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Insouciance (YA Horror)

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#21 smithgirl



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Posted 20 March 2017 - 11:44 AM


Draft #4


When Madeline Schofield was seven, an angel taught her how to name demons. Now she’s eighteen, and wishing he hadn’t.


The summer before her senior year is supposed to be a quiet one: working at a downtown coffeeshop by day, hanging around her cousin’s pool hall by night. That changes when Madeline’s long-distance (?) dad presents her with a summer internship: a paranormal group seeks volunteers for their newest case. Their goal is to cleanse their clients’ home of a vindictive demon, before it destroys what is left of the family. To do that, they’ll need someone with insouciance. I like how this connects to the next paragraph, but I was confused because I didn't see that the query, up to this point, shows how Madeline is insouciant. Maybe make more generic: ...they'll need someone just like Madeline. 


Madeline is an insouciant, a psychic who interacts with non-human entities. With her parents’ encouragement, she used the ability in her past to name demons. There is power in knowing the name of an entity: once named, it can be commanded back to hell and save I know what you're trying to say, but the way you've written this, it refers to the demon, so confusing grammar--demon can save the the victim.  the possessed victim’s soul. Enter Madeline, escorted Better word.  into this  exorcisms to point at the monster and reveal its name.Redundant.  Because of this some called her gifted; others, exploited by her parents.


I think this paragraph is strong until Enter Madeline, then it seems to disconnect and become redundant.  I'm sure the exploitation is important in your book, but it doesn't seem important in the query, which focuses on how she must save this family from a demon. I would ditch the last two sentences or make them more relevant.



But this time, as Madeline tries put the demon in its place, she finds what used to come so easily for her is now a cat-and-mouse game. The demon evades each attempt to cleanse the home, and her failures only serve to enrage the demon. Madeline knows that the longer it takes, the closer the demon gets to its final act: possession. This is all clear.



Know a demon’s name, and you know how to command it. And when that doesn’t work, you get creative -- like learning a few tricks from her new friend, Death. Also clear.


INSOUCIANCE is a 74,000 word young adult horror story about angels, demons, and the mortals who try to live their lives despite them.



I think this query is much clearer, and it also addresses issues I found confusing before. My only big suggestion is maybe dropping the last two sentences in the second paragraph because I don't think they add anything. Great job!

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