>Dear Secret Agent;

Sixteen-year-old Emma’s ability to heal makes her indispensable to the man who murdered her. The Collector has kept Emma’s soul, along with many others, as a trophy for years– until her glass bottle shatters and she escapes.

Emma is now a free, albeit hunted, ghost. But any existence is better than the torture of waiting to be used as a band-aid to a sociopath. Until she meets Ryan. He’s very much alive, making Emma’s lack of a body torturous. But, when Emma realizes the full extent of her healing ability, a real life becomes possible. She can’t justify her freedom when the Collector still holds countless other souls captive, including the girl who helped her escape. So, Emma decides to risk her freedom, and possibly Ryan’s life and soul to rescue the rest of the souls still trapped in the Collector’s morbid collection.

THE COLLECTED is a YA paranormal novel and is complete at 81,000 words. The full manuscript is available upon request. Thank you for taking the time to consider representing me. I look forward to hearing from you.



250 word revision:

Through the glass of Emma’s bottle, the tiny basement room appeared curved and distorted. The door crashed open and the Collector limped over the threshold. He dragged his left leg behind him, smearing blood across the floor with his foot. Emma’s heart sank. He needed her talent again.

The Collector staggered toward her. Glass bottles of various shapes and sizes occupied the shelves of the curio cabinet where she waited. Spotlights illuminated the carefully placed bottles, casting colorful shadows. Emma prayed he’d pass her by, but it was a wasted prayer. She knew what he needed, and none of the others could give it. His eyes scanned over them all, but stopped on her.

His fingers trembled as he grasped Emma’s bottle and loosened the lid. He left the cap on until he brought it to his lips, and in one fluid motion he removed the lid and inhaled, drawing Emma into his body.

A wave of his pain smacked into her and she gasped. She could feel the heat from his left leg as it throbbed with each beat of his heart. He squeezed his eyes closed, blocking Emma’s vision of the small room. When he opened them again the room tilted and he plopped down on the only chair.

‘Fix it’ Emma heard his thoughts as if he were speaking out loud. ‘And no funny business. If I have to force you this time, I’ll make you remember George for me. Do you want that?’

8 Responses to “#16-THE COLLECTED (REVISED)”

  1. patesden says:

    >I love the premise of this story.

    In the query where you say 'the full extent of her healing' you might want to be clearer. If you say exactly what this mean–like does it mean she'll get her body back–then I think the end of the query will be clearer and stronger.

    I think the 250 works. The only place which felt like a pov violation was where he sighed. How can she hear this with the lid on. The discription of the room and the shelves is something I figured she'd seen previously. Also I think you can cut "Emma prayed inside her bottle on the second shelf" since the next sentence makes this one unnessary.

    I'm curious and would read on to see what is going to happen.

  2. K says:

    >This sounds awesome! I remember your first 250 from Miss Snark's contest a while back, I think.

    I love the query, although it seems rushed at the end. I think you have a little room to slow it down a bit.

    The first 250 were pretty good, except near the end I think you start getting into his POV, when we started in Emma's. I got a bit confused, although it might just be because I've only seen the first 250.

    I think you've got a solid, interesting premise! Good job!

  3. Dorothy Dreyer says:

    >I would definitely keep reading this. The premise sounds great and I would love to know how Emma pulls this all off.

  4. B. Light says:

    >Thanks for the comments!

    I hope this isn't against the rules but I just wanted to clarify. Emma is sharing the Collector's POV in the last paragraph. When she is inside of him she experiences the world as he does. It's not really a shift of POV, it's Emma's POV while she looks out of his eyes.

  5. Kate Larkindale says:

    >You might like to clarify that she's seeing through his eyes, feeling what he is, because the sudden change in POV really jolted me.

    Otherwise, I thought the opening was fluid and interesting and would probably have read on.

    In the query, I was a little confused by the way she appeared to be a soul in a jar, then a ghost. Does she have a body somewhere that she's had her soul ripped from, or is she actually dead? And if she is dead, how can she be 16?

    Otherwise, it sounds interesting although I'm not sure if we are dealing with humans in Ryan, or some other species of being.

  6. Ebyss says:

    >This is very intriguing.

    The only thing I might suggest is switching up some of the words to avoid repetition. ie: bottles for containers, or since it is her prison you could call it a glass prison. And instead of wasted prayer, you could say wasted hope or wasted entreaty.

    I would keep reading.

  7. Jessie says:

    >what a fantastic premise. I'm hooked.
    query: there's a real jump between "real life becomes possible." and "She can't justify her freedom.." She was free, just not living. You need a transition and maybe a little more clarification. Your last sentence in that 3rd paragraph is too long IMO.
    I don't think you should mention being "committed" or that it's your first novel. there's nothing wrong with either of those things, but they make you sound sort of green when you want to sound savvy & like you've done your research (which I can tell you have).
    I had no problem with the POV shift and understood what was going on. This is one I'd want to read more of and hope makes it to the next round.

  8. E. L. Schneider says:

    Great attention grabbing first line (in your second paragraph), which flows right into an equally riveting second sentence!

    I thought you did a great job blending great plot content, while keeping it tight and to the point.

    On your bio paragraph, I would omit the "committed writer" and "eager to learn and grow." remarks. While I understand what you are trying to say, it might come across sounding a little juvenile instead.

    250 Submit:
    Great description and set up of Emma's surroundings. I had no issues at all with the POV and understood that it was Emma seeing through the eyes of the Collector – which can be a really cool twist, to your writing.

    I would definitely love to read more and see what happens! Good luck – I hope you make it to the next round!