Monday, January 14, 2013

Bouncer Post #21

Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 110,000


Like most teenage girls, seventeen-year-old Serka Shadowwing wishes for a normal life, but being a dragon hated by your own kind makes that fairly impossible. Despite her own issues, the war between the mythological races has reached a boiling point, not to mention that the pride seems oblivious to their own looming destruction.

Determined to find answers and a way of somehow rectifying her mistakes, Serka takes up detective work and meets with unlikely allies and unfortunate foes, including a jazz-loving rogue and a haunting presence from her past. Serka discovers she plays a role far greater than ever imagined, but learning all the secrets involves deceit, retribution, and the choice of saving a world she no longer wants to be a part of.

Worse yet: There’s figuring out her feelings for Callan, and it doesn’t help that “love” is as foreign a concept as “world peace.”

First 250:

This could go two ways: live or die.

Right now, I’d take death.

The pain came first. Pain. Such a stupid word, created by ignorant, naïve fools who knew nothing of true agony. I slumped against the wall, swallowing a scream. My skin prickled, a million stabbing needles, the sensation crystallizing into an acute burn. My muscles writhed and convulsed. This isn’t happening. Denying the truth—that’s the way. Despite the beauty and avoidance of voluntary delusion, this was happening.


So soon. Now. I needed to Change.

But this was just another thing out of my control.

My mental barriers shattered, and I was no longer alone in my thoughts. I sensed the training room’s occupants, their attention focused on the master sparring against today’s first victim.

Serka? You all right?

Don’t bother me, Rekki. I struggled for coherency.  Just—please. Don’t.

I didn’t want concern or help, not from anyone, and not from Rekki, who somehow still considered herself the only friend of the hated submissive. Me.

Fireworks exploded in my head in a full sensory onslaught. Everything went mercifully black, but I didn’t pass out. No such luck. My sight returned, but in the other, unfortunate, why-did-it-have-to-happen-now way, shifting and warping with the sensation of suddenly falling.

As the colors floated around me, rainbow currents, pain slammed me again. I couldn’t tell if I’d really lost consciousness this time or not. I hovered between real and unreal, surrounded by endless nothing. Except her.


She wanted out.


  1. I'm a sucker for stories about dragons, so I would totally read this. I do worry that your query is too vague - all I really know from your query is that there's some kind of war going on, and it involves shape-shifting dragons. Your second paragraph has a lot of mysterious phrases that could work on a book jacket, but in a query, you really want to spell out what makes your book fresh and exciting, but the "unlikely allies," "unfortunate foes," the "haunting presence from her past," and the discovery that she plays an unexpected role in the war could apply to any number of books I've read recently. Also, the first sentence where the MC wishes she has an ordinary life is a little bit overused - I feel like starting off with something like your second clause, "Serka is a dragon hated by her own kind," would be much more dramatic and would set you apart.

    On the first page, it's great that you plunge us right away into this tense situation, but it is a little disorienting to suddenly be experiencing a huge amount of pain with your MC, and not have any idea what's going on - I would recommend doing a bit of scene-setting first, so that we know what's happening and that we can grow to care about Serka and the fact that she's in pain.

    Best of luck from Entry #7! :)

  2. Hey there, Entry #7. Thank you very much for your input. Much appreciated. The neurotic I am, I altered some of the query and added some detail--kind of wish I did that before entering! No matter. Again, thank you, and beat of luck to you as well~