Monday, January 14, 2013

Bouncer Post #33


Title: SIGHTLESS
Genre: YOUNG ADULT, URBAN FANTASY
Word Count: 82K

Query:

When sixteen-year-old Carly goes temporarily blind in an alley only to witness a gruesome murder in her head, she starts asking questions.

Answers arrive in the form of a Irishman named Liam, who tells Carly that she’s a daemon with the rare gift of Sightlessness. Not only does her gift allow her to telepathically overhear daemons around the world,  it qualifies her to join the ancient daemon council, known as the Dominatori.  Worried about dragging her father and little sister into this dangerous new world, Carly is on the verge of turning Liam down, until he divulges that her missing mother is dead, murdered by a rival daemon group known as the Dissenters.

Carly agrees to join the Dominatori--as long as Liam vows to help her avenge her mother’s death.

With the help of Liam, two powerful, teenage daemons, and Tyler, her hot best friend, Carly is soon on her way to becoming a lethal member of the daemon council. It seems only a matter of time before her mother’s killer will be brought to justice, until a late-night visit to the Dissenter headquarters reveals that Liam might have more to do with her mother’s murder than he lets on.  

Carly must decide if she will risk the safety of her friends and family to find the truth about her mother, or if she will turn a blind eye to Liam’s lies and continue to fight alongside the Dominatori agents she has come to trust.

Complete at 81,000 words, SIGHTLESS combines the struggle between family and individuality found in DIVERGENT with the kick-butt heroine’s journey of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”  It is my hope that the bizarre daemon powers, plot twists, and character driven narrative will appeal to you, as will the complicated relationship between Carly and her missing mother.

First 250:

Carly pulled her knees into her chest and stared up at the mass of bodies jumping and screaming above her. Their oppressive heat and the smell of cigarettes was making her head swim. She expected her first time in The Flying Owl to be exciting and sexy, but from where she sat on the floor of the club, she just felt sticky. 

‪Grimacing, she struggled to her feet, using her purse to fend off a drunk brunette that was stumbling around in silver stilettos. Even though the stage was only twenty feet away, she had to strain to see past the impenetrable throng of people in front of her. She was about to give up and get comfortable, when a bearded man in a Metallica t-shirt stepped in front of her, completely blocking the stage. I didn’t lie to my dad and sneak past a bouncer just to stare at the back of this guy’s greasy head! Carly stepped around the Metallica fan, pushed past a couple that were kissing furiously, then ducked under a railing. As she swung up on the other side, she came face to face with a squat, blond security guard. He scowled at her, but before he could say a word, she turned on her heel and dove into a cluster of girls that smelled like artificial lilac and over-ripe fruit.

Her best friend, Tyler, started his guitar solo up on stage. If she stood on tiptoe, Carly could just make out his face.

13 comments:

  1. Your premise sounds really intriguing! I think your query is too long, though, and I would cut it down to about 3 paragraphs, max. That's about when you lost my attention.

    As for your first 250 words, I love how you use the sense of smell to bring the reader into the club with your protagonist. I really felt like I was there too.

    I'm in the contest as well (#19), and I wish you lots of luck!

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  2. thanks!! I agree that it's too long -- I'm still fine tuning it. It's hard when it's fantasy, since there's a fair amount of world building you have to include in the query on top of character and conflict information. I'm still working on the perfect balance :) I'll check yours out next!

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  3. I thought your query was good and I like your premise. In a query clinic I attended at a conference, the agent commented on a YA fantasy query longer than yours, saying for the genre the length was fine. But, every word has to count in a major way. In your query, in the fourth paragraph down, I'd delete the first sentence. And put it like this:

    "Carly agrees to join the Dominatori--as long as Liam vows to help her avenge her mother’s death. Until a late-night visit to the Dissenter headquarters reveals that Liam might have more to do with her mother’s murder than he lets on."

    That keeps the whole Liam intrigue fresh in the reader's mind. IMO.

    Good luck!

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  4. Replies
    1. No problem. This well help cut down the word count, too! :)

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  5. I love your writing, and I can already tell I’d really like Carly as a character. I want to tell you your query’s too long (and technically it is a bit long) but it didn’t really bother me because it’s so well-written and concise. I never lost interest, and I understood what was going on. I guess maybe tighten a bit if you can, but I like it!

    The first 250 reads well, too. Nice voice, nice sense details, and even though there’s nothing fantasy-esque going on yet, I can see this scene leading to what happens in the query.

    Really the only thing giving me pause here is the genre, and I know that sucks. It’s just that paranormal/urban fantasy is SO hard right now and I’m so sorry to say this, but I’m not sure whether this plot is quite unique enough to grab an agent’s attention. This is so, so subjective, though, and I do really like the writing and the character…what the heck.

    YOU’RE IN!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, that's just mean. *secretly admires your deviousness*

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  6. Replies
    1. Woohoo! Can't wait to see where this goes! Congratulations! :D

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