Monday, May 16, 2016

Are You Hooked? Adult Genre Fiction #34

GENRE: Adult - Gothic Science Fiction

Vampires are going extinct. The cure to their impending doom is hidden within the veins of one woman who shifts from vampire to human like an undead Hulk. If this cure falls into the wrong hands, it might give life to a vampire race, but mean the end of a human race.


I chose to avoid the mirrors throughout the house. I feared what I had become, and the possibility of a confirmation should the mirrors stare back, void of reflection. I might embrace the change, but not with the help of mirrors. It would be in his eyes. He was irresistible, alluring, and everything I didn’t want. For that fear, I avoided his eyes as well—or, at least, I tried.


The air was sweet. Sweet, for a July evening. Sweet, and as close to perfection as the Michigan climate would allow. The temperature peaked around seventy-five degrees and only a hint of humidity accompanied a welcomed breeze, billowing my chiffon dress around my body. The bits of beading sewn in lace around my neckline jingled against one another with each gust, like the wake left by fairies, fluttering to and fro.

Whispers of lavender and vanilla, of earthy bark and fresh-cut grass, brushed against my face, carried by the warm current. I basked in the moment, if only for a second, before continuing ahead to the French doors of the banquet hall.

Once inside, a corridor illuminated by twinkling lights led me toward the sea of chattering voices. Before stepping toward the wedding reception, the smell of chlorine wrapped its comforting arms around me. I filled my lungs with the scent as I passed an indoor swimming pool. It reminded me of when I’d steal away to my aunt’s pool as a child.


  1. A solid logline -- I know the protag and what's at stake. What's her need though? What's the protagonist's goal? Is it to stop the cure from getting into the wrong hands?

    You do some 'showing not telling' here. See 'He was irresistible, alluring, and everything I didn’t want.' How was he irresistible and alluring? Some showing you can get away with but I'd try to avoid it in the first pages of a manuscript. Some nice images here and good use of all the senses. Good luck!

  2. That prelude left me going "huh?" I'd be inclined to skip it and instead convey her feelings about this guy when she is first face-to-face with him in the story.
    Get right into your Michigan evening. I would avoid the weather report and maybe start the second sentence just with, "A welcome breeze billowed my chiffon dress ..." That gives us enough to paint the scene. Good stuff, overall.

  3. Not hooked. I would avoid the prelude and at all costs avoid starting your novel with a weather report. Get into it quicker.

  4. The logline is well-crafted, but it's technical correctness strips any chance of voice showing through, which makes the plot seem really generic for me. It basically sounds like the Underworld movies to me. And while I enjoy those movies, something tells me you probably put hard work into your story to make it different than repeating a famous movie franchise and want that to show through. Someone else already said the logline also feels a little too "zoomed out" -- I agree, I think it might feel less generic if you could help us feel a little more connected to your main character's personal goals / struggles.

    I would keep playing with the log line until you get something spicier. You have the recipe down, clearly -- now you just need to SEASON. Go off book; go with your instincts. Your writing in the entry is very literary / full of free-flowing expression. Try to infuse that same energy / voice into the logline. Since your plot has vampires and a somehow done-before plot, making it stand out will revolve around being able to infuse it with that something extra you've given it.

    I really liked this line: "like the wake left by fairies"

  5. I'll spare the echoes and start by saying, "What Leo and mad-hat-writer said."

    Your premise is right in the heart of my wheelhouse, so I hope to read it soon.

    The excerpt succeeds for me primarily because your writing is very pretty, flows beautifully, and conveys a distinct and elegant voice. Were I reading this as a sample, I would pray something intriguing happens soon. Your prose would inspire me to look for excuses to invest the time and money in your story.

    That said, you could probably thread a bit more dynamic plot into the opening without losing the impact of your lovely flow. I'd look forward to reading active passages with your gift for description and mood. You set a scene and engage the senses brilliantly. More action and tangibles sooner would totally hook me.

    Thanks for sharing this. I hope it does well.