Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo
- - - - -

BURNING HEART (high/epic fantasy - Revision in #83)

Fiction Fantasy

  • Please log in to reply
88 replies to this topic

#61 CM_Fick

CM_Fick

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 133 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:Mark of Fate, Bad Caveman Publishing, 2011

    Self published works:
    Burden of Fate, 2012
    Legacy of Fate, 2016
    When the Dead Rise: Series 1, 2016

Posted 18 March 2017 - 11:31 AM

@ryankalford, I sent a pm with this clarification question, but I decided that it may be more useful here.

For the first sentence -- I included the part you crossed out, so that it encompassed all 4 elements without actually having to list them individually. 

As a greater elemental, Ember can move continents (earth) and influence the weather (air); she can turn the earth molten in one breath (fire), and quench it with the next (water).

It was written specifically for this purpose, and I was curious about your reasoning for suggesting it be taking it out. 

Thank you for your input. 



#62 ryankalford

ryankalford

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 181 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS Southwest

Posted 18 March 2017 - 12:03 PM

Thought I'd post my DM reply here just for the public record incase anyone wants to agree/disagree so you have a better idea of how to proceed with weighing more opinions.

 

"I canned it because I felt it went on too long for my taste. The effectiveness after the first two comparisions is dwindled, plus I think it's just a bit redundant. We don't really need to know that there are four elements so much as "hey, look at how powerful Ember is, guys!" kinda thing. 

 

It just reads better to me, and i get the gist of the main point. And i guess the first two are easier to understand and grasp, while the later make me pause and I have to think more about what melting and quenching the earth is referencing. Plus, they feel like they have more purple prose flare than the previous two which are more direct.

 

Soo, for me, it just reads better using the first two and pushing forward having established the idea this gal is powerful like a God. Keeps it simple, and saves you words for elsewhere."


RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/


#63 strangeface

strangeface

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 96 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging
  • LocationUS Southeast

Posted 18 March 2017 - 03:31 PM

I pretty much agree with Ryankalford, but her cut kind of makes the first sentence a bit dry. In the part that I have in red below,  you should maybe create a better descriptor that can give a quick sense of all her powers, but not go into specifics about all four. Just something snappy that'll let us understand easily. It's on the right track though I think. I personally think the "her connection to the elements is severed" thing is okay, but ultimately it depends on the context in which it ends up lying.

 

So either this works or it doesn't...and I know its a little long for a hook, but I want to see what you guys thought before I went too much further. 

 

HOOK:

As a greater elemental, Ember can move continents and influence the weather; she can turn the earth molten in one breath, and quench it with the next. But after emerging from the portal she sealed a millennia earlier, she soon realizes her connection to the elements is severed. Her entire life has been about maintaining balance, both within herself and the world around her. Now she must learn to find a new balance in order to stop the destruction of the Unseelie King, once and for all. 
 

The next paragraph will focus on plot specifics, but this answers so many questions laying the character out this way. I figure it also covers the who, the conflict, and overcoming the conflict to complete the goal. 

 

Thoughts?



#64 Linnet_Crawford

Linnet_Crawford

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 50 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationCanada

Posted 19 March 2017 - 10:21 AM

My issue with this is that it focuses on Ember's powers, and less so the elements of her character/plot that I think are most attention-grabbing for agents. It's a good explanation, but I'm not convinced that it works as a hook. Based on what I know of your plot so far, I think a good hook would mention a) Ember, the most powerful greater elemental (?), sacrificed herself to seal the portal between the human and Unseelie worlds b) Now the portal is open again, Ember is sapped of her powers, and her nemesis, the Unseelie King, is preparing to finish what he started

 

I think the hook needs to summon up the key plot motivator, rather than the MC's internal journey... Just a personal opinion, though!

So either this works or it doesn't...and I know its a little long for a hook, but I want to see what you guys thought before I went too much further. 

 

HOOK:

As a greater elemental, Ember can move continents and influence the weather; she can turn the earth molten in one breath, and quench it with the next. But after emerging from the portal she sealed a millennia earlier, she soon realizes her connection to the elements is severed. Her entire life has been about maintaining balance, both within herself and the world around her. Now she must learn to find a new balance in order to stop the destruction of the Unseelie King, once and for all. 
 

The next paragraph will focus on plot specifics, but this answers so many questions laying the character out this way. I figure it also covers the who, the conflict, and overcoming the conflict to complete the goal. 

 

Thoughts?


Any thoughts on my query are super appreciated!  Here: http://agentquerycon...ong-ya-fantasy/


#65 CM_Fick

CM_Fick

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 133 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:Mark of Fate, Bad Caveman Publishing, 2011

    Self published works:
    Burden of Fate, 2012
    Legacy of Fate, 2016
    When the Dead Rise: Series 1, 2016

Posted 19 March 2017 - 10:49 AM

My issue with this is that it focuses on Ember's powers, and less so the elements of her character/plot that I think are most attention-grabbing for agents. It's a good explanation, but I'm not convinced that it works as a hook. Based on what I know of your plot so far, I think a good hook would mention a) Ember, the most powerful greater elemental (the only - until the beginning of the book for the purposes of this - and most peopel are of the opinion that I need to clarify what a greater elemental is), sacrificed herself to seal the portal between the human and Unseelie worlds b) Now the portal is open again, Ember is sapped of her powers, and her nemesis, the Unseelie King, is preparing to finish what he started

 

I think the hook needs to summon up the key plot motivator, rather than the MC's internal journey... Just a personal opinion, though!

 

If it doesn't work - it doesn't work, and I'm okay with that. The issue I've been having is that some people like some aspects and think I should focus on that while others think I need to be more clear about the character because it speaks to her motivations. This was an idea that I hoped would satisfy both opinions. High Fantasy hasn't been an easy one to query.  

 

Thank you for taking the time to leave your thoughts Linnet, I appreciate it. 



#66 CarterT

CarterT

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 42 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:28 PM

 

 

As a greater elemental, Ember can move continents and influence the weather; she can turn the earth molten in one breath, and quench it with the next. But after emerging from the portal she sealed a millennia earlier, she soon realizes her connection to the elements is severed. Her entire life has been about maintaining balance, both within herself and the world around her. Now she must learn to find a new balance in order to stop the destruction of the Unseelie King, once and for all. Now, bereft of her powers, Ember seeks to find a way to save her world from invasion, and destroy her nemesis, the Unseelie King, once and for all. 

 

See, I'm a bit opposite the other posts. I like the internal struggle part. The way you wrote it is kind of poetic. More, it tells us she's playing in the big leagues. However, I think there is a good compromise by removing the 'balance' parts. 

 

I think you were the one who recommended I talk more about stakes and consequences in the hook, and I am going to toss that right back to you. I don't think my red suggestion is perfect for the way you write, but talking about the invasion gets those stakes in there. 



#67 CM_Fick

CM_Fick

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 133 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:Mark of Fate, Bad Caveman Publishing, 2011

    Self published works:
    Burden of Fate, 2012
    Legacy of Fate, 2016
    When the Dead Rise: Series 1, 2016

Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:01 PM

See, I'm a bit opposite the other posts. I like the internal struggle part. The way you wrote it is kind of poetic. More, it tells us she's playing in the big leagues. However, I think there is a good compromise by removing the 'balance' parts. 

 

I think you were the one who recommended I talk more about stakes and consequences in the hook, and I am going to toss that right back to you. I don't think my red suggestion is perfect for the way you write, but talking about the invasion gets those stakes in there. 

 

Than you for your input CarterT. I am 100% okay with you pointing out the same thing I did for you. Oftentimes, we're so close to our own stories that it's hard to see the holes. 



#68 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 266 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 19 March 2017 - 05:56 PM

 

HOOK:

As a greater elemental, Ember can move continents and influence the weather; she can turn the earth molten in one breath, and quench it with the next. But after emerging from the portal she sealed a millennia earlier, she soon realizes her connection to the elements is severed. Her entire life has been about maintaining balance, both within herself and the world around her. Now she must learn to find a new balance in order to stop the destruction of the Unseelie King, once and for all. 
 

 

I would put the second sentence first. I think it works fine, and that way you start with some action.

 

After emerging from the portal she sealed a millennia earlier, Ember realizes her connection with the elements is severed. As a greater elemental, Ember can move continents and influence the weather; she can turn the earth molten in one breath, and quench it with the next. Her entire life has been about maintaining balance, both within herself and the world around her. Or at least she used to be able to. Now her elements are gone, but she must find new strength to stop the destruction of of the Unseelie King, once and for all.

 

I made some recommendations above. I think you can skip drop the balance part, and maybe focus on how she needs new strength in the absence of elemental connections...? Just my thoughts. I do think it's good to define what she is. The description of her in the earlier versions left me confused.

 

 

 



#69 CM_Fick

CM_Fick

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 133 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:Mark of Fate, Bad Caveman Publishing, 2011

    Self published works:
    Burden of Fate, 2012
    Legacy of Fate, 2016
    When the Dead Rise: Series 1, 2016

Posted 19 March 2017 - 08:37 PM

Thank you all again for your input - I've tried to take a little from each of your thoughtful suggestions. There is one thing I've left out of this version of the "hook", and that's her quest to regain her connection to the elements (which is a huge part of her journey). To show how this could fit into a "hook" I've also revised the opening from my current query to see which reads better to all of you. 

 

As always, your feedback is appreciated and I'll get to critiquing everyone's updates shortly.  

 

REVISED HOOK #1:

After emerging from the portal that Ember sacrificed herself to seal, she wakes to find her connection to the elements severed. As a greater elemental, Ember could move mountains and call up storms; she could turn the earth molten in one breath, and quench it with the next. But now, a millennium later, the Unseelie King is invading Earth once again, and Ember must find a way to end his reign before he can obliterate humanity.  

 

REVISED HOOK #2 (old version - updated):

For Ember, waking a millennium after she sealed the portal to Earth is disorienting, but the fact that she can no longer feel the elements within her is far worse. As a greater elemental, Ember could not just wield earth, air, fire, and water -- she was a part of them -- and now she must find a way to restore her connection. Because, with access to Earth reopened, the Unseelie King has renewed his ultimate goal, and only Ember stands between him and the annihilation of humanity. 



#70 strangeface

strangeface

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 96 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging
  • LocationUS Southeast

Posted 19 March 2017 - 08:59 PM

Thank you all again for your input - I've tried to take a little from each of your thoughtful suggestions. There is one thing I've left out of this version of the "hook", and that's her quest to regain her connection to the elements (which is a huge part of her journey). To show how this could fit into a "hook" I've also revised the opening from my current query to see which reads better to all of you. 

 

As always, your feedback is appreciated and I'll get to critiquing everyone's updates shortly.  

 

REVISED HOOK #1:

After emerging from the portal that Ember she sacrificed herself to seal, she Ember wakes Why was she sleeping? to find her connection to the elements severed. As a greater elemental, Ember could move mountains and call up storms; she could (Comma here) turn the earth molten in one breath, and quench it with the next. But now, a millennium later, the Unseelie King is invading Earth once again, and Ember must find a way to end his reign before he can obliterate humanity.  

 

REVISED HOOK #2 (old version - updated):

For Ember, waking a millennium after she sealed the portal to Earth is disorienting, but the fact that she can no longer feel the elements within her is far worse. As a greater elemental, Ember could not just wield earth, air, fire, and water -- she was a part of them -- and now she must find a way to restore her connection. Because, with access to Earth reopened, the Unseelie King has renewed his ultimate goal, and only Ember stands between him and the annihilation of humanity. 

 

The second hook might be better overall, but I think you can take the best elements of both here. Something like (keeping the comments so you can know they're still relevant):

 

For Ember, waking a millennium after she sealed the portal to Earth is disorienting, but the fact that she can no longer feel the elements within her is far worse. . As a greater elemental, Ember could move mountains and call up storms; she could (Comma here) turn the earth molten in one breath, and quench it with the next. But now, a millennium later, the Unseelie King is invading Earth once again, and only Ember stands between him and the annihilation of humanity.

 

 

If you could take a look at my query, that would be great :) http://agentquerycon...a-contemporary/



#71 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 266 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 20 March 2017 - 04:05 PM

Hi, sorry but I realize now that I missed how in your new hook you were specifically representing her power in each element (move mountains, etc.). I just deleted some because it seemed to go on for a long time, and I thought two examples of being powerful were enough. 

 

 

 

REVISED HOOK #1:

After emerging from the portal that Ember sacrificed herself to seal, she wakes to find her connection to the elements severed. As a greater elemental, Ember could move mountains and call up storms; she could turn the earth molten in one breath, and quench it with the next. But now, a millennium later, the Unseelie King is invading Earth once again, and Ember must find a way to end his reign before he can obliterate humanity.  

 

REVISED HOOK #2 (old version - updated):

For Ember, waking a millennium after she sealed the portal to Earth is disorienting, but the fact that she can no longer feel the elements within her is far worse. As a greater elemental, Ember could not just wield earth, air, fire, and water -- she was a part of them -- and now she must find a way to restore her connection. Because, with access to Earth reopened, the Unseelie King has renewed his ultimate goal, and only Ember stands between him and the annihilation of humanity. 

 

 

I like the second hook better because it emphasizes how much Ember needs her elements back, not just to save the world, but for herself.



#72 CM_Fick

CM_Fick

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 133 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:Mark of Fate, Bad Caveman Publishing, 2011

    Self published works:
    Burden of Fate, 2012
    Legacy of Fate, 2016
    When the Dead Rise: Series 1, 2016

Posted 20 March 2017 - 04:59 PM

Thank you strangeface and smithgirl for your critiques. Here is the hook I'm currently working the next version of my query around. 

 

REVISED HOOK:

For Ember, waking a millennium after she sealed the portal to Earth is disorienting, but the fact that she can no longer feel the elements within her is far worse. As a greater elemental, Ember could move mountains and call up storms, turn the earth molten in one breath and quench it with the next. But now, the Unseelie King is invading Earth once again, and only Ember stands between him and the annihilation of humanity.

 

[from here I'm going to start with the loss of her soulmate and the elements, and the effects this has on her: she was a part of them -- and now she must find a way to restore her connection

 

I'm hoping to have an update in the next day or so. 



#73 ryankalford

ryankalford

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 181 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS Southwest

Posted 20 March 2017 - 08:33 PM

Thank you strangeface and smithgirl for your critiques. Here is the hook I'm currently working the next version of my query around. 

 

REVISED HOOK:

For Ember, waking a millennium after she sealed the portal to Earth is disorienting, but the fact that she can no longer feel the elements within her is far worse. As a greater elemental, Ember could move mountains and call up storms, turn the earth molten in one breath and quench it with the next. But now, the Unseelie King is invading Earth once again, and only Ember stands between him and the annihilation of humanity.

 

This phrashing just bothers me with the way it's written. It just sounds purple prosey in a complicated way for my taste (molten, quench, etc). I like the slight tweaks you did with the first two elements--if you could get the later like those, It think it'd work seamlessly like you want.

 

Also, to make a suggestion about re-wording the first part of your hook, if I may:

 

"For Ember, waking a millennium after she sealed the portal to Earth is disorienting, but the fact she can no longer wield the powers of a greater elemental is far worse. Powers that could move mountains adn call up storms, melt ground into lava, and freeze anything with a breath. But..."

 

I'm just want it tightened and tidied up a bit more for maximum impact. 

 

[from here I'm going to start with the loss of her soulmate and the elements, and the effects this has on her: she was a part of them -- and now she must find a way to restore her connection

 

I'm hoping to have an update in the next day or so. 

 

Hooks' looking good though, as others have noted. Looking forward to the next attempt at the rest!


RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/


#74 CM_Fick

CM_Fick

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 133 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:Mark of Fate, Bad Caveman Publishing, 2011

    Self published works:
    Burden of Fate, 2012
    Legacy of Fate, 2016
    When the Dead Rise: Series 1, 2016

Posted 20 March 2017 - 09:26 PM



This phrashing just bothers me with the way it's written. It just sounds purple prosey in a complicated way for my taste (molten, quench, etc). preface: I'm not saying this to argue your opinion in any way; I appreciate your thoughts and comments.... Purple prose or not, this type of phrasing is found in the book. It's the tone and style, and in my opinion, often found in this type of high-fantasy writing. For now, I'm going to leave it in. I did take into account some of the other tweaks to the hook, but this I'm going to keep as is until I determine it is hindering the query. 

 

 

Okay, here's the latest revision. Thank you all for putting up with all these wildly different versions, and critiquing them. I appreciate the time everyone's taken for this and I will gladly return the favour. If I've missed someone, please just send me a nudge ;). 

 

This version is longer than the others, at 380 words, but I'm sure there's room for lots of cutting, I just can't see it at the moment.

 

Thanks in advance. 

 

REVISED QUERY:

[I know some people prefer this at the end, but one agent I'm submitting to said she prefers this at the top]

Burning Heart is an adult high-fantasy novel with multiple points of view and complete at 115,000 words.

 

[I chose to keep feel the elements here because it's so much more than just a power she uses to wield the elements. As I said before, Ember is part of the elements - a new element of sorts...a fifth element lol - but not like the leeloo-version.]

For Ember, waking a millennium after she sealed the portal to Earth is disorienting, but no longer being able to feel the elements within her -- that is far worse. As a greater elemental, Ember could move mountains and call up storms, turn the earth molten in one breath and quench it with the next. But now, that's all gone, and the Unseelie King is invading Earth once again. Only Ember stands between him and the annihilation of humanity, and unless she regains the connection to the deepest parts of herself, it's unlikely she'll be able to stop him. 

 

[This paragraph contains one sentence of backstory. I don't know how else to pull this information in, because the lost control, and that the king is responsible for her soulmates death is important in speaking to motivation and the difficulty with her abilities]

Upon discovering that the Unseelie King killed her soulmate, Ember lost control of her powers, and in order to save both Earth and Pangaea, she sealed the portal between the worlds. But now, with the portal reopened and her once-great powers absent, Ember must return to the Seelie Court to mourn her loss, learn why she can't reach the elements, and plot her revenge against the Unseelie King.

 

When she learns of her soulmate's reincarnation into the human world, all Ember wants is to leave for Earth, but when she tries, she's blocked from leaving Pangaea. After seeking out her mentor, she learns that she cannot traverse the dimensions because what little power she's regained is unstable. That in order to enter Earth, and protect humanity from herself, she must first reconnect with all four elements.

 

With the Unseelie King's armies already in Earth, and his own greater elemental searching for the reincarnated vessel, Ember is running out of time. But with the return of the final element, comes a choice: she must choose between finding and protecting her soulmate as a young boy, or seeking out the key to end the Unseelie King's reign once and for all. 



#75 Linnet_Crawford

Linnet_Crawford

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 50 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationCanada

Posted 21 March 2017 - 12:33 PM

This is really getting close, and is a huge improvement on some of the earlier version I've read in terms of stakes and clarity. I think it could be shortened it bit, though, and I'm still not convinced by the opening line. Also, btw - your link to the newest revision in your first post links to one of the older versions.



 

 

REVISED QUERY:

[I know some people prefer this at the end, but one agent I'm submitting to said she prefers this at the top]

Burning Heart is an adult high-fantasy novel with multiple points of view and complete at 115,000 words.

 

[I chose to keep feel the elements here because it's so much more than just a power she uses to wield the elements. As I said before, Ember is part of the elements - a new element of sorts...a fifth element lol - but not like the leeloo-version.]

For Ember, waking a millennium after she sealed the portal to Earth is disorienting, but no longer being able to feel the elements within her -- that is far worse. (I think this is getting closer, but I just don't know if it's the best hook for the book. There's just too much going on.) As a greater elemental, Ember could move mountains and call up storms, turn the earth molten in one breath and quench it with the next. But now, that's all gone, and the Unseelie King is invading Earth once again. Only Ember stands between him and the annihilation of humanity, and unless Ember regains the connection to the deepest parts of herself, she won't be able to stop him. it's unlikely she'll be able to stop him.  The stakes here are much better! I'm tempted to say forget the hook, and cut the opening paragraph down to:

 

As a greater elemental, Ember could once move mountains and call up storms, turn the earth molten in one breath and quench it with the next. But now, that's all gone, and her nemesis, the Unseelie King, is invading Earth once again. Unless Ember regains the connection to the deepest parts of herself, she won't be able to stop him.

 

 

 

[This paragraph contains one sentence of backstory. I don't know how else to pull this information in, because the lost control, and that the king is responsible for her soulmates death is important in speaking to motivation and the difficulty with her abilities]

Upon discovering that the Unseelie King killed her soulmate, Ember lost control of her powers, and in order to save both Earth and her world of Pangaea, she sealed the portal between the worlds. This is great info, and I think it's absolutely necessary - but the phrasing is a little awkward. But now, with the portal reopened and her once-great powers absent, Ember must return to the Seelie Court to mourn her loss, learn why she can't reach the elements, and plot her revenge against the Unseelie King. Great!!

 

When she learns of her soulmate's reincarnation into the human world, all Ember wants is to leave for Earth, but when she tries, she's blocked from leaving Pangaea. The little power she's regained is unstable, and she's not strong enough to traverse the dimensions because what little power she's regained is unstable. That in order to enter Earth, and protect humanity from herself, she must first reconnect with all four elements.

 

With the Unseelie King's armies already in Earth, and his own greater elemental searching for Ember's soulmate the reincarnated vessel, Ember is running out of time. But with the return of the final element, comes a choice: she must choose between finding and protecting her soulmate as a young boy, or seeking out the key to end the Unseelie King's reign once and for all. 


Any thoughts on my query are super appreciated!  Here: http://agentquerycon...ong-ya-fantasy/


#76 CM_Fick

CM_Fick

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 133 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:Mark of Fate, Bad Caveman Publishing, 2011

    Self published works:
    Burden of Fate, 2012
    Legacy of Fate, 2016
    When the Dead Rise: Series 1, 2016

Posted 21 March 2017 - 02:37 PM

Thank you Linnet. 

 

Here's the most up to date version with the tweaks. At 270 words, I feel like this is finally coming together. Thank you all, I couldn't have done it without you. 

 

 

REVISED QUERY:

[I know some people prefer this at the end, but one agent I'm submitting to said she prefers this at the top]

Burning Heart is an adult high-fantasy novel with multiple points of view and complete at 115,000 words.

As a greater elemental, Ember could once move mountains and call up storms, turn the earth molten in one breath and quench it with the next. But now, that's all gone. With her nemesis, the Unseelie King, invading Earth again, Ember must regain her connection to the deepest parts of herself or she'll never be able to stop him.

 

Upon discovering that the Unseelie King killed her soulmate, Ember lost control of her powers. In order to save both Earth and Pangaea, from a cataclysm of her own making, she used herself to seal the portal between the worlds. But now, with the portal reopened and her once-great powers absent, Ember must return to the Seelie Court to mourn her loss, learn why she can't reach the elements, and plot her revenge against the Unseelie King.

 

When she learns of her soulmate's reincarnation into the human world, all Ember wants is to leave for Earth, but when she tries, she's blocked from leaving Pangaea. The little power she has regained is unstable, and she learns that because of this, she cannot traverse the dimensions until she reconnects with all four elements.

 

With the Unseelie King's armies already in Earth and his own greater elemental searching for her soulmate, Ember is running out of time. But with the return of the elements, comes a choice: she must choose between finding and protecting her soulmate as a young boy or seeking out the key to end the Unseelie King's reign once and for all. 



#77 Monks

Monks

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 90 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, in-between agents
  • LocationUS Southeast
  • Publishing Experience:No publishing experience

Posted 21 March 2017 - 03:06 PM

Burning Heart is an adult high-fantasy novel with multiple points of view and complete at 115,000 words.


As a greater elemental, Ember could once move mountains and call up storms, turn the earth molten in one breath and quench it with the next. But now, that's all gone. With her nemesis, the Unseelie King, invading Earth again, Ember must regain her connection to the deepest parts of herself or she'll never be able to stop him.

 

Might want to make clear that the beginning of this paragraph talks about stuff that happened a long time ago. Just so it's not confused with the immediate events of the novel. Upon discovering that the Unseelie King killed her soulmate, Ember lost control of her powers. In order to save both Earth and Pangaea removed comma from a cataclysm of her own making, she used herself Can you be more specific here? Sacrificed her connection to the elements? Something like that? to seal the portal between the worlds. But now, with the portal reopened and her once-great powers absent, Ember must return to the Seelie Court to mourn her loss, learn why she can't reach the elements, and plot her revenge against the Unseelie King.

 

When she learns of her soulmate's reincarnation into the human world, all Ember wants is to leave for Earth, but when she tries, she's blocked from leaving Pangaea.  The little power she has regained is unstable, and she learns that because of this, she cannot traverse the dimensions until she reconnects with all four elements. This could be more concise, I think. Something like, "all Ember wants is to leave for Earth. But until she regains her power, she is not strong enough to traverse the dimensions." Your wording is just a little repetitive.

 

With the Unseelie King's armies already in I would say "on" instead of "in" here. I know you might mean in Earth's dimension, but it just scans oddly. Earth and his own greater elemental searching for her soulmate, Ember is running out of time. But with the return of the elements removed comma comes a choice: she must choose between finding and protecting her reincarnated soulmate as a young boy or seeking out the key to ending the Unseelie King's reign once and for all. 

 

Wow, this is looking so much better since I last saw it! I don't have any major structural issues with this one, just a few nits to pick that could clean it up a little bit. The stakes are clear, as is the particular journey that Ember must go on. The only spot I see where additional clarification might be useful is where you say that the Unseelie King is looking for Ember's soulmate. If you could squeeze in why he's looking for him, I think that would help make Ember's stakes even more intense. Though if it's not really possible to put that in succinctly, I don't think it's a deal breaker. Overall, this is in really good shape. I know you hammered away at it for a long time now. It really has paid off. Congrats!


Would greatly appreciate critiques of my query!


#78 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 266 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 21 March 2017 - 03:54 PM


As a greater elemental, Ember could once move mountains and call up storms, turn the earth molten in one breath and quench it with the next. But now, that's all gone. With her nemesis, the Unseelie King, invading Earth again, Ember must regain her connection to the deepest parts of herself or she'll never be able to stop him. I think this is clear.

 

Upon discovering that the Unseelie King killed her soulmate, Ember lost control of her powers. In order to save both Earth and Pangaea, from a cataclysm of her own making, she used herself to seal the portal between the worlds. But now, with the portal reopened and her once-great powers absent, Ember must return to the Seelie Court to mourn her loss, learn why she can't reach the elements, and plot her revenge against the Unseelie King. This second paragraph largely restates the first paragraph rather than moving the story forward.

 

Upon discovering that the Unseelie King killed her soulmate, Ember lost control of her powersWhen she learns of her soulmate's reincarnation into the human world, all she Ember wants is to leave Pangea for Earth, but when she tries, she's blocked from leaving Pangaea. The little power she has regained is unstable, and she learns that because of this, she cannot traverse the dimensions until she reconnects with all four elements. I would move the first sentence from the second paragraph down and use it to start this paragraph instead.

 

With the Unseelie King's armies already on Earth and his own greater elemental searching for her soulmate, Ember is running out of time. But with the return of the elements, comes a choice: she must choose between finding and protecting her soulmate as a young boy or seeking out the key to end the Unseelie King's reign once and for all. I think this new ending is really good. It's the clearest you've had so far. I completely follow the stakes.

 

I think you first and last paragraphs are good, especially the last paragraph is the best so far. Your second paragraph includes a lot of redundancy. I would merge the non-redundant part with the third paragraph and go from there. Aside from that, I think the story is very clear. Just clean up the middle paragraph and bit and you're there. :-)



#79 CM_Fick

CM_Fick

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 133 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:Mark of Fate, Bad Caveman Publishing, 2011

    Self published works:
    Burden of Fate, 2012
    Legacy of Fate, 2016
    When the Dead Rise: Series 1, 2016

Posted 21 March 2017 - 06:31 PM

Thank you Monks and smithgirl! I appreciate your comments.

 

Sorry I've been blowing through versions, but by eod tomorrow, I have to have something as close to ready to submit as possible. I've tried to take all the feedback into consideration, and I think this is finally coming together, thanks to all of you!! If I've missed a critique for anyone, please drop me a PM and I'll get on it as soon as possible. 

 

Here's the latest revisions

 

REVISED QUERY:

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:

 

Burning Heart is an adult high-fantasy novel with multiple points of view and complete at 115,000 words

 

As a greater elemental, Ember could once move mountains and call up storms, turn the earth molten in one breath and quench it with the next. But now, that's all gone. With her nemesis, the Unseelie King, invading Earth again, Ember must regain her connection to the deepest parts of herself or she'll never be able to stop him.

 

A millennium earlier, Ember discovered that the Unseelie King killed her soulmate in battle. Absorbed by her grief and rage, Ember lost control of her powers, and in order to save both dimensions from a cataclysm of her own making, she sealed herself in the portal between the worlds. But now, with the portal reopened and her powers absent, Ember must return to the Seelie Court to mourn her loss, learn why she can't reach the elements, and plot her revenge against the Unseelie King.

 

When Ember learns of her soulmate's reincarnation into the human world, all she wants is to leave for Earth. After attempting to go through the portal, Ember finds she cannot. That what little power she regained is unstable, and because of this, she cannot traverse the dimensions until she reconnects with all four elements.

 

With the Unseelie King's armies already in Earth and his own greater elemental searching for her soulmate, Ember is running out of time. But with the return of the elements comes a choice: find and protect her soulmate or pursue the key to ending the Unseelie King's reign once and for all.

 

Your profile mentioned fantasy as a current interest and I hope that you find my manuscript to be a good match.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration. 



#80 DV77

DV77

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 54 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationEurope

Posted 21 March 2017 - 06:44 PM

 

Thank you Linnet. 

 

Here's the most up to date version with the tweaks. At 270 words, I feel like this is finally coming together. Thank you all, I couldn't have done it without you. 

 

 

REVISED QUERY:

[I know some people prefer this at the end, but one agent I'm submitting to said she prefers this at the top]

Burning Heart is an adult high-fantasy novel with multiple points of view and complete at 115,000 words.

As a greater elemental, Ember could once move mountains and call up 'summon' would work better here, I think storms, turn the earth molten in one breath and quench it with the next. But now, that's all gone. This line is a missed opportunity. If it were me I'd switch it to something like, 'Now she can't even .... (aka fill the blank with and then insert something basic to make the reader wonder 'wow, what happened to her to make her so lame now?' It's a good chance to inject some personality into it. With her nemesis, the Unseelie King, invading Earth again, Ember must regain her connection to the deepest parts of herself or she'll never be able to stop him.

 

Upon discovering that the Unseelie King killed her soulmate, Ember lost control of her powers. In order to save both Earth and Pangaea, from a cataclysm of her own making, she used herself  This part is long-winded. Needs to be something simpler like 'used all of her remaining power to seal the portal' (it gives us an impression of her personality and that she's willing to sacrifice for the greater good. Makes her more likeable. to seal the portal between the worlds. But now, with the portal reopened and her once-great powers absent, Ember must return to the Seelie Court to mourn her loss I'd lose this part. It's passive and doesn't add anything, learn why she can't reach the elements, and plot her revenge against the Unseelie King. I'm guessing she's been plotting this for however long she was cast out. I'd switch it to something along the lines of 'find a way to turn her 1000 year dream (or whatever) of destroying/slaughtering etc the Unseelie King'. It's another little opportunity to show her personality.

 

When she learns of her soulmate's reincarnation into the human world, all Ember wants is to leave for Earth, but when she tries, she's blocked from leaving Pangaea. The little power she has regained is unstable, and she learns that because of this, she cannot traverse the dimensions until she reconnects with all four elements. I'm not a fan of this paragraph. The whole set up was how she's been prepping to kick this Unseelie King's ass and now it's like she's chickening out and I'm sitting here going 'booooo, what a coward'. I get that you want to give her a new dilemma because yeah, her soulmate now being alive is a pretty big deal, I just think there's got to be a stronger way of tying it together.

 

With the Unseelie King's armies already in Earth and his own greater elemental searching for her soulmate, Ember is running out of time. But with the return of the elements, comes a choice: she must choose between finding and protecting her soulmate as a young boy is this part an absolute necessity? or seeking out the key I get this is going to be the harder and more dangerous option, but this paragraph needs a way to convey it's going to be risking the one thing she cares about the most  to end the Unseelie King's reign once and for all. 

 

 

This has definitely come on leaps and bounds since I last saw it. I feel it's quite close now. Most of the paragraphs are there. I just think there are a couple of missed opportunities in them where you could have shown her personality more.

 

The only real paragraph I feel could do with some more work is the second to last, for the reasons I mentioned in red, and maybe the last paragraph could up the stakes just a teeeeny bit more. On the whole it's looking good. You are throwing good jab and hook combos, now it's just time to land a couple of knock-out punches and it's there.

 

Thanks for your comments on my query and the first 250, btw.

 

Nice job!







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Fiction, Fantasy

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users