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A Tale of Love and Steel

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#1 Cryuff14

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 01:24 PM

Looking for an experienced eye or two. It's a long query for a long-ass, story driven book; 150,000 (tightly written) words.

 

Thoughts appreciated and will return the favor. I've a lot of time this weekend so if you've got something, I'll take a look.

 

Thank you. 

 

The gods created heroes . . . men. But what if once, just once, the goddesses dared create a hero of their own

 

Erinn was special from the moment she was born. Improbable as it was, a promise from the past had been kept; the eyes don’t lie.

 

The key to Taurus’ future lie buried somewhere in its elusive past, and Erinn’s birth changed everything. Pieces of history once impossible to join clicked together, opening a window onto a period of history believed forever lost in time, and moving the truth about what happened one day long ago on Earth one step closer.

 

If it happened.

 

Legend and myth became flesh and bone until one piece remained missing . . . and if the last piece could be found and slipped into place . . . was it possible? Could the arc of one woman’s life have changed the fate of mankind and the history of the galaxy forever? And could she have done it all for a promise of love?

 

Fearing his time growing short, historian Mahon Donnegal, Erinn’s father, works tirelessly as Erinn grows to complete the picture, to prove what he already believed to be true; time running out on Erinn’s twelfth birthday; the discovery of an ancient document -- written in the hand of Herodotus himself, once again changing everything.

 

Now Mahon finds himself hopelessly torn between saving Erinn from the pain and loss that lie beyond her successes -- and from her death, or leaving the last of the humans to an all but certain end. Mohan relieved of his struggle, if not the burden of his heart; he was a newly recruited Watcher and had no choice but to attend to other obligations; obligations that would take him far away from Erinn when she needed him most.

 

Mahon provided well for his beloved daughter. She would finish growing up in the home of his closest friend, in the palace, and he would watch from afar. Free from his hand Erinn would make her own way, follow her own fate and when the moment came, choose between one last battle -- one she could not win, or finally holding Artemis and Athena to their word and return home to be reunited with the one she’d loved, and lost.

 

A Tale of Love and Steel was written for women YA and up. But it will appeal strongly to men as well. To anyone who enjoys a memorable  heroine and a fast paced, fairytale-esque adventure.

 

150,000 words: Alternate history, fantasy, romance.



#2 Springfield

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 07:05 PM

Looking for an experienced eye or two. It's a long query for a long-ass, story driven book; 150,000 (tightly written) words. Just because it's a long book (and that is a problematically long book), doesn't mean the query should be longer than usual.

 

Thoughts appreciated and will return the favor. I've a lot of time this weekend so if you've got something, I'll take a look.

 

Thank you. 

 

The gods created heroes . . . men. But what if once, just once, Right here, I fail to believe the 'tightly written' disclaimer. the goddesses dared create a hero of their own This is an oddly convoluted (and long-winded) way of saying something simple.

 

Erinn was special from the moment she was born. Improbable as it was, a promise from the past had been kept; the eyes don’t lie. That semi seems misplaced, and I don't know what this sentence means.

 

The key to Taurus’ Who? future lie buried somewhere in its Ok, what. elusive past, and Erinn’s birth changed everything. This sentence isn't saying anything I can grasp. I don't know what Taurus is (besides a bull, but I suspect you don't mean that), or what past it has or what was changed from what. Pieces of history once impossible to join clicked together, opening a window onto a period of history believed forever lost in time, and moving the truth about what happened one day long ago on Earth one step closer.

 

If it happened.

 

Legend and myth became flesh and bone until one piece remained missing . . . and if the last piece could be found and slipped into place . . . was it possible? Could the arc of one woman’s life have changed the fate of mankind and the history of the galaxy forever? And could she have done it all for a promise of love? None of this is actually telling what happens, what the book is about, anything. It's vague and fairly repetitive. Also, rhetorical questions are generally considered verboten in queries, and you're misusing ellipses. 

 

Fearing his time growing short, historian Mahon Donnegal, Erinn’s father, works tirelessly as Erinn grows to complete the picture, to prove what he already believed to be true; time running out on Erinn’s twelfth birthday; the discovery of an ancient document -- written in the hand of Herodotus himself, once again changing everything.

 

Now Mahon finds himself hopelessly torn between saving Erinn from the pain and loss that lie beyond her successes -- and from her death, or leaving the last of the humans to an all but certain end. Mohan relieved of his struggle, if not the burden of his heart; he was a newly recruited Watcher and had no choice but to attend to other obligations; obligations that would take him far away from Erinn when she needed him most.

 

Mahon provided well for his beloved daughter. She would finish growing up in the home of his closest friend, in the palace, and he would watch from afar. Free from his hand Erinn would make her own way, follow her own fate and when the moment came, choose between one last battle -- one she could not win, or finally holding Artemis and Athena to their word and return home to be reunited with the one she’d loved, and lost.

 

A Tale of Love and Steel was written for women YA and up. But it will appeal strongly to men as well. To anyone who enjoys a memorable  heroine and a fast paced, fairytale-esque adventure. You need to choose a category and genre, and comps are advisable.

 

150,000 words: Alternate history, fantasy, romance.

I'd suggest you review punctuation and grammar rules, as you've got misplaced semis all over the place, improper construction, stuff like 'choose between... or...,; issues with parallelism, etc. 

 

In addition, check queryshark, and some query threads, because this isn't a proper query. A query just needs a protagonist, his or her problem, and the stakes. This is completely confusing to me; I can't follow the basic plot. 

 

The query, btw, suggests the book could easily lose a lot of that wc. It's overwritten. The wordcount is going to be problematic to begin with, but there are very long, tightly-written novels. The query and pages you send have to prove that your wc is justified, and this wouldn't, I'm afraid. 



#3 Cryuff14

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 02:22 PM

That was brutal, and fairly so. Thank you.

 

I haven't look at this problem in a long time (how to query this) and your comments have led me to look at this with a new perspective. My problems:

 

  • Category and genre. I'm unsure, and as you point out this is key. It seems to me that it's literary commercial or commercial literary, as it's very much a character driven story. Genre(s): alternate history, fantasy, romance. OR speculative fiction as it meets the criteria I've found for that genre. Any thoughts appreciated.
  • What is the story? Of course, I know, but how to condense it is the thing. What is the story? I've got the following starting points but they're both lacking significant story points. 

1) A Tale of Love and Steel, (a crossover novel), tells the story of Erinn Donnegal, a woman who believes her life is slowly being taken over by that of another: a woman who lived and died 700 years earlier. With her own life in ruins, and facing a choice of taking her own life or suffering a fate worse than death, Erinn finally surrenders to the other woman and makes a startling discovery: that the life of the other woman and hers are one in the same, and that it was not just her life that was at stake but the fate of the last of the humans as well.

 

(this doesn’t touch on the love story -- and the love story is the story -- nor the main obstacle that the protagonist must overcome)

 

 

2) At an early age, Erinn Donnegal learned that she was two people. Not that she really believed that but her life overlapped with another in ways that were impossible to ignore. She’d come to embrace the idea with a sense of pride because the other woman was the mythical, larger than life Great King, who through force of will and the point of a sword had built the world the Humans and Taurans lived in and that she called home. And because The Great King had lived and died 700 years before she was born. There was no way that the two could ever meet, she thought. She was wrong. 

 

(this is a good beginning, I think, but leaves me only a 150 words or so to get to the story and it doesn’t touch on the love story nor the main obstacle that the protagonist must overcome)

 

So what I'm going to do is write a synopsis and hopefully that will get me to the story that I can use in the query.



#4 Bananas

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 09:51 PM

I have to agree with Springfield.  The wordiness of this query makes me think that you're likely blind to the wordiness in your MS.  The two things do tend to mirror each other.

 

The most effective queries are the ones that cover a story's plot up to the end of Act 1 (the midpoint at MOST).  Bring us to the point where your MC has to make a choice that will lead them into the larger story.  

 

I would suggest looking at successful queries, to see how other people are able to get a huge amount of information across in one tightly written sentence.  One caveat, don't try to emulate the odd ones - I've seen so many people look at the odd ones and go, 'well, it worked there'.  95% of good queries follow the same sort of rhythm and pattern.   

That was brutal, and fairly so. Thank you.

 

I haven't look at this problem in a long time (how to query this) and your comments have led me to look at this with a new perspective. My problems:

 

  • Category and genre. I'm unsure, and as you point out this is key. It seems to me that it's literary commercial or commercial literary, as it's very much a character driven story. Genre(s): alternate history, fantasy, romance. OR speculative fiction as it meets the criteria I've found for that genre. Any thoughts appreciated.  
  • What is the story? Of course, I know, but how to condense it is the thing. What is the story? I've got the following starting points but they're both lacking significant story points. 

1) A Tale of Love and Steel, (a crossover novel)crossover with what?, tells the story this is an example of extra words you don't need.  You can just start with "Erin Donnegal is a woman who..."  Not that that's a great opening either.  of Erinn Donnegal, a woman who believes her life is slowly being taken over by that of another: a woman who lived and died 700 years earlier. With her own life in ruins, you're telling us her life is ruins.  Show us.  Show us the chaos this second personality is wreaking.  Throughout this query you're explaining too much.  and facing a choice of taking her own life or suffering a fate worse than death, this is a cliche.  Not just that, but it doesn't tell us anything.  What's worse than death, really?  Erinn finally surrenders to the other woman and makes a startling discovery: that the life of the other woman and hers are one in the same, and that it was not just her life that was at stake but the fate of the last of the humans as well.  This one sentence is 71 words long.  Read it out loud.  If you can't get through a sentence in one breath, it's too long.  

 

(this doesn’t touch on the love story -- and the love story is the story -- nor the main obstacle that the protagonist must overcome)  You get one, maybe two sentences to set up your character before you have to jump into the catalyst.  Technically, you did do this... but that second monster doesn't count.  Basically, you have 30 words.  That's it.

 

 

2) At an early age, Erinn Donnegal learned that she was two people. This is a good hook.  Not that she really believed that and... you've wasted it.  Don't waste words.  Write from a place of strength, not from ambivalence.  but her life overlapped with another in ways that were impossible to ignore. I have no idea what you're saying here.  Be specific.  Always be specific.  She’d come to embrace the idea with a sense of pride because the other woman was the mythical, larger than life Great King, who through force of will and the point of a sword had built the world the Humans and Taurans lived in and that she called home. Firstly, this sentence nearly fails the one breath test.  Not just that, but you're smashing together ideas that don't belong together.  You say "She'd come to embrace the idea" and then you jump into heavy exposition/world building territory.  Secondly, Great King?  Since when are women, kings?  Come on.  Thirdly, this all but word salad.  Purple word salad.  "force of will and the point of a sword"?  Gag.  Lastly, what the hell is a Tauran?  And because The Great King had lived and died 700 years before she was born. There was no way that the two could ever meet, she thought. She was wrong. 

 

(this is a good beginning, it's not. Sorry.  All I know at this point is that your MC has a second historical person living in her.  I don't get any sense of conflict or what she wants to achieve in life.  I think, but leaves me only a 150 words or so to get to the story and it doesn’t touch on the love story nor the main obstacle that the protagonist must overcome)

 

So what I'm going to do is write a synopsis and hopefully that will get me to the story that I can use in the query.  Don't.  Your query should cover Act 1, not your entire book.



#5 Springfield

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 10:35 PM


That was brutal, and fairly so. Thank you.

 

I haven't look at this problem in a long time (how to query this) and your comments have led me to look at this with a new perspective. My problems:

 

  • Category and genre. I'm unsure, and as you point out this is key. It seems to me that it's literary commercial or commercial literary, as it's very much a character driven story. Genre(s): alternate history, fantasy, romance. OR speculative fiction as it meets the criteria I've found for that genre. Any thoughts appreciated.

First, you've got it tagged YA in the original query -- that's what I meant by category. Is this a YA or not? Second, literary isn't just character over plot; it's very much about the writing. I don't really get literary from this, though I wouldn't rule it out, however, then we're talking about literary fantasy, not commercial, no? You really need to figure out what this is.

  • What is the story? Of course, I know, but how to condense it is the thing. What is the story? I've got the following starting points but they're both lacking significant story points. 

1) A Tale of Love and Steel, (a crossover novel), crossing what and what? tells the story of Erinn Donnegal, a woman who believes her life is slowly being taken over by that of another: a woman who lived and died 700 years earlier. With her own life in ruins, and facing a choice of taking her own life or suffering a fate worse than death, Which is.... ? Erinn finally surrenders to the other woman and makes a startling discovery: that the life of the other woman and hers are one in the same, and that it was not just her life that was at stake but the fate of the last of the humans as well. I don't really get what this is saying -- what I can grasp here is somehow a woman is two people, one now, one 700 years earlier, and humanity ended then, or something. It's confusing, and also reiterates that you probably can and likely should cut 6ok or so out of the mss before sending it anyplace. 

 

(this doesn’t touch on the love story -- and the love story is the story -- nor the main obstacle that the protagonist must overcome)

 

 

2) At an early age, Erinn Donnegal learned that she was two people. Not that she really believed that but her life overlapped with another in ways that were impossible to ignore. She’d come to embrace the idea with a sense of pride because the other woman was the mythical, larger than life Great King, who through force of will and the point of a sword had built the world the Humans and Taurans lived in and that she called home. And because The Great King had lived and died 700 years before she was born. This isn't a sentence. There was no way that the two could ever meet, she thought. She was wrong. 

 

(this is a good beginning, I think, but leaves me only a 150 words or so to get to the story See above re cutting. and it doesn’t touch on the love story nor the main obstacle that the protagonist must overcome)

 

So what I'm going to do is write a synopsis and hopefully that will get me to the story that I can use in the query.

 

Go the other way. What is this in ONE SENTENCE? 



#6 Kjcloutier19

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 12:06 AM

 

 

Looking for an experienced eye or two. It's a long query for a long-ass, story driven book; 150,000 (tightly written) words.

 

Thoughts appreciated and will return the favor. I've a lot of time this weekend so if you've got something, I'll take a look.

 

Thank you. 

 

 

The gods created heroes . . . men. But what if once, just once, the goddesses dared create a hero of their own (This is something that might appear on the back of a cover, but not in your query. Agents don't tend to like these types of sentences.) 

 

Erinn was special from the moment she was born. Improbable as it was, a promise from the past had been kept; the eyes don’t lie. (There is a whole lot of nothing in this sentence. Cut right to the chase. Why is she special, and why was her birth improbable.)

 

The key to Taurus’ future lie buried somewhere in its elusive past, and Erinn’s birth changed everything. Pieces of history once impossible to join clicked together, opening a window onto a period of history believed forever lost in time, and moving the truth about what happened one day long ago on Earth one step closer. (Again, this is so vague and doesn't give us any useful information. And where/what is Taurus?)

 

If it happened.

 

Legend and myth became flesh and bone until one piece remained missing . . . and if the last piece could be found and slipped into place . . . was it possible? Could the arc of one woman’s life have changed the fate of mankind and the history of the galaxy forever? And could she have done it all for a promise of love? (Who are we even talking about in this paragraph now? Your character or someone from the past?)

 

Fearing his time growing short, historian Mahon Donnegal, Erinn’s father, works tirelessly as Erinn grows to complete the picture, to prove what he already believed to be true; (What does he believe?!) time running out on Erinn’s twelfth birthday; the discovery of an ancient document -- written in the hand of Herodotus himself, once again changing everything. (There are too many dashes and semi-colons here that make no sense, and who the heck is Herodotus?)

 

 

(Okay, so I decided to stop here, which is obviously not a good sign. You don't want people to stop reading. It sounds like you have a wonderfully complex story, but I'm only half way through your query and I still have no idea what it's about. So far you have said the same vague things over and over again - which doesn't bode well for that tightly written manuscript. You need to give us actual specifics. What is this place? Who is your main character? What is the problem? Why is it a problem? And you need to work on your wordiness. Every sentence has to give us something new, or it's not needed. I've had this problem myself and the good news is, you can train yourself to catch it! Don't give up!   Best of luck to you!)

 

 

 

Now Mahon finds himself hopelessly torn between saving Erinn from the pain and loss that lie beyond her successes -- and from her death, or leaving the last of the humans to an all but certain end. Mohan relieved of his struggle, if not the burden of his heart; he was a newly recruited Watcher and had no choice but to attend to other obligations; obligations that would take him far away from Erinn when she needed him most.

 

Mahon provided well for his beloved daughter. She would finish growing up in the home of his closest friend, in the palace, and he would watch from afar. Free from his hand Erinn would make her own way, follow her own fate and when the moment came, choose between one last battle -- one she could not win, or finally holding Artemis and Athena to their word and return home to be reunited with the one she’d loved, and lost.

 

A Tale of Love and Steel was written for women YA and up. But it will appeal strongly to men as well. To anyone who enjoys a memorable  heroine and a fast paced, fairytale-esque adventure.

 

150,000 words: Alternate history, fantasy, romance.



#7 Cryuff14

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:42 PM

Thank you, all, for your feedback. I know everyone's free time is valuable and I really appreciate it.

 

Springfield wrote: we’re talking about literary fantasy, not commercial, no? You really need to figure out what this is.

 

I found this over the weekend: There are commercial books that borrow literary techniques, literary books that stay within commercial plots, commercial books written in literary styles, and even literary books disguised as commercial books. It’s all possible.

In commercial fiction, the writing style is clean and pared-down.

In literary fiction, the writing style takes more risks.

Commercial example:The Shining, Stephen King”

 

If this example were King’s The Dark Tower (fantasy), then yes. This would be literary fantasy (low, I believe).

 

And it’s not YA. I said ‘written for women ages YA and up’ for content and language concerns.

 

It was interesting to come across Stephen King because a woman, an avid reader, told me after reading my manuscript: it's like Jane Austen and Stephen King wrote a love story.

 

I think of it as an adult fairy tale, that in terms of tone and feeling has far more in common with Game of Thrones, than it does The Princess Bride.

 

As you've pointed out, I need to get to: who is my character, what does she want, and what's in her way. 

 

I think my problem getting to these questions is this. It's a story within a story and the backstory IS the story. The two stories come together in the end as one story that casts the mc in a completely different light.

 

The inner story is that of the mc, Erinn. The outer story, filled in through flashbacks of the life of another woman, fleshes in the distant past, the ‘it makes no sense’ history of the planet Taurus, and slowly ties Erinn’s life to the other woman’s -- and just as importantly, ties the other woman (and Erinn) to what the story is really about, the inciting incident.

 

The inciting incident is contained within a prologue (that is not resolved or returned to until the final pages), and is where the entire story is driving to, where it begins and ends. And here is where the questions I have to answer about my main character lie:

 

Who is the protagonist? Popular iconic figure and legendary marine (cliché) Erinn? Or Alexandra? The unnamed young woman in the prologue. In the end they’re one in the same, and it’s her story. (And I can’t use Alexandra because that gives the whole story away)

 

What does she want? She wants to go home. She’s tired. She wants to be reunited with the one she'd loved and lost. She wants the gods (cliché again) to keep their promise and send her back to Earth, back in time, to be reunited with the one she'd loved and lost.

 

What's keeping her from what she wants? She made a deal with the goddesses (Artemis and Athena). She'd pay a price in exchange for getting what she wants. And she's paid the price a hundred times over and the gods keep pulling her back, telling her one more time. Protect, save the humans, one last time.

 

(Midway through the inner story, it's revealed that the humans (the last of the humans) have been betrayed and that a massive force is on its way to Taurus to eliminate them.)

 

The story is based on, begins from, two areas of Ancient Greek history where doubt remains about actual people and events. I introduce my own versions in these areas to introduce a character, Alexandra, who is the mc in the end. 

 

The inciting incident

 

Alexandra, the daughter of a Spartan King, is going to marry a young warrior.

 

He falls in battle.

 

She begs the gods to bring him back. They are unmoved. 

 

She sets out on a journey to prove herself to the gods, returning home when war is again on the horizon.

 

She finds the Spartans at Plataea (479 B.C.), where they are in the 11th day of a stalemate with the Persians. She chastises them for being cowards and then confronts the entire Persian army on her own. She kills a Persian and then she is killed, breaking the stalemate.

 

The gods were moved by her courage but the Spartans were shamed and disgraced by what she had done. They bury her in an unmarked grave and strike her name from history.

 

Artemis and Athena raise her from her grave and give her gifts of strength and ability superior to that of Spartan men. In exchange for what she wants, love, they bind her to a duty. They send her into the stars (along with ten Spartans), to another planet, to prepare a future home for humanity.

The prologue as written, is limited to Alexandra (not named in the prologue) dying in battle and then Artemis and Athena raising her and sending her into the stars. (The rest of the prologue backstory is revealed at the end of the story)

 

BACKSTORY THAT IS FILLED IN AS THE STORY PROGRESSES (Murky History)

 

A thousand years after the inciting incident, Earth has fallen and the humans that escape land on Taurus, in the middle of a war between the witches and the lords. They are rescued by red caped warriors, led by a woman with the light of the stars in her eyes. The woman, Aldan, organizes the humans and they destroy the witches and decimate the lords. The warriors disappear and Aldan remains. She builds the City of Athens and then with the humans, shapes a world around it.

Before Aldan dies, she promises to send someone to the future (to save the humans yet again).

 

The Story (through the first act)

 

Erinn is born in a time and place much like our own. A woman sent to visit her confirms that Aldan has kept her promise. She gives Erinn’s father an old talisman that he is to give to Erinn when she returns. Returns from where he asks. She doesn’t answer.

80 years later:

Erinn has reached her end. Living in exile after avenging her sister’s death (in grisly fashion) she has been hunted down and contemplates taking her own life. But she’d learned in fleeing Taurus, that she was not blazing a new trail but following an old one, and that Aldan, who shadowed every aspect of her life, lived on, on the planet that she was on, but in the past. A past that was beginning to overlap with the present.

Then her father appears to her in a dream and tells her it’s time to come home. Taurus has been betrayed and she is needed. She wakes with a gold coin in her hand and plans on how to save herself and return home.  

 

Obviously there’s a lot more to this.

 

Erinn has a complicated and challenging love life (Athena) and the one she really want’s she can’t have because she needs him by her side. He’s her right hand, and watches her back.

She has a dark side (Artemis). Taurus is often invaded by alien cultures and the fate of Earth remains fresh in their minds every time the alarm sounds. There are aliens on Taurus, but any outsider who poses a threat short or long term to their world, their culture, and their way of life is told to leave, diplomatically. And when that fails, the marines are sent in. Leave or die the outsiders are told. No mercy, no quarter. Decide.

Like Aldan, Erinn is a stone cold killer when she has to be. And no one is better at it than she is. She’s flesh and blood, she bleeds, but never falls because Artemis and Athena watch over her. Over time she grows to loathe this side of herself. She’s tired of dealing death, and watching the brave ones around her die.

 

Skip to the end of the story

The massive armada travelling from Earth to Taurus cannot be stopped and Taurus, as capable as it is, will fall in the onslaught. Erinn knows this. Artemis and Athena know this. And Erinn feels betrayed. She’s done enough. She’d risked her life over and over and knows that Artemis and Athena’s protection has its limits. That this time she’ll die OR, Artemis and Athena can send her home, back to Earth, to the one she loves. But it’s her choice. Leave the humans, leave her home to perish without a fight, or die trying to save it. That’s the decision she has to make.

 

Any ideas how to phrase a query, I’d love to hear



#8 Springfield

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 02:14 PM

I'm still not getting literary from this. 

 

However, I say again -- what is this in ONE SENTENCE?

 

Those three questions, btw, you're not answering. You've got endless stuff in there. What does she want? To go home, to this, to that. What the MC wants must be ONE overarching thing. 



#9 Cryuff14

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 08:44 AM

This must be important because you keep bringing it up (kidding)

 

Literary: having a marked style intended to create a particular emotional effect. . . . refers to novels that don't fit into any standard genre

 

Anyway, ONE SENTENCE. It can be done. War and Peace. Lonesome Dove. Lord of the Rings.

 

I need to find examples of this, big stories reduced to one sentence. And then the questions and the ONE overarching thing.

 

Thanks, Springfield.



#10 Springfield

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 10:18 AM

Literary is about the language. That 'marked style intended to create ...' is speaking about the writing itself. Litfic is a particular thing. Annie Proulx, Milan Kundera, Cormac McCarthy -- litfic. Different genres but it's about the writing. 



#11 Cryuff14

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 11:10 AM

I'd say (hope to say without conceit), that the one writer who influenced me most as a writer is James Lee Burke. His style of writing and his descriptions of sunsets over the bayou, rain falling in the gulf on a steamy afternoon, his ability to express deeply personal moments and so on. And recently a published writer told me that Kahled Hosseini came to mind when she read the book at issue here. And all that means nothing but it got me to thinking of what I'm overlooking in terms of how to pitch this story. It does have several themes that are explored and it's emotional, powerful, and wrenching ( I know, I know). So I need to see, to look at how these (literary, literary fiction) stories are pitched. 

 

This does not require a comment. Just thinking aloud. 



#12 Cryuff14

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 11:15 AM

I meant to add, Springfield, that you've been a big help. Literary (maybe . . . ) fantasy is where I need to look for inspiration here. I've been fishing in the wrong hole.

 

Thanks.



#13 Springfield

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 11:27 AM

Also, yes, any properly written/plotted thing can be reduced to one comprehensible sentence. Anything can be queried in 250 words or fewer. There's a query for the bible floating around queryshark someplace. 

 

Frodo, a small hobbit, must undertake an epic journey across lands to return a ring to the mountain from whence it was forged, lest it loose evil upon the world.

 

One sentence.



#14 Cryuff14

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 11:44 AM

Janet Reid is wonderful. A great resource for up and coming writers. It helps to know what type of a book your trying to pitch.



#15 Cryuff14

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Posted Yesterday, 11:15 AM

The story in one sentence: Two lovers separated by death rediscover themselves in the stars as time runs out on the world

 

Dear Agent,

 

(personalize)

 

Erinn Donnegal grew up on stories of legend and myth. She fell asleep in her father’s arms to fairytales and then dreamed of gods and heroes and star-crossed lovers and worlds she might one day visit.

 

When she turned twelve, her father shared a secret with her about herself and she saw the world for the first time through new eyes. And she decided on her future. She would carry the light forward, and protect it. When her father cautioned her that the journey to high places by narrow roads was a dangerous one, she was undaunted. It’s what she had been born to do.

 

And then one day, her father, the very center of her life, disappeared. He never saw her grow up. He wasn’t there to see her fall in love. He wasn’t there to watch her achieve success after success, climbing higher and higher until she stood where only one woman in a world of men ever had before. He never saw her standing on the highest peak; he wasn’t there to catch her when she fell, her journey far from over.

 

 

Set in the future, in a distant part of our galaxy, A Tale of Love and Steel is the story of two worlds, and a woman’s struggle to bridge the impossible distances and millennia of time between them. It’s the tale of two lovers separated by death rediscovering themselves in the stars as time runs out on the last of the humans. It’s the last chapter in the twilight of the gods as Artemis and Athena set out to betray the woman at the heart of it all. It’s love and death, darkness and light; it’s a Tale of Love and Steel.

 

150,000 words. Literary fantasy.



#16 jaustail

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Posted Yesterday, 11:33 AM

JMO:

 

 

Erinn Donnegal grew up on stories of legend and myth. She fell asleep in her father’s arms to fairytales(there is curly red line under fairytales and right click is suggesting fairy tales or fairy-tales) and then dreamed of gods and heroes and star-crossed lovers and worlds she might one day visit.(I think this is back story. It ends up consuming the reader's time so maybe remove it)

 

(start from here -->)When she turned twelve, her father shared a secret with her about herself(maybe reveal the secret) and she saw the world for the first time through new eyes. And she decided on her future. She would carry the light forward, and protect it. When her father cautioned her that the journey to high places(maybe clarify this. high places means like mountains and valleys or palaces and stuff) by narrow roads was a dangerous one, she was undaunted. It’s what she had been born to do.

 

And then one day, her father, the very center of her life, disappeared. He never saw her grow up. He wasn’t there to see her fall in love. He wasn’t there to watch her achieve success after success, climbing higher and higher until she stood where only one woman in a world of men ever had before. He never saw her standing on the highest peak; he wasn’t there to catch her when she fell, her journey far from over.(maybe show this from Erinn's pov. like make her the subject. i guess this is a unique way to show her goals and take the plot forward but it's also confusing. At least for me.)

 

 

Set in the future, in a distant part of our galaxy, A Tale of Love and Steel is the story of two worlds, and a woman’s struggle to bridge the impossible distances and millennia of time between them. It’s the tale of two lovers separated by death rediscovering themselves in the stars as time runs out on the last of the humans. It’s the last chapter in the twilight of the gods as Artemis and Athena set out to betray the woman at the heart of it all. It’s love and death, darkness and light; it’s a Tale of Love and Steel.

 

150,000 words. Literary fantasy.(maybe put this as: A Tale of Love and Steel is a Literary Fantasy complete at 150,000 words)

 

 

I think this needs rework. Maybe show some of the details. JMO.


Query: WALL OF ICE

(Space Opera)

Revised version: Link






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Fiction, Adventure, Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction

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