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Super Intern Contest – VIS DECOR: ALPHI

Wednesday, 13 June 2012  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 91,000


In an underwater village where talking to the Grey species is forbidden, sixteen-year-old Alphi McClure ignores her mother’s orders to desert her darker-skinned friend. In moments, her innocent friendship turns the villagers into a mob.

Forced to flee, Alphi swims across the watery planet to her uncle’s magical city. The only thing she wants is the open-mindedness of a larger civilization, but her hopes are shattered when her uncle, the city’s leader, turns his wand on a defenseless Grey. The prejudice is endless, and Alphi can only watch in silence—until the Grey rebels attack her uncle. And when they do, she joins them.

The rebels are the family Alphi longed for, ones who don’t tell her how to think or feel. But the declaration of war sends everyone up in arms, and once Alphi raises her fists against her own uncle, her rash decision to aid the rebels comes back to haunt her. Ripped between her family and her ideals, Alphi has no choice but to cry for peace. Yet the battle rages around her. Only a war can stop her uncle, and no one will be able to guide Alphi through the bloodshed yet to come.

VIS DECOR: ALPHI is a completed YA fantasy at 91,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

250-word excerpt:

The blue waves crashed over the planet’s colossal rocks. Under the churning water, the calm seabed sparkled with the intensity of Vis Decor’s two suns. Nothing lived directly under the surface, for the suns’ radiation wiped it out, but about a half of a mile down, the rays twinkled on a blooming coral reef.

Red coral spiked up in the blue water like a splash of color, and pink formations slithered over rocks like worms. Amongst all the color, mossy green snaked through the seabed, and orange tubes littered the floor: motionless, until—Plop! An Alpha popped out of the tube. Then another, and another, their smooth, off-white scales glistening as they pumped their fins and swam out of their houses.

“Malcorianism meeting!” one of the Alphas said, his thin lips curving into a smile.

Fifteen-year-old Alphi watched with deeply sunken blue eyes at the huge pinecone-like formation a distance away. It jutted out with slates of green and red coral, and every single Alpha in the village swam to it.

Except Alphi. She rested beneath a blue arch, playing with her feet as cool currents breezed past her webbed fingers. It twitched the membrane that attached her legs together.

“Alphi.” One woman stood next to a pink coral arch. Her skin was barely white enough to be called a Pure and many mothers surrounded her, pearls hanging from their white necks.

“Megna.” Alphi straightened. Her fin separating into two limbs, she slapped away the small fish that chirped around her head and stood up. “Hi.”

Filed: Contests, Misc

  • The title is a bit confusing. After reading the first 250 I know what it means, but you want a simple title to catch people’s attention. Just an observation ;o)


    I like this. I almost want to know more about the Grey since this Grey causes so much trouble, is it one being, or more? Does she take this Grey with her on the run? I’d like to know more about what happens when she reaches her uncle, not a lot, but some details so I can care about her more. Interesting set-up.


    There’s some nice descriptions at the beginning, but it goes on a bit long for me. I do like the first paragraph. It’s cute how you have an Alpha pop out of the tube, but I want to read this from Alphi. I would need more of an idea about her to keep me going. If maybe, you have Alphi describe the surroundings then it would read better, for me, at least. I probably couldn’t get past that beginning part, but there’s good stuff here.

    Thank you for sharing your work ;o)

  • SC Author says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • SC Author says:

    Thank you so much! This was exactly what I was looking for. You’ve helped a ton. Thanks for your indepth critique 🙂

    Just a question, do you think my query would garner some requests? And, if I made the 250 in Alphi’s viewpoint, would that get me some interest from agents as well?

    Thank you so much, once again! I can’t even begin to tell you how helpful this is. I’ll be putting your suggestions in place right away 🙂

  • I’m glad I could help! I can’t predict what agents will do, they’re a unpredictable bunch ;o) I just like to know the main character right away, but that’s only my opinion.

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