It's time for another First Impact Critique, where I take a look at your queries, first pages, back cover copy, etc. You want to make an impact right from the start. We're here to help you do that.
If you'd like to submit your first impact material, send it to firstimpactAE@gmail.com. Details here.
Thank you so much for your submissions and critiques in October. Through randomology, I have determined that the critiquer who wins a 15-page critique from Jodi Meadows is Fiction Writer!! Send me an e-mail, and I'll put you in contact with Jodi right away.
November's prize will be winner's choice: either $10 for Amazon or B&N OR a 20-page critique from me. Anyone who offers their comments on First Impact posts in November is eligible.
This week we have a YA paranormal query from Nicole Zoltack. Thank you, Nicole! My inline comments are to the side, with overall thoughts at the end. Everything here is just my opinion. As always, your mileage may vary.
|This first line is nice, but I feel like|
the rest of the paragraph wanders a
bit. Could we skip tracking down the
witches and go straight to the truth?
fell for such nonsense and vows to forget about magic, but when her boyfriend’s mom is seriously injured, she’s tempted to do more than just pray. Surely God won’t mind if she’s using magic to help people. After her boyfriend's mother miraculously recovers, Crystal doesn't know who saved her. Despite worrying her magic will damn her to Hell or, worse, that she doesn’t even have a soul to condemn, she sets out to master her power. Unfortunately, flying and playing with fireballs attracts dangerous attention. When a witch hunter captures her boyfriend and shamans snatch her aunt in an effort to control her, Crystal can no longer ignore who she really is. But she’s still new to magic and if she can't figure out what she's capable of, forget about saving those she loves--she just might start the apocalypse.
A QUESTION OF FAITH is an 87,000-word YA paranormal novel with series potential.
I am the author of a fantasy romance trilogy, Kingdom of Arnhem - Woman of Honor (2009), Knight of Glory (2010), and Champion of Valor (2011) published with Desert Breeze Publishing. Fifteen of my short works have appeared in various anthologies, including Mertales by Wyvern Publications, and many collections by Pill Hill Press, with one more to be published next year, as well as another novel from Desert Breeze Publishing.
~Where Fantasy and Love Take Flight~
The Kingdom of Arnhem trilogy: Woman of Honor, Knight of Glory, and Champion of Valor
Available from DBP ~ Amazon ~ ARe ~ B&N
I like the opening line. It made me smile and got me intrigued.
But I think I interpreted it wrong. I thought that God answering nearly all her prayers was actually her magic powers manifesting. But Crystal's later conflict between her powers and God got me confused.
Does God really answer all her prayers? I'm having my own faith crisis right now wondering if I believe that or if it sounds like fantasy (and wondering what it says about me that my first thought was that was part of the fantasy). If God does answer her prayers (and it's not magic), I think this might raise the same question with other people, which distracts from your story.
If it's not really God (if it is her magical abilities manifesting), then I feel like her inner conflict of staying faithful vs. using her powers is a false one. They're the same thing. Shouldn't that be her inner conflict (i.e. are these powers from God or have I been believing a lie my whole life)?
The story sounds cool, but I'm not sure I'm clear on the central conflict. It's sad (and like I said, crisis-inducing) that I let this one phrase confuse me so much. I wonder if it's just me. What did the rest of you guys think when you read this one?