Monday, October 1, 2012

1st Rd Sm Press Contest #7 - Dracian Legacy

Dracian Legacy
YA Paranormal Romance
92,500

Query:

Ren and Axel are caught between two powerful magical races: one destined to end the bloodshed, the other out for vengeance.  

Seventeen-year-old Ren Pernell is prophesied to end the war between the Dracians and the Telalians.  Losing her parents in a gang-related incident tears her perfect world apart. When a Dracian, Axel Knight, is sent to find and bring back the prophesied one before she turns eighteen and Telalians discover of her existence, unexpected sparks start to fly between the two. Once Ren finds the truth behind Axel’s arrival, she wants everything to do with him and nothing to do with his mission.

Things prove to become difficult as Ren’s life is constantly threatened by the Goarders, humans who sold their soul for wishes, a Proxy Succubi, and the leader of the Telalians who has been searching for her as well.

With the clock ticking and Ren’s life in jeopardy, it is no longer just a mission for Axel.  It becomes a personal endeavor to save the only one he’s ever loved. In a heart racing ending, they must find a way to evade the preordained war that won’t also end Ren’s life.

First 150 Words:

Sunlight shimmered between the branches.  Quiet sobs and hushed words of comfort reached me, as suits and dresses gathered around us—filling my vision with one color.

Black.

In the midst of all the sorrow, the joyful chirping of a hummingbird touched my ears, shedding light to my heavy, darkened heart.  Even though my hair was neatly styled in a tight bun held by twenty hairpins, one stubborn strand kept coming loose without mercy as the wind blew around us.

The weather was the exact opposite of my mood.  I felt nothing, as if a black hole had sucked the life out of me.  My eyes were swollen, my body refused to respond, and I was cold.

Deathly cold.

“As we commit Jim and Irene Pernell to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection.  We enter this world with nothing and we leave wi—”

4 comments:

Lone Star said...

I enjoyed the first 150, but the query was a little confusing to me. Unfortunately, it's tough to explain all those new concepts without it being confusing, so cut out as many concepts as possible. Maybe leave just the two races and leave out "Goarders" and "Proxy Succubi," I don't think we need that detail.

In paragraph 2, please remove either "prove to" or "to become".

The orphan prophesied to save the world is a plot element that many consider overused. It's not a deal-breaker for me, but you might want to de-emphasize these elements.

The first paragraph was a great image.

Honey Badger said...

Hey, Entry #7!

I’m going around giving everyone at least one critique and one positive today. (Maybe more, if I spot something helpful.)

Positive:
- I loved the first 150. Well done!

Critique:
- It sounds like your book leans on the fantasy side of paranormal. Because of this, it will be difficult to orient the reader in something as brief as a query. Try to limit the number of specific names/terms you use.

Best of luck! :)

Mara Valderran said...

I was actually going to ask if you are sure it isn't fantasy. It sounds a lot like fantasy. And if it is fantasy, I completely understand why you will want to hit your head against the keyboard with the next thing I have to say...

I feel like there's way too much going on in the query. The opening is excellent and I love how you say that Ren wants everything to do with Axel (excellent names by the way) and nothing with his mission. I agree that you might want to cut out some of the people after them in the third paragraph.

Try not to get too caught up in world building in the query. I'm a hypocrite for saying that because it is a source of frustration with my query (take out too much, people have questions, leave in too much and it becomes convoluted and confusing), but it really is an excellent piece of advice I've received from more than one person. Keep it to the bare bones and let the query speak for the characters and their journeys. How do they feel? Why is Ren reluctant to go along with Axel's mission? What is she supposed to do to end the war? Does ending the war mean sacrificing her life (I feel like the last line maybe hinted at that)?

Just my personal two cents from what I've learned so far with querying. Keep in mind it is all subjective.

All that being said, I would completely read this. Especially after the first 150 words. Really great imagery and automatic connection to the MC. Keep it up! And feel free to email me when you get published so I can buy it! ;)

priyakanaparti said...

Thank you for your wonderful Feedback! I'll make the changes and reduce the noise :).

Priya
https://priyakanaparti.wordpress.com
https://twitter.com/pkanaparti