Monday, August 17, 2015

Feedback Request

The author of the book featured most recently here would like feedback on the newest version.

When sixteen-year-old Skye Bryar is abducted and taken to an island inhabited by the Naturae, people who can control the elements of earth, air, fire or water, she learns why the sun shines brighter when she’s happy, while the rain falls exactly when her tears do. [And why the snow falls when she's cold.] She is the daughter of Mother Nature, and can control all four elements.

With the humans devastating nature at an alarming rate, the Naturae have become as sick as the planet itself. But Skye remains strong, her father's human blood keeping the illness that grips the pure Naturae at bay. Drained of her health and powers, Mother Nature has become cold and spiteful, obsessed with putting an end to the humans [humans'] destruction of the Earth. Now her powerful daughter is the only one left who can stop them, and she has been brought back to the island to do just that. [I think this paragraph needs some minor reorganization. Also, it gives away the fact that Mother Nature is a villain, even though Skye doesn't stumble upon this secret until the next paragraph. I would go with:

With humans ravaging nature at an alarming rate, the Naturae have been drained of their health and powers. But Skye, whose father's human blood keeps at bay the illness that grips the pure Naturae, remains strong. She is the only one left who can stop the devastation, and she has been brought back to the island by her mother to do just that.]

Though for Skye harnessing the elements proves to be easy, from controlling the tides to making balls of fire out of thin air, [Next to controlling the tides, which could affect the entire planet, making fireballs sounds like a parlor trick. I'd go with spawning an earthquake.] life on the island is anything but. Not everyone can be trusted, the one romance she longs for is forbidden, and Skye misses the father and half-sister she left behind. And then Skye stumbles onto a terrible secret. Mother Nature doesn’t just want to heal the Earth, she wants to eliminate the threat of humanity completely. And she will use her daughters [daughter's] powers to do so- whether Skye is willing or not. Now Skye must figure out how to escape the island where she is suddenly held prisoner before she finds the blood of all humanity on her hands. [I think you need a better goal for Skye than escaping the island. Does getting off the island prevent the desecration of the planet or help the Naturae recover their health? Can she use her powers to save both humanity and the Naturae?]

NATURAE is a YA paranormal novel, which puts a dark twist on the usual perceptions of Mother Nature. It is a standalone novel but preferably a series [with series potential], complete at 50,000 words.

This is about ready to go, with a few minor fixes. No doubt you've put the novel itself through as rigorous an editing process as you did the query?


Anonymous said...

Now that's more like it. And not a hint of the Avarice! The father and half-sister are a thoughtful touch, and I especially like that spooky closing line about the "dark twist on the usual perceptions of Mother Nature."

But as EE said, I hope you've gone through a fiery baptism on the manuscript itself.

alaskaRavenclaw said...

This query is a lot better than the previous versions. Now there's just the problem of Mother Nature as a name-- you really should change it. Also, you've got to learn to use apostrophes by yourself when Evil Editor's not around to help you. Here's how:

Anonymous said...

Good job! Content wise, much better.

Some of those sentences could stand being significantly shortened/simplified. I'd also suggest somehow grouping the two separate places you talk about her powers. And, I agree about the problem of Mother Nature as a name.

InkAndPixelClub said...

This is a lot tighter than the previous drafts. Aside from a possible new name for Mother Nature (you can still say she's the entity that some humans call Mother Nature) and making sure your punctuation is correct, two things stuck out to me. One, the first sentence is a bit long. Skye's powers and the island of the Naturae should probably each get their own sentence. Two, the second paragraph starts to lose its focus on Skye. I'd really like to see a paragraph where being on the island starts off at least okay: the potential to get to know her birth mom, a possible romance and friendships, the opportunity to learn how to control her powers. Then you have paragraph three, where everything starts to go downhill.

Naturae Author said...

Ok. Thanks so much for your help everyone. I have been editing my manuscript along the way as well following some of these suggestions. I am going to work on the MS for a bit and get more outside eyes on it, and let the query sit, before I come back to it. I think the query is proving to be more difficult for me than even the novel itself. Please keep your eye out for my next version! And please keep the advice coming.

SB said...

It's interesting, by the end of the query I'm wondering if the Nature people (forgot their name) are even worth saving. Are they all as bitter and murderous as Mother Nature? Does the MC's challenge include choosing between finding a way to save the planet without killing humans and reluctantly letting the devastation continue in order to allow the Nature people to die (because they'll find a way to kill humanity if they don't die themselves)?

Interesting idea. I agree with renaming Mother Nature.