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

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#81 CarterT

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 06:44 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. - Compared to the dramatic style of the rest of this paragraph, that just seems to fall off a bit. I'm not even going to try to make a suggestion, because frankly, you'll do it better than me anyway!

 

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. - Hey, great job with this one. So much clearer.

 

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 that she cannot. - I feel like the 'that' is needed in there to tie to the 'that' that starts the next sentence. 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 - this just reads like she already has the elements back. Is the quest to recover her elements a big part of the book? If so, maybe make it sound like a future choice? 'However, even if she can retrieve the elements, she'll need to make a choice: find and protect....." 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. 

 

 

Wow. Really. Your new version is great. Just a few minor suggestions in there.

 

Seriously. Loving. It.



#82 ryankalford

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 07:44 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.

 

In trying to envision reading this freshly--I can't help but think this is skimming over an important why are her powers all gone? It's the one part of the hook that sticks out like a sore thumb to me. I mean, I'm never going to like the earth molten/quench bit, but this hook is tight prose-wise, and everyone else doesn't seem to mind...but the why of her powers being gone seems like a small missing piece out an otherwise complete and compelling hook portrait.

 

Okay, below I see it's not exactly meant to be explained--so  maybe there's another way of saying they're gone that doesn't make it feel like a missing link or as obtuse? 

 

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.

 

 

This is like...worlds apart from the previous attempts. It's pratically clear now! Great f'n job.  

 

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.

 

This paragraph feels a bit more wordy than it's worth. Espesically the last sentence. Think you could sum it up in a shorter fashion a bit more?

 

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.

 

 

Stakes are clear and concise...but I find they could use a little bit more of a personal voice. Make me feel Ember's torn desire between saving her soulmate selfishlly or stopping the big bad for the greater good.

 

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. 

 

Well...that certainly came out of a nowhere. Some tweaks and a little more tinkering, and you'll be golden.

 

Congrats!


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/


#83 CM_Fick

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 09:32 PM

Here's the latest revisions. I'm not sure if this is a step back or if it's better.... 

 

 

REVISED QUERY:

 

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 summon storms, turn the earth molten in one breath and quench it with the next. But now, she can't even plant a seed without getting her hands dirty. [too on the nose?] With her nemesis, the Unseelie King, invading Earth again, Ember must regain her connection to the deepest parts of herself or she'll never succeed in stopping 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. 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 uncover why she can't reach the elements and to plot her revenge against the Unseelie King. When Ember learns of her soulmate's reincarnation into the human world, however, her plans for revenge are set aside and she leaves for Earth. But after attempting to go through the portal and finding she's unable to, Ember sets out to discover why.

 

What she uncovers is that until she can stabilize her erratic powers, she's trapped in Pangaea.

 

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 even if she can reconnect with all the elements, she'll be faced with a choice: follow her heart and find her reincarnated soulmate or complete her life's goal by 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.



#84 chadweiss35

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 10:30 PM

This is definitely getting good!

 

 

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 summon storms, turn the earth molten in one breath and quench it with the next. But now, she can't even plant a seed without getting her hands dirty. (I like the line)[too on the nose?] With her nemesis, the Unseelie King, invading Earth again, Ember must regain her connection to the deepest parts of herself or she'll never succeed in stopping 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. 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 uncover why she can't reach the elements and to plot her revenge against the Unseelie King.(this line is okay, but I feel the last part about revenge against the Unseelie King could be better. maybe, "before she can seek revenge against the Unseelie King" When Ember learns of her soulmate's reincarnation into the human world, however, her plans for revenge are set aside and she leaves for Earth. But after attempting to go through travel, traverse, the portal and finding she's unable to, Ember sets out to discover why. 

 

What she uncovers isPassive. She discovers that until she can stabilize her erratic powers, she's trapped in Pangaea.

 

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 even if she can reconnect with all the elements, she'll be faced with a choice: follow her heart and find her reincarnated soulmate or complete her life's goal save humanity by ending the Unseelie King's reign once and for all. Saving humanity seemed more important to me than her life's goal.

 

 

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

 

Great work CM Fick, I think with these changes I'd fire it off to a couple agents and see what kind of responses you get. My opinion, but I think its pretty damn close. 



#85 dragoness

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 03:02 AM

Thanks for qritiquing my query!

 

The story seems very interesting  :smile: .

 

The query is good, IMO.

 

The places were unclear to me. Is it Seelie or Unseelie? Is it a kingdom on a world? Which world? Pangaea? And what is the other world?

 

Why the king is evil and must be replaced is also not clear.

 

Here are my detailed comments:

 

Here's the latest revisions. I'm not sure if this is a step back or if it's better.... 

 

 

REVISED QUERY:

 

Burning Heart is an adult high-fantasy novel with multiple points of view and complete at 115,000 words. (I think it'd better be in the end. Start with the special interesting stuff.) 

 

As a greater elemental, Ember could once move mountains and summon storms, turn the earth molten in one breath and quench it with the next. But now, she can't even plant a seed without getting her hands dirty. [too on the nose?] (I like 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 succeed in stopping him. (great. the conflict is clear.)

 

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. In order to save both dimensions (which?) 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 uncover why she can't reach the elements (it's a repetition of the next paragraphs "...sets out to discover why", and better be deleted here) and to plot her revenge against the Unseelie King. 

 

(new topic requires new paragraph) When Ember learns of her soulmate's reincarnation into the human world, however, her plans for revenge are set aside and she leaves for Earth. But after attempting to go through the portal and finding she's unable to, Ember sets out to discover why. What she uncovers is that until she can stabilize her erratic powers, she's trapped in Pangaea.

 

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 even if she can reconnect with all the elements, she'll be faced with a choice: follow her heart and find her reincarnated soulmate or complete her life's goal by ending the Unseelie King's reign once and for all. (good ending!)

 

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

 

Good luck!



#86 smithgirl

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:52 AM

 

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 summon storms, turn the earth molten in one breath and quench it with the next. But now, she can't even plant a seed without getting her hands dirty. [too on the nose?] With her nemesis, the Unseelie King, invading Earth again, Ember must regain her connection to the deepest parts of herself or she'll never succeed in stopping him.

 

I think this new intro is a step back because it doesn't show that Ember is really devastated by losing her powers. It makes it sound like it's just a bit inconvenient. Switch out the second sentence and it will be good.

 

A millennium earlier, Ember discovered that the Unseelie King killed Ember's er soulmate in battle. Absorbed Overcome by her grief and rage, Ember lost control of her powers. In order to save both dimensions from a cataclysm of her own making, she sealed herself in the portal between the worlds. I'm unclear on how the cataclysm of her own making relates to losing her powers.  But now, with the portal reopened and her powers absent, Ember must return to the Seelie Court to reconnect with her elements uncover why she can't reach the elements and to plot her revenge against the Unseelie King. When Ember learns of her soulmate's reincarnation into the human world, however, her plans for revenge are set aside and she leaves for Earth. But after attempting to go through the portal and finding she's unable to, Ember sets out to discover why.

 

What she uncovers is that until she can stabilize her erratic powers, she's trapped in Pangaea.  I would remove the Pangea reference here since you didn't introduce it like in the previous version.

 

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 even if she can reconnect with all the elements, she'll be faced with a choice: follow her heart and find her reincarnated soulmate or complete her life's goal by 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.

 

‚ÄčI still think the middle paragraph is discombobulated, and I would definitely return something to the first paragraph about how badly Ember is distressed by losing her powers. Now it sounds a bit trite, and I think it's a really big issue for her.

 



#87 CM_Fick

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 02:53 PM

A BIG thank you to everyone who helped me sort through this query. It may not be perfect yet, but I had to get it submitted for critique by today. So, until I get that back (which likely won't be until later next month) I'm going to press pause here and wait.

 

Once I get the agent's comments back, I'm sure there will be a new round of critiques, but until then I'll still be around to pay-it-forward. If I miss someone's update, and you'd like me to review it, please just send me a PM and I'll get on it as soon as I can. 

 

on a side note, here's my explanations for why certain information is left unanswered in the query. 

 Absorbed Overcome by her grief and rage, Ember lost control of her powers. In order to save both dimensions from a cataclysm of her own making, she sealed herself in the portal between the worlds. I'm unclear on how the cataclysm of her own making relates to losing her powers. This is too much detail to go into in a query. When she seals the portal she's basically gone nuclear (with the elements within her) and uses herself to seal the portal - to save earth from her implosion or explosion or however you want to look at her destroying it. This also serves a second purpose to cut off the King's access to Earth, which prevents him from trying to take the world for himself and his faction. This action of cutting herself off from the physical worlds, severs her connection to the elements. 

 

The query is good, IMO. Thank you!

 

The places were unclear to me. Is it Seelie or Unseelie? It's both - Seelie = light Unseelie = dark (these are common Fey terms in fantasy) Is it a kingdom on a world? neither - they are warring factions in Pangaea  Which world? Pangaea? And what is the other world? 2 worlds - Pangaea & Earth. This is all too high concept to put into the query, so I sacrificed the clarity of these proper nouns to leave room for the important points. 

 

Why the king is evil and must be replaced is also not clear. This is way too much backstory for a query - even for the synopsis. 

 

 

This is definitely getting good! Thank you!

 

she'll be faced with a choice: follow her heart and find her reincarnated soulmate or complete her life's goal save humanity by ending the Unseelie King's reign once and for all. Saving humanity seemed more important to me than her life's goal. These are one in the same. For simplicity and clarity, I went with your suggestion. 

 



#88 smithgirl

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 09:55 AM

Good luck!



#89 Erevos

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 09:50 AM

Came here hoping to help. Read your latest revision...left without a word! Great job!







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