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Revision #2: IN DARKSOME SPRING (horror); reciprocation guaranteed


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#21 MICRONESIA

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 05:49 AM

So more Jean, then. Got it. I'll come back with a revision in the next day or two.

 

Y'all effing rock.



#22 MICRONESIA

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 03:19 PM

I just posted the third version. I went with most of your suggestions. Jean has been given more background and motivation. Hopefully, this also clears up the reason for her "selection" by the dark forces. 

 

I even stuck Crazy Mad back in. I don't know what I was thinking, haha.

 

Hopefully "genocide" is stronger than "slaughter" at the end. Is it clear that the dark forces will be wiping out all mankind? I want to make sure readers realize how high the stakes are.

 

I'm not much of a gamer, but I'll check out those titles. Thanks for the recommendations.



#23 Iconian

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 04:34 PM

REVISION #2 (7/20):

 

 

 

 

Dear [agent]:

 

Reality contains holes just like the ozone layer—and one of them resides over Jean’s new apartment complex.

 

Flutes trill within the walls. Dark shapes watch her as she sleeps. Worst of all, she keeps seeing the ghost of the kid who wandered up a nearby mountain and died of exposure. Then again, Jean can understand getting lost in nature. Moving to rural North Carolina might be her last chance to reclaim her pagan roots and explore the wilderness within herself. [And] recent strange events can’t help but remind her of the “Fair Folk”—the mountain spirits of legend who steal children and take them to the Otherworld.

 

When dead bodies start piling up, everyone at the apartment complex becomes a suspect. There’s Miles, her roommate, whose kindness seems a bit too practiced. There’s Crazy Mad, an elderly recluse who communicates with a lump under her carpet. [woot!] There’s Devin, the adorable single father who convinced his wife to commit suicide. It turns out they, along with the complex’s other tenants, have been collected for a much larger purpose—a purpose known only to the mysterious entity called “the Landlord.”

 

Pagan, hostile forces are reclaiming their earthly territory. Starry-eyed Jean is shocked to learn that she has been chosen to help lead the revolution. The prize is a permanent stay in the Otherworld: the paradise sought for centuries by poets and dreamers. All she has to do is renounce everyone she loves on Earth.

 

Because soon the mountain will open up. And the genocide will begin.

 

IN DARKSOME SPRING is a horror novel of 84,000 words. Thank you for your time.

 

You could perhaps do a little more to connect the dots between the last three paragraphs, flesh it out a bit more.  But even as is, I think you're ready to take it to the agents!

 

Anyway, please take another look at my query and leave a critique--thanks!


My query, open to critiques:   http://agentquerycon...mantic-dramedy/


#24 BCVail

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Posted Yesterday, 10:00 AM

REVISION #2 (7/20):

 

 

 

 

Dear [agent]:

 

Reality contains holes just like the ozone layer—and one of them resides over Jean’s new apartment complex. (Good hook.)

 

Flutes trill within the walls. Dark shapes watch her as she sleeps. Worst of all, she keeps seeing the ghost of the kid who wandered up a nearby mountain and died of exposure. (Two things come to mind. 1 - Typically you'd want to introduce the character in the first sentence... but this works. It draws in your attention and that is the point after all. 2 - There is nothing wrong with the Worst of all sentence, and this is being super nit picky but if he's a ghost we can already assume he died... maybe try something like "Worst of all, she keeps seeing the ghost of a child forever lost on the nearby mountain side." Again, nothing wrong with out you have it, just throwing out potential alternatives) Then again, Jean can understand getting lost in nature. Moving to rural North Carolina might be her last chance to explore her pagan roots and the wilderness within herself (Nice, gives us a good character goal). But recent strange events can’t help but remind her of the “Fair Folk”—the mountain spirits of legend who steal children and take them to the Otherworld.

 

When dead bodies start piling up, everyone at the apartment complex becomes a suspect. There’s Miles, her roommate, whose kindness seems a bit too practiced. There’s Crazy Mad, an elderly recluse who communicates with a lump under her carpet. There’s Devin, the adorable single father who convinced his wife to commit suicide. It turns out they, along with the complex’s other tenants, have been collected for a much larger purpose—a purpose known only to the mysterious entity called “the Landlord.” (Not sure if you specifically need the names of the people - their descriptions would be sufficient - but I don't think it hurts the query so entirely up to you.)

 

Pagan, hostile forces are reclaiming their earthly territory, and Jean has been chosen to help lead the revolution. The prize is a permanent stay in the Otherworld: the paradise sought for centuries by poets and dreamers. All she has to do is renounce the world and everyone she loves in it ("All she has to do is renounce the world and abandon everyone she loves." Just a thought, not a necessity). (I'd like to see a little more connection between the previous paragraph and how hostile pagan forces (does this read pagan people or pagan type spirits?) taking over the world.)

 

Because soon the mountain will open up. And the genocide will begin.

 

IN DARKSOME SPRING is a horror novel of 84,000 words. Thank you for your time.

 

I think you have a stronger query now than the first version I looked at. Just a few little things, mainly the connection between the the Landlord killing people and the hostile Pagan forces needs to be clarified. Nothing fancy, but perhaps just a quick line to help bridge.



#25 Sataris

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Posted Yesterday, 04:23 PM

REVISION #2 (7/20):

 

 

 

 

Dear [agent]:

 

Reality contains holes just like the ozone layer—and one of them resides over Jean’s new apartment complex.

 

I'm kind of torn on this simile as being the lead in, but I really like the image it gives you, and I can't think of a better suggestion.

 

Flutes trill within the walls. Dark shapes watch her as she sleeps. Worst of all, she keeps seeing the ghost of the kid who wandered up a nearby mountain and died of exposure. Then again, Jean can understand getting lost in nature. this seems like a bit of a jump from the earlier bits; maybe a bit light after talking about the kid dying Moving to rural North Carolina might be her last chance to explore her Wiccan roots and the wilderness within herself.  This makes it seem like she has a choice to make with moving there, but the first line implies she's already made that choice. Is she considering leaving? But recent strange events can’t help but remind her of the “Fair Folk”—the mountain spirits of legend who steal children and take them to the Otherworld.

 

 

When dead bodies start piling up, everyone at the apartment complex becomes a suspect. There’s Miles, her roommate, whose kindness seems a bit too practiced. There’s Crazy Mad, an elderly recluse who communicates with a lump under her carpet. There’s Devin, the adorable single father who convinced his wife to commit suicide. It turns out they, along with the complex’s other tenants, have been collected for a much larger purpose—a purpose known only to the mysterious entity called “the Landlord.”

 

I really like the details you've used to introduce these characters, and you've done it in a way where we know we don't need to memorize their names for the rest of the query. I cut the last bit because I don't think we need to know the entity's name, and it's probably implied that some force is acting behind the scenes if it's gathered up all these people.

 

Pagan, hostile forces are reclaiming their earthly territory, and Jean has been chosen to help lead the revolution. The prize is a permanent stay in the Otherworld: the paradise sought for centuries by poets and dreamers. All she has to do is renounce the world and everyone she loves in it.

 

I think the stakes themselves work here, but I'm not sure who exactly she cares about at this point. I kind of pegged her as being a recluse who wasn't particularly close to anyone. Granted, even a recluse would probably have a hard time dooming the world. But it might help if we had an example of her loving someone in here to make it more personal.

 

Because soon the mountain will open up. And the genocide will begin.

 

IN DARKSOME SPRING is a horror novel of 84,000 words. Thank you for your time.

There's some really good writing in here. The largest issue I had was the one at the end; the stakes hinge on us believing that paradise might not be worth her giving up the people she loves, but we don't see any of those people. A single quick line would probably do it. I hope that was helpful. If you've got a minute, my query is in my signature.


You can find my current query here.


#26 MICRONESIA

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Posted Yesterday, 07:27 PM

Moving to rural North Carolina might be her last chance to explore her Wiccan roots and the wilderness within herself.  This makes it seem like she has a choice to make with moving there, but the first line implies she's already made that choice. Is she considering leaving? 

 

I see what you're saying. It seems non-chronological. What if I changed it to: "Her sojourn in rural NC might be..." 

 

In other words, she's already there.

 

Does this fix the time issue? 



#27 ThatDan

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Posted Today, 03:07 AM

I see what you're saying. It seems non-chronological. What if I changed it to: "Her sojourn in rural NC might be..." 
 
In other words, she's already there.
 
Does this fix the time issue?


Still could be interpreted that her sojourn is away from the house in the opener.

"Then again, Jean can understand getting lost in nature-- that's the reason she moved to rural North Carolina in the first place. And it might be the last chance to explore her Wiccan roots and the wilderness within herself."

Another way of putting it that might be clearer

#28 EMarie

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Posted Today, 03:26 AM

Reality contains holes just like the ozone layer—and one of them resides over Jean’s new apartment complex.

 

Flutes trill within the walls. Dark shapes watch her as she sleeps. Worst of all, she keeps seeing the ghost of the kid who wandered up a nearby mountain and died of exposure. Then again, Jean can understand getting lost in nature. Moving to rural North Carolina might be her last chance to explore her Wiccan roots and the wilderness within herself. But recent strange events can’t help but remind her of the “Fair Folk”—the mountain spirits of legend who steal children and take them to the Otherworld. (By the end of this paragraph, I was definitely sold on your query and your writing. The first couple lines of the paragraph seemed a bit weak--maybe it was the 'flutes trill within the walls' line. That didn't quite work for me. But by the time you explained who Jean was--someone who wants to explore her Wiccan roots and the wilderness within herself--I started to get interested in this character and the story. You do a great job summing up who Jean is and her internal struggle. I also loved the "Fair Folk" and the "Otherworld" elements of your story you mention here.) 

 

When dead bodies start piling up, everyone at the apartment complex becomes a suspect. There’s Miles, her roommate, whose kindness seems a bit too practiced. There’s Crazy Mad, an elderly recluse who communicates with a lump under her carpet. There’s Devin, the adorable single father who convinced his wife to commit suicide. It turns out they, along with the complex’s other tenants, have been collected for a much larger purpose—a purpose known only to the mysterious entity called “the Landlord.” (Nice writing! The characters you introduce all sound intriguing. 'Crazy Mad' who 'communicates with a lump under her carpet'--seems a bit cryptic. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though I have no idea what is going on here and that could be off-putting.) 

 

Pagan, hostile forces are reclaiming their earthly territory, and Jean has been chosen to help lead the revolution. The prize is a permanent stay in the Otherworld: the paradise sought for centuries by poets and dreamers. All she has to do is renounce the world and everyone she loves in it. (I didn't think this paragraph was as strong. 'Pagan' and 'hostile' may be a bit of an overkill. Also, I'm not sure 'revolution' is the best word choice for what is going on. I loved the part about Jean getting to enter the Otherworld. I didn't really like the line that 'all she has to do is renounce the world and everyone she loves in it.' To me this doesn't sound like much of a struggle--what would motivate Jean to want to leave the world fro the Otherworld? Maybe set up a scenario where there's more tension. To me it sounds more like you as the authorial voice just  making a statement and less about what's going on in Jean's head. If that makes sense.)

 

Because soon the mountain will open up. And the genocide will begin. (Similar to 'revolution' I don't really think 'genocide' is the right word, or at least doesn't have the right connotations. Maybe use a different word, or find a different way to express that everyone is going to die while still staying with the fantasy mood and tone of your story.)

 

IN DARKSOME SPRING is a horror novel of 84,000 words. Thank you for your time.

 

I think you have a good query here that shows your writing ability.



#29 Sataris

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Posted Today, 08:52 AM

I see what you're saying. It seems non-chronological. What if I changed it to: "Her sojourn in rural NC might be..." 

 

In other words, she's already there.

 

Does this fix the time issue? 

 

I like Thatdan's suggestion for this if you're set on keeping it.

 

That said, do you think the query is better if we think it's her only chance to explore the wilderness in herself? I think the sentence itself is nice, and it flows quite well while establishing your character, but I'm not sure why it might be her last chance (other than the impending apocalypse, but when we get to this sentence at first, the stakes aren't as clear). And if the reason is the apocalypse rather than something practical, it seems like she'd have larger concerns.

 

Basically, I'm sold on her finding her roots, but I'm not sure you need the second set of lower stakes.


You can find my current query here.





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