email minavaughnwrites at gmail dot com to enter.