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Into the Inferno (YA Urban Fantasy) - Will Critique Back!


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#21 lnloft

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 03:03 PM

I think the fact that the paragraphs before include the character rooting up objects like candles, chalk, and bells, which are often associated with magic, and then shortly after refers to chatting with a demon, all makes it pretty clear that magic is a big focus. You don't need his introduction to do that.


Nothing to reciprocate on right now; I'm off in the query trenches.


#22 smoskale

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 02:40 PM

  Thanks for looking at my opening. Please keep in mind all of this is very subjective. I'm making suggestions that I think might help, but you are the author, and you know exactly what would work or not work for you. Now, here goes. 

 

It’s a dark and stormy night. I would move this down. Agents keep saying to not start with weather description. Start with checking the watch. Then, a few lines down, say something about the storm, if it's important. We don’t get a lot of those in San Francisco, so I’ve got to make this one count. I check my watch.

2:12 a.m. I still have forty-eight minutes till the witching hour. Perfect.this is such a strong opening, I would go with this.

I grab Jimmy  I wold move this down the line, to avoid confusion. the duffel bag, and root through the tools, making sure everything I need is in there. Yeah, I named my duffel Jimmy. I get lonely sometimes.

Digging through the bag, I find three red candles, two feathers, four chunks of chalk, and a box of cinnamon rolls. Consider altering this sentence so it doesn't read like an accounting list; also, without the contest, these items have no meaning for us, and we are trying to memorize meaningless lists, which can be irritating. Consider instead saying something like, I rummage through the assorted contents of the backpack, digging fingernails into a candle, smudging them with chapel. There no silver bell. But no silver bell. I drop the duffel to search my bedroom shelves.

If I can’t find my bell soon,this sounds a bit "'splaney". Consider something like, without the bell, I might have to use myself again. I might have to use myself again. I’ve already donated a quart of blood this month just to keep the lights on, but I'm confused by this "but"--what does it oppose. I was already straining my imagination trying to understand the connection between the silver bell and the blood donation, and now you are telling me all of this has something to do with a demon. Consider explaining, and, while you are at it, make us FEEl the MC's emotion. "Blood pulses in my ears and my cheeks burn with panic. I'm in no shape to face a demon, especially after I donated a quart of blood. I can’t chat with a demon empty-handed. It’s like showing up to a company potluck without any food -- you just don’t do it this is a throwaway phrase. Here you have a chance for a nice juicy characterization, or an extended metaphor. Especially when the host can bring a thousand volts down on your head. Just another day at the office.

I should introduce myself. My name’s Paul Bernelli, and I’m a sorcerer.

Sorcerer is the fancy way of saying I cast spells. That I do magic. It means I brew up love potions, summon demons, and sneak into abandoned warehouses to shout biblical Aramaic at three in the morning. But to everyone else, Sorcerer just means that I’m crazy. I’ve gotten pretty used to the snickers and dirty looks.​THIS! START WITH THIS!!!!! To everyone else, sorcerer just means I'm crazy. I've gotten used to the snickers and dirty looks. BAM!

Where is that bell? I peek under my bed, then tear through a pile of old sci-fi magazines. Nothing.

I dig into the pockets of all two of my pairs of jeans, then fumble underneath my mattress for the silver bell. No luck.

 

OK, I'm excited for you. Because Iin this pile of words you have a thrilling opening, and a potential for a cool story. Try starting, not with trite weather reports and searches of belongings, but with this contradiction. The guy is a sorcerer, and he gets no respect for that. Then give a little more characterization before you go into listing contents of his bag (consider NOT doing that). THEN tell us about the demon. Like, WTF you are holding a pile of gold, and you are giving us candles, thread and chalk? No! Put out, man! 



#23 TheBest

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 06:35 PM

Hi you all! So I took your advice, cut the weather stuff, and opened with a big bold hook. What do you all think of this one? Too much? I'm gearing up to start querying, so I'd love your brutally honest opinions!

 

      There’s a storm demon in my shed. San Francisco is pouring rain, my eye bags have eye bags, I still don’t have a prom               date, and now there’s a freaking demon in my shed. That all changes tonight.

I check my watch. 2:12 a.m. I’ve got less than forty-eight minutes till the witching hour begins. Perfect.

I grab Jimmy the duffel bag, and root through the tools, making sure everything I need is in there. Yeah, I named my duffel. I get lonely sometimes.

Digging through the bag, I find three red candles, two feathers, four chunks of chalk, and a box of cinnamon rolls. But no silver bell. I drop the duffel to search my bedroom shelves.

If I can’t find my bell soon, I might have to use myself again. I’ve already donated a quart of blood this month just to keep the lights on, but I can’t chat with a demon empty-handed. It’s like showing up to a company potluck without any food -- you just don’t do it. Especially when the host can bring a thousand volts down on your head. Just another day at the office.

I should introduce myself. My name’s Paul Bernelli, and I’m a sorcerer.

Sorcerer is the fancy way of saying I cast spells. That I do magic. It means I brew up love potions, summon demons, and sneak into abandoned warehouses to shout biblical Aramaic at three in the morning. But to everyone else, Sorcerer just means that I’m crazy. I’ve gotten pretty used to the snickers and dirty looks.



#24 sarahja

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Posted 01 July 2018 - 04:13 PM

Hi you all! So I took your advice, cut the weather stuff, and opened with a big bold hook. What do you all think of this one? Too much? I'm gearing up to start querying, so I'd love your brutally honest opinions!

 

      There’s a storm demon in my shed. San Francisco is pouring rain, my eye bags have eye bags, I still don’t have a prom date, and there’s a freaking demon in my shed. That all changes tonight. I like the voice you're able to pack in here, and 'That all changes tonight" is really good, just makes us read on, but I think it might be more effective at that part where he introduces himself? Like... My name's Paul Bernelli and there's a storm demon in my shed. San Francisco is pouring rain, I still don't have a prom date, and there's a freaking demon in my shed. But that all changes tonight. Because I'm also a sorcerer" Idk, something like that. And just open here with the action/watch check?

I check my watch. 2:12 a.m. I’ve got less than forty-eight minutes till the witching hour begins. Perfect.

I grab Jimmy the duffel bag, and root through the tools, making sure everything I need is in there. Yeah, I named my duffel. I get lonely sometimes.

Digging through the bag, I find three red candles, two feathers, four chunks of chalk, and a box of cinnamon rolls. But no silver bell. I drop the duffel to search my bedroom shelves.Something about this read a little bit awkward, like he doesn't exactly panic when he doesn't find the bell, and the next part when he says "If I can't find my bell soon" feels quite relaxed, and I think you could make this more of an UH-OH thing while still keeping the conversational tone. Maybe swap "drop" for something more violent, swap "search" for something more frantic. And then maybe "I need the bell. Without it, I might have to use myself again."

If I can’t find my bell soon, I might have to use myself again. I’ve already donated a quart of blood this month just to keep the lights on, but I can’t chat with a demon empty-handed. It’s like showing up to a company potluck without any food -- you just don’t do it. Especially when the host can bring a thousand volts down on your head. Just another day at the office.

I should introduce myself. My name’s Paul Bernelli, and I’m a sorcerer.

Sorcerer is the fancy way of saying I cast spells. That I do magic. It means I brew up love potions, summon demons, and sneak into abandoned warehouses to shout biblical Aramaic at three in the morning. But to everyone else, Sorcerer just means that I’m crazy. I’ve gotten pretty used to the snickers and dirty looks. I like this and I think it does the same voice/hooky thing as that first sentence so I nearly think you could lose the first sentence (you know, the prom date/demon one) and keep this as its stronger.

You have a great handle on voice and I'd totally read on. Well done on creating such a comprelling opening!

Thanks for your notes on my query :)


If you have the time, please take a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...can-ya-fantasy/


#25 Kjcloutier19

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 03:16 AM

 

 

Hi you all! So I took your advice, cut the weather stuff, and opened with a big bold hook. What do you all think of this one? Too much? I'm gearing up to start querying, so I'd love your brutally honest opinions!

 

      There’s a storm demon in my shed. San Francisco is pouring rain, my eye bags have eye bags, I still don’t have a prom date, and now there’s a freaking demon in my shed. That all changes tonight. (I like this opening, but I agree that it might make it flow better with her introducing herself at the beginning as well. Also, what changes tonight? Just the demonm or everything?)

I check my watch. 2:12 a.m. I’ve got less than forty-eight minutes till the witching hour begins. Perfect.

I grab Jimmy the duffel bag, and root through the tools, making sure everything I need is in there. Yeah, I named my duffel. I get lonely sometimes.

Digging through the bag, I find three red candles, two feathers, four chunks of chalk, and a box of cinnamon rolls. But no silver bell. I drop the duffel to search my bedroom shelves.

If I can’t find my bell soon, I might have to use myself again. I’ve already donated a quart of blood this month just to keep the lights on, but I can’t chat with a demon empty-handed. It’s like showing up to a company potluck without any food -- you just don’t do it. Especially when the host can bring a thousand volts down on your head. Just another day at the office. (Unnecessary, we can tell she does this often without you telling us)

I should introduce myself. My name’s Paul Bernelli, and I’m a sorcerer. (I feel like this should be moved up to the first paragrah.)

Sorcerer is the fancy way of saying I cast spells. That I do magic. It means I brew up love potions, summon demons, and sneak into abandoned warehouses to shout biblical Aramaic at three in the morning. But to everyone else, Sorcerer just means that I’m crazy. I’ve gotten pretty used to the snickers and dirty looks.

I really like the start to your novel! I love Paul's voice and I want to know more! I only found a few things that could be improved, but otherwise it's great! Best of luck to you! If you have the time to check out my post I would really appreciate it! :) 

 

http://agentquerycon...ords-of-novel/ 






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