Thursday, May 17, 2012

Team Krista #5: SILO

Title: SILO
Genre: YA speculative fiction
Word count: 84,000

Query:

After a global disaster strikes, seventeen-year-old Lizzie Wallace is kidnapped from the rubble of her high school in Los Angeles and flown across the devastated country. Her new home is an underground silo hidden deep in the Adirondack Mountains. In this modern-day Noah's Ark, the children are paired--male and female, ranging in age from ten to eighteen. They are the future, each one chosen for their special skill to rebuild society. There's only one problem--Lizzie doesn't have the skill they think she does.

Her repeated failure at growing their food cements her belief that she doesn't belong. Even her growing attraction to her chosen mate, Brand, doesn't stop her from plotting to escape and return to the family she knows is frantic about her. But when desperate looters breach the silo and murder her kidnapper, Lizzie learns the truth about why she was chosen. Now she must decide: Stay to defend the silo and her friends or fight her way back to her family in Los Angeles.

First page:

The first explosion rocks the room, sending my books flying off the desk. The second makes the ground tremble and the lights flicker. Ms. Clark drops the dry eraser and grabs the corner of her large desk. I brace for a third and don't have to wait long. This one flings the glass specimen jars from the walls, smashing them onto the concrete floor. The smells of formaldehyde and death fill the science class.

"Everyone remain calm," Ms. Clark says.

"Should we get under our desks?" I ask.

Ms. Clark, now frozen in place, doesn’t respond. I don’t wait for an answer, crawling under my desk.

“Lizzie,” Christopher calls to me, but in the chaos I can’t find him. Bodies swarm everywhere in panic. Doesn’t anyone remember the drills we’ve been practicing for a decade now? We’ve been hearing about The Big One since we could walk. They’ve trained us for this. Get under your desks, curl into a little rock, and remain calm until the earthquake stops.

Only this isn’t stopping. The ground shakes again and the lights go out. Screams and sobs reverberate over the din of the creaking building, its beams groaning in protest.

I feel a hand on my arm, strong and warm. I don’t even have to look to know whose it is. I have every callous on Christopher's hand memorized, including the wart he keeps cutting off that stubbornly grows back on the inside of his thumb. I grab his hand, lacing my fingers through his, and squeeze tight.

30 comments:

Michelle Mason said...

I love the sensory details in this first page - smells, sounds, touch. So glad we're on the same team. Go #TeamKrista!

Kathleen Basi said...

This is very well-written, botht he query and the opening! Hooked. Can't wait to see it in print. :)

Noelle Henry said...

Love this premise! The last line of your opening really got me hooked. It's such a great visual, and there's so much emotion laced in that simple action of squeezing Christopher's hand.

Sarah Henson said...

This is fantastic! The writing is great and the voice rocks! Go Team Krista!

AllieS said...

Great concept!

Becky Mahoney said...

I love your opening, especially the last paragraph about Christopher's hand.

loritayseastep said...

I love this concept! What a great query. Go Team Krista!

Suzi said...

Very cool premise. I would love to read this. Good luck.

Ryan said...

SO so good! Love the query and concept. Love the breathtaking first page. You have to do awesome with this!

Lisa K. said...

I love the premise and the first page hooked me immediately. I would absolutely buy this book! Go Team Krista!

erinpetti said...

Agreed about the premise, it promises a lot of excitement!

Jemi Fraser said...

Nice! I'm so curious about what she finds out about herself - can't wait for this book to be out and about! :)

T.L. Bodine said...

I'm totally hooked. Good luck!

Ben Spendlove said...

The query is wonderful. And this is my kind of story.

TYHatch said...

Dying to know why they really took her. :)

Good luck!

Abby Minard said...

Looking great, Jennie! Love it, good luck!!

LizzieKFoley said...

I love this! I want to read the whole thing so much!

Ann Bedichek said...

I love that she has the sense to climb under her desk when everyone else is panicking. And, yeah, I'm with everyone else: that last paragraph is so powerful!

Good luck!

Becca C. said...

I love the details and the descriptions in that excerpt - very vivid and tangible!

Leigh Ann said...

*GASP* WHY WAS SHE REALLY CHOSEN OMG I HAVE TO KNOW!!!!

Also: beautiful detail in your excerpt. This sounds so awesome - good luck!

April Wall said...

I really like this concept and I'm not usually into these sorts of stories, so great job! Good luck!

erica m. chapman said...

Ooo I love this idea. Global disaster? Modern Noah's Ark. YES. More.

Valerie said...

What a gripping first scene! I'm hooked. I love the idea of a modern day Noah's Arc!

Kimberly Gabriel said...

I really want to read this book. I love this entry - especially the last paragraph of your opening scene. I'll be watching for this to get published so I can pick it up then! ;)

Heather Clark Books said...

Awesome premise. I'd love to read about this story.

Dahlia said...

I love everything about this entry--the senses evoked in the opening page, the mystery in the query, the presence of a romance... yeeeah, I'd like to read this now, please!

Andy said...

Love - Love - Love. This is a great premise and a thrilling first page.

Colene Murphy said...

Whoo! Go Jennie! Good luck today!

Louise Fury said...

I vote for you!

Tara Dairman said...

#5 Silo

Query:

This query is economical and intriguing. I did think that there were a few sentences that could be phrased better, though. The “to” in “their special skill to rebuild society” strikes me as not specific enough—maybe something like “the special skill that will help them rebuild society” would work better. I’d also replace the em-dash with a colon between “problem” and “Lizzie” in the following sentence.

I think that the last sentence in the query could also be better stated. I’d lose the colon and go with “between staying…or fighting…”

First page:

WOW—this page blew me away. I really felt like I was right there in the classroom with them, experiencing the disaster. Your sensory details are perfect, and you show us so much about the MC’s relationship with Christopher just through the comment about his callouses.

Nitpicks: If Ms. Clark is about to go catatonic, you might want to use a different verb than “says,” which makes it sound to me like she has it together. Maybe she should whimper that line? Also, I’d change “desks” to “desk” in “Get under your desks…” since you follow it with “a little rock” rather than “little rocks” (which would sound weird). Just keep your singulars/plurals consistent.

I’d definitely like to read the next page of this one!