Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Grab My Heart #33

TITLE: The Quicksilver Conspiracy
GENRE: Adult Fantasy

When 16-year-old Kira’s best friend dies, Kira - convinced she is still alive - goes to the castle where she disappeared to rescue her. But to save her friend, Kira must kill an undead spirit, a choice that will destroy the magic protecting their city and Kira’s one chance to erase a memory she is desperate to forget.

“Come on, G. No one is going to die tonight.” Jerril Menkaure made another swipe for the ring of cast-iron keys, her electric blue nail polish leaving a trail of iridescent sparks in the dim sitting room.
Her goyle’s ears flattened against his head, and he hopped backwards, barring the way to the locked door her brother had strictly ordered her to stay away from. In his hard, dark eyes, the reflection of candle flames flickered.

“Nothing terrible happened when you broke me out of my room, did it? No monsters showed up then.”

Talons clutched the key ring tighter to the goyle’s chest. A string of harsh, staccato chirps burst from his mouth.

“But nothing’s here now. It’ll just take us a couple minutes in the library. In and out. I promise. If you can’t smell it -”

A fierce hiss startled her to silence.

 “Yes, I know everything here stinks to you. But trust me, if it’s in there, it’ll smell worse than anything else. You can find it before she shows up.”

G’s eyes bulged, and with a snap, his leathery wings spread to their full span.

“So now you’re just going to leave me to do this alone? You know if Jord said to stay out, that’s a good sign this is where he’s hiding it.”

With an explosive pop, G shifted into a foot-high woman with long black hair, bloodshot eyes, and fangs curling over her lips.


  1. Okay so I love your pitch, first of all. Very intrigued. Grabbed my attention right away. But the first page really just confused me, unfortunately. Whose talking? Is “goyle” a gargoyle or something? I think you just need to clarify things and add some descriptions.i had to read it again to kind of begun to form a mental picture of what’s happening. I like that it just starts in like the middle of scene (that’s kind of what it feels like but not in a bad way) I just...have no idea what’s actually going on here. It’s confusing. Also I wonder about your genre of adult fantasy when your MC is apparently 16? Just a thought. I think you have a really interesting premise and a good start it just needs a little tweaking in my opinion to show a little more of what’s going on and ground the reader a little so it’s not as jarring.

  2. I like the stakes in your pitch. Perhaps name the best friend, because "Kira" appears so close together, I thought it was the best friend. The opening was a bit confusing, "Her goyle's ears flattened against his head..." Does that mean Jerril's ears are goyle-like as well or does it need to be 'His goyle's ears'? A tad confusing. I like the tension you're trying to build and I too think a little tweaking will bring more clarity to the scene.

  3. I found the pitch very enticing, however, the first line is a little clunky and could be rearranged for a smoother flow. The genre seems misplaced--adult fiction usually doesn’t have a teenage MC. Both that and the voice (which is delightful) make this read like a YA.

    From what I’ve learned from agents and editors, opening with dialogue is not recommended because there isn’t a chance to be grounded in who is speaking, so the dialogue doesn’t have as strong of an impact. I do love the first two sentences and I think the problem would be easily solved by swapping them. Same type of issue with the last sentence, the wording is clunky, just switch the two halves. I adore the goyle and the nonverbal responses to her arguments. The hiss startling her seems a tiny bit out of character from what I’d expect with how familiar she seems to be with this goyle, especially if he is considered hers. It implies she’s afraid of him, but I doubt that is true. If it is true, then the rest feels off. A few more subtle descriptions threaded in of the room around them would really ground this scene, but it works for me as is too.

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