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Frozen Gold


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#1 andreas

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 07:20 AM

Any and all critique would be much appreciated. A

 

 

Raff lost everything- love, liberty and family, and now, freshly released, he wants it back but doesn’t know how. When an Arctic motoring adventure is offered in the country of his childhood, he leaps at the chance of a fresh start. 

After settling on the old family estate, he finds hidden war time documents that indicate his antecedents hid caches of weapons and possibly a fortune in gold up country. Cache coordinates in the GPS, he takes his friends on a ‘treasure’ hunt on the way to the arctic in blizzard conditions-but it takes a horrifying turn when the old sites turn out to be Russian Mafia storage depots and the Russians, fearing a rival takeover do everything they can to stop the ‘rivals’ from getting to their Arctic destination.

After the first series of violent clashes that they barely escape, their communications are destroyed and the chase is on, forcing Raff to desperately send a last garbled message for help, accidentally sending it to his son Sean and former love, Holly.

Unbeknownst to him, the estranged Sean-himself fighting for direction and independence; his distraught and angry younger sister, Nicole and Holly- ALL- independently of each other-and for their own reasons-then decide to find Raff, and with a little detective work, seek to ‘intercept’ him at his Arctic destination.

Unfortunately for them, Holly’s rich sociopath husband enlists mercenaries to help track her down on the way, and after a Hotel bloodbath, the Russian mafia who mistakenly now have ‘proof’ of a takeover, pull out all stops in chasing them down, forcing Raff’s reunited but stunned and confused family and friends to desperately go cross country where together they’ll have to use all their guile and ingenuity if they’re going to survive the trek to safety and avoid the murderous hunters..

‘Frozen Gold’ is 104,000 words and combines the best of Cussler’s great action and deliciously implausible ’treasures’ with some of Clancy’s attention to detail and Grisham’s pace. The blurb I’d like to see, would read-

Raff has Bond’s dry wit…without the panache; the effectiveness of Bourne…without the skill: He finds trouble as easily as Indy, but with the tenacity of Cluseau and Chaplin’s heart, he always makes it

‘He’ is continuing his adventures in ‘Frozen Diamonds’ which is taking shape well.

A winner of prizes in a poetry and short story competition, I am bursting at the seams with ideas and am hoping this tickles your fancy enough to consider representing me.  

Below, I’ve attached XXXXXXXXXXX as per your submission guidelines. Please let me know if you’d like anything more. ‘Americanising’ the work in language or locale would be fine too.

 



#2 Springfield

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 09:48 AM

Any and all critique would be much appreciated. A

 

 

Raff lost everything- love, liberty and family, and now, freshly released, from? he wants it back but doesn’t know how. When an Arctic motoring adventure is offered in the country of his childhood, He's from the Arctic? That's not a country. he leaps at the chance of a fresh start. I thought he wanted his old life back, not a fresh start.

 

 

After settling on the old family estate, he finds hidden war time documents that indicate his antecedents hid caches of weapons and possibly a fortune in gold up country. This is long for what it is. Cache coordinates in the GPS, he takes his friends on a ‘treasure’ hunt on the way to the arctic in blizzard conditions-but it takes a horrifying turn when the old sites turn out to be Russian Mafia storage depots and the Russians, fearing a rival takeover do everything they can to stop the ‘rivals’ from getting to their Arctic destination. There has to be a simpler way to say this, if any of it's needed at all. It seems from another book. He's lost his love and family and wants it back. Then he's offered what seems like an isolated job, which he takes for some reason despite the above. Then he's got friends and is on a chase after gold with the Russian mob. These don't seem to belong to the same thing.

 

 

After the first series of violent clashes that they barely escape, their communications are destroyed and the chase is on, forcing Raff to desperately send a last garbled message for help, accidentally sending it to his son Sean and former love, Holly.

Unbeknownst to him, the estranged Sean-himself fighting for direction and independence; his distraught and angry younger sister, Nicole and Holly- ALL- independently of each other-and for their own reasons-then decide to find Raff, and with a little detective work, seek to ‘intercept’ him at his Arctic destination. Too many people, too much plot. What is his actual problem?

 

Unfortunately for them, Holly’s rich sociopath husband enlists mercenaries to help track her down on the way, and after a Hotel bloodbath, the Russian mafia who mistakenly now have ‘proof’ of a takeover, pull out all stops in chasing them down, forcing Raff’s reunited but stunned and confused family and friends to desperately go cross country where together they’ll have to use all their guile and ingenuity if they’re going to survive the trek to safety and avoid the murderous hunters.. Same.

‘Frozen Gold’ is 104,000 words that's long. and combines the best of Cussler’s great action and deliciously implausible ’treasures’ with some of Clancy’s attention to detail and Grisham’s pace.No.The blurb I’d like to see, would read-

Raff has Bond’s dry wit…without the panache; the effectiveness of Bourne…without the skill: He finds trouble as easily as Indy, but with the tenacity of Cluseau and Chaplin’s heart, he always makes it

‘He’ is continuing his adventures in ‘Frozen Diamonds’ which is taking shape well.

A winner of prizes in a poetry and short story competition, Name them, presuming they're well-known/prestigious, I am bursting at the seams with ideas and am hoping this tickles your fancy enough to consider representing me.  

Below, I’ve attached XXXXXXXXXXX as per your submission guidelines. Please let me know if you’d like anything more. ‘Americanising’ the work in language or locale would be fine too.

This is way too long and with way too much. Character, problem, stakes.



#3 Kjcloutier19

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 12:18 AM

 

 

Any and all critique would be much appreciated. A

 

 

Raff lost everything- love, liberty and family, and now, freshly released, he wants it back but doesn’t know how. (How did he lose these things? And what is he released from? You need more of a hook to get us wanting to read more. This is too vague)

 

When an Arctic motoring adventure is offered in the country of his childhood, he leaps at the chance of a fresh start. (What country is this? Be specific.)

 

 

After settling on the old family estate, he finds hidden war time documents that indicate his antecedents hid caches of weapons and possibly a fortune in gold up country. (This would be a better hook)

 

Cache coordinates in the GPS, he takes his friends on a ‘treasure’ hunt on the way to the arctic (How are they on the way to the Arctic? Are they heading up through Europe? Canada? Iceland? Need more specifics) in blizzard conditions-but it takes a horrifying turn when the old sites turn out to be Russian Mafia storage depots and the Russians, fearing a rival takeover do everything they can to stop the ‘rivals’ from getting to their Arctic destination.

After the first series of violent clashes that they barely escape, their communications are destroyed and the chase is on, forcing Raff to desperately send a last garbled message for help, accidentally sending it to his son Sean and former love, Holly. (Why are these names bolded and in different font? Is this on purpose or an accident?)

Unbeknownst to him, the estranged Sean-himself fighting for direction and independence; his distraught and angry younger sister, Nicole and Holly- ALL- independently of each other-and for their own reasons-then decide to find Raff, and with a little detective work, seek to ‘intercept’ him at his Arctic destination. (This is a very confusing mass of sentences and non-sentences. Need to fix some grammer here)

 

Unfortunately for them, Holly’s rich sociopath husband enlists mercenaries to help track her down on the way, and after a Hotel bloodbath, the Russian mafia who mistakenly now have ‘proof’ of a takeover, pull out all stops in chasing them down, forcing Raff’s reunited but stunned and confused family and friends to desperately go cross country where together they’ll have to use all their guile and ingenuity if they’re going to survive the trek to safety and avoid the murderous hunters.. (Again, this paragraph is basically one long sentence. Try to seperate them. There's also way to much going on and way too many characters. You should only introduce one or two important characters, otherwise it's gets too much for a query)

 

‘Frozen Gold’ is 104,000 words and combines the best of Cussler’s great action and deliciously implausible ’treasures’ with some of Clancy’s attention to detail and Grisham’s pace. The blurb I’d like to see, would read-

Raff has Bond’s dry wit…without the panache; the effectiveness of Bourne…without the skill: He finds trouble as easily as Indy, but with the tenacity of Cluseau and Chaplin’s heart, he always makes it

‘He’ is continuing his adventures in ‘Frozen Diamonds’ which is taking shape well.

A winner of prizes in a poetry and short story competition, I am bursting at the seams with ideas and am hoping this tickles your fancy enough to consider representing me.  

Below, I’ve attached XXXXXXXXXXX as per your submission guidelines. Please let me know if you’d like anything more. ‘Americanising’ the work in language or locale would be fine too. (Agents don't care about any of this, especially the blurp bit. Don't put that in your query.)

I think your biggest problem is that the query is confusing. You need to work on your grammer, omit a few of those characters, and give us a more specifics. Best of luck to you!



#4 andreas

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 07:29 AM

 

 

 

I think your biggest problem is that the query is confusing. You need to work on your grammer, omit a few of those characters, and give us a more specifics. Best of luck to you!

 

Like a good session of ripping off bandaids, hahaha. Much appreciated and along the same lines as the first reply-can't ask for more and they allowed some of the forest to be seen through the trees.



#5 andreas

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 07:35 AM

This is way too long and with way too much. Character, problem, stakes.

I received a second critique before I had a chance to reply to your(busy reworking a few things), but enormously thankful. Most difficult part is the multiple characters and how to present them succinctly as I think they're still indispensable to the story-until, of course, someone sees it more clearly than I.Thanks,mate.



#6 andreas

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 02:52 AM

Critique hopefully absorbed...I'm hoping this is an improvement?

 

A perfect storm of events saw Raff imprisoned in Australia, but never did he dream that to regain his children and find love, he’d have to endure a winter nightmare in arctic Finland being chased by a murderous Russian Mafia hell bent on revenge.

Following the clues from wartime documents found in his ancestral home that promised possible locations of caches of weapons and even gold, he stumbles instead onto a Russian Mafia smuggling operation. Suspected rivals, they are mercilessly hunted in blizzard conditions and only narrowly keep ahead of the well-connected Russians, until, bloodied and with few options, Raff sends a desperate request for help-accidentally to Sean and Holly-his lost love.

They decide independently to look for him by going north to a town they think he’ll be in soon, but almost as soon as they arrive, the Mafia does too- to lay in wait.

Raff meanwhile has found gold; and in darkness aims across the ice for safety in the same town only for hell to break loose with a vicious and deadly fire fight that leaves many dead-and the Mafia out for blood.

The unexpected ‘reunion’ sees Raff leading his motley group of lover, family and friends desperately cross country toward a last safe haven, the dire situation rekindling relationships and forging new ones- but they’ll need to cooperate and embrace fear to make the necessary hard decisions if they are to survive.

The nightmare seems complete when they arrive but with help nowhere in sight, the mafia does find them. To save the others a fire fight ensures Raff lures the killers to chase him allowing the rest to escape, only for them in turn to try and use their ingenuity to turn the tables on the mafia and save the day.

Readers of Cussler, Clancy and Childs would identify a little of Pitt, Bourne and Reacher in Raff-even though he has less experience and skill than them and is more introspective.

Raff continues his adventures in the upcoming Frozen Diamonds, but for now I thank you for considering Frozen Gold at 104,000 words and hope you’ve seen enough to ask for more. Attached as per your guidelines is….



#7 ambmae

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 09:34 AM

A perfect storm of events left Raff imprisoned in Australia, but never did he dream that to regain his children and find love, he’d have to endure a winter nightmare in arctic Finland being chased by a murderous Russian Mafia hell bent on revenge.  This hook is way better!

Following the clues from wartime documents found in his ancestral home that promised possible locations of caches of weapons and even gold , he stumbles instead onto a Russian Mafia smuggling operation. This is a really long sentence with lots of central ideas. Break it up. Suspected rivals who's rivals? The mafia? , they are mercilessly hunted in blizzard conditions and only narrowly keep ahead of the well-connected Russians, until, bloodied and with few options, Raff sends a desperate request for help-accidentally to Sean and Holly-his lost love. I would suggest a new sentence that's more clear, like: Raff sends a desperate request for help to Sean, but it accidentally lands in the hands of his long lost love, Holly. P.S. Who is Sean?

They decide independently to look for him by going north to a town they think he’ll be in soon, but almost as soon as they arrive, the Mafia does too- to lay in wait. This sounds exciting!

Raff meanwhile has found gold;  and in darkness aims across the ice for safety in the same town (I'm not sure what you're trying to convey here) only for hell to break loose with a vicious and deadly fire fight that leaves many dead-and the Mafia out for blood.

The unexpected ‘reunion’ sees Raff leading his motley group of lover, family and friends desperately cross country toward a last safe haven, the dire situation rekindling relationships and forging new ones- but they’ll need to cooperate and embrace fear to make the necessary hard decisions if they are to survive.

The nightmare seems complete when they arrive but with help nowhere in sight, the mafia does find them. To save the others a fire fight ensures Raff lures the killers to chase him allowing the rest to escape, only for them in turn to try and use their ingenuity to turn the tables on the mafia and save the day.  You don't need to tell us EVERY plot point.

Readers of Cussler, Clancy and Childs would identify a little of Pitt, Bourne and Reacher in Raff-even though he has less experience and skill than them and is more introspective.

Raff continues his adventures in the upcoming Frozen Diamonds, but for now, I thank you for considering Frozen Gold at 104,000 words and hope you’ve seen enough to ask for more. Attached as per your guidelines is….

 

I think this looks really promising and exciting, it's the kind of story my husband would LOVE. It's hard to know what is obvious to the reader and what isn't when your head is deep in the sands of your manuscript  (I'm having the exact same problem with mine). Good luck!

 



#8 Springfield

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 10:53 AM

Critique hopefully absorbed...I'm hoping this is an improvement?

 

A perfect storm of events saw Raff imprisoned in Australia, but never did he dream that to regain his children and find love, he’d have to endure a winter nightmare in arctic Finland being chased by a murderous Russian Mafia hell bent on revenge. This is a 43-word sentence. 

Following the clues from wartime documents found in his ancestral home that promised possible locations of caches of weapons and even gold, he stumbles instead onto a Russian Mafia smuggling operation. This  is 31. Suspected rivals, they are mercilessly hunted in blizzard conditions and only narrowly keep ahead of the well-connected Russians, until, bloodied and with few options, Raff sends a desperate request for help-accidentally to Sean and Holly-his lost love. Forty. 

They decide independently to look for him by going north to a town they think he’ll be in soon, but almost as soon as they arrive, the Mafia does too- to lay in wait.

Raff meanwhile has found gold; and in darkness aims across the ice for safety in the same town only for hell to break loose with a vicious and deadly fire fight that leaves many dead-and the Mafia out for blood. This is reading like a synopsis... this happens, then that happens, then...

The unexpected ‘reunion’ sees Raff leading his motley group of lover, family and friends desperately cross country toward a last safe haven, the dire situation rekindling relationships and forging new ones- but they’ll need to cooperate and embrace fear to make the necessary hard decisions if they are to survive.

The nightmare seems complete when they arrive but with help nowhere in sight, the mafia does find them. To save the others a fire fight ensures Raff lures the killers to chase him allowing the rest to escape, only for them in turn to try and use their ingenuity to turn the tables on the mafia and save the day.

Readers of Cussler, Clancy and Childs would identify a little of Pitt, Bourne and Reacher in Raff- Stop doing that even though he has less experience and skill than them and is more introspective.

Raff continues his adventures in the upcoming Frozen Diamonds, but for now I thank you for considering Frozen Gold at 104,000 words and hope you’ve seen enough to ask for more. Attached as per your guidelines is….

This has way too much in it; it reads like a synopsis.



#9 andreas

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 08:54 PM

This has way too much in it; it reads like a synopsis.

Thanks for the sharp and to the point critique-love it!. Verbal diarrhea is resistant to many drugs, but just counting my words-why didn't I think of that!



#10 andreas

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 08:58 PM

 

A perfect storm of events left Raff imprisoned in Australia, but never did he dream that to regain his children and find love, he’d have to endure a winter nightmare in arctic Finland being chased by a murderous Russian Mafia hell bent on revenge.  This hook is way better!

Following the clues from wartime documents found in his ancestral home that promised possible locations of caches of weapons and even gold , he stumbles instead onto a Russian Mafia smuggling operation. This is a really long sentence with lots of central ideas. Break it up. Suspected rivals who's rivals? The mafia? , they are mercilessly hunted in blizzard conditions and only narrowly keep ahead of the well-connected Russians, until, bloodied and with few options, Raff sends a desperate request for help-accidentally to Sean and Holly-his lost love. I would suggest a new sentence that's more clear, like: Raff sends a desperate request for help to Sean, but it accidentally lands in the hands of his long lost love, Holly. P.S. Who is Sean?

They decide independently to look for him by going north to a town they think he’ll be in soon, but almost as soon as they arrive, the Mafia does too- to lay in wait. This sounds exciting!

Raff meanwhile has found gold;  and in darkness aims across the ice for safety in the same town (I'm not sure what you're trying to convey here) only for hell to break loose with a vicious and deadly fire fight that leaves many dead-and the Mafia out for blood.

The unexpected ‘reunion’ sees Raff leading his motley group of lover, family and friends desperately cross country toward a last safe haven, the dire situation rekindling relationships and forging new ones- but they’ll need to cooperate and embrace fear to make the necessary hard decisions if they are to survive.

The nightmare seems complete when they arrive but with help nowhere in sight, the mafia does find them. To save the others a fire fight ensures Raff lures the killers to chase him allowing the rest to escape, only for them in turn to try and use their ingenuity to turn the tables on the mafia and save the day.  You don't need to tell us EVERY plot point.

Readers of Cussler, Clancy and Childs would identify a little of Pitt, Bourne and Reacher in Raff-even though he has less experience and skill than them and is more introspective.

Raff continues his adventures in the upcoming Frozen Diamonds, but for now, I thank you for considering Frozen Gold at 104,000 words and hope you’ve seen enough to ask for more. Attached as per your guidelines is….

 

I think this looks really promising and exciting, it's the kind of story my husband would LOVE. It's hard to know what is obvious to the reader and what isn't when your head is deep in the sands of your manuscript  (I'm having the exact same problem with mine). Good luck!

 

 

Nice to hear, thank you...ripping off bandaids is not so daunting any more. Once I'm on here for a bit(more confident) i'll happily help with critique.



#11 andreas

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 08:24 AM

Surely it can't be made shorter, can it? ideas/

 

One nightmare imprisoned  Raff in Australia, but it would take another and a miracle if he’s to regain his children and find love while being chased by the Russian Mafia across Arctic Finland.

Mysterious documents inspire a search for old weapons and gold, but instead discover a massive Russian Mafia smuggling ring.

Suspected as rivals, they only narrowly keep ahead of the ruthless Russians in blizzard conditions.  Raff sends a desperate request for help but it accidentally lands in both son Sean’s and long lost love, Holly’s lap.

They independently try to intercept him, but almost as soon as they arrive, the Mafia does too- to lay in wait.

Raff meanwhile has found gold, but still hunted,  takes off across the ice for ‘safety’ in the same town only for hell to break loose in a vicious and deadly fire fight that leaves many dead-and the Mafia out for blood.

Unexpectedly ‘reunited’, Raff leads his motley group of lover, family and friends desperately cross country toward a last safe haven, the dire situation rekindling relationships and forging new ones.

To complete their nightmare the mafia does find them there and only by using their ingenuity and courage against impossible odds will any one of them survive.

Readers who enjoy Pitt, Bourne or Reacher will find Raff satisfying.

Thank you for considering Frozen Gold at 104,000 words. Attached as per your guidelines is….



#12 andreas

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 12:12 AM

My diced and quartered query(thanks to critics!) is hoping for more insights on 'post 11'. Taaa. 



#13 jaustail

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 09:14 AM

JMO:

 

 

One nightmare imprisoned  Raff(how can a nightmare imprison someone?) in Australia, but it would take another and a miracle if he’s to regain his children and find love while being chased by the Russian Mafia across Arctic Finland.

Mysterious documents inspire a search for old weapons and gold, but instead discover(i guess Raff discovers. maybe add that. ...but instead Raff discovers...) a massive Russian Mafia smuggling ring.

Suspected as rivals, they only narrowly keep ahead of the ruthless Russians in blizzard conditions(how? show this. are the russians chasing them in cars? are they stalking them?).  Raff sends a desperate request(to whom?) for help but it accidentally lands in both son Sean’s and long lost love, Holly’s lap.

They independently try to intercept him, but almost as soon as they arrive, the Mafia does too- to lay(maybe: lie) in wait.

Raff meanwhile has found gold, but still hunted,  takes off across the ice for ‘safety’ in the same town only for hell to break loose in a vicious and deadly fire fight that leaves many dead-and the Mafia out for blood.

Unexpectedly ‘reunited’, Raff leads his motley group of lover, family and friends desperately cross country toward a last safe haven, the dire situation rekindling relationships and forging new ones.

To complete their nightmare the mafia does find them there and only by using their ingenuity and courage against impossible odds will any one of them survive.

Readers who enjoy Pitt, Bourne or Reacher will find Raff satisfying.

Thank you for considering Frozen Gold at 104,000 words. Attached as per your guidelines is….

 

 

I got the theme. Seems like a thriller, but maybe slow down the pace in the query. Use less characters. Reading other queries specially in the successful forum queries is a good learning trick. JMO.

Good luck.






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