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Tales of Adventure: The Wayfarer [Adult (Psychological) Fantasy] - Critique for Critique


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#181 9emilylime9

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 02:14 AM

Revision 68:

Dear [Agent of Agency],

 

Aëros can’t recall when the shadow first appeared, or why. It walks alongside him, a doppelgänger wreathed in darkness, its words as murky as its purpose.

 

Aëros attempts to ignore the shadow, but when it directs him to Athair, the Necromancer responsible for the near extinction of the West, he has no choice but to abide it (Why does he have no choice? Maybe just "he gives in to it" would be better). Once driven by a love of adventure and the unknown, Aëros now follows a singular pursuit—to avenge those Athair slew. The shadow leads Aëros through forests of fable and vales of ash with nothing but his bow and a blade to serve him. Though many old comrades insist on aiding him in his quest, the only companion he will put at risk of such a dangerous venture is the one over which he has no sway—the shadow. (Just another tweak. Does this just mean that he won't let anybody come with him, but has no choice on whether the shadow comes? I would just make the language a bit clearer in the beginning of the sentence)

 

As Aëros draws near to Athair, the shadow’s words begin to evoke memories of an alternate past. One where Athair was victorious, and the world was laid beneath ash. Aëros begins to question his reality, his revenge falling aside as he realizes (finding?) Athair is the key to unlocking the truth. Led now by his curiosity, Aëros must steel himself for what he may find at his journey’s end—and what he will face should the shadow’s words prove true.

 

Tales of Adventure: The Wayfarer, complete at 76,000 words, is a psychological fantasy novel that explores the philosophical nature of psychosis and existential unease as symptoms of severe post traumatic stress.

 

Thank you for your time and attention.

 

Cordially,

 

[Me]

Just threw in a few tweaks to clear up the last few slightly murky sentences. But this sounds really awesome. Sold. Completely. Let me know when I can buy it and read it all.



#182 Wayfarer

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 04:09 PM

Posted rev. 69 with a few small tweaks based off the few aforementioned suggestions. Thank's guys! I'll head over to your queries tonight.



#183 PureZhar3

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 04:44 PM

Revision 69:

Dear [Agent of Agency],

 

Aëros can’t recall when the shadow first appeared, or why. It walks alongside him, a doppelgänger wreathed in darkness, its words as murky as its purpose. ​I like this! Only question -  is this last sentence technically correct English, with the three phrases linked by commas?

 

Aëros attempts to ignore the shadow. But when it directs him to Athair, the Necromancer responsible for the near extinction of the West ​this is nitpicky, but please take out "near". I know it isn't completely accurate, but once an agent starts reading your book, they'll learn it wasn't entirely decimated, and for now it just gets in the way, he has no choice but to abide it in hopes of finding the villain. Once driven by a love of adventure and the unknown, Aëros now follows a singular pursuit—to avenge those Athair slew. The shadow leads him through forests of fable and vales of ash with nothing but his bow and a blade to serve him. Though many old comrades insist on joining him in his quest, the only companion he will put at risk of such a dangerous venture is the one over which he has no sway—the shadow.

 

As Aëros draws near to Athair, the shadow’s words begin to evoke memories of an alternate past. ​This might flow better with a colon One where Athair was victorious, and the world was laid beneath ash. Aëros begins to question his reality, his revenge falling aside ​Is there another, single word that could describe "falling aside"? It distracts me minutely, like the "near"... his revenge tapering? fading? etc? as he realizes Athair is the key to unlocking the truth. Led now by his curiosity, Aëros must steel himself for what he may find at his journey’s end—and what he will face should the shadow’s words prove true. 

 

Tales of Adventure: The Wayfarer, complete at 76,000 words, is a fantasy novel featuring prominent psychological elements.

 

Thank you for your time and attention.

 

Cordially,

 

[Me]

​Excellent! Wow, Wayfarer, this has come so far - and after so much work. I am in awe, I truly am. I can only hope that mine works out this well.


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#184 rhwashere

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 11:53 PM

Wayfarer, I daresay you’ve whipped this into shape at long last! (hold for applause)

I only have 2 suggestions:

1. Change “to avenge those Athair slew” to something more personal, like “to avenge the friends who fell by Athair’s hand”.

2. Cut everything in the second paragraph from “Though many old comrades...” on. Those two sentences only detract from the flow of the query and don’t add anything.

Otherwise, bravo!

Please feel free to critique my query: http://agentquerycon...51718/?p=356935


#185 Wayfarer

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 11:37 AM

Put up another revision with some tweaks regarding your guys advice.

 

Rh, the only thing I'm uncertain of is removing the line about his companions. I have it in there to show Aeros' unwillingness to risk more of who he cares for, as a way to try and develop his character in the query a bit more. I see that the query works without it, but I'm not sure if it works better.

Anyone else have any thoughts on that?

 

Thanks as always guys.



#186 PureZhar3

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 06:26 PM

I see what Rh says concerning the two sentences, but I don't think he has pinpointed the problem precisely. The first sentence gives a sense of setting, and to me the second sentence rings of personality (this is, of course, highly subjective). However, I do think that for the information given, they may take up a tad too much space. I would suggest just cutting a snippet or two out of them - for example, just say "with nothing but his bow to serve him" or try "fabled forests and ashed vales". Or "insist on joining his quest" or "the only companion he will put at risk is the one he holds no sway...". Does that make sense? Just weed out superfluous words without changing the meanings, and I think they will serve a valuable purpose without interrupting the flow.

 

And for the record, "vales of ash" captured my imagination wayyyy more than ruins long forgotten :) but either way you have a solid story


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#187 Wayfarer

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 03:53 PM

Posted a new revision attempting to simplify some of the sentence structure.

 

Also I agree about the vales part haha.



#188 KET Writes

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 04:11 PM

I'm impressed with how succinct this is! I scrolled through your past versions, and I can see you've done a great job on your edits! I really only had one comment, below in red: 

 

Revision 71:

Aëros can’t recall when the shadow first appeared, or why. It walks alongside him, a doppelgänger wreathed in darkness, its words as murky as its purpose.

 

Aëros attempts to ignore the shadow. But when it directs him to Athair, the Necromancer responsible for the extinction of the West, he has no choice (Why doesn't he have a choice, noticed a couple others asked this too.  What is forcing him to find the villain? From the next few sentences, I guess it's a personal thing. Like he feels he has has no choice but to avenge his kith and kin? But in that sense, he does still technically have a choice,  he just feels like he doesn't?) but to abide it in hopes of finding the villain. Once driven by a love of adventure and the unknown, Aëros now follows a singular pursuit—to avenge those of his kith and kin slain by Athair. The shadow leads him through forests of fable and vales of ash with nothing but his bow to serve him. Though many old allies insist on joining his quest, the only companion he will put at risk is the one over which he has no sway—the shadow.

 

As Aëros draws near to Athair, the shadow’s words begin to evoke memories of an alternate past: one where Athair was victorious and the world was burnt to cinder. Aëros begins to question his reality, and realizes Athair is the key to unlocking the truth. Led now by his curiosity, Aëros must steel himself for what he may find at his journey’s end—and what he will face should the shadow’s words prove true.

 

I really like this premise. I love that you hint at an unreliable narrator/ unreliable reality! 

 

 

Schedule


If my feedback was helpful, I'd appreciate some thoughts on my YA Urban Fantasy Query !

 


#189 PureZhar3

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 07:44 PM

Much better concerning those two sentences; I think you have it. The only debatable issue, in my opinion, is the one that KET describes, and I think that, too, is a matter of word choice (I think people are reading it as if Aeros has no choice but to find Athair, as opposed to having to put up with the shadow). Or I'm the one reading it wrong... but either way, that can be clarified with phrasing, if you want. Otherwise, this is amazing. Persistence pays :)


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#190 Wayfarer

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 10:32 PM

And to think I call people out on implied-weak-meaning-statements all the time haha. I changed the point in question to "reluctantly", should work now. Thank's guys.



#191 PureZhar3

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 10:12 AM

That should do it - great job, Wayfarer!


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#192 Wayfarer

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 11:39 AM

So, I posted the query around other sites, and the overall opinion was that it's too synoptic -- which I agree with. I shortened it back to the bare bones of the plot. Thoughts?



#193 rhwashere

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 12:10 PM

I like it better.

Please feel free to critique my query: http://agentquerycon...51718/?p=356935


#194 Phaust

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 10:04 PM

Revision 73:

Aëros can’t recall when the shadow first appeared, or why. It walks alongside him, a doppelganger only he can see, it accompanies him through the streets of Rivendale (or whatever), revealing to him visions it claims are memories of the past. I like. Feel like I need a quick framing of the world so I know it is not THIS world. Though my feeling might be one of over reading too many queries. Of course, that is EXACTLY what agents do too. So...  

 

The visions show Aëros a world laid to ruin by the Necromancer, Athair. The forests have withered, the seas have dried, and all of Aëros’ kith and kin lay dead. But the world through which Aëros walks has met no such end. Athair was thwarted, his designs of war cut short. Urged by the shadow, Aëros now hunts Athair, seeking to prevent him from ever again gaining a foothold in the world.

 

Yet as Aëros draws near to Athair, the shadow’s visions begin to feel like memory, causing Aëros to question his reality. Realizing that Athair is the key to unlocking the truth, Aëros must steel himself for what he may find at his journey’s end—and what he will face should the visions prove true.

 

 

Hey, I think this is pretty good. The stakes... or the set up to the stakes might be made more pinchy and explicit. Like... I'm not TOO worried about Aeros b/c I don't really know what he might find at journey's end. I know you're dealing with some mind bending stuff and that is hard to capture in a query. The last sentence. That's teh one that needs attention. Good job!



#195 Wayfarer

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 10:39 PM

Very good points Phaust, I tried to amend the issue with the new rev.



#196 Phaust

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 09:24 AM

Revision 74:

Aëros can’t recall when the shadow first appeared, or why. A doppelganger only he can see, it accompanies him through the world of Eave, revealing to him horrific visions it claims are memories of the past.

 

The visions show Aëros a world laid to ruin by the disgraced (or something - my vocab is bungling) Necromancer, Athair. The forests have withered, the seas have dried, and all of Aëros’ kith and kin lay dead. But the world through which Aëros walks Eave has met no such end. Athair was thwarted, his designs of war cut short. Aëros now hunts Athair, seeking to prevent him from ever regaining power, the shadow trailing him every step of the way.

 

As Aëros draws near to Athair, the shadow’s visions shift. They begin to feel like memory, causing him Aeros to question what he has always known as true. As the visions persist, Aëros’ grasp on reality begins to unravel. He realizes he must reach Athair to uncover the truth—and that if he doesn’t his sanity will devolve until he is nothing more than a wandering husk. Try again on this one. "uncover the truth or...." Is the idea ultimately that Athair did prevail and then matrixed up the world? 



#197 Wayfarer

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 11:05 AM

Made an overhaul of the final paragraph to weave in some stakes to give the end more of a satisfactory-typical-query-ending.



#198 ALNoelle

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 02:26 PM

I've read through your thread, and am completely blown away by the transformation your query has made. I've put an opinion below, but really it's subjective and nit-picky. Great work!

Revision 75:

Aëros can’t recall when the shadow first appeared, or why. A doppelganger only he can see, it accompanies him through the world of Eave, revealing to him grim visions it claims are memories of the past.

 

The visions show Aëros a world laid to ruin by the depraved Necromancer, Athair. The forests have withered, the seas have dried, and all of Aëros’ kith and kin lay dead. But Eave has met no such end​LOVE this Athair was thwarted, his designs of war cut short. Aëros now hunts Athair, seeking to prevent him from ever regaining power, the shadow trailing him every step of the way.

 

As Aëros draws near to Athair, the shadow’s visions darken. They begin to feel like ​I've had editors tell me to shy away from phrases such as "begin to feel". Would the word "become" work here? Overall, this is subjective and my suggestion might not convey the message you're wanting to send the reader. memory, causing Aëros to question his world. The shadow assures him that in finding Athair he will also find the truth. Yet so too does it warn that Aëros must hurry, for his grasp on reality is unraveling. If he does not learn the truth, his mind will fracture, leaving him as little more than a wandering husk, hollow and devoid of its sanity.

 

Yet such a fate may not be so terrible—not when what the shadow has shown Aëros may yet prove true.

 

Awesome job!



#199 Phaust

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 05:10 PM

So the final stakes... this is a time bomb situation, no? 

 

"...visions darken. They become less like prophecy and more like memory for Aeros, causing him to question his sanity. With time and sanity running out, to save Eave, Aeros must find the truth before he goes insane." <--- simple, clear stakes. Mic drop. or... before he becomes a memory himself... or whatevs... 

 

While, "Yet such a fate may not be so terrible—not when what the shadow has shown Aëros may yet prove true." might be true to the story, it's not query critical and dilutes the stakes. 

 

 

You are super close! 



#200 Wayfarer

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 10:04 PM

76 is up.

 

I aimed to trim the ending paragraph down to try and help its impact, thoughts, Phaust?

 

As for using words like "begins", I do agree. I feel like the reason why it's a poor method of structuring a point is because it almost feels like it's being used to serialize things. "First this happens, then this, then this begins to happen". It's an easy thing to fall into doing, especially with a query, but I made an effort to rewrite the ending paragraph sans it.






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