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ON HOLD (high/epic fantasy - Revision in #83)

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#41 lsprochnow

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 03:19 PM

I'd like to thank everyone who's helped me with this query so far. You all have pushed me to think outside of the box with these revisions, given me a lot to think about, and your thoughts have been invaluable. I can't properly express my gratitude - so I'll just say thank you, again! 

 

Okay, so with this one, I've gone an entirely new route, hoping to get to the core of my character's motivations, and to keep it within the limit, I've focused only on Ember for this query. On a side note: I have taken changing the term Unseelie under advisement. Until I decide if something works better...FYI: Unseelie is malevolent/ Seelie is benevolent.

 

REVISION: 

Waking from stasis, delete comma after a millennium, can be disorienting -- especially since Ember can no longer feel the elements, which have always been an intricate part of her and her identity. All she wants is to grieve for her slain soulmate and find a way to heal the severed connection to her elements. This second sentence doesn't flow that well with the rest of the paragraph. I love the content in it, but think it could read smoother But her greatest adversary, the Unseelie King, is moving forward with his plans of dominion over humanity, and only Ember can stop him. I think this is a pretty solid hook. I'm wondering how Ember is the only one who can stop him, especially since she lost her elements

 

When Ember receives news of her soulmate's impending reincarnation into the human world, her elation triggers the return of water, and feeling the element wash over her, her grief begins to heal. Soon after, and thanks to an encounter with a banished warlock, fire sparks within her, being the second element to return. Having two elements back, Ember is eager to set out for Earth and search for her love, but is warned that she cannot do so until regaining all of the elements. With a tenuous connections to the first two elements, Ember struggles to find a way to reconnect with the others, but they remain stubbornly silent. This paragraph lost me a bit. I think too much time is spent on small details on how she regains her elements rather than the bigger picture

 

Meanwhile, humanity is facing extinction good!. And unless Ember can find and remove whatever is blocking the final two elements, she risks losing her beloved forever. There seems to be a lot at stake here, but I'm not sure which Ember is most concerned about. Humanity going extinct is mentioned, but finding her elements take precedence over that, and then she's worried about losing her beloved. It seems like a lot is being thrown at us rather than one solid thing that we can grasp on to. Does that make sense?

 

I think you're on the right track here. The stakes are sky high and I know exactly what Ember wants. I think the final sentence needs more focus though. I'll keep an eye on your post so I can keep leaving feedback!

 

I made some changes to my query if you wouldn't mind taking a look

 

http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=335845

 

With multiple points of view, Burning Heart is an adult high-fantasy novel, complete at 115,000 words. Your profile mentioned fantasy as a current interest, and I hope that you find my manuscript to be a good match.



#42 ryankalford

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 09:37 PM

Late to the party, but hey . . .

 

I'd like to thank everyone who's helped me with this query so far. You all have pushed me to think outside of the box with these revisions, given me a lot to think about, and your thoughts have been invaluable. I can't properly express my gratitude - so I'll just say thank you, again! 

 

Okay, so with this one, I've gone an entirely new route, hoping to get to the core of my character's motivations, and to keep it within the limit, I've focused only on Ember for this query. On a side note: I have taken changing the term Unseelie under advisement. Until I decide if something works better...FYI: Unseelie is malevolent/ Seelie is benevolent.

 

REVISION: 

Waking from stasis, after a millennium, can be disorienting -- especially since Ember can no longer feel the elements, which have always been an intricate part of her and her identity. All she wants is to grieve for her slain soulmate and find a way to heal the severed connection to her elements. But her greatest adversary, the Unseelie King, is moving forward with his plans of dominion over humanity, and only Ember can stop him.

 

Now that's very clever. Love it.

 

The paragraph itself is still off the mark for me. It's better, but it feels like a cluster of things relating to her character, and not a cohesive point A-B-C connection. Mentioning of the Unseelie King's threat doesn't feel off, but "Plans of dominion over humanity" and  "only X can stop him" feels pretty generic. What's the personal stake and connection Ember shares with him as the antagonist to her protagonist?

 

When Ember receives news of her soulmate's impending reincarnation into the human world, her elation triggers the return of water, and feeling the element wash over her, her grief begins to heal. Soon after, and thanks to an encounter with a banished warlock, fire sparks within her, being the second element to return. Having two elements back, Ember is eager to set out for Earth and search for her love, but is warned that she cannot do so until regaining all of the elements. With a tenuous connections to the first two elements, Ember struggles to find a way to reconnect with the others, but they remain stubbornly silent.

 

I think I get the general narrative point your trying to achieve, but I think it's too much info which just makes it all convoluted as hell for the query (and nothing vital relating to the plot and stakes)  I think all you really need to say here is some about her having only half her original Element powers, with her goal of attaining the two she's missing in order to tackle the UnSeelie King's threat.

 

The remaining strikeouts are too vague. You're telling me information that I can't connect with when you should be painting a picture that makes me feel Ember and her personality, who she is, what's she after, and what stands in her way (from her POV - which include the words and terms you use to explain something in the query).

 

Meanwhile, humanity is facing extinction. And unless Ember can find and remove whatever is blocking the final two elements, she risks losing her beloved forever. 

 

Too vague and generic to be of any real use to you.

 

With multiple points of view, Burning Heart is an adult high-fantasy novel, complete at 115,000 words. Your profile mentioned fantasy as a current interest, and I hope that you find my manuscript to be a good match.

 

Getting better. I particularly like the first line espesically. That''s the kind of style and personality and punch you need for the rest of this thing.

 

Til next version.


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/


#43 Garrett Lemons

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 10:14 AM

I think a lot of good points have been struck upon here in the previous critiques. It appears Ember has three motivations/plots/what-have-you in: regaining elements, finding her soulmate, and defeating the king. Are they connected? Are they separate? Does the good outcome of one mean a bad outcome of another? I think the stakes of the tension between the plots need to be clearer. Ie, if she finds her soulmate, she can't find the missing elements which means she can't defeat the king. Or if she finds the elements, she has to choose between her soulmate or defeating the king/killing humanity. 

 

Hope that helps!



#44 CM_Fick

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 01:07 PM

Okay, here we go again. I've intentionally left off the wordcount and closing. Thank you in advance for any assistance and I will happily return the favour. 

 

 

REVISED:

Waking from stasis after a millennium can be disorienting. The last thing Ember remembers is the death of her soulmate by the Unseelie King's hand, and using herself to seal the portal between her world and humanity's. Worse yet, the greater elemental -- created from earth, air, fire, and water -- can no longer feel the elements within her. But now that the seal's reopened, Ember's greatest adversary, the Unseelie King, is moving forward with his plans to annihilate humanity and take Earth as his own. Only Ember, created for this very purpose, can stop him.

 

When Ember receives news of her soulmate's impending reincarnation into the human world, she's elated, but not even the news that she will see him once again, will slake her thirst for revenge. Only once Ember's regained her ability to shift into her elemental forms, will she be strong enough to stand up and defend humanity. His armies are in Earth, surreptitiously exterminating humans, but what Ember doesn't know is that another greater elemental, created by the Unseelie King, is already there hunting for the reincarnation of her soulmate. Being severed from the elements for so long, Ember is no longer in perfect balance with them, but for the sake of her soulmate and to save humanity, she must find a new balance in order to regain what she's lost.

 

Despite everything that's expected of her, in the end Ember must accept who she's become, to have the fortitude to defeat the Unseelie King once and for all.



#45 Linnet_Crawford

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 08:21 AM

Much better and tighter, and the stakes are clearer! I had a few phrasing suggestions to make it a little cleaner:

Okay, here we go again. I've intentionally left off the wordcount and closing. Thank you in advance for any assistance and I will happily return the favour. 

 

 

REVISED:

Waking from stasis after a millennium can be disorienting. The last thing Ember remembers is the death of her soulmate by the Unseelie King's hand, and using herself to seal the portal between her world and humanity's. Worse yet, the greater elemental (took me a second to realize this was Ember. Maybe rephrase? ) -- created from earth, air, fire, and water -- can no longer feel the elements within her. But now that the seal's is reopened, Ember's greatest adversary - the Unseelie King -  is moving forward with his plans to annihilate humanity and take Earth as his own. Only Ember, created for this very purpose, can stop him. Good!

 

When Ember receives news of her soulmate's impending reincarnation into the human world, she's elated, but not even the news that she will see him once again, <- no comma will slake her thirst for revenge. Only once Ember's has regained her ability to shift into her elemental forms, <- no comma will she be strong enough to stand up and defend humanity. (This doesn't connect naturally to the previous sentence - I thought we were still talking about her soulmate?) His (The Unseelie King's?) armies are in  (on?) Earth, surreptitiously exterminating humans, but what Ember doesn't know is that another greater elemental, created by the Unseelie King, is already there hunting for the reincarnation of her soulmate. Being severed from the elements for so long, Ember is no longer in perfect balance with them, but for the sake of her soulmate and to save humanity, she must find a new balance in order to regain what she's lost. (I think all the information is here, but right now it reads a little dry - listing the things that are going wrong for her rather than bringing us into it)

 

Despite everything that's expected of her, in the end Ember must accept who she's become, to have the fortitude to defeat the Unseelie King once and for all. (This is very vague and doesn't really tell us anything new.)

 

I think this is really good, but the same information could be presented in a way that is  "punchier" - it sounds like the novel has some fascinating twists and stakes, and I think that needs to be clearer - ie. Wasn't the second greater elemental the one who opened the portal? Was Ember previously the only greater elemental? If so, that could be clearer - if not, why is taking on the Unseelie King her job?


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


#46 lsprochnow

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 12:11 PM

Okay, here we go again. I've intentionally left off the wordcount and closing. Thank you in advance for any assistance and I will happily return the favour. 

 

 

REVISED:

Waking from stasis after a millennium can be disorienting. The last thing Ember remembers is the death of her soulmate by the Unseelie King's hand, and using herself to seal the portal between her world and humanity's. Great hook Worse yet, the greater elemental I agree with Linnet that it's not entirely clear this is Ember -- created from earth, air, fire, and water -- can no longer feel the elements within her. But now that the seal's reopened, Ember's greatest adversary, the Unseelie King, is moving forward with his plans to annihilate humanity and take Earth as his own. Only Ember, created for this very purpose, can stop him. This is MUCH stronger than your previous versions. Good work

 

When Ember receives news of her soulmate's impending reincarnation into the human world, she's elated. But not even the news that she will see him once again slakes her thirst for revenge. This sentence is a bit long and choppy. I made a couple suggestions Only when Ember's regained her ability to shift into her elemental forms, will she be strong enough to stand up and defend humanity. His clarify whose armies you're referring to armies are in Earth, surreptitiously exterminating humans, but what Ember doesn't know not sure if this line about Ember not knowing really adds much is that another greater elemental, created by the Unseelie King, is already there hunting for the reincarnation of her soulmate. Being severed from the elements for so long, Ember is no longer in perfect balance with them, but for the sake of her soulmate you said Ember doesn't know that her soulmate is being hunted, so right now his life isn't at stake for her and to save humanity, she must find a new balance in order to regain what she's lost.

 

Despite everything that's expected of her, in the end Ember must accept who she's become, to have the fortitude to defeat the Unseelie King once and for all. This final line seems tossed in as filler. The ending in the second paragraph is stronger I think

 

I think you're absolutely on the right track with this. It's a lot more focused than your previous attempt. I think the content is excellent, but you could polish it up so it reads smoother. Some parts need clarification as well. This is really coming along well.

 

I've made a couple changes to my query if you wouldn't mind taking a look: http://agentquerycon...ing-ya-fantasy/



#47 smithgirl

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 03:38 PM

Waking from stasis after a millennium can be disorienting. The last thing Ember remembers is the death of her soulmate by the Unseelie King's hand, and using herself to seal the portal between her world and humanity's. Good start! Worse yet, the greater elemental -- created from earth, air, fire, and water -- can no longer feel the elements within her. Who is the greater elemental? Should this be a proper noun?

 

But now that the seal is reopened, Ember's greatest adversary, the Unseelie King, is moving forward with his plans to annihilate humanity and take Earth as his own. Only Ember, created for this very purpose, can stop him. This part being in first paragraph seemed out of place because it seems like something must have happened between Ember waking from stasis, and having a hazy memory of sealing the portal, and now suddenly the portal is open again. Maybe start a new paragraph to describe how the portal got opened again, and integrate the hooky part (Ember is made to stop the king) up to the first paragraph.

 

When Ember receives news of her soulmate's impending reincarnation into the human world, Is Ember human? I had assumed she was faerie. You should clarify her race early on. she's elated, but not even the news that she will see him once again, will slake her thirst for revenge. Only once Ember's regained her ability to shift into her elemental forms, will she be strong enough to stand up and defend humanity. His Who does his refer to?  armies are in Earth, surreptitiously exterminating humans, but what Ember doesn't know is that another greater elemental, created by the Unseelie King, is already there hunting for the reincarnation of her soulmate. Being severed from the elements for so long, Ember is no longer in perfect balance with them, but for the sake of her soulmate and to save humanity, she must find a new balance in order to regain what she's lost.

 

Despite everything that's expected of her, in the end Ember must accept who she's become, I'm not clear on who she has become/is becoming. A human (?) who has lost her connection to the elementals? to have the fortitude to defeat the Unseelie King once and for all.

 

After reading your query, I'm still unclear on what's going on and when. I'm sure it seems clear to you, but to me it feels like events jump around a bit, and I'm unclear on some details:

 

1. Why did Ember enter stasis?

2. Why did she emerge from stasis?

3. It sounds like Ember is faerie and her soulmate is human? Is that right?

4. Later in the query I see that Ember wants to change into her elemental forms, but I was confused by the reference to elementals in the beginning.

5. I also have a logistical question: Will her soulmate be reincarnated into a new life? In other words, into a baby? That's how I think of reincarnation, so then it seems like she would have to wait a lifetime for him to reach adulthood.

 

I think you need to clarify and condense your opening paragraph and then make the ensuing chain of events clearer. I'm sorry I can't seem to follow it better. For me, this whole process is very challenging.



#48 CM_Fick

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 04:28 PM

Thank you Linnet_Crawford, lsprochnow, and smithgirl for your critiques. Your input is invaluable and much appreciated. 

 

@smithgirl - for your questions... This query has been a challenge - as I'm sure you've surmised from the number of revisions. Without getting into the details, there are certain aspects that I've had to leave out due to being backstory, too much clarification needed, or too closely linked to the 2nd main character and her parallel plot. I've tried variations to include all of these elements, but it gets convoluted and confusing. I have to leave a certain amount of information out or else I'd end up with a summary. There are 2 worlds, multiple supernatural species, thousands of years of back-story and lore - it's been a problem I've come across with this query. 

 

As for your comment on greater elemental being a proper noun - while it technically is, because epic fantasy is riddled with title caps, I've made the decision to not capitalize certain aspects. We don't capitalize human. 

 

1. Why did Ember enter stasis? answered in the 2nd sentence (seal portal)
2. Why did she emerge from stasis? too much about 2nd character
3. It sounds like Ember is faerie and her soulmate is human? Is that right? Ember is a greater elemental - entirely it's own thing, although for the sake of simplicity, sure she can be classified as fey. And yes, her soulmate is human
4. Later in the query I see that Ember wants to change into her elemental forms, but I was confused by the reference to elementals in the beginning. too much to explain that each elemental has their own form. fire- salamander, earth - gnome, air - sylph, water - undine. She is one of the only ones who is all 4 - plus her human form.  
5. I also have a logistical question: Will her soulmate be reincarnated into a new life? In other words, into a baby? That's how I think of reincarnation, so then it seems like she would have to wait a lifetime for him to reach adulthood. Ember is 10k+ years old. 20 years is nothing and is spanned within the book. Epic fantasy and all that goes along with that. 

 

 

REVISED:

 

Waking from stasis after a millennium can be disorienting. The last thing Ember remembers is the death of her soulmate by the Unseelie King's hand, and using herself to seal the portal between her world and humanity's. Worse yet, as a greater elemental -- created from earth, air, fire, and water -- Ember can no longer feel the elements within her. But now that the seal is reopened, Ember's greatest adversary, the Unseelie King, is moving forward with his plans to annihilate humanity and take Earth as his own. Only Ember, created for this very purpose, can stop him.

 

When Ember receives news of her soulmate's impending reincarnation into the human world, she's elated, but not even the news that she will see him again slakes her thirst for revenge. There's only one problem with her desire to avenge her slain soulmate: she remains severed from her elements. It's only once Ember regains her ability to shift into her elemental forms, that she will be strong enough to stand up to the Unseelie King -- taking her revenge while defending humanity along with their world. But with his armies already in Earth, surreptitiously exterminating humans, she is running out of time. What Ember doesn't know is that the only other greater elemental, one created by the Unseelie King, is already there hunting for the reincarnation of her soulmate.

 

No longer in perfect balance with the elements, and in order to save humanity and her soulmate, Ember must find a new balance and accept who she's become.Only by doing so, will she be able to defeat the Unseelie King, save Earth, and once again be reunited with her beloved.

 

With multiple points of view, Burning Heart is an adult high-fantasy novel, complete at 115,000 words. Your profile mentioned fantasy as a current interest, and I hope that you find my manuscript to be a good match.



#49 chadweiss35

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 07:54 PM

I'm glad I didn't revise ur post 44.

Its coming along nicely, 

 

Waking from stasis after a millennium can be disorienting. The last thing Ember remembers is the Unseelie King's sword plunging into her soulmate while she used herself to seal the portal between her world and humanity's.(Maybe use something like this to describe the soul mate dying. is the death of her soulmate by the Unseelie King's hand, and using herself to seal the portal between her world and humanity's. Worse yet, as a greater elemental -- created from earth, air, fire, and water -- Ember can no longer feel the elements within her. But now that the seal is reopened, Ember's greatest adversary, the Unseelie King, is planning to take earth as his own and annihilate humanity. >moving forward with his plans<wordiness to annihilate humanity and take Earth as his own. Only Ember, created for this very purpose, can stop him. Good work, I like how this first paragraph is coming together. 

 

When Ember receives news of her soulmate's impending reincarnation into the human world, she's elated, <This doesn't flow smooth to me> not even the news that she will see him again slakes her thirst for revenge. There's only one problem with her desire to avenge her slain soulmate: she remains severed from her elements. It's only once Ember regains her ability to shift into her elemental forms, that she will be strong enough to stand up to the Unseelie King -- taking her revenge while defending humanity along with their world (Redundant). But with his armies already in Earth, surreptitiously exterminating humans, she is running out of time. What Ember doesn't know is that the only other greater elemental, one created by the Unseelie King, is already there hunting for the reincarnation of her soulmate. I feel this entire paragraph has all the right information in, but it feels disordered and hard to follow to me.

 

No longer in perfect balance with the elements, and in order to save humanity and her soulmate, Ember must find a new balance with the elements, meaning she'll have to and accept who she's become.Only by doing so, will she be able to defeat the Unseelie King, save Earth, and once again be reunited with her beloved.<This seems like a weak sentence, too cliche<

 

With multiple points of view, Burning Heart is an adult high-fantasy novel, complete at 115,000 words. Your profile mentioned fantasy as a current interest, and I hope that you find my manuscript to be a good match.

 

I think your first paragraph is nearly there, but the second reads jilted to me and the third just doesn't have enough substance. It getting really good though, leaps and bounds from earlier posts.

Hopefully that's some help!



#50 Garrett Lemons

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 01:59 PM

REVISED:

 

Waking from stasis after a millennium can be disorienting. The last thing Ember remembers is the death of her soulmate by her greatest adversary, the Unseelie King's hand, and using sacrificing herself to seal the portal between her world and humanity's. Worse yet, as a greater elemental--created from earth, air, fire, and water--Ember can no longer feel the elements within her. (Is this because of the stasis or because she used herself to seal the portal or both? I think this sentence can be made stronger by identifying that connection. ) But now that the seal is reopened, Ember's greatest adversary, the Unseelie King, is moving forward with his plans to annihilate humanity and conquer take Earth as his own. Only Ember, created for this very purpose (by who?), can stop him.

 

When Ember receives news of her soulmate's impending reincarnation into the human world, she's elated, but not even the news that she will see him again slakes her thirst for revenge. There's only one problem with her desire to avenge her slain soulmate: she remains severed from her elements. It's only once Ember regains her ability to shift into her elemental forms, that she will be strong enough to stand up to the Unseelie King -- taking her revenge while defending humanity along with their world. But with his armies already in Earth, surreptitiously exterminating humans, she is running out of time. What Ember doesn't know is that the only other greater elemental, one created by the Unseelie King, is already there hunting for the reincarnation of her soulmate.

 

No longer in perfect balance with the elements, and in order to save humanity and her soulmate, Ember must find a new balance and accept who she's become.Only by doing so, will she be able to defeat the Unseelie King, save Earth, and once again be reunited with her beloved.

 

With multiple points of view, Burning Heart is an adult high-fantasy novel, complete at 115,000 words. Your profile mentioned fantasy as a current interest, and I hope that you find my manuscript to be a good match.

 

The first paragraph is done with the few things I mentioned addressed. This is much better than previous drafts as a whole. Paragraphs two and three aren't quite there, I'm going to give it a shot at re-arranging a little below:

 

"No longer in perfect balance with the elements--in fact, she's severed from them entirely--she does not have the required strength to resist the Unseelie King. To protect humanity and avenge her fallen soulmate, Ember needs to accept who she's become and recover her lost elemental forms. The King's armies are already surreptitiously exterminating humans on earth. She's running out of time.

 

And then she receives news that her soulmate's impending reincarnation is happening amidst the war zone of earth. Despite her elation, this increases her need for revenge and to stop the Unseelie King. But what Ember doesn't know is that the only other greater elemental, a lackey creation of the King, is already there hunting for her soulmate."

 

I think that raises the stakes a tad higher and clarifies conflict. Give it a shot and mess around with it a bit and see what you think. Hope it helps!



#51 Monks

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 03:36 PM

First off, this is definitely coming along. I know you've been through about a dozen complete reworks by now, but the work is really paying off! I'm going to echo others and say the first paragraph is looking really solid, but things get a bit muddled afterward. Personally, I would like to see you shift the focus of the second paragraph completely. The first line of that paragraph is great, in my opinion. It brings a human element to Ember that's not really present elsewhere in the query, mentioning her soulmate, her desire to see him again, but also her (perhaps conflicting?) personal desire for revenge. But then after that sentence, you get back into the elemental stuff again, and then the bigger plot. I feel like you cover a lot of that in the first paragraph, and in this second paragraph, you should focus on bringing Ember to life as a character. It seems like there's interesting space for internal conflict here, with her desire to see her soulmate, her desire to get revenge on the Unseelie King, and her duty to stop him from taking over earth (those last two might be more or less the same, but they might not). I would play up those personal stakes. She's being pulled in a lot of different directions, and it also turns out that the Unseelie King (using the other elemental) is hunting for her soulmate too, so it's all tied together. So yeah, I say trust the strength of your first paragraph when it comes to the big concept fantasy stuff. Let the second paragraph be about Ember's personal struggle, all the different (and somewhat conflicting) goals she has. Then the final paragraph can tie it all together.


Would greatly appreciate critiques of my synopsis!

#52 ryankalford

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 08:54 PM

 

REVISED:

 

Waking from stasis after a millennium can be disorienting. The last thing Ember remembers is the death of her soulmate by the Unseelie King's hand, and using herself to seal the portal between her world and humanity's. Worse yet, as a greater elemental -- created from earth, air, fire, and water -- she Ember can no longer feel their power elements course within her. Espescially now that But now that the seal is reopened, Ember's greatest adversary, the Unseelie King, is moving forward with his plans to annihilate humanity and take Earth as his own. Only Ember, created for this very purpose, can stop him.

 

"Waking from stasis after a millennium can be disorienting, but for Ember, losing the power of the greater elements--earth, air, fire, and water--is far worse. Espescially now with the news that her greatest adversary, the Unseelie King, plans to annihilate humanity by reopening the very portals to Earth Ember herself once sacrificed to seal."

 

I tried to edit your original text, but I just said to hell with it and and condensed it down myself to what I consider the vital points. Way, way too much information for a hook, and scattered wtih things that don't connect to each other all that well. Conciseness and brevity are our friends.

 

When Ember receives news of her soulmate's impending reincarnation into the human world, she's elated, but not even the news that she will see him again slakes her thirst for revenge. There's only one problem with her desire to avenge her slain soulmate: she remains severed from her elements. It's only once Ember regains her ability to shift into her elemental forms, that she will be strong enough to stand up to the Unseelie King -- taking her revenge while defending humanity along with their world. But with his armies already in Earth, surreptitiously exterminating humans, she is running out of time. What Ember doesn't know is that the only other greater elemental, one created by the Unseelie King, is already there hunting for the reincarnation of her soulmate.

 

"Dying to avenge her slain soulmate the Unseelie King killed so long ago, Ember sets out to regain her lost elemental powers. But time is short as the Unseelie King's armies are already slaughtering helpless humans..."

 

Again, too much info that's not that well inter-connected. I tried to set-up what could be the start of your 2nd paragraph, but I wasn't really sure where to go from there with what I have in the current query.

 

No longer in perfect balance with the elements, and in order to save humanity and her soulmate, Ember must find a new balance and accept who she's become.Only by doing so, will she be able to defeat the Unseelie King, save Earth, and once again be reunited with her beloved.

 

Too vague still (and cliche), but also not really stakes. I don't see any true consequences or dangers or prices Ember might have to pay for achieving success or failure. It reads more like a official statement of her mission's goal (like a corporation's charter)

 

With multiple points of view, Burning Heart is an adult high-fantasy novel, complete at 115,000 words. Your profile mentioned fantasy as a current interest, and I hope that you find my manuscript to be a good match.

 

 

Still some digging to do, but I think the hook and start of the 2nd paragraph could be sown up soon. And the rest will follow suit after (at some point)

 

Keep cracking.


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#53 npstanford

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 12:55 PM

 

Waking from stasis after a millennium can be disorienting. The last thing Ember remembers is the death of her soulmate by the Unseelie King's hand, and using herself to seal the portal between her world and humanity's. I don't know if you need the info in the previous sentence. Worse yet, as a greater elemental -- created from earth, air, fire, and water -- Ember can no longer feel the elements within her. I like that you say she can't feel them as opposed to that she lost them. It seems odd though that is somehow worse yet than her soulmate's death or the reemergence of the evil king. But now that the seal is reopened, Ember's greatest adversary, the Unseelie King, is moving forward with his plans to annihilate humanity and take Earth as his own. Only Ember, created for this very purpose, can stop him. 

 

When Ember receives news of her soulmate's impending reincarnation into the human world one question: I have no idea if this human world is a typical high fantasy world or the modern world or something else..., she's elated, but not even the news that she will see him again slakes her thirst for revenge. There's only one problem with her desire to avenge her slain soulmate: she remains severed from her elements wait, she is motivated primarily by revenge? I thought it was that she was created to fight the unseelie king?. It's only once Ember regains her ability to shift into her elemental forms, that she will be strong enough to stand up to the Unseelie King -- taking her revenge while defending humanity along with their world. But with his armies already in Earth, surreptitiously exterminating humans, she is running out of time. What Ember doesn't know is that the only other greater elemental, one created by the Unseelie King, is already there hunting for the reincarnation of her soulmate.

 

No longer in perfect balance with the elements, and in order to save humanity and her soulmate, Ember must find a new balance and accept who she's become.This seems vauge. You hadn't introduced the idea before that she was now some kind of different person. Seems you either need to introduce this earlier (e.g. first paragraph, "... and without her elements, she doesn't feel she is the same"  Only by doing so, will she be able to defeat the Unseelie King, save Earth, and once again be reunited with her beloved.

 

With multiple points of view, Burning Heart is an adult high-fantasy novel, complete at 115,000 words. Your profile mentioned fantasy as a current interest, and I hope that you find my manuscript to be a good match.

 

Very good query.At a high level, my only complaint is that I got a bit disoriented in a few places, especially around the middle. Also, while you have clear stakes (her beloved and the fate of humanity are at risk) I think some more detail could make them feel more visceral. E.g. is her beloved in a weakened and helpless state? Is the other greater elemental a full master of the elements and why is that so terrifying? Also, what is involved in getting back the other elements? (You don't need to go into detail, but a word or two suggesting how difficult and why it is so difficult would be useful)



#54 CM_Fick

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 07:42 PM

Thank you all for your input. I am going to take some time away from this query and work on a new story while I pick away at the synopsis. Perhaps working on that will help with a new perspective on this darn thing. I truly appreciate everyone's feedback and I'll still be around to put my 2 cents in on other queries in the meantime. 



#55 Saints

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 09:14 AM

Waking from stasis after a millennium can be disorienting. The last thing Ember remembers is the death of her soulmate by the Unseelie King's hand, and sealing using herself to seal the portal between her world and humanity's. Worse yet, as a greater elemental -- created from earth, air, fire, and water -- Ember can no longer feel the elements within her. But now that the seal is reopened, Ember's greatest adversary, the Unseelie King (something about this felt like too much information, at least for the first paragraph), is moving forward with his plans to annihilate humanity and take Earth as his own. Only Ember, created for this very purpose, can stop him.

 

When Ember receives news of her soulmate's impending reincarnation into the human world, she's elated, but not even the news that she will see him again slakes her thirst for revenge. (This sentence feels like it belongs in a synopsis.) There's only one problem with her desire to avenge her slain soulmate: she remains severed from her elements. It's only once Ember regains her ability to shift into her elemental forms, that she will be strong enough to stand up to the Unseelie King -- taking her revenge while defending humanity along with their world. But with his armies already in Earth, surreptitiously exterminating humans, she is running out of time. What Ember doesn't know is that the only other greater elemental, one created by the Unseelie King, is already there hunting for the reincarnation of her soulmate. 

 

No longer in perfect balance with the elements, and in order to save humanity and her soulmate, Ember must find a new balance and accept who she's become. Only by doing so, will she be able to defeat the Unseelie King, save Earth, and once again be reunited with her beloved.

 

With multiple points of view, Burning Heart is an adult high-fantasy novel, complete at 115,000 words. Your profile mentioned fantasy as a current interest, and I hope that you find my manuscript to be a good match.

 

There's a lot of information to work with here -- which is a good thing. Reading this query made me wish that a few things were left out: the fact that Ember eventually does get her powers back, for example. Leaving it out of the query would just add to the stakes you're trying to ramp up. Those, from what I can tell, is that (1) the seal has been reopened somehow, (2) Ember wakes up without her elemental power, (3) the antagonist is raising armies to kill humanity, (4) her soulmate is being hunted by another greater elemental. 

 

Those are awesome problems to tease us with, and I think they should just be laid out. Also, as a note, you really like using "only" both as a conjunction and adjective. I'd cut back on structuring your sentence with it.



#56 smithgirl

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 04:51 PM

1. Why did Ember enter stasis? answered in the 2nd sentence (seal portal) I see now. In the query it's not clear to me that sealing the portal caused her stasis. Maybe other people were clear on that.
 
 

REVISED:

 

 

Waking from stasis after a millennium can be disorienting. The last thing Ember remembers is the death of her soulmate by the Unseelie King's hand, and using herself to seal the portal between her world and humanity's. As a greater elemental, Ember is composed from earth, air, fire, and water, but when she wakes she is horrified that she can no longer feel those elements within herWorse yet, as a greater elemental -- created from earth, air, fire, and water -- Ember can no longer feel the elements within her. And now that the seal is reopened, Ember's greatest adversary, the Unseelie King is moving forward with his plans to annihilate humanity and take Earth as his own. Only Ember, created for this very purpose, can stop him.

 

I was still unclear on the elemental thing. I tried to reword to make it clearer. Other than that I like the first paragraph. 

 

 

When Ember receives news of her soulmate's impending reincarnation into the human world, she's elated, but not enough even the news that she will see him again to slake s her thirst for revenge. There's only just one problem with her desire to avenge her slain soulmate: she remains severed from her elements. It's only once Ember regains her ability to shift into her elemental forms that she will be strong enough to stand up to the Unseelie King -- taking her revenge while defending humanity along with their world. Break this into more than one sentence  But with his armies already in Earth, surreptitiously exterminating humans, she is running out of time. What Ember doesn't know is that the only other greater elemental, one created by the Unseelie King, is already there hunting for the reincarnation of her soulmate. Why does the Unseelie King want to kill her soulmate again?

 

No longer in perfect balance with the elements, and in order to save humanity and her soulmate, Ember must find a new balance and accept who she's become.Only by doing so, will she be able to defeat the Unseelie King, save Earth, and once again be reunited with her beloved. This is too long and rambling.

 

To defeat the Unseelie King, save the Earth, and reunite with her beloved, Ember must find new strength in the absence of her elemental components.

 

Ember has a lot on her plate! I was also not sure if Ember gets her elements back, or if accepting who she is means she does not get them back. The previous paragraph said she can't defeat the king without them.

 

Written from multiple points of view, Burning Heart is an adult high-fantasy novel, complete at 115,000 words. Your profile mentioned fantasy as a current interest, and I hope that you find my manuscript to be a good match.

 

There were some things in your query that were still unclear to me. I tried to reword to clarify. I also think you can remove some parts to tighten it up. I hope my comments help. If you get a chance, could you please look at my query again? It's undergone more revisions. Thanks!  http://agentquerycon...rade-critiques/



#57 CarterT

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 05:47 PM

 

Waking from stasis after a millennium can be disorienting. The last thing Ember remembers is the death of her soulmate by the Unseelie King's hand, and using herself to seal the portal between her world and humanity's. Worse yet, as a greater elemental -- created from earth, air, fire, and water -- Ember can no longer feel the elements within her. I think a couple other people have mentioned it, but the way the sentence reads to me, Ember can't feel the elements because she was created from them. I'm sure that's not the intention, but it took me a few reads to get past it. But now that the seal is reopened, Ember's greatest adversary, the Unseelie King, is moving forward with his plans to annihilate humanity and take Earth as his own. Only Ember, created for this very purpose, can stop him. - Again reads a bit opposite to your intention I think. Reads as Ember's purpose is to annihilate humanity and take over Earth. Assuming you meant her purpose was to stop the bad guy...?

 

When Ember receives news of her soulmate's impending reincarnation into the human world, she's elated, but not even the news that she will see him again slakes her thirst for revenge. I'm sorry, I've got a problem with this sentence. I think it's that everything else you've written in the query seems very original (which is great), but the 'slake her thirst' thing comes off as cliché. Even just something like '...the news that she will see him again dulls her need for revenge.' Totally personal opinion here.  There's only one problem with her desire to avenge her slain soulmate: she remains severed from her elements. It's only once Ember regains her ability to shift into her elemental forms, that she will be strong enough to stand up to the Unseelie King -- taking her revenge while defending humanity along with and their world. But with his armies already in (on?) Earth, surreptitiously exterminating humans, she is running out of time. What Ember doesn't know is that the only other greater elemental, one created by the Unseelie King, is already there hunting for the reincarnation of her soulmate. - I get the idea that this is somehow very important, and maybe it's part of the story you don't want to give away, but I feel like you need just a little more 'oomph' here. Is it a big deal that the king made a greater elemental? Is the soulmate that important? It feels like each of these points scream for attention, but putting them together perhaps diminishes their importance?

 

No longer in perfect balance with the elements, and in order to save humanity and her soulmate, Ember must find a new balance and accept who she's become.Only by doing so, will she be able to defeat the Unseelie King, save Earth, and once again be reunited with her beloved.

 

With multiple points of view, Burning Heart is an adult high-fantasy novel, complete at 115,000 words. Your profile mentioned fantasy as a current interest, and I hope that you find my manuscript to be a good match.

 

Elementals are fun, and I like that you're doing something outside the norm for them. Your style is very descriptive and involved, and will work well for the elaborate, high-fantasy world you seem to have built.

 

I wonder if you need to mention that the book was written with multiple points of view. You don't talk anywhere during the query about the 'other characters', and frankly, most high-fantasy books have multiple POVs. With that comment in your closing sentence, I feel like I want to know something/anything about the other character in the query. Given the rest of what you've written though, I don't think I actually do need to know. You could just leave that line out and then I wouldn't feel the need to wonder about who the other character is. (I secretly hope it's the King).

 

Just one other question: Does humanity remember Ember? Do the people know anything about what she sacrificed to prevent the invasion before? (Guess that's 2 questions) 'Forgotten by the humanity she sacrificed everything to save...' - very dramatic! Or, it might turn out to be cliché, and as mentioned above, wouldn't fit with your original 'voice'.

 

All in all, as you mentioned, I think you simply have too much story to tell to make the query 'easy to write'. Looks like you're getting close though!



#58 CM_Fick

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 07:30 PM

Thank you CarterT, smithgirl & Saints - your thoughts and suggestions are appreciated. 

 

For the questions: 

I think a couple other people have mentioned it, but the way the sentence reads to me, Ember can't feel the elements because she was created from them. I'm sure that's not the intention, but it took me a few reads to get past it. She is created from the elements (or more specifically base elementals) - it's why her connection is so much deeper than just being able to wield & control them. It's not an easy thing to portray in a query, but is essential to her as a character. 

 

Elementals are fun, and I like that you're doing something outside the norm for them. Your style is very descriptive and involved, and will work well for the elaborate, high-fantasy world you seem to have built. Thank you

 

I wonder if you need to mention that the book was written with multiple points of view. You don't talk anywhere during the query about the 'other characters', and frankly, most high-fantasy books have multiple POVs. With that comment in your closing sentence, I feel like I want to know something/anything about the other character in the query. Given the rest of what you've written though, I don't think I actually do need to know. You could just leave that line out and then I wouldn't feel the need to wonder about who the other character is. (I secretly hope it's the King). This is done because there is a second main character and a parallel plot. The original query had 2 POV but was confusing people, so I cut it just to Ember. It's important because I'm essentially leaving out 1/2 the books plot line. 

 

Just one other question: Does humanity remember Ember? No, not at the point where the portal is opened. A millennium earlier - yes. Do the people know anything about what she sacrificed to prevent the invasion before? again, No. (Guess that's 2 questions) 'Forgotten by the humanity she sacrificed everything to save...' - very dramatic! Or, it might turn out to be cliché, and as mentioned above, wouldn't fit with your original 'voice'.

 

All in all, as you mentioned, I think you simply have too much story to tell to make the query 'easy to write'. Looks like you're getting close though!

 

@smithgirl: 

1. Why did Ember enter stasis? answered in the 2nd sentence (seal portal) I see now. In the query it's not clear to me that sealing the portal caused her stasis. Maybe other people were clear on that. It takes a lot to explain this in a query. I can try to re-add some of it back in, but there was a lot of confusion about what's backstory and unessential to the query. 

 

Why does the Unseelie King want to kill her soulmate again? he doesn't want to kill him...this time - too much to include into the query, but he thinks he's the "key" to him succeeding in getting Earth

 

 

There are a lot of aspects that I've trimmed out that are in previous versions. It's been a challenge to choose which plot points to focus on and some that I cannot leave out. I'm still working through another version, but it's not ready for critique - I will consider everyone's input and I appreciate it.

 

I'll try my best to keep up with everyone who's critiqued mine. So if I miss your update, please just drop me a message and I'll get to it as soon as I can. 



#59 CM_Fick

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 01:37 AM

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?



#60 ryankalford

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 05:23 AM

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; (Great way of showing!) 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 second part of the sentence feels off to me. I think you can say it a more concise way. "her connection to the elements is severed" rings to me after what came before.
 

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?

 

Barring the strikeouts and noted part I find questionable--I think this is a pretty solid hook. Very promising.


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