#SonOfAPitch #TeamDiscord Entry 3: Hunting Legends

Title: Hunting Legends

Category and Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Word Count: 78,000

Query:

Humans won the war between monsters and men. Now the supernatural world faces extinction.

Sixteen-year-old Azrielle Grave is a cockatrice with a lethal gaze and the ability to shift into human form. Undercover in war-torn New York, she must infiltrate and sabotage an elite squad of teenage monster hunters. If she is discovered, she’s dead.

Seventeen-year-old Raid Ameen knows firsthand that winning the war didn’t make mankind safe. A weapons expert and captain of his school’s monster hunting squad, he is a master at stalking the things that go bump in the night. But then the new girl arrives. Distracted from his trigger happy-life, he has no idea he’s falling hard for the girl of his nightmares.

Azrielle’s directive is to stop the rising body count—not flirt with the enemy. But when her pretend relationship with Captain Raid turns into something real, it not only puts her cover in jeopardy but also her objective. If she fails to finish her task, she’ll be marked a traitor to her kind, a crime punishable by execution. Unless Raid figures out her secret first, then he’ll be the one hunting her down. Azrielle must complete her mission before everything falls apart and leave no evidence or witnesses behind, even if putting a bullet in the captain’s heart shatters her own.

 

First 250 Words:

Fastest way to a guy’s heart is a bullet between the third and fourth rib. Knife works too, though it’s slower, messier, and requires close range. But I don’t need either.

No one beats me in a staring contest. Ever.

Classmates snicker at my dark, mirrored sunglasses as I navigate the loud, crowded hallway. I’m well aware of how stupid I look wearing them inside. These ignorant humans ought to be grateful. My fashion faux pas is the sole thing keeping them alive in my presence. Not that they realize, of course. That’s the point of being undercover.

A boy with a student council signa on his sleeve waves me over, probably assigned to welcome me. He leans against a massive stone archway scarred by faded scorch marks, dull claw scratches mar the polished floor near his feet. Iron bars reinforce the glass doors next to him that lead out the side to the grounds. Every window is barricaded the same way, but it’s not a jail, it’s to protect the students from Legends. Like me.

I look human, but I’m not. I’m a Legend, a monster. Cockatrice blood runs in my veins.

Mr. Student Council holds out a hand to me. “You’re new, sophomore, right?”

I shake it and nod. His strong, woodsy cologne wrinkles my supernaturally sensitive nose, it’s hard not to hold my breath.

“Welcome to Darton Academy. Don’t touch the perimeter fence; sometimes it’s hot. I’m happy to give you a tour, help you find your classes.”

10 thoughts on “#SonOfAPitch #TeamDiscord Entry 3: Hunting Legends”

  1. Hello! Kathy from #TeamRarity here to leave my thoughts. Please feel free to ignore anything that doesn’t make sense to you for your ms!

    Humans won the war between monsters and men. Now the supernatural world faces extinction. (OH! BUT NOOOOO!)

    Sixteen-year-old Azrielle Grave is a cockatrice with a lethal gaze and the ability to shift into human form. Undercover in war-torn New York, she must infiltrate and sabotage an elite squad of teenage monster hunters. If she is discovered, she’s dead. (Nice! Great character set up.)

    Seventeen-year-old Raid Ameen knows firsthand that winning the war didn’t make mankind safe. A weapons expert and captain of his school’s monster hunting squad, he is a master at stalking the things that go bump in the night. But then the new girl arrives. Distracted from his trigger happy-life, he has no idea he’s falling hard for the girl of his nightmares. (Nice! I also take this to mean dual POV.)

    Azrielle’s directive is to stop the rising body count—not flirt with the enemy. But when her pretend relationship with Captain Raid turns into something real, it not only puts her cover in jeopardy but also her objective. If she fails to finish her task, she’ll be marked a traitor to her kind, a crime punishable by execution. (Good stakes right there!) Unless Raid figures out her secret first, then he’ll be the one hunting her down. ***(Azrielle must complete her mission before everything falls apart and leave no evidence or witnesses behind)***<I wonder about moving this up before/ or combining with the statement starting with "If she fails her task…" They seem to be saying the same-ish thing and bringing us back to that thought isn't necessary.) seems to be, even if putting a bullet in the captain’s heart shatters her own. (Then add this end part into the stakes…how succeeding also means losing.)

    Really interesting premise!

    First 250 Words:

    Fastest way to a guy’s heart is a bullet between the third and fourth rib. (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Love this opening!) Knife works too, though it’s slower, messier, and requires close range. But I don’t need either.

    No one beats me in a staring contest. Ever. (Like laser eyes?)

    Classmates snicker at my dark, mirrored sunglasses as I navigate the loud, crowded hallway. (Sights, sounds, smells?) I’m well aware of how stupid I look wearing them inside. These ignorant humans ought to be grateful. (LOL! Ignorant humans.) My fashion faux pas is the sole thing keeping them alive in my presence.(don't need "in my presence") Not that they realize, of course. That’s the point of being undercover.

    A boy (any description?) with a student council signa on his sleeve waves me over, probably assigned to welcome me. He leans against a massive stone archway scarred by faded scorch marks, *and(?)* dull claw scratches mar the polished floor near his feet. (ALL THE INDICATIONS OF MONSTERS! WHEEEE!) Iron bars reinforce the glass doors next to him that lead out the side to the grounds. Every window is barricaded the same way, but it’s not a jail, it’s to protect the students from Legends. Like me. (But it won't hold the monsters back forever…right? A hint as to why she's there…)

    I look human, but I’m not. I’m a Legend, a monster. Cockatrice blood runs in my veins. (Dude. AWESOME)

    Mr. Student Council holds out a hand to me. “You’re new, sophomore, right?”

    I shake it and nod. His strong, woodsy cologne wrinkles my supernaturally sensitive nose, it’s hard not to hold my breath.

    “Welcome to Darton Academy. Don’t touch the perimeter fence; sometimes it’s hot. I’m happy to give you a tour, help you find your classes.” (Why thank you, Mr. Student Council, I won't kill you with my killer eyes…yet. *cue evil laugh* Sorry…got carried away…)

    This is fun! A monster at a school with humans! What can possibly go wrong? I wonder if there can be a hint as to what she is up to, otherwise I enjoyed this.
    Thanks for sharing your words!

  2. Query:
    Humans won the war between monsters and men. Now the supernatural world faces extinction. [Great opening line]
    Sixteen-year-old Azrielle Grave is a cockatrice [nice!] with a lethal gaze and the ability to shift into human form. Undercover in war-torn New York [good image, good hook], she must infiltrate and sabotage an elite squad of teenage monster hunters [I’m ungrounded because I don’t know yet who is fighting whom, and why. You tell me below that Raid is on the winning side…that helps, but a smidge of worldbuilding here to hint that Azrielle is fighting for…the resistance? Or something? To stop the body count…you mean of monsters? I guess it’s the “must infiltrate” that gets me, because that implies she’s compelled by someone to do so]. If she is discovered, she’s dead.
    Seventeen-year-old Raid Ameen knows firsthand that winning the war didn’t make mankind safe. A weapons expert and captain of his school’s monster hunting squad, he is a master at stalking the things that go bump in the night. But then the new girl arrives. Distracted from [from, or by? If he has no idea he’s falling for her, he must be distracted from, not by, his feelings.] his trigger happy-life, he has no idea he’s falling hard for the girl of his nightmares.
    Azrielle’s directive is to stop the rising body count—not flirt with the enemy. But when her pretend relationship with Captain Raid turns into something real, it not only puts her cover in jeopardy but also her objective. If she fails to finish her task, she’ll be marked a traitor to her kind, a crime punishable by execution. Unless Raid figures out her secret first, then he’ll be the one hunting her down.
    [New paragraph]Azrielle must complete her mission before everything falls apart and leave no evidence or witnesses behind, even if putting a bullet in the captain’s heart shatters her own. [This is an amazing query. If there’s any way to put some of the info about how Azrielle is forced by her society to do this mission into the first paragraph, it will help ground me more, but this is really intriguing!]

    First 250 Words:
    Fastest way to a guy’s heart is a bullet between the third and fourth rib. Knife works too, though it’s slower, messier, and requires close range. But I don’t need either.
    No one beats me in a staring contest. Ever. [Y’all are killing me with your openings. This is another GREAT one.]
    Classmates snicker at my dark, mirrored sunglasses as I navigate the loud, crowded hallway. I’m well aware of how stupid I look wearing them inside. These ignorant humans ought to be grateful. My fashion faux pas is the sole thing keeping them alive in my presence. Not that they realize, of course. That’s the point of being undercover.
    A boy with a student council signa on his sleeve waves me over, probably assigned to welcome me. He leans against a massive stone archway scarred by faded scorch marks, [I’d put a period here and begin a new sentence.] dull claw scratches mar the polished floor near his feet. Iron bars reinforce the glass doors next to him that lead out the side to the grounds. Every window is barricaded the same way, but it’s not a jail, it’s to protect the students from Legends. Like me.
    I look human, but I’m not. I’m a Legend, a monster. Cockatrice blood runs in my veins.
    Mr. Student Council holds out a hand to me. “You’re new, sophomore, right?”
    I shake it and nod. His strong, woodsy cologne wrinkles my supernaturally sensitive nose, it’s hard not to hold my breath.
    “Welcome to Darton Academy. Don’t touch the perimeter fence; sometimes it’s hot [this is kind of funny – the one thing he’s warning her about is the fence. It seems weird to me since they’re not at the fence right now. I think you could take it out, because we already have a good idea of how the place is locked down. If she has to have this info, I’d bring it in a different way] . I’m happy to give you a tour, help you find your classes.”
    [I love this beginning! Just the right balance of show and tell. I’m getting a good image of the world, and I’m feeling very grounded in the story and needing to know what happens next. That isn’t easy to do. Good job!]

  3. Query:

    Humans won the war between monsters and men. Now the supernatural world faces extinction. <>

    Sixteen-year-old Azrielle Grave is a cockatrice with a lethal gaze and the ability to shift into human form. Undercover in war-torn New York, she must infiltrate and sabotage an elite squad of teenage monster hunters. If she is discovered, she’s dead. <>

    Seventeen-year-old Raid Ameen knows firsthand that winning the war didn’t make mankind safe. A weapons expert and captain of his school’s monster hunting squad, he is a master at stalking the things that go bump in the night. But then the new girl arrives. Distracted from his trigger happy-life, he has no idea he’s falling hard for the girl of his nightmares. <>

    Azrielle’s directive is to stop the rising body count—not flirt with the enemy. But when her pretend relationship with Captain Raid turns into something real, it not only puts her cover in jeopardy but also her objective. If she fails to finish her task, she’ll be marked a traitor to her kind, a crime punishable by execution. Unless Raid figures out her secret first, then he’ll be the one hunting her down. Azrielle must complete her mission before everything falls apart and leave no evidence or witnesses behind, even if putting a bullet in the captain’s heart shatters her own.
    <>

    First 250 Words:

    Fastest way to a guy’s heart is a bullet between the third and fourth rib. Knife works too, though it’s slower, messier, and requires close range. But I don’t need either. <>

    No one beats me in a staring contest. Ever. <>
    <>

    Classmates snicker at my dark, mirrored sunglasses as I navigate the loud, crowded hallway. I’m well aware of how stupid I look wearing them inside. These ignorant humans ought to be grateful. My fashion faux pas is the sole thing keeping them alive in my presence. Not that they realize, of course. That’s the point of being undercover. <>

    A boy with a student council signa on his sleeve waves me over, probably assigned to welcome me. He leans against a massive stone archway scarred by faded scorch marks, dull claw scratches mar the polished floor near his feet. Iron bars reinforce the glass doors next to him that lead out the side to the grounds. Every window is barricaded the same way, but it’s not a jail, it’s to protect the students from Legends. Like me.

    I look human, but I’m not. I’m a Legend, a monster. Cockatrice blood runs in my veins. <>

    Mr. Student Council holds out a hand to me. “You’re new, sophomore, right?”

    I shake it and nod. His strong, woodsy cologne wrinkles my supernaturally sensitive nose, it’s hard not to hold my breath.

    “Welcome to Darton Academy. <>Don’t touch the perimeter fence; sometimes it’s hot. I’m happy to give you a tour, help you find your classes.”

    <>

  4. First 250 Rewrite:

    Fastest way to a guy’s heart is a bullet between the third and fourth rib. Knife works too, though it’s slower, messier, and requires close range. But I don’t need either.

    No one beats me in a staring contest. Ever.

    An upperclassman with a student council signa on his sleeve waves me over through the crowded hall, probably my assigned welcome committee. He leans against a massive stone archway scarred by faded scorch marks. Iron bars reinforce the scratched shatterproof glass doors framed by the archway that lead to the grounds. Every window is barricaded the same way, protection from Legends. Monsters like me.

    I look human, but I’m not. Cockatrice blood runs in my veins.

    Mr. Student Council’s gaze lingers on my dark, mirrored sunglasses like a question. This ignorant human ought to be grateful. My fashion faux pas keeps him alive in my presence.

    Not that he knows. That’s the point of being undercover.

    “You’re new, sophomore, right?” He shakes my hand. “Welcome to Darton Academy. I’m happy to give you a tour, help you find your classes.” He pauses with a glance around us and drops his voice quieter. “Free advice: steer clear of the Venator cadets— they’re never friendly, worse if you get in their way. Easy to spot armed or not. All they care about is hunting Legends.”

    “Same here, it’s my first class,” I say.

    His eyebrows jump and he straightens with sudden unease like he wants to flee. “Oh, you’re one of them.”

  5. First 250 Rewrite:

    Fastest way to a guy’s heart is a bullet between the third and fourth rib. Knife works too, though it’s slower, messier, and requires close range. But I don’t need either.

    No one beats me in a staring contest. Ever.

    An upperclassman with a student council signa on his sleeve waves me over through the crowded hall, probably my assigned welcome committee. He leans against a massive stone archway scarred by faded scorch marks. Iron bars reinforce the scratched shatterproof glass doors framed by the archway that lead to the grounds. Every window is barricaded the same way, protection from Legends. Monsters like me.

    I look human, but I’m not. Cockatrice blood runs in my veins.

    Mr. Student Council’s gaze lingers on my dark, mirrored sunglasses like a question. This ignorant human ought to be grateful. My fashion faux pas keeps him alive in my presence.

    Not that he knows. That’s the point of being undercover.

    “You’re new, sophomore, right?” He shakes my hand. “Welcome to Darton Academy. I’m happy to give you a tour, help you find your classes.” He pauses with a glance around us and drops his voice quieter. “Free advice: steer clear of the Venator cadets— they’re never friendly, worse if you get in their way. Easy to spot armed or not. All they care about is hunting Legends.”

    “Same here, it’s my first class,” I say.

    His eyebrows jump and he straightens with sudden unease like he wants to flee. “Oh, you’re one of them.”

    1. OH DUDE! What a great last line to leave me with…and a mean last line. Great job! I love it. Your creative brain did good, give it a cookie.

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