Monday, February 22, 2016

Venom



Title: Venom
Age category and Genre:  Adult Thriller/Eco-thriller
Word count: 108, 000
Query:

While at a symposium in Key West, herpetologist Kylie Marx is thrown into the investigation to solve the slaughter of rare endangered skinks. And if that's not enough, an infestation of snakes, scorpions, and a variety of creepy crawlers invades the small island. With a looming anti-venom shortage, Kylie and her fellow scientists scours the town to milk venomous reptiles and amphibians to make anti-venom. Kylie fears she won’t have enough for everyone. She explores the option of creating synthetic anti-venom. Until things take a serpentine turn for the worse. She deduces that the man responsible for the outbreak is the same person who left her for dead in the Everglades twelve years ago. Now Vaughan St. Croix breeds dangerous hybrid snakes and sells his poached kills on the black market. His evil presence is no coincidence. It coincides with the National Zoological Symposium for Endangered Species.

St. Croix threatens Kylie and her new friends with an ultimatum: produce a vial of synthetic anti-venom for his deathly ill sister by midnight. Or  watch those around her succumb to fatal venom.

First 250 words

Chapter 1

Kylie studied the Solomon Islands dark green skinks climbing the glass walls of its tank in slow motion. Such a rare species to exhibit, she examined the long slender male consuming a diet of fruits and vegetables. On a quiet morning at the reptiles section of the Naples Zoo, she waited for the female to emerge and be courted. Before she could check the Key West Mole Skinks in the second tank,  her older sister bolted into her office.

Penny breathed heavily as she came to a halt. “Kylie! Did you check your texts?”

“No. What’s up?”

“All your hard work finally paid off. You got the grant!”

“You’re kidding. How do you know?”

While Penny explained the details of her financial endowment for research, Kylie’s heart wanted to explode with joy. This was a big opportunity for her to shine!

Giddy with excitement, Kylie hugged her sister. “I kept wondering when I would hear. I thought I wasn’t going to get it.” With no word on their end, she feared they turned down her proposal for her research.

“I know it’s last minute. But the National Zoological Symposium is worth it.” She paused. “But we’re going to look into the delay, while you get your ass to the airport.”

Both Kylie and Penny worked at the Naples Zoo in Caribbean Gardens, a nonprofit organization cooperating in conversation, both inside and outside the wild for endangered species.

“When’s the flight?” Kylie asked.

“It leaves in two and a half hours.”

*****


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The Judges

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Me!

Visitors welcome!

Please comment as to whether this pitch piques your interest and what feedback you have about making it stronger.
Your assessments will be appreciated by the participants.


4 comments:

  1. Query: I was looking for the hook maybe: Something like: "Herpetologist Kylie Marx must produce a vial of synthetic anti-venom or watch those around her succumb to fatal venom."

    After the hook discuss the infestation and the relationship between your protagonist and antagonist and you'll have your query. Just a little rearranging and tightening to do.

    250 words: There's a bit of redundancy in Paragraph 7. Consider putting more info in on the skinks here. I was just getting interested and then the interruption. Or you might consider a more active scene.

    Great effort!

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  2. Your query has all the right components but needs more punch in places.

    The first line is critical and needs more oompah. Here I want some type of statement that hooks me with the character. I think the story that follows is compelling but I want to latch on to your protagonist)
    Herpetologist Kylie Marx knows how to handle slimy creatures, Renowned Herpetologist Kylie Marx expert’s advice is considered premier when it comes to … step and back and think about Kylie and twist your words around her.
    And then here are a few suggestions/thoughts
    While at a Key West symposium investigating the slaughter of endangered skinks, an infestation of snakes and other dangerous creepy crawlers invade the small island. The looming anti-venom shortage sends Kylie and her fellow scientists to scour the town to milk venomous (reptiles and amphibians – critters, animals, little beasts) to make anti-venom. The supply can’t help everyone. Kylie explores creating synthetic anti-venom until matters take a serpentine turn for the worse. The man responsible for the slithering outbreak is the same person who left her for dead in the Everglades twelve years ago. (love this) Now Vaughan St. Croix breeds dangerous hybrid snakes and sells his poached kills on the black market. (His evil presence is no coincidence. It coincides with the National Zoological Symposium for Endangered Species. – I want to merge these two together or alter them because I hear an echo with coincidence and coincides so close…. It may be a personal flaw, but nonetheless…. His evil presence coinciding with the National Zoological Symposium for Endangered Species is no coincidence.)

    St. Croix offers/extends Kylie and her new friends an ultimatum: produce a vial of the precious synthetic anti-venom for his deathly ill sister by midnight or watch those around her succumb to fatal venom.

    With your 250, I want to get a little closer to Kylie
    for example :
    Kylie studied the Solomon Islands (dark green needed right her?) skinks climbing the glass walls of its tank in slow motion. Such a rare species to exhibit. *** (if this is a rare opportunity, use words to show her respect/reverence/appreciation) She marveled as the slender male picked over the offering of fruits and vegetables, choosing only dark green bits that matched his scales?. ( On a quiet morning at the reptiles section of the Naples Zoo,... is this today? if yes, I'd rephrase or delete. Or *** The Naples zoo was lucky to have scored the specimens) she waited for the female to emerge and be courted. Before she could check the Key West Mole Skinks in the second tank, her older sister bolted into her office.

    Be careful... I read Solomon islands, Naples and Key West. Manage your descriptions/locations to keep it simple. Those can be added later for more detail.

    Look for ways to beef up the meaning.
    This was her big opportunity for her to shine!
    This was her opportunity.

    Trim some words but you are definitely on the right track.

    best of luck :)

    ReplyDelete

  3. Query: The first sentence is crucial for grabbing the attention of your reader, and this one is too mundane for that. Start with the crux of the matter: and why it should matter to us. The nature of this particular adventure isn’t an automatic wide-interest, so you’ll have to win us over. I feel like this query spends too much time giving me all the plot details and not enough on the emotions of it: the stakes.

    First 250 words: I feel like you could do more with the description of the skinks in the opening paragraph, showing more detail and revealing Kylie’s fascination. The same with the dialogue. Good dialogue serves more than one purpose at the same time: furthering the plot AND revealing character, conflict, tensions, etc. I don’t feel like I gain much beyond logistical details in this excerpt.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for participating in the Son of a Pitch. With a little more work you'll have gold. Keep at it - it's worth the effort!

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