Monday, January 21, 2013

Bouncer Post #50

Title: The Good Demon
Genre: YA Paranormal
Word Count: 87,000


No other demon has the combination of good looks, taste in clothing and general malaise toward all things sweet like Bartholomew.

Six years ago, Bartholomew was sentenced to the seventh circle of hell because of a failed coup. When Lucifer suspends his punishment to find the Shard of Gabriel, a powerful relic that gives one the knowledge of God, he sees his chance for escape. Of course, the demon could fail and be busted to the ninth circle of hell, but Bartholomew is focusing on the positive.

Bartholomew’s confidence is tested when he’s forced to partner with an angel. There’s nothing like a heavenly chaperone to drain the fun out of being a demon.

The search for the Shard leads the unlikely duo to go undercover at high school. There, Bartholomew experiences a hell unlike any other: life as a high school senior.

First 250:

The nerve.

One minute you’re in hell, minding your own business, getting your ass pummeled by every demonic being that fancied a go, and the next you’re shown the door and back on the ethereal plain without even the common decency of being escorted out by security. At least they could have warned me about the transfer first.

I opened my eyes. I was in a dark alley, completely naked. I coughed, emitting a small black cloud from my lungs. Every inch of my body felt like it’d been put through a meat grinder then nibbled on by a thousand cockroaches. My stomach was sick and heavy, much like it would’ve been the day after eating Tex-Mex. Even my bones vibrated like a tuning fork. What was I doing back on earth? Obviously someone had sent me here—you don’t suddenly get excused from a sentence in hell, even for a short frolic in the mortal world to stretch your legs. And especially not with a sentence like mine. I’d tried to take down the big man and failed. It took everything I had to keep them from adding an endless Highway to Heaven marathon to my punishment.

No, someone had struck a deal to get me out. But who? And for what?

Not even the chalk message on the brick wall provided a clue:

Bartholomew. Take the bag and clothes. Go home. More details to come.

That’s it. No name, no date, nothing. I didn’t even know the year.


  1. I love this entry! Even though I'm not sure why Bartholomew must go undercover at a high school to find the relic, I would definitely want more just based on the query. It's short and sweet with a hint of humor. Very nearly perfect.

    Then the voice in the writing sample is so strong it could grow legs and walk away. I wish I could read this NOW!

    Good luck!

  2. This is great! The 'undercover at high-school' and 'demon partnered with an angel' ideas are both such cliches, but it sounds like it's written with a humourous twist that would make it a great read. =)

  3. The voice here is amazing. I'd read it in a heartbeat!

  4. Too. Much. Fun. I wouldn't change a thing.

    Good luck!

  5. This is great. You have a fantastic storytelling voice. The query works well. I think you start your story at the right spot, and your early character-building is terrific. Have you ever considered switching to present tense? I think it would suit your writing well and give it even more immediacy.

    Good luck!

    -- Monica (#69)

  6. I was going to say the same thing as Monica above! I feel like the writing style would work well as a present tense. There's something about your flow in your writing that I feel would be even stronger as a present tense. I'm not saying change it of course, but it's something to consider.

    I do like how you start the story out. I'm immediately thrown into your MC's turmoil and already I'm drawn in. Not to mention, as I said before, really enjoying the voice of the MC.

    The only thing I worry about is what was mentioned above, is that the undercover demon / angel in a high school bit is out there already. Maybe bring up in the query why he was partnered with an angel in the first place? That's the part that interests me. Did Lucifer arrange the partnership? Why? Just trying to think of ways to make your query stand out even more in the crowd.

    Take what I say with a grain of salt! So far, I'd still want to read more.

    Good luck!

    -Copernicus (post #43)

  7. I love this! YOU'RE IN! :D

    Overall, I think this is terrific, but I do have a few thoughts for you.
    • Your last line is a better hook – I’d highly recommend re-wording and putting it front and center! The first line you’re using now does not deliver half the punch of the last.
    • This is a bit short. Can you go more into the stakes about finding the shard? What stands in their way? And what’s so terrible about the 9th level of Hell?

    First page:
    • “earth” should actually be “Earth” since it’s a proper noun.
    • I’d suggest finding a new first line. There’s no context for it so it’s not punchy there (at least not for me). I think it would be more effective after the first paragraph.
    • Otherwise, I’m totally intrigued!

  8. I love this entry! Absolutely great opening line and paragraph..."The nerve", etc...