Face-Lift 774: Beauty for Ashes
I would love to see if this is better. There's less plot given away, but it's more succinct and I tried to emphasize each of the three main characters more. By the way, the book title comes from a verse in the Bible:
To console those who mourn in Zion,***
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
Dear Evil Editor,
When John Douglas' wife and infant are killed in a fire, he abandons his faith in the God who betrayed him. Ignoring the persistant Voice of the Lord calling him back, and drowning his pain with alcohol, he falls further and further from the man he used to be. An unthinkable act finally leaves him broken before the Almighty, but he must still deal with the consequences of his sin.
April has escaped an abusive relationship and fights to make it on her own, refusing to be a victim. With no place to go, she is willing to do just about anything to keep herself off of the street. It will take grim circumstances for her to realize she’s not alone.
Jenni is a faith-filled college student, waiting for life to begin. But when things don’t go as planned, she questions whether or not she has the strength to follow God even through the darkest valleys.
When their paths collide, God moves in each of these three lives, weaving their circumstances together to make something beautiful out of tragedy.
BEAUTY FOR ASHES is a 92,600 word Christian Fiction novel. Thank you for your consideration.
It IS much more succinct, Michelle, so kudos on that! Unfortunately, I think this is way too vague to be useful in evaluating the strength and merit of the manuscript. Honestly, it doesn't take any more words to be specific. Plus, you wind up with more bang for your buck through detail. And as M.G.E. pointed out in your first draft, you seem to rely on cliche to carry your message. Inspirational fiction still demands a story, not a sermon. CBA agents likely see tons of sermons.
My [Partial] Revision
When John Douglas' wife and infant [son] are killed in a senseless fire, his rampage against God leads him first to alcohol and gambling then progressively deeper into Las Vegas' seamy underbelly. He doggedly ignores the persistant Voice of the Lord calling him back until he wakes up one morning in a stranger's bed and [something profound and concrete happens that reawakens his faith and puts him back on the straight-and-narrow].
April has escaped an abusive relationship and fights to make it on her own. Even though she [turns to prostitution] to support herself, she doesn't realize she is simply substituting one form of victimization for another. It's only when she discovers she's pregnant after a one-night stand that she [instinctively reaches out for help and finds she's not alone.]
Jenni is a faith-filled college student who falls for John as hard as he falls for her soon after he starts to rebuild his life. But when a very pregnant April shows up and names John the father, Jenni [questions whether she has the strength to follow God through even what's fast becoming her darkest valley.]
Leave it to God to be able to weave something beautiful out of the fabric of this tragedy.
BEAUTY FOR ASHES is a 93,000-word inspirational novel. Thank you for your consideration.