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Of Eye and Cloud #22

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#21 danipie

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 04:29 PM

Here's #4. Thanks for the last feedback. 

 

 

 

Ten years ago the warrior monk Cyril Kol caused the collapse of civilization. The ensuing cataclysm cost the lives of his wife and child. Or so he thought. Personally, I dig this hook.

 

Since learning that they live, Kol has scoured the war torn world in search of his family, knowing only that they reside in one of the Star Rooms - sacred chambers of Oracles. His search is made more difficult by the price on his head, the criminalization of his order and occupation, and his coping method of consistent insobriety. a couple more details here would be helpful. what is his order and occupation and why are they now criminal?

 

But when he rescues an orphaned courtesan-in-training runaway and takes her as a student, it is no longer only himself he must protect. Pursued by a murderous highway man bent on revenge and a battalion of slaughterers determined to bag the man who caused The Collapse, Kol and a motley cadre of loveable allies search for an occupied Star Room, while Veepa learns the ways of The Order of Eye and Cloud.again, the details you give are good, but i think you could use a couple more. where did the allies come from and what do they want? is Veepa the orphaned courtesan?

 

But by the time he finds the trail of his long lost family, his predators are closing in. If Kol waits for the Oracle to divulge the whereabouts of his missing family, he will endanger the family he has accumulated. He must choose between his lost child and his beloved student. With no way to win, Kol will once again bear responsibility for the decimation of all that he has come to love. But it is a decimation that will thrust Kol into a peace and power that his enemies can not touch. im unsure about this last sentence?it feels very vague

Of Eye and Cloud is a speculative fiction/hard fantasy with a unique voice and strong characters whose stories unfold in a world where the technology is based on magnetics and glass in a historical period roughly equivalent to our early 1800’s. Centered on an ethical question and a metaphysical system, Of Eye and Cloud will appeal to fans of Patrick Rothfuss for it’s lively tone and to people who enjoy the philosophical and moral predilections of R. Scott Bakker.

 

 

my updated query is here

http://agentquerycon...on-in-50/page-3
 



#22 BadgerFox

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 02:25 PM

Here's #4. Thanks for the last feedback. 

 

 

 

Ten years ago the warrior monk Cyril Kol caused the collapse of civilization. The ensuing cataclysm cost the lives of his wife and child. Or so he thought.[Nice! Hooky.]

 

Since learning that his family are alive, Kol has scoured the war-torn world in search of them, knowing only that they reside in one of the Star Rooms - sacred chambers of Oracles. His search is made more difficult by the price on his head, the criminalization of his order and occupation, and his coping method of consistent insobriety.[I'm mostly cool with only this level of detail and no more. I would like to know who has put that price on his head, though. This sounds like a suitable list of obstacles  - I like the mix of personal and societal adversaries.]

 

But when he rescues an orphaned courtesan-in-training runaway and takes her as a student, it is no longer only himself he must protect. Pursued by a murderous highwayman [all one word] bent on revenge and a battalion of slaughterers determined to bag the man who caused The Collapse, Kol and a motley cadre of loveable [whilst I don't doubt that they're loveable, it's more advisable to describe them from Kol's point of view than to tell a reader/agent what they're supposed to think of them. You can put in an adjective about how Kol sees them, but he reader/agent should get to make a free choice about how they find these allies] allies search for an occupied Star Room, while Veepa learns the ways of The Order of Eye and Cloud.[Who is Veepa? Is that the courtesan-in-training? Name her the first time you mention her, if so.]

 

But by the time he finds the trail of his long lost family, his predators[different noun, maybe? This sounds very animalistic. 'Hunters'? 'Enemies'? 'Attackers'? 'Foes'?] are closing in. If Kol waits for the Oracle to divulge the whereabouts of his missing family, he will endanger the family he has accumulated. He must chose between his lost child and his beloved student. [Nice!] With no way to win, Kol will once again bear responsibility for the decimation of all that he has come to love. But it is a decimation that will thrust Kol into a peace and power that his enemies can not touch.

Of Eye and Cloud is a speculative fiction/hard fantasy with a unique voice and strong characters whose stories  that unfolds in a world where the technology is based on magnetics and glass, [comma] in a historical period roughly equivalent to our early 1800’s. Centered on an ethical question and a metaphysical system [Yay! Ethical dilemmas make for good reading!], Of Eye and Cloud will appeal to fans of Patrick Rothfuss for its[no apostrophe; this is not a possessive] lively tone and to people who enjoy the philosophical and moral predilections of R. Scott Bakker.

 

This is looking pretty good! The changes are largely superficial and cosmetic :)


Spare a little feedback, if you have a moment? :)

My AU historical novel query: here. Thank you!


#23 CarterT

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 12:28 PM

 

Ten years ago the warrior monk Cyril Kol caused the collapse of civilization. The ensuing cataclysm cost the lives of his wife and child. Or so he thought. - Agree with the others. I like the hook.

 

Since learning that they live, Kol has scoured the war torn world in search of his family, knowing only that they reside in one of the Star Rooms - sacred chambers of Oracles. - The Star Rooms and the Oracles mean something to you (because your wrote the book and are aware of their significance), but to us, they are just names. Are they alternate dimensions? Vaults? Prisons? Instead of naming them, could you just refer to them as whatever it is they are and maybe say that they are controlled by what the oracles are? I don't know if it will work (because I don't know what Star Rooms or oracles are). Since you don't really get back to them later, I feel like using the proper noun version doesn't have any significance here. His search is made more difficult by the price on his head, the criminalization of his order and occupation, and his coping method of consistent insobriety.

 

But when he rescues an orphaned courtesan-in-training - is it important that she's a courtesan in training? Couldn't she just be a runaway? runaway and takes her as a student, it is no longer only himself he must protect. Pursued by a murderous highway man bent on revenge and a battalion of slaughterers - This word just doesn't work for me. Murderers might be cleaner, but I am guessing that's not 'serious' enough for how bad these people are. determined to bag the man who caused The Collapse, Kol and a motley cadre of loveable allies - are they teddy bears? Cause they sound like teddy bears. search for an occupied Star Room - Because I don't know what a Star room is, I have no idea why it being occupied (or not) is important., while Veepa learns the ways of The Order of Eye and Cloud. - Need to name Veepa earlier, because we are left guessing with the sentence. We already need to make a logical jump that the Order of the Eye and Cloud is Kol's order. It's not a difficult leap, but you probably don't want 2 such leaps in one sentence.

 

But by the time he finds the trail of his long lost family, his predators - Pursuers? are closing in. If Kol waits for the Oracle to divulge the whereabouts of his missing family, he will endanger the family he has accumulated - these last few words make me stumble when I read. He must chose between his lost child and his beloved student. With no way to win, Kol will once again bear responsibility for the decimation of all that he has come to love. But it is a decimation that will thrust Kol into a peace and power that his enemies can not touch. - My interest wanes with the last sentence, because you make it sound like a 'good thing'. It's like there is already a happy ending, and if that's the case, what's left for me to learn by reading the book?

 

Of Eye and Cloud is a speculative fiction/hard fantasy with a unique voice and strong characters whose stories unfold in a world where the technology is based on magnetics and glass in a historical period roughly equivalent to our the (maybe don't break the 4th wall by bringing the direct reader in) early 1800’s. Centered on an ethical question and a metaphysical system, Of Eye and Cloud will appeal to fans of Patrick Rothfuss for it’s lively tone and to people who enjoy the philosophical and moral predilections of R. Scott Bakker.

 

Lot of red, but don't let that dissuade you. I like what you're doing, and the hook is great. I don't think I've said anything that really necessitates changing the focus of your query, just cleaning it up a bit, and clarifying some points.

 

Keep up the good work!

 

(PS - I'm still struggling with my own query, and do not claim to be an expert. Take anything I say with a grain of salt, and focus on your vision)



#24 Phaust

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 06:06 PM

Really appreciate the feedback. You all are making this better. And if you're not, its YOUR fault.  :tongue:

 

Anyway, here is the latest: #5

 

Ten years ago the warrior monk Cyril Kol caused the collapse of civilization. The ensuing cataclysm cost the lives of his wife and child. Or so he thought.

 

Since learning that they live, Kol has scoured the war torn world in search of his family, knowing only that they reside in one of the Spirit Rooms -- those sacred chambers where Oracles abide. His search is made more difficult by the price on his head, the criminalization of his order, and his coping method of consistent insobriety.


But when he rescues a runaway named Veepa, he is torn between his promise to keep her safe and his need to find his family. Taking her on as a student, Kol teaches Veepa the ways of The Order of Eye and Cloud as they find themselves fleeing a murderous highwayman bent on revenge and a battalion of slaughterers determined to bag the man who caused The Collapse. On the run, they accumulate a motley cadre of accidental allies: a compassionate bandit, a renegade scholar, a desperate madam, an outcast barbarian, and a roots-and-guts witch, all of whom Kol comes to love like family.


By the time Kol finds a Spirit Room, his predators are closing in. But if Kol waits for the Oracle to divulge the whereabouts of his missing family, he will endanger the family he has accumulated. He must chose between his lost child and his beloved student. With no way to win, Kol will once again bear responsibility for the sacrifice of those he loves even as he fights to save them. 


Complete at 119,000 Of Eye and Cloud is the first of a series of speculative fiction/hard fantasy based in a world where the technology is founded on magnetics and glass, in a historical period roughly equivalent to the early 1800’s. Centered on an ethical question and a metaphysical system, Of Eye and Cloud will appeal to fans of Patrick Rothfuss for its lively tone and to people who enjoy the philosophical and moral predilections of R. Scott Bakker.



#25 Bananas

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 11:09 PM

There' a solid idea there, and this query has real potential.  However, I think you need to find a way to trim it down to get to the core of your story.

Really appreciate the feedback. You all are making this better. And if you're not, its YOUR fault.  :tongue:

 

Anyway, here is the latest: #5

 

Ten years ago the warrior monk Cyril Kol caused the collapse of civilization. The ensuing cataclysm cost the lives of his wife and child. Or so he thought. Good opening.

 

Since learning that they live, Kol has scoured the war torn world in search of his family, knowing only that they reside in one of the Spirit Rooms -- those sacred chambers where Oracles abide. His search is made more difficult by the price on his head, the criminalization of his order, and his constant drunkeness. coping method of consistent insobriety.


But when he rescues a runaway named Veepa, he is torn between his promise to keep her safe and his need to find his family. From this point on, this query starts feeling like a synopsis.  Taking her on as a student, Kol teaches Veepa the ways of The Order of Eye and Cloud as they find themselves fleeing a murderous highwayman bent on revenge and a battalion of slaughterers determined to bag the man who caused The Collapse. On the run, they accumulate a motley cadre of accidental allies: a compassionate bandit, a renegade scholar, a desperate madam, an outcast barbarian, and a roots-and-guts witch, all of whom Kol comes to love like family.  I don't think any of the preceding stuff needs to be in here.  At the very least, you should consider trimming it down.


By the time Kol finds a Spirit Room, his predators are closing in. But if Kol waits for the Oracle to divulge the whereabouts of his missing family, he will endanger the family he has accumulated. He must chose between his lost child and his beloved student. With no way to win, Kol will once again bear responsibility for the sacrifice of those he loves even as he fights to save them. I think you need to simplify this.  I think the point of what you're trying to say is that Kol has to make a choice - either his new family or his old.  


Complete at 119,000 Of Eye and Cloud is a hard fantasy world and has series potential.  is the first of a series of speculative fiction/hard fantasy based in a world where the technology is founded on magnetics and glass, in a historical period roughly equivalent to the early 1800’s. Centered on an ethical question and a metaphysical system, Of Eye and Cloud It will appeal to fans of Patrick Rothfuss and for its lively tone and to people who enjoy the philosophical and moral predilections of R. Scott Bakker.



#26 eric balson

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 03:28 AM

Really appreciate the feedback. You all are making this better. And if you're not, its YOUR fault.  :tongue:

 

Anyway, here is the latest: #5

 

Ten years ago the warrior monk Cyril Kol caused the collapse of civilization. The ensuing cataclysm cost the lives of his wife and child. Or so he thought.

 

Since learning that they live, Kol has scoured the war torn world in search of his family, knowing only that they reside in one of the Spirit Rooms -- those sacred chambers where Oracles Who are the Oracles? Beings with powers of prescience as they usually are, or something else? abide. His search is made more difficult by the price on his head, the criminalization of his order, and his coping method of consistent insobriety.


But when he rescues a runaway named Veepa, he is torn between his promise to keep her safe and his need to find his family. Taking her on as a student, Kol teaches Veepa the ways of The Order of Eye and Cloud Try to give the agent more information about the elements of your story world. as they find themselves fleeing a murderous highwayman bent on revenge and a battalion of slaughterers determined to bag the man who caused The Collapse. On the run, they accumulate a motley cadre of accidental allies: a compassionate bandit, a renegade scholar, a desperate madam, an outcast barbarian, and a roots-and-guts witch, all of whom Kol comes to love like family.   I would advise against including this because the only member of Kol's new family worth caring about is Veepa. The others might play important roles in your story, but for purposes of writing a concise pitch to an editor, focus on the essentials.


By the time Kol finds a Spirit Room, his predators are closing in. But if Kol waits for the Oracle to divulge the whereabouts of his missing family, he will endanger the family he has accumulated. He must chose between his lost child and his beloved student. With no way to win, Kol will once again bear responsibility for the sacrifice of those he loves even as he fights to save them. 


Complete at 119,000 Of Eye and Cloud is the first of a series of speculative fiction/hard fantasy based in a world where the technology is founded on magnetics and glass, in a historical period roughly equivalent to the early 1800’s. Centered on an ethical question and a metaphysical system, Of Eye and Cloud will appeal to fans of Patrick Rothfuss for its lively tone and to people who enjoy the philosophical and moral predilections of R. Scott Bakker.

Hope I was of help. Take a look at my own query: http://agentquerycon...o-we-are/page-2



#27 Phaust

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 02:09 PM

Thanks to your help, I think this is tightening up nicely. What do you think? 

 

Presenting #6

 

 

 

Ten years ago the warrior monk Cyril Kol caused the collapse of civilization. The ensuing cataclysm cost the lives of his wife and child. Or so he thought.

 

Since learning that they live, Kol has scoured the war torn world in search of his family, knowing only that they reside in one of the Spirit Rooms -- those sacred chambers where Oracles abide and ply their trade. His search is made more difficult by the price on his head, the criminalization of his order, and his coping method of consistent insobriety.

 

But when he rescues a runaway named Veepa, he is torn between his promise to keep her safe and his need to find his family. Taking her on as a student, Kol teaches Veepa the metaphysical and martial methods of The Order of Eye and Cloud as they find themselves fleeing a murderous highwayman bent on revenge, a crime lord who desires Veepa for his own, and a battalion of slaughterers determined to bag the man who caused The Collapse.

 

By the time Kol finds a Spirit Room, his predators are closing in. But if Kol waits for the Oracle to divulge the whereabouts of his missing family, he will endanger the family he has accumulated. He must chose between his lost child and his beloved student.

Complete at 119,000 Of Eye and Cloud is the first of a series of speculative fiction/hard fantasy unfolding in a world where the technology is based on magnetics and glass, in a historical period roughly equivalent to the early 1800’s.



#28 Phaust

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 04:55 PM

I recently submitted to the Revise and Resubmit contest and got some interesting feedback. On editor wrote, "The only thing I might suggest is including some world-buildling tidbits earlier in the query. The "magnetics and glass" line was intriguing. Consider how you might more thoroughly set your story apart." I am having trouble doing that. Argh. Another editor wrote, "Drawn to MC's heavy burden, hard choices, lots of obstacles. Want clearer plot; it's all here but I had to read 2x to understand." I wonder if I have done that in the Latest Verssion. The R&R version appears below the "Latest Version".

 

 

Latest version #7:

Ten years ago the warrior monk Cyril Kol caused the collapse of civilization. The ensuing cataclysm cost the lives of his wife and child. Or so he thought.

 

Since learning that they live, Kol has scoured the war torn world in search of his family, treating his despair with a regimen of insobriety - no small task in times like these. But when Kol rescues a runaway named Veepa, he is torn between his promise to keep her safe and his need to find his family. Taking her on as a student, Kol teaches Veepa the metaphysical and martial methods of The Order of Eye and Cloud as he continues his quest.

 

If they hope to XXXX they will need to evade and outwit a murderous highwayman bent on revenge, a battalion of slaughterers determined to bag the man who caused The Collapse, a crime lord who desires Veepa for his own, and a monstrous aboration straight out of legend.

 

As Kol comes ever closer to learning the whereabouts of his family, his predators are closing in and he must chose between his missing wife and child, and the devoted student he has come to love.

 

Complete at 120,000 Of Eye and Cloud is the first of a series of speculative fiction/hard fantasy unfolding in a world where the technology is based on magnetics and glass, in a historical period roughly equivalent to the early 1800’s.


 

Submitted to Revise and Resubmit:

Ten years ago the warrior monk Cyril Kol caused the collapse of civilization. The ensuing cataclysm cost the lives of his wife and child. Or so he thought.

 

Since learning that they live, Kol has scoured the war torn world in search of his family, knowing only that they reside in one of the Spirit Rooms -- those sacred chambers where Oracles abide and ply their trade. His search is made more difficult by the price on his head, the criminalization of his Order, and his coping method of consistent insobriety.

 

But when Kol rescues a runaway named Veepa, he is torn between his promise to keep her safe and his need to find his family. Taking her on as a student, Kol teaches Veepa the metaphysical and martial methods of The Order of Eye and Cloud as they find themselves fleeing a murderous highwayman bent on revenge, a crime lord who desires Veepa for his own, and a battalion of slaughterers determined to bag the man who caused The Collapse.

 

By the time Kol finds a Spirit Room, his predators are closing in. But if Kol waits for the Oracle to divulge the whereabouts of his missing wife and child, he will endanger the child he has come to love. He must chose between his lost family and his devoted student.

 

Complete at 119,000 Of Eye and Cloud is the first of a series of speculative fiction/hard fantasy unfolding in a world where the technology is based on magnetics and glass, in a historical period roughly equivalent to the early 1800’s.



#29 Bananas

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 07:05 PM

I recently submitted to the Revise and Resubmit contest and got some interesting feedback. On editor wrote, "The only thing I might suggest is including some world-buildling tidbits earlier in the query. The "magnetics and glass" line was intriguing. Consider how you might more thoroughly set your story apart." I am having trouble doing that. Argh. Another editor wrote, "Drawn to MC's heavy burden, hard choices, lots of obstacles. Want clearer plot; it's all here but I had to read 2x to understand." I wonder if I have done that in the Latest Verssion. The R&R version appears below the "Latest Version".

 

 

Latest version #7:

Ten years ago the warrior monk Cyril Kol caused the collapse of civilization. The ensuing cataclysm cost the lives of his wife and child. Or so he thought.

 

Since learning that they live, Kol has scoured the war torn world a few details about the world would be helpful.  I'm picturing the world in the Redemption of Althalus, but that's because there's nothing to go on.  in search of his family, treating his despair with a regimen of insobriety - no small task in times like these. But when Kol rescues a runaway named Veepa, he is torn between his promise to keep her safe and his need to find his family. Taking her on as a student, Kol teaches Veepa the metaphysical and martial methods of The Order of Eye and Cloud as he continues his quest.  If you're looking at ways to expand on your WB, then this might be the place.  Instead of naming "The Order of Eye and Cloud", which tells us nothing really, you could say specifically what he's teaching her.  ie, the magnetics and glass stuff.  It would also be helpful if we knew why he was taking the time to teach her.  He's got a whole 'quest to find his family' thing, remember?

 

If they hope to XXXX (?) they will need to evade and outwit a murderous highwayman bent on revenge, a battalion of slaughterers determined to bag the man who caused The Collapse too wordy, a crime lord who desires Veepa for his own, and a monstrous aboration aberration straight out of legend huh?.  This whole section/sentence is a jumble.  I suspect that this is what the one editor was talking about.  I had to read it several times to get the point.  I'd find a simpler/cleaner way of saying this, and might consider prioritizing which plot points need to be mentioned.  Also, all of these threats come from nowhere.  The lack of context doesn't create urgency.  You've spent so much time setting things up that when you get to the actual threats, they fall with a resounding plop.

 

As Kol comes ever closer to learning the whereabouts of his family, his predators are closing in and he must chose between his missing wife and child, and the devoted student he has come to love.  This sentence is also a jumble.  I think you need to consider splitting your monsters into smaller bits.

 

Complete at 120,000 Of Eye and Cloud is the first of a series of speculative fiction/hard fantasy unfolding in a world where the technology is based on magnetics and glass this needs to be inside the query, not tagged on at the end., in a historical period roughly equivalent to the early 1800’s. same with this.  Show us, don't tell us.

 

Submitted to Revise and Resubmit:

Ten years ago the warrior monk Cyril Kol caused the collapse of civilization. The ensuing cataclysm cost the lives of his wife and child. Or so he thought.

 

Since learning that they live, Kol has scoured the war torn world in search of his family, knowing only that they reside in one of the Spirit Rooms -- those sacred chambers where Oracles abide and ply their trade. His search is made more difficult by the price on his head, the criminalization of his Order, and his coping method of consistent insobriety.

 

But when Kol rescues a runaway named Veepa, he is torn between his promise to keep her safe and his need to find his family. Taking her on as a student, Kol teaches Veepa the metaphysical and martial methods of The Order of Eye and Cloud as they find themselves fleeing a murderous highwayman bent on revenge, a crime lord who desires Veepa for his own, and a battalion of slaughterers determined to bag the man who caused The Collapse.

 

By the time Kol finds a Spirit Room, his predators are closing in. But if Kol waits for the Oracle to divulge the whereabouts of his missing wife and child, he will endanger the child he has come to love. He must chose between his lost family and his devoted student.

 

Complete at 119,000 Of Eye and Cloud is the first of a series of speculative fiction/hard fantasy unfolding in a world where the technology is based on magnetics and glass, in a historical period roughly equivalent to the early 1800’s.



#30 Veldehar

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 07:42 PM

Ok, so, here are my thoughts... I only read the most recent to not bugger my impressions.

The hook is clean, but I try to look at it this way: how often does an agent get a query that speaks of a person who believes their family is dead and isn't? This will directly diminish the effectiveness of the hook. Personally, I'd rather get an idea of how he caused the collapse of civilization (and hell, what does that even mean?) and how he directly/indirectly killed his family THEN give me a curiosity inspiring way of how he discovered they were alive. Not necessarily all in the first paragraph.

My personal opinion, I'm not fond of the rundown of obstacles. Again, not the worst thing, but unless they're stellar... Now, what I see for potential here is this sad sack drunk wandering the world in a distilled haze, coming upon Veepa, and her dragging him from his path of self-destruction in a blooming back and forth romance/training situation. It almost has a Western flare to it. But I'm not feeling that, I'm just seeing the potential. If that were the case, then I'd really like to see this sort of description to set the relationship on track.

"His predators" just doesn't work for me. Give me a detail here, who and what, maybe even what they'll do to him if its particularly gruesome, LOL.

I might really like the premise for this story... but I just can't tell. I'll keep an eye out for additional versions, sounds like it has potential.

#31 Bananas

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 09:10 PM


The hook is clean, but I try to look at it this way: how often does an agent get a query that speaks of a person who believes their family is dead and isn't? This will directly diminish the effectiveness of the hook. Personally, I'd rather get an idea of how he caused the collapse of civilization (and hell, what does that even mean?) and how he directly/indirectly killed his family THEN give me a curiosity inspiring way of how he discovered they were alive. Not necessarily all in the first paragraph.

 

I disagree with Veldehar here.  I think the collapse of civilization thing is the least interesting part.  I personally don't care whether it was an asteroid crashing to earth, a portal to hell, or a super-virus.  Think of 'The Road' - the whole explanation of what ended the world is glossed over.  It didn't matter.  The point was that the world had ended.  Yes, many novels touch on a dead family and a few more touch on the idea the family isn't actually dead.  That being said, no one's story is ever 100% unique.  It all depends on what spin or flavour we give to the established tropes.



#32 Veldehar

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 12:57 PM

Mad Max and many other characters didn't create the post-apocalyptic environment, so it's superfluous as to exactly how or why the world is the way it is. So, while it's not necessary to the Road and many stories, in this instance our MC apparently had a hand in the collapse of civilization, which seems germane to the character's bleak outlook, particularly since his family died in this collapse and much of the plot revolves around the search for them. Necessary, no. But not a bad idea either, IMO.

 

I disagree with Veldehar here.  I think the collapse of civilization thing is the least interesting part.  I personally don't care whether it was an asteroid crashing to earth, a portal to hell, or a super-virus.  Think of 'The Road' - the whole explanation of what ended the world is glossed over.  It didn't matter.  The point was that the world had ended.  Yes, many novels touch on a dead family and a few more touch on the idea the family isn't actually dead.  That being said, no one's story is ever 100% unique.  It all depends on what spin or flavour we give to the established tropes.



#33 Phaust

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 05:15 PM

I appreciate the differing perspectives. I'll rework it when the fever subsides... or not. That could be interesting. 



#34 dragoness

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 05:57 AM

The story is fascinating  :smile: .

 

Here are my comments to make it clearer:

 

Ten years ago the warrior monk Cyril Kol caused the collapse of civilization. The ensuing cataclysm cost the lives of his wife and child. Or so he thought. (great hook!)

 

Since learning that they live, Kol has scoured the war torn world in search of his family, treating his despair with a regimen of insobriety - no small task in times like these. His search is made more difficult by the price on his head, the criminalization of his Order, and his coping method of consistent insobriety. 

 

But when Kol rescues a runaway child (It's important, otherwise it sounds as if she's a woman and he's cheating on his wife) named Veepa, he is torn between his promise to keep her safe and his need to find his family. Taking her on as a student, Kol teaches Veepa the metaphysical and martial methods of The Order of Eye and Cloud as he continues his quest.

 

If they hope to XXXX (what is it?) they will need to evade and outwit a murderous highwayman bent on revenge (why?), a battalion of slaughterers determined to bag the man who caused The Collapse, a crime lord who desires Veepa for his own, and a monstrous aboration(?) straight out of legend. (All of these elements are too abstract, and there are too many of them. chhose 3, and make them clearer).

 

As Kol comes ever closer to learning the whereabouts of his family, his predators are closing in. and h He must chose between his missing wife and child, and the devoted student he has come to love.

 

Complete at 120,000 Of Eye and Cloud is the first of a series of speculative fiction/hard fantasy unfolding in a world where the technology is based on magnetics and glass, in a historical period roughly equivalent to the early 1800’s.

 

Submitted to Revise and Resubmit:

Ten years ago the warrior monk Cyril Kol caused the collapse of civilization. The ensuing cataclysm cost the lives of his wife and child. Or so he thought.

 

Since learning that they live, Kol has scoured the war torn world in search of his family, knowing only that they reside in one of the Spirit Rooms -- those sacred chambers where Oracles abide and ply their trade. His search is made more difficult by the price on his head, the criminalization of his Order, and his coping method of consistent insobriety.

 

But when Kol rescues a runaway named Veepa, he is torn between his promise to keep her safe and his need to find his family. Taking her on as a student, Kol teaches Veepa the metaphysical and martial methods of The Order of Eye and Cloud as they find themselves fleeing a murderous highwayman bent on revenge, a crime lord who desires Veepa for his own, and a battalion of slaughterers determined to bag the man who caused The Collapse.

 

By the time Kol finds a Spirit Room, his predators are closing in. But if Kol waits for the Oracle to divulge the whereabouts of his missing wife and child, he will endanger the child he has come to love. He must chose between his lost family and his devoted student.

 

Complete at 119,000 Of Eye and Cloud is the first of a series of speculative fiction/hard fantasy unfolding in a world where the technology is based on magnetics and glass, in a historical period roughly equivalent to the early 1800’s.

 

Thank you for critiquing my query!

 

Would you like to look at the new version? http://agentquerycon...eturn-critique/



#35 Phaust

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 01:19 PM

Okay my friends. You have been a great help so far. I am either getting closer or... further away. (Such a philosopher). Anyway, I look forward to your reflections. 

 

 

Latest version:

Ten years ago the warrior monk Cyril Kol caused the collapse of civilization. The ensuing cataclysm cost the lives of his wife and child. Or so he thought.

 

Since learning that they live, Kol has scoured the war torn world in search of his family in a massive, wind-up schooner in which he’s rigged a distillery. Once a respected member of the metaphysical and martial Order of Eye and Cloud, one of The Pillars of Peace that secured civilization, his distress over the Order’s corruption and his guilt over the consequences of his exposing it undercut his ability to control the hyper-perception granted by their methods. It all crashes in. He drinks to abide.

 

When Kol rescues a runaway child named Veepa from a murderous highwayman, he realizes that the only way to fulfill his promise to keep her safe while still pursuing his his family is to take her on as a student. This puts them both in the crosshairs. Veepa is on the run from a covetous crime lord and Kol must evade a infamous militia determined to bag the man who caused The Collapse. Kol must regain his mastery or lose everything.

 

As Kol comes ever closer to learning the whereabouts of his family, his predators are closing in. Finally, he must chose between his missing wife and child, and the devoted student he has come to love.

 

Complete at 120,000 Of Eye and Cloud is the first of a series of speculative fiction/hard fantasy.



#36 Veldehar

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 01:55 PM

First glance, I like this one. Much better. I'd have little nits here and there, but mostly personal preference stuff. This one feels tight and clean, clear to me what's going on. I'll let it kick around in my brain then come back, see if any other thoughts sprout.

 

Now, if he just named his still... heh heh.

 

Okay my friends. You have been a great help so far. I am either getting closer or... further away. (Such a philosopher). Anyway, I look forward to your reflections. 

 

 

Latest version:

Ten years ago the warrior monk Cyril Kol caused the collapse of civilization. The ensuing cataclysm cost the lives of his wife and child. Or so he thought.

 

Since learning that they live, Kol has scoured the war torn world in search of his family in a massive, wind-up schooner in which he’s rigged a distillery. Once a respected member of the metaphysical and martial Order of Eye and Cloud, one of The Pillars of Peace that secured civilization, his distress over the Order’s corruption and his guilt over the consequences of his exposing it undercut his ability to control the hyper-perception granted by their methods. Maybe chop and stick the corruption of the Order as the "it" above, I think it could read cleaner. As it sits, it gets a bit clunky for a long sentence, IMO. At least it might be worth kicking the tires on a switch-up.  It all crashes in. He drinks to abide.

 

When Kol rescues a runaway child named Veepa from a murderous highwayman, he realizes that the only way to fulfill his promise to keep her safe while still pursuing his his family is to take her on as a student. This puts them both in the crosshairs. Veepa is on the run from a covetous crime lord and Kol must evade a infamous militia determined to bag the man who caused The Collapse. Kol must regain his mastery or lose everything.

 

As Kol comes ever closer to learning the whereabouts of his family, his predators are closing in. Finally, he must chose between his missing wife and child, and the devoted student he has come to love.

 

Complete at 120,000 Of Eye and Cloud is the first of a series of speculative fiction/hard fantasy.



#37 Bananas

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 06:42 PM

My biggest advice is that you need to tighten your sentence construction.  I think this is the clearest plot I've seen yet though.

Okay my friends. You have been a great help so far. I am either getting closer or... further away. (Such a philosopher). Anyway, I look forward to your reflections. 

 

 

Latest version:

Ten years ago the warrior monk Cyril Kol caused the collapse of civilization. The ensuing cataclysm cost the lives of his wife and child. Or so he thought.

 

Since learning that they live, Kol has scoured the war torn world for them in search of his family in a his massive, wind-up schooner in which he’s rigged a distillery. this bit about the distillery is an unnecessary detail for this sentence.  I like thought (travelling bar?  fuck yes) but it ruins the flow. That being said, I like how you've introduced a bit of your world here. Once a respected member of the metaphysical and martial Order of Eye and Cloud, one of The Pillars of Peace that secured civilization, his distress over the Order’s corruption and his guilt over the consequences of his exposing it undercut his ability to control the hyper-perception granted by their methods. 50 words here.  If I was an agent this would stop me cold.  Not only is this sentence's meaning lost by its enormous length, it sounds off.  You need to catch these things.  Get in the habit of reading your stuff aloud.  This sort of sloppy construction gives me doubts about the quality of your manuscript.  I know your MS is probably fine, but that's not what an agent is going to think.  It all crashes in. I don't know what this means.  He drinks to abide.  Abide what?  Get through his day?  This sounds like something The Dude would say. You can say this cleaner.    But as aside, a steampunk Big Lebowski?  Hells yes.  ...Wait.  That's my idea.  Back off!

 

When Kol rescues a runaway child named Veepa from a murderous highwayman, he realizes that the only way to fulfill his promise to he can keep her safe while still pursuing his his family is to take her on as a student. This puts them both in the crosshairs. of what?  I know you explain this in the next sentence, but this sentence is out in no man's land.  Veepa is on the run from a covetous crime lord and Kol must evade a infamous militia you're overdoing the adjectives determined to bag the man who caused The Collapse. I like how you dropped all the extra antagonists.  Kol must regain his mastery or lose everything.  What's "everything"?

 

As Kol comes ever closer to learning the whereabouts of his family, his predators are closing in. Finally, he must chose between his missing wife and child, and the devoted student he has come to love.  Just curious, but is this romantic love?  Or more parental?

 

Complete at 120,000 Of Eye and Cloud is the first of a series of speculative fiction/hard fantasy.



#38 Phaust

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 08:05 PM

Actually, the germ idea of the MC is The Dude/Obi Wan Kenobi mashup. 

 

And it is parental love. 

 

Thanks for the tough love. 



#39 Bananas

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 08:20 PM

Tell me he's wearing a sweet housecoat.

 

Seriously, though, if there's a sense of humor in your MS, I think you should find a way to bring that out.  



#40 Phaust

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 09:56 PM

It's a poncho. (Half bath robe, half jedi cloak dontcha know). There is humor in the MS, though it is not a comedy by any means. 







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