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Revised in #25: THIS IS NOT A CROWN (Speculative Fantasy)

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#21 Holly Poe

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 05:23 PM

Thank you so much for helping me with my query for THE DOLL IN THE ICE GREEN DRESS. I am not a fan of sci-fi, other world, etc. so I have a very difficult time critiquing it. But I will give you my basic thoughts.

 

In your first paragraph, I pictured the MC swallowing a ring. Like one that would be worn on a finger. I am assuming the ring is like a weapon used for decapitation. 

 

Put on a purpose? I picture putting on a shirt or a medal. I'm having a really hard time with the term "purpose." I am assuming that it is explained in the text but it is not clear what a purpose is. Another life? A second chance? A reincarnation. I'm guessing here.

 

I hesitate to offer more because it is clear I do not read, write or enjoy this genre. But, as a writer, I believe that even flawed feedback is better than no feedback. And I hope that any of my observations put you more in tune with your story.

 

Again, thanks.



#22 Springfield

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 08:53 PM

Haha clearly my math and close reading skills need improvement as well.

 

Okay, redo, Springfield: 

 

Query: 

'Purpose/s' count:    7

% of body of query:   3%

 

Manuscript:

'Purpose/s' count:    971 

%:   .92% 

 

Guess I calmed it down for the mss! ;) lol

One out of every hundred words throughout the *entire thing* is purpose.... That's an average of 2.5 a page, every page, for the entire book.  :blink:



#23 slinke13

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 11:42 AM

Hmm... may be something to look at. I haven't heard from betas that it's overwhelming/distracting/whatnot, but put that way it does seem like a lot. It's a fairly big part of the world. Every character has one, society is centered around them, the thrust of the plot is dictated by it, and Lewis's becomes essentially another character itself. But it's a good point, thanks! 



#24 Springfield

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 12:06 PM

Hmm... may be something to look at. I haven't heard from betas that it's overwhelming/distracting/whatnot, but put that way it does seem like a lot. It's a fairly big part of the world. Every character has one, society is centered around them, the thrust of the plot is dictated by it, and Lewis's becomes essentially another character itself. But it's a good point, thanks! 

 

I get that, but that doesn't mean you're not just saying it too much, heh. I mean it's possible you're not but based on how you wrote the query, and the numbers above, if I had to place a bet... 



#25 slinke13

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 11:38 AM

Happy Friday, everyone! Here's Revision #3 for me. As always, critique for critique. And as always, let me have it :)

 

 

Lewis Left couldn’t shake the pesky feeling her throat had been sliced open for nothing. It wasn’t the pain of the ring passing through her neck or the ‘squelch’ sound it made or the scars it left after her skin stitched itself back together. It was the unavoidable fact that she finally had her purpose and it was broken.

 

A purpose gives each person a unique power to change one thing about the world: the consistency of jam, the length of a nose, the location of the keys you keep misplacing. Lewis wanted more. She dreamed of changing weapons into words or deaf mouths into mute ears or flood waters into harmless ink that would print powerful stories on every inch of a town. Instead, hers changed nothing.  

 

So while ordinarily a second voice in her head would cause concern, when that voice says he can give her what she wants, she listens. When it asks for just a teeny-tiny, little bit of control in return, she gives it.

 

She knows him only as the King.

 

Whenever Lewis doubts her choice, the King merely offers to leave. Without him, she could dress up her purpose in lace and pearls and commission a portrait and shine it daily. Without him, it would be jewelry and nothing more. As the King’s coils around her tighten and Lewis discovers what he plans to change, she knows it is time to decide.

 

Throw off the King and control her self.

 

Kneel, and control the world.



#26 Ireth

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 11:52 AM

Happy Friday, everyone! Here's Revision #3 for me. As always, critique for critique. And as always, let me have it :)

 

 

Lewis Left couldn’t shake the pesky feeling her (your MC's name is a typically masculine name; this is confusing) throat had been sliced open for nothing. It wasn’t the pain of the ring passing through her neck or the ‘squelch’ sound it made or the scars it left after her skin stitched itself back together. It was the unavoidable fact that she finally had her purpose and it was broken. (Interesting. How did that happen?)

 

A purpose gives each person a unique power to change one thing about the world: the consistency of jam, the length of a nose, the location of the keys you keep misplacing. Lewis wanted more. She dreamed of changing weapons into words or deaf mouths into mute ears (huh? neither of those make sense. Ears are deaf and mouths are mute) or flood waters into harmless ink that would print powerful stories on every inch of a town. Instead, hers changed nothing.  

 

So while ordinarily a second voice in her head would cause concern, when that voice says he can give her what she wants, she listens. When it asks for just a teeny-tiny, little bit of control in return, she gives it.

 

She knows him only as the King.

 

Whenever Lewis doubts her choice, the King merely offers to leave. Without him, she could dress up her purpose in lace and pearls and commission a portrait and shine it daily. Without him, it would be jewelry and nothing more. As the King’s coils around her tighten and Lewis discovers what he plans to change, she knows it is time to decide.

 

Throw off the King and control herself. (one word)

 

Kneel, and control the world.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#27 treedom

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 12:31 PM

Lewis Left couldn’t shake the pesky feeling her throat had been sliced open for nothing. It wasn’t the pain of the ring passing through her neck or the ‘squelch’ sound it made or the scars it left after her skin stitched itself back together. It was the unavoidable fact that she finally had once had her purpose and now it was broken gone.

How can a purpose be broken? That part confused me, which was why I am suggesting "gone."

 

A purpose gives each person a unique power to change one thing about the world: the consistency of jam, the length of a nose, the location of the keys you keep misplacing. Lewis wanted more. She dreamed of changing weapons into words or deaf mouths into mute ears I don't know what to suggest here, but mute ears isn't the opposite of deaf mouths...does this mean she wanted to help people couldn't speak, speak? or flood waters into harmless ink that would print powerful stories on every inch of a town. Instead, hers changed nothing.  

I love the other changes she wants to make. Lovely and powerful - flood waters into harmless ink.

But I would be much less confused if you stated in the beginning what her purpose was that she lost. I'm not clear on that by this point.

 

So while ordinarily a second voice in her head would cause concern, when that voice says he can give her what she wants, she listens. When it asks for just a teeny-tiny, little bit of control in return, she gives it.

 

She knows him the voice only as the King.

 

Whenever Lewis doubts her choice, the King merely offers to leave. Without him, she could dress up her purpose in lace and pearls and commission a portrait and shine it daily. Without him, it would be jewelry and nothing more. As the King’s coils around her tighten and Lewis discovers what he plans to change, she knows it is time to decide.

I don't understand what this part about the portrait and the jewelry means.

 

Throw off the King and control her self.

 

Kneel, and control the world.

 

 

It took me a couple of reads to understand that finding your purpose in this story is something special in this universe. It's not just like realizing you want to be Google's CEO. Could this be handled by simply capitalizing (Purpose), or giving it a special name? I think most of my confusion here could be cleared up just by knowing what her particular purpose was in the first place. That said, this is a really cool idea! I love the idea that someone's purpose could be to simply change the consistency of jam, and that the MC wants to help change the world in a much bigger way.



#28 MICRONESIA

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 01:06 PM

 

Lewis Left couldn’t shake the pesky feeling her throat had been sliced open for nothing. It wasn’t the pain of the ring passing through her neck or the ‘squelch’ sound it made or the scars it left after her skin stitched itself back together. I still "hear" commas between these. It was the unavoidable fact that she finally had We need a stronger verb than "had." Gained, maybe? her purpose and now it was broken.

 

A purpose gives each person the unique power to change one thing about the world: the consistency of jam, the length of a nose, the location of the keys you keep misplacing. Great job! You explained the rules succinctly! Lewis wanted more. She dreamed of changing weapons into words or deaf mouths into mute ears or flood waters into harmless ink that would print powerful stories on every inch of a town. Like before, I'd find a way to break this sentence up with some punctuation. When you have a long sentence without any, it's easy to get lost. Like I just did. It also lacks punch. Instead, hers changed nothing. Nice way to build sympathy.

 

So while ordinarily a second voice in her head would cause concern, when that voice says he can give her what she wants, she listens. Another sentence that makes sense, but needs to be sharpened. When it asks for just a teeny-tiny, little bit of control in return, she gives it.

 

She knows him only as the King. Hail to the King, baby.

 

Whenever Lewis doubts her choice, the King merely offers to leave. Without him, she could dress up her purpose in lace and pearls and commission a portrait and shine it daily. I'm confused. Did you mean to say "With him" here? Otherwise, it's like: yeah, ditch his ass! Without him, it would be jewelry and nothing more. As the King’s coils around her tighten and Lewis discovers what he plans to change, she knows it is time to decide.

 

Throw off the King and control herself.

 

Kneel, and control the world.

 

MUCH better! Explaining the rules goes a long way. You've got the "stuff" you need on the page. Now you just need to make it pop.



#29 Arcanjoe

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 09:20 AM

Happy Friday, everyone! Here's Revision #3 for me. As always, critique for critique. And as always, let me have it :)

 

 

Lewis Left couldn’t shake the pesky feeling her throat had been sliced open for nothing. It wasn’t the pain of the ring passing through her neck or the ‘squelch’ sound it made or the scars it left after her skin stitched itself back together. It was the unavoidable fact that she finally had her purpose and it was broken. (I don't understand this. At the moment it sounds like someone tried to slice her throat open, but then there's an unexplained ring involved, and then we've got her broken purpose. For us to understand the gravity of the purpose being broken we have to understand the (below) rules. Maybe move them into the hook? Also, you never actually mention the ring again in the query, so should it have a place in the hook?)

 

A purpose gives each person a unique power to change one thing about the world: the consistency of jam, the length of a nose, the location of the keys you keep misplacing. Lewis wanted more. She dreamed of changing weapons into words or deaf mouths into mute ears or flood waters into harmless ink that would print powerful stories on every inch of a town. Instead, hers changed nothing.  (This is a far better hook. It's understandable, intriguing and now we have the purpose clearly defined.)

 

So while ordinarily a second voice in her head would cause concern, when that voice says he can give her what she wants, she listens. (How does this come about?) When it asks for just a teeny-tiny, little bit of control in return, she gives it.

 

She knows him only as the King.

 

Whenever Lewis doubts her choice, the King merely offers to leave. Without him (With him), she could dress up her purpose in lace and pearls and commission a portrait and shine it daily. Without him, it would be jewelry and nothing more. As the King’s coils around her tighten (try it in active voice "As the King's coils tighten around her...") and Lewis discovers what he plans to change, she knows it is time to decide. 

 

Throw off the King and (regain) control her self

 

Kneel, and control the world.

 

The main issue with this is the hook. I don't think any of it is necessary as it doesn't actually add to your query, just confuses readers at the point that you absolutely do not want to confuse. Your second para is a far better hook (imo). I also think that the introduction of the King could use a few more words. Someone just turning up in your head isn't something common (even in this world), so hint at the nature of their initial interaction. How did he come to be there? Does he promise to help her with her purpose?

 

Apart from that, I think it's a very interesting premise. The stakes are pretty clear and by what she'd like to do with her Purpose (which I agree should be capped), we get a sense for what type of character she is. Thanks for your help with my query! Hope this helps.


I'd love for you to critique my latest query...

A Life in Colour:

http://agentquerycon...g-contemporary/

 


#30 dragoness

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 06:19 AM

The story seems very interesting, and I love your writing very much  :smile: .

 

I think the query is still too abstract, though. You better tell a story in it: who is she, what happened to her, and why. You're giving too many labels and not enough narrative, IMO.

 

Here are some detailed comment:

 

Not for nothing Lewis Left couldn’t shake the pesky feeling her throat had been sliced open. (I think the sentence wasn't clear enough, so I tried to improve that.) It wasn’t the pain of the ring passing through her neck or the ‘squelch’ sound it made or the scars it left after her skin stitched itself back together. It was the unavoidable fact that she finally had her purpose and it was broken. (Good opening!)

 

A purpose gives each person a unique power to change one thing about the world: the consistency of jam, the length of a nose, the location of the keys you keep misplacing. (you're talking about meaning, but these example are meaningless. I think you better take thing with a small meaning like building a building or writing a diary.)  Lewis wanted more. She dreamed of changing weapons into words or deaf mouths into mute ears or flood waters into harmless ink that would print powerful stories on every inch of a town. Instead, hers changed nothing. (great metaphors

 

So while ordinarily a second voice in her head would cause concern, when that voice says he can give her what she wants, she listens. When it asks for just a teeny-tiny, little bit of control in return, she gives it. (completely unclear, IMO)

 

She knows him only as the King.

 

Whenever Lewis doubts her choice (you must describe this choice. this is all the story, and the query, is about. How did it happened? why? why does she regret it?), the King merely offers to leave. Without him, she could dress up her purpose in lace and pearls and commission a portrait and shine it daily. Without him, it would be jewelry and nothing more. As the King’s coils around her tighten and Lewis discovers what he plans to change, she knows it is time to decide.

 

Throw off the King and control her self.

 

Kneel, and control the world. (Good dilemma!)

 

Good luck  :smile: ,

and let me know when you have another version...

 

Thanks for commenting on my query. Would you like to look at the new version? http://agentquerycon...eturn-critique/



#31 eric balson

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 11:45 AM

Happy Friday, everyone! Here's Revision #3 for me. As always, critique for critique. And as always, let me have it :)

 

 

Lewis Left couldn’t shake the pesky feeling her throat had been sliced open for nothing. It wasn’t the pain of the ring passing through her neck or the ‘squelch’ sound it made or the scars it left after her skin stitched itself back together. It was the unavoidable fact that she finally had her purpose and it was broken. I don't understand what's going on here. Was her throat cut using a ring?

 

A purpose gives each person a unique power to change one thing about the world: the consistency of jam, the length of a nose, the location of the keys you keep misplacing. Lewis wanted more. She dreamed of changing weapons into words or deaf mouths into mute ears or flood waters into harmless ink that would print powerful stories on every inch of a town. Instead, hers changed nothing.  Your query should begin here.

 

So while ordinarily a second voice in her head would cause concern, when that voice says he can give her what she wants, she listens. When it asks for just a teeny-tiny, little bit of control in return, she gives it.

 

She knows him only as the King.

 

Whenever Lewis doubts her choice, the King merely offers to leave. Without him, she could dress up her purpose in lace and pearls and commission a portrait and shine it daily.  Without him, it would be jewelry and nothing more. As the King’s coils around her tighten and Lewis discovers what he plans to change, she knows it is time to decide.

 

Throw off the King and control her self.

 

Kneel, and control the world.

 

I'm sorry but I just have not understood what your story's about. It's vague for the most part. You don't mention things explicitly, but choose to be subtle in your approach.

Hope this helps. Please review mine here (post #92): http://agentquerycon...o-we-are/page-5







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