Monday, September 17, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Contest #18 - The Nameless Warrior

TITLE: The Nameless Warrior
GENRE: Adult Fantasy
WORD COUNT: 118,000


Kindra Odion has trained the past eight summers to become her tribe’s first woman warrior, and avenge her father’s death. Many in her tribe expect her to fail, but she endures the whipping ceremony to prove her strength. It is her proudest moment, until she fails to receive her warrior name.

Kindra is determined to earn her name in battle regardless of the cost, until an enemy tribe arrives claiming her sister is to marry their chief as part of a peace treaty their father negotiated. Kindra knows he would never sell his daughter to the Obsidians, and is eager to fight. But when her chief allows them to take her sister, Kindra sets aside all thoughts of avenging her father and receiving her name.

The chief’s decision begins to divide the tribe. Half of the warriors assume he’s too cowardly to oppose the much larger Obsidian Nation. The other half believe he’s trying to eliminate Kindra's family, the only ones who could overthrow his power. As evidence of the chief’s treachery is discovered it threatens to place her entire tribe in the hands of the Obsidians. Kindra’s the only one who can depose the chief and save her tribe, but it will mean giving up the quest to rescue her sister, and the hope of ever becoming a named warrior.


Beads of sweat trickled down Kindra Odion’s spine as she sat cross-legged in the stillness of the vision tent. The fire had burned down to coals. The only sound was the crack of the embers and the whispered prayers of the High Priestess as she walked slowly between the inductees, blessing their foreheads with her oil-soaked fingers. Kindra’s twin sister, Kaye, followed behind with a clay pitcher of vision wine.

The long white dress of the High Priestess swished softly as she made her rounds. She dipped her fingers in the bowl of oil, placed them on Kindra’s forehead, and whispered her blessing.

“May Eoin recognize your spirit and welcome it as His own. May He bless you with courage in battle, strength to defeat your enemies, and wisdom to know when the fight is finished.”

Kindra bowed her head and the High Priestess moved on. Kaye stepped into her place and handed Kindra the pitcher.


  1. I want this one!

    (Ugh, not a judge...)


  2. Ooh, love the revision! It's crystal clear now. I'd read the hel* out of this!

  3. Oooh, Bad-A warrior women. I agree with JB!

  4. The 150 is very good, I can feel the warmth from the fire. I would have written that 180K was too long for a first novel - glad to see your tweet that it is really 118K.

  5. Jaye Robin, if the word count's off is there any way you can edit it in the post?

    If the actual word count IS 118k, you can consider this my vote!

    1. She fixed it for me - it really isn't 180k! That would be insane :P

      Thanks for the vote!

    2. What? Says who? I have a 191k story (that's not a typo) that gets bigger with every edit.

      I will admit to being insane if it helps. :p

    3. lol! I meant more that for *me* that would be insane. I don't want to edit that many words ;)

  6. This query still gives me chills. Will she choose her sister and her dream or the future of her tribe? SUCH a great conflict! Good luck! :)

  7. I initially skipped over this bc the hook is so buried in this query. You're leading with the fact MC is a woman warrior...which has a huge so what? factor. So are lots of protags these days. That isn't your hook.

    Your hook is that MC has to decide who to save - her sister and her career, or her tribe. IMO, lead with that. THEN tell us what it has cost her to gain warrior status, and
    hint at the relationship with her sister, to increase the tension of her choice even more.

    On the strength of your first 150 (which I'm really hoping continues with the whipping ceremony), you have my vote.

  8. You are a very talented writer! I was instantly grabbed by your opening page and love the concept you've got here.

    You have my vote!

  9. Kindra knows he would never sell his daughter to the Obsidians, and is eager to fight.

    This was the only thing that confused me in the query. I thought Kindra was the he until I read your first 150. That might be something to fix.


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