Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Feedback Request

Dear Agent,

Hidden Identities never stay hidden for long.

Emma wants Nick, but he is involved with Veronica, her arch nemesis. She thinks it’s impossible [hopeless]. [But then] Nick has [develops] a sudden interest in her [Emma] and she’s in denial until her dreams and her visions are revealed to her that it’s true [real]. There’s a monster lurking among [within] the town, murdering people on sight and Veronica is involved. When Emma becomes in [takes] her angel form, she will do anything she can to protect her town and her loved ones.

[This is not an improvement, so far. We start off thinking it's some kind of love triangle, then find out Emma has a superpower, and from nowhere there's a monster killing people, and finally Emma can or will become an angel. An opening like: Emma White will become an angel on her eighteenth birthday/when she completes the initiation ritual/next Wednesday. Maybe then she'll be able to win Nick Stone away from her nemesis, Veronica. Or maybe not, because on the same day, Veronica will become a demon. would fill us in on who Emma is right away.]

Veronica plans to keep Nick in her sights, but her relationship with him is on the rocks. She’s desperately trying to save it. The dark voice that lurks in her head doesn’t help either. The more she listens to it, the more she succumbs to the darkness within her. When she transforms into her demon form, she will stop at nothing to get revenge on Emma White, and anyone else who gets in her way. [This is all vague. Why does Veronica want revenge? Who wronged her?]

The closer they are to finding their identities, the sooner they realize that they are more connected than they think. [How are they connected?] Emma and Veronica’s stories intertwine to unravel the secrets that have been kept from them and how good and evil plays a role in their lives.

HIDDEN IDENTITIES, complete at 93,000 words, is a young adult paranormal romance and it is written in alternating POV. I think it will appeal to readers to fans of THE MORTAL INSTRUMENT SERIES by Cassandra Clare and HUSH, HUSH by Becca Fitzpatrick. This is a novel with series potential.


I still don't know why they don't know their identities or what will cause them to change form. Who's been keeping secrets from them? What secrets?


Joe Mosher said...

This version has the same major problem as the previous, which is that you're trying to focus on the love triangle while throwing in offhand comments about murders, angels and demons. It's like stopping along a hiking trail to admire an unusually beautiful flower, and oh by the way the rest of the forest is on fire. No matter how you describe that flower, readers are going to be more interested in the fire. It's an immediate threat. It demands focus, and a reaction.

People (which includes characters and readers) tend to focus on the major stakes over the minor ones, especially if the major stakes are life-and-death. If in doubt, go back to the source: taken as a whole, would you say your book is a love story set in a time of holy violence, or a battle between good and evil with a bit of romance to add flavor?

CartoonSara said...

I’d dump the log line unless you know that the editor or agent you’re writing to loves them. It’s too vague to be attention grabbing and if the reader decides to start thinking about how long Whitey Bulger was able to hide out instead of the next part of your story, you’ve lost the reader’s attention and your credibility.

Nick do anything aside from establish that Emma and Veronica think they're completely ordinary teens? If he does, Nick and the love triangle need to be in the query more to show how they fit in with the bigger story of angels vs. demons. If he's just part of the typical teen drama, then three sentences is way too much to devote to the love triangle that goes nowhere. Get to the secret powers, good vs. evil part as soon as possible. Don’t even mention Nick's name if he doesn’t figure into the main plot.

You have a worrying number of errors and words that don’t quite work. Your query should be a sample of your writing skills and since it’s short, every word and sentence should be carefully considered. Try reading it out loud and the problems with phrases like “until her dreams and her visions are revealed to her that it’s true” should jump out at you. If they don’t, you may want to spend some time working on your craft and applying that to your manuscript before you start looking for agents or publishers.

Iamanoldvampirechild said...

If Veronica is willing to kill Nick to get revenge on Emma, I think you should say it as that would increase stakes. If there is something similar going on, mention it. It's like there's a lot of lead up in the query, the ingredients for stakes, but then it's all vague and and I don't know why anything matters or what direction things are going in.

I thought EE's example of rewrite was good. And Joe Mosher articulated what I felt while reading it. The events don't feel connected by a general thread. I think maybe keep whole query in one point of view, even though it's in alternating pov in book. It would just be easier to connect to one character here I think

I agree with Cartoon Sara that if Nick is just a small part of story, then there's not really much room to introduce him.

khazarkhum said...

It might work better if it emphasizes hoe Emma and Veronica think Nick is their problem, only to discover he's part of something much bigger. Assuming he is. I still don't understand why they don't know their real natures.

St0n3henge said...

What is important here? Getting revenge? Winning Nick? Saving the town from a monster? What monster? Where did it come from and what does it want?

I'm still feeling like Nick is just a prize.

I agree the word usage needs help. For instance, "among the town." And I don't see a monster murdering people "on sight." If it can see clearly, that means the whole town would be dead pretty fast.

Why would Emma be in denial that Nick is interested in her if that's exactly what she wants?
There is a misused word or phrase in nearly every sentence.

Study the English language and how it is used. Or simply read good writing. Nothing that was written after 1972.

khazarkhum said...

Hearing dark voices makes Veronica sound schizophrenic, not demonic. If that's the case, then perhaps 'demonic form' should be a manifestation of her illness.