Monday, May 16, 2016

Are You Hooked? Adult Genre Fiction #5

TITLE: Perceptions
GENRE: Adult - Fantasy

When nineteen-year-old Prince Vatren discovers a forbidden magical book thought to have been lost centuries ago, and that his father has been using it to remain on the throne, he must decide whether to destroy it or use its power to save the girl he loves.

Vatren tossed and turned, tormented by a maelstrom of what-ifs. What if his father found out he’d been seeing a commoner – would Namora be made an example of? The king had no love for his less fortunate subjects, that was for sure. They’d been so careful, avoiding any place Vatren could think of where they might encounter anyone of his acquaintance.

But the king had been clear at the other end of the kingdom for the last month. Rare was the news that traveled that quickly, even in Lokana.

Still, the prince worried. Exhausted but unable to sleep, he swung his legs over the edge of his bed with a groan. Moonlight streamed in through the windows, silvering everything in its path and illuminating the room just enough for him to find a candle. The night had been unusually cool, and coals still glowed in the hearth where a fire had crackled and popped a few hours before.

Light in hand, Vatren headed for the library and the dullest book he could find. He stole through the darkened corridors of the palace, praying he’d be able to read himself to sleep. When he reached the library, he headed straight for the back of the room. That’s where his father kept his most prized historical texts, so far out of sight that most of the royal library’s patrons had no idea they even existed.

The books were covered in dust; clearly no one had read them in a very, very long time.


  1. Yes, I feel like we are just sentences away from Vatren finding the forbidden magical book, and that things are going to really take off from there. The setting is very well done - I loved the line about the silvering moonlight. I am curious about the series of what-ifs: he identifies one (his affair) but no others. Maybe let us know a few more of the things that are keeping him up at night?

  2. I also liked the line about the silvering moonlight, and I'm holding my breath for him to find the forbidden book hidden among his father's boring histories. I think you could condense a lot of the first few paragraphs. If you start with him giving up on sleeping and heading for the library to look for a boring book, he could walk and think at the same time which would be a bit more active than tossing and turning in bed.

  3. I'm curious about why he has to destroy the book. After all, if his father is doing a great job as king does it matter it is forbidden? It might make your logline stronger if you add a descriptor to his father so we know he is evil/hated.

    I agree with Abbe, I think you could improve the beginning by starting with the action. Have him arriving in the library. He can rub tired eyes, and still think the same questions while he searches his father's collection for a dull book.

  4. I'd like to know more about Namora. He's worried about his father finding out, but what makes her so special that he's willing to see her behind his father's back?

    I'm curious as to why the book is forbidden. Knowing that might help with the stakes in the logline. And why would he destroy it? I gather that it's forbidden for a reason. Is his father a terrible ruler? Because of the book or because he's a terrible man?

    I'm a romantic, so I think a stronger start might be to show the lovebirds saying farewell and Vatren sneaking back to the castle. He could go straight to the library , knowing he won't be able to sleep. That way, you can show his fear through dialogue, show Namora (love her name, btw!) and why he loves her and her him. Just a thought! I think it would make your opening stronger because while your opening is well written, it is lacking in action.

    I would keep reading.

  5. I think you have a great intro! However, what stopped me up was the fact that he's worried, but he never fully explains why. What happened to make him worried? I want to worry with him, but I can't because I don't know the consequences of what happens. Plus, you say his father is out of the city at the moment, so that further negates some of the anxiety you're trying to build up. I love the idea of forbidden romances, but forbidden romances have to have strong obstacles.

    I also agree with Nicole Zoltack--I think starting with the two characters would allow us to form a stronger connection to both of them, and incite more worry into us about what may or may not happen if they were found out.