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Ouroboros (Fantasy/Sci-fi) -- CLOSED

Fantasy Science Fiction

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#21 Eric.Anderson

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 02:45 PM

Thank you for your edits on my query. Here are some thoughts on yours:

 

"They’re just too power-hungry and too authoritarian for her taste."--this line doesn't sit well with me. Too informal, perhaps? 

 

All Lara wants is to live her life tracking down artifacts across the wide expanse of worlds, with her small crew—as close as family—and her ship, Ouroboros. That option has to wait, though. Coalition captain Amerlaine Silver has gone rogue, and the Coalition needs Lara’s help to stop her.

 

Only a few people have the innate ability to pilot a ship through the Cipher, the void between the worlds, a realm of eldritch monsters and time warps. And before fleeing, Amerlaine slaughtered any Coalition pilot who could. So it’s Lara, or no one.

Amerlaine’s grudge with the Coalition wouldn’t be Lara’s problem, except for one thing: collateral damage is all part of the plan. Amerlaine concludes humanity is better off without the Coalition, even if it means wiping out most of the population to do it. Using a newly-discovered device, she intends to open the Cipher to the worlds, annihilating their inhabitants.

If she hopes to save her friends and the worlds, Lara must embark on a dangerous mission---can we get more info here? Every book has a dangerous mission. What specifically is she going to do to stop Amerlaine? to stop a woman who has the plan and the means to destroy it all.

OUROBOROS is a 104,000-word fantasy with a heavy dose of sci-fi flavor and a hint of steam punk. Genre question--I'm not seeing the fantasy. So far, this all looks sci-fi: ships, travelling between worlds, a super-powered death device. Where does the fantasy come in? Thank you for your time and consideration.
 

 

 

Sincerely,

lnloft

 

 

Everything in the middle works for me. I get the story, the chracters, the setting, and the conflict. Nice work. 

 

 

Everything in the middle works for me. I get the story, the chracters, the setting, and the conflict. Nice work. 


Please take the time to help me with my own query, here, I greatly appreciate it.


#22 NGrzesik

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 07:11 PM

Dear Agent,

 

The Coalition comes to Lara Kavarin with a problem: the worlds are about to end. Good. 

Lara has always preferred to avoid the Coalition, despite their best attempts to recruit her in the past. They’re just Me being a little nit-picky here, but I've always felt it's more professional to avoid conjunctions in formal letters. "They're just" could be modified to "They are". Just sounds a little better. too power-hungry and too authoritarian for her taste. All Lara wants is to make a living scavenging lost artifacts across the wide expanse of worlds, with her close-knit crew and her ship, Ouroboros. But That option has to wait, though. Coalition captain Amerlaine Silver has gone rogue, and the Coalition needs Lara’s help to stop her. Very good, much improved. 

Only a few people have the innate ability to pilot a ship through the Cipher: A colon could go here the void between the worlds; A semi-colon should go here a realm of eldritch monsters and time warps. And Bbefore fleeing, Amerlaine slaughtered any Coalition pilot who could . So it’s it is Lara, or no one. Overall good, just a couple of grammatical thoughts. 

Amerlaine’s grudge with the Coalition wouldn’t would not be Lara’s problem, except for one thing: collateral damage is all part of the plan. Amerlaine concludes humanity is better off without the Coalition, even if it means wiping out most of the population to do it. Using a newly-discovered device, she intends to open the Cipher to the worlds, unleashing terrors and massacring populations. 

Lara can’t cannot allow her disagreements with the Coalition, or her fear of a genocidal woman with the worlds’ most powerful ship, to deter her. She needs to stop Amerlaine, or die along with her friends and the worlds.

OUROBOROS is a 104,000-word fantasy with a heavy dose of sci-fi flavor and a hint of steam punk. Thank you for your time and consideration.
 

Sincerely,

lnloft

 

Definitely coming along, just a few grammar suggestions. You're really close though, I'm having a harder time finding stuff wrong with it :)


If you found my suggestions to be helpful, I'd appreciate if you took a look at my query for Ruptured Sky. Thanks. 


#23 b.katona

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 03:57 PM

thank you for the comment on my query!

 

Dear Agent,

The Coalition this way it's an arbitrary name here, clearly not the protagonist/antagonist and you don't give sufficient context shortly after but I'll return to this comes to Lara Kavarin with a problem: the worlds are about to end.

Lara has always preferred to avoid the Coalition, despite their best attempts to recruit her in the past. They’re just too power-hungry and too authoritarian for her taste. All Lara wants is to make a living scavenging lost artifacts across the wide expanse of worlds, with her close-knit crew and her ship, Ouroboros. That option has to wait, though. Coalition captain Amerlaine Silver has gone rogue, and the Coalition needs Lara’s help to stop her. you're building your characters, which is good but since this story doesn't seem to be embedded in our reality and doesn't operate with universally known scenery/terminology, this paragraph does you no good. at least briefly explain like "Lara is an intergalactic scavenger, who likes the freedom, as opposed to the hyper-organized militant body of the Coalition--besides, their politics is more than questionable" (quotation marks used liberally, you get the idea)

Only a few people have the innate ability to pilot a ship through the Cipher, the void between the worlds, a realm of eldritch monsters and time warps. And before fleeing, Amerlaine slaughtered any Coalition pilot who could. So it’s Lara, or no one. this is the kind of thing you'd need way earlier. but the wording seems to be a little too convoluted. "Thanks to the superbaddy, Amerlaine's mass murder of pilots [...] Lara's the last person with the ability to [...]"

Amerlaine’s grudge with the Coalition wouldn’t be Lara’s problem, except for one thing: collateral damage is all part of the plan sounds good but too vague. what exactly do you mean by collateral damage? what is the plan?. Amerlaine concludes humanity is better off without the Coalition, even if it means wiping out most of the population to do it. Using a newly-discovered device, she intends to open the Cipher to the worlds, unleashing terrors and massacring populations. again, it's worded awkwardly and there's hardly any useful information, even if it sounds nice

Lara can’t allow her disagreements with the Coalition or her fear of a genocidal woman with the worlds’ most powerful ship to deter her. She needs to stop Amerlaine, or die along with her friends and the worlds. this is laboratory-level of clean conflict, stakes and whatever there is in the guides... so you've got the formula down but it's way too soulless, even though your prose prior to this paragraph was all about that style. you can incorporate just a touch more of that here and you'll have the most crucial part down

OUROBOROS is a 104,000-word fantasy with a heavy dose of sci-fi flavor and a hint of steam punk. Thank you for your time and consideration.
 

Sincerely,

lnloft

 

I couldn't really pinpoint certain words or sentences that were bad because, clearly, you've thought this through intelligently, which is fantastic. however, I found one overarching problem, which I'm sure won't come as a surprise: we're not as familiar with your story as you. so it's not necessary for us to know that the Cipher is called the Cipher, although you can keep it in--what's key, however, is that we would get a very good sense of the settings, of the groups of people and of the conflict. focus on briefly telling about these in the beginning and don't include anything in the hook that's meaning is unclear, especially if it remains unclear for paragraphs. but going through it again with this in mind I think you should have no problem wrapping up the process. 



#24 MICRONESIA

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 08:36 AM

Thanks again. Feel like I'm getting close.

 

Draft #6

-----

Dear Agent,

The Coalition comes to Lara Kavarin with a problem: the worlds are about to end. Hmm. The stakes are high, but the hook is kind of generic. I'm sure I don't have to point out how common the "world is ending" thing is.

Lara has always preferred to avoid the Coalition, despite their best attempts to recruit her in the past. They’re just too power-hungry and too authoritarian for her taste. All Lara wants is to make a living scavenging lost artifacts across the wide expanse of worlds, with her close-knit crew and her ship, Ouroboros. That option has to wait, though. It sounds like the decision has already been made. Coalition captain Amerlaine Silver has gone rogue, and the Coalition needs Lara’s help to stop her.

Only a few people have the innate ability to pilot a ship through the Cipher, I think a colon here would make the next two clauses read more smoothly. the void between the worlds, a realm of eldritch monsters and time warps. And before fleeing, Amerlaine slaughtered any Coalition pilot who could. So it’s Lara, or no one.

Amerlaine’s grudge with the Coalition wouldn’t be Lara’s problem, except for one thing: collateral damage is all part of the plan. Amerlaine concludes humanity is better off without the Coalition, even if it means wiping out most of the population to do it. This POV switch might throw some people. It relies a great deal on the reader's/skimmer's ability to remember names. Using a newly-discovered device, she intends to open the Cipher to the worlds, unleashing terrors and massacring populations. How will doing this "end the Coalition?" I don't see the connection. 

Lara can’t allow her disagreements with the Coalition or her fear of a genocidal woman with the worlds’ most powerful ship to deter her. Sentence is clunky. Re-word, re-structure. She needs to stop Amerlaine, or die along with her friends and the worlds. Is simply "dying" high enough personal stakes? It doesn't sound like much of a tough choice here. Do something or everybody dies? Do something, obviously! See what I mean?

OUROBOROS is a 104,000-word fantasy with a heavy dose of sci-fi flavor and a hint of steam punk. I believe this is one word. Thank you for your time and consideration.
 

Sincerely,

lnloft

 

This is a nice job. It's pretty clear, other than the confusions I listed above. I complain about this a lot, but I want to see a *bit* more to separate this from the typical space-odyssey-in-which-a-rebellious-pilot-grudgingly-has-to-save-the-galaxy (i.e. Han Solo). What details can you add to show that this story is DIFFERENT from all others of its ilk? What's that extra push to make this thing irresistible? 



#25 MimiJessie

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 08:45 AM

The Coalition comes to Lara Kavarin with a problem: the worlds are about to end. BOOM! Talk about an inciting incident. You're not messing around. 

Lara has always preferred avoiding to avoid the Coalition, despite their best attempts to recruit her in the past. They’re just too power-hungry and too authoritarian (I'm not sure you need both power-hungry and authoritarian here, since once kind of implies the other IMO) for her tastes. She'd prefer to be left alone All Lara wants is to make to make a living scavenging lost artifacts across the wide expanse of worlds, with her close-knit crew and her ship, Ouroboros. But that will have to wait. That option has to wait, though. Coalition captain Amerlaine Silver has gone rogue, and the Coalition needs Lara’s help to stop her.

Only a few people have the innate ability to pilot a ship through the Cipher, the void between the worlds, a realm of eldritch monsters and time warps. And before fleeing, Amerlaine slaughtered any Coalition pilot who could. So it’s Lara, or no one. Love this! It answers all the questions I had about Lara and why she's so necessary to the Coalition. Great stuff. 

Amerlaine’s grudge with the Coalition wouldn’t be Lara’s problem, except for one thing: collateral damage is all part of the plan. Amerlaine concludes thinks/has decided that humanity is better off without the Coalition, even if it means wiping out most of the population in the process/to achieve it to do it. Using a newly-discovered device, she intends to open the Cipher to the worlds, unleashing terrors and massacring populations. Yup, I'm suitably worried. 

Lara can’t allow her disagreements with the Coalition or her fear of a genocidal woman with the worlds’ most powerful ship (have you mentioned the ship before? Have I missed something? I think it needs explanation or to be left out, since it raises too many questions) to deter her. She needs to stop Amerlaine, or die along with her friends and the worlds. I think it might be more punchy to reiterate here that only Lara can fulfil this role and that the weight of responsibility is entirely on her, just to add a little more gravity to the, already dire, situation. 

OUROBOROS is a 104,000-word fantasy with a heavy dose of sci-fi flavor and a hint of steam punk. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Honestly, I love this. It reminds me of Firefly. I want to know more about Lara and her friendship with her crew, though, since I think the protagonist could do with a little more personality. I like her already, but I want to like her more; to really be invested. I know that's a big ask in a QL, so apologies and it's obviously just my opinion. There's definitely no need to work on the outlining of the story, though, which is clear as day and very compelling. The stakes are SUPER high and I have no questions about what's motivating anyone, so my tweaks are just language and sentence structure, really. I hope it helps in some way. You're so close, though, by the looks of things. 



#26 Phaust

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 02:50 PM

Below is my take. Could you return the favor? http://agentquerycon...amped/?p=348445

 

Thanks again. Feel like I'm getting close.

 

Draft #6

-----

Dear Agent,

The Coalition comes to Lara Kavarin with a problem: the worlds are about to end.

Lara has always preferred to avoid the authoritarian Coalition, despite their best attempts to recruit her in the past. They’re just too power-hungry and too authoritarian for her taste. All Lara wants is to make a living scavenging lost artifacts across the wide expanse of worlds, with her close-knit crew and her ship, Ouroboros. The trouble is, Coalition captain Amerlaine Silver has just  slaughtered any Coalition pilot capable of piloting a ship through the Cipher, the void between the worlds and . So it’s Lara, or no one.

 

That option has to wait, though. Coalition captain Amerlaine Silver has gone rogue, and the Coalition needs Lara’s help to stop her.

Only a few people have the innate ability to pilot a ship through the Cipher, the void between the worlds, a realm of eldritch monsters and time warps. And before fleeing, Amerlaine slaughtered any Coalition pilot who could. So it’s Lara, or no one.

Amerlaine’s grudge with the Coalition wouldn’t be Lara’s problem, except for one thing: collateral damage is all part of the plan. Amerlaine concludes humanity is better off without the Coalition, even if it means wiping out most of the population to do it. Using a newly-discovered device, Amerlaine intends to open the Cipher to the worlds, unleashing terrors and massacring populations for the sole purpose of destroying the Coalition.

Lara can’t allow her disagreements with the Coalition or her fear of a genocidal woman with the worlds’ most powerful ship to deter her. She needs to stop Amerlaine, or die along with her friends and the worlds.

OUROBOROS is a 104,000-word fantasy with a heavy dose of sci-fi flavor and a hint of steam punk. Thank you for your time and consideration.
 

Sincerely,

lnloft

 

I feel like a wee, wee bit of indication of setting may help. I read this assuming the Ouroboros is a space ship... though there is no indication. And this would clarify genre. As to genre, put yourself in a publisher's shoes who is your audience? I would choose one with maybe a sub-genre. But I think 3 is too much. Starts to dilute itself, especially in a pitch. That info will come out in the reading. You just need to get the reader onto the first page. 3 genres may be accurate, but it is a roadblock in a query.  

 

On the whole, I'd say you're getting pretty close. 



#27 lnloft

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 02:58 PM

Thanks everyone, again. Always. Took a couple days of not allowing myself to stare at my query for hours in the hopes that that would freshen up my view. Changed around probably more than I have since going from draft 1 to draft 2 (let me know if anything is actually a step backward). One of the things that you guys are touching on and that I am definitely noticing is that the feel of the world isn't coming out right yet. This is not a space opera, Ouroboros is not a spaceship, and no one is going around shooting lasers. I'm not going to say what the world is supposed to feel like right here, because it's a lot easier to see something if you know what you're supposed to be looking for, but I've made a few adjustments. One of the things that would be helpful would be if you let me know what sort of vibe you're getting about my world, technology, society, that sort of thing.

 

I'll make sure to reciprocate to everyone, probably tomorrow, but if it's been a few days and you haven't found I've done it, please just give me a shout and I'll get right on it. Just means that I'll have let you slip through the cracks with all the people who recently responded.

 

Draft #7

----------

Dear Agent,

Lara Kavarin is facing a crisis: the worlds are about to end.

All Lara wants is to make a living scavenging lost artifacts. With her close-knit crew and her ship, Ouroboros, Lara explores the wide expanse of the newly-industrial worlds—until the power-hungry Coalition comes begging for help. Captain Amerlaine Silver has gone rogue, slaughtering any Coalition pilot who could give chase, and she possesses bigger plans for destruction. Now the Coalition wants Lara to stop her.

Travel between the worlds requires a ship, but also an innate ability to rip a hole in a world’s barrier and then navigate the void between. It’s a dangerous realm of eldritch monsters and time warps. As the only person available who can still pilot a ship between worlds, Lara must help: Amerlaine has concluded humanity is better off without the Coalition, even if it means wiping out most of the population in the process. Using a newly-discovered device, she intends to open the void to the worlds, unleashing terrors and massacring populations with the purpose of destroying the Coalition.

Knowing from her own explorations what those horrors can be, Lara gives chase across worlds and into the other captain’s stronghold. Because if Lara doesn’t save the worlds, then no one will.

OUROBOROS is a 104,000-word fantasy with a heavy dose of sci-fi flavor. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

lnloft
 


Please note I'm also posting on behalf of people who can't sign up, so if I provide a link in the main body of the post, make sure to reciprocate on that thread.

 

I've got 250 words I'd love your feedback on: Untitled fantasy project


#28 noellbernard

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 03:52 PM

Lara Kavarin is facing a crisis: the worlds are about to end. (I agree with previous statements about this particular hook not being strong enough. Also, I don't really see it being backed up very well in the rest of your query. Also, it doesn't sound it's a crisis for Lara. Your query currently reads as LAra being a passive character and that's really boring. Any way you can spruce up her action and her initiative?)

All Lara wants is to make a living scavenging lost artifacts. With her close-knit crew and her ship, Ouroboros, Lara explores the wide expanse of the newly-industrial worlds (You're saying this isn't a spaceship, but how can a not-spaceship travel between worlds? Also, I don't like 'newly-industrial'. It's a little confusing and brings up more questions than answers.)—until the power-hungry Coalition comes begging for help. (I understand what you're trying to do from the previous and next sentence, but it took me a couple reads to see the connection. At first, it sounded like you were suddenly jumping to another character, not explaining what the Coalition needs help with.) Captain Amerlaine Silver has gone rogue, slaughtering any Coalition pilot who could give chase, and she possesses bigger plans for destruction. Now the Coalition wants Lara to stop her. (If Lara isn't a spaceship pilot how is she going to be able to travel a ship through worlds. I'm a bit confused on the elements of the story as it currently stands.)

Travel between the worlds requires a ship, but also an innate ability to rip a hole in a world’s barrier and then navigate the void between. It’s a dangerous realm of eldritch monsters and time warps. As the only person available who can still pilot a ship between worlds, Lara must help (Must she? She has a choice to say 'no.' Where are her reasons for helping out? Can't she just go back to scavenging?): Amerlaine has concluded humanity is better off without the Coalition, even if it means wiping out most of the population in the process. (Most of the population isn't all of the population. Thus Lara still could be safe. I need to know WHY she wants to help. She needs to be an active character in the query.) Using a newly-discovered device, Amerlaine (You're talking about two women in this query. Sometimes you need to specify which is which because you were talking about Lara also needing to rip holes in the worlds to travel.) she intends to open the void to the worlds, unleashing terrors and massacring populations with the purpose of destroying the Coalition.

Knowing from her own explorations what those horrors can be, Lara gives chase across worlds and into the other captain’s stronghold. Because if Lara doesn’t save the worlds, then no one will. (AHA! I see some stakes, but this is really late and not very strong. Lara knows what those horrors can be? How so? Why does this push her to stop Amerlaine?)

OUROBOROS is a 104,000-word fantasy with a heavy dose of sci-fi flavor. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

I'll be honest, you're saying 'fantasy' and I'm reading 'space opera.' I read your previous comment about Ouroboros not being a space ship and if not, why not say that? Is there a synonym for a ship that sails on water that you could in that first few sentences to explain that it's not a space ship? It does read like one, especially with all the other intergalactic things going on. 

 

As your query currently stands, I feel like you have dual POVs in it because there is such a heavy focus on Captain Amerlaine. If that is not true, you may need to re-write your query to focus on the actions being taken by Lara. She is obviously your main character, but she does almost nothing in your query. 


Any advice you're willing to offer on my query would be greatly appreciated: Thread Here! Thank you!

 

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#29 lnloft

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 08:35 AM

Well, I tried something different, and apparently that didn't work that great. I'll probably revert back to something closer to what I had in previous drafts.

 

And I guess I should make sure I'm clear in what I'm saying outside of my query, too, instead of just assuming you know what I mean. Ouroboros is not a sailing ship, either. It's just not a spaceship. And this is not a space opera. Because none of it is set in space. Space is not a relevant thing to this story. In-story, Ouroboros is referred to as a nihilship, but I feel that if I start including that in my query, people will just get confused. I get why people are getting confused about the genre, and this is a big problem I'm wrestling with right now. When you read the story, it's a lot clearer why I'm referring to this as a mix of fantasy/sci-fi rather than just sci-fi, I'm just struggling to have a hard time making this come across. I might experiment with one thing, although I have a feeling that it's going to come across as extraneous when I plug it in, so... We'll see. Maybe it's not the end of the world if people are getting a bit of the wrong genre vibe if the query is otherwise intriguing, but I do think my setting helps make this story more unique, and also, I don't want an agent who would be perfect for what my story is to pass on it because they don't want to rep a space opera. I don't know if I'm really expecting people to respond to this so much as just needing to air my current thought process/frustrations, but anyway, that's sort of where I stand right now. I'll go play around with some things again and see what I come up with.


Please note I'm also posting on behalf of people who can't sign up, so if I provide a link in the main body of the post, make sure to reciprocate on that thread.

 

I've got 250 words I'd love your feedback on: Untitled fantasy project


#30 b.katona

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 08:48 AM

You could probably try a version, where you expand what you tell about the ship. Not the nihilship term or anything too technical but for me it's an intriguing idea if there's some weird matter the ship is treading. Of course you need an elegant and brief description on it but obviously this is just an idea I had when I read about your frustration.



#31 Chloe Kleine

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 09:19 AM

Hi Inloft,

 

Firstly, thanks for your critique on my own query, and sorry I haven't responded sooner. To review your query I went straight for the most updated version (but I peaked at some of your previous versions too).

 

To be honest, I think you need to work on your hook. I feel there's some intrigue and big conflict in this book, but the current hook "Lara Kavarin is facing a crisis: the worlds are about to end" is too vague and, frankly, uninteresting.  Then in the next paragraph, I think you go into too much detail about the ship and crew for a query. You can mention her crew and her ship, but probably in one sentence.

 

I'm wondering if a HOOK along the following lines might be a better way to start:

 

(Hook:) Lara Kavalin has found contentment in life. Unfortunately, she is the only person left in the universe who knows how to navigate a ship through the Cypher, the void between the worlds, and that's why the formidable Coalition wants to recruit her. 

 

(Next paragraph could begin like this:) Lara makes a modest living. Assisted by her faithful team, she steers her ship to scavenge for lost artefacts in the stratosphere

 

These are just a few suggestions. Please take them with a pinch of salt, or pepper!

I am looking forward to seeing your next draft!

 

Kind regards

Chloe :-) 


Please critique my query, and I will return the favour!

http://agentquerycon...n-bdsm-romance/

 


#32 noellbernard

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 11:59 AM

Well, I tried something different, and apparently that didn't work that great. I'll probably revert back to something closer to what I had in previous drafts.

 

And I guess I should make sure I'm clear in what I'm saying outside of my query, too, instead of just assuming you know what I mean. Ouroboros is not a sailing ship, either. It's just not a spaceship. And this is not a space opera. Because none of it is set in space. Space is not a relevant thing to this story. In-story, Ouroboros is referred to as a nihilship, but I feel that if I start including that in my query, people will just get confused. I get why people are getting confused about the genre, and this is a big problem I'm wrestling with right now. When you read the story, it's a lot clearer why I'm referring to this as a mix of fantasy/sci-fi rather than just sci-fi, I'm just struggling to have a hard time making this come across. I might experiment with one thing, although I have a feeling that it's going to come across as extraneous when I plug it in, so... We'll see. Maybe it's not the end of the world if people are getting a bit of the wrong genre vibe if the query is otherwise intriguing, but I do think my setting helps make this story more unique, and also, I don't want an agent who would be perfect for what my story is to pass on it because they don't want to rep a space opera. I don't know if I'm really expecting people to respond to this so much as just needing to air my current thought process/frustrations, but anyway, that's sort of where I stand right now. I'll go play around with some things again and see what I come up with.

 

I didn't mean to make assumptions, but if you're not explaining what is specific about your 'ship' then people will revert to what they know of as a ship and that's generally on water or in space. (Or something like a zepplin.) If you are going to focus the main portion of the story on this specific ship being integral to the travel and the plot and how everything functions, then you are probably going to need to explain at least the basic specifics of the ship. Otherwise people will make assumptions, including agents.

 

Yes, it's frustrating. Trust me, my world-building has been throwing people for a loop too and they have made assumptions about it as well, but that's a good indicator that something isn't coming across in the query and the last thing you want is for people to make incorrect assumptions about your story. An agent who requests something and reads something else, will be very upset and be disinclined to read more. 

 

And actually, it can be quite detrimental if your query reads as one genre and you state it's another because then the agent will think you're not well read in your genre and you don't know what your genre is. It can be very bad.

 

I hope this helps and maybe if you threw out some specifics of your ship/world-building (not too much), but basic ideas, maybe people can help you determine which are important enough to put in the query to help clarify.


Any advice you're willing to offer on my query would be greatly appreciated: Thread Here! Thank you!

 

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Want to read some dark fairytales? Check out my short story in OWS Ink's anthology, Mirrors & Thorns!


#33 lnloft

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 12:41 PM

I didn't mean to make assumptions, but if you're not explaining what is specific about your 'ship' then people will revert to what they know of as a ship and that's generally on water or in space. (Or something like a zepplin.) If you are going to focus the main portion of the story on this specific ship being integral to the travel and the plot and how everything functions, then you are probably going to need to explain at least the basic specifics of the ship. Otherwise people will make assumptions, including agents.

 

Yes, it's frustrating. Trust me, my world-building has been throwing people for a loop too and they have made assumptions about it as well, but that's a good indicator that something isn't coming across in the query and the last thing you want is for people to make incorrect assumptions about your story. An agent who requests something and reads something else, will be very upset and be disinclined to read more. 

 

And actually, it can be quite detrimental if your query reads as one genre and you state it's another because then the agent will think you're not well read in your genre and you don't know what your genre is. It can be very bad.

 

I hope this helps and maybe if you threw out some specifics of your ship/world-building (not too much), but basic ideas, maybe people can help you determine which are important enough to put in the query to help clarify.

Thanks. Actually, I figure it's better if you make assumptions, because the agents likely will, too. So best see what incorrect assumptions people are making right now, so I can fix those. Like my very first draft of my query, one reader kept asking why the Coalition needed the help of a teenager -- when my character is an adult. Obviously a problem right there. So, yes, please do make assumptions based on what I've written. While obviously I dream of coming back to check on feedback and see people raving about how amazing my query is and that I should send straight away, I also know that's not how things actually are right now. So I appreciate the tough feedback, especially when I wasn't sure if that newest draft was going to work or not.

 

Thanks for the thoughts. New draft will be coming shortly.


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I've got 250 words I'd love your feedback on: Untitled fantasy project


#34 lnloft

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 01:41 PM

Round 8. Still tinkering, seeing what's working, what's not. Just gotta keep experimenting. Thanks as always.

 

Draft #8

---

Dear Agent,

The Coalition comes to Lara Kavarin with a problem: the worlds are about to end.

Lara has always preferred to avoid the Coalition, despite their best attempts to recruit her in the past. They’re just too power-hungry and too authoritarian for her taste. All Lara wants is to make a living scavenging lost artifacts across the wide expanse of worlds, with her close-knit crew and her ship, Ouroboros. That option has to wait, though. Coalition captain Amerlaine Silver has gone rogue, and the Coalition needs Lara’s help to stop her.

Only a few people have the innate ability to pilot a ship through the Cipher, the void between the worlds, a realm of eldritch monsters and time warps. And before fleeing, Amerlaine slaughtered any Coalition pilot who could. So it’s Lara, or no one.

Amerlaine’s grudge with the Coalition wouldn’t be Lara’s problem, except for one thing: collateral damage is all part of the plan. Amerlaine concludes humanity is better off without the Coalition, even if it means wiping out most of the population to do it. Using a newly-discovered device, she intends to open the Cipher to the worlds, unleashing terrors and massacring populations.

Lara can’t allow her disagreements with the Coalition or her fear of a genocidal woman with the worlds’ most powerful ship to deter her. She needs to stop Amerlaine, or die along with her friends and the worlds.

OUROBOROS is a 104,000-word fantasy with a heavy dose of sci-fi flavor and a hint of steam punk. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

lnloft


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I've got 250 words I'd love your feedback on: Untitled fantasy project


#35 dinosaurinhats

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 05:01 PM

Dear Agent,

The Coalition comes to Lara Kavarin I recommend adding either age/occupation/something to further explain who Lara is here with a problem: the worlds are about to end.

Lara has always preferred to avoid the Coalition, This is a good opportunity to tell what the 'coalition' is. A government? Secret group? A person? Deity? Etc. despite their best attempts to recruit her recruit her for what? in the past. They’re just too power-hungry and too authoritarian for her taste. All Lara wants is to make a living scavenging lost artifacts across the wide expanse of worlds, with her close-knit crew and her ship, Ouroboros. Very good insight on her character That option has to wait, though. Coalition captain Amerlaine Silver has gone rogue, and the Coalition needs Lara’s help to stop her. Not sure if it's just me, but I thought Alerlaine was a guy at first glance (whoops). And the last part, "Lara's help to stop her" can be a bit confusing since both are females. Perhaps try something along "Needs Lara's help to stop the evil/wild (some adjective) captain."

Only a few people have the innate ability to pilot a ship through the Cipher, the void between the worlds, a realm of eldritch monsters and time warps. And before fleeing, Amerlaine slaughtered any Coalition pilot who could. So it’s Lara, or no one.

Amerlaine’s grudge over what? with the Coalition wouldn’t be Lara’s problem, except for one thing: collateral damage is all part of the plan. Amerlaine concludes humanity is better off without the Coalition, even if it means wiping out most of the population to do it. Using a newly-discovered device, she intends to open the Cipher to the worlds, unleashing terrors and massacring populations. So if I understand correctly, the Coalition captain has left the coalition to destroy it? I'm confused why she thinks this way.

Lara can’t allow her disagreements with the Coalition or her fear of a genocidal woman with the worlds’ most powerful ship to deter her. She needs to stop Amerlaine, or die along with her friends and the worlds.

OUROBOROS is a 104,000-word fantasy with a heavy dose of sci-fi flavor and a hint of steam punk. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

lnloft

 

So far I like what you've got!! You have a good hook and your first two paragraphs are well done. Things do get a little confusing at the third paragraph, so I recommmend you change things around to make that a bit more clear. Best of luck!!

If you have time, it would be greatly appreciated if you could check out my letter. Thanks!!!

http://agentquerycon...e-mirrored-box/



#36 lnloft

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 05:24 PM

I feel stupid. Somehow I copied and pasted an older draft. Sorry. This is the proper draft #8. But if this doesn't work, then I should probably go back to the format that I had for those earlier drafts.

 

----

Dear Agent,

Travel between worlds requires two things: a ship that can sail the nil-matter of the void, and a person with the innate ability to pilot it. As captain of the ship Ouroboros, Lara explores remote worlds with her close-knit crew, scavenging lost artifacts for a living. That is until the power-hungry Coalition comes to Lara for help to save those worlds.

One of their captains, Amerlaine Silver, has gone rogue. She’s stolen a ship, slaughtered the pilots who could give chase, and plans to take down the Coalition by any means necessary, even if that means wiping out innocents in the process. As the only pilot still around, Lara has to stop her. With a newly-discovered device, Amerlaine intends to open the void to the worlds, unleashing terrors and massacring populations, all for the sake of destroying the Coalition.

Lara is afraid. Afraid of the risk the mission provides to herself and her friends. Afraid of what failure would mean for everyone. As an experienced traveler of the void, she knows firsthand what horrors will be freed: unkillable eldritch monsters and time warps locking you in perpetual loops. Despite her fear, Lara can’t allow the worlds to end that way.

Danger lurks in the void, in Amerlaine’s stronghold, in the secrets the Coalition keeps back. But Lara needs to face it all. Because if she doesn’t save the worlds, then no one will.

OUROBOROS is a 104,000-word science fantasy. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

lnloft


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I've got 250 words I'd love your feedback on: Untitled fantasy project


#37 Phaust

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 11:16 PM

I feel stupid. Somehow I copied and pasted an older draft. Sorry. This is the proper draft #8. But if this doesn't work, then I should probably go back to the format that I had for those earlier drafts.

 

----

Dear Agent,

Travel between worlds requires two things: a ship that can sail the nil-matter of the void, and a person with the innate ability to pilot it. This is a stronger start! As captain of the ship Ouroboros, Lara explores remote worlds with her close-knit crew, scavenging lost artifacts for a living and staying well away from the Coalition. That is until the power-hungry Coalition comes to Lara for help to save those worlds.

One of their captains, Amerlaine Silver, has gone rogue. She’s stolen a ship, slaughtered the pilots who could give chase, and plans to take down the Coalition by any means necessary, even if that means wiping out innocents in the process. As the only pilot still around, Lara has to stop her. With a newly-discovered device, Amerlaine intends to open the void to the worlds, unleashing terrors and massacring populations, all for the sake of destroying the Coalition.This line is too similar too the first line in this paragraph. Chose one. One is all you need. 

Lara is afraid. Afraid of the risk the mission provides to herself and her friends. A and afraid of what failure would mean for everyone. As an experienced traveler of the void, she knows firsthand what horrors will be freed: unkillable eldritch monsters and time warps locking you in perpetual loops. Despite her fear, Lara can’t allow the worlds to end that way.

Danger lurks in the void, in Amerlaine’s stronghold, in the secrets the Coalition keeps back. But Lara needs to face it all. Because if she doesn’t save the worlds, then no one will. This last para needs work. After the very strong open, this ended kind of meh. I think the call to action stakes are way easier to describe than the finale stakes. On the whole, this is a much better version in my opinion. Nice!

OUROBOROS is a 104,000-word science fantasy. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

lnloft

Can you take a look at my latest? Not my last, to be sure.  :humph:



#38 smoskale

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 02:07 PM

Draft #6

-----

Dear Agent,

The Coalition comes to Lara Kavarin with a problem: the worlds are about to end. Hmmm. This sentence strains credulity from the get-go. Who is this girl that a powerful organization comes to her for help? You do your best to explain in the paragraphs that follow, but as the first line, it may do you more harm than good. What if you started with the next sentence ---> Lara has always preferred to avoid the Coalition, despite their best attempts to recruit her in the past. They’re just too power-hungry and too authoritarian for her taste.

 

 That option has to wait, though.

 

Lara has a rare ability to pilot a ship through the Cipher, the void between the worlds, a realm of eldritch monsters and time warps. All Lara wants is to make a living scavenging lost artifacts across the wide expanse of worlds, with her close-knit crew and her ship, Ouroboros. But when cCoalition captain Amerlaine Silver has gone goes rogue, and slaughters any Coalition pilot who could pilot through Cipher,  the Coalition comes to Lara for help. It's Lara, or no one will stop Amerlaine.

Only a few people have the innate  And before fleeing, slaughtered . 

Amerlaine’s grudge with the Coalition wouldn’t be Lara’s problem, except for one thing: collateral damage is all part of the plan. Amerlaine concludes humanity is better off without the Coalition, even if it means wiping out most of the population to do it  Using a newly-discovered device, she intends to open the Cipher to the worlds, this construction begs for an explanation: what worlds--which populations? unleashing terrors and massacre populations.

Lara can’t allow her disagreements with the Coalition or her fear of a genocidal woman with the worlds’ most powerful ship to deter her. She needs to stop Amerlaine, ​wait: i forgot: why does she need to stop the genocidal woman? It's kind of unexpected, given Lara's blasé bystander's outlook. If she tries to stop Amerilaine, she can die, and she served the power she does not like. But if she does not, some anonymous worlds will be massacred--why does she care, and why should we? Does she have a personal stake in them? So far, her only alliance seems to be the ship and the crew--both will be fine. or die along with her friends and the worlds.

OUROBOROS is a 104,000-word fantasy with a heavy dose of sci-fi flavor and a hint of steam punk. Thank you for your time and consideration.
 

Sincerely,

lnloft

 

 

The query is much better than I remember it. The story is clearer, and the MC is better described, Where it still needs work is the beginning and the end. Most important, why does Lara make this choice at all--it seems to be a no-brainer from where I sit. Why does she care about some worlds when she can guide her ship far away from their problems? It's getting close. It's getting better!



#39 lnloft

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 04:36 PM

Smallish changes. That final paragraph has been a consistent bane throughout this process, so I tried something a little different and decided to see what happened if it mostly went away. Thoughts? Nice and ominous, or too melodramatic?

 

Draft #9

-----

Dear Agent,

Travel between worlds requires two things: a ship that can sail the nil-matter of the void, and a person with the innate ability to pilot it. As captain of the ship Ouroboros, Lara explores remote worlds with her close-knit crew, scavenging lost artifacts for a living. That is until the power-hungry Coalition comes to Lara for help to save those worlds.

One of their captains, Amerlaine Silver, has stolen a ship, slaughtered the pilots who could give chase, and plans to take down the Coalition by any means necessary—even if that means wiping out innocents in the process. As the only pilot still around, Lara must chase her down and stop her. With a newly-discovered device, Amerlaine intends to open the void to the worlds, unleashing terrors and massacring populations, all for the sake of destroying the Coalition.

In a mission like this, Lara is outmatched in experience and resources. She’s afraid of the risk the to herself and her friends, but terrified of what failure would mean for everyone. As an experienced traveler of the void, she knows firsthand what horrors will be freed: unkillable eldritch monsters and time warps locking you in perpetual loops. Despite her fear, Lara can’t allow the worlds to end that way.

And if she doesn’t save them, no one will.

OUROBOROS is a 104,000-word science fantasy. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

lnloft


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I've got 250 words I'd love your feedback on: Untitled fantasy project


#40 C. C. Carroll

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 06:44 PM

Smallish changes. That final paragraph has been a consistent bane throughout this process, so I tried something a little different and decided to see what happened if it mostly went away. Thoughts? Nice and ominous, or too melodramatic?

 

Draft #9

-----

Dear Agent,

Travel between worlds requires two things: a ship that can sail the nil-matter of the void, and a person with the innate ability to pilot it. As captain of the ship Ouroboros, Lara explores remote worlds with her close-knit crew, scavenging lost artifacts for a living. That is until the power-hungry Coalition comes to Lara for help to save those worlds.

One of their captains, Amerlaine Silver, has stolen a ship, slaughtered the pilots who could give chase, and plans to take down the Coalition by any means necessary—even if that means wiping out innocents in the process. As the only pilot still around, Lara must chase her down and stop her. With a newly-discovered device, Amerlaine intends to open the void to the worlds, unleashing terrors and massacring populations, all for the sake of destroying the Coalition.

In a mission like this, Lara is outmatched in experience and resources. She’s afraid of the risk the to herself and her friends, but terrified of what failure would mean for everyone. As an experienced traveler of the void, she knows firsthand what horrors will be freed: unkillable eldritch monsters and time warps locking you in perpetual loops. Despite her fear, Lara can’t allow the worlds to end that way.

And if she doesn’t save them, no one will.

OUROBOROS is a 104,000-word science fantasy. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

lnloft

Wow! That is cool!







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