Sunday, February 10, 2013

Bouncer Post #162

Title: SHADE
Genre: YA Epic Fantasy
Word Count: 87,000


Dark creatures lurk in the shadows, and the part-demon prince alone possesses the power to summon them. Controlling the dangerous demons, however, is a talent the nameless teen has yet to master. The prince’s emotions are the key to summoning the demons, but keeping his feelings in check proves difficult with his mother’s smothering rules and demand for perfection. When the prince uncovers his mother’s nefarious plan to release the shadow demons through him, he loses control and all hell literally breaks loose. The prince is forced to flee for his life as the creatures destroy his castle home, and murder the one person he truly loves—his father.

Lost and exhausted, the prince discovers the warm and beautiful human world. He meets Vera, a girl hiding her own dark secrets underneath a tough exterior. She names him Logan and teaches him to control his emotions and, in turn, his dark power. But his bliss is short-lived when he learns his mother is hunting him. She seeks to exploit his dark power and will stop at nothing until she gets him back. Logan must elude the queen’s grasp and master his power, or risk losing Vera and turning the world he’s grown to love into a bloody, barren wasteland.

First 250:

He could easily end it. Summon a demon, let it gobble up the queen, and enjoy a peaceful supper without her scouring him for imperfection. The servants would probably applaud him.

Summoning a demon? No problem. Stop it from slaughtering everyone including himself, well…unfortunately not.

The prince gazed at the dark, stone walls of his bedroom. Their rough surfaces were like wrinkled pillows frozen in time—once soft now hard, cold and unforgiving. Not so long ago the prince saw kindness in his mother’s eyes. But those days had faded, growing harder to recall like a dream shortly after waking.

Fifteen servants stood in a rigid line against the far wall as though awaiting execution. Some trembled, others wrung their hands, but all eyes stayed trained on the queen as she prowled around the prince inspecting his preparation. One mistake was all it took to summon her cruelty.

His long, black cape pulled lightly against his shoulders as she examined it. He could tell her to get out. Maybe even slam the door in her face. The courageous corners of his mind surged with exhilaration at the thought, but he remained silent. This was her game. If he wanted to win—truly win—he’d have to play it right.

“I trust gloves were worn during your preparation?”

He tensed. The gentle tone meant to disarm him was poison nectar—sweet to the ears, deadly if believed. But no matter what she tried, he wouldn’t show her anything.


  1. Really love your opening 250. Great imagery. I am unclear what his "preparation" is and what she is inspecting. Unless you need this vague for plot, I would perhaps have this revealed, unless it's coming right after the cut-off. On the query, what pulled me out is that he is unnamed. I was left wondering why if he has family - maybe touch on that if it is important?
    Good job. Best of luck, Amy (#168)

    1. Thanks! Sounds like you've tapped into something I need to look at with the query. I appreciate your feedback. Best of luck to you too!

  2. Bouncer Colonel MustardFebruary 11, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    I'm going to wait until Thursday to announce my top 3, but I'm going to give everyone some feedback in the meantime.

    First, the concept is intriguing. I'm curious as to why he has no name, and I like that the mother is his foil.

    Some tweaks. You've got ALOT going on here and it will help the reader understand if you keep your terms consistent. For example, you first call your main character the "demon prince," then later call him the "nameless teen." It wasn't until I read further and saw Vera giving him a name that I realized they were the same person. I don't understand why the demons would attack their own prince, and that might be something worth explaining--though it does make me curious to learn more.

    Okay. Stay tuned!

    1. I love that you're "Colonel Mustard" by the way, made me grin. And thanks so much for sharing feedback. I can see I've got work to do on my query. Thanks again!

  3. The idea of a crazy, power-driven mother for the villian is fun! But I also got hung up on him not having a name at first. Perhaps a teensy explanation? I enjoyed the voice in your first 250, especially the 2nd paragraph. Only I would keep it all in the same tense, like this: Summon a demon? No problem. Stop it from slaughtering everyone including himself, well…unfortunately not.
    -Good luck from Entry #12

    1. Do you mean explanation in the query or explanation in the story (for his lack of a name)? It does come in the story later. Thanks for your suggestions. I'm going to take a look at things. Best of luck to you too!

    2. Just an explanation in the query.

  4. I have neverwritten a YA query so take my advice with a grain of salt. The line that really got my attention was that your MC has to kill his own father! Perhaps make that your hook and work your way from there.

    In your first 250 you've created a strong tension between mother and son.

    Good luck!

    1. Thanks! Yeah, my query definitely needs some work. That's why opportunities like these are so great. You get good feedback. Thanks again!

  5. I liked your 250 however I think "The courageous corners of his mind surged" should be replaced with "His courage surged". I think that the first three sentences in the query can all be re-written as one and still get the point across. Great premise.