Thursday, May 03, 2012

The Writer's Voice contest: DAPHNE'S BOOK, Adult Fantasy

The Writer's Voice contest. This is an improved (hopefully) version of my query letter and first 250 words of DAPHNE'S BOOK, my latest novel. An agent told me I should present it as Adult literature, so here we go.


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ENTRY # 169


Title: DAPHNE'S BOOK
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Word count: 100,000



Daphne Chase is a literary prodigy. She became a published author at the age of twelve with a short story collection titled DAPHNE'S BOOK: witty remarks by a young girl.

It would have been every writer's dream, if only the short stories really were short stories. They were Daphne's personal notes, all names and her own strategically changed, neatly written in a diary her father -- famous, eccentric author Abelard Chase -- mistook for her composition notebook and handed it to his publisher. She could do nothing about it. It was better to let her father and the world believe all of it was fiction, instead of letting them know what they had in their hands were her secrets.

Six years later, it's still painful for her to think her privacy had been violated. When Creativity -- head of the Muses -- approaches her with a deal, she accepts it: in exchange of her devotion to him, he will help her write a masterpiece. She calls him Apollo, and he shows her that there is no limit to imagination. He believes, however, that a successful writer can only spring from solitude. 

When Apollo starts taking away the people she loves the most, Daphne has to decide between saving the people in her life or staying loyal to this entity that can give her a book so good it will erase DAPHNE'S BOOK from people's memory.

DAPHNE'S BOOK is a 100,000-word Adult Fantasy novel, a cross between Death Note and the dark mood of Stephen Poliakoff's Capturing Mary. I have a B.A. in English Language & Literature from Lawrence University, and am a U.S. Embassy's Brazilian Youth Ambassador.

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First 250ish (281 to be more precise, didn't want to stop in the middle of a paragraph. . . =S) words of DAPHNE'S BOOK


Daphne Chase rested her forehead on the window. The cadence of the bus, summed up with her low spirits, left her drowsy. She soon fell into a half awake, half asleep state of mind.

She could hear her father telling stories, his tone of voice going up to emphasize certain words and build up climax, like an actor excitedly reciting a monologue. Her mother's and brothers' laughter completed the chorus. They were happy together. Happy without her.

Daphne could hardly understand what her father was saying, and was eager to join her mother and brothers in praising his genius. A type of eagerness that was more out of obligation than genuine interest. Her father was Abelard Chase. The famous author, hero of his generation. She listened, and listened, and when she thought she had discerned the word 'ridiculous', she was pulled back from them with a jolt.

The bus had stopped and the lights were on. It took a while for her eyes to adjust to that sudden brightness. She blinked, confused, and tried to pick up here and there bits of what her fellow passengers said.

“This is ridiculous,” the man sitting next to her murmured to himself as he rummaged in his backpack. He found his cell phone and dialed a number, his fingers pressing each button with discontent. A quick glance at his wristwatch showed that it was almost 9:00 in the evening.

When he started complaining on the phone that he would be late, Daphne's attention shifted to the two women in the seats in front of her. “Maybe we should call a cab,” she heard one of them say. That was alarming. Why did we stop?

29 comments:

Alex Hayman said...

I really like this premise! Good luck!

-Alex (#85)

Rebecca Carvalho said...

Thank you so much, Alex. So kind of you. Best of luck!

Amalia T. said...

Interesting! I'm a sucker for Muses and Greek Gods :) Good luck!

Darci Cole said...

Sounds cool! Great voice :-)
Good luck in the competition! - #128e

Rebecca Carvalho said...

Thank you, Amalia and Darci. Best of luck to both of you as well. :)

erica m. chapman said...

I love the concept!! Your writing is beautiful ;o) Good luck to you!! And thanks for all your support ;o) It means so much!

Rooting for you!! Good luck!

Rebecca Carvalho said...

Thank you, Erica! I just keep thinking that if this doesn't work out, at least I'm going to have a few new friends in the end (am including you!).

:)

April Wall said...

Good luck from one TWV contestant to another! -April, #61

Marieke said...

Awesome premise! Good luck!

C. Issy said...

I really like this, Rebecca! This is definitely a book that I'd pick up at the bookstore. I love the use of muses. Boa Sorte!!!

Rebecca Carvalho said...

Thank you so much for your kind words, everyone!

Danielle Nau said...

This sounds like a great story. Good luck in the contest!

Rebecca Carvalho said...

Thank you, Danielle! :)

MarcyKate said...

Interesting premise - I agree, this does feel more like adult than YA ( I think I remember seeing it somewhere else as YA, right?). Your first page definitely made me want to turn the page :) Good luck!

Rebecca Carvalho said...

Yeah, Cupid put up my query letter on the blog a week ago, I think. Your comments were really helpful, thank you. I changed it, and now I have this version.

And I'm so glad you liked the premise. I know it's a hard sell, but I'll try. I hear people say they think the story is very interesting, so hopefully readers are getting more and more interested in New Adult literature, even though it still doesn't exist. For now, I'll target the Adult audience. It's the closest to my genre.

Best of luck with everything. You're already on the right track. It's only a matter of time until you get published. :)

Matthew MacNish said...

Hi Rebecca, I'm visiting your blog from the Writer's Voice Contest (entry #58), and I wanted to wish you the best of luck! I'm also now your newest follower, so: nice to meet you!

Summer Heacock said...

I love the mythology of this!

Good luck int he contest!

Summer - #40

Cherie Larkins said...

I agree with the others--you have an interesting premise here. Good luck!! :)

beccaweston said...

I could see how this could get dark and twisty very easily. Looks great! Good luck!

Rebecca Carvalho said...

Oh, wow, thank you so much. So many kind messages. And thank you, Matt, for following my blog. :)

Nicole Zoltack said...

Interesting! Good luck!

~Nicole, entry 68

Rebecca Carvalho said...

Thank you, Nicole! :)

Donelle Lacy said...

I really love the concept. The beginning could be a little stronger, but those are always hard. I'm definitely curious why the bus stopped too.

Good luck! Love your query!

Rebecca Carvalho said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca Carvalho said...

Thank you, Donelle!

You mean the beginning of the query letter? The first 250 words? Let me know. I guess BOTH, actually. :)

I've changed it many times, actually. The way both of them used to begin didn't focus as much on the main plot, so this is the version I have now.

Am open to improvement, of course, before I start querying this to agents interested in Adult Fantasy.

Carrie Butler said...

I love the comparisons at the end of your query. :D Best of luck!

Rebecca Carvalho said...

Thank you, Carrie! :)

C.G.Ayling said...

What a rush to find another Adult Fantasy submission, we are few and far between. I like your premise, it is so utterly different from my own - but isb;t that what fantasy is... the imagination given free rein? I'm looking forward to seeing you selected, and holding fingers you are.

Rebecca Carvalho said...

You are very, very kind. Now that Cupid, Krista, and Brenda made their picks, I don't think I have a chance in this contest. Monica, after all, loves YA.

I wish you all the best with MALMAXA. If Monica decide to go with Adult Fantasy, then I hope she'll pick you. :D