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Sundering the Gods: (Epic Fantasy) New #72


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#1 Veldehar

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 12:03 AM

Tiny tweaks in #72..

**********************

In seventeen days Elilês will perform her vows of priesthood, presenting the first hope for a clean escape from the church in twelve years, but when a friend arrives to the monastery dead and bearing a sealed message, curiosity dances her into the depths of a demonic conspiracy, risking her life and immortal soul.

Chaos begins as a game, seducing a librarian to copy the lord priest’s missive with flirty promises, but the written word is terrifying. A codex, shadows, a hidden shrine in the mountains, and the awakened dead. An indecipherable riddle wrapped in the pages of a forbidden prophecy.


Daybreak, the seduced priest dangles in the briar, thrown from the monastery walls in the night, his blood feeding the vines, his tongue severed. She burns the copied scroll, disavows the mystery, but it’s too late. Lord Priest Ûlvlôs knows her crime, but spares her life to use this secret as a vise to bend her to his will, to use her in a centuries old feud to overthrow the ruling clans. To return the gods to the realm of mortals.


She’s lost her freedom forever, or until an explosion leaves the lord priest laying dead at her feet. The hells are boiling over, sending shadows to conquer and feast on the flesh of men, driving her to an alliance with the Clan Côerkin to save her people from genocide.


But as the old saying goes: Just because you smell the skunk in the henhouse, doesn’t mean it’s still there.


#2 dragoness

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 03:13 AM

The story seems fascinating!  :smile:

 

The query is very vague. It moves from one person to another without mentioning names, so it's difficult to understand what's happening. It's also talking about messages, riddles, powers, shadows, gods, with no specification that can enable the reader to understand what is going on, and why. I think you need to specify almost everything:

 

In seventeen days Elilês will perform her vows of priesthood, presenting the first hope for a clean escape from the church in twelve years, but when a friend arrives to the monastery dead and bearing a sealed message, curiosity dances her into the depths of a demonic conspiracy, risking her life and immortal soul. (This sentence is far too long and complicated. How about: "when a friend arrives is brought to the monastery dead and bearing a sealed message, curiosity dances Elilês her into the depths of a demonic conspiracy, risking her life and immortal soul." for a hook. Move "In seventeen days Elilês will perform her vows of priesthood, presenting the first hope for a clean escape from the church in twelve years." to the second paragraph.)

 

Chaos begins as a game, seducing a librarian (who?) to copy the lord priest’s missive with flirty promises, but the written word is terrifying. A codex, shadows (specify, or delete), a hidden shrine in the mountains, and the awakened dead (who?). An indecipherable riddle wrapped in the pages of a forbidden prophecy. (I think you better connect this paragraph to Elilês. What of it was in the message Elilês got?) 

 

Daybreak, the seduced priest dangles in the briar, thrown from the monastery walls in the night, his blood feeding the vines, his tongue severed. (Good sentence!) She (Who?) burns the copied scroll (why?), disavows the mystery, but it’s too late. Lord Priest Ûlvlôs knows her crime, but spares her life to use this secret as a vise to bend her to his will, to use her in a centuries old feud to overthrow the ruling clans (how?). To return the gods to the realm of mortals (why? how?).

 

She’s (name) lost her freedom forever, or until an explosion leaves the lord priest laying dead at her feet (how did that happen?). The hells are boiling over, sending shadows to conquer and feast on the flesh of men (why?), driving her (name) to an alliance with the Clan Côerkin to save her people from genocide (who want to kill them' and why?).

 

But as the old saying goes: Just because you smell the skunk in the henhouse, doesn’t mean it’s still there. (What is it to do with this story? It's absolutely vague. I think you better say here what is Elilês's delemma, and what are the stakes) 

Good luck!

 

I'd be happy to here your opinion on my query: http://agentquerycon...eturn-critique/



#3 SAVE

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 04:38 AM

It's been a while, and I may be a touch rough around the edges, but I'll do my best!

 

So at first glance, I like the premise, but the more I read, the more genuinely confused I get. There's a lot of information there, and while it's interesting, some sentences are so long that they're distracting. Instead of posting suggestions, I'll clarify some of what has me confused. Hopefully that helps!

 

 

 

In seventeen days Elilês will perform her vows of priesthood, presenting the first hope for a clean escape from the church in twelve years, but when a friend arrives to the monastery dead and bearing a sealed message, curiosity dances her into the depths of a demonic conspiracy, risking her life and immortal soul.

For a hook, this is pretty long at 54 words. I think a good chunk of it could be condensed, and the part about her friend arriving to the monastery could potentially be made into a sentence of two of its own, since it creates a lot of questions. Who is her friend? Is she important? Is she part of the church? Why did she end up dead?

 

 

 

Chaos begins as a game, seducing a librarian to copy the lord priest’s missive with flirty promises, but the written word is terrifying. A codex, shadows, a hidden shrine in the mountains, and the awakened dead. An indecipherable riddle wrapped in the pages of a forbidden prophecy.

I see what you were doing with this, but similarly to the hook, it leaves a lot of questions. Why does Eliles want the lord priest's notes? Why is it terrifying? I don't think it all has to be changed, but it seems a little jumbled and out-of-nowhere from the hook.

 

 

 

Daybreak, the seduced priest dangles in the briar, thrown from the monastery walls in the night, his blood feeding the vines, his tongue severed. She burns the copied scroll, disavows the mystery, but it’s too late. Lord Priest Ûlvlôs knows her crime, but spares her life to use this secret as a vise to bend her to his will, to use her in a centuries old feud to overthrow the ruling clans. To return the gods to the realm of mortals.

Okay, so the librarian/priest is dead, and you described it pretty well too, which is cool. I'm picking up that her 'crime' is seducing the priest, so that's fine too, but the part about her being used to help settle a feud and overthrow the ruling clans comes out of nowhere, and because shadows(potentially demons?) are mentioned, I'm actually unsure whether "returning gods to the realm of mortals" is figurative or literal.

 

 

 

She’s lost her freedom forever, or until an explosion leaves the lord priest laying dead at her feet. The hells are boiling over, sending shadows to conquer and feast on the flesh of men, driving her to an alliance with the Clan Côerkin to save her people from genocide.

So Lord Priest dies, mysteriously, but similarly to before, this line adds more questions. Does "her people" mean humans, or a clan in particular, assuming there's more than one. Since she's the main character, it's clear that she has a big part in this, perhaps something to do with her late friend's message, but there's still a lot that I don't know here.

 

 

 

But as the old saying goes: Just because you smell the skunk in the henhouse, doesn’t mean it’s still there.

This just kinda seems thrown in too, almost a little random. A vast majority of queries I've seen mention the type of novel they are and the number of pages, sometimes they mention the types of audiences they'll attract and the like.

 

At any rate, I hope this comment wasn't too rough, but I don't think "I'm really confused, I think a reword could help" is a very good critique. I think you've got a great idea here, but this query is a little too unfocused, and almost seems all-over the place at times. I think this could use a great deal of focus, that should fix a lot of the problems I've mentioned



#4 Veldehar

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 09:04 AM

Thanks to both of you! I figured it would come off as lacking in detail, as a first draft I was looking more for interesting and creating a sense of climbing action in an attempt at a less sterile "here's the plot" approach while still setting up the what's at stake. Time to add detail, LOL.



#5 Veldehar

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 09:15 PM

Okay, pretty much shredded the previous attempt, in hindsight I hated it... here is the new one, take your pokes and jabs, and I will do my best to return critiques in a timely fashion!

Elilês came to the monastery of Istinjôln twelve years ago to hide her forbidden feral magic amid the prayers of the holy. Five years old, terrified and alone, she expected torture and death from the hands of an inquisitor. Instead of dying she thrived. Her vows of priesthood are just days away, and so too her dream of freedom from these halls. But when a friend is killed bearing a message to the lord priest, curiosity drives her to discover what words were worth his life.

With flirty promises she seduces a librarian to copy the lord priest’s missive, but uncovering the secrets of this scroll isn’t a crime that can go unpunished. She reads of an ancient codex, a hidden shrine in the mountains, and the wakened dead, all wrapped in the folds of a forbidden prophecy that foretells holy war. If the prophecy succeeds, it would crown the first king priest in over five hundred years, but if it fails, it could mean genocide at the hands of demons known as the Shadows of Man.

Daybreak, the librarian dangles in the briar, thrown from the monastery walls in the night, his blood feeding the vines, his tongue severed. Terrified, but with nowhere to hide, Lord Priest Ûlvlôs finds Elilês at prayer. He pardons her of her crime and promises her a future by his side, for a price: her silence and servitude.

Threatened into heeling like a beaten hound, Elilês must choose between an alliance which could bring her untold power, or risk her life and soul by defying the most powerful man in the Church.

Sundering the Gods: Eve of Snows is a 153,000 word Epic Fantasy.

#6 Erevos

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 07:20 AM

Hello Veldehar.

I think you have a really interesting story, but right now your query read like the back cover of a book. There are too many things going on that confuse the reader. Now imagine an agent who has limited time. Try to be more concise and highlight the best of your story.

 

Okay, pretty much shredded the previous attempt, in hindsight I hated it... here is the new one, take your pokes and jabs, and I will do my best to return critiques in a timely fashion!


Elilês came to the monastery of Istinjôln twelve years ago to hide her forbidden feral magic amid the prayers of the holy. Five years old, terrified and alone, she expected torture and death from the hands of an inquisitor. Instead of dying she thrived. Her vows of priesthood are just days away, and so too her dream of freedom from these halls. But when a friend is killed bearing a message to the lord priest, curiosity drives her to discover what words were worth his life. This is really interesting, but it doesn't work as a hook. Try one or two simple sentences that best describe Eliles.

With flirty promises she seduces a librarian to copy the lord priest’s missive, You can skip the whole seduction part. Just use Convince. but uncovering the secrets of this scroll isn’t a crime that can go unpunished. She reads of an ancient codex, a hidden shrine in the mountains, and the wakened dead, all wrapped in the folds of a forbidden prophecy that foretells holy war. If the prophecy succeeds, it would crown the first king priest in over five hundred years, but if it fails, it could mean genocide at the hands of demons known as the Shadows of Man. Again, too many information. Try and shorten it.. a lot if possible.

Daybreak, the librarian dangles in the briar, thrown from the monastery walls in the night, his blood feeding the vines, his tongue severed. These are not necessary to be honest. Terrified, but with nowhere to hide, Lord Priest Ûlvlôs finds Elilês at prayer. He pardons her of her crime and promises her a future by his side, for a price: her silence and servitude.

Threatened into heeling like a beaten hound, Elilês must choose between an alliance which could bring her untold power, Why would this alliance bring her power? or risk her life and soul by defying the most powerful man in the Church. Other than my previous comment, I think it has good potential. Try reworking it a bit.

Sundering the Gods: Eve of Snows is a 153,000 word Epic Fantasy.


My Query http://agentquerycon...a-high-fantasy/ Let me know if you want me to look at yours. Will happily do so.


#7 Veldehar

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 07:54 PM

Thanks Erevos,

 

Heading on over to your query to see what I might be able to help with.

 

Hello Veldehar.

I think you have a really interesting story, but right now your query read like the back cover of a book. There are too many things going on that confuse the reader. Now imagine an agent who has limited time. Try to be more concise and highlight the best of your story.



#8 Navin

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 09:30 PM

Elilês came to the monastery of Istinjôln twelve years ago to hide her forbidden feral magic amid the prayers of the holy. Five years old, terrified and alone, she expected torture and death from the hands of an inquisitor. Instead of dying she thrived. Her vows of priesthood are just days away, and so too her dream of freedom from these halls. But when a friend is killed bearing a message to the lord priest, curiosity drives her to discover what words were worth his life.

 

This is too complicated for a hook. Maybe you can try something on this line:  

 

In seventeen days Elilês will perform her vows of priesthood, but when a dying friend lands at the monastery bearing a sealed message for the lord priest, curiosity drags her into the depths of a demonic conspiracy.

 

Now get the bit about Ellis:

 

Elilês came to the monastery of Istinjôln twelve years ago to hide her forbidden feral magic amid the prayers of the holy. Five years old, terrified and alone, she expected torture and death from the hands of an inquisitor. Instead of dying she thrived. Her vows of priesthood are just days away, and so too her dream of freedom from these halls.

 

All that changes when she discovers the dark content of the secret missive.
With flirty promises she seduces a librarian to copy the lord priest’s missive, but uncovering the secrets of this scroll isn’t a crime that can go unpunished. She reads of aAn ancient codex, a hidden shrine in the mountains, and the wakened dead, all wrapped in the folds of a forbidden prophecy that foretells a holy war. If the prophecy succeeds, it would crown the first king priest in over five hundred years, but if it fails, it could mean genocide at the hands of demons known as the Shadows of Man.

Daybreak, the librarian dangles in the briar, thrown from the monastery walls in the night, his blood feeding the vines, his tongue severed. Terrified, but with nowhere to hide, Lord Priest Ûlvlôs finds Elilês at prayer. He pardons her of her crime and promises her a future by his side, for a price: her silence and servitude.

Threatened into heeling like a beaten hound, Elilês must choose between an alliance which could bring her untold power, or risk her life and soul by defying the most powerful man in the Church.

 

You don’t need all these details in the query. Without these two additional paragraphs, it reads fine in the above format. Give it a thought.

 

Sundering the Gods: Eve of Snows is a 153,000 word Epic Fantasy. 

 

 

 

 Pls have a look at my query for The Messenger: http://agentquerycon...essenger/page-2



#9 Veldehar

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 09:45 PM

Thanks for the thoughts! I wasn't real happy with the intro, but tossed it out there anyhow to see what sticks, LOL. I took a look at Awakened, but my eye balls are about to hit the keyboard, so I'll take a better look when my brain is functioning, LOL.

 

Elilês came to the monastery of Istinjôln twelve years ago to hide her forbidden feral magic amid the prayers of the holy. Five years old, terrified and alone, she expected torture and death from the hands of an inquisitor. Instead of dying she thrived. Her vows of priesthood are just days away, and so too her dream of freedom from these halls. But when a friend is killed bearing a message to the lord priest, curiosity drives her to discover what words were worth his life.

 

This is too complicated for a hook. Maybe you can try something on this line:  

 

In seventeen days Elilês will perform her vows of priesthood, but when a dying friend lands at the monastery bearing a sealed message for the lord priest, curiosity drags her into the depths of a demonic conspiracy.

 

Now get the bit about Ellis:

 

Elilês came to the monastery of Istinjôln twelve years ago to hide her forbidden feral magic amid the prayers of the holy. Five years old, terrified and alone, she expected torture and death from the hands of an inquisitor. Instead of dying she thrived. Her vows of priesthood are just days away, and so too her dream of freedom from these halls.

 

All that changes when she discovers the dark content of the secret missive.
With flirty promises she seduces a librarian to copy the lord priest’s missive, but uncovering the secrets of this scroll isn’t a crime that can go unpunished. She reads of aAn ancient codex, a hidden shrine in the mountains, and the wakened dead, all wrapped in the folds of a forbidden prophecy that foretells a holy war. If the prophecy succeeds, it would crown the first king priest in over five hundred years, but if it fails, it could mean genocide at the hands of demons known as the Shadows of Man.

Daybreak, the librarian dangles in the briar, thrown from the monastery walls in the night, his blood feeding the vines, his tongue severed. Terrified, but with nowhere to hide, Lord Priest Ûlvlôs finds Elilês at prayer. He pardons her of her crime and promises her a future by his side, for a price: her silence and servitude.

Threatened into heeling like a beaten hound, Elilês must choose between an alliance which could bring her untold power, or risk her life and soul by defying the most powerful man in the Church.

 

You don’t need all these details in the query. Without these two additional paragraphs, it reads fine in the above format. Give it a thought.

 

Sundering the Gods: Eve of Snows is a 153,000 word Epic Fantasy. 

 

 

 

 Pls have a look at my query for The Messenger: http://agentquerycon...essenger/page-2



#10 Veldehar

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 10:33 AM

Another SPLAT on the wall attempt, got a more hook-like intro to this one.

Prayers are power, and Elilês is the most accomplished postulant to study for the priesthood in generations, maybe ever. But her prayers are a lie.

Elilês is a child of forbidden feral magic, hiding her secret amid the holy. Her refuge has become her prison, but on the celebration of the Eve of Snows she will join the priesthood, a chance to escape the monastery walls.

Thirteen days before her vows a friend’s body arrives bearing a sealed message for the lord priest. Bitter and angry, she sets out to discover what words were worth his life. With flirty promises she seduces a librarian to copy the lord priest’s missive. She reads of an ancient codex, a hidden shrine in the mountains, and the wakened dead, all wrapped in the folds of an outlawed prophecy that foretells holy war. If the prophecy succeeds, it would crown the first king priest in over five hundred years, but if it fails, it could mean genocide at the hands of demons known as the Shadows of Man.

The morning sun reveals the librarian dangling in the briar, thrown from the monastery walls in the night. Terrified, Elilês hides in the routine of her daily devotions, but Lord Priest Ûlvlôs finds her alone. He offers a pardon for her crime and promises riches and influence by his side, with her gifts someday she might be queen, but this future has a price: her silence and servitude.

Threatened and cajoled into heeling like a trained hound, Elilês must choose between an alliance which could bring her untold power, or risk her life and soul by defying the most powerful man in the Church and his holy crusade.

Sundering the Gods: Eve of Snows is a 153,000 word Epic Fantasy.

#11 Phaust

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 04:42 PM

Prayers are power, cool and Elilês is the most accomplished postulant to study for the priesthood in generations, maybe ever. But her prayers are a lie. Aw yeah!

Elilês is a child of forbidden feral magic, hiding her secret amid the holy. Her refuge has become her prison, but on the celebration of the Eve of Snows she will join the priesthood, a chance to escape the monastery walls.

Thirteen days before her vows a friend’s body arrives bearing a sealed message for the lord priest. Bitter and angry, she sets out to discover what words were worth his life. With flirty promises she seduces a librarian to copy the lord priest’s missive. She reads of an ancient codex, , all wrapped in the folds of an A librarian helps her discover an outlawed prophecy that leads her to a hidden shrine in the mountains and foretells a holy war and the wakened dead. If the prophecy succeeds, it would crown the first king priest in over five hundred years, but if it fails, it could mean genocide at the hands of demons known as the Shadows of Man.

The morning sun reveals the librarian dangling in the briar, thrown from the monastery walls in the night. Terrified, Elilês hides in the routine of her daily devotions., bBut when Lord Priest Ûlvlôs finds her alone. H, he offers a pardon for her crime and promises riches and influence by his side., w With her gifts someday she might be queen., b But this future has a price: her silence and servitude.

Threatened and cajoled into heeling like a trained hound, Elilês must choose between an alliance which could bring her untold power, or risk her life and soul by defying the most powerful man in the Church and his holy crusade. What does defiance get her? Sounds like a no brainer at this point. The Shadows of Men feel a bit distracting at this point. Seems like Ulvlos is the main threat. But I don't know why, especially in relation to the Shadows. Sounds like the choice is between Ulvlos and the Shadows. Loved the opening. Not as fond as where you wound up. Would I read it? Not yet. But that opening is damn intriguing. You probably have a complex plot. I have come to think that for the sake of the QL, F the complexity. Cut to the PRIMARY conflict and character arc. You're close.

Sundering the Gods: Eve of Snows is a 153,000 word Epic Fantasy.



#12 Veldehar

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 06:46 PM

Thank you for the thoughts!

Yeah, it's a little on the complex side. This is the MC in act 1, I tried to keep to that per Janet Reid's Query Shark advice.

There is one thing not coming across clearly, so that's where I'll hit next: The choice is not between the lord priest and shadows, there is a prophecy that can go two ways if its invoked -- Either the lord priest succeeds (gaining the power of the gods and winning a holy war) or he fails and unleashes demons who destroy their culture. So, what she is choosing from is siding with him (win or lose) or trying to prevent him from invoking the prophecy at all.

I will make a couple of chops to free up space and see if I can slip a little clarity in there.

Prayers are power, cool and Elilês is the most accomplished postulant to study for the priesthood in generations, maybe ever. But her prayers are a lie. Aw yeah!
Elilês is a child of forbidden feral magic, hiding her secret amid the holy. Her refuge has become her prison, but on the celebration of the Eve of Snows she will join the priesthood, a chance to escape the monastery walls.
Thirteen days before her vows a friend’s body arrives bearing a sealed message for the lord priest. Bitter and angry, she sets out to discover what words were worth his life. With flirty promises she seduces a librarian to copy the lord priest’s missive. She reads of an ancient codex, , all wrapped in the folds of an A librarian helps her discover an outlawed prophecy that leads her to a hidden shrine in the mountains and foretells a holy war and the wakened dead. If the prophecy succeeds, it would crown the first king priest in over five hundred years, but if it fails, it could mean genocide at the hands of demons known as the Shadows of Man.
The morning sun reveals the librarian dangling in the briar, thrown from the monastery walls in the night. Terrified, Elilês hides in the routine of her daily devotions., bBut when Lord Priest Ûlvlôs finds her alone. H, he offers a pardon for her crime and promises riches and influence by his side., w With her gifts someday she might be queen., b But this future has a price: her silence and servitude.Threatened and cajoled into heeling like a trained hound, Elilês must choose between an alliance which could bring her untold power, or risk her life and soul by defying the most powerful man in the Church and his holy crusade. What does defiance get her? Sounds like a no brainer at this point. The Shadows of Men feel a bit distracting at this point. Seems like Ulvlos is the main threat. But I don't know why, especially in relation to the Shadows. Sounds like the choice is between Ulvlos and the Shadows. Loved the opening. Not as fond as where you wound up. Would I read it? Not yet. But that opening is damn intriguing. You probably have a complex plot. I have come to think that for the sake of the QL, F the complexity. Cut to the PRIMARY conflict and character arc. You're close.
Sundering the Gods: Eve of Snows is a 153,000 word Epic Fantasy.



#13 Phaust

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 10:15 PM

"So, what she is choosing from is siding with him (win or lose) or trying to prevent him from invoking the prophecy at all."

 

Aha!



#14 Veldehar

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 09:16 AM

Another splat on the wall... this one might get too informative, not sure, but it should clarify a previous issue.

Prayers are power, and Elilês is the most accomplished postulant to study for the priesthood in generations, maybe ever. But her prayers are a lie.

Elilês is a child of forbidden feral magic, hiding her secret amid the holy. Her refuge has become her prison, but on the celebration of the Eve of Snows, joining the priesthood will give her a chance to escape.

Thirteen days before her vows a friend’s body arrives bearing a sealed message for Lord Priest Ûlvlôs. With her feral magic Elilês beguiles a librarian into copying the lord priest’s missive. Demons known as the Shadows of Man slaughtered priests at a hidden shrine in the mountains, a test of their holy powers to fulfill a double-edged prophecy. The lord priest seeks to open a Celestial Gate to summon the power of the gods, bringing war to the Seven Clans and crowning himself the first king priest in over five hundred years. If this gate reaches the hells instead of the heavens, it unleashes a genocide of Shadows.

Come morning the librarian dangles in the briar, thrown from the monastery walls. Terrified, Elilês hides in the routine of her daily devotions, but Lord Priest Ûlvlôs finds her alone. He offers a pardon for her crime and promises riches and influence by his side. Someday she might be queen, but the price of this future is her silence and servitude.

When warriors of the Clan Côerkin arrive at the monastery, Elilês faces two terrifying options: An alliance with Lord Priest Ûlvlôs and his gamble for untold power, or risking her life and soul by warning the Côerkin and unleashing feral powers she doesn’t understand.

Sundering the Gods: Eve of Snows is a 153,000 word Epic Fantasy.

#15 perpetua

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 12:52 PM

Prayers are power, and Elilês is the most accomplished postulant to study for the priesthood in generations, maybe ever. But her prayers are a lie. I like this. It's a great hook, but you need to explain below "how" her prayers are actually lies. Or maybe, instead of "her prayers are a lie", something like "her prayers are lethal".

Elilês is a child of forbidden feral magic, hiding her secret amid the holy. Her refuge has become her prison, but on the celebration of the Eve of Snows, joining the priesthood will give her a chance to escape.

Thirteen days before her vows, a friend’s body arrives bearing a sealed message for Lord Priest Ûlvlôs. With her feral magic Elilês beguiles a librarian into copying the lord priest’s missive. Demons known as the Shadows of Man slaughtered priests at a hidden shrine in the mountains, a test of their holy powers to fulfill a double-edged prophecy. The lord priest seeks to open a Celestial Gate to summon the power of the gods, bringing war to the Seven Clans and crowning himself the first king priest in over five hundred years. If this gate reaches the hells instead of the heavens, it unleashes a genocide of Shadows. I'm a bit confused here, although it could very well be me. The message is for the Lord Priest, and yet the description of the message doesn't sound like it's telling the Lord Priest anything he doesn't already know. I think it would help if you wrote this paragraph with a view to telling the reader what's in the message, incorporating the other info as best you can.

Come morning the librarian dangles in the briar, thrown from the monastery walls. Terrified, Elilês hides in the routine of her daily devotions, but Lord Priest Ûlvlôs finds her alone. He offers a pardon for her crime and promises riches and influence by his side. Someday she might that one day she will be queen, but the price of this future is her silence and servitude.

When warriors of the Clan Côerkin (who exactly are they) arrive at the monastery, Elilês faces two terrifying options: An alliance keep it consistent - Allying with Lord Priest Ûlvlôs and his gamble for untold power, or risking her life and soul by warning with the Côerkin and unleashing feral powers she doesn’t understand. I find this last sentence a bit wordy.

Sundering the Gods: Eve of Snows is a 153,000 word Epic Fantasy.

 

I think you've got a great first couple of paragraphs. But you need to keep the rest tight, specific, and focussed.

 

Good luck!

P.



#16 Veldehar

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 08:15 PM

Thank you for the thoughts, and I pretty much agree. Yes, it gets wordy, all part of seeing what sticks to the wall, LOL. Prayers are lethal would be inaccurate, she doesn't operate via prayer, the gods don't "speak" to her, she uses feral magic.

Prayers are power, and Elilês is the most accomplished postulant to study for the priesthood in generations, maybe ever. But her prayers are a lie. I like this. It's a great hook, but you need to explain below "how" her prayers are actually lies. Or maybe, instead of "her prayers are a lie", something like "her prayers are lethal".

Elilês is a child of forbidden feral magic, hiding her secret amid the holy. Her refuge has become her prison, but on the celebration of the Eve of Snows, joining the priesthood will give her a chance to escape.

Thirteen days before her vows, a friend’s body arrives bearing a sealed message for Lord Priest Ûlvlôs. With her feral magic Elilês beguiles a librarian into copying the lord priest’s missive. Demons known as the Shadows of Man slaughtered priests at a hidden shrine in the mountains, a test of their holy powers to fulfill a double-edged prophecy. The lord priest seeks to open a Celestial Gate to summon the power of the gods, bringing war to the Seven Clans and crowning himself the first king priest in over five hundred years. If this gate reaches the hells instead of the heavens, it unleashes a genocide of Shadows. I'm a bit confused here, although it could very well be me. The message is for the Lord Priest, and yet the description of the message doesn't sound like it's telling the Lord Priest anything he doesn't already know. I think it would help if you wrote this paragraph with a view to telling the reader what's in the message, incorporating the other info as best you can.
Come morning the librarian dangles in the briar, thrown from the monastery walls. Terrified, Elilês hides in the routine of her daily devotions, but Lord Priest Ûlvlôs finds her alone. He offers a pardon for her crime and promises riches and influence by his side. Someday she might that one day she will be queen, but the price of this future is her silence and servitude.
When warriors of the Clan Côerkin (who exactly are they) arrive at the monastery, Elilês faces two terrifying options: An alliance keep it consistent - Allying with Lord Priest Ûlvlôs and his gamble for untold power, or risking her life and soul by warning with the Côerkin and unleashing feral powers she doesn’t understand. I find this last sentence a bit wordy.
Sundering the Gods: Eve of Snows is a 153,000 word Epic Fantasy.
 
I think you've got a great first couple of paragraphs. But you need to keep the rest tight, specific, and focussed.
 
Good luck!
P.



#17 Veldehar

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 08:20 PM

Prayers are power, and Elilês is the most accomplished postulant to study for the priesthood in generations. But her prayers are a lie.

Elilês wields feral magic instead of prayer, unholy and punishable by death. She hid from inquisitors in plain sight by training for the priesthood, but her refuge became her prison. During the celebration of the Eve of Snows, joining the priesthood will give her a chance to escape.

Thirteen days before her vows a friend arrives dead to the monastery bearing a message for Lord Priest Ûlvlôs. Elilês finagles a copy of the missive, and reads of priests opening a Celestial Gate to summon the power of the gods, but their experiment brought devastation, demons called Shadows of Man.

Come morning her accomplice dangles in the briar, thrown from the monastery walls. Terrified, Elilês hides in the routine of her daily devotions, but Ûlvlôs finds her alone. He offers a pardon for her crime and promises riches and power. Someday she might be queen, but the price of this future is her silence and servitude.

When warriors of the Clan Côerkin arrive at the monastery, Elilês risks everything to speak with Ivin Côerkin, and pieces together the truth. The lord priest intends to fulfill a prophecy which will bring war with the ruling clans and crown him the first King Priest in over five hundred years. But if the gate reaches the hells instead of the heavens, it unleashes a genocide of Shadows.

War looms. Shadows take the bodies of men. Elilês must decide between Ûlvlôs and his gamble for power, or pitting her feral magic against the prayers of the gods.

Sundering the Gods: Eve of Snows is a 153,000 word Epic Fantasy.

#18 Navin

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 08:52 PM


Prayers are power, and Elilês is the most accomplished postulant to study for the priesthood in generations, maybe ever. But her prayers are a lie.
 

A child of forbidden feral magic, (age)…  Elilês is the most accomplished postulant to study for the priesthood in generations, maybe ever. But her prayers are a lie. She’s hiding her secret amid the holy.

 

This bring about  a beautiful contrast. Here we also drop some hints about the MC, Anyone could be curious to know  why a child of feral magic is studying for priesthood. Why her prayers are a lie?  By placing “she’s hiding her secret amid”…in the hook, we also deal with the  confusion about her prayers being a lie. I’d also mention her age)

Elilês is a child of forbidden feral magic, hiding her secret amid the holy. Her refuge has become her prison  In thirteen days, on the celebration of the Eve of Snows, joining the priesthood will give her a chance to escape the prison walls of the monastery

Thirteen days
 Just before her vows, a friend’s body arrives ( Who brings the body? How does he arrive?)   bearing a sealed message for Lord Priest Ûlvlôs. With her feral magic Elilês beguiles a librarian into copying the lord priest’s missive. Demons known as the Shadows of Man slaughtered priests at a hidden shrine in the mountains, a test of their holy powers to fulfill a double-edged prophecy. The lord priest seeks to open a Celestial Gate to summon the power of the gods, bringing war to the Seven Clans and crowning himself the first king priest in over five hundred years. If this gate reaches the hells instead of the heavens, it unleashes a genocide of Shadows. ( This leaves me utterly confused. Too many information.  God, Demons, hell, heaven,  Shadows of Man, Lord priest, king priest,  slaughtered priests, Celestial gate, Seven Clans…. You need to clear up the cobweb of confusion)

  ,  
Come morning the librarian dangles in the briar, thrown from the monastery walls. Terrified, Elilês hides in the routine of her daily devotions, but Lord Priest Ûlvlôs finds her alone. He offers a pardon for her crime and promises riches and influence by his side. Someday she might be queen, but the price of this future is her silence and servitude.
( I don’t understand why the Lord priest is trying to buy her silence? Has she seen him killing the librarian? This is again very confusing and wordy).

When warriors of the Clan Côerkin arrive at the monastery, Elilês faces two terrifying options: An alliance with Lord Priest Ûlvlôs and his gamble for untold power, or risking her life and soul by warning the Côerkin and unleashing feral powers she doesn’t understand. (
here you’ve introduced more new character  Clan Côerkin…..

Sundering the Gods: Eve of Snows is a 153,000 word Epic Fantasy. 

 

It needs serious revision. Hope it helps. Navin

 

Please have a look at my revised query: http://agentquerycon...essenger/page-3



#19 Bananas

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 10:14 PM

Here's my latest.  http://agentquerycon...ed-49/?p=338547

Prayers are power, and Elilês is the most accomplished postulant to study for the priesthood in generations. But her prayers are a lie.  I'm not grabbed by this.  I think it's because I don't get what 'prayers are a lie' means.  It's too vague.

Elilês wields feral magic instead of prayer, unholy and punishable by death. She hid from inquisitors in plain sight by training for the priesthood, but her refuge became her prison. During the celebration of the Eve of Snows, joining the priesthood will give her a chance to escape.  These sentences are hover right on the edge of interesting.  As they are right now, they're just unspecific enough to be off putting.  I think the problem is that I don't get what the character is up to.  Why is she wielding forbidden magic?  Why does she need to escape?  

Thirteen days before her vows a friend arrives dead how does one arrive dead? A dead man can be brought somewhere, but he can't arrive.  And then when you pair this with him "bearing a message"...  oh boy.  to the monastery bearing a message for Lord Priest Ûlvlôs. Elilês finagles finagles?  Tell me what she's doing.  a copy of the missive, and reads of priests opening a Celestial Gate to summon the power of the gods, but their experiment brought devastation, and demons called Shadows of Man.

Come morning her accomplice what accomplice?  I thought he had arrived dead. dangles in the briar, how does one dangle from a bush?  thrown from the monastery walls. Terrified, Elilês hides in the routine of her daily devotions, but Ûlvlôs finds her alone. He offers a pardon for her crime how did he figure her out?  and promises riches and power. Why would he do this?  Someday she might be queen, but the price of this future is her silence and servitude.  The guy is going to make her queen?  What?  And why does she need to stay silent?  Also, what does this have to do with the Shadow thing?

When warriors of the Clan Côerkin arrive at the monastery, Elilês risks everything to speak with Ivin Côerkin, and pieces together the truth. Truth about what?  How does this relate to her being queen or the shadows?  I'm not following your plot.  The lord priest intends to fulfill a prophecy which will bring war with the ruling clans and crown him the first King Priest in over five hundred years. You've pulled focus from your MC to what this lord priest wants to do.  But if the gate reaches the hells instead of the heavens, I don't follow this it unleashes a genocide of Shadows.  you're misusing the word genocide.  Or at least, I don't think you mean to say that the Shadows are being killed.  I think you're saying that the Shadows are doing the killing.  A genocide led by Shadows would work.  Personally, I'd stay away from the word, as I don't see which culture is being wiped out by the shadows. 

War looms. War with who?  Shadows take the bodies of men. And?  Elilês must decide between Ûlvlôs and his gamble for power, or pitting her feral magic against the prayers of the gods.  

Sundering the Gods: Eve of Snows is a 153,000 word Epic Fantasy.



#20 dragoness

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 01:58 AM

The story sounds fascinating!  :smile:

 

Yet, the query is very confusing - too many intrigues, characters and events for a query.

I think you better omit the warriors arrival, omit one of the dead man she finds, and focus on her choice between joining the evil priest or fighting him.

 

Also, try to simplify the sentences.

 

Here are some detailed comments:

Prayers are power, and Elilês is the most accomplished postulant to study for the priesthood in generations. But her prayers are a lie. ("lie" seems unclear and too emotional. I think something like "her prayers are not what they seem" is better)

Instead of prayer, Elilês wields feral magic, unholy and punishable by death. She hid from inquisitors in plain sight by training for the priesthood, but her refuge became her prison. During the celebration of the Eve of Snows, joining the priesthood will give her a chance to escape.

Thirteen days before her vows, (comma) a friend arrives dead to the monastery, (comma) bearing a message for Lord Priest Ûlvlôs. Elilês finagles a copy of the missive, and reads of priests opening a Celestial Gate to summon the power of the gods, but their experiment brought devastation, demons called Shadows of Man.

Come morning her accomplice dangles in the briar, thrown from the monastery walls. Terrified, Elilês hides in the routine of her daily devotions, but Ûlvlôs finds her alone. He offers a pardon for her crime (which crime?) and promises riches and power. Someday she might be queen, but the price of this future is her silence and servitude.

When warriors of the Clan Côerkin arrive at the monastery, Elilês risks everything to speak with Ivin Côerkin, and pieces together the truth. The lord priest intends to fulfill a prophecy which will bring war with the ruling clans and crown him the first King Priest in over five hundred years. But if the gate reaches the hells instead of the heavens, it unleashes a genocide of Shadows. (didn't it already happen?)

War looms. Shadows take the bodies of men. Elilês must decide between Ûlvlôs and his gamble for power, or pitting her feral magic against the prayers of the gods.

Sundering the Gods: Eve of Snows is a 153,000 word Epic Fantasy.

 

Good luck!

 

Would you like looking at my new version? http://agentquerycon...eturn-critique/






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