Thursday, May 17, 2012

Team Krista #2: CHRONICITY

Title: CHRONICITY
Genre: MG fantasy
Word count: 54,000

Query:

Thirteen-year-old Grim Grinnert has no idea how he got stuck as an Apprentice in Chronicity, the Town of Time. All he knows is that he wants to go home, because there’s something wonky about this place where HoroHounds search the centuries for era-hopping prowlers and a class assignment can send you to the Peloponnesian War. He’d take his mother’s stale-pizza-and-flat-soda suppers any day over the Count’s relentless lecture fests and his TimeWheel teacher’s attempts to off him.

But the Watch, the robotic police force of Chronicity, has other plans for Grim. He’s missing the hourglass birthmark that’s supposed to brand everyone who enters Chronicity, and they’ve given Grim one month to convince them he’s not a Timbukker--an illegal. With the help of his two best friends and a 400-year-old girl he may or may not have a crush on, he sets out to determine how and why he stumbled into Chronicity. If he fails to find the answers before the Watch watch strapped to his arm hits zero, they’ll send him someplace horrible…like 1932. Forever.

Tick tock, says the clock. And in Chronicity, time is the one thing Grim doesn’t have.

First page:

Grim hated his name. It wasn’t short for Griffin, or Grissom, it was just Grim, and he’d never understood why his parents called him something that meant “extremely unpleasant.” Some kids at school, mostly girls, thought it sounded mature, but to him it just sounded depressing. Why couldn’t he have had some nice, normal, average name, one that didn’t make him stick out like a sore thumb?

But then, his parents never had been exactly average. And although the Grinnerts lived in an average town, on an average street, in an average house, it took approximately five seconds to see that they were anything but.

“HEY, KID! YOU BETTER WATCH IT!”

Grim poked his head out his bedroom window and snickered. His eight-year-old brother, Tyrus, was throwing jumbo marshmallows into the windows of passing cars and calling out, “Want s’more?”

Tyrus was a Grinnert through and through, and this afternoon he was wearing an aluminum foil hat with ears that pointed straight up, like a horse’s. Grim threw his algebra textbook onto the bed. He had quit being embarrassed by his family’s oddities long ago--at least most of the time--and this particular scene looked like it was going to be too good to miss. A few seconds later, his mother barreled out the front door.

“Tyrus Grinnert!” she yelled as she ran. “How many times have I told you not to waste your father’s aluminum foil? If you’re going to use it, make something useful, like an alien antennae!”

24 comments:

Michelle Mason said...

This is awesome. Love the uniqueness of the concept and the voice in the first page. Go #TeamKrista!

Noelle Henry said...

This is a fabulous concept! You've really hooked me. I love all the little details we get about the Grinnerts just from this short snippet.

Sarah Henson said...

You give so much about Grim and his family in such a short space. Love it! Go Team Krista!

Melanie Stanford said...

Love this too. The writing was awesome, so much fun.

Jennie Bailey said...

I agree with Sarah - it's great how much you told us in 250 words. I love this concept.

Becky Mahoney said...

You've got a fabulous concept, and your voice is so engaging and energetic. Love it!

Ryan said...

I love that you've moved into the action quicker. I already love his quirky family!

erinpetti said...

Awesomely delicious stuff in this first little bit. I'm dying to read more :)

Lisa K. said...

I am absolutely, 100% enchanted with this! Fabulous! Go Team Krista!

Ben Spendlove said...

Sounds like a treat. Great world and characters.

T.L. Bodine said...

This is a tremendous amount of fun.

TYHatch said...

This really is fun. Grim is a great name for a MG MC.

Good luck!

Ann Bedichek said...

Wow. I love this excerpt. This line:
"If you’re going to use it, make something useful, like an alien antennae!”
so so fabulous.

I want more!!

Becca C. said...

I totally love this - I want so badly to get my hands on the whole thing. The concept and the opening just have me hooked!

kiperoo said...

Yes! Great concept and such a compelling beginning. Plus I absolutely adore the unique name Grim. Nice job!!!

Leigh Ann said...

First: Totally swooning over your title.Love the writing in your sample - That second paragraph makes Grim sound so deliciously average that we know before it's even over that he is SO NOT.

Good luck!!!

April Wall said...

I'm so glad that MG got such great entries for this contest. Good luck!

erica m. chapman said...

What a cool world you've created!! Love the writing too ;o)

MarcyKate said...

This sounds so fun! Great work and Good luck!

Kimberly Gabriel said...

EXCELLENT VOICE! You convey it both in your query and opening lines – well done! Good luck to you in the contest!

Tricia Lawrence of Erin Murphy Literary said...

I vote for you!

Susan Hawk said...

I vote for you!

Louise Fury said...

I vote for you!

Tara Dairman said...

#2 Chronocity

Query:

Love the MC’s name. Love the line “someplace horrible…like 1932.” I like the closing line, too. Otherwise, I just wonder whether there might be a few too many capitalized “technical terms” in this query. Do we need to know that he’s an “Apprentice,” or just that he’s stuck in the town? Instead of using the term “HoroHounds,” can you just explain what they are? You introduce “the Count” but then don’t mention him again. I’d pick two or three terms that are really important (the Watch seems key, and I do like the word “Timbukker”) and scale down on the rest for the sake of simplicity/readability.

First page:

I love the last line—hilarious and intriguing. I’d read on just to see where things went from that!

I have a few nitpicks. In the first paragraph, I think you could vary the punctuation up rather than just use all those commas. Maybe an em-dash between “Grissom” and “it” in the first sentence; you could set off “mostly girls” in the second sentence between em-dashes, too.

And in the second-to-last paragraph, I was confused about why he was throwing an algebra book onto the bed. It seemed like a random action when he was otherwise involved in watching the scene out the window. I don’t think you need it.