Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo
- - - - -

LOW ROAD (Historical Fantasy)


  • Please log in to reply
39 replies to this topic

#1 Ireth

Ireth

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,801 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 17 April 2014 - 01:12 PM

Revision #5 in post #31

 

Dear Agent:

 

Ólan Stewart doesn't know who killed him, or why. All he knows is, after clawing his way out of his grave, he's now an undead blood-drinker*. Unwilling to stay in Edinburgh and risk harm to his family, he finds a new home in Eilean Donan castle. It seems more trouble than it's worth. Caring for Ciaran, a blind, traumatized blood-drinker, is enough; negotiating living arrangements with a human clan is almost too much.

 

Ólan's hope for peace ravels when a clansman tries to murder Ciaran, and threatens to reveal the blood-drinkers to the other humans. Ólan drives the man out and hunts him down, but another blood-drinker steals his kill. The kill-thief leads Ólan to the City, a haven for their kind ruled by the ruthless Lord Conall. There Ólan finds his father, held captive with dozens of other humans as food.

 

Ólan's greatest test comes when Conall orders him to feed from his father. Drinking human blood will start Ólan down a dark path which, if followed, will turn him as corrupt as Conall. Sparing his father and his soul will put the lives of everyone Ólan loves at risk, living and undead alike. Conall will kill as many innocents as he must to keep one dissenter in line.

 

LOW ROAD is a ##,000-word historical fantasy, set in Scotland during the 1360's. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

*I use the term "blood-drinker" rather than "vampire" in this MS because it takes place long before the word "vampire" was invented. Throughout the MS they also use the Gaelic translation, sumair fala (pl. sumairach fala).


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#2 Brian E. Crenshaw

Brian E. Crenshaw

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 45 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 17 April 2014 - 06:22 PM

I think you need to find a different term for vampire than 'blood-drinker,' it's clunky and it feels to me like it really slows down your query.  My first impression is that you're trying to be original by calling the creatures something other than 'vampire,' but if so it comes across as a little too obvious.  

 

Also, I apologize for the messiness: I'm not familiar with this quote system yet.

 

Dear Agent:

 

Ólan Stewart doesn't know who killed him, or why. All he knows is, after clawing his way out of his grave, he's now an undead blood-drinker* (I think there is an issue with this sentence...if you want to tell us he's a vampire without calling him a 'vampire,' this could stand okay on its own as a description of an unknown creature, but is not strong as a consistent noun for the creature in question). Unwilling to stay in Edinburgh and risk harm to his family, he finds a new home in Eilean Donan castle. It seems more trouble than it's worth: caring  for Ciaran, a blind, traumatized blood-drinker, is hard enough, negotiating living arrangements with a human clan is almost too much.

 

Ólan's hope for peace  unravels when a clansman tries to murder Ciaran (omit comma) and threatens to reveal the blood-drinkers to the other humans. Ólan drives the man out and hunts him down, but another blood-drinker steals his kill. The kill-thief leads Ólan to the City, a haven for their kind ruled by the ruthless Lord Conall. There Ólan finds his father, held captive with dozens of other humans as food.  unk(I feel like this is a bit detailed for leading your reader to a synopsis of the story...this one event consumes a paragraph of your query, but it's complication slows down the read for me and makes me wish you had found a more elegant way to explain Olan's move from the castle to the City rather than "Murder attempt-->threat to reveal-->kill steal-->City)

 

Ólan's greatest test comes when Conall orders him to feed from his father. Drinking human blood will start Ólan down a dark path which, if followed, will turn him as corrupt as Conall. Sparing his father and his soul will put the lives of everyone Ólan loves at  risk, living and undead alike. Conall will kill as many innocents as he must to keep one dissenter in line.  (No disrespect meant, but this paragraph doesn't work for me.  I think something like "Olan's old life collides with the new when Conall commands him to devour his father" might work better, something to keep up dynamism within your query and a cleaner segue into how nasty Conall is willing to be...perhaps an earlier implication of how Olan does not want to become like him may be necessary to get the point across too)

 

LOW ROAD is a ##,000-word historical fantasy, set in Scotland during the 1360's. Thank you for your time and consideration.  (You need to know how many words you'll tell the agent it is.  If you don't know because it isn't done, then you need to finish before you query anyone)

 

*I use the term "blood-drinker" rather than "vampire" in this MS because it takes place long before the word "vampire" was invented. Throughout the MS they also use the Gaelic translation, sumair fala (pl. sumairach fala). (My recommendation is that you work the gaelic translation into the query right away so that you can use it instead of blood-drinker)



#3 Ireth

Ireth

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,801 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 17 April 2014 - 06:32 PM

Thanks for your comments, Brian!

 

(I think there is an issue with this sentence...if you want to tell us he's a vampire without calling him a 'vampire,' this could stand okay on its own as a description of an unknown creature, but is not strong as a consistent noun for the creature in question) Good point. I'll work on that.

 

(I feel like this is a bit detailed for leading your reader to a synopsis of the story...this one event consumes a paragraph of your query, but it's complication slows down the read for me and makes me wish you had found a more elegant way to explain Olan's move from the castle to the City rather than "Murder attempt-->threat to reveal-->kill steal-->City) Noted. I'm not sure how to smooth that out without omitting important details, though. Cause-and-effect is kind of important, no?

 

(No disrespect meant, but this paragraph doesn't work for me.  I think something like "Olan's old life collides with the new when Conall commands him to devour his father" might work better, something to keep up dynamism within your query and a cleaner segue into how nasty Conall is willing to be...perhaps an earlier implication of how Olan does not want to become like him may be necessary to get the point across too) I see what you mean.

 

(You need to know how many words you'll tell the agent it is.  If you don't know because it isn't done, then you need to finish before you query anyone) Of course. I have no intention of querying this one immediately; I just wanted feedback on the query for the time being, so I have it ready when the book is done. Ditto with my query for TENTH REALM.

 

(My recommendation is that you work the gaelic translation into the query right away so that you can use it instead of blood-drinker) I'll see what I can do. :)


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#4 KL Sanchez

KL Sanchez

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 238 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Southwest
  • Publishing Experience:Vanity publishing only (no sales).

Posted 17 April 2014 - 08:36 PM

Firstly, how close are you to finishing the manuscript, or are you currently simply revising?  If you try to put together a query too soon, you could find yourself omitting scenes that you add and referencing ones that you delete; you should keep that in mind while you're working.

 

Now, prepare for my Wall of Text Assault...

 

 

Ólan Stewart doesn't know who killed him, or why. All he knows is, after clawing his way out of his grave, he's now an undead blood-drinker*.

 

You need a hook first and foremost, although I'm sure you know that and are just working on the body of the query.  With that assumption in mind, let's tackle the first paragraph...

 

The first two lines - spliced together - could make a good hook on their own, and they set up the rest of the query quite well, actually.  I agree with the terminology; it doesn't actually matter in the query what terms you use, because the manuscript has its own words.  You can use "vampire" without reprisal, and it's actually quicker and more easily understood.  Don't worry about trying to sound too original; in fact, it'll make you look like you're trying too hard.  Agents don't like to see "cute" in queries, they just want (rather, need) the facts.

 

A query also isn't the place to show off, which can also make you look like you're trying too hard.  Just write smoothly and efficiently and you'll get attention.  A flourish here and there in an incidental manner isn't bad, but trying to be different just for the sake of being different can be frowned upon.

 

 

Unwilling to stay in Edinburgh and risk harm to his family, he finds a new home in Eilean Donan castle. It seems more trouble than it's worth. Caring for Ciaran, a blind, traumatized blood-drinker, is enough; negotiating living arrangements with a human clan is almost too much.

 

Dropping too many names can create a word soup.  It's not necessary to know the name of this castle, too, because it's only there for a short time in the query; strongly consider dropping it and making reference only to "a castle".  Too many names will make the query bog down and can even make it confusing to follow.

 

The next two sentences - although cleanly written - leave some questions.  Where did Ciaran come from?  Why is Ólan caring from him?  How did they meet?  Why is he important to him?  And why is Ciaran traumatized?  Why does he need care?  Is he an invalid?  It also brings up the question of why he's trying to make arrangements with humans, when he tried to get away from some in the first place; he's not human, so why is he trying to live with them?

 

 

Ólan's hope for peace ravels when a clansman tries to murder Ciaran, and threatens to reveal the blood-drinkers to the other humans.

 

I read this sentence and think KKK. :tongue: It would be clearer, though, to simply say that one of the humans finds out what he is and wants to expose them for some reason.  But that reason needs to be stated; is he afraid of them?  Angry?  Does he want their kind eradicated?  Is there a personal story regarding him?  Don't name the man - he's not important enough - but his reasoning could use just a touch of exposition for clarity.

 

 

Ólan drives the man out and hunts him down, but another blood-drinker steals his kill.

 

Why does he drive him out?  Why does he hunt him down?  From the rest of the query, it sounds like he's reluctant to kill, so why does he try with this man?  And isn't he reluctant to drink blood in the first place?  His MO is vague right now, and this one piece sounds contradictory; the rest of the time, he seems harmless, but right here, he suddenly wants to kill a man.  Why is that?  Is he angry with him and trying to silence knowledge of his nature?  Why the abrupt about-face?

 

 

The kill-thief leads Ólan to the City, a haven for their kind ruled by the ruthless Lord Conall.

 

Not to be too blunt, but "kill-thief" sounds contrived and juvenile.  I might simply state that the vampire who kills the man leads them to..., or better yet, splice the two sentences together:

 

"... rescues him by killing the man, then leads them to..."

 

Or something similar.  I always recommend, too, that you try not to use other writers' words in your query; you should let your own voice do the talking.

 

"A haven for their kind" also sounds a bit, eh, excessive; "a haven for vampires" works just as well.  It has the added benefit of cutting one word.

 

 

There Ólan finds his father, held captive with dozens of other humans as food.

 

Good, good... although a flourish here could actually be appropriate.  "...other humans, to be consumed at future feedings."

 

Or something to that effect.  Again, your own voice could probably do better than mine. :smile: A bit of description can also help give a clear idea of the implications.

 

 

Ólan's greatest test comes when Conall orders him to feed from his father. Drinking human blood will start Ólan down a dark path which, if followed, will turn him as corrupt as Conall. Sparing his father and his soul will put the lives of everyone Ólan loves at risk, living and undead alike. Conall will kill as many innocents as he must to keep one dissenter in line.

 

There are some "buts" and "howevers" that could spice this up, but Crenshaw has good observations; it feels clipped and disjointed here, like you could definitely tell this in a much more flowing, dramatic manner.  Let us feel the suspense!  Something terrible is happening and a hard choice has to be made, but we're not feeling the tension here as currently written; it reads off more as facts, not suspense.

 

Right now, I'm thinking the last two lines can be reworded and restructured to provide a more intense leaving line, one that could give the query the needed punch it deserves.

 

This is a good start - a good framework - but definitely be careful with it if you don't have the manuscript completed; and be careful with the revision and added/deleted/modified scenes... they could change the content and character of parts of the query.


~ It may look like I know what I'm doing, but by no means do I know what the hell I'm talking about. ~

 

~ The only Operations Director Furry Fiesta has ever known (since 2014) ~

~ ACFI Ops, Theme & Narrative Development, and Performance lead since 2017 ~

 

WIP Stories:

Michelle (WIP - Chapter 10 as of June 2017)


#5 Ireth

Ireth

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,801 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 18 April 2014 - 12:44 AM

Ooh, awesome, more in-depth crit!

 

Firstly, how close are you to finishing the manuscript, or are you currently simply revising?  If you try to put together a query too soon, you could find yourself omitting scenes that you add and referencing ones that you delete; you should keep that in mind while you're working. I'm currently at the beginning of the second draft, working through chapter three. This query reflects my plans for the rest of the draft. I'll edit it to reflect changes in the MS if need be, but I don't intend the storyline to change that drastically. The most of it might be more attention paid to Olan and Ciaran's relationship (i.e. them becoming a couple) if I decide to expand on it, but right now I think I prefer it as a background detail. I didn't classify the book as LGBT since the romance is not central to the story.

 

Now, prepare for my Wall of Text Assault...

 

 

You need a hook first and foremost, although I'm sure you know that and are just working on the body of the query.  With that assumption in mind, let's tackle the first paragraph...

 

The first two lines - spliced together - could make a good hook on their own, and they set up the rest of the query quite well, actually.  I agree with the terminology; it doesn't actually matter in the query what terms you use, because the manuscript has its own words.  You can use "vampire" without reprisal, and it's actually quicker and more easily understood.  Don't worry about trying to sound too original; in fact, it'll make you look like you're trying too hard.  Agents don't like to see "cute" in queries, they just want (rather, need) the facts. Noted. How would you suggest I splice together the first sentences?

 

A query also isn't the place to show off, which can also make you look like you're trying too hard.  Just write smoothly and efficiently and you'll get attention.  A flourish here and there in an incidental manner isn't bad, but trying to be different just for the sake of being different can be frowned upon.

 

 

Dropping too many names can create a word soup.  It's not necessary to know the name of this castle, too, because it's only there for a short time in the query; strongly consider dropping it and making reference only to "a castle".  Too many names will make the query bog down and can even make it confusing to follow. Noted. My intention there was to establish the setting in Scotland, but since I mention that in the bio, I can see how it'd be redundant.

 

The next two sentences - although cleanly written - leave some questions.  Where did Ciaran come from?  Why is Ólan caring from him?  How did they meet?  Why is he important to him?  And why is Ciaran traumatized?  Why does he need care?  Is he an invalid?  It also brings up the question of why he's trying to make arrangements with humans, when he tried to get away from some in the first place; he's not human, so why is he trying to live with them? All good questions. I'm not sure how to answer them in the query without clogging it, though. Ciaran is blind and traumatized because of Conall, but since he refuses to speak of it with Olan, I left it out of the query. Olan finds him wandering the moors, having been dumped there by vampires of the City (whom Olan doesn't meet and are thus unimportant to the query). Ciaran needs care because he's blind (which I figured would be obvious). The human clan arrives later, in accordance with historical fact -- the MacRae clan occupied Eilean Donan in 1362. I took some liberties with actual history and had the castle empty (ecept for a vampire-hating ghost) when Olan got there, whereas in reality the MacKenzies were there.

 

 

I read this sentence and think KKK. :tongue: It would be clearer, though, to simply say that one of the humans finds out what he is and wants to expose them for some reason.  But that reason needs to be stated; is he afraid of them?  Angry?  Does he want their kind eradicated? All of the above. I haven't quite fleshed him out yet -- as I said above, this query reflects my revision plans, not what I've written, since I have yet to reach that point in the current draft. Is there a personal story regarding him?  Don't name the man - he's not important enough - but his reasoning could use just a touch of exposition for clarity.

 

 

Why does he drive him out?  Why does he hunt him down? Both are because a) he doesn't want the guy around to be a danger to him and Ciaran, nor to risk the guy exposing his secret. I thought that could be implied from the query, but it seems I should have been clearer. From the rest of the query, it sounds like he's reluctant to kill, so why does he try with this man?  And isn't he reluctant to drink blood in the first place? Yes, but the kill in this case does not equate to a feeding. His MO is vague right now, and this one piece sounds contradictory; the rest of the time, he seems harmless, but right here, he suddenly wants to kill a man.  Why is that?  Is he angry with him and trying to silence knowledge of his nature?  Why the abrupt about-face? See my response above. I'll try to work this into the query, though maybe not in as many words.

 

 

Not to be too blunt, but "kill-thief" sounds contrived and juvenile.  I might simply state that the vampire who kills the man leads them to..., or better yet, splice the two sentences together:

 

"... rescues him by killing the man, then leads them to..." I wouldn't call it a rescue, since Olan is the hunter, not the prey. I see your point, though.

 

Or something similar.  I always recommend, too, that you try not to use other writers' words in your query; you should let your own voice do the talking.

 

"A haven for their kind" also sounds a bit, eh, excessive; "a haven for vampires" works just as well.  It has the added benefit of cutting one word. I think I might leave that in there, since I use the term blood-drinker (which I'll be chaning to vampire) twice in as many sentences. Once more seems excessive.

 

 

Good, good... although a flourish here could actually be appropriate.  "...other humans, to be consumed at future feedings." I like that. ^^

 

Or something to that effect.  Again, your own voice could probably do better than mine. :smile: A bit of description can also help give a clear idea of the implications.

 

 

There are some "buts" and "howevers" that could spice this up, but Crenshaw has good observations; it feels clipped and disjointed here, like you could definitely tell this in a much more flowing, dramatic manner.  Let us feel the suspense!  Something terrible is happening and a hard choice has to be made, but we're not feeling the tension here as currently written; it reads off more as facts, not suspense. Noted. :) I'll work on that when i'm more awake. It's getting late where I am right now.

 

Right now, I'm thinking the last two lines can be reworded and restructured to provide a more intense leaving line, one that could give the query the needed punch it deserves.

 

This is a good start - a good framework - but definitely be careful with it if you don't have the manuscript completed; and be careful with the revision and added/deleted/modified scenes... they could change the content and character of parts of the query.

 

Thank you again for your critique! I appreciate it immensely.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#6 continuum9

continuum9

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 62 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:None, but I do have an intense passion for writing. I've had a few news articles published in my local newspaper, but nothing real substantial.

Posted 18 April 2014 - 12:58 AM

Dear Agent:

 

Ólan Stewart doesn't know who killed him, or why. All he knows is, after clawing his way out of his grave, he's now an undead blood-drinker*

Olan Stewart gets an unquenchable thirst for blood after rising from the dead and becoming a sumair fala. <<<This is just a suggestion. I don't know if you want to use it.

 

Unwilling to stay in Edinburgh and risk harm to his family, Olan finds a new home in Eilean Donan castle. It seems more trouble than it's worth. Caring for Ciaran, a blind, traumatized blood-drinker, is enough; negotiating living arrangements with a human clan is almost too much.

 

Ólan's hope for peace ravels when a clansman tries to murder Ciaran, and threatens to reveal the sumair fala to the other humans. Ólan drives the man out and hunts him down, but another sumair fala steals his kill. The kill-thief leads Ólan to the City, a haven for their kind ruled by the ruthless Lord Conall. There Ólan finds his father, held captive with dozens of other humans as food.

 

Ólan's greatest test comes when Conall orders him to feed from his father. Drinking human blood will start Ólan down a dark path which, if followed, will turn him as corrupt as Conall. Sparing his father and his soul will put the lives of everyone Ólan loves at risk, living and undead alike. Conall will kill as many innocents as he must to keep one dissenter in line.

 

LOW ROAD is a ##,000-word historical fantasy, set in Scotland during the 1360's. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

*I use the term "blood-drinker" rather than "vampire" in this MS because it takes place long before the word "vampire" was invented. Throughout the MS they also use the Gaelic translation, sumair fala (pl. sumairach fala).

 

This sounds just as interesting as Winter's Queen! Perhaps more!



#7 RosieSkye

RosieSkye

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 632 posts
  • Literary Status:agented
  • LocationUS Southwest

Posted 18 April 2014 - 10:16 AM

Dear Agent:

 

Ólan Stewart doesn't know who killed him, or why. All he knows is, after clawing his way out of his grave, he's now an undead blood-drinker* (Good visuals here.). Unwilling to stay in Edinburgh and risk harm to his family, he finds a new home in Eilean Donan castle. (LOVE this place!) It seems But he soon finds it more trouble than it's worth. Caring for Ciaran, a blind, traumatized blood-drinker, is enough; negotiating living arrangements with a human clan is almost too much.

 

Ólan's hope for peace ravels (unravels?) when a clansman tries to murder Ciaran, and threatens to reveal the blood-drinkers to the other humans. ("Other humans" is confusing because right now I see the humans as ordinary people, and the blood-drinkers as immortal/undead/no-longer-truly-human.  Is Ciaran alive or undead? Can he be murdered?) Ólan drives the man out and hunts him down, but another blood-drinker steals his kill. The kill-thief leads Ólan to the City, a haven for their kind ruled by the ruthless Lord Conall. There Ólan finds his father, held captive with dozens of other humans as food.  (I think there's too much explaining going on in this paragraph.  The important thing is that Ciaran gets to the City.  (BTW, does he return to Edinburgh, or is it another city?)  You don't mention Ciaran or Eilean Donan again, so I'm wondering what the point of all of that is in the grand scheme of your story.)

 

Ólan's greatest test comes when Conall orders him to feed from his father. (Cripes, that's so creepy and disturbing! :) ) Drinking human blood will start Ólan down a dark path which, if followed, will turn him as corrupt as Conall. But sparing his father and his soul will put the lives of everyone Ólan loves at risk, living and undead alike (again, how can the life of an undead person be at risk?), because Conall will kill as many innocents as he must to keep one dissenter in line.

 

LOW ROAD is a ##,000-word historical fantasy, set in Scotland during the 1360's. (I'd move the year up above.) Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

*I use the term "blood-drinker" rather than "vampire" in this MS because it takes place long before the word "vampire" was invented. Throughout the MS they also use the Gaelic translation, sumair fala (pl. sumairach fala).

 

You've got some good stuff here.  I'd mention the year the story takes place at the beginning.  IMO it's always good to know info like that right away, because you can picture the characters better as you read - you know whether to imagine them in animal skins or hoop skirts, so to speak.



#8 Ireth

Ireth

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,801 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 18 April 2014 - 11:43 AM

(unravels?) Nope. A lot of people get this wrong. To ravel is to come apart; to unravel is to come together. An old knitted sweater will ravel, and you unravel the pieces of a mystery.

 

("Other humans" is confusing because right now I see the humans as ordinary people, and the blood-drinkers as immortal/undead/no-longer-truly-human.  Is Ciaran alive or undead? Can he be murdered?) Ciaran is a vampire, as stated in the first paragraph. Vampires are functionally immortal and inhuman, but they can be killed. The "other humans" refers to the rest of the clan. I might just use those words instead.

 

(I think there's too much explaining going on in this paragraph.  The important thing is that Ciaran Olan gets to the City.  (BTW, does he return to Edinburgh, or is it another city?) He does go back to Edinburgh, but only for a short time. From there he goes back to Eilean Donan for the remainder of the book. You don't mention Ciaran or Eilean Donan again, so I'm wondering what the point of all of that is in the grand scheme of your story.) He goes back to them both at the climax of the story.

 

Thanks for your comments! :)


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#9 RC Lewis

RC Lewis

    Splitting Braincells

  • Group Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,469 posts
  • Literary Status:published, in-between agents
  • LocationUS Southwest
  • Publishing Experience:STITCHING SNOW, Hyperion, 2014
    SPINNING STARLIGHT, Hyperion, 2015

Posted 18 April 2014 - 01:50 PM

(unravels?) Nope. A lot of people get this wrong. To ravel is to come apart; to unravel is to come together. An old knitted sweater will ravel, and you unravel the pieces of a mystery.

 

Ravel/unravel is one of the weirder word situations in the English language. They are not strictly opposites—"ravel" has somewhat contradictory definitions, and "unravel" is a synonym of it on one side. Unravel, however, does not mean to come together. It means the same as your definition of ravel—to come apart, to untangle.

 

The thing is, "coming apart" or "untangling" can be either positive or negative depending on the situation. That's part of what makes it an interesting word.

 

"Ravel" seems to be used almost exclusively in the original "thread/yarn-related" contexts, while "unravel" tends to be used in any abstract senses, such as plans unraveling (falling apart) or hope unraveling (being destroyed).

 

Because the usage of "ravel" is so uncommon, you might want to keep it out of the query. "Unravel" means what you want in that sentence as well, and is a more common usage, so you won't be placing a stumbling block in the agent's way.

 

(While we're pondering this, think about the verb "to dust." If I'm dusting the table, I'm removing particles. If I'm dusting a cake with sugar, I'm adding particles.) :wink:


_-Snow-Small.jpg           Spin-Small.jpg
   Stitching Snow        Spinning Starlight
     October 2014                October 6, 2015
       Hyperion                        Hyperion


#10 KL Sanchez

KL Sanchez

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 238 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Southwest
  • Publishing Experience:Vanity publishing only (no sales).

Posted 18 April 2014 - 05:55 PM

 

All good questions. I'm not sure how to answer them in the query without clogging it, though. Ciaran is blind and traumatized because of Conall, but since he refuses to speak of it with Olan, I left it out of the query.

 

If it's mentioned in the book, I would consider mentioning it in the query.  It sets up the backstory, but also needn't be thorough in detail.  It also sets up the character of Conall.  It's otherwise a question that might make an agent think.  You might only mention that he's been "...traumatized by the vampire Lord Conall."

 

 

Olan finds him wandering the moors, having been dumped there by vampires of the City (whom Olan doesn't meet and are thus unimportant to the query).

 

I can't see it mentioned in the current version that he was dumped there by the City vampires.  It reads right now that he wakes from his grave, decides not to stay in Edinburgh, and makes his way to the castle.  The way you just described it, it sounds like the City vampires initially reject him and he makes his way back to the City regardless.  This sounds like an important plot point and makes his relationship with the other vampires more complicated.  I would strongly consider mentioning it, because it increases the tension between him and other vampires if true.

 

As I mentioned before, try not to be vague; this isn't a cover blurb, it's a disclosure.  Anything that makes the characters deeper and more complicated is a good thing, and should make it look like you've done more than simply throw together a cookie-cutter plot.  While the vampires themselves are unimportant, what they've done with him has implications to the plot.

 

 

Ciaran needs care because he's blind (which I figured would be obvious).

 

Perhaps, but remember the cliché about the wandering blind kung fu master.  It's still unclear on how they meet and why Ólan decides to care for him.

 

You're right about it not being necessary to state the LGBT angle; while the romance might be central to the book, it doesn't necessarily drive the plot, and the agent could figure that out on their own.  Let it ride as it is, a historical fantasy.  I don't think it would be necessarily bad, though, to state how their romance develops, because that could show character development within the plot and an additional subplot, each of which show you've taken care with the book.

 

The dictionary definition of unravel:

 

3. Informal. to take apart; undo; destroy (a plan, agreement, or arrangement).
 
...Of ravel:
 
2. to tangle or entangle.
3. to involve; confuse; perplex.
4. to make clear; unravel (often followed by out  ).
 
5. to become disjoined thread by thread or fiber by fiber; fray.
6. to become tangled.
7. to become confused or perplexed.
8. (of a road surface) to lose aggregate.

 

...Where #1 of ravel parrots #5.

 

We'll assume you're neither dealing with yarn nor road surfaces, so we'll plug in the other definitions:

 

Ólan's hope for peace tangles... (ravels)

Ólan's hope for peace confuses... (ravels)

Ólan's hope for peace is made clear... (ravels out)

 

Ólan's hope for peace comes apart (is destroyed)... (unravels)

 

The coming apart definition of "ravel" only applies to yarn and knitting.  Unravel is your grammatically correct choice.  But when in doubt, stick with the word most often used.  You don't want to get too abstract or highbrow in a query; you're not there to show off, you're there to talk about your book.  And showing off can make it look like you're trying too hard.


~ It may look like I know what I'm doing, but by no means do I know what the hell I'm talking about. ~

 

~ The only Operations Director Furry Fiesta has ever known (since 2014) ~

~ ACFI Ops, Theme & Narrative Development, and Performance lead since 2017 ~

 

WIP Stories:

Michelle (WIP - Chapter 10 as of June 2017)


#11 Ireth

Ireth

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,801 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 18 April 2014 - 06:04 PM

If it's mentioned in the book, I would consider mentioning it in the query.  It sets up the backstory, but also needn't be thorough in detail.  It also sets up the character of Conall.  It's otherwise a question that might make an agent think.  You might only mention that he's been "...traumatized by the vampire Lord Conall." Fair point.

 

 

I can't see it mentioned in the current version that he was dumped there by the City vampires.  It reads right now that he wakes from his grave, decides not to stay in Edinburgh, and makes his way to the castle.  The way you just described it, it sounds like the City vampires initially reject him and he makes his way back to the City regardless.  This sounds like an important plot point and makes his relationship with the other vampires more complicated.  I would strongly consider mentioning it, because it increases the tension between him and other vampires if true. There seems to be some misunderstanding here. Olan is the one from Edinburgh; Ciaran is the one abandoned on the moors by the City folk. Olan doesn't even know about the City until he sees it for himself, since Ciaran refuses to speak of his ordeal there.

 

As I mentioned before, try not to be vague; this isn't a cover blurb, it's a disclosure.  Anything that makes the characters deeper and more complicated is a good thing, and should make it look like you've done more than simply throw together a cookie-cutter plot.  While the vampires themselves are unimportant, what they've done with him has implications to the plot.

 

 

Perhaps, but remember the cliché about the wandering blind kung fu master.  It's still unclear on how they meet and why Ólan decides to care for him. Fair enough.

 

You're right about it not being necessary to state the LGBT angle; while the romance might be central to the book, it doesn't necessarily drive the plot, and the agent could figure that out on their own. Let it ride as it is, a historical fantasy.  I don't think it would be necessarily bad, though, to state how their romance develops, because that could show character development within the plot and an additional subplot, each of which show you've taken care with the book. It's not central to the book at all, honestly. In the first draft, Ciaran doesn't reveal he loves Olan until the climax, whereas Olan is entirely unsure of his feelings for Ciaran. I'm still unsure of whether to introduce that element earlier in the plot, or leaving it as a sudden revelation, albeit with clues dropped throughout the book.

 

The dictionary definition of unravel:

 

3. Informal. to take apart; undo; destroy (a plan, agreement, or arrangement).
 
...Of ravel:
 
2. to tangle or entangle.
3. to involve; confuse; perplex.
4. to make clear; unravel (often followed by out  ).
 
5. to become disjoined thread by thread or fiber by fiber; fray.
6. to become tangled.
7. to become confused or perplexed.
8. (of a road surface) to lose aggregate.

 

...Where #1 of ravel parrots #5.

 

We'll assume you're neither dealing with yarn nor road surfaces, so we'll plug in the other definitions:

 

Ólan's hope for peace tangles... (ravel)

Ólan's hope for peace confuses... (ravel)

 

Ólan's hope for peace comes apart (is destroyed)... (unravel)

 

The coming apart definition of "ravel" only applies to yarn and knitting.  Unravel is your grammatically correct choice.  But when in doubt, stick with the word most often used.  You don't want to get too abstract or highbrow in a query; you're not there to show off, you're there to talk about your book.  And showing off makes it look like you're trying too hard. Duly noted. Thanks for pointing that out. :)

 

Thanks for your continued comments, KL Sanchez! Much appreciated. :)


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#12 Aightball

Aightball

    Deathbat

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,601 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Midwest
  • Publishing Experience:My short story ANGUISH is available now in the Elephant Bookshelf Press winter anthology "Winter's Regret".

Posted 18 April 2014 - 06:10 PM

Dear Agent:

 

Ólan Stewart doesn't know who killed him, or why. All he knows is, after clawing his way out of his grave, he's now an undead blood-drinker* I understand the intent, but agents will probably think you're trying to disguise a vampire novel as a vampire novel. I'd just say vampire and let the text speak for itself when that time comes. Unwilling to stay in Edinburgh and risk harm to his family, he finds a new home in Eilean Donan castle. It seems more trouble than it's worth. Caring for Ciaran, a blind, traumatized blood-drinker, is enough; negotiating living arrangements with a human clan is almost too much. I'm not hooked here. The purpose of the beginning is to draw me in and, in the case of the agent, make them keep reading to the point they make a request. I would probably skim from this point on if I were an agent.

 

Ólan's hope for peace ravels when a clansman tries to murder Ciaran, and threatens to reveal the blood-drinkers to the other humans. Ólan drives the man out and hunts him down, but another blood-drinker steals his kill. The kill-thief leads Ólan to the City, a haven for their kind ruled by the ruthless Lord Conall. There Ólan finds his father, held captive with dozens of other humans as food.   Too much happens in this paragraph. Plus, you took a leap and it doesn't match up with the previous paragraph. You want to stitch the story together from paragraph to paragraph and give us just enough to make us want to read more. Right now, I'm not sure what's going on or what kind of story I'm going to get.

 

Ólan's greatest test comes when Conall orders him to feed from his father. Drinking human blood will start Ólan down a dark path which, if followed, will turn him as corrupt as Conall. Sparing his father and his soul will put the lives of everyone Ólan loves at risk, living and undead alike. Conall will kill as many innocents as he must to keep one dissenter in line.  Not sold enough to want to read more. I think you might have a good story here...but the query doesn't reflect that. Give us a killer opening hook and then give us the story in a way that it flows from beginning to end. Give us something tasty at the end and make us have to keep reading.

 

LOW ROAD is a ##,000-word historical fantasy, set in Scotland during the 1360's. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

*I use the term "blood-drinker" rather than "vampire" in this MS because it takes place long before the word "vampire" was invented. Throughout the MS they also use the Gaelic translation, sumair fala (pl. sumairach fala).

 

I made my notes above =). I hope they're helpful. I'd love some new eyes on mine, linked in my sig, if you'd be willing.


Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Twitter Hook(s): http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

aertja.jpg


#13 Ireth

Ireth

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,801 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 22 April 2014 - 07:00 PM

First revision. Have at it!

 

Dear Agent:

 

Edinburgh, 1360: On Samhain eve, twenty-three-year-old Ólan Stewart is killed by a stranger. Three nights later, he claws his way out of his grave as a vampire. After settling in Eilean Donan castle, Ólan finds a vampire named Ciaran blinded and abandoned on the moors. As Ólan cares for Ciaran, he learns more about their curse, and who blinded Ciaran: Lord Conall of the City, an underground haven for vampires.

 

When a human clan seeks refuge in the castle, Ólan lets them stay, hoping the benefits for all will outweigh the drawbacks for him and Ciaran. But a vampire-hating clansman tries to kill Ciaran and expose the vampires' secret. Driven to rage and fear for his and Ciaran's safety, Ólan drives the clansman out and hunts him down. The hunt leads Ólan to the City, where he finds his father among dozens of humans kept as food for the vampires.

 

When Conall orders him to feed from his father, Ólan faces a grueling choice. If he drinks human blood, he'll corrupt his soul and may end up as ruthless as Conall. If he refuses, Conall will either kill him or break him as he broke Ciaran. One thing is certain: Conall will kill innocents without hesitation to keep one dissenter in line.

 

LOW ROAD is a ##,000-word historical fantasy. Thank you for your time and consideration.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#14 KL Sanchez

KL Sanchez

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 238 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Southwest
  • Publishing Experience:Vanity publishing only (no sales).

Posted 04 May 2014 - 04:49 PM

Bump

 

Much improved!  The main things I noted...

 

Edinburgh, 1360: On Samhain eve, twenty-three-year-old Ólan Stewart is killed by a stranger. Three nights later, he claws his way out of his grave as a vampire.

 

Little too flashy.  Combining them into one sentence should give you your hook, a much stronger one.

 

 Driven to rage and fear for his and Ciaran's safety, Ólan drives the clansman out and hunts him down. The hunt leads Ólan to the City, where he finds his father among dozens of humans kept as food for the vampires.

 

I think it reads stronger if you mention that a vampire kills the man and leads them to the City.  Otherwise, it's now ambiguous over whether the man was actually killed; "hunt down" does not by itself imply a successful kill.

 

When Conall orders him to feed from his father, Ólan faces a grueling choice.

 

I'm not sure "grueling" is the best word choice; it's inhuman more than anything, barbaric.  Also, "own father" is clearer; otherwise, the sentence could imply that Conall has ordered him to feed from Conall's father.  English is really goofy like that.  My head is swimming enough, though, that I can't quite think of a better way to more precisely state the intent.

 

That's all I got for now.


~ It may look like I know what I'm doing, but by no means do I know what the hell I'm talking about. ~

 

~ The only Operations Director Furry Fiesta has ever known (since 2014) ~

~ ACFI Ops, Theme & Narrative Development, and Performance lead since 2017 ~

 

WIP Stories:

Michelle (WIP - Chapter 10 as of June 2017)


#15 Ireth

Ireth

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,801 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 04 May 2014 - 05:37 PM

Dear Agent:

 

Edinburgh, 1360: Three nights after his murder, twenty-three-year-old Ólan Stewart claws his way out of his grave as a vampire. At first he seeks solitude in Eilean Donan castle, but when a blind vampire named Ciaran is abandoned on the moors, Ólan decides helping another in need is more important. As Ólan cares for Ciaran, he learns more about their curse, and about who took Ciaran's eyes: Lord Conall of the City, an underground haven for vampires.

 

When a human clan seeks refuge in the castle, Ólan lets them stay, hoping the benefits for all will outweigh the drawbacks for him and Ciaran. But a vampire-hating clansman tries to kill Ciaran and expose the vampires' secret. Driven to rage and fear for his and Ciaran's safety, Ólan drives the clansman out and hunts him down. Another vampire steals Ólan's kill, then takes him to the City. There Ólan finds his father among dozens of humans kept as food for the vampires.

 

When Conall orders him to feed from his own father, Ólan faces a barbaric choice. If he drinks human blood, he'll corrupt his soul and may end up as ruthless as Conall. If he refuses, Conall will kill Ólan's father himself, and either kill Ólan or maim him like Ciaran. One thing is certain: Conall will kill innocents without hesitation to keep one dissenter in line.

 

LOW ROAD is a ##,000-word historical fantasy. [Personalization, yadda yadda.] Thank you for your time and consideration.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#16 KL Sanchez

KL Sanchez

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 238 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Southwest
  • Publishing Experience:Vanity publishing only (no sales).

Posted 04 May 2014 - 07:31 PM

Ack, in my stupor, I got things crossed from my head to my fingers...

 

When Conall orders him to feed from his own father, Ólan faces a barbaric choice.

 

The act of ordering him to feed is inhuman, my bad; although a synonym for grueling likely fits better... excruciating or tortuous, for example.  Grueling has a connotation of physical labor about it.

 

Also... must... resist... urge... to splice sentences in a Dickensesque manner... :unsure:

 

 

Another vampire steals Ólan's kill, then takes him to the City.

 

Ah, the old sentence returns!  But, I think it might be better stated if, "However, another vampire intervenes and kills the man for him" - or something - and (insert motivation for offering escort here) takes him to the City.  I'm thinking now that it really falls flat because the guy just shows up and takes them there, without any real flash or panache or explanation to it; maybe he finds them curious, for example, or just wants to help a fellow vampire.  "You look lost, friends!"

 

Just feels a little flat, although his appearance is - in these versions - making a smoother transition to the City.


~ It may look like I know what I'm doing, but by no means do I know what the hell I'm talking about. ~

 

~ The only Operations Director Furry Fiesta has ever known (since 2014) ~

~ ACFI Ops, Theme & Narrative Development, and Performance lead since 2017 ~

 

WIP Stories:

Michelle (WIP - Chapter 10 as of June 2017)


#17 Ireth

Ireth

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,801 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 04 May 2014 - 07:56 PM

Ack, in my stupor, I got things crossed from my head to my fingers...

 

 

The act of ordering him to feed is inhuman, my bad; although a synonym for grueling likely fits better... excruciating or tortuous, for example.  Grueling has a connotation of physical labor about it. Ooohhh, I see what you mean. I'll find a new word for that.

 

Also... must... resist... urge... to splice sentences in a Dickensesque manner... :unsure: Lol!

 

 

Ah, the old sentence returns!  But, I think it might be better stated if, "However, another vampire intervenes and kills the man for him" - or something - and (insert motivation for offering escort here) takes him to the City.  I'm thinking now that it really falls flat because the guy just shows up and takes them there, without any real flash or panache or explanation to it; maybe he finds them curious, for example, or just wants to help a fellow vampire.  "You look lost, friends!" I see your point. This might be an issue in the story itself as well as the query. The vampire who steals Olan's kill isn't doing Olan any favors by doing so (which is what the words "kills the man for him" imply, IMO), he just kinda swoops in and steals it. When Olan says "uh, hey, that was mine", the thief just kinda shrugs it off. The thief in question is one of many "shepherds" who are tasked with bringing vampires from aboveground down to the City. Since he meets Olan in mid-hunt, and with a human as his prey, he feels Olan will fit in well in the City. Olan has a means of killing in mind that wouldn't involve spilling blood and risking temptation, but the other vampire wasn't to know. And that's too much detail for a query, regardless.

 

Just feels a little flat, although his appearance is - in these versions - making a smoother transition to the City.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#18 KL Sanchez

KL Sanchez

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 238 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Southwest
  • Publishing Experience:Vanity publishing only (no sales).

Posted 04 May 2014 - 08:19 PM

 

I see your point. This might be an issue in the story itself as well as the query. The vampire who steals Olan's kill isn't doing Olan any favors by doing so (which is what the words "kills the man for him" imply, IMO), he just kinda swoops in and steals it. When Olan says "uh, hey, that was mine", the thief just kinda shrugs it off. The thief in question is one of many "shepherds" who are tasked with bringing vampires from aboveground down to the City. Since he meets Olan in mid-hunt, and with a human as his prey, he feels Olan will fit in well in the City. Olan has a means of killing in mind that wouldn't involve spilling blood and risking temptation, but the other vampire wasn't to know. And that's too much detail for a query, regardless.

 

Aha!  Actually, that's quite interesting; there's probably a more succinct way to tell it, but that's quite an interesting point.  It changes the flavor of Ólan's role in the City structure.  It also establishes Ólan's hesitation to feed.  Right now, you're at 246 words, which is good, but I'd like to see one or two sentences dropped in detailing this a bit more; could make the query that much more interesting, by establishing that Ólan has a conscience and that he's mistakenly taken to a place he doesn't (seem to) want to be.

 

I'll take subplots and tension for two thousand, Alex!

 

It's probably not necessary, by the by, to explain that the guy isn't doing him favors, although explaining that he steals the kill in an opposing manner to what Ólan intended could well go a long way.  I think the shepherd angle is maybe the most interesting about it; just the fact that Ólan is sought out and brought back to the City for a reason.  Makes the story feel that much more layered, and I haven't personally seen such an idea presented elsewhere.

 

"However, another vampire interrupts and steals the kill; a shepherd tasked with finding wayward vampires and bringing them to the City.  Thinking he will make a good fit amongst the other vampires, he takes Ólan there, but there..."

 

Just an example, though, of what I'm trying to get at.


~ It may look like I know what I'm doing, but by no means do I know what the hell I'm talking about. ~

 

~ The only Operations Director Furry Fiesta has ever known (since 2014) ~

~ ACFI Ops, Theme & Narrative Development, and Performance lead since 2017 ~

 

WIP Stories:

Michelle (WIP - Chapter 10 as of June 2017)


#19 Ireth

Ireth

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,801 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 04 May 2014 - 09:29 PM

Thanks, KL! I think this does better at getting those points across.

 

Dear Agent:

 

Edinburgh, 1360: Three nights after his murder, twenty-three-year-old Ólan Stewart claws his way out of his grave as a vampire. At first he seeks solitude in Eilean Donan castle, but forgoes it in favor of friendship when he finds Ciaran, a blind, traumatized vampire, abandoned on the moors. As Ólan cares for Ciaran, he learns about their curse, and who took Ciaran's eyes: Lord Conall of the City, an underground haven for vampires.

 

When a human clan seeks refuge in the castle, Ólan lets them stay, hoping the benefits for all will outweigh the drawbacks for him and Ciaran. But a vampire-hating clansman tries to kill Ciaran and expose their secret, driving Ólan to rage. Ólan hunts the clansman down, meaning to kill him without tasting his blood. Another vampire intercepts him and steals the kill: a Shepherd tasked with bringing rogue vampires to the City. When the Shepherd takes him there, Ólan finds his father among dozens of humans penned like cattle, awaiting butchery.

 

When Conall orders him to feed from his own father, Ólan faces a horrific choice. If he drinks human blood, he'll corrupt his soul and may end up as ruthless as Conall. If he refuses, Conall will kill Ólan's father himself, and either kill Ólan or maim him like Ciaran. One thing is certain: Conall will kill innocents without hesitation to keep one dissenter in line.

 

LOW ROAD is a ##,000-word historical fantasy. [Personalization, yadda yadda.] Thank you for your time and consideration.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#20 KL Sanchez

KL Sanchez

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 238 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Southwest
  • Publishing Experience:Vanity publishing only (no sales).

Posted 04 May 2014 - 09:50 PM

Beautiful! :happy: This reads tight and intense now, and gets everyone's primary motivations out there in a smooth manner.

 

I guess if there's any additional considerations to make, it's only to make it flow faster and more lyrically.  I personally prefer my tagline on its own line at the top (so that it stands out as the single-sentence summary), but that must be a preference thing; I'm seeing more and more pop up with a singular full paragraph to start rather than a singular line.

 

EDIT: Whoops, missed it in my first read: when it gets to "...among dozens of humans penned like cattle, awaiting butchery," I kinda like the imagery of "to be fed upon by the vampires" better.  The imagery in the last versions is that they're gonna cut them up and have barbecue.


~ It may look like I know what I'm doing, but by no means do I know what the hell I'm talking about. ~

 

~ The only Operations Director Furry Fiesta has ever known (since 2014) ~

~ ACFI Ops, Theme & Narrative Development, and Performance lead since 2017 ~

 

WIP Stories:

Michelle (WIP - Chapter 10 as of June 2017)





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users