Face-Lift 833: Trapped in the Masquerade
From the author: Thank you for all the criticism ... I took your nice and not so nice suggestions to heart. I think its better, so go ahead and rip it a part. I can take it!
It is Abigail Clary’s seventeenth birthday and better yet, it’s Halloween, the universal holiday to break the rules and get away with it. Her mother, who never seems to leave her alone or allow her to go to public school like a typical girl her age, suddenly has to leave under mysterious circumstances. Free from her mother’s ever watchful eye, Abigail makes plans with two of her BFFs to sneak into Emerson Academy’s ultra-exclusive masquerade ball. Unfortunately for Abigail, the masquerade ball is merely a trap set to ensnare dinner for the vampires that visit Emerson every Halloween and to choose three tributes for Callum who is the original vampire who secretly runs the magical world but yearns for something more—Abigail’s suppressed magical abilities. Abigail escapes the clutches of Callum and his minions thanks to Thomas Guerin, an ally of her estranged grandmother.
If the issue with vampires chasing after her, Abigail has a bigger problem: she starts to become increasingly sick with headaches and nose bleeds whenever she tries to use her magical abilities—the very thing that will save her from Callum and the vampires. As Abigail tries to navigate through her new and deadly reality, she has to come to terms with her feelings concerning her mother’s actions as well as her feelings for Thomas and find a solution that could save her life before it’s too late.
TRAPPED IN THE MASQUERADE is a young adult paranormal novel, which complete at 89,754 words.
This query has definitely improved over the original. However, the story now sounds pretty generic. I'm wondering why you chose to leave out some major things that could help differentiate this story. For instance, the time travel aspect and that Abigail is blind.
Also, I think you've fallen into the trap we all do at one time or another: being too close to the work right now to summarize it for someone coming at it cold. For example:
- she has to come to terms with her feelings concerning her mother’s actions - in this version of the query all we know is that Mom left mysteriously (a loose end here), so this statement doesn't make sense.
- her feelings for Thomas - all we know in this version is that Thomas is an ally of her grandmother. Without further info, a casual reader might very well believe Thomas is her grandmother's age and so we are left to wonder when we get to this statement just what kind of feelings Abigail has for him.
And a secret: Giving the exact word count is a query marks you as a newbie. Go ahead and round that word count up to 90,000.
Try the following formula.
Quickly set up the action:
With her overprotective mom away on business during Halloween, Abigail Clary and her two BFFs gate-crash Emerson Academy's ultra-exclusive masquerade ball. The ball is a ruse, though, held to ensnare dinner for a colony of vampires and to choose tributes for Callum, the original sire. When Callum sniffs out Abigail's suppressed magic -- abilities Abigail doesn't even know she has -- she stops being the night's blue plate special and becomes Callum's captive slave.
Next paragraph (flesh this out in your words):
Abigail is rescued by young and handsome Thomas. She learns she's descended from a family of witches, reincarnated through the ages (or whatever the link to 1273 is). To protect her from being hunted when she was born, Mom cast a spell that also left her blind. Now that Callum knows she exists, a family friend tries to keep her safe by zapping her back to 1273 where she met Thomas for the first time and fell in love with him.
Third paragraph (flesh out):
Mom's spell has been corrupted and Callum's henchmen find her in 1273 and zap her back to the present where she finds herself dying. Callum is coming and she has to figure out how to tap into her abilities in time to fend off Callum's plans, to connect with Thomas, and to reverse the spell that's killing her.
The concern I have is that after reading your synopsis over at EE's, is that Abigail doesn't really seem to be the one solving her problem. She appears to be a passive bystander at the end, which doesn't make for a kickass YA paranormal witch that YAs will love.