Friday, December 2, 2011

#33 YA Science Fiction: THE TRAVELERS

GENRE: YA Science Fiction

When Nik discovers she is a time Traveler, she unwittingly becomes the nemesis of the Traveler's City Director, who is breaking Traveler law by going back in time to reverse her own personal tragedy. Pulled into the backdrop of 1940s New York, Nik must find a way to keep the Director's painful past as it is, or risk losing hundreds of future lives - including her own.

For years, the doctors had been trying to figure Nik out. Her blood pressure was normal. Her sugar levels were fine. Three separate EKGs showed a perfectly functioning heart. Her MRI had been clear. She wasn't depressed, or anemic, or anxious. Narcolepsy didn’t cause pain. Epileptic seizures could strike at any time, not just at night.

She was normal. Normal in every way except for the visions. The excruciatingly painful visions that only came at night, and the boy with blue eyes she saw in every single one.

Nik always felt his presence an instant before she saw him, and this time was no different. A thrill ran through her, followed by a delicious warmth. Then, when she met his gaze, the images of terror - this time, of smoke, screaming, and bodies jostling against one another for escape - melted away into calm, confidence, and strength.

Then the boy with blue eyes became confused and distorted, just like he always did, and twisted together with the asphalt or dancing candlelight or police sirens, into the same thing.


A million knife points, stabbing at her skin from the inside and invading every inch of her body, so intensely that nothing else mattered. Not her fear of the visions. Not even him.

Nik forced her eyes open and flexed her jaw against the rough carpet fibers of her bedroom floor, wincing when it popped. She dragged her still-pounding head from the floor and glared at the useless pile of medical textbooks on her desk.


  1. I really like all the imagery in the visions with the boy and the pain. Also the opening about how she didn't fit into any of these predetermined diagnoses really speaks volumes. (Although, given the nature of her visions, I'm surprised she's not anxious lol)

    And again, such an awesome premise!

    Good luck! *eee* <3

  2. I agree with Lori, I love the imagery in this excerpt. And the opening line really pulled me into the mystery of wanting to know what is wrong with her. I want to read more now ;D

    Great job.

    Good luck :)

  3. Great premise, and I think 1940's NY will be a very fun, unusual setting. I also like how you bring the last paragraph of this first page back around to the first paragraph, with the visions in between. I'd definitely read on.

  4. I think you are the epitome of aweosome and that is all.


  5. I think the first few paragraphs exposit a bit too much, but I like the rest and I like your premise. The logline seems a bit cramped, and I think you could do with a little less and still get your point across.

  6. Very nice. Great job.tessa

  7. This is seriously amazing, Your writing absolutely rules and I am definitely requesting a signed copy when it's published :P

  8. Lovely writing. The part that hooked me was the very last sentence - the fact that the medical textbooks were USELESS.

  9. Fascinating concept! Really like the 1940s setting.

    The first line sucked me in immediately. I think it was because it elicited so many questions, and after reading the rest of the paragraph, only created more.

    And then the second paragraph...yep, I'm in!

    Beautiful, clean writing.

    More, please! :)

  10. I LOVE the imagery so much. Beautiful. That's what very first drew me to this book.
    And then after that, it was just awesome. :)

  11. I love your logline! Time travel for the win :)

    The opening of the story immediately hooks me - I love the first para and the mystery it brings up and then over course the visions. And, to be honest, any story with a boy with blue eyes can't be bad :)

    The imagery is great here as well, I can picture everything very clearly and want to dive deeper into the story right away.

    This is full of awesome - I totally need to read more!

  12. Lovely and very gripping entry! And I'm intrigued by your logline.

    Good luck! :)

  13. Love the logline! Great sense of stakes.

    I really like the imagery you have going with the vision, but I feel like this needs just one extra line between the part about her being normal and the vision itself that shows her slipping into it. I think that might ground the vision even more and give her waking up on the floor more impact. Of course, everything else in between is fantastic :)

    Also, love the useless medical textbooks - great way of showing how she's trying to take matters into her own hands and find the answers herself. Well done!

    Good luck! :)

  14. Oh I love time-traveling books! So I love the premise, and I also love that the stakes are so HUGE!

    I like the bones of the pitch, but I think it could work better with maybe 3 sentences instead of 2 long ones--or something like that.

    (LAME and ROUGH example of what I'm trying to say: When Nik discovers she’s a time Traveler, she unwittingly becomes the nemesis of the Traveler's City Director, who wants to go back in time to reverse a personal tragedy. But changing the past forbidden in the Traveler’s society. Pulled into the backdrop of 1940s New York, Nik must find a way to keep the Director's painful past as it is, or risk losing hundreds of future lives - including her own.)

    The 250:

    I like that Nik has been studying medicine to determine what's happening to her.

    I also like that there's a mysterious boy in her visions.

    I would love it if you ground the first paragraph to things in the scene.

    For example, you could start with Nik ripping open an envelope and seeing that her MRI and EKG were perfect. That way you'd be showing the reader that her body is normal, not telling that her body is normal. But then, it's just a suggestion :)

    And I feel for Nik that her visions cause pain!

    I wish you luck with this! As I said, I love the premise. ;)

  15. Oo, time travel! And 1940's even.. awesome!

    I found the opening paragraphs very telling vs. showing. I couldn't really get into the description of the vision because it felt forced somehow, like a rushed info session for the reader.

    I'm excited about the premise and I want to jump right into things--let her have a vision right away, or see something impossible, some clue of the time traveling to come. And to be honest, that the visions were of a boy put me off a little, until the scenes of the pain and police sirens etc. Not that I don't love an attractive time traveling boy--I just want to get to know the protagonist's personality first.

    Hope that's helpful and I love the ideas you have here!

    Logline: I’m interested in time travel, but I’m not sure why the emphasis is on someone else’s time travel instead of the mc’s.

    Line notes: For years, passive voice openings have left me a bit cold. Or rather, Nik should be active in her story, even in third person. (Just to say, I found this start with the doctors less immediate than perhaps jumping right into an experience of what’s different about Nik. Start with waking up on the floor, then begin to explain how it’s not new to her that she woke up there (as the narcolepsy or epileptic seizures might have explained)?)

    Overall: I picked on the passive opening in the sample, but the log line expresses a bit of passivity in the concept of this manuscript, too. It sounds like Nik, when she “unwittingly becomes the nemesis” doesn’t do anything actively or purposefully. So how is she the heroine of this story? I’d wish for the opening to establish this character and her trajectory a bit more. There is some nice descriptive writing, so I know you’re capable of transforming this opening. And I’ll be interested in seeing why the 40s are the decade to travel to, what event ties the two settings together for this story.

  17. I like your concept but openings with the MC waking up are done frequently. I've heard agents say this and have seen it myself from following this blog for a few years and reading hundreds of opening pages.

    The main issue with starting with a dream or vision is that your main character isn't in danger. Maybe she's foretelling something that will happen, but at this point in time she's lying safe in bed. There's no tension.

    I agree with Sarah above that Nik seems somewhat passive in this opening. Everything is happening to her. The part of your opening page that did interest me - the medical tests she had been through and the medical textbooks on her desk - is something I think you could expand on to have an intriguing opening. Perhaps you could start with Nik in a doctor's office having a test or receiving the results. You need to show us the scene where things change for Nik. If she's always having these visions then that's not what has changed, so show us what does.