Monday, April 12, 2010

Entry 17

Genre: YA Fantasy

Seventeen-year-old Isis has spent her whole life hiding. She hides the dreams that regularly come true, and the strange things that happen around her. She hides the bruises from her mom’s psychotic episodes that result from something strange Isis did. And she hides from her extended family and their whispers questioning her sanity. But it is easier to hide her headaches that are steadily getting worse and hope that insanity really doesn’t run in the family, than to fight against something beyond her control.

But all that changes the day Isis accidentally uses her powers to save herself from an exploding car. Dane, a classmate, witnesses the event and pulls Isis into a battle between two secret societies. Dane has the answers Isis has always wanted. He can help her learn to control her powers and hang onto her sanity. She finds herself drawn to his charms until her cousin, Kalli, shows up to persuade her to join the other side. Isis realizes that she’s not the only one who’s been hiding things.

Then Isis discovers she has the power to control people through their dreams, a skill very few people possess. When Isis pieces together the warnings from her dreams she learns of an impending bombing planned by Kalli’s group. Isis has the power to stop it from happening, but she has to choose between saving her cousin or stopping the attack. A choice no ordinary girl should make. Good thing Isis is anything buy ordinary.

DREAMING ISIS, a young adult contemporary fantasy novel, is complete at 65,000 words. It will appeal to readers who loved the intrigue of THE SUMMONING by Kelley Armstrong and to those who enjoyed the paranormal romance elements of NEED by Carrie Jones.


  1. Hey! I'm here to critique :)

    First off I love the title and your lead character. It immediately caught my eye as I was scrolling through.

    I have to say, the beginning did leave me a little confused. I love the parallelism you sent up with the hiding. "She hides ___. She hides___." It has a good rhythm to it. I do think, though, that you should work on making those lines more powerful by making it more clear what she's hiding.

    Like, for the first one, be more specific than the 'strange things that happen around her'. You can even take that out and focus on the fact that her (her?) dreams are coming true. Make it sounds more atmospheric, give it more voice because that's something that will immediately grab someone's interest.

    Also "her mom's psychotic episodes that result from something strange Isis did". Again this is a bit vague. You don't have to be super clear if there are some things you want to keep hidden from the reader at this stage, but you should make it sound atmospheric and mysterious enough that the reader can tell you're purposefully withholding information, but whatever that info is, it's probably awesome.

    Maybe three 'hides' is too much?

    Anyway, I definitely got a bit confused after the "and she hides" part. There's a lot of information here. I think it might help to find another way to present it. Have each idea logically flow into the other, one thing leading to the next, so we see the connection between each sentence.

    In the second paragraph, I'm not sure what her powers are here. Is it that she makes her dreams come true? But it doesn't seem like she can use that to save herself from an exploding car. Maybe make it more clear what she's doing. I mean you mention it in the third paragraph, but by that time I'm a little confused, because I thought that was the only power you mentioned she had in the beginning and I still don't know what saved her from the car.

    Finally, I think the query might read too much like "this happens, and then this happens". Maybe focus in on the crux of what your story's about and focus on that?

    Anyway, again it definitely seems interesting despite my concerns! Good luck :D

  2. This premise sounds great, and I thought the query was well written barring that last sentence in the first paragraph. I had to stop, go back and reread it. It was long and lost its momentum. Part of that may have begun with the sentences before. There may have been one too many bits about what she has to hide and I started losing interest.

  3. I love your opening paragraph. After that, it gets a little bit too synopsis-y for me. I'm not even sure you need to mention all the characters by name. Isis should be the focus, and you can easily tease us with her story.

    No title is set in stone, of course, but I'm afraid you might not get to keep this one, as it's so close to the very successful Dreaming Anastasia.

    Still, good luck, and nice work putting the feel of the story into the query.

  4. Jamie Weiss ChiltonMay 7, 2010 at 4:23 PM

    I think streamling your first paragraph will help the reader engage in the story more qickly. A few elements confused me: the fact that Isis hides "strange things that happen around her" -- this is vague, and I'm not convinced she can hide events. And her mom's psychotic episodes result from "something strange Isis did" -- does that mean Isis triggers her mom's psychotic episodes?

    How did Isis get these powers? And how does Dane have them?

    You have the promise of an action-packed story here; I would like to be more clear on some of the details, so I can tell how reality-based the story is.

    Nice work.


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