Sunday, February 23, 2014

Entry #48 - THE BOOK OF ADAM


Genre: YA urban fantasy


Despite the fact his guts are dangling from the live oaks like spanish moss, sixteen-year-old Adam Shelley isn't dead. His mom, Lenore, broke a demon's deal for a Philosopher's Stone and used it to turn him Immortal.

Now Adam's incurred the wrath of the heavenly council, who fear the Stone falling into the demon's hands could trigger an apocalypse. They grant Adam one-thousand days to tun the Stone over to them or suffer eternal confinement in Hell.

Sounds easy enough... if not for the fact the Stone's been missing since the night the demons tore Adam's family— and his guts— apart. Desperate, he sets out to find the Stone and take his fate back into his own hands. So that if he Falls, it will be of his own Free Will...

First sentence: The Philosopher's Stone is the Elixir of Life.


  1. Your premise sounds great, and I like seeing a male protag in YA! :D

    I like the opening line of your pitch, but have you considered flipping it to start with Adam? Right now, we don't know who the guts belong to until the 2nd half of the stc. So: Sixteen-year-old Adam Shelley isn't dead, despite the fact that his guts are dangling from... (love the spanish moss comparison!)

    The start of the 3rd para slightly echoes the first - Despite the fact... if not for the fact... Maybe reword the phrase in the 3rd para? Sounds easy enough... expect the Stone's been missing... See what you think. :D

    Personally, I'm not crazy over the last line of your pitch. Not sure what 'if he falls' (should it be 'fails'?) means and what it has to do with free will. In the setup, it seems apocalypse is the price of failure, so I'm wondering if you can tie that in more, but also make the stakes person for Adam at the same time.

    I think your first sentence is great. I happen to really enjoy statement-type openers - mine starts with one as well (#24)

    Hope this helps some, and good luck!! Sounds like a fantastic story!

  2. Sorry, typo above: Sounds easy enough... expect the Stone's been missing... *except* not expect. LOL

  3. I actually love how your pitch begins. Reading about someone's guts hanging out certainly grabbed MY attention! However, I do agree with the person above that the last line is confusing. I'm not sure what "Fall" means, or why this is his big conflict.

    The only other thing I found unclear is..did the council find out about him (and thus he incurred their wrath) when the deal was made (which is seems was a while ago), or when he got caught hanging from the tree? The start of the second paragraph makes me think it is the latter...but how did the council know about this? I think if you can tweak this a bit to clear that up, it may help.

    Overall, I LOVE this premise, and agree it is refreshing to see a male YA MC. Nicely done!

  4. I really like CherylAnne's suggestions! There are some great elements here and a bit of rearranging will really help them shine!

    Your use of the word "is" in the first line confused me a little, because it's my understanding that the Philosopher's stone PRODUCES the elixir of life. But perhaps your story takes a different tack? :)

    Love the line about the demons tearing Adam's family and his guts apart. Clever and creepy at the same time. Well done!

  5. I love your pitch, but a few things caught my attention. Does he know, in the first sentence, why he's not dead? It might make it a more interesting if we don't why he's still alive (the second sentence). I love the first sentence, it creates tension, but the second takes it away.

    In the second paragraph, again, the first sentence gives me a little more tension, but in reading the second sentence, I realize he's got almost three years to figure it out - that eases the tension again.

    You did a great job with your revision, but I'd like to see more tension. I hope this helps. I really do love the line about the guts, perfect!

  6. Your pitch is really strong. It could be a cultural thing, but I have no idea why you'd emphasis it's the live oaks (I plead Aussie ignorance). But that point did throw me from the pitch. Your use of capitals was a bit off-putting for me as well. No need to capitalise stone when it's not in it's proper noun form. Also shouldn't capitalise fall and free will. The emphasis is still there without it.

    Good luck

  7. The concept is unique--I like the mom and son dynamic. I think though, the writing needs more detail to make this pitch pop. There's not really much showing what led to this situation: "broke a demon's deal for a Philosopher's Stone." Was the deal for mom to get the stone, or give it in exchange for...something? Did Mom have it and was supposed to turn it over to the demon without using it? Or did mom take it from the demon and use it? Did she use it because her son was dying, or did she use it on her son so he would live forever and in a rage the demon carved him up like he wanted the candy from a pinata? Because it is unclear what "led" to Mom making (and then breaking) this deal, it's hard to see exactly how all this went down and why.

    I am also wondering a bit about if Adam and his mom are mortal, or angels? "Heavenly council" being involved, and Mom dealing with a devil in the first place aren't you're typical Sunday dinner thing, right? So give us a bit more information about this world and what leads to Mom making this deal or how the whole demon/Stone thing happens.

    A small thing: the word "live" in the first line sticks out like that detail is super important. But unless all other oaks are dead and so this is a very important detail to note, I would take it out.

    Thanks for sharing this. :) Good luck!

  8. Judge comment: I suspect you mean "brokered" not broke her deal with the devil. I want to know what the deal was. I do like the voice. I was hoping for a more dynamic opening line that was more character driven.


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