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#1 PureZhar3

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 06:18 PM

When I started writing this, it seemed as if it should be easy. But of course then I actually tried to do it, and I'm afraid I failed miserably. All feedback appreciated.

 

NEW VERSION IN POST #13

 

Animals are no longer strictly animals. In the same sense, people are no longer strictly people. Over a period of time where civilization was devastated by global warming, humans developed magical powers and the ability to turn into animals. Every child born has a single animal form and learns their one power. Now, a century later, as civilization begins to rebuild itself, a new threat has emerged: a mysterious leader JACOB who has taken over the world.

 

The world knows little about the tyrant who rules them, except for his name, animal form, base of operations, and above all, that he is evil. From destroying the continent of Australia to killing an entire generation of adults, Jacob has proved himself cruel. Many rebellions have risen to stop him, but the largest and nearest to his lair is the Northern Rebellion. Founded by the fifteen-year-old STAR and golden-tongued JASE, the Northern Rebellion has always searched for a way to assassinate their king. Lack of information once eliminated that option, but new spy intel finally offers a chance to succeed. 

 

Kidnapped during the assassination attempt, Star finds herself imprisoned in a jail that simulates the wilderness. There, she is confronted by an impassive seventeen-year-old who shows no remorse at his evil actions in the world. By engaging Jacob in conversations, Star hunts for flaws in his shell to report to the rebellion. Yet hours alone with his cold charisma rouse a terrifying desire to learn more about Jacob … and not so she can defeat him.  

But one day, the king releases her without explanation. Star, after a brief encounter with slave trading and the aristocratic class, returns to the rebellion and Jase, who refused to attack Jacob with her prisoner. With Star back, however, they prepare to assault Jacob again with the old spy information and new intel from Star. Again, they fail, but Star's excitement from seeing Jacob again – even as enemies - is not overlooked by Jase. Determined to keep her as far from the tyrant as possible, he forces her to stay behind during the next attack, when the rebellion sieges Jacob's mansion. Yet the plan backfires, because while the rebellion surrounds Jacob's mansion, Jacob visits Star at the rebellion. He offers what she has always desired to know – the truth behind his actions. Returning with him to his mansion, Star learns that not only humans want Jacob dead; the gods are after him as well. And Jase? Jase is his brother. 

 

When Jacob was nine, the gods of Earth offered him a jar which, when opened, would destroy the evil in the soul of the person who opened it. This meant that if a person could commit ultimate evil, capturing every form of evil in their soul, then all evil would be eliminated from the planet. The gods, jealous of Jacob's otherworldly knowledge and power, had given Jacob the near-impossible task in the hopes that he would fail and thereby condemn his soul to hell. But Jacob, whose weakness lay in his fear of being evil, did not see failure as an option. To achieve ultimate evil, and thus renew the world, Jacob would need to break the souls of every human on Earth. 

 

Or so Jacob says, anyway. 

 

He requests Star stay in his mansion and learn who he truly is, in the hopes that she will switch loyalties. She agrees. Her decision to follow him is tested many times, such as when Jacob invites another rebellion leader to the mansion and when Star accompanies him as he completes his daily tasks. Despite the times when she wonders if the jar is an excuse, however, Star continues to follow him until the day that he announces the jar is almost ready to be opened. The remnants of humanity gather, per his request, in front of his mansion, and Jacob intentionally triggers a final war. Under the cover of chaos, he and Star seek out Jase. Jase, who has always lived under his brother's shadow and disagreed on the right course of action, is finally dissuaded from fighting 

 

Yet as his brother walks away, Jase is unable to stand losing. He attacks; the brothers battle in their animal forms – tiger and lion. Jase manages to fatally wound Jacob. Star, whose power is healing people, chooses to heal Jacob, breaking Jase's spirit because – yet again – he is second to his brother. When they return to where the rest of humanity is battling, Jacob calms the crowd, and triumphantly forces everyone to kneel before him. Star and Jacob then reenter the mansion and make their way to the jar, where Jacob opens the jar, confiding that it will result in his death. Though Star attempts to heal him, Jacob dies, the world is reborn, and she and Jase are left the new leaders in a resurrected world.


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


#2 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 08:31 PM

When I started writing this, it seemed as if it should be easy. But of course then I actually tried to do it, and I'm afraid I failed miserably. All feedback appreciated.


Animals are no longer strictly animals. In the same sense, people are no longer strictly people. Over a period of time where civilization was devastated by global warming, humans developed magical powers and the ability to turn into animals. Every child born has a single animal form and learns their one power. Now, a century later, as civilization begins to rebuild itself, a new threat has emerged: a mysterious leader JACOB who has taken over the world. (How did he come to take over the world? And you probably want to put in his age here as well.)



The world knows little about the tyrant who rules them, except for his name, animal form, base of operations, and above all, that he is evil. From destroying the continent of Australia (poor Australia) to killing an entire generation of adults, Jacob has proved himself cruel. Many rebellions have risen to stop him, but the largest and nearest to his lair is the Northern Rebellion. Founded by the fifteen-year-old STAR and golden-tongued JASE, (also mention his age in here somewhere too since this is YA) the Northern Rebellion has always searched for a way to assassinate their king. Lack of information once eliminated that option, but new spy intel finally offers a chance to succeed.



Kidnapped during the assassination attempt, Star finds herself imprisoned in a jail that simulates the wilderness. (This is cool!) There, she is confronted by an impassive seventeen-year-old (introduce him as Jacob for the sake of clarity) who shows no remorse at his evil actions in the world. By engaging Jacob in conversations, Star hunts for flaws in his shell to report to the rebellion. Yet hours alone with his cold charisma rouse a terrifying desire to learn more about Jacob … and not so she can defeat him. (So, does she know that he's the king? or does she think he's a regular dude?)


But one day, the king releases her without explanation. Star, after a brief encounter with slave trading and the aristocratic class (this line doesn't seem like necessary info), returns to the rebellion and Jase, who refused to attack Jacob with her prisoner. (Are they in a relationship?) With Star back, however, they prepare to assault Jacob again with the old spy information and new intel from Star. Again, they fail, but Star's excitement from seeing Jacob again – even as enemies - is not overlooked by Jase. Determined to keep her as far from the tyrant as possible, he forces her to stay behind during the next attack, when the rebellion sieges Jacob's mansion. Yet the plan backfires, because while the rebellion surrounds Jacob's mansion, Jacob visits Star at the rebellion. He offers what she has always desired to know – the truth behind his actions. Returning with him to his mansion, Star learns that not only humans want Jacob dead; the gods are after him as well. And Jase? Jase is his brother. (OOOOOHHHHHHHHHH the plot thickens)



When Jacob was nine, the gods of Earth (do the people in your story openly communicate with the gods? either way, it should be clarified) offered him a jar which, when opened, would destroy the evil in the soul of the person who opened it. (again, very cool) This meant that if a person could commit ultimate evil, capturing every form of evil in their soul, then all evil would be eliminated from the planet. The gods, jealous of Jacob's otherworldly knowledge and power, ​(so, jealous that he knows of them? or some other otherworldly knowledge? how did he come to acquire this?)had given Jacob the near-impossible task in the hopes that he would fail and thereby condemn his soul to hell. But Jacob, whose weakness lay in his fear of being evil, did not see failure as an option. To achieve ultimate evil, and thus renew the world, Jacob would need to break the souls of every human on Earth.(How does he go about breaking these souls? This paragraph needs some more explanation but I think the concept is awesome)



Or so Jacob says, anyway.



He requests Star stay in his mansion and learn who he truly is, in the hopes that she will switch loyalties. She agrees. Her decision to follow him is tested many times, such as when Jacob invites another rebellion leader to the mansion and when Star accompanies him as he completes his daily tasks (This could probably be condensed just to keep the synopsis short and to the point). Despite the times when she wonders if the jar is an excuse, however, Star continues to follow him until the day that he announces the jar is almost ready to be opened. The remnants of humanity gather, per his request, in front of his mansion, and Jacob intentionally triggers a final war. Under the cover of chaos, he and Star seek out Jase. Jase, who has always lived under his brother's shadow and disagreed on the right course of action, is finally dissuaded from fighting.



Yet as his brother walks away, Jase is unable to stand losing. He attacks; the brothers battle in their animal forms – tiger and lion (yes! I was hoping you would come back to the animal forms from earlier). Jase manages to fatally wound Jacob. Star, whose power is healing people, chooses to heal Jacob, breaking Jase's spirit because – yet again – he is second to his brother. When they return to where the rest of humanity is battling, Jacob calms the crowd, and triumphantly forces everyone to kneel before him. Star and Jacob then reenter the mansion and make their way to the jar, where Jacob opens the jar, confiding that it will result in his death. Though Star attempts to heal him, Jacob dies, the world is reborn, and she and Jase are left the new leaders in a resurrected world. (This last paragraph seems rushed. I understand what happens, but it could use a bit more oomph and pizazz.)

This is a great first attempt. It needs polishing throughout, but got the overall story. I think Jace needs to be mentioned a bit more throughout it, so we have a better sense of the dynamic between him and his brother.
Also, when you mention people have magical powers at the beginning, it would be better to keep sprinkling that knowledge throughout. At the end, when it just said Star's power was to heal people, at first I kinda went "huh?" and then remembered.

#3 PureZhar3

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 10:27 AM

Thanks! I edited per your suggestions:

 

Animals are no longer strictly animals. In the same sense, people are no longer strictly people. Over a period of time where civilization was devastated by global warming, humans developed magical powers and the ability to turn into animals. Every child born has a single animal form and learns their one power as they grow older. Now, a century later, as civilization begins to rebuild itself, a new threat has emerged: a mysterious leader JACOB who has taken over the world. 

 

The world knows little about the tyrant who rules them, except for his name, animal form, base of operations, and above all, that he is evil. From destroying the continent of Australia to fostering the slave trade, Jacob has proved himself cruel. Many rebellions have risen to stop him, but the largest and nearest to his lair is the Northern Rebellion. Founded by the fifteen-year-old STAR and seventeen-year-old JASE, the Northern Rebellion has always searched for a way to assassinate their king. Lack of information once eliminated that option, but new spy intel finally offers a chance to succeed. 

 

Captured during the assassination attempt, Star finds herself imprisoned in a jail that simulates the wilderness. There, she is confronted by impassive seventeen-year-old Jacob, who shows no remorse at his actions in the world. By engaging Jacob in conversations, Star hunts for flaws in his shell to report to the rebellion. She discovers his power – keeping people in animal form. Yet hours alone with Jacob's cold charisma rouse a terrifying desire to learn more about him … and not so she can defeat him.  

 

Meanwhile, the rebellion waits idly, for Jase refuses to allow an attack while Star is held prisoner. In love with her, and further plagued by his lack of a power, Jase slowly edges towards madness. Despite holding the rebellion on stand-by, Jase attempts and fails to rescue Star. He also plans multiple attacks. As time passes, he becomes more and more desperate to free Star from the coercive king's cage. 

 

But it proves unnecessary. One day, Jacob releases Star without explanation. Star returns to the rebellion and Jase. With Star back, they prepare to assault Jacob again with Jase's new plans. Again, they fail, but Star's excitement from seeing Jacob again – even as enemies - is not overlooked by Jase. Determined to keep her as far from the tyrant as possible, he forces her to stay behind during the next attack, when the rebellion sieges Jacob's mansion. Yet the plan backfires, because while the rebellion surrounds Jacob's mansion, Jacob visits Star at the rebellion. He offers what she has always desired to know – the truth behind his actions. Returning with him to his mansion, Star learns that not only humans want Jacob dead; the gods are after him as well. And Jase? Jase is his brother. 

 

When Jacob was nine, the gods of Earth offered him a jar. When opened, it would destroy the evil in the soul of the person who opened it. This meant that if a person could capturing every form of evil in their soul, then all evil would be eliminated from the planet. The gods' intent was not pure; limited to knowledge of Earth by immortals above them, they were jealous at Jacob's otherworldly knowledge. When Jacob refused to disclose his knowledge or how he had attained it, the gods had given him the near-impossible task in the hopes that he would fail. This would condemn his soul to hell. But Jacob, whose weakness lay in his fear of being evil, did not see failure as an option. To achieve ultimate evil, and thus renew the world, Jacob would need to break the souls of every human on Earth through one of four ways: subjugating, brainwashing, crushing, or killing. 

 

Or so Jacob says, anyway. 

 

He reveals to her his three-part soul, the source of his power and knowledge. Then, he requests Star stay in his mansion and learn who he truly is, in the hopes that she will switch loyalties. She agrees. Her decision to follow him is tested many times, from watching him murder to meeting the gods.  Despite the times when she wonders if the jar is an excuse, however, Star continues to follow him until the day that he announces the jar is almost ready to be opened. The remnants of humanity gather, per his request, in front of his mansion, and Jacob uses explosions to trigger a final battle. Under the cover of chaos, he and Star seek out Jase. Jase, who has always lived under his brother's shadow and disagreed on the right course of action, is finally dissuaded from fighting 

 

Yet as his brother walks away, Jase is unable to stand losing. He attacks; the brothers battle in their animal forms – tiger and lion. Jase manages to fatally wound Jacob. Star, whose power is healing people, chooses to heal Jacob. Right after, she realizes why Jacob desired her loyalty: it was the only way to break Jase. When they return to where the rest of humanity is battling, Jacob calms the crowd, and triumphantly forces everyone to kneel before him. Star and Jacob then reenter the mansion and make their way to the jar. Jacob opens the jar... and crumples to the floor. 

 

In his last moments, Jacob assures Star that he knew of his fate. He requests that she hide his true reason for taking over the world from the rest of humanity. Though Star attempts to heal him, Jacob dies. Stunned by the shock of having finally chosen a side, only to lose her ally immediately, Star picks her way out of the mansion, which shortly thereafter bursts into flame. 

 

The survivors of Jacob's reign fall asleep and awaken to a newborn world. Jase discovers his power and forgives Star, who apologizes for choosing Jacob. They continue on as leaders in the perfect world together, though Star knows her apology was a lie. 

 

If he was still alive, she would have chosen Jacob. 

 

She always would.


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


#4 MICRONESIA

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 10:39 AM

 

When I started writing this, it seemed as if it should be easy. But of course then I actually tried to do it, and I'm afraid I failed miserably. All feedback appreciated.

 

 

Animals are no longer strictly animals. In the same sense, people are no longer strictly people. I stumbled over this. "Were animals EVER people?" Over a period of time in which civilization was devastated by global warming, humans developed magical powers and the ability to turn into animals. I don't see how one leads to another. Every child born has a single animal form and learns their one power. Now, a century later, as civilization begins to rebuild itself, a new threat has emerged: a mysterious leader JACOB who has taken over the world.

 

The world knows little about the tyrant who rules them, except for his name, animal form, base of operations, and above all, that he is evil. NO! This is way too easy! Referring to a character as "evil" will be a huge red flag for readers. From destroying the continent of Australia to killing an entire generation of adults, Jacob has proved himself cruel. Oddly phrased. Re-word. Many rebellions have risen to stop him, but the largest and nearest to his lair is the Northern Rebellion. Founded by the fifteen-year-old STAR and golden-tongued JASE, the Northern Rebellion has always searched for a way to assassinate their king. Lack of information once eliminated that option, but new spy intel finally offers a chance to succeed. 

 

Kidnapped during the assassination attempt, Star finds herself imprisoned in a jail that simulates the wilderness. Was she kidnapped or arrested? Confusing. There, she is confronted by an impassive seventeen-year-old who shows no remorse at his evil actions in the world. Just say who it is. By engaging Jacob in conversations, Star hunts for flaws in his shell to report to the rebellion. Yet hours alone with his cold charisma rouse a terrifying desire to learn more about Jacob … and not so she can defeat him.  

 

But one day, the king releases her without explanation. Star, after a brief encounter with slave trading and the aristocratic class, returns to the rebellion and Jase, who refused to attack Jacob with her prisoner. Clunky syntax. Re-arrange. With Star back, however, they prepare to assault Jacob again with the old spy information and new intel from Star. WHAT is her intel? Again, they fail, but Star's excitement from seeing Jacob again – even as enemies - is not overlooked by Jase. Determined to keep her as far from the tyrant as possible, he forces her to stay behind during the next attack, when the rebellion sieges Jacob's mansion. Yet the plan backfires, because while the rebellion surrounds Jacob's mansion, Jacob visits Star at the rebellion. He lets her go, only to come see her again? While his mansion is surrounded? What was the point of this? He offers what she has always desired to know – the truth behind his actions. Returning with him to his mansion, Is it still surrounded? Star learns that not only humans want Jacob dead; the gods are after him as well. And Jase? Jase is his brother. 

 

When Jacob was nine, the gods of Earth offered him a jar which, when opened, would destroy the evil in the soul of the person who opened it. This meant that if a person could commit ultimate evil, capturing every form of evil in their soul, then all evil would be eliminated from the planet. The gods, jealous of Jacob's otherworldly knowledge and power, gave Jacob the near-impossible task in the hopes that he would fail and thereby condemn his soul to hell. My confusion level is pretty high right now. Again, I think it has a lot to do with your syntax. Give us complicated information in bite sizes. But Jacob, whose weakness lay in his fear of being evil, did not see failure as an option. To achieve ultimate evil, and thus renew the world, Jacob would need to break the souls of every human on Earth. Yep. I'm lost.

 

Or so Jacob says, anyway. 

 

He requests Star stay in his mansion and learn who he truly is, in the hopes that she will switch loyalties. She agrees. Her decision to follow him is tested many times, such as when Jacob invites another rebellion leader to the mansion and when Star accompanies him as he completes his daily tasks. Despite the times when she wonders if the jar is an excuse, however, Star continues to follow him until the day that he announces the jar is almost ready to be opened. The remnants of humanity gather, per his request, in front of his mansion, and Jacob intentionally triggers a final war. Huh? How? Pushes a button? Under the cover of chaos, he and Star seek out Jase. Jase, who has always lived under his brother's shadow and disagreed on the right course of action, is finally dissuaded from fightingWe know next to nothing about Jase.

 

Yet as his brother walks away, Jase is unable to stand losing. He attacks; the brothers battle in their animal forms – tiger and lion. I totally forgot these were shapeshifters. This seems like such a big part of your plot, but it's barely mentioned! Jase manages to fatally wound Jacob. Star, whose power is healing people, Didn't know this... chooses to heal Jacob, breaking Jase's spirit because – yet again – he is second to his brother. When they return to where the rest of humanity is battling, Jacob calms the crowd, and triumphantly forces everyone to kneel before him. Star and Jacob then reenter the mansion and make their way to the jar, where Jacob opens the jar, confiding that it will result in his death. You see how that was a clunky sentence, right? Though Star attempts to heal him, Jacob dies, the world is reborn, and she and Jase are left the new leaders in a resurrected world.

 

 

First of all: 800+ words is pushing it a bit. You could probably do better with 100-200 less.

 

I dig this story, and it seems to have some pretty cool twists. However, I started getting confused a little over halfway in. I *think* I have a good idea what this was all about... but I'm not positive either. Like I said, clearing up your sentences will go a LONG way toward making this digestible.

 

Also, I don't have a strong feel for Star as a character. She seems a bit flighty and naive. Worst of all, she seems passive -- bending always toward the whims of this evil dude. In other words, you need to show us a bit more of her agency, her desires, what makes her tick, etc. I don't get much sense of her personality at all.



#5 Arait

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 11:50 AM

I came to return the favor and say I wasn't confused. Although, I do agree with Micronesia that it might help to split up some sentences. I actually wanted to have really good ideas for you, but I don't. I like the premise of the story. It would be nice to know more about the type of person Jase is. He seems like a pretty standard good guy, which raises the question why does Star prefer Jacob over him? You made it pretty clear why she falls for Jacob. But why over Jase?

Why is Star's animal form not revealed? And does it greatly effect the teens and children of the world that all the adults were destroyed? Or is that just a quick "gotta explain why the king is 17"? Those are really the only three questions I have about this.

#6 Emily804

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 02:48 AM

 

Thanks! I edited per your suggestions:

 

Animals are no longer strictly animals. In the same sense, people are no longer strictly people. Over a period of time where civilization was devastated by global warming, humans developed magical powers and the ability to turn into animals. Every child born has a single animal form and learns their one power as they grow older. Now, a century later, as civilization begins to rebuild itself, a new threat has emerged: a mysterious leader JACOB who has taken over the world.  ​<love this!

 

The world knows little about the tyrant who rules them, except for his name, animal form, base of operations, and above all, that he is evil. ​(This word is a bit tricky to use without coming across as sarcastic. When you say that everyone knows a character is evil, my immediate reaction is that there is going to be a reveal that they are not evil.) From destroying the continent of Australia to fostering the slave trade, Jacob has proved himself cruel. Many rebellions have risen to stop him, but the largest and nearest to his lair is the Northern Rebellion. Founded by the fifteen-year-old STAR and seventeen-year-old JASE, the Northern Rebellion has always searched for a way to assassinate their king. Lack of information once eliminated that option, but new spy intel finally offers a chance to succeed. 

 

Captured during the assassination attempt, Star finds herself imprisoned in a jail that simulates the wilderness. There, she is confronted by impassive seventeen-year-old Jacob, who shows no remorse at his actions in the world. ​(Awkward phrasing) By engaging Jacob in conversations, Star hunts for flaws in his shell to report to the rebellion. She discovers his power – keeping people in animal form. Yet hours alone with Jacob's cold charisma rouse a terrifying desire to learn more about him and not so she can defeat him.  ​(Generally I would caution against using ellipses. I believe this is also technically an incorrect usage.) 

 

Meanwhile, the rebellion waits idly, for Jase refuses to allow an attack while Star is held prisoner. In love with her, and further plagued by his lack of a power, Jase slowly edges towards madness. Despite holding the rebellion on stand-by, Jase attempts and fails to rescue Star. He also plans multiple attacks. As time passes, he becomes more and more desperate to free Star from the coercive king's cage. 

 

But it proves unnecessary. One day, Jacob releases Star without explanation. Star returns to the rebellion and Jase. With Star back, they prepare to assault Jacob again with Jase's new plans. Again, they fail, but Star's excitement from seeing Jacob again – even as enemies - is not overlooked by Jase. Determined to keep her as far from the tyrant as possible, he forces her to stay behind during the next attack, when the rebellion sieges Jacob's mansion. Yet the plan backfires, because while the rebellion surrounds Jacob's mansion, Jacob visits Star at the rebellion. He offers what she has always desired to know – the truth behind his actions. Returning with him to his mansion, Star learns that not only humans want Jacob dead; the gods are after him as well. And Jase? Jase is his brother. 

 

(I stopped reading here. It's a bit too long. Decide what the most important points are and cut the rest.)

 

When Jacob was nine, the gods of Earth offered him a jar. When opened, it would destroy the evil in the soul of the person who opened it. This meant that if a person could capturing every form of evil in their soul, then all evil would be eliminated from the planet. The gods' intent was not pure; limited to knowledge of Earth by immortals above them, they were jealous at Jacob's otherworldly knowledge. When Jacob refused to disclose his knowledge or how he had attained it, the gods had given him the near-impossible task in the hopes that he would fail. This would condemn his soul to hell. But Jacob, whose weakness lay in his fear of being evil, did not see failure as an option. To achieve ultimate evil, and thus renew the world, Jacob would need to break the souls of every human on Earth through one of four ways: subjugating, brainwashing, crushing, or killing. 

 

Or so Jacob says, anyway. 

 

He reveals to her his three-part soul, the source of his power and knowledge. Then, he requests Star stay in his mansion and learn who he truly is, in the hopes that she will switch loyalties. She agrees. Her decision to follow him is tested many times, from watching him murder to meeting the gods.  Despite the times when she wonders if the jar is an excuse, however, Star continues to follow him until the day that he announces the jar is almost ready to be opened. The remnants of humanity gather, per his request, in front of his mansion, and Jacob uses explosions to trigger a final battle. Under the cover of chaos, he and Star seek out Jase. Jase, who has always lived under his brother's shadow and disagreed on the right course of action, is finally dissuaded from fighting 

 

Yet as his brother walks away, Jase is unable to stand losing. He attacks; the brothers battle in their animal forms – tiger and lion. Jase manages to fatally wound Jacob. Star, whose power is healing people, chooses to heal Jacob. Right after, she realizes why Jacob desired her loyalty: it was the only way to break Jase. When they return to where the rest of humanity is battling, Jacob calms the crowd, and triumphantly forces everyone to kneel before him. Star and Jacob then reenter the mansion and make their way to the jar. Jacob opens the jar... and crumples to the floor. 

 

In his last moments, Jacob assures Star that he knew of his fate. He requests that she hide his true reason for taking over the world from the rest of humanity. Though Star attempts to heal him, Jacob dies. Stunned by the shock of having finally chosen a side, only to lose her ally immediately, Star picks her way out of the mansion, which shortly thereafter bursts into flame. 

 

The survivors of Jacob's reign fall asleep and awaken to a newborn world. Jase discovers his power and forgives Star, who apologizes for choosing Jacob. They continue on as leaders in the perfect world together, though Star knows her apology was a lie. 

 

If he was still alive, she would have chosen Jacob. 

 

She always would.

 

It seems a little long even for a synopsis. Some agents only want a three paragraph synopsis. Try to only write about the plot points that are absolutely necessary to understanding your story. You have a really interesting story here though!


Query Compatibility YA sci-fi: http://agentquerycon...lity-ya-sci-fi/


#7 MICRONESIA

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 10:04 AM

At 1,000 words, yeah, it's a bit long. Shoot for 600-800 words, since that falls under the "1-2 pg synopsis" rules most agents go by.

 

I've never heard the three-paragraph thing, though. Are you sure you aren't talking queries?



#8 Emily804

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 03:54 PM

At 1,000 words, yeah, it's a bit long. Shoot for 600-800 words, since that falls under the "1-2 pg synopsis" rules most agents go by.

 

I've never heard the three-paragraph thing, though. Are you sure you aren't talking queries?

 

The only agent that asked for a synopsis out of the ones I was querying asked for a three paragraph synopsis (in addition to the query). That probably is on the short side though. You should probably always check with the agent to see what they want.  


Query Compatibility YA sci-fi: http://agentquerycon...lity-ya-sci-fi/


#9 AutumnL

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 04:12 PM

Animals are no longer strictly animals. In the same sense, people are no longer strictly people. Over a period of time where civilization was devastated by global warming, humans developed magical powers and the ability to turn into animals. Every child born has a single animal form and learns their one power as they grow older. Now, a century later, as civilization begins to rebuild itself, a new threat has emerged: a mysterious leader JACOB who has taken over the world. 

 

The world knows little about the tyrant who rules them, except for his name, animal form, base of operations, and above all, that he is evil I think this line would work better if you didn't use the word evil, but perhaps a negative like "he doesn't have their best in mind" or "he's not one of the good guys". From destroying the continent of Australia to fostering the slave trade, Jacob has proved himself cruel. Many rebellions have risen to stop him, but the largest and nearest to his lair is the Northern Rebellion. Founded by the fifteen-year-old STAR and seventeen-year-old JASE, the Northern Rebellion has always searched for a way to assassinate their king. Lack of information once eliminated that option, but new spy intel finally offers a chance to succeed. 

 

Captured during the assassination attemptStar finds herself imprisoned in a jail that simulates the wilderness. There, she is confronted by impassive seventeen-year-old Jacobwho shows no remorse at his actions in the world. By engaging Jacob in conversations, Star hunts for flaws in his shell to report to the rebellion.She discovers his power – keeping people in animal form. Yet hours alone with Jacob's cold charisma rouse a terrifying desire to learn more about him … and not so she can defeat him.  Here is where the details become too prevalent. You could say this whole paragraph in a sentence or two like "Imprisoned after an assassination attempt, Star learns more about the impassive Jacob and his powers of keeping people in animal formYet hours alone with him rouse a terrifying desire to learn more - and not so she can defeat him.

 

Meanwhile, the rebellion waits idly, for Jase refuses to allow an attack while Star is held prisoner. In love with her, and further plagued by his lack of a power, Jase slowly edges towards madness. Despite holding the rebellion on stand-by, Jase attempts and fails to rescue Star. He also plans multiple attacks. As time passes, he becomes more and more desperate to free Star from the coercive king's cage. I don't believe anything in this paragraph is essential to your query except the fact that he is in love with her, which you can add somewhere else. 

 

  But it proves unnecessary.   One day, Jacob releases Star without explanation. Star returns to the rebellion and Jase. With Star back, they prepare to assault Jacob again with Jase's new plans. Again, they fail, but Star's excitement from seeing Jacob again – even as enemies - is not overlooked by Jase. Determined to keep her as far from the tyrant as possible, he forces her to stay behind during the next attack, when the rebellion sieges Jacob's mansion. Yet the plan backfires, because while the rebellion surrounds Jacob's mansion, Jacob visits Star at the rebellion. He offers what she has always desired to know – the truth behind his actions. Returning with him to his mansion, Star learns that not only humans want Jacob dead; the gods are after him as well. And Jase? Jase is his brother. 

 

When Jacob was nine, the gods of Earth offered him a jar. When opened, it would destroy the evil in the soul of the person who opened it. This meant that if a person could capturing every form of evil in their soul, then all evil would be eliminated from the planet. The gods' intent was not pure; limited to knowledge of Earth by immortals above them, they were jealous at Jacob's otherworldly knowledge. When Jacob refused to disclose his knowledge or how he had attained it, the gods had given him the near-impossible task in the hopes that he would fail. This would condemn his soul to hell. But Jacob, whose weakness lay in his fear of being evil, did not see failure as an option. To achieve ultimate evil, and thus renew the world, Jacob would need to break the souls of every human on Earththrough one of four ways: subjugating, brainwashing, crushing, or killing. 

 

Or so Jacob says, anyway. 

 

He reveals to her his three-part soul, the source of his power and knowledge. Then, he requests Star stay in his mansion and learn who he truly is, in the hopes that she will switch loyalties. She agrees. Her decision to follow him is tested many times, from watching him murder to meeting the gods.  Despite the times when she wonders if the jar is an excuse, however, Star continues to follow him until the day that he announces the jar is almost ready to be opened. The remnants of humanity gather, per his request, in front of his mansion, and Jacob uses explosions to trigger a final battle. Under the cover of chaos, he and Star seek out Jase. Jase, who has always lived under his brother's shadow and disagreed on the right course of action, is finally dissuaded from fighting 

 

Yet as his brother walks away, Jase is unable to stand losing. He attacks; the brothers battle in their animal forms – tiger and lion. Jase manages to fatally wound Jacob. Star, whose power is healing people, chooses to heal Jacob. Right after, she realizes why Jacob desired her loyalty: it was the only way to break Jase. When they return to where the rest of humanity is battling, Jacob calms the crowd, and triumphantly forces everyone to kneel before him. Star and Jacob then reenter the mansion and make their way to the jar. Jacob opens the jar... and crumples to the floor. 

 

In his last moments, Jacob assures Star that he knew of his fate. He requests that she hide his true reason for taking over the world from the rest of humanity.Though Star attempts to heal him, Jacob dies. Stunned by the shock of having finally chosen a side, only to lose her ally immediately, Star picks her way out of the mansion, which shortly thereafter bursts into flame. 

 

The survivors of Jacob's reign fall asleep and awaken to a newborn world. Jase discovers his power and forgives Star, who apologizes for choosing Jacob. They continue on as leaders in the perfect world together, though Star knows her apology was a lie. 

 

If he was still alive, she would have chosen Jacob. 

 

She always would.

So the story sounds absolutely fascinating! I would 100% read it. However, this is WAY too long for a query. Also, queries aren't supposed to reveal the ending (I was told?). It's like what you would find on the back of a book. It's going to be a huge challenge because you have some great plot here, but I would say you need to cut the size of this to half. Remember, you don't have to add every part of the plot in here, only the parts absolutely vital to the climax of the story. 



#10 PureZhar3

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 05:44 PM

 

So the story sounds absolutely fascinating! I would 100% read it. However, this is WAY too long for a query. Also, queries aren't supposed to reveal the ending (I was told?). It's like what you would find on the back of a book. It's going to be a huge challenge because you have some great plot here, but I would say you need to cut the size of this to half. Remember, you don't have to add every part of the plot in here, only the parts absolutely vital to the climax of the story. 

 

 

Hey Autumn :) Thanks for the critique, but I think you're on the wrong forum. This is the synopsis forum, and hence this is my synopsis, not my query. My query can be here: found http://agentquerycon...lack-ya-sci-fi/

Great advice, though!


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


#11 Wayfarer

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 04:25 PM

Animals are no longer strictly animals. In the same sense, people are no longer strictly people. Over a period of time where civilization was devastated by global warming, humans developed magical powers and the ability to turn into animals. Every child born has a single animal form and learns their one power as they grow older. Now, a century later, as civilization begins to rebuild itself, a new threat has emerged: a mysterious leader JACOB who has taken over the world. 

 

The world knows little about the tyrant who rules them, except for his name, animal form, base of operations, and above all, that he is evil. From destroying the continent of Australia to fostering the slave trade, Jacob has proved himself cruel. Many rebellions have risen to stop him, but the largest and nearest to his lair is the Northern Rebellion. Founded by the fifteen-year-old STAR and seventeen-year-old JASE, the Northern Rebellion has always searched for a way to assassinate their king (So while I understand king refers to jacob, without having previously referred to his position as being king, this has an air of ambiguity to it. Use an adjective before king to reference jacob's cruelty, so that the ambiguity is lessened and it reinforces his villainy. Something like corrupt etc). Lack of information once eliminated that option (Saying option leads me to think there are other options of dealing with Jacob besides killing him. Say something like, "Lack of information thus far has made such a move impossible" or in that wheelhouse), but new spy intel finally offers a chance to succeed. 

 

Captured during the assassination attempt, Star finds herself imprisoned in a jail that simulates simulated the wilderness. There, she is confronted by impassive seventeen-year-old Jacob, who shows no remorse at for his actions in the world. By engaging Jacob in conversations, Star hunts for flaws in Jacob's shell to report to the rebellion, and in so doing discovers his power – keeping people in animal form. Yet hours alone with Jacob's cold charisma rouse a terrifying desire to learn more about him … and not so she can defeat him. 

 

Meanwhile, the rebellion waits idly, for Jase refuses to allow an attack while Star is held prisoner. In love with her, and further plagued by his lack of a power, Jase slowly edges towards madness. Despite holding the rebellion on stand-by, Jase attempts and fails to rescue Star himself (Unless it's not by himself, in which case with who? The rebellion? If so, what about it being on standby?). He also plans multiple attacks. As time passes, he becomes more and more desperate to free Star from the coercive king's cage. 

 

But it proves unnecessary. One day, Jacob releases Star without explanation. Star returns to the rebellion and Jase. With Star back, they prepare to assault Jacob again with Jase's new plans. Again, they fail, but Star's excitement from seeing Jacob again – even as enemies - is not overlooked by Jase. Determined to keep her as far from the tyrant as possible, he forces her to stay behind during the next attack, when the rebellion sieges Jacob's mansion. Yet the plan backfires, because while the rebellion surrounds Jacob's mansion, Jacob visits Star at the rebellion's headquarters. He offers what she has always desired to know – the truth behind his actions. Returning with him to his mansion, Star learns that not only humans want Jacob dead; the gods are after him as well. And Jase? Jase is his brother. 

 

When Jacob was nine, the gods of Earth offered him a jar. When opened, it would destroy the evil in the soul of the person who opened it. This meant that if a person could capturing every form of evil in their soul, then all evil would be eliminated from the planet (What? I'm confused. You say the jar, when opened, destroys all evil in the soul of the person who opens it. Then you follow by saying IF a person can capture all evil from their soul. The former implies it happens immediately and without effort, the latter implies the opposite). The gods' intent was not pure; limited to knowledge of Earth by immortals above them, they were jealous at Jacob's otherworldly knowledge (Again, very confusing. When did Jacob get this knowledge? What knowledge even?). When Jacob refused to disclose his knowledge or how he had attained it, the gods gave him the near-impossible task in the hopes that he would fail, This would condemning his soul to hell. But Jacob, whose weakness lay in his fear of being evil, did not see failure as an option. To achieve ultimate evil, and thus renew the world, Jacob would need to break the souls of every human on Earth through one of four ways: subjugating, brainwashing, crushing, or killing. 

 

Or so Jacob says, anyway. 

 

He reveals to Star his three-part soul (What does this mean exactly?), the source of his power and knowledge, hoping that in so doing she would learn who he truly is and switch loyalties. She agrees. Her decision to follow him is tested many times, from watching him murder to meeting the gods themselves.  As time progresses she begins to wonder if the jar is an excuse for his actions, regardless, Star continues to follow him until the day that he announces the jar is almost ready to be opened. The remnants of humanity gather, per his request, in front of his mansion, and Jacob uses explosions to trigger a final battle (The way this is written makes Jacob seem like a comic book villain. Say something more than "uses explosions", even if that's what he actually does). Under the cover of chaos, he and Star seek out Jase ​and finally dissuade him from fighting (What you had written before implies Jase knows Jacob is his brother. If that's the case, you need to point that out sooner. Until now I thought only Jacob knew, and Jase finding out would be a big reveal.)

 

Yet as his brother walks away, Jase turns on him. He attacks; both brothers battling in their animal forms – tiger and lion. Jase manages to fatally wound Jacob. Star, gifted with the power of healing, chooses to save Jacob. Right after, she realizes why Jacob desired her loyalty: it was the only way to break Jase (What's the thing that makes her suddenly not be a dumb girl anymore? She just has an epiphany for no reason?). As Star and Jase return to where the dregs of humanity are fighting, Jacob calms the crowd, and forces everyone to kneel before himAs he stands before his subjects, he at last opens the jar, and crumples to the ground. (The part with Jase and Star going to get the jar made me think that Jacob didn't have it. Then in the next sentence you say he  has it. Which either makes the former sentence wrong, or there was a big fight that happened between them in which Jacob took back the jar again.)

 

In his last moments, Jacob assures Star that he knew of his fate. He requests that she hide his true reason for taking over the world from the rest of humanity. Though Star attempts to heal him, Jacob dies. Stunned by the shock of having finally chosen a side, only to lose her ally immediately, Star picks her way out of the mansion, which shortly thereafter bursts into flame. (Did she actually choose a side though? She heals Jacob, then leaves with Jase to steal the jar, which I think makes her against Jacob? This part feels weak, and just so does Star in this case. She could actually be that stupid and indecisive, boy do I know plenty of humans who fit those parameters, but that's not a character someone wants to read.)

 

The survivors of Jacob's reign fall asleep and awaken to a newborn world. Jase discovers his power and forgives Star (Is his power forgiveness? Because this seems irrelevant), who apologizes for choosing Jacob. They continue on as leaders in the perfect world together, though Star knows her apology was a lie.

 

If he was still alive, she would have chosen Jacob.

 

She always would.

 



#12 PureZhar3

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 09:15 PM

Thanks guys! Here's my newest version. I cut out some stuff, so let me know if anything is *more* confusing now.

 

 

Animals are no longer strictly animals. In the same sense, people are no longer strictly people. Over a period of time where civilization was devastated by global warming, humans developed magical powers and the ability to turn into animals. Every child born has a single animal form and learns their one power as they grow older. Now, a century later, as civilization begins to rebuild itself, a new threat has emerged: a mysterious leader JACOB who has taken over the world.

The world knows little about the tyrant who rules them, except for his name, animal form, base of operations, and above all, that he is evil. From demolishing Australia to murdering millions, Jacob has proved himself cruel. Many rebellions have risen to stop him, but the largest and nearest to his lair is the Northern Rebellion. Founded by the fifteen-year-old STAR and seventeen-year-old JASE, the Northern Rebellion has always searched for a way to assassinate their corrupt king. Lack of information once made that impossible, but new spy intel finally offers a chance to succeed.

Captured during the assassination attempt, Star finds herself imprisoned in a simulated wilderness. There, she meets impassive, seventeen-year-old Jacob and discovers his powers of keeping people in animal form. Yet hours alone with him rouse a terrifying desire to learn more… and not so she can defeat him.

Meanwhile, Jase, who is in love with Star, slowly edges towards madness. Despite holding the rebellion on stand-by, Jase attempts and fails to rescue Star himself. As time passes, he becomes more and more desperate to free Star from the coercive king's cage.

But it proves unnecessary. One day, Jacob releases Star without explanation. Star returns to the rebellion and Jase. With Star back, they assault Jacob again. They fail, but Star's excitement from seeing Jacob again – even as enemies - is not overlooked by Jase. Determined to keep her as far from the tyrant as possible, he forces her to stay behind during the next attack. Yet the plan backfires, because while the rebellion sieges Jacob's mansion, Jacob visits Star at the rebellion headquarters. He offers what she has always desired to know – the truth behind his actions. Returning with him to his mansion, Star learns that not only humans want Jacob dead; the gods are after him as well. And Jase? Jase is his brother.

When Jacob was nine, the gods of Earth offered him a jar which, when opened, would destroy the evil in the soul of the person who opened it. Evil attaches to a person’s soul when they commit evil acts. Thus, if a person captured all evil in their soul before opening the jar, evil would be eliminated from the planet. The gods, jealous of Jacob’s perfect innocence, had given him this near-impossible task in the hopes that he would fail and thereby condemn his soul to hell. But Jacob, whose weakness lay in his fear of being evil, did not see failure as an option. To achieve ultimate evil, and thus renew the world, Jacob would need to break the souls of every human on Earth through one of four ways: subjugating, brainwashing, crushing, or killing.

He reveals to Star his three-part soul, the source of his power and innocence, hoping that in doing so she will learn who he truly is and switch loyalties. She does. Her decision to follow Jacob is tested many times, from watching him murder to meeting the gods.  As time progresses, Star begins to wonder if the jar is an excuse for his actions; regardless, she follows him until the day that the jar is ready to be opened. The remnants of humanity gather, per his request, and Jacob intentionally angers his citizens to revolt. Under the cover of chaos, he and Star seek out Jase and finally dissuade him from fighting.

Yet as his brother walks away, Jase turns on him. He attacks; the brothers battle in their animal forms – tiger and lion. Jase manages to fatally wound Jacob, but Star, gifted with the power of healing, chooses to save Jacob. Jase, betrayed by his best friend, gives up the fight. When Star and Jacob return to where the dregs of humanity are fighting, Jacob calms the crowd, and triumphantly forces everyone to kneel before him. Star and Jacob then reenter the mansion and make their way to the jar. Jacob opens the jar... and crumples to the floor.

In his last moments, Jacob assures Star that he knew of his fate. He requests that she hide his true reason for taking over the world from the rest of humanity. Though Star attempts to heal him, Jacob dies. Having finally chosen a side, only to lose her ally immediately, Star picks her way out of the mansion, which shortly thereafter bursts into flame.

The survivors of Jacob's reign fall asleep and awaken to a newborn world. Jase forgives Star, who apologizes for choosing Jacob. They continue as leaders in the perfect world together, though Star knows her apology was a lie.

If he was still alive, she would have chosen Jacob.

She always would.

---------------------------------------------

 

Also - Wayfarer: let me know if Star still sounds stupid and indecisive. I initially wrote her to be a blank slate, someone the readers could inject themselves into, as she was primarily a lens through which the reader could experience Jacob. I now realize that the foolishness of that approach and how naïve/passive it made her, and have accordingly adjusted her in the manuscript, but her root remains there. Her character arc, at any rate, is present but not near as important as a lot of other information; hence, in both the query and synopsis, I fear that she may come off as who she used to be (personality-less and submissive) as opposed to the one she is known (slightly more thoughtful and active, even if no Einstein).


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


#13 Wayfarer

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 01:28 AM

Animals are no longer strictly animals. In the same sense, people are no longer strictly people. Over a period of time where civilization was devastated by global warming, humans developed magical powers and the ability to turn into animals. Every child born has a single animal form and learns their one power as they grow older. Now, a century later, as civilization begins to rebuild itself, a new threat has emerged: a mysterious leader JACOB who has taken over the world.

 

The world knows little about the tyrant who rules them, except for his name, animal form, base of operations, and above all, that he is evil. From demolishing Australia (I would personally replace the australia note with the slave trade note. I get that blowing up a country is worse, but it's a huge event, and as such our mental ability to comprehend the true significance and horror is screwed up. Slave trade is smaller, more personal, and as far as I'm concerned, a perfectly wretched thing to do.) to murdering millions, Jacob has proved himself cruel. Many insurgencies (You say rebellion twice, I know one is as a proper noun, even so, word variety.) have risen to stop him, but the largest and nearest to his lair is the Northern Rebellion. Founded by the fifteen-year-old STAR and seventeen-year-old JASE, the Northern Rebellion has always searched for a way to assassinate their corrupt king. Lack of information once made that impossible, but new spy intel finally offers a chance to succeed.

Captured during the assassination attempt, Star finds herself imprisoned in a simulated wilderness. There, she meets impassive, seventeen-year-old Jacob and discovers his powers of keeping people in animal form. Yet hours alone with him rouse a terrifying desire to learn more… and not so she can defeat him.

Meanwhile, Jase, who is in love with Star, slowly edges towards madness. Despite holding the rebellion on stand-by, Jase attempts and fails to rescue Star himself. As time passes, he becomes more and more desperate to free her from the coercive king's cage.

But his worry proves unnecessary. One day, Jacob releases Star without explanation, and she returns to both the rebellion and Jase. With Star back and spirits high, (I just felt like something like this needed to be added here. Adds a level of excitement to the scene you're summarizing here.) they assault Jacob again. Though the mission fails, Star exudes enthusiasm over seeing Jacob--even as enemies--a detail not overlooked by Jase. Determined to keep her as far from the tyrant as possible, Jase forces her to stay behind during the next attack. Yet the plan backfires, for while the rebellion sieges Jacob's mansion, Jacob visits Star at the rebellion headquarters. He offers what she has always desired to know – the truth behind his actions. Returning with him to his mansion, Star learns that it isn't only humans who want Jacob dead; but the gods as well. And Jase? Jase is his brother.

When Jacob was nine, the gods of Earth offered him a jar which, when opened, would destroy the evil in the soul of the person who opened it. Jacob realized such a power could be used to great effect, for he knew that evil attaches to a person’s soul when they commit evil acts. He reasoned that if he was able to capture all of humanities evil in his soul before opening the jar, evil would be eliminated from the planet once the lid was undone. The gods, jealous (Jealous, or irritated by? This is more of a personal curiosity. As jealousy seems out of place with the whole "Genie fucking with the lamp rubber" vibe you've got going on here.) of Jacob’s perfect innocence, gave him this near-impossible task in the hopes that he would fail and thereby condemn his soul to hell. (Fail what? Absorbing all evil? If so, why would he be condemned to hell if he didn't absorb all evil? Wouldn't he be condemned if he did? Shouldn't the gods want him to succeed in that case?) But Jacob, whose weakness lies in his fear of becoming evil, did not see failure as an option. To achieve his goal and curse his soul with humanities evilpurifying the world in so doing, Jacob would need to break the souls of every human on Earth through one of four ways: subjugating, brainwashing, crushing (Use a better word here, unless you literally mean crushing, like with a big rock?), or killing.

He reveals to Star his three-part soul (I think you should briefly define what each part is), the source of his power and innocence, hoping that in doing so she will come to trust him (Saying "learn who he really is" and then following with, "She does", even though "She does" refers to "switch loyalties" makes me think she also "learns who he really is."  which you imply in the following sentences that she didn't fully) and switch loyalties. She does. Her decision to follow Jacob is tested many times, from watching him murder to meeting the gods.  As time progresses, Star begins to wonder if the jar is an excuse for his actions; regardless, she follows him until the day that the jar is ready to be opened. The remnants of humanity gather, per his request, and Jacob intentionally angers his citizens to revolt. Under the cover of chaos, he and Star seek out Jase and finally dissuade him from fighting.

Yet as his brother walks away, Jase turns on him. He attacks, and the brothers battle in their animal forms – tiger and lion (Maybe say which is which). Jase manages to fatally wound Jacob, but Star, gifted with the power of healing, chooses to save Jacob. Jase, betrayed by his best friend, gives up the fight. When Star and Jacob return to where the dregs of humanity are fighting, Jacob calms the crowd, and triumphantly forces everyone to kneel before him. Star and Jacob then reenter the mansion and make their way to the jar. Jacob opens the jar... and crumples to the floor.

In his last moments, Jacob assures Star that he knew of his fate. He requests that she hide his true reason for taking over the world from the rest of humanity. Though Star attempts to heal him, Jacob dies. Having finally chosen a side, only to lose her ally immediately, Star picks her way out of the mansion, which shortly thereafter bursts into flame.

The survivors of Jacob's reign fall asleep and awaken to a newborn world. Jase forgives Star, who apologizes for choosing Jacob. They continue as leaders in the perfect world together, though Star knows her apology was a lie.

If he was still alive, she would have chosen Jacob.

She always would.



#14 Wayfarer

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 01:31 AM

Oh and Star reads WAY better in the new revision.

 

That said, I'm realizing that she's 15, and I'm attributing "adult" behavior to her. Are YA characters often portrayed like actual YA humans? For lack of a better term, stupid? I don't want to misguide you into writing her as something that doesn't fit the age group you're writing for. To me it's not a character I would want to read, but I don't read YA, so I don't know what that community expects.



#15 PureZhar3

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 07:06 PM

Oh and Star reads WAY better in the new revision.

 

That said, I'm realizing that she's 15, and I'm attributing "adult" behavior to her. Are YA characters often portrayed like actual YA humans? For lack of a better term, stupid? I don't want to misguide you into writing her as something that doesn't fit the age group you're writing for. To me it's not a character I would want to read, but I don't read YA, so I don't know what that community expects.

 

Haha I think they're usually supposed to be a mix. YA tend to get upset with characters who don't have a clue (they want them to be mildly mature), but they crave authentic characters who read like actual YA humans. Or so I've heard. I'm a young adult myself, and wrote Star when I was quite a bit younger (a great insight into my younger self's naivety), so that's probably why she's so reflective of a young teenager.

 

That said, I'm glad she reads better in this version. That's how she progressed in my book, too - "is anyone really this stupid" to "oh, okay, she's not brilliant, but I can live with her".

 

I'll check out your edits at some point here. Thanks, Wayfarer!


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


#16 JRUET

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Posted 17 March 2018 - 10:38 PM

Note: I didn't not read former renditions so as to come at it fresh. If you've already addressed a point in the comments and I missed it making points here redundant, apologies :)

 

Animals are no longer strictly animals. In the same sense, people are no longer strictly people. (Over a period of time where) this time reference feels vague/ anti-climatic. Maybe try something like "As civilization is devastated by global warm..." etc. I think by using past tense here it still clearly defines that this happened before the action of your novel  civilization was devastated by global warming, humans developed magical powers and the ability to turn into animals I'm not sure how these correlate, but I like the idea of people turning into animals, so I'm sweeping it under for now. Every child born has a single animal form and learns their one here are you suggesting that all children receive one animal form and one magical power, or is the animal form their one power? power as they grow older. Now, a century later, as civilization begins to rebuild itself, a new threat has emerged: a mysterious leader JACOB who has taken over the world. 

The world knows little about the tyrant who rules them, except for his name, animal form, base of operations, and above all, that he is evil This list reads like, well, a list. it might work to reorder i.e. "The world knows Jacob's name, animal form, and base, but most of all they know he's evil." or to remove one thing (of which I feel like the base is the least important). From demolishing Australia to murdering millions these examples seem a bit like one-in-the-same, we assume by destroying Australia he has murdered millions, Jacob has proved himself cruel. Many rebellions I'm deleting here just so you're not using the same word twice in one sentence, it can be inferred have risen to stop him, but the largest (and nearest to his lair) I would consider removing this as well, maybe if proximity is paramount move to another place is the Northern Rebellion. Founded by the fifteen-year-old STAR and seventeen-year-old JASE, the Northern Rebellion has always searched for a way to assassinate their corrupt king. Lack of information once made that impossible, but new spy intel finally offers a chance to succeed. I would invert these clauses, or simply eliminate the first for variety. As you mentioned in my query, several multiple clause sentences in a row may bring on reader fatigue and/ or inattention, that varying length could help.

Captured during the assassination attempt, Star finds herself imprisoned in a simulated wilderness During the assignation attempt Star is captured and imprisoned...etc. There, she meets impassive why impassive? this seems like an odd word choice. I'm assuming you're trying to express that he's not what the masses think, but this makes it difficult to believe he opens up to her and/or that she wants to spend untold hours with him, seventeen-year-old Jacob and discovers his powers of keeping ability to keep people in animal form. Yet hours alone with him rouse a terrifying desire to learn more… and not so she can defeat him. 

Meanwhile, Jase, who is in love with Star, slowly edges towards madness Is this madness caused by Star's loss, or was he headed there anyway? . Despite holding the rebellion on stand-by, Jase attempts and fails to rescue Star himself. As time passes, he becomes more and more desperate to free Star from the coercive king's cage. This paragraph feels awkward. I see that you're trying to bring Jase back into the fold, but it needs to be more direct. "Jase is desperate to free Star from the king's clutches. He goes against the better judgement of the rebellion and stages a solo attempt to rescue Star. Failure edges his desperation to the bring of madness." (but better than this, I'm clearly just winging it ;)

But it proves unnecessary. One day, Then Jacob releases Star without explanation. (Star returns to the rebellion and Jase. With Star back, they assault Jacob again. They fail, but Star's excitement from seeing Jacob again – even as enemies - is not overlooked by Jase.) In parenthesis: Star returns to Jase and the rebellion, but when they attack he can't help but notice her excitement at the prospect of seeing Jacob again  Determined to keep her as far from the tyrant as possible, he Jase  forces her Star to stay behind during the next attack. Yet the plan backfires., because While the rebellion sieges Jacob's mansion, Jacob visits visit is a pretty benign word considering the tension you're trying to create here Star at the rebellion's headquarters. He offers what she has always desired to know – the truth behind his actions. Returning with him to his mansion, Star learns that not only humans want Jacob dead; the gods are after him as well. And Jase? Jase is his brother.

When Jacob was nine, the gods of Earth offered him a jar which,that when opened, would destroy the evil in the soul of the person who opened it. (Evil attaches to a person’s soul when they commit evil acts. Thus, if a person captured all evil in their soul before opening the jar, evil would be eliminated from the planet.) I'm not sure how, but this needs rewording, there are four "evil"s in two sentences. I think you're trying to say each evil act makes a mark on the soul and Jacob basically need to collect a "mark" for each evil in order to destroy them The gods, jealous of Jacob’s perfect innocence, had given him this near-impossible task in the hopes that he would fail and thereby condemn his soul to hell. But Jacob, whose weakness lay in his fear of being evil, did not see failure as an option. To achieve ultimate evil, and thus renew the world, Jacob would need to break the souls of every human on Earth through one of four ways: subjugating, brainwashing, crushing, or killing.

He reveals to Star his three-part soul I don't understand the "three part soul" is this unique to Jacob?, the source of his power and innocence he's not really innocent anymore though, is he?, hoping that in doing so she will learn who he truly is and switch loyalties. She does. Her decision to follow Jacob is tested many times, from watching him murder to meeting the gods.  As time progresses, and Star begins to wonder if the jar is an excuse for his actions. Regardless, she follows him until the day that the jar is ready to be opened. The remnants of humanity gather, per his at Jacob's request. and Jacob intentionally angers his citizens to He incites a revolt. Under the cover of and uses the chaos, he and Star to seek out Jase. to and finally dissuade him from fighting.

Yet as his brother walks away, Jase turns on him. He attacks; the brothers battle in their animal forms – tiger and lion I had hoped to hear more about the animal forms throughout, it feels a bit like an after thought here since it hasn't been mentioned since the history at the very beginning. Jase manages to fatally wounds Jacob, but Star, gifted with the power of healing, chooses to saves him Jacob. (Jase, betrayed by his best friend, gives up the fight.) Wouldn't he already feel betrayed after Jacob and Star approached him together to get him to stop fighting? And/or when Star changes her allegiance, if he knows about it? When Star and Jacob return to where the dregs of humanity are fighting the battle below, Jacob calms the crowd, and triumphantly forces everyone to kneel before him "calms" and "triumphantly forces" don't play together well. If he's still playing bad-guy maybe he conquers the crowd, or subdues them?. Star and Jacob then reenter the mansion and make their way to the jar. Jacob opens the jar... and crumples to the floor. This is kind of an awkward segue- I feel like I probably don't care a whole lot about the masses revolting and you could probably skip to the jar business. When you get to the "making their way to the jar" part you need to add more of a sense of urgency- like is there something even worse coming if Jacob fails/ doesn't complete his duty to the gods in time?

In his last moments, Jacob assures Star that he knows of his fate and requests that she hide his true reason for taking over the world from the rest of humanity why doesn't he want to be redeemed for his sacrifice? I'd put the part about him opening the jar here so you're not interrupting the apex. Though Star attempts to heal him, Jacob dies. (Having finally chosen a side, only to lose her ally immediately, Star picks her way out of the mansion, which shortly thereafter bursts into flame.) this is awkward wording again. Star is crushed as she realizes she's finally picked a side just in time to lose her only ally (but also, isn't he more than that at this point?) 

The survivors of Jacob's reign fall asleep and awaken to a newborn world. Jase forgives Star, who apologizes for choosing Jacob. They continue as leaders in the perfect world together, though Star knows her apology was a and they begin leading this new perfect world together, but Star can't help thinking she's living a lie.

If he was still alive, she would have chosen Jacob.

She always would.

 

Okay, despite the massive amount of blue I've inserted into your write-up I think you're on the right track. A lot of the issues you're currently having could be cleared up by writing simpler sentences with less clauses and/or passive voice clauses. 

Throughout this peer-editing process, I've found it frustrating to have holes poked in my writing (i.e. a random "too vague" or "why" etc.) without any actual constructive assistance, so in several instances after poking at you (and this is good natured, so hopefully it doesn't come off harsh) I've offered a different wording or sentence. Take these with a grain of salt as I've not read you MS so I might be headed way off in the wrong direction from where you're trying to take us without realizing. Also, I clearly have not labored over this as you have, so take the examples as a suggestion, not a shiny A+ piece of writing that I'm suggesting you use as is ;)

Hope this is helpful for revisions and doesn't come off overly critical. Good luck!

 

 http://agentquerycon...ns/#entry353277



#17 PureZhar3

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 10:19 AM

Thanks JRUET! I tried to cut all the superfluous/awkward stuff that you pointed out. It's been a while, but is this better?

 

Animals are no longer strictly animals. In the same sense, people are no longer strictly people. As global warming devastated civilization, humans developed magical powers and the ability to turn into animals. Every child born has a single animal form and learns their one power as they grow older. Now, a century later, as civilization begins to rebuild itself, a new threat has emerged: a mysterious leader JACOB who has taken over the world.

The world knows little about the tyrant who rules them, except for his name, animal form, and, above all, that he is evil. From demolishing Australia to instituting worldwide slave systems, Jacob has proved himself cruel. Many have risen to stop him, such as the prodigious Northern Rebellion. Founded by fifteen-year-old STAR and seventeen-year-old JASE, the Northern Rebellion has always searched for a way to assassinate their corrupt king. New spy intel finally offers a chance to succeed.

Captured during the assassination attempt, Star finds herself imprisoned in a simulated wilderness. There, she meets charismatic, seventeen-year-old Jacob and discovers his ability to keep people in animal form. Hours alone with him rouse a terrifying desire to learn more… and not so she can defeat him.

Meanwhile, Jase, who is in love with Star, is desperate to free Star from the tyrant’s clutches. Against the wishes of the rebellion, Jase attempts to rescue Star. Failure only increases his franticness.

Then Jacob releases Star without explanation. She returns to Jase and the rebellion, but as they plan another attack, Jase can’t overlook her excitement at the prospect of seeing Jacob again. Determined to keep her as far from the tyrant as possible, he forces her to stay behind. The plan backfires. While the rebellion sieges Jacob's mansion, Jacob visits Star at the rebellion’s headquarters. He offers what she has always desired – the truth behind his actions. Returning with him to his mansion, Star learns that not only humans want Jacob dead; the gods are after him as well. And Jase? Jase is his brother.

When Jacob was nine, the gods offered him a jar that would destroy the evil in the soul of the person who opened it. The soul harbors all that the evil a person has committed; thus, if a person committed every act of evil before opening the jar, it would be eliminated from the planet. The gods, jealous of Jacob’s perfect innocence, had given him this near-impossible task in the hopes that he would fail and thereby condemn his soul to hell. But Jacob, whose weakness lay in his fear of being evil, did not see failure as an option. To achieve his goal, and thus renew the world, Jacob would need to break the souls of every human on Earth through one of four ways: subjugating, brainwashing, crushing, or killing.

He reveals to Star his three-part soul, the source of his power and knowledge, hoping that in doing so she will learn who he truly is and switch loyalties. She does. As her decision to follow Jacob is tested, Star begins to wonder if the jar is an excuse for his actions. Regardless, she follows him until the day the jar is ready to be opened. The remnants of humanity gather at Jacob’s request. He incites a revolt and uses the chaos to seek out Jase. Finally able to dissuade his brother from fighting, Jacob and Star turn to go.

But as his brother walks away, Jase turns on him. The brothers battle in their animal forms – tiger and lion. Jase fatally wounds Jacob, but Star, gifted with the power of healing, saves him. Jase, heartbroken at her abandonment, gives up the fight. Star and Jacob then reenter the mansion and hurry to the jar.

Jacob opens the jar... and crumples to the floor.

Though Star attempts to heal him, Jacob assures Star that death is required to open the jar. Star is crushed as she realizes that she chose a side just in time to lose her only ally and best friend.

The survivors of Jacob's reign fall asleep and awaken to a newborn world. Jase forgives Star. Together, they begin leading the perfect new world, but Star knows that if he was still alive, she would choose Jacob.

She always would.


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






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult

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