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QueryKombat—Third Round Update

QueryKombat

Quick Recap–QueryKombat is an online contested run by SCWrites, Michael Anthony and Michelle Hauck. One of its goals is to help unpublished authors hook up with agents. Fun, new friends, writing help and trending on Twitter are some of its accomplishments.

First there were 230 entries. Sixty-four were chosen to face off in pairs. Then there were thirty-two, which were looked at by agents. Agents made requests, but those requests will only be released when entries are eliminated.  The thirty-two went head to head again. Judges voted and then there were sixteen left standing.

BingBamBoomBBF, the nickname name of SUCKERPUNCHING MAGIC’s query and first 250 is one of those sixteen to make it to round three! Here’s the revision that is on http://www.scwrite.blogspot.com/

 

Query

Home-schooled Jude Kozlowski, whose allergy to light causes him to shift into a troll, wants the world to accept him as a decent guy, not the “who’s that tramping over my bridge” stereotype. But his huge frame and pistachio skin scare normal humans and his shyness keeps him from meeting anyone else. Even his part-time paper-pushing job has him working alone. Fitting in seems hopeless.

Until Luz Bangor crashes into his cubicle at First Metro Finance, thugs on her heels. The Fairy Syndicate kidnapped her brainiac brother, Eric. Attention deficit and out-of-control magic pasting a ginormous loser L on her forehead, Luz is his last choice for a rescuer. But she and her unpredictable magic are his only hope. Like a runaway wrecking ball, her miscast spell puts her and the kind troll-shifter she just met straight into the path of her brother’s powerful enemies.

Smitten and glowing over the unexpected chance to be a hero, Jude vows to help Luz rescue her brother. When the villains snatch Luz, Jude pursues. He braves neighborhood vigilantes, a spoiled poodle and a troll biker gang to track Luz to Underhill, the fairy fortress. There, the unlikely pair must square off with the Fairy Godmother or lose Eric—and each other—forever.

SUCKER PUNCHING MAGIC is a YA urban fantasy of 75,000 words told alternately in Jude’s and Luz’s point of view.

First 250 Words:

The Number Ten shot by, ruffling Jude Kozlowski’s hair. At the stop, nose deep in calculus homework, he jerked his head up. He could blame a lot of things on The Fairy Tale Effect, the mutations magic’s resurgence caused, but missing the bus wasn’t one of them.

At 4:35 in the afternoon, on a clear day in downtown Milwaukee, 6’2” Jude made a big target. Hard to believe the bus driver hadn’t spotted him. Yet the guy hadn’t even slowed.

Jude leaped to his feet. Book, paper and pencil in hand, he barreled down the sidewalk in pursuit.

He needed his job. The order and routine. The chance to be normal. If he waited for the next bus, he’d be late.

Heart racing, he dodged the parking meters and the guys who cradled cheap wine in paper bags outside the military surplus store.

Down the block, the bus’s brakes shrieked. Its axles groaned. The side doors disgorged a bearded dwarf in a trench coat.  Jude bounded over the dwarf and reached the curb as a woman wearing a Hamburger Heaven uniform hurried through the bus’s front doors.

Jude followed, but before his foot touched the step, the gnome at the wheel flinched. Eyes wide, he hastily cranked the Plexiglas doors closed. The reflection of Jude’s lumpy, pistachio green skin played over the window.

“I need a ride.” Going for friendly, Jude grinned. Wrong move. In the glass, his smile appeared strained—too full, a baring of teeth.

 

I don’t know how far BingBamBoomBBF will go.

One of the other writers in QueryKombat said, “We’re all winners and we’re all losers.”

A contest truth. BingBamBoomBBF has won and eventually it will lose. I’m okay with that. I’m grateful to participate, to meet new friends, to get helpful suggestions, and to learn a little more about writing.

I appreciate sharing my adventure with you. Thanks.

QueryKombat: A Progress Report

QueryKombat

Grin. I’m happy to announce Sucker Punching Magic’s query made it to the Agent Round. It’s on SC’s blog– http://scwrite.blogspot.com/

–Under the moniker BingBamBoomBFF.

I took many of the suggestions left by judges and fellow competitors. First, I tightened the beginning 250 words and then I reworked the query. Readers wanted to know more about Luz and they wanted understand what a troll shifter was. Hopefully, I’ve addressed those issues. I think the query is better, but you can decide. Here it is:

 

Query: 

The first time Luz Bangor inadvertently triggered her innate magic, it compelled her grandma to elope with a long-distance trucker, forcing Luz’s brilliant younger brother Eric to quit high school to support the family. The magical mishap, her floundering GPA and her attention deficit disorder slapped a ginormous loser L on Luz’s forehead, which she doesn’t expect to peel off anytime soon. Not when she keeps toying with magic she doesn’t know how to use.  And not when everyone compares her to Eric. Then he goes missing. Desperate to save him and redeem herself, Luz turns to her unpredictable magic. But her spell backfires, putting her straight into the path of her brother’s powerful enemies, the Fairy Syndicate.

Home-schooled Jude Kozlowski, whose allergy to light causes him to shift into a troll, wants the world to accept him as a decent guy, not the “who’s that tramping over my bridge” stereotype. But his huge frame and pistachio skin scare normal humans and his shyness keeps him from meeting anyone else. Even his part-time paper-pushing job has him working alone. Fitting in seems hopeless.

That is, until Luz crashes into his cubicle at First Metro Finance, thugs on her heels. Smitten and presented with the unexpected chance to be a hero, Jude vows to help Luz rescue her brother. When the villains snatch Luz, Jude pursues. He braves neighborhood vigilantes, a spoiled poodle and a troll biker gang to track Luz to Underhill, the fairy fortress. There, the unlikely pair must square off with the evil Fairy Godmother or lose Eric—and each other—forever.

First 250 Words:

Jude Kozlowski jerked his head up. He could blame a lot of things on The Fairy Tale Effect, but missing the bus wasn’t one of them. He’d been at the stop, nose deep in calculus homework when the Number Ten shot by, ruffling his hair.

At 4:35 in the afternoon, on a clear day in downtown Milwaukee, 6’2” Jude made a big target. Hard to believe the bus driver hadn’t spotted him. Yet the guy hadn’t even slowed.

Jude leaped to his feet. Book, paper and pencil in hand, he barreled down the sidewalk in pursuit.

He needed his job. The order and routine. The chance to be normal.

If he waited for the next bus, he’d be late. His heart racing the pounding of his feet, he dodged the parking meters and the guys who cradled cheap wine in paper bags outside the military surplus store.

Down the block, the bus’s brakes shrieked. Its axles groaned. The side doors disgorged a bearded dwarf in a trench coat.  Jude bounded over the dwarf and reached the curb as a woman wearing a Hamburger Heaven uniform hurried through the bus’s front doors.

Jude followed, but before his foot touched the step, the gnome at the wheel flinched. Eyes wide, he hastily cranked the Plexiglas doors closed. The reflection of Jude’s lumpy, pistachio green skin played over the window.

“I need a ride.” Going for friendly, Jude grinned. Wrong move. In the glass, his smile appeared strained—too full, a baring of teeth.

 

Thanks for reading my work and I’d love to hear from you. Consider leaving a comment or a suggestion.

QueryKombat 2014: Wish Me Many Victories

 

QueryKombat

I’m excited to say my entry made it into QueryKombat, an on-line writing contest, the brain-child of bloggers:

SC Writes http://www.scwrite.blogspot.com/

Michael Anthony http://writersoutworld.blogspot.com/,

and Michelle Hauck http://michelle4laughs.blogspot.com/

 On Thursday, May 22nd at noon an entry window opened and they accepted 225 entries. From those, they picked 64 entries.

My entry was one of those selected. Here it is:

Entry Nickname: BingBamBoomBFF
Title: Sucker Punching Magic
Word count: 75,000
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Query: 

 Luz Bangor wears a ginormous loser L on her forehead and doesn’t expect to peel it off anytime soon. Not when everyone compares her to her brilliant younger brother Eric. Then he goes missing. Desperate to save him, Luz turns to her unpredictable, sucker punching magic. But her magic backfires, putting her straight into the path of her brother’s powerful enemy.

Home-schooled, troll-shifter Jude Kozlowski wants the world to accept him as a decent guy, not the “who’s that tramping over my bridge” stereotype. But, his huge frame and pistachio skin scares normal humans and his shyness keeps him from meeting anyone else. Even his part-time paper-pushing job has him working alone. Fitting in seems hopeless.

That is, until Luz crashes into his cubicle at First Metro Finance, thugs on her heels. Smitten and presented with the chance to be a hero for once, Jude vows to help Luz rescue her brother. When the villains snatch Luz, Jude pursues. He braves a string of neighborhood vigilantes, a spoiled poodle and a troll biker gang to track Luz to Underhill, the fairy fortress. There, the unlikely pair must square off with the evil Fairy Godmother or lose Eric—and each other—forever.

First 250 Words:

Jude could blame a lot of things on The Fairy Tale Effect, but missing the bus wasn’t one of them. He’d been at the stop, nose deep in his calculus homework when the Number Ten shot by, ruffling his hair. He jerked his head up. Didn’t the driver see him?

It was 4:35 in the afternoon, on a clear day in downtown Milwaukee, and at 6’2, Jude was a big target. Hard to believe the bus driver hadn’t spotted him. Yet the guy hadn’t even slowed.

Snapping his calculus book shut, Jude leaped to his feet. Book, paper and pencil in hand, he barreled down the sidewalk in pursuit.

He needed his job. The order and routine. The chance to be normal.

If he waited for the next bus, he’d be late. His heart racing the pounding of his feet, he dodged the parking meters and the guys who cradled cheap wine in paper bags outside the military surplus store.

Halfway down the block, the bus’s brakes shrieked. Its axles groaned into a belligerent idle. The side doors disgorged a bearded dwarf in a trench coat. Bounding over the sidewalk and the dwarf, Jude closed on the rattling old bus. He was almost beside it. Then, as though the driver floored the gas pedal to get away from Jude, the Number Ten rocketed down the street.

He sprinted full out. A puff of smoke curled from the bus’s exhaust pipe as it turned the corner and disappeared from view.

The hosts paired our entries up by genre and target audience. On June 1st we squared off “in a single-elimination, tournament style query-off.”

Currently, secret judges are reading our entries on the hosts’ websites, leaving comments and voting for their favorite entries.

 

So far, my entry is surviving. It’s even landed some encouraging comments. On June 4th, I’ll find out if it has enough votes to go onto the next round, which goes live on June 8th.  I’m hoping for many Victory goes to BingBamBoomBBF (my entry’s nickname)

I’ll let you know either way.

I consider myself to already be a winner in that my writing made it into the contest and I’ve gotten some good feedback and made a number of new friends.