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Ouroboros (Fantasy/Sci-fi) -- CLOSED

Fantasy Science Fiction

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#121 Lucian

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 11:48 PM

Hi LNLOFT,

 

First of all, thank you for your feedback. Second, I've seen your efforts on behalf of other people who can't sign up. It's very kind of you to help them out. Thank you.

As you know, I'm just starting with querying, but I'll offer whatever feedback I can. I really hope it will help you.

 

 

 

 

Dear Agent,

It shouldn’t be Lara Kavarin’s responsibility to save the worlds, just because she’s one of the rare people with the ability to pilot an airship through the void between them. I think this first sentence can be tighter, something like: Just because Lara Kavarin is one of the few able to steer an airship through the void, it shouldn't be her responsibility to save the worlds. I think you can make it tighter than this. This is just an example. :))) I'm probably not following my own advice, but you know how it is.

It’s not that Lara’s afraid to stick her neck out. It’s part of her job to cross the void, a kaleidoscopic it's probably just me, but the word 'kaleidoscopic' doesn't work here. It forces me to think of something very particular instead of letting my imagination run wild, thinking of a realm where time and space mean nothing realm where time is inconsistent and physical distance doesn’t exist, and she’d die before letting her friends come to harm in there. But usually that job means a quiet living with her close-knit crew, scavenging back-worlds for lost artifacts.

And Lara sure as hell doesn’t want to get involved with the Coalition, the worlds’ authoritarian governing body. But politics be damned right now, because it’s help them or watch millions die.

One of the Coalition’s captains, Amerlaine Silver Awesome name, has gone rogue. In a vendetta against the Coalition, she stole a ship and slaughtered the other void pilots—all of them. If Lara doesn’t stop her, Amerlaine is going to use a device  to open the void to the worlds, loosing immortal, eldritch monsters and time-warps that lock innocent victims in perpetual loops. Why is Amerlaine doing this? I mean, if she succeeds everyone is kind of doomed, right? Including her. And if she has a deathwish, then does that mean her crew has a deathwish as well? I think a bit more details regarding her motivation will help. As it is, I'm just thinking 'Why would she do this to herself? Why would the crew do this? What do they gain?' I'm sure there's a reason, but it's not apparent from the query.

Lara’s got three days to chase down Amerlaine, steal the device  I don't think mentioning the device is necessary, unless there's more to it. At the moment it just seems like a plot device, and save the worlds. And the void is waiting. Hell yeah.


OUROBOROS is a 100,000-word science fantasy that will appeal to fans of Jim Butcher’s The Aeronaut’s Windlass. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

lnloft

 

 

 

I like the idea of the story. It's definitely a book I'd be interested in. Aside from the issue I have with Amerlaine's motivation, the other comments are really just cosmetic. I think you've got a winner once you solve that.

 

Keep up the awesome work!

 

Regards,

Lucian


Please check out my query if you have the time. I greatly appreciate honest feedback.

http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=360969


#122 sheri

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 03:25 PM

It looks perfect to me. I think draft #24 is your lucky number.

Sheri Strobaugh


#123 lnloft

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 05:29 PM

Thanks, guys. I know at a certain point I'm fiddling with semantics, so I will just have to call it, but the issue about Amerlaine's motivation has been one that's haunted me throughout. The thing is, it's complicated, I don't have space to explain it in the query, and Lara and company don't find out why she's doing it until about halfway through the book. So let's see how this tweak goes. Hopefully probably maybe the last draft.

 

Draft #25

---

Dear Agent,

It shouldn’t be Lara Kavarin’s responsibility to save the worlds, just because she’s one of the rare people with the ability to pilot an airship through the void between them.

It’s not that Lara’s afraid to stick her neck out. It’s part of her job to cross the void, a kaleidoscopic realm where time is inconsistent and physical distance doesn’t exist, and she’d die before letting her friends come to harm in there. But usually that job means a quiet living with her close-knit crew, scavenging back-worlds for lost artifacts.

And Lara sure as hell doesn’t want to get involved with the Coalition, the worlds’ authoritarian governing body. But politics be damned right now, because it’s help them or watch millions die.

One of the Coalition’s captains, Amerlaine Silver, has gone rogue. For reasons unknown, she stole a ship and slaughtered the other void pilots—all of them. If Lara doesn’t stop her, Amerlaine is going to open the void to the worlds, loosing immortal, eldritch monsters and time-warps that lock innocent victims in perpetual loops.

Lara’s got three days to chase down Amerlaine, infiltrate her ship, and save the worlds. And the void is waiting.

OUROBOROS is a 100,000-word science fantasy that will appeal to fans of Jim Butcher’s The Aeronaut’s Windlass. 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


#124 Lucian

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 10:52 PM

Hi,

 

I think the current form of the query is usable. You could send it out as it is.

 

I know fitting in Amerlaine's reasons are likely very hard, but perhaps there's a way to do it, even if it's just a few words, even if it's very subtle.

I found it useful during my own process to go back to when I either created the character in question or when I came up with this specific plot point.

Did Amerlaine come into your mind first or did the plot point of having a rogue captain unleash the void come first? Either way, that's when you generated the motivation behind her actions. If you can include the seed that started it all, then I think your query can benefit a lot.

 

P.S. To be honest, as a reader, I'm kind of attracted more to Amerlaine's character than Lara's. It might be the fact that her motivation is mysterious, but come on. It's super interesting to learn what drove her to such drastic measures.

 

Regards,

Lucian


Please check out my query if you have the time. I greatly appreciate honest feedback.

http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=360969


#125 alibi174

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 11:27 AM

Thanks, guys. I know at a certain point I'm fiddling with semantics, so I will just have to call it, but the issue about Amerlaine's motivation has been one that's haunted me throughout. The thing is, it's complicated, I don't have space to explain it in the query, and Lara and company don't find out why she's doing it until about halfway through the book. So let's see how this tweak goes. Hopefully probably maybe the last draft.

 

Draft #25

---

Dear Agent,

It shouldn’t be Lara Kavarin’s responsibility to save the worlds, just because she’s one of the rare people with the ability to pilot an airship through the void between them.[this is so much cleaner than the version I read a while back. Love it!]

It’s not that Lara’s afraid to stick her neck out. It’s part of her job to cross the void, a kaleidoscopic realm[I'm having trouble picturing this. Void and kaleidoscopic seem contradictory to me] where time is inconsistent and physical distance doesn’t exist[to my mind, this is a great explanation of the void, so I would suggest just deleting "kaleidoscopic realm"], and she’d die before letting her friends come to harm in there. But usually that job means a quiet living with her close-knit crew, scavenging back-worlds for lost artifacts.

And Lara sure as hell doesn’t want to get involved with the Coalition, the worlds’ authoritarian governing body. But politics be damned right now, because it’s help them or watch millions die.[good, clear stakes]

One of the Coalition’s captains, Amerlaine Silver, has gone rogue. For reasons unknown, she stole a ship and slaughtered the other void pilots—all of them. If Lara doesn’t stop her, Amerlaine is going to open the void to the worlds, loosing immortal, eldritch monsters and time-warps that lock innocent victims in perpetual loops.[I see Lucien's point on this paragraph, but it's working for me. I do agree that I'm more curious about Amerlaine than Lara, but I think you've made a strong connection between their stories. I'm okay with not understanding Amerlaine's motivations at this time (it makes me want to read the book!)]

Lara’s got three days to chase down Amerlaine, infiltrate her ship, and save the worlds. And the void is waiting.[nailed it.]

OUROBOROS is a 100,000-word science fantasy that will appeal to fans of Jim Butcher’s The Aeronaut’s Windlass. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

lnloft

 

This query is really, really solid. Awesome work!


If you have a few moments, I'd appreciate your feedback on my query.


#126 AsperBlurry

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 12:26 PM

Hi LNLOFT, 
 
First of all, thank you for your feedback on my query! And sorry for my late reply, but I'm finally returning the favor :)
Actually, I was sure I left my feedback on your query before (like last year or so?) because I do remember your story, lol.
 
Hm, anyway, here it is: 
 

Thanks, guys. I know at a certain point I'm fiddling with semantics, so I will just have to call it, but the issue about Amerlaine's motivation has been one that's haunted me throughout. The thing is, it's complicated, I don't have space to explain it in the query, and Lara and company don't find out why she's doing it until about halfway through the book. So let's see how this tweak goes. Hopefully probably maybe the last draft.

 

Draft #25

---

Dear Agent,

It shouldn’t be Lara Kavarin’s responsibility to save the worlds, just because she’s one of the rare people with the ability to pilot an airship through the void between them. I really like it but I feel sth's missing in your hook, you know? I'd add a punchy line, like the one you have in the 2nd paragraph "but she’d die before letting her friends come to harm". Or something along the lines. That way we'll know right away 1)who she is 2) what's she gotta do 3) what's the obstacle. 

It’s not that Lara’s afraid to stick her neck out. It’s part of her job to cross the void, a kaleidoscopic realm where time is inconsistent and physical distance doesn’t exist, and she’d die before letting her friends come to harm in there. But usually that job means a quiet living with her close-knit crew, scavenging back-worlds for lost artifacts. Cool!

And Lara sure as hell doesn’t want to get involved with the Coalition, the worlds’ authoritarian governing body. But politics be damned right now, because it’s help them or watch millions die.

One of the Coalition’s captains, Amerlaine Silver, has gone rogue. For reasons unknownI actually prefer the one from your draft #24 -In a vendetta against the Coalition,  she stole a ship and slaughtered the other void pilots—all of them. If Lara doesn’t stop her, Amerlaine is going to open the void to the worlds, loosing immortal, eldritch monsters and time-warps that lock innocent victims in perpetual loops.

Lara’s got three days to chase down Amerlaine, infiltrate her ship, and save the worlds. And the void is waiting. love it!

 

Other than the hook, I don't have anything else to add as I feel your query is ready to go! I'd request pages if I received it :D 

 

I can see you've been working very hard on it & I think you can try and start querying agents. 

 

Good luck! I've just uploaded the new (hopefully better) version of my query so if you got some free time, I'd love you to check it out :)

OUROBOROS is a 100,000-word science fantasy that will appeal to fans of Jim Butcher’s The Aeronaut’s Windlass. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

lnloft


Please consider a re-critique http://agentquerycon...-back/?p=360734


#127 lnloft

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 02:07 PM

Thank you, everyone. I was basically waiting for one or two more opinions, and now that I've confirmed we're down to the picky semantics, I'm going to go ahead and close this thread. I've still got a few more revisions for the MS, but once that's done, I'll jump back into the trenches. This query has gone through so many iterations (yes, I'm sure you did critique it last year, AsperBlurry :tongue: ), but I think this is the best I feel about it. Fingers crossed!


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


#128 lnloft

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 06:21 PM

Okay, quick question. I should be within a week or so of restarting querying after over a year off spent on revisions, and I'm happy with the query I have. I just had a thought on my housekeeping, and I wanted to throw out there for opinions. So really you only need to look at the bolded sentence (the rest is just there for context), and mostly I'm just looking for votes of yea or nay if it's a good change or not.

 

---

Dear Agent,

It shouldn’t be Lara Kavarin’s responsibility to save the worlds, just because she’s one of the rare people with the ability to pilot an airship through the void between them.

It’s not that Lara’s afraid to stick her neck out. It’s part of her job to cross the void, a kaleidoscopic realm where time is inconsistent and physical distance doesn’t exist, and she’d die before letting her friends come to harm in there. But usually that job means a quiet living with her close-knit crew, scavenging back-worlds for lost artifacts.

And Lara sure as hell doesn’t want to get involved with the Coalition, the worlds’ authoritarian governing body. But politics be damned right now, because it’s help them or watch millions die.

One of the Coalition’s captains, Amerlaine Silver, has gone rogue. For reasons unknown, she stole a ship and slaughtered the other void pilots—all of them. If Lara doesn’t stop her, Amerlaine is going to open the void to the worlds, loosing immortal, eldritch monsters and time-warps that lock innocent victims in perpetual loops.

Lara’s got three days to chase down Amerlaine, infiltrate her ship, and save the worlds. And the void is waiting.

Steam punk meets space opera in OUROBOROS, a 97,000-word science fantasy that will appeal to fans of Jim Butcher’s The Aeronaut’s Windlass. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

lnloft

 

--

Personally, I think it sounds cool, but technically my book isn't either steam punk or space opera, BUT those are the two vibes that betas consistently describe it with. So it's not exactly inaccurate. Anyway, if people can let me know if that makes it sound more appealing, confusing, or doesn't change anything, that would be super helpful. Thanks.


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


#129 Koechophe

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 09:22 PM

I know you said you're happy with the query, but I work as a copy editor, and I saw a few grammar errors in here that I thought I'd nab for you as well

Okay, quick question. I should be within a week or so of restarting querying after over a year off spent on revisions, and I'm happy with the query I have. I just had a thought on my housekeeping, and I wanted to throw out there for opinions. So really you only need to look at the bolded sentence (the rest is just there for context), and mostly I'm just looking for votes of yea or nay if it's a good change or not.

 

---

Dear Agent,

It shouldn’t be Lara Kavarin’s responsibility to save the worlds (no comma here) just because she’s one of the rare people with the ability to pilot an airship through the void between them.

It’s not that Lara’s afraid to stick her neck out. It’s part of her job to cross the void (em dash here (--)) a kaleidoscopic realm where time is inconsistent and physical distance doesn’t exist (em dash here (--)) and she’d die before letting her friends come to harm in there. But usually that job means a quiet living with her close-knit crew, scavenging back-worlds for lost artifacts.

And Lara sure as hell doesn’t want to get involved with the Coalition (colon here) the worlds’ authoritarian governing body. But politics be damned right now, because it’s help them or watch millions die. (this is an incorrectly referenced "them". In other words, them applies to the subject most recently mentioned, which is "politics". This makes for a confusing sentence. Cleanest way to fix this is by reversing the order: "...because it's watch millions die or help them."

One of the Coalition’s captains, Amerlaine Silver, has gone rogue. For reasons unknown, she stole a ship and slaughtered the other void pilots—all of them. If Lara doesn’t stop her, Amerlaine is going to open the void to the worlds, loosing immortal (no comma here (according to chicago manual of style, this comma isn't necessary, and should be removed if there are a lot of other commas in the sentence) eldritch monsters and time-warps that lock innocent victims in perpetual loops.

Lara’s got three days to chase down Amerlaine, infiltrate her ship, and save the worlds. And the void is waiting.

Steam punk meets space opera in OUROBOROS, a 97,000-word science fantasy that will appeal to fans of Jim Butcher’s The Aeronaut’s Windlass. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

lnloft

 

--

Personally, I think it sounds cool, but technically my book isn't either steam punk or space opera, BUT those are the two vibes that betas consistently describe it with. So it's not exactly inaccurate. Anyway, if people can let me know if that makes it sound more appealing, confusing, or doesn't change anything, that would be super helpful. Thanks.

 

Now, on to your actual question. Let me preface this by saying that I only lightly read steam punk and sci-fi. But I really don't like the phrase. There's nothing in your query that makes me think steampunk whatsoever. Also, steampunk meets sci-fi would be space-age clockwork, which I don't think is actually how your story is. While I understand the fact that it has many of those vibes, I think that it's more confusing then anything else, since I as a reader choke on it because those two don't seem to mesh well in my head. I don't think an agent would like it much either, as they would take it literally rather than figuratively. Just my two cents, I think it degrades the query rather than improving it, because I read it and get very confused.

 

Hope this is useful! Feel free to check out mine if you have the time, I'd love your opinion on if the reboot was good or not, since you didn't touch it throughout the last round of critique. 

 

-I critique because I care. 



#130 lnloft

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 06:56 PM

Thanks, Koechophe. I'd love a second opinion just to either confirm and set my mind at ease that this is not worth doing, or to make me pull my hair out in frustration because I won't know whether to do it or not.


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


#131 lnloft

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 09:23 PM

Okay, well, thanks again, Koechophe. Since I'm ready to query and since no one else has responded, I'll just stick with not including the new line. Thread closed.


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






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