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The Timekeeper (YA paranormal romance) Revision at #48 - I will critique back

Young Adult Romance

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#41 Faegheh

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 02:19 PM

@KatieLDavis

 

I'm really thankful for your critique. It's amazing and unbelievably helpful. Next time I need to query an agent I'm just gonna find you and ask you to write me one. You seem like you've got the hang of this and I'm not sure if I can help you with your query. 

 

I have listened to about 80% of what you said, and it's because I know the whole story and if I change some parts it would lead the reader in the wrong direction. So again thank you :)



#42 Faegheh

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 02:23 PM

I just hope it's getting better.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

 

 

Seventeen-year-old Erica is a timekeeper, capable of stealing people's lifetime for her own use. But all the power in the world won't protect her from Daray, the man who murdered her family. Being cut off from society for so long, Erica leaves the safety of her hiding place to experience a normal life she never had.

 

Years of hiding from Daray's vicious intents has made her a self-serving, apathetic person with no sense of empathy regarding others. But all starts to change when she falls for her classmate Kyle. Despite her formidable power he falls for her too, taking down her walls and making her feel at home.

 

However her happy days don’t last long when Daray shows up at Kyle’s doorstep, demanding his help to kill Erica. She discovers that Kyle is part of an old circle devoted to eliminate all timekeepers.

Caught between her fear of Daray and her love for Kyle, Erica must make a decision: run away and let Kyle deal with Daray or stay and risk her life for the boy who has the power to end her life.



#43 KatieLDavis

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 09:57 PM

Your comments on my query were helpful! It's so much easier to edit others versus your own because you can't see the whole story in others' queries. I think when you know your story, you want to get it all out there and that can trip you up.

As far as this revision goes, I think it's an improvement! I'm glad you found my advice so helpful :)

But I still have comments. Firstly, I think you can combine your first two sentences to try and help with flow (it reads a little choppy). Secondly, the last sentence of the same paragraph doesn't say why she decides to leave, which is important. It's the event that sets your book in motion and it's full of drama! Definitely include the why before your next paragraph, and try to maybe it a little more exciting (no offense). Saying she decides to leave without the why is dull, and I think an agent would probably agree.

Good second paragraph! It's a little choppy in my opinion but it's concise and hits emotional strings. I'm feeling much more invested in Erica and her relationship with Kyle.

Your third paragraph could be joined with the second. Also, the two sentences of your third paragraph could be combined (to help it flow more smoothly).

Your last paragraph could use some more emotion,I think, to really drive home the stakes. Example: "Terrified of Daray but hopelessly in love with Kyle, Erica must make a choice." Or something that suits your voice. For the next sentence, perhaps: "Should she abandon Kyle to evade Daray's ill-intentions, or should she risk her life for the boy with the power to end it all?" Or however you see fit. Saying "leave Kyle to deal with Daray" is kind of ambiguous. Before, he seemed to want Kyle on his side. If Daray is a threat to Kyle, you should say so sooner. If so, that part needs emotion. So, "leave Kyle at the mercy of Daray," for example.

I think you've made a lot of progress here, and I think you're getting very close to perfect :) Your query is much more concise and focused, with no fluff to distract or confuse readers. That said, I think it's lacking a bit of emotion in certain key areas (like the beginning and the end). What you've got in your second paragraph needs to be across the whole story. And you don't have to go crazy, just a sprinkle of emotion. If we're emotionally invested (agents, too), we WILL keep reading until we either lose interest somewhere else, or we run out of pages. Hopefully the latter :) Great stuff here! You've got the foundation and the framework and most of the house is built, it just needs some paint and curb appeal to get those agents to check out the inside! :)

#44 punitrastogi

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 06:51 AM

Hi everyone. I'd love to get some feedback. The new query is at #42 Thanks in advance.

I would recommend that you provide the link to the latest version when you edit the first post.

Let me know if you need help in doing that.

 

Now to your query

I just hope it's getting better.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

 

 

Seventeen-year-old Erica is a timekeeper, capable of stealing people's lifetime for her own use. But all the power in the world won't protect her from Daray, the man who murdered her family. There is a jump here as it was not mentioned that she has been in hiding, or its duration. But that might just be me. Being cut off from society for so long, Erica leaves the safety of her hiding place to experience a normal life she never had Why? What was so critical?.

 

Years of hiding from Daray's vicious intents seclusion (?) has made her a self-serving, apathetic (repetitive) person with no sense of empathy regarding others. But all starts to change when she falls for her classmate Kyle. Despite her formidable power not sure what you mean by this. Does she steal time on purpose or involuntarily? It would make sense if it was involuntary. he falls for her too, taking down her walls and making her feel at home.

 

However her happy days don’t last long when Daray shows up at Kyle’s doorstep, demanding his help to kill Erica. She discovers that Kyle is part of an old circle devoted to eliminate all timekeepers. Good.

Caught between her fear of Daray and her love for Kyle, Erica must make a decision: run away and let Kyle deal with Daray or stay and risk her life for the boy The threat to Kyle is not mentioned hence this also comes as a jump from the previous para who has the power to end her life.

 

Hope it helps.

Its a solid query with a little detail needed.

 

Please have a look at my query too.



#45 Vio Liddell

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 06:23 PM

Hi!

 

I just hope it's getting better.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

 

 

Seventeen-year-old Erica is a timekeeper, capable of stealing people's lifetime for her own use. Maybe bring back a few details about the way she uses people's lifetime here. In your previous versions that sounded really cool  :wink: And those are the kind of details that make your story stand out. But all the power in the world won't protect her from Daray, the man who murdered her family. Cool. But you might want to hint at the reason why Daray murdered her family. Being cut off from society for so long (is being cut off from society due to her condition as a timekeeper, or Daray's stalking or both? I think you should specify here), Erica leaves the safety of her hiding place to experience a normal life she never had.

 

Years of hiding from Daray's vicious intents have made her a self-serving, apathetic girl with no sense of empathy regarding others. But everything starts to change when she falls for her classmate, Kyle. It might sound like a stupid question, but are timekeepers going to normal school like any human? Like, the Twilight kind of thing? Despite her formidable (dangerous?) power he falls for her too, taking down her walls (what do you mean by this? pulling her out of her shell or something?) and making her feel comfortable.

 

However her happy days don’t last long when : Daray shows up at Kyle’s doorstep, demanding his help to kill Erica. I agree that the shift in POV feels odd here. We jump from Erica's POV to Kyle's, then we come back to Erica. This is jarring. She discovers that Kyle is part of an old circle devoted to eliminate all timekeepers. Cool.

Caught between her fear of Daray and her love for Kyle, Erica must make a decision: run away and let Kyle deal with Daray or stay and risk her life for the boy who has the power to end her life. The stakes are clearly set but the writing is a bit dry. Try to insert some voice here. Like "run back to her hideout like the outcast she's been for so long, or risk her neck for the boy who was born to kill her (better liked this previous phrasing of yours!)"

 

Overall, I think this is a good query, though a bit short. You have some room left for a few more interesting details. Once you have included them and fixed that voice problem in your closing paragraph, you'll stand a chance of making a good deal out of this query, given the current YA market for paranormal romance  :wink:

 

I would really appreciate your feedback on my query too: http://agentquerycon...fantasy-rev-47/

 

Good luck!



#46 Faegheh

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 06:21 AM

I would recommend that you provide the link to the latest version when you edit the first post.

Let me know if you need help in doing that.

 

I'll be sure to do it. Thanks a lot :)



#47 Faegheh

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 06:24 AM

Hi!

 

 

Overall, I think this is a good query, though a bit short. You have some room left for a few more interesting details. Once you have included them and fixed that voice problem in your closing paragraph, you'll stand a chance of making a good deal out of this query, given the current YA market for paranormal romance  :wink:

 

Good luck!

Thanks so much. You've been very helpful.

And the answer to your question is yes, they go to normal school. 



#48 Faegheh

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 06:50 AM

UPDATE: First thanks for all the amazing feedback, guys. This is the new version. I've added a sentence on what it means to be a timekeeper. And there is this phrase: 'Feeling hopeless as ever' that I'm not sure is grammatically correct. I'll be grateful if you let me know.

 

Seventeen-year-old Erica is a timekeeper, capable of stealing people's lifetime. Whenever she is injured, whether it’s only a hand burn or a dislocated arm, she uses that time to heal herself.

 

As the last royal timekeeper, Erica is set to become the leader of her people. Yet not all the power in the world can protect her from Daray, the man who murdered her family to be the leader. The fear of him cut her off from society, but now after years of seclusion that has made her a self-serving girl, Erica leaves the safety of her hiding place to atone for the life she didn’t live.

 

Everything starts to change when she meets Kyle, the boy who falls for her, despite her dangerous power, and shows her the life she’s been missing. For the first time, Erica feels safe and can’t help falling for him. However her happy days don’t last long when Daray shows up at Kyle’s doorstep, demanding his help to kill Erica. Feeling hopeless as ever, Erica discovers that Kyle is part of an old circle devoted to eliminate all timekeepers.

Caught between her fear of Daray and her love for Kyle, Erica finds herself torn, forced to make the hardest decision of her life: run away and leave Kyle alone to face Daray or stay and risk the life she tried so hard to protect for the boy who has the power to end her.



#49 Robin LeeAnn

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 11:40 PM

Seventeen-year-old Erica is a timekeeper who's capable of stealing people's lifetime (Good hook, but I do have a question or two. Like does she steal the years from someone's life or just takes their lives right then and there?). Whenever she's injured, whether it’s only a hand burn or a dislocated arm, she uses the time she stole to heal herself. (It does seem silly to use someone's time to heal a hand burn, but I'mma go with it.)

 

As the last royal timekeeper (There was more of these people? What happened to the others?), Erica is set to become the leader of her people. But (Reads more fluidly than "yet".) not all the power in the world cannot protect her from Daray: (Either works, but I'd do a :.) the man who murdered her family to be the leader (Question: If her parents, who are the original leaders, are dead, wouldn't the power just go to her instead of him? So, "to be the leader" would be incorrect. I suggest perhaps: "...her family to get one step closer to taking the leader position for himself" or something like that.). The fear of him cut her off from society (How? Did she run away? Show this. - Also, this is when you'd mention that he took the leader position, because now it's available if she did run away.), but now after years of seclusion that has made her a self-serving girl  (Sounds strange to me, but could work.), Erica leaves the safety of her hiding place to atone (I'd use a simpler word than "atone" to help keep the flow of the sentence. I had to pause at that word for a sec.) for the life she didn’t live. (You mean to take the leader spot back?)

 

Everything starts to changes when she meets Kyle, the boy who falls for her (I wouldn't say that. Seems like random info. I want to know who he is and what he believes in. Not about his love life.), despite her dangerous power (What dangerous power? Why are you just mentioning it now?), and shows her the life she’s been missing (What life has she been missing? Be specific. Also, I thought she was going to take the leader spot back. What happened?). For the first time, Erica feels safe (Expand on this more. How does he make her feel safe?) and can’t help falling for him. However, her happy days don’t last long (Or: "...days are cut short when...") when Daray shows up at Kyle’s doorstep, demanding his help to kill Erica. (1. Daray and Kyle know each other? 2. Why would Daray ask for Kyle's help? He has the leader position, doesn't he? Shouldn't he have hundreds of people under him that can do the work for him? 3. Why is he looking for Erica if he has the spot?) Feeling hopeless as ever, Erica discovers that Kyle is part of an old circle devoted to eliminate all timekeepers. (1. That is a complete sentence. 2. What. A circle? Like a group? - Good tension, but I want more. I would change to: "...Erica realizes that Kyle is a member of the _(give name of circle here)__, which is a deadly group aimed at eliminating all timekeepers. They only have one more left to go.)

Caught between her fear of Daray (Why is she afraid of him? Does he have powers too?) and her love for Kyle (But if he truly loves her, he wouldn't be a threat and would betray Daray. もちろん.), Erica finds herself torn, forced to either make the hardest decision of her life: (This is telling. "Show" rather than "tell".) run away (again?) and leave Kyle alone to face Daray or stay and risk her life the life she tried so hard to protect for the boy who has the power to end her. (What power does he have??? Introduce that earlier on. That'll build more tension in the query. Also, how long have they known each other? Like how long has it been since she ran away?)

 

Good draft. The more questions, the more I was curious and interested in your query, so great job. You have a good plot and good set up going here. My main thing is details. I need more details about each other their powers. Like...does everyone have a power? If you introduce something, explain it.



#50 JuliAberg

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 06:20 AM

UPDATE: First thanks for all the amazing feedback, guys. This is the new version. I've added a sentence on what it means to be a timekeeper. And there is this phrase: 'Feeling hopeless as ever' that I'm not sure is grammatically correct. I'll be grateful if you let me know.

 

Seventeen-year-old Erica is a timekeeper, capable of stealing people's lifetime. Whenever she is injured, whether it’s only a hand burn or a dislocated arm, she uses that time to heal herself. Could you add a little voice here? Like, how does she feel about it. Is she okay with stealing people's lifetime or does she do it because she has no choice? I would guess she has no problem with it if she uses it for a hand burn but could you convey that in another way that has a little more voice. Something like: ...stealing people's lifetime, which to be honest most people waste anyway...   Okay maybe not that but you get what I mean (hopefully;))

 

As the last royal timekeeper, Erica is set to become the leader of her people. Yet not (But probably works better here) all the power in the world can​not protect her from Daray, the man who murdered her family to be the leader. ​Okay, so he murdered her parents but why does this make him the leader? Or is the timekeeper thing not inherited but you are like selected? You could probably make that clearer. Also why would he become leader be killing her family?  The fear of him cut her off from society, but now after years of seclusion that has made her a self-serving girl (sounds a little weird), Erica leaves the safety of her hiding place to atone for the life she didn’t live. ​Okay so she ran away? And that allowed him to take power? Why would she suddenly go back? I think you need to add her motivation here. Is her people suffering? Then why haven't she cared before? What is it that suddenly makes her brave enough to go back when she hasn't before? 

 

Everything starts to change when she meets Kyle, the boy who falls for her, despite her dangerous power, and shows her the life she’s been missing. ​Does she meet him before or after she goes back? Also try re-working this sentence, it reads awkward.   For the first time, Erica feels safe and can’t help falling for him. However her happy days don’t last long when Daray shows up at Kyle’s doorstep, demanding his help to kill Erica. Feeling hopeless as ever, Erica discovers that Kyle is part of an old circle devoted to eliminate all timekeepers. ​Okay, wait what? You lost me. So after your first paragraph I read Erica as rather selfish, stealing people's lifetimes to heal herself from small injuries. Then she decided to go back and reclaim her throne but somewhere along the way she meets Kyle and what, just gives up on her throne? Again, what is it that motivated her to return in the first place. And now Daray just pops in and wants her killed?  

Caught between her fear of Daray and her love for Kyle, Erica finds herself torn, forced to make the hardest decision of her life: run away and leave Kyle alone to face Daray or stay and risk the life she tried so hard to protect for the boy who has the power to end her. ​Okay so wait, now the story is not about reclaiming her throne at all but to protect Kyle? What about all the people she must have left when she fled. I'm guessing Daray isn't a nice guy so shouldn't it be more of a "how can I save the people I abandoned" kind of thing?

 

Okay so I haven't read your other queries but as you can see I have some questions. I really think you need to make her motivations more clear. Also, I'm left wondering about her power as a timekeeper. Like, why are they meant to be leaders if the power is to steal time from people? Why would anyone use it? I don't think Erica reads all that nice right but rather selfish and I found it hard to care about her. Of course it's sad that she lost her family but why would that make her bitter enough to use someone's lifetime so carelessly?

 

These things are hard. I'm struggling with my own so I feel your pain but keep going and I'm sure you'll get there! :)

 

Good luck!

 

Here is mine if you have the time. http://agentquerycon...-post-67/page-4



#51 Faegheh

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 02:40 AM

I feel like I need to clarify something here before posting a new version of my query.

 

Erica is not a nice girl and I'm not trying to sell her as one. She has issues in her life and she doesn't care who goes down with her. This is about who she is in the beginning and who she becomes in the end. There is no fun when someone is cool and nice from the beginning, I guess.

 

She doesn't want to reclaim her throne, she's suppose to become the leader. I thought it was clear by saying she's set to do so. I'll work on it. Also I added 'last royal timekeeper' to indicate that the throne is inherited. 

 

The next thing is probably my word choice, Daray wants to be leader, not that he is. He killed Erica’s family, obviously failed to kill Erica and because she’s the heir to the throne he wants to kill her too. Being 17 now means her family died when she was a kid so a kid is not fit to be a leader and Daray failed once doesn’t mean he’ll fail again in killing her so she has to hide until she can learn to take care of herself. So basically her people were waiting for her to get older and ready. And again because Daray is after her she must hide until she's strong enough to take care of her own. But she spends years in hiding that she misses on having a normal life. Now she is tired of hiding, she comes out and well Daray has been on the lookout obviously, so he shows up. So when there is no heir to the throne, the position is open for the next powerful person a.k.a Daray. Of course there are other reasons, but talking about them would spoil the story.

 

Thanks for your feedback, I'll be sure to use it make my query better.



#52 eric balson

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 01:01 PM

UPDATE: First thanks for all the amazing feedback, guys. This is the new version. I've added a sentence on what it means to be a timekeeper. And there is this phrase: 'Feeling hopeless as ever' that I'm not sure is grammatically correct. I'll be grateful if you let me know.

 

Seventeen-year-old Erica is a timekeeper, capable of stealing people's lifetime. How exactly does she do this? Does she like touch the person, and absorb his or her lifetime? Whenever she is injured, whether it’s only a hand burn or a dislocated arm, she uses that time to heal herself.

 

As the last royal timekeeper, Erica is set to become the leader of her people. Yet not all the power in the world can protect her from Daray, the man who murdered her family to be the leader. How did murdering Erica's family put Daray on the throne? Was it that Erica was too young to ascend the throne? If so, indicate that in your query. I'm guessing she's set to become leader because she's almost of age. Indicate that too. The fear of him cut her off from society, but now after years of seclusion that has made her a self-serving girl, Erica leaves the safety of her hiding place to atone "atone" makes it sound like she did something bad by not living her life that was ruined by someone else for the life she didn’t live.

 

Everything starts to change when she meets Kyle, the boy who falls for her, despite her dangerous power, and shows her the life she’s been missing. Wait, i thought the life she's been missing, as per the earlier paragraph, is a life of royalty and being with her people? Also "life she's been missing" is really vague. For the first time, Erica feels safe and can’t help falling for him. However her happy days don’t last long when Daray shows up at        orders Kyle’s doorstep, demanding to help kill Erica. Feeling hopeless as ever, The two parts of this sentence feel incompatible. The info about Kyle being a timekeeper slayer is presented awkwardly Erica discovers that Kyle is part of an old circle devoted to eliminate all timekeepers.

Caught between her fear of Daray and her love for Kyle, Erica finds herself torn, forced to make the hardest decision of her life: run away and leave Kyle alone to face Daray Why does Daray want to kill Kyle? I thought he needed Kyle's help? or stay and risk the life she tried so hard to protect for the boy who has the power to end her.

 

The title for your story and its genre usually come here

Hope this helps. Please review mine here (post #76): http://agentquerycon...o-we-are/page-4



#53 MakeReadWrite

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 05:26 PM

UPDATE: First thanks for all the amazing feedback, guys. This is the new version. I've added a sentence on what it means to be a timekeeper. And there is this phrase: 'Feeling hopeless as ever' that I'm not sure is grammatically correct. I'll be grateful if you let me know.

 

Seventeen-year-old Erica is a timekeeper, capable of stealing people's lifetime. Whenever she is injured, whether it’s only a hand burn or a dislocated arm, she uses that time to heal herself.

 

As the last royal timekeeper, Erica is set to become [the leader of her people.]  [is this queen? empress? maybe you could shorten] Yet not all the power in the world cannot protect her from Daray, the man who murdered her family to be the leader. The Her fear of him cut her off from society, but now after years of seclusion that has have made her a self-serving (did it make her very selfish? Self-serving seems to have negative connotations - could you try independent?) girl, Erica leaves the safety of her hiding place to atone (atone seems like she has something to be guilty for?) for the life she didn’t live.

 

Everything starts to change when she meets Kyle, the boy who falls for her, despite her dangerous power, and shows her the life she’s been missing. For the first time, Erica feels safe and can’t help falling for him. However her happy days don’t last long when Daray shows up at Kyle’s doorstep, demanding his help to kill Erica. Feeling more hopeless as than ever, Erica discovers that Kyle is part of an old circle devoted to eliminate(ing) all timekeepers. (does he not know she's a timekeeper? Or is he only with her to try and kill her?)

Caught between her fear of Daray and her love for Kyle, Erica finds herself torn, forced to make the hardest decision of her life (cliché/generalisation): run away and leave Kyle alone to face Daray (will he have to face him? I thought he wanted to work with him?) or stay and risk the life she tried so hard to protect (a little cliché?) for the boy who has the power to end her. (will she have to tell Daray she's a timekeeper? For me this the interesting conflict - that he's meant to kill her kind)

 

Such an interesting premise! You're so close with the query - just need to make sure all your word choices are spot on with their meanings/your intent and clear up a little motivation on Daray's part. Best of luck!



#54 kene

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 06:28 PM

Hi, Faegheh

UPDATE: First thanks for all the amazing feedback, guys. This is the new version. I've added a sentence on what it means to be a timekeeper. And there is this phrase: 'Feeling hopeless as ever' that I'm not sure is grammatically correct. I'll be grateful if you let me know.

 

Seventeen-year-old Erica is a timekeeper, capable of stealing people's lifetime. Whenever she is injured, whether it’s only a hand burn or a dislocated arm, she uses that time to heal herself.

 

As the last royal timekeeper, Erica is set to become the leader of her peopleWhat is the leader called?. Yet not all the power in the world can protect her from Daray, the man who murdered her family to be the become leader You can use this here if you alter the first sentence by using the leader's official title.. The Her fear of him cut her off from society,. but nowNow, after years of seclusion that has made her a self-serving girl, Erica leaves the safety of her hiding place to atone for the life she didn’t live. Nice ending to the paragraph

 

Everything starts to change when she meets Kyle,(Full stop) the He's the boy who falls for her, despite her dangerous power, (Full stop) and He shows her the life she’s been missing. For, and for the first time, Erica feels safe and can’t help falling for him. However, her happy days don’t last long when Daray shows up at Kyle’s doorstep, demanding his help to kill Erica. Feeling hopeless as ever, Erica discovers that Kyle is part of an old circle devoted to eliminate all timekeepers.

Caught between her fear of Daray and her love for Kyle, Erica finds herself torn, forced to make the hardest decision of her life: run away and leave abandon Kyle alone to face Daray on her own, or stay and risk the life she tried so hard to protect for the boy who has the power to end her.

I like your story, particularly the reveal of what her powers can do. It's a cool concept.

 

I wish you the best of luck. Can you critique mine? 

 

http://agentquerycon...iques/?p=345258







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