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TORBJÖRN (Dark Paranormal Erotic Romance) - Will critique for critiques

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#1 Candace

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:49 PM

Hello all! I'm brand new to this site, and would be more than happy to exchange critiques. Thank you in advance for your help  :smile: 

 

During a time when men went a-viking and rumours of berserkir spread through the villages, an infamous sword maker of history is revealed.

 

Kiersten is a woman desperately trying to remember her past. Her village was slaughtered by a band of marauding berserkir, her family killed. She escaped the carnage at the cost of her memory, and very nearly her life.

 

Torbjörn is a man of strength, loyalty, and dark secrets. Isolated by the centuries, he is caught between worlds. The Master Hammersmith bears the scars of a warrior, has seen death, and even once stood at the gates of Valhalla. He hides from his past, careful to keep the beast within subdued.

 

Kiersten and Torbjörn come together when she washes up on the bank of a river, barely clinging to life. In her arms, his heart, shut down for centuries, begins to beat again. Lust and desire stir a passionate love that burns hot between them.

 

What happens when their pasts catch up with them? Will his curse be revealed and his darkness come to light? Can he protect Kiersten without exposing what he fears most?

 

I am seeking representation for TORBJÖRN, an 80,000 word paranormal romance, the first in a planned trilogy. According to your website, you’re seeking paranormal romance submissions, and this story would be a good fit.

 

 

I am a married mother of four, and up until a few years ago, had never written anything more in-depth than a grocery list. I was burning through poorly-written books on my Kindle, and thought, “I can do better than this.” I’ve cut my writing teeth on several short stories and one novel length romance. TORBJÖRN, validates all my hard work.



#2 ThatDan

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 07:58 PM

Hello all! I'm brand new to this site, and would be more than happy to exchange critiques. Thank you in advance for your help  :smile: 

Welcome!

During a time when men went a-viking and rumours of berserkir spread through the villages, an infamous sword maker of history is revealed. You switch from past tense to present tense here. Also, this section feels too setup-y, without much focus on the story.

 

Kiersten is a woman -im sure there's a word which describes her better. Warrior? Theif? Woman feels too bland here- desperately trying to remember her past. Her village was slaughtered by a band of marauding berserkir, and her family killed. She escaped the carnage at the cost of her memory, and very nearly her life. Sounds like Torbjorn is the MC, so seems odd to jump to Kiersten here. 

 

Torbjörn is a man of strength, loyalty, and dark secrets. Isolated by the centuries, he is caught between worlds. The Master Hammersmith bears the scars of a warrior, has seen death, and even once stood at the gates of Valhalla. -this part struck me as the most interesting aspect. Vikings dont shut up about Valhalla, so something cool must've happened to the MC that he stood at the gates yet didnt get in. I'd suggest opening with this. -He hides from his past, careful to keep the beast within subdued. -Until he meets Kiersten, washed up on the bank of a river, barely clinging to life. In her arms, his heart, shut down for centuries, begins to beat again. Lust and desire stir a passionate love that burns hot between them.

 

What happens when their pasts catch up with them? Will his curse be revealed and his darkness come to light? Can he protect Kiersten without exposing what he fears most? -from what I've researched, don't ask rhetorical questions. This section is your conflict but it needs to better stated- without questions preferably.

 

I am seeking representation for TORBJÖRN, an 80,000 word paranormal romance, the first in a planned trilogy -again, all advice suggests "standalone with series potential" not trilogy. According to your website, you’re seeking paranormal romance submissions, and this story would be a good fit.

 

 

I am a married mother of four, and up until a few years ago, had never written anything more in-depth than a grocery list. I was burning through poorly-written books on my Kindle, and thought, “I can do better than this.” I’ve cut my writing teeth on several short stories and one novel length romance. TORBJÖRN, validates all my hard work. -the only thing agents want to know about you is your published work and any experience related to your subject matter. Unfortunately none of this fits. Id leave it out.

 

 

Hope my critique helps. My main advice would be to tighten the flow between characters, else focus on Torbjorn solely.



#3 lionspaws

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:07 PM

Hi there! So it's unclear where the "paranormal" comes in. Is he a ghost? Why is he trapped between centuries? Is he the master hammersmith and what is that? Also, I think a lot of good queries don't typically end with questions. 

 

But don't get discouraged! The hardest part is getting your first rough draft. 


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#4 ThatDan

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:38 PM

I assume the paranormal comes from the Viking and Norse mythology stuff. But I guess that's not paranormal is it? Perhaps fantasy or historic fantasy?



#5 Candace

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:17 PM

Okay, first revision:

 

In late ninth century Scandinavia, Torbjörn is a man of strength, loyalty, and dark secrets. Isolated by the centuries, he is caught between this world and the next. The master hammersmith bears the scars of a warrior, has seen death, and even once stood at the gates of Valhalla. He hides from his past, careful to keep the beast within subdued lest his curse be discovered. Never again would he used for man’s greed and gain.

 

Kiersten is a woman desperately trying to remember her past. Her village was slaughtered by a band of marauding berserkir, her family killed. She escaped the carnage at the cost of her memory, and very nearly her life.

 

Kiersten and Torbjörn come together when she washes up on the bank of a river, barely clinging to life. In her arms, his heart, shut down for centuries, begins to beat again. Lust and desire stir a passionate love that burns hot between them.

 

When Kiersten’s past catches up with her and she’s captured by the berserkir, Torbjörn is forced to expose his curse at the risk of losing her and everyone he loves.

I am seeking representation for TORBJÖRN, an 80,000 word paranormal romance, a standalone with series potential. According to your website, you’re seeking paranormal romance submissions, and this story would be a good fit.

 

I am a married mother of four, and up until a few years ago, had never written anything more in-depth than a grocery list. I’ve cut my writing teeth on several short stories and one novel length romance, all self-published on Amazon. 



#6 Iconian

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 02:06 AM



Okay, first revision:

 

In late ninth-century Scandinavia, Torbjörn is a man of strength, loyalty, and dark secrets. Isolated by the centuries, [perhaps "Isolated from the centuries" would be better.]  he is caught between this world and the next. The master hammersmith bears the scars of a warrior, has seen death, and even once stood at the gates of Valhalla. He hides from his past, careful to keep the beast within subdued lest his curse be discovered. Never again would he be used for man’s greed and gain.  [Does Torbjorn understand his curse?  If not, I'd say something like, "careful to keep the beast within subdued lest his curse be discovered, which even he does not fully comprehend the nature of."   If he does understand his curse, then this would probably be the time to explain it, at least a bit.]

 

Kiersten is a woman desperately trying to remember her past. Her village was slaughtered by a band of marauding berserkir, [Is this the native spelling of the word?  Or did you make a typo here?] her family killed. She escaped the carnage at the cost of her memory, and very nearly her life.  [I'd try to find some way to join this paragraph to the previous paragraph.  I feel like you're coming into the paragraph much too cold--you ought to try to find a way to warm the reader up to it.  Perhaps you could combine this paragraph with the previous one.  Or, perhaps you could expound on those that killed Kiersten's family, if those marauders have an interesting place in the story.]

 

Kiersten and Torbjörn come together when she washes up on the bank of a river, barely clinging to life. In her arms, his heart, shut down for centuries, begins to beat again. Lust and desire stir a passionate love that burns hot between them.  [I would definitely find a new way to join the stories of Kiersten and Torbjorn.  You should probably have this paragraph in the second paragraph.  So maybe start the second paragraph with something on the lines of, "But while contemplating his past and trying to stay clear of his fellow men, Torbjorn comes across an unlikely sight at the banks of a river: a woman, Kiersten, lone survivor of a marauding band of berserkir (berserkers?), barely clinging to life, with her memories gone."]

 

When Kiersten’s past catches up with her and she’s captured by the berserkir, Torbjörn is forced to expose his curse at the risk of losing her and everyone he loves.  [You should start a new paragraph here--and consider joining this paragraph with the one before it.]

 

 

I am seeking representation for TORBJÖRN, an 80,000 word paranormal romance, a standalone with series potential. According to your website, you’re seeking paranormal romance submissions, and this story would be a good fit.

 

I am a married mother of four, and up until a few years ago, had never written anything more in-depth than a grocery list. [I don't think I'd state this if I was in your shoes, but it's really up to you of course.] I’ve cut my writing teeth on several short stories and one novel length romance, all self-published on Amazon. 

 

 

I think this query is going to need some work.  If you haven't, I'd read through it a few times to make sure it flows well.


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


#7 eric balson

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 12:24 PM

Okay, first revision:

 

In late ninth century Scandinavia, Torbjörn is a man of strength, loyalty, and dark secrets. Isolated by the centuries, he is caught between this world and the next. This second sentence sounds a tad vague, in my opinion The master hammersmith bears the scars of a warrior, has seen death, and even once stood at the gates of Valhalla. He hides from his past, careful to keep the beast within subdued lest his curse be discovered. Never again would he be used  for man’s greed and gain.

 

Kiersten is a woman desperately trying to remember her past. Her village was slaughtered by a band of marauding berserkir, her family killed. She escaped the carnage at the cost of her memory, and very nearly her life.

 

Kiersten and Torbjörn come together when she washes up on the bank of a river, barely clinging to life. In her arms, his heart, shut down for centuries, begins to beat again. Lust and desire stir a passionate love that burns hot between them. I agree with the previous replier, this should be in the second chapter, and then the chapter exploring Kiersten's backstory should come after that

 

When Kiersten’s past catches up with her and she’s captured by the berserkir, Torbjörn is forced to expose his curse at the risk of losing her and everyone he loves. Good that you've outlined your story's stakes and conflict

I am seeking representation for TORBJÖRN, an 80,000 word paranormal romance, a standalone with series potential. According to your website, you’re seeking paranormal romance submissions, and this story would be a good fit.

 

I am a married mother of four, and up until a few years ago, had never written anything more in-depth than a grocery list. I’ve cut my writing teeth on several short stories and one novel length romance novel, all self-published on Amazon. 

 

Generally speaking it's good, though it needs some work. Plus the whole damsel-in-distress trope used might be off-putting. Please take a look at my own query here (post #52): http://agentquerycon...o-we-are/page-3    



#8 rccallahan

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 03:20 PM

Hey!  

 

Glad to see another romance/erotica letter on here!  Hope my feedback helps! 

 

RC

Okay, first revision:

 

In late ninth century Scandinavia, Torbjörn is a man of strength, loyalty, and dark secrets. Isolated by the centuries, he is caught between this world and the next. The master hammersmith bears the scars of a warrior, has seen death, and even once stood at the gates of Valhalla. He hides from his past, careful to keep the beast within subdued lest his curse be discovered. Never again would he used for man’s greed and gain. (On first blush, all of this seems too vague.  I know you can't dig into all details, but can you give us something a little more concrete to hold onto?  A strong image that you can use as a real attention grabber? Because I have a lot of questions and not necessarily in an intrigued way.) 

 

Kiersten is a woman desperately trying to remember her past. Her village, including her family, was slaughtered by a band of marauding berserkir, her family killed. She escaped the carnage at the cost of her memory, and very nearly her life.

 

Kiersten and Torbjörn come together when she washes up on the bank of a river, barely clinging to life. In her arms, his heart, shut down for centuries, begins to beat again. (This sentence seems very halting.  Perhaps something like "In her arms, his centuries-still heart stirs.") Lust and desire stir a passionate love that burns hot between them. (Can we see a little more something here as to why there's all this lust? There seems to be a jump in time maybe? I mean, like who looks at a half drowned person and goes, "Oooh, mine.  I call dibs!"? Except maybe the little mermaid.  Maybe when she wakes up she's fiery, or she realizes she's transfixed by his super hot pecs or something  :smile: )

 

When Kiersten’s past catches up with her and she’s captured by the a? berserkir, Torbjörn is forced to expose his curse at the risk of losing her and everyone he loves.(Still in the dark about this curse, and why helping her exposes it)

I am seeking representation for TORBJÖRN, an 80,000 word paranormal romance, a standalone with series potential. According to your website, you’re seeking paranormal romance submissions, and this story would be a good fit.(Maybe: "The 80,000 word paranormal romance TORBJÖRN fits with your agency's representation of similar novels.)  

 

I am a married mother of four, and up until a few years ago, had never written anything more in-depth than a grocery list. I’ve cut my writing teeth on several short stories and one novel length romance, all self-published on Amazon. (I've heard somewhat conflicting things about bios, but most say not to include anything that doesn't pertain to the book or previous (relavant) publications.  I guess the idea being that if you haven't grabbed them with the hook, unrelated bio stuff isn't going to help?)

 

Hope this helps!  Oh, and I'd love for you to give one of my queries a glance.  Thanks!  



#9 Candace

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 05:17 PM

The feedback is awesome! Thank you all so much. I understand now that my query is too vague.

 

Second revision:

 

Torbjörn is a man of strength, loyalty, and dark secrets. He was once one of Odin’s chosen, a true berserkir with the ability to shape shift into a bear. He fought on the side of justice until he was killed in battle. He is made whole and hale when a Valkyrie arrives to deliver him to Valhalla. But at that moment, the signal is given that Ragnarök, the Norse apocalyptic end-of-the-world, has begun. The Valkyrie ascends to and leaves Torbjörn behind, caught between this world and the next. Alive and immortal.

 

A few millennia later in late ninth century Scandinavia, Torbjörn is working as a master hammer smith. He is hiding from his past, careful to keep the beast within subdued lest his curse be discovered.

 

Kiersten is a woman desperately trying to remember her past. Her village was slaughtered by a band of men wearing wolf pelts, her family killed. She escaped the carnage at the cost of her memory, and very nearly her life.

 

Kiersten and Torbjörn come together when she washes up on the bank of a river, barely clinging to life. Kiersten’s resemblance to Torbjörn’s lost love hits him like a fist to the gut, and he finds he cannot stay away. In her arms, his heart, shut down for centuries, begins to beat again. Lust and desire stir a passionate love that burns hot between them.

 

When Kiersten’s past catches up with her and she’s captured by the men who slaughtered her village, Torbjörn is forced to expose his curse at the risk of losing her and everyone he loves.

 

I am seeking representation for TORBJÖRN, an 80,000 word paranormal romance, a standalone with series potential. According to your website, you’re seeking paranormal romance submissions, and this story would be a good fit.

 

I am a married mother of four, and up until a few years ago, had never written anything more in-depth than a grocery list. I’ve cut my writing teeth on several short stories and one  romance novel, all self-published on Amazon. 



#10 Robin LeeAnn

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 10:43 PM

Torbjörn is a man of strength, loyalty, and dark secrets. (Sounds good so far. It's not the most gripping beginning, but not bad either. (Now that I went back and read some more, the sentence in blue sounds like a better hook to me.)) He was once one of Odin’s (Who/what is Odin?) chosen, a true berserkir (A what?) with the ability to shape shift into a bear. He fought for on the side of  justice until he was killed in battle(What battle? Is he a warrior?) He is made whole (How?) and hale when a Valkyrie (A what?) arrives to deliver him to Valhalla (Is that a person or a place?). But at that moment, the signal (What signal?) is given that Ragnarök (Wait. Who's this now?), the Norse apocalyptic end-of-the-world has begun (I got so many questions from that last part. Like: WHAT? Why an apocalyptic world? How did a signal say that? Why is it the end of the world? What's going on?). The Valkyrie (I can't remember if you've said this word before or not, but I don't know what it is.) ascends to and leaves Torbjörn behind, caught between this world and the next (What world would that be?). Alive and immortal. Interesting.

 

So, some pointers:

-Explain everything you introduce into the query letter. If not, the agent will get too confused and not want to read on. Tension can build naturally if you tell it. Forced tension, also known as false tension, is drama that you never explain and it only leads to confusion.

-Mention maybe 2 or 3 new characters or kind of people. Maybe 4 if you're stressing it. You mentioned 7 in that paragraph. (I bolded them for you.) An easy way to know who to mention: the main character and the protagonist (who I'm assuming in to blame for the random end of the world thing?)

-Delete extra filler words like "on the side of". If you can say the sentence shorter and still make sense, do it. 

It honestly sounds interesting so far, but I'm just super confused on what's going on. I know you want to say everything about your world to try to pull the agent's attention, but mentioning everything in such a small amount of space is overwhelming. Save some of your amazing plot twists and details for the novel. : P

 

(Also, here's an advance tip because I think you can do it: Add more emotion into your main character. Sometimes this is introduced by action.)

 

A few millennias later, (Whoa, that's a time jump.) in late ninth century Scandinavia, Torbjörn is working as a master hammer smith (? He chose to do that while the world is ending? What was he doing before?). He is hiding from his past (What past?), careful to keep the beast within subdued lest (Use more common words just in case. Like not everyone knows what "lest" means.) his curse be discovered. This paragraph, by far, is better than the first. I'd cut out all the background of paragraph one and mix some of the details like turning into a bear (and the end of the world) into this paragraph.

 

Kiersten is a woman desperately trying to remember her past. (How did she forget her past?) Her village was slaughtered by a band of men wearing wolf pelts, her family killed. (If her village was slaughtered, her family should be dead. If it's already known, don't mention it. Trust that your reader understands.) She escaped the carnage at the cost of her memory, and very nearly her life. Tip #1 Never use the word "very". It's not a mature writer's word. I can explain more on it if you want. Tip #2 Explain how she lost her memory. Like how did escaping get her to lose it all? Tip #3 By the way, so far, we've been in Torbjorn's POV, but this is in Kiersten's POV. Even though it's a good paragraph, I'd stick to one POV. You can mention Kiersten still in Torbjorn's POV.  

 

Kiersten and Torbjörn finds Kiersten come together when she washes up on the bank of a river, barely clinging to life. Kiersten’s resemblance to Torbjörn’s lost love hits him like a fist to the gut (What resemblance?). and He finds he cannot stay away from her. In her arms, his heart, shut down for centuries, (Wait. When did his heart stop? I thought it beat again after he became immortal? Also, what happened to the end-of-the-world thing?) begins to (Try to never use the words "starts to" or "begins to". Your writing flow will improve without it.) beats again. Lust and desire stirs a passionate love that burns hot between them. Wait. Why does she fall for him then? And you're getting distracted from the plot. What happened to that war? (Lust isn't love though, which makes me think they'll break up in the end.)

 

When Kiersten’s past catches up (Wait. How did she remember her past?) with her and she’s captured by the men who slaughtered her village, Torbjörn is forced to expose his curse at the risk of losing her and everyone he loves. I'd reword like: ...is forced to choose between exposing his curse or losing the woman he loves.

 

I am seeking representation for   (Don't state the obvious) TORBJÖRN, an 80,000 word paranormal romance, is a standalone with series potential. According to your website, you’re seeking paranormal romance submissions, and this story would be a good fit.  As I mentioned before, don't state the obvious.

 

I am a married mother of four, and up until a few years ago, had never written anything more in-depth than a grocery list. I’ve cut my writing teeth on several short stories and one  romance novel, all self-published on Amazon.  This paragraph will HURT your query SO MUCH. Let me explain: 1st - Mentioning how you never wrote for a long time makes you seem unqualified. 2nd - Agents do not care about self published because, honestly, self publishing is the easiest thing to do. Anyone can self publish now. If you were self published and won all this rewards with a lot of great reviews, that's another thing. But agents and publishers don't care about self publishing and kind of look down on it.

 

So, I know this is a lot of words, but don't fret. I saw a lot of potential in your writing and wanted to give you the most options and suggestions as possible. Your novel sounds super interesting. The plot's cool. If you want, I can direct you to a couple of sites to help. : ) You can do it!



#11 Iconian

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 03:35 AM

Hi Candace, and thanks for your critique!  I'm also learning the process of critiquing (and writing) queries.  I think it's just one of those things that you have to keep practicing, so try not to get discouraged :)

 

Anyway, I'll take a look at yours, and hopefully hear back from you about mine again.

 

 

 



The feedback is awesome! Thank you all so much. I understand now that my query is too vague.

 

Second revision:

 

Torbjörn is a man of strength, loyalty, and dark secrets. He was once one of Odin’s chosen, a true berserkir with the ability to shape shift into a bear. He fought on the side of justice until he was killed in battle, and then was made whole and hale by a Valkyrie that came to deliver him to Valhalla. But at that moment, the signal was given that Ragnarök, the Norse apocalyptic end-of-the-world, had begun, [ending that era of the Earth's existence?]. The Valkyrie ascended to [the heavens?  Valhalla?] and left Torbjörn behind, caught between this world and the next--alive and immortal.

 

A few millennia later, in late ninth-century Scandinavia, Torbjörn is now working as a master hammer smith, hiding from his past, careful to keep the beast within subdued lest his curse be discovered.  [What was Torbjorn doing in the millennia between the Ragnarok and the 9th century?  Even if you don't want the reader to know what he was doing, you should probably at least say something more like, "working as a master hammer smith, trying to forget all that had befallen in the ensuing years," etc.]

 

[I would try to find a way to begin this paragraph less abruptly.  For example, "Meanwhile, not far away, Kiersten," etc.]  Kiersten is a woman desperately trying to remember her past, her village having been slaughtered by a band of men wearing wolf pelts, and her family killed. She escaped the carnage at the cost of her memory, and very nearly her life.

 

Kiersten and Torbjörn come together when she washes up on the bank of a river, barely clinging to life. Kiersten’s resemblance to Torbjörn’s lost love hits him like a fist to the gut, [I would try to come up with a more poetic or graceful way of putting this] and he finds he cannot stay away. In her arms, his heart, shut down for centuries, begins to beat again. [Great, I love it!  Alternatively, you might consider using some other term than "shut down."]  Lust and desire stir a passionate love that burns hot between them.

 

When Kiersten’s past catches up with her and she’s captured by the men who slaughtered her village, Torbjörn is forced to expose his curse at the risk of losing her and everyone he loves.  [Once again, you begin this paragraph too abruptly.  I really think you should practice finding ways to transition your reader from one paragraph into the next, as it can be very jolting.  For example, you could tell us briefly a little more about Kiersten and Torbjorn's relationship between the time when the two meet and the time of her capture.  Or you could tell us of some adventures that the two of them go on in that time.  Just one or two sentences about this could go a long way toward improving cohesion.]

 

I am seeking representation for TORBJÖRN, an 80,000 word paranormal romance, a standalone with series potential. According to your website, you’re seeking paranormal romance submissions, and this story would be a good fit.

 

I am a married mother of four, and up until a few years ago, had never written anything more in-depth than a grocery list. I’ve cut my writing teeth on several short stories and one  romance novel, all self-published on Amazon. 

 

 

Having now critiqued your query twice, I'm seeing two very apparent common issues you're having: tense and cohesion.  Repeatedly switching from past tense to present tense is usually considered a bad idea, and it makes a given work a lot more difficult to read.  i.e:

 

 

Torbjörn IS a man of strength, loyalty, and dark secrets. He WAS once one of Odin’s chosen, a true berserkir with the ability to shape shift into a bear. He fought on the side of justice until he WAS killed in battle. He IS made whole and hale when a Valkyrie arrives to deliver him to Valhalla.

 

In this example, the issue is with the "is" in the last line.  The story is actually taking place in the 9th century, but the Valkyrie healed him millennia before that, so it ought to be "was."

 

And the second issue is the abrupt transitions you use from one paragraph to the next.  If I were you, I'd really try to find some way to soften these transitions.  The way it is now, it's like trying to walk from the third story of a building straight to the ground level, without any stairs in between.  Some people would be OK, but a lot of people would get hurt doing that; likewise, some readers might be able to handle it OK, but a lot of readers wouldn't.  After a few of those kinds of abrupt transitions, many readers would simply stop reading.

 

If your book is filled with these kinds of cohesion and tense issues, then I think it will be very difficult to sell.  I'm guessing that this is all probably because English is a second language to you.  If I was in your shoes, I'd strongly recommend that you work on these issues.  I think it will be a lot harder to sell your book if these are recurring issues throughout it.  And the query won't matter if the book is nearly unreadable . . .

 

Anyway, I hope you can get this sorted out--good luck!  I hope to see your critique on my query as well, and I should be around for a while longer, so once you get these issues with your query sorted out I'll probably be able to critique it again. :smile:


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


#12 Candace

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 09:03 AM

 I'm guessing that this is all probably because English is a second language to you. 

 

Wow. No, English is not my second language. Thank you for that observation. It's like a slap in the face. Really needed that this morning.

 

As I have mentioned, I've never written a query letter before and am obviously struggling to see what an agent wants. That's why I'm here. To learn. And tense issues are easy enough to clean up after; I'm trying to get the content correct.

 

 And as for my book, it's polished and solid. I've been working on it for two years, having it run through a critique group more times than I can count, plus my three beta readers. I got this.



#13 jaustail

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:06 AM

JMO:

 

 

Torbjörn is a man of strength, loyalty, and dark secrets. He was once one of Odin’s chosen, a true berserkir with the ability to shape shift into a bear(good opening). He fought on the side of justice until he was killed in battle. He is made whole and hale when a Valkyrie arrives to deliver him to Valhalla. But at that moment, the signal is given that Ragnarök, the Norse apocalyptic end-of-the-world, has begun. The Valkyrie ascends to(ascends to where?) and leaves Torbjörn behind, caught between this world and the next. Alive and immortal.

 

A few millennia later in late ninth century Scandinavia,(maybe start the story from here. the above part is all backstory.) Torbjörn is working as a master hammer smith. He is hiding from his past, careful to keep the beast within subdued lest his curse be discovered.

 

Kiersten is a woman desperately trying to remember her past. Her village was slaughtered by a band of men wearing wolf pelts, her family killed. She escaped the carnage at the cost of her memory, and very nearly her life.

 

Kiersten and Torbjörn come together when she washes up on the bank of a river, barely(too many adverbs. desperately, nearly, barely) clinging to life. Kiersten’s resemblance to Torbjörn’s lost love hits him like a fist to the gut, and he finds he cannot stay away. In her arms, his heart, shut down for centuries, begins to beat again. Lust and desire stir a passionate love that burns hot between them.

 

When Kiersten’s past catches up with her and she’s captured by the men who slaughtered her village, Torbjörn is forced to expose his curse at the risk of losing her and everyone he loves.

 

I am seeking representation for TORBJÖRN, an 80,000 word paranormal romance, a standalone with series potential. According to your website, you’re seeking paranormal romance submissions, and this story would be a good fit.

 

I am a married mother of four(no need to mention this), and up until a few years ago, had never written anything more in-depth than a grocery list. I’ve cut my writing teeth on several short stories and one  romance novel, all self-published on Amazon.

 

There is too much to remember and keep track of. Can you perhaps put Kiersten's part through Torbjorn's pov. Overall I think this needs a revision. I couldn't focus on one character and there was too much information.

 

JMO


Looking for feedback on JUPITER'S AMBITION (Space Opera)

Query: Link

First 250 words: Link


#14 Iconian

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 07:30 PM

Wow. No, English is not my second language. Thank you for that observation. It's like a slap in the face. Really needed that this morning.

 

As I have mentioned, I've never written a query letter before and am obviously struggling to see what an agent wants. That's why I'm here. To learn. And tense issues are easy enough to clean up after; I'm trying to get the content correct.

 

 And as for my book, it's polished and solid. I've been working on it for two years, having it run through a critique group more times than I can count, plus my three beta readers. I got this.

 

Sorry, I didn't mean to ruin your morning.  Those were just my observations.  I think readability is at the top of my priorities when it comes to writing.

 

So far as the content itself goes, the story seems quite interesting.  I think the only thing I can really say is that you might want to tell a bit more about Torbjorn's curse at the end, and more about what the implications of exposing it would be, something to help improve the emotional angle of it.


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


#15 Candace

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 09:54 PM

Third revision. I've simplified the backstory and hopefully the rest reads more like a query letter than a blurb. I know it's not perfect, but I'm hoping it's an improvement.

 

Torbjörn is a man of strength, loyalty, and dark secrets. It’s late ninth century Scandinavia, and the master hammer smith is hiding from his past, living a quiet life in the village of Hálsby. Throughout the centuries, men of power have hunted him, wanting to use him for their own greed and gain.

 

 

There was a time when he was one of the god Odin’s chosen, a shape-shifting warrior who fought for justice. A sword strike to the neck ended his life, but instead of ascending to the heavens, he was left behind on earth. Forgotten. And in the process, he became immortal.

 

Torbjörn is preparing to leave the village he calls home before the residents begin asking questions about a man who doesn’t age. Everything is going smoothly, until a woman washes up on the bank of a river. Kiersten’s resemblance to Torbjörn’s lost love hits him like a fist to the gut, and he finds he cannot stay away. In her arms, his heart, shut down for centuries, begins to beat again. Lust and desire stir a passionate love that burns hot between them.

 

A blow to the head has robbed Kiersten of her memory. She doesn’t remember the berserkers—warriors who draw strength from wearing wolf pelts—who slaughtered her family or how she escaped with her life. She regains her health under Torbjörn’s care, a man who becomes her lover and protector.

 

When the berserkers who attacked Kiersten’s family show up at Hálsby and she is captured, Torbjörn is forced to expose his secrets and risk losing his freedom, or lose Kiersten and everyone he loves.

 

I am seeking representation for TORBJÖRN, an 80,000 word paranormal romance, a standalone with series potential. 

 

I am a married mother of four, and up until a few years ago, had never written anything more in-depth than a grocery list. I’ve cut my writing teeth on several short stories and one romance novel, all self-published on Amazon. This is the extent of my writing history. No one seems to like the bio, but I'm not sure what to put in its place.



#16 Candace

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:49 PM

And already I'm re-writing it. *sigh



#17 Iconian

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 01:23 AM

Is the last query you have here the one you're looking to have critiqued, or are you still working on a new one and will post it when it's done?


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


#18 Candace

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 10:08 AM

Is the last query you have here the one you're looking to have critiqued, or are you still working on a new one and will post it when it's done?

No, this one.



#19 Candace

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 08:02 PM

I'm struggling with the bio. No one seems to like it, but I don't know what to put in it's place.

 

 

Throughout the centuries, men of power have hunted Torbjörn, wanting to use him for their own greed and gain. It’s late ninth century Scandinavia, and the master hammer smith is hiding from his past, living a quiet life in the village of Hálsby. He is a man of strength, loyalty, and dark secrets.

 

There was a time when he was one of the god Odin’s chosen, a shape-shifting warrior who fought for justice. A sword strike to the neck ended his life, but instead of ascending to the heavens, he was left behind on earth while the gods and giants fought their final battle. Torbjörn was forgotten, and in the process, became immortal.

 

Torbjörn is preparing to leave the village he calls home before the residents begin asking questions about a man who doesn’t age. Everything goes smoothly until a woman washes up on the riverbank.

 

A blow to the head has robbed Kiersten of her memory. She doesn’t remember the berserkers—warriors who draw strength from wearing wolf pelts—who slaughtered her family or how she escaped with her life. She regains her health under Torbjörn’s care, a man who becomes her lover and protector.

 

Kiersten’s resemblance to Torbjörn’s lost love hits him like a fist to the gut, and he finds he cannot stay away. In her arms, his heart, shut down for centuries, begins to beat again. Lust and desire stir a passionate love that burns hot between them.

 

When the berserkers who attacked Kiersten’s family show up at Hálsby and she is captured, Torbjörn is forced to either expose his secrets and risk losing his freedom, or lose Kiersten and everyone he loves.

 

I am seeking representation for TORBJÖRN, a paranormal erotic romance complete at just under 71,000 words, a standalone with series potential.

 

I am a married mother of four, and up until a few years ago, had never written anything more in-depth than a grocery list. I’ve cut my writing teeth on several short stories and one romance novel, all self-published on Amazon. 



#20 Iconian

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 11:42 PM



I'm struggling with the bio. No one seems to like it, but I don't know what to put in it's place.

 

 

Throughout the centuries, men of power have hunted Torbjörn, wanting to use him for their own greed and gain. It’s late ninth century Scandinavia, and the master hammer smith is hiding from his past, living a quiet life in the village of Hálsby. He is a man of strength, loyalty, and dark secrets.

 

There was a time when he was one of the god Odin’s chosen, a shape-shifting warrior who fought for justice. A sword strike to the neck ended his life, but instead of ascending to the heavens, he was left behind on earth while the gods and giants fought their final battle. Torbjörn was forgotten, and in the process, became immortal.

 

[I'd restructure those first two paragraphs]:

 

Throughout the centuries, men of power have hunted Torbjörn, wanting to use him for their own greed and gain. There was a time when he was one of the god Odin’s chosen, a shape-shifting warrior who fought for justice. A sword strike to the neck ended his life, but instead of ascending to the heavens, he was left behind on earth while the gods and giants fought their final battle. Torbjörn was forgotten, and in the process, became immortal.

 

[Now] it’s the late ninth century Scandinavia, and the master hammer smith is hiding from his past, living a quiet life in the village of Hálsby in [Scandinavia.]  [But it's not long before he's] preparing to leave the village he calls home, [comma] before the residents begin asking questions about this man of strength, loyalty, and dark secrets--a man who doesn't age.  Everything goes smoothly [so does he successfully leave the village, or is he in Halsby when this happens?  This sentence doesn't sound right, as you're neglecting what happens after he prepares to leave the village.] until a woman washes up on the riverbank.

 

A blow to the head has robbed Kiersten of her memory. She doesn’t remember the berserkers—warriors who draw strength from wearing wolf pelts—who slaughtered her family or how she escaped with her life. She regains her health under Torbjörn’s care, a man who becomes her lover and protector.

 

[I think the above paragraph really needs restructuring as well.  Here's a stab at it]:

 

A blow to the head has robbed Kiersten of her memories: of the berserkers who slaughtered her family, of the wolf pelts they wore and drew strength from— and of how she escaped with her life. She regains her health under Torbjörn’s care, a man who as he becomes her lover and protector.

 

Kiersten’s resemblance to Torbjörn’s lost love hits him like a fist to the gut, and he finds he cannot stay away. In her arms, his heart, shut down for centuries, begins to beat again.  [I'd try to find some way to rewrite these two last sentences.  "Like a fist to the gut" and "In her arms, his heart," don't sound right.] Lust and desire stir a passionate love that burns hot between them.

 

When the berserkers who attacked Kiersten’s family show up at Hálsby and she is captured, Torbjörn is forced to either expose his secrets and risk losing his freedom, or lose Kiersten and everyone he loves.

 

I am seeking representation for TORBJÖRN, a paranormal erotic romance complete at just under 71,000 words, a standalone with series potential.

 

I am a married mother of four, and up until a few years ago, had never written anything more in-depth than a grocery list. I’ve cut my writing teeth on several short stories and one romance novel, all self-published on Amazon. 

 

You have a lot of nice, colorful lines in your query.  I think my main recommendation is just that when you come up with a new version of the query, reread it and try to rearrange your lines if they're not quite sounding right.  Flow--remember the flow of your writing.


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






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