Son of a Pitch Entry #2 – Molfar

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Title: MOLFAR
Category and Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy
Word Count: 98K
 
Query

Seventeen-year-old Ian Hill, the first male in a long line of witches, is a dud. His sixteenth birthday came and went, along with his hopes for a power. Any power. He would’ve settled for floating pencils.

Used to being a disappointment, Ian resigns himself to a boring suburban existence, running errands and removing garbage at his mom’s pagan supply store. Until he meets a young, independent, and talented witch named Violet. She saves Ian’s life, and awakens his weird powers, and some normal teenage hormones, too. Welcome to the world of telepathic trees, killer shadows, and ghost pet cats.

Ian’s new tree whispering Gift isn’t just unique; it’s practically extinct. But having loyal leafy allies with unmatched wisdom, protection, and healing abilities isn’t enough for Ian. To impress Violet, Ian “borrows” her treasured book of spells and tries a shortcut to master more magic. His attempt ends in a wildfire, and Violet, betrayed and hurt, disappears from his life.

As if a broken heart isn’t enough, Ian learns he is a target of the Dark Soul Stealers—powerful occultists seeking to unleash denizens of demonic realms onto this world. Ian’s powers may be the missing ingredient they need to succeed. Without Violet’s training, Ian fails to prevent the destruction of his hometown and his mom falling gravely ill. But as he races to save his mom and to find Violet, his adversaries present him with an impossible deal: his mother’s life in exchange for his soul.


First 250 Words:
When your mom is a walking lie detector, you master the art of withholding the truth.
Sitting on the grass under a shady oak, I grab the closest burlap sack full of flowers and tie it tightly with a twine. A little too tightly. Applying unnecessary force feels cathartic. I’m not as mad as I was yesterday when Mom announced I’d be taking a four day emergency plant harvesting trip to Gram’s cabin in the Poconos and missing Rick Gogol’s graduation party. But I haven’t forgiven her either. I know Midsummer—Litha, as witches call it—is in a few days, but Mom can’t void my plans every time a high holiday rolls around.
And so tonight I’ll drive back to my hometown Chornohora and attend Rick’s party against her verdict.
It’s a two hour drive one way, which means no evening plant harvesting, but I’ll have two more nights to catch up. Sleep can wait and Mom won’t know a thing. In the unlikely event she does find out, the worst she can do is make me work overtime at her pagan supply store. I practically live there already, so what’s a few more hours?
Besides, Samantha Lawrence is worth the risk.
On day one of senior year’s French class, Sam waltzed over and sat in the chair next to mine. I knew I was a goner when she threw her long, honey-blond hair over her shoulder and said, “Bonjour.”
I know for a fact she’ll be at Rick’s party, so this is my last chance.

20 thoughts on “Son of a Pitch Entry #2 – Molfar

  1. Pingback: Son of a Pitch ROUND 2 | Elsie Elmore

  2. First, my disclaimer: All suggestions are IMHO and are meant to be thought provoking. Take ‘em, leave ‘em. This is your rodeo, so it’s up to you.

    Query:
    Seventeen-year-old Ian Hill, the first male in a long line of witches, is a dud. His sixteenth birthday came and went, along with his hopes for a power. Any power. He would’ve settled for floating pencils. (really digging this line and intro ☺

    Used to being a disappointment, Ian resigns himself to a boring suburban existence, running errands and removing garbage at his mom’s pagan supply store. Until he meets Violet.(short sentence to make it pop.) The talented witch not only saves Ian’s life, but awakens his weird powers, and some normal teenage hormones, too. (loving the hormone hit!) Welcome to the world of telepathic trees, killer shadows, and ghost pet cats.

    Ian’s new tree whispering Gift isn’t just unique; it’s practically extinct. But having loyal leafy allies with unmatched wisdom, protection, and healing abilities isn’t enough for Ian. (thumbs up here!) To impress Violet, Ian “borrows” her treasured book of spells and tries a shortcut to master more magic. His attempt ends in a wildfire, and Violet, betrayed and hurt, disappears from his life.

    As if a broken heart isn’t enough (Got an echo with the “isn’t enough” from the previous paragraph. Try new phrase here), Ian learns he is a target of the Dark Soul Stealers—powerful occultists seeking to unleash denizens of demonic realms onto this world. (Yikes, personally, love the idea but that definitely doesn’t sound good for earth dwellers) Ian’s powers may be the missing ingredient they need to succeed. Without Violet’s training, Ian fails to prevent the destruction of his hometown and his mom falling gravely ill. As he races to save his mom and to find Violet, his adversaries present him with an impossible deal: his mother’s life in exchange for his soul. (I like the pull in the last two sentences but think there’s more punch there?

    Great voice and stakes. I thought your query was not just well built, but fun to read.)

    First 250 Words:
    When your mom is a walking lie detector, you master the art of withholding the truth.
    Sitting on the grass under a shady oak, I grab the closest burlap sack full of flowers and tie it tightly with a twine. A little too tightly. Applying unnecessary force feels cathartic. I’m not as mad as I was yesterday when Mom announced the four day emergency plant harvesting trip to Gram’s cabin in the Poconos. Surely she didn’t know I’d be missing Rick Gogol’s graduation party. (tinker to make it more personal, teen-like,?) But I haven’t forgiven her either. Midsummer—Litha, as witches call it—is in a few days, but Mom can’t void my plans every time a high holiday rolls around. (Why? Are there tons of them? Tribute doesn’t trump a social life?)
    And so (So I’ve decided?) tonight I’ll drive back (to my hometown – needed?) Chornohora and attend Rick’s party against her verdict(…this word….this one right here….wishes?).
    It’s a two hour drive one way, which means no evening plant harvesting, but I’ll have two more nights to catch up. Sleep can wait and Mom won’t know a thing. In the unlikely event she does find out, the worst she can do is make me work overtime at her pagan supply store. I practically live there already, so what’s a few more hours?
    Besides, Samantha Lawrence is worth the risk. (really like this line and the voice! Typical teenage boy 🙂
    Day one of senior year’s French class when Sam waltzed over and sat in the chair next to mine, I knew I was a goner. She threw her long, honey-blond hair over her shoulder and said, “Bonjour.” And?…. (Tinkering for impact….)

    I know for a fact she’ll be at Rick’s party, so this is my last chance.

    Great beginning – plan is laid out (and comes with potential consequences.) Character revealed through thoughts. Enjoyed the voice. Added a few suggestions. Good luck!

    Like

  3. Ok, here’s my edited version. May as well post it here too 🙂 Easier to track.

    QUERY:

    Seventeen-year-old Ian Hill, the first male in a long line of witches, is a dud. His sixteenth birthday came and went, along with his hopes for a power. Any power. He would’ve settled for floating pencils.
    Used to being a disappointment, Ian resigns himself to a boring suburban existence, running errands and removing garbage at his mom’s pagan supply store. Until he meets Violet. The talented witch not only saves Ian’s life, but awakens his weird powers, and some normal teenage hormones, too. Welcome to the world of telepathic trees, killer shadows, and ghost pet cats.
    Ian’s new tree whispering Gift isn’t just unique; it’s practically extinct. But having loyal leafy allies with unmatched wisdom, protection, and healing abilities isn’t enough for Ian. To impress Violet, Ian “borrows” her treasured book of spells and tries a shortcut to master more magic. His attempt ends in a wildfire, and Violet, betrayed and hurt, disappears from his life.
    While nursing a broken heart and gnawing guilt, Ian learns he is a target of the Dark Soul Stealers—powerful occultists seeking to unleash denizens of demonic realms onto this world. Ian’s powers may be the missing ingredient they need to succeed. Without Violet’s training, Ian fails to prevent the destruction of his hometown and his mom falling gravely ill. As he races to save his mom and to find Violet, his adversaries present him with an impossible deal: his mother’s life in exchange for his soul.

    250 WORDS

    When your mom is a walking lie detector, you master the art of withholding the truth.
    Sitting on the grass under a shady oak, I grab the closest burlap sack full of flowers and tie it tightly with a twine. A little too tightly. Applying unnecessary force feels cathartic. I’m not as mad as I was yesterday when Mom announced my four day emergency plant harvesting trip to Gram’s cabin in the Poconos. Surely she didn’t know I’d be missing Rick Gogol’s graduation party. But I haven’t forgiven her either. Midsummer—Litha, as witches call it—is in a few days, but Mom can’t void my plans every time a high holiday rolls around. There are eight of them! I’d never have a social life.
    So I’ve decided tonight I’ll drive back to Chornohora and attend Rick’s party against her wishes.
    It’s a two hour drive one way, which means no evening plant harvesting, but I’ll have two more nights to catch up. Sleep can wait and Mom won’t know a thing. In the unlikely event she does find out, the worst she can do is make me work overtime at her pagan supply store. I practically live there already, so what’s a few more hours?
    Besides, Samantha Lawrence is worth the risk.
    Day one of senior year’s French class, when Sam waltzed over and sat in the chair next to mine, I knew I was a goner. She threw her long, honey-blond hair over her shoulder and said, “Bonjour.” I’m pretty sure time stopped for a while.
    I know she’ll be at Rick’s party, so this is my last chance.

    Like

    • So reading over this, I still love the query – great stuff. This part:
      Without Violet’s training, Ian fails to prevent the destruction of his hometown and his mom falling gravely ill. As he races to save his mom and to find Violet, his adversaries present him with an impossible deal: his mother’s life in exchange for his soul. I think it can be stronger. Let’s think on that. I mean it’s good, but it can be better.

      And as far as the first 250 go, as I was reading this go round, I stopped and wondered why wasn’t Ian saying some of those thoughts aloud – you know talking to the plants about his plans, frustrations. That would make it more active and still hit all the right points while developing character. Your call 🙂 An BTW, liked the addition of the time stopped line. Good stuff here!

      Like

  4. Imma gonna go with your revised one… 🙂
    QUERY:

    Seventeen-year-old Ian Hill, the first male in a long line of witches, is a dud. His sixteenth birthday came and went, along with his hopes for a power. Any power. He would’ve settled for floating pencils. (I like it!)
    Used to being a disappointment, Ian resigns himself to a boring suburban existence, running errands and removing garbage at his mom’s pagan supply store. Until he meets Violet (Is she a witch?). The talented witch not only saves Ian’s life, but awakens his weird powers (HOW?), and some normal teenage hormones, too (well, yeah). Welcome to the world of telepathic trees, killer shadows, and ghost pet cats. (HOLY MAGICAL COOLNESS I’M IN!)
    Ian’s new tree whispering Gift isn’t just unique; it’s practically extinct. But having loyal leafy allies with unmatched wisdom, protection, and healing abilities isn’t enough for Ian. To impress Violet, Ian “borrows” her treasured book of spells and tries a shortcut to master more magic. His attempt ends in a wildfire, and Violet, betrayed and hurt, disappears from his life. (Oops…)
    While nursing a broken heart and gnawing guilt, Ian learns he is a target of the Dark Soul Stealers (Did he know of them before?)—powerful occultists seeking to unleash denizens of demonic realms (OMG BIG BAD EVIL PEOPLE AND DEMONS… *DIES OF JOY*) onto this world. Ian’s powers may be the missing ingredient they need to succeed. Without Violet’s training, Ian fails to prevent the destruction of his hometown and his mom falling gravely ill. As he races to save his mom and to find Violet, his adversaries present him with an impossible deal: his mother’s life in exchange for his soul.

    ~Love. Just…Yeah. I’d read this in a heart beat. And from the first to this…you fixed the one main problem I had. SO YEA!

    250 WORDS

    When your mom is a walking lie detector, you master the art of withholding the truth.
    Sitting on the grass under a shady oak, I grab the closest burlap sack full of flowers and tie it tightly with a twine. A little too tightly. Applying unnecessary force feels cathartic. I’m not as mad as I was yesterday when Mom announced my four day emergency plant harvesting trip to Gram’s cabin in the Poconos. Surely she didn’t know I’d be missing Rick Gogol’s graduation party. But I haven’t forgiven her either. Midsummer—Litha, as witches call it—is in a few days, but Mom can’t void my plans every time a high holiday rolls around. There are eight of them! I’d never have a social life.
    So I’ve decided tonight I’ll drive back to Chornohora and attend Rick’s party against her wishes. (Rebel!)
    It’s a two hour drive one way, which means no evening plant harvesting, but I’ll have two more nights to catch up. Sleep can wait and Mom won’t know a thing.(Yeah…right…) In the unlikely event she does find out, the worst she can do is make me work overtime at her pagan supply store. I practically live there already, so what’s a few more hours?
    Besides, Samantha Lawrence is worth the risk.
    Day one of senior year’s French class, when Sam waltzed over and sat in the chair next to mine, I knew I was a goner. She threw her long, honey-blond hair over her shoulder and said, “Bonjour.” I’m pretty sure time stopped for a while.
    I know she’ll be at Rick’s party, so this is my last chance.

    ~I love this. Great voice. We’re all set up for something to happen… Just one thought. In the query you mention he has no powers…Maybe a quick thought here of how he’s a dud…has to take a chance on having fun where he can because no magic. Maybe? Up to YOU it’s YOUR story!

    Like

    • Thank you sooo much, Kathy! Those are great suggestions. I’m gonna jump right on them. All but one. I can’t reveal HOW Violet awakens Ian’s powers because that’s part of the big twist at the end. Would saying *Violet MYSTERIOUSLY awakens Ian’s powers* suffice?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Here’s my latest attempt at tinkering. Does this sound better, Kathy? Boss, do you approve?

    EDITED QUERY:
    Seventeen-year-old Ian Hill, the first male in a long line of witches, is a dud. His sixteenth birthday came and went, along with his hopes for a power. Any power. He would’ve settled for floating pencils.
    Used to being a disappointment, Ian resigns himself to a boring suburban existence, running errands and removing garbage at his mom’s pagan supply store. Until he meets Violet. The talented witch not only saves Ian’s life, but mysteriously awakens his weird powers, and some normal teenage hormones, too. Welcome to the world of telepathic trees, killer shadows, and ghost pet cats.
    Ian’s new tree whispering Gift isn’t just unique; it’s practically extinct. But having loyal leafy allies with unmatched wisdom, protection, and healing abilities isn’t enough for Ian. To impress Violet, Ian “borrows” her treasured book of spells and tries a shortcut to master more magic. His attempt ends in a wildfire, and Violet, betrayed and hurt, disappears from his life.
    While nursing a broken heart and gnawing guilt, Ian learns he is a target of the Dark Soul Stealers. Feared by the whole witch community, these powerful occultists seek to unleash denizens of demonic realms onto the world. Ian’s powers may be the missing ingredient they need to succeed. Without Violet’s training, Ian fails to prevent the destruction of his hometown and his mom falling gravely ill. As he races to save his mom and to find Violet, his adversaries present him with an impossible deal: his mother’s life in exchange for his soul.

    EDITED 250 WORDS
    When your mom is a walking lie detector, you master the art of withholding the truth.
    Sitting on the grass under a shady oak, I grab the closest burlap sack full of flowers and tie it tightly with a twine. A little too tightly. Applying unnecessary force feels cathartic. I’m not as mad as I was yesterday when Mom announced my four day emergency plant harvesting trip to Gram’s cabin in the Poconos. Surely she didn’t know I’d be missing Rick Gogol’s graduation party. But I haven’t forgiven her either. Midsummer—Litha, as witches call it—is in a few days, but Mom can’t void my plans every time a high holiday rolls around. There are eight of them! I’d never have a social life. And since my family witch gene has skipped me altogether, I can’t be expected to make that kind of sacrifice.
    So I’ve decided tonight I’ll drive back to Chornohora and attend Rick’s party against her wishes.
    It’s a two hour drive one way, which means no evening plant harvesting, but I’ll have two more nights to catch up. Sleep can wait and Mom won’t know a thing. In the unlikely event she does find out, the worst she can do is make me work overtime at her pagan supply store. I practically live there already, so what’s a few more hours?
    Besides, Samantha Lawrence is worth the risk.
    Day one of senior year’s French class, when Sam waltzed over and sat in the chair next to mine, I knew I was a goner. She threw her long, honey-blond hair over her shoulder and said, “Bonjour.” I’m pretty sure time stopped for a while.
    I know she’ll be at Rick’s party, so this is my last chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this entry. I have a couple nitpicks about the query – “floating pencils” – I’d say “levitating a pencil”. And “removing garbage” – I’d say “taking out the garbage”.

    Awesome, layered, fun-sounding concept and lovely voice.

    Like

    • Thank you, Elizabeth! Love the suggestions. Here’s MY MOST POLISHED QUERY:
      Seventeen-year-old Ian Hill, the first male in a long line of witches, is a dud. His sixteenth birthday came and went, along with his hopes for a power. Any power. He would’ve settled for levitating pencils.
      Used to being a disappointment, Ian resigns himself to a boring suburban existence, running errands and taking out the garbage at his mom’s pagan supply store. Until he meets Violet. The talented witch not only saves Ian’s life, but mysteriously awakens his weird powers, and some normal teenage hormones, too. Welcome to the world of telepathic trees, killer shadows, and ghost pet cats.
      Ian’s new tree whispering Gift isn’t just unique; it’s practically extinct. But having loyal leafy allies with unmatched wisdom, protection, and healing abilities isn’t enough for Ian. To impress Violet, Ian “borrows” her treasured book of spells and tries a shortcut to master more magic. His attempt ends in a wildfire, and Violet, betrayed and hurt, disappears from his life.
      While nursing a broken heart and gnawing guilt, Ian learns he is a target of the Dark Soul Stealers. Feared by the whole witch community, these powerful occultists seek to unleash denizens of demonic realms onto the world. Ian’s powers may be the missing ingredient they need to succeed. Without Violet’s training, Ian fails to prevent the destruction of his hometown and his mom falling gravely ill. As he races to save his mom and to find Violet, his adversaries present him with an impossible deal: his mother’s life in exchange for his soul.

      Like

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