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#1 annevic

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 05:38 AM

REVIEWED IN POST #11 ;-)

 

REVIEWED IN POST #5

 

Some questions seem so outlandish that nobody would ever feel the need to consider them: Would I have the courage to kill my own father if the fate of humanity depended on it?  Could I set aside my hate and ally myself with my brother's murderer to avoid a war?  For Matt these aren't just questions, they are the harsh reality he must now face.

 

It's the year 2264, two centuries after the arrival of the Ishtairians divided the few remaining humans into two territories: Arboria and Terrajusta.

 

When Matt is forced to replace his brother Tim as president of Terrajusta after he is murdered by the enemy—Arboria—and his army discovers a weapon capable of destroying them, Matt will find it difficult to keep the inexplicable promise he made Tim before he died: to avoid war at all costs and protect the enemy with his life.

 

Desperate to understand his brother's wishes and find allies to avoid the war, Matt infiltrates the banned Lower City only to discover that his perfect world of Terrajusta is just an illusion hiding endless mistreatment and injustice.  What's most intriguing is his brother knew it and kept it a secret.

Confused and unable to trust any of his own, Matt sees only one way to avoid war: join forces with the woman who killed his brother, the young president of the Arborians.

 

Together, they discover a sinister purpose behind this war—and every war that came before it—and something even worse: his beloved father is part of the conspiracy.

 

ISTHAIR is a science fiction novel, complete at 105,000 words. Based on my screenplay of the same title, is a stand-alone novel with series potential.

 

I’m a multilingual novelist and screenwriter based on both sides of the Atlantic (Florida, France, and Spain). Two of my scripts have been recently optioned (IMDB). My latest book as a gosthwriter has been translated into three languages, with its rights having been acquired in the Unites States, Spain, Russia, England, and Australia.



#2 Laurie E. Smith

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:51 AM

Some questions seem so outlandish that nobody would ever feel the need to consider them: Would I have the courage to kill my own father if the fate of humanity depended on it?  Could I set aside my hate and ally myself with my brother's murderer to avoid a war?  For Matt these aren't just questions, they are the harsh reality he must now face. [It's a bit long, but I like this as a hook -- it pulled me right in and kept me reading to the end. Still, you might want to consider a shorter "grabbing" sentence to start.]

 

It's the year 2264, two centuries after the arrival of the Ishtairians divided the few remaining humans into two territories: Arboria and Terrajusta.

 

When Matt is forced to replace his brother Tim as president of Terrajusta after he is murdered by the enemy—Arboria—and his army discovers a weapon capable of destroying them, Matt will find it difficult to keep the inexplicable promise he made Tim before he died: to avoid war at all costs and protect the enemy with his life. [Setting up internal character conflict! Good step.]

 

Desperate to understand his brother's wishes and find allies to avoid the war, Matt infiltrates the banned Lower City only to discover that his perfect world of Terrajusta is just an illusion hiding endless mistreatment and injustice.  What's most intriguing is his brother knew it and kept it a secret.

[paragraph break?]

Confused and unable to trust any of his own, Matt sees only one way to avoid war: join forces with the woman who killed his brother, the young president of the Arborians.

 

Together, they discover a sinister purpose behind this war—and every war that came before it—and something even worse: [add "that"?] his beloved father is part of the conspiracy.

 

ISTHAIR is a science fiction novel, complete at 105,000 words. Based on my screenplay of the same title, [add "it"] is a stand-alone novel with series potential.

 

I’m a multilingual novelist and screenwriter based on both sides of the Atlantic (Florida, France, and Spain). Two of my scripts have been recently optioned (IMDB). My latest book as a gosthwriter has been translated into three languages, with its rights having been acquired in the Unites States, Spain, Russia, England, and Australia.

 

Overall I like this. It's nice and punchy and it clearly lays out some good conflict. But then again, I haven't finished my first cup of coffee yet. :) I may come back later and take a second look. 



#3 annevic

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:12 AM

Thanks Laurie! Your comments are reassuring!! It's my first query and sometimes I love my query and other times I'm just so confused!! :-)



#4 Laurie E. Smith

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:28 AM

Thanks Laurie! Your comments are reassuring!! It's my first query and sometimes I love my query and other times I'm just so confused!! :-)

 

You're very welcome! I'm on my first query too, so I know how it is. :) You really do need some other sets of eyes to tell you whether or not you're on the right track.



#5 Springfield

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:07 AM

Some questions seem so outlandish that nobody would ever feel the need to consider them: Would I have the courage to kill my own father if the fate of humanity depended on it?  Could I set aside my hate and ally myself with my brother's murderer to avoid a war?  For Matt these aren't just questions, they are the harsh reality he must now faceThose don't read like outlandish questions to me, they read like really specific ones that don't apply to anyone.

 

It's the year 2264, two centuries after the arrival of the Ishtairians divided the few remaining humans into two territories: Arboria and Terrajusta.

 

When Matt is forced to replace his brother Tim as president of Terrajusta after he is murdered by the enemy—Arboria—and his army discovers a weapon capable of destroying them, Matt will find it difficult to keep the inexplicable promise he made Tim before he died: to avoid war at all costs and protect the enemy with his life. This sentence is too long, with too much info, but barely any info on your MC. It's also a festival of unclear antecedents.

 

Desperate to understand his brother's wishes and find allies to avoid the war, Matt infiltrates the banned Lower City only to discover that his perfect world of Terrajusta is just an illusion hiding endless mistreatment and injustice.  What's most intriguing is his brother knew it and kept it a secret. Why is that intriguing? Seems logical to me.

Confused and unable to trust any of his own, Matt sees only one way to avoid war: join forces with the woman who killed his brother, the young president of the Arborians. Eh?

 

Together, they discover a sinister purpose behind this war—and every war that came before it—and something even worse: his beloved father is part of the conspiracy. There's too little info here too. I've only got a very bare idea of the plot, which would be ok, but no idea about Matt, who doesn't take much specific action and whose motivation, problem and stakes I don't know.

 

ISTHAIR is a science fiction novel, complete at 105,000 words. Based on my screenplay of the same title, Unless this has been produced, I'd cut that.  is a stand-alone novel with series potential. You know this looks like Ishtar, right? I keep thinking it's Ishtar. I'd change that. 

 

I’m a multilingual novelist and screenwriter based on both sides of the Atlantic (Florida, France, and Spain). Two of my scripts have been recently optioned (IMDB). My latest book as a gosthwriter has been translated into three languages, with its rights having been acquired in the Unites States, Spain, Russia, England, and Australia. You need houses and dates for any (or the more recent or better-selling) novels you've pubbed.



#6 annevic

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:18 AM

Thanks Springfield!

 

That was of great help!

 

I have another version that may solve some of the issues:

 

 

Matt is twenty years old and has a better life than any Higher in Terrajusta in 2264: zero responsibilities, non-stop partying in the Higher City bars and a long string of victories as a clandestine holobstacle racer.  It's all taken away from him the day his brother Tim is murdered by the enemy—Arboria—, and he's forced to take over as president of Terrajusta.

 

When his army discovers a weapon capable of destroying Arboria, Matt will find it extremely difficult to keep the inexplicable promise Tim forced him to make before he died: to avoid war at all costs and protect the enemy with his life.

 

Desperate to understand his brother's wishes and find allies to avoid the war, Matt infiltrates the banned Lower City only to discover that his perfect world of Terrajusta is just an illusion hiding endless mistreatment and injustice. 

 

With a conspiracy against him, running out of time and unable to trust any of his own, Matt sees only one way to avoid war: join forces with the young woman who killed his brother, the president of the Arborians.

 

Together they discover the sinister purpose behind this war—and every war that came before it: to enslave the human race at the hands of the Shadows, a subtle race that feeds off human suffering.  And his father is leading the conspiracy.



#7 Arait

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:56 AM

All of your sentences are long, with multiple clauses. It's distracting—and confusing also—when paragraphs have only one sentence. Your only sentence that isn't lengthy (And his father is leading the conspiracy.) begins with a conjunction which effectively makes it just a clause of the previous sentence.

People like variety. Switch it up a bit.

#8 ajvan

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:57 AM

Hi Annevic, I'll take a stab at this. It does read more like a query to me. 

 

 

 

Matt is twenty years old and has a better life than any Higher in Terrajusta in 2264: zero responsibilities, non-stop partying in the Higher City bars and a long string of victories as a clandestine holobstacle racer.  It's all taken away from him the day his brother Tim is murdered by the enemy—Arboria—, and he's forced to take over as president of Terrajusta. Good job giving us a snapshot of his life. You might want to pare some world details, though, as there's a lot to digest in just the first paragraph. Higher, Terrajusta, holobstacle, Arboria...maybe choose two of those. Think simple, short, hooky. 

 

When his army discovers a weapon capable of destroying Arboria, Matt will find it extremely difficult to keep the inexplicable promise Tim forced him to make before he died: to avoid war at all costs and protect the enemy with his life. Put this in present tense and see if you can shorten it. 

 

Desperate to understand his brother's wishes and find allies to avoid the war, Matt infiltrates the banned Lower City. (Good place for a period and intriguing intro of the lower city.) only to He discovers that his perfect world of Terrajusta is just an illusion hiding endless mistreatment and injustice. 

 

With a conspiracy against him, running out of time and unable to trust any of his own, Matt sees only one way to avoid war: join forces with the young woman who killed his brother, the president of the Arborians. Together they discover the sinister purpose behind this war—and every war that came before it: to enslave the human race at the hands of the Shadows, a subtle race that feeds off human suffering.  And his father is leading the conspiracy. I'd recommend combining those last two paragraphs and cutting most of the detail in favor of a short, allusive ending. Something like... "Matt joins forces with a a deadly Lower City leader, and they race to discover the real instigators of the war. Little does he know she holds a secret that could destroy him."

 

Lots of cool world-building here, including the Upper/Lower City dichotomy. 

 

I've got a query up as well if you'd like to return the favor. 



#9 annevic

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:01 PM

Thanks!!



#10 annevic

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:26 PM

Thanks Arait, I'll take it into account (I'm not a native speaker and I tend to make long sentences).

 

AJ Vanderhorst, thanks for your advice! It's great. I have reviewed your query too. I hope it helps ;-)



#11 annevic

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 11:46 AM

New version:

 

Two nations in conflict.  An imminent war.  The mistaken enemy.

 

At the end of the 24th century, 21-year-old Matt has a better life than any Higher in Terrajusta: zero responsibilities, non-stop partying in the Higher City clubs and a long string of victories as a clandestine holobstacle racer. But when his brother Tim is killed by the enemy—Arboria—­and Matt is forced to replace him as president, not only his life is shattered.

 

When Terrajusta’s water reserves disappear and his army finds a weapon capable of destroying the enemy, Matt will have to choose between avenging his brother and saving his people from dying of thirst or keeping the inexplicable promise he made Tim before his death: to protect Arboria with his life.

 

Desperate to understand Tim's wishes, Matt infiltrates the banned Lower City, only to discover the sickening truth: his perfect world of Terrajusta is just an illusion hiding endless mistreatment and injustice.  What else has his father, the Elder president, kept hidden from him?  Maybe Tim had found out.  Maybe he knew too much.

 

Matt must find the missing water if he is to avoid war. Unable to trust any of his own, he joins forces with the only person that can help him: the young woman who killed his brother, the president of the Arborians.  Together they discover the twisted purpose behind this war: to generate human suffering, which the government delivers to an alien race in exchange for technological and scientific advancements.

 

On the run and labeled a traitor by his own, he’ll have to choose between leading a war alongside his father or joining Arboria and freeing his people from the oppression of a putrefied government.



#12 PureZhar3

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 12:36 PM

New version:

 

Two nations in conflict.  An imminent war.  The mistaken enemy. ​Normally I'm not a huge fan of these types of openings, but I like this one alright.

 

At the end of the 24th century, 21-year-old Matt has a better life than any Higher in Terrajusta: zero responsibilities, non-stop partying in the Higher City clubs​comma and a long string of victories as a clandestine holobstacle racer. But when his brother Tim is killed by the enemy—Arboria ​this is minor, but I'm wondering if this is a name of a person or a country—­and Matt is forced to replace him as president, not only ​I would reverse this and say "more than" rather than "not only" his life is shattered. ​strong first paragraph, even with all the book lingo I was able to follow pretty easily

 

When Terrajusta’s water reserves disappear and his army finds a weapon capable of destroying the enemy, Matt will have to choose between avenging his brother and saving his people from dying of thirst or keeping the inexplicable promise he made Tim before his death: to protect Arboria with his life. ​This sentence has too many compounds 9and, or, and, etc). Try to break it down. "When Terrajusta's water reserves disappear (how? where did they go), his army goes in search of water and instead finds a weapon capable of destroying the enemy. Matt suddenly has to choose between avenging his brother and saving his people from *drought/dehydration/some-other-single-word-that-indicates-dying-of-thirst*... or keeping Tom's inexplicable demand that he protect Arboria with his life.

 

Desperate to understand Tim's wishes, Matt infiltrates the banned Lower City, only to discover the ​ a sickening truth: his perfect world of Terrajusta is just an illusion hiding endless mistreatment and injustice.  What else has his father, the Elder president, kept hidden from him ​so he isn't top president? interesting?  Maybe Tim had found out.  Maybe he knew too much.

 

Matt must find the missing water if he is to avoid war. ​I'm not completely clear on how the water fits into all this - did the Arboria (supposedly) steal it? Unable to trust any of his own, he joins forces with the only person that can help him: the young woman who killed his brother, the president of the Arborians.  Together they discover the twisted purpose behind this ​formulated war: to generate human suffering, which the government delivers to an alien race in exchange for technological and scientific advancements. ​whoa 

 

On the run and labeled a traitor by his own, he’ll have to choose between leading a war alongside his father ​does his father offer forgiveness at this point? because if he's labelled a traitor it seems hard for him to return or joining Arboria and freeing his people from the oppression of a putrefied government.

​This is really good and pretty clear! The only questions I had were about water (did they think Arboria steal it?) and the exact stakes at the end. It seemed as if he'd already betrayed his people, but then he still had the chance to lead a war with them? That was a tad confusing.

​Otherwise, solid job and intriguing story!


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


#13 annevic

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 01:50 PM

PureZhar3, your comments have really helped!!

 

 

What about this?:

 

But when his brother Tim is killed by the enemy nation—Arboria

 

Terrajusta’s underground water reserves disappear are substrated. The Arborians? How surprissing.

 

On the run and labeled a traitor by his own, he’ll have to choose his father offers him a possibility for redemption. He must now choose:

 

Thanks again!!



#14 PureZhar3

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 03:47 PM

PureZhar3, your comments have really helped!!

 

 

What about this?:

 

But when his brother Tim is killed by the enemy nation—Arboria ​much better; you can get rid of the dash too, I think, and just say "the enemy nation Arboria"

 

Terrajusta’s underground water reserves disappear are substrated. The Arborians? How surprissing. ​not liking this fix as much. For one thing, the word substrated is going to leave quite a few people scratching their heads as to what exact way you want that word interpreted. Also, it's still not particularly straightforward. Perhaps try something such as: "Terrajusta's water reserves are drained, with the Arborians as the obvious culprit."

 

On the run and labeled a traitor by his own, he’ll have to choose his father offers him a possibility for redemption. He must now choose: ​Much better as well. Something I noted this time around is that you already said he would have to choose (in the 2nd paragraph) so maybe this time, just say "He can..."

 

Thanks again!!

 

Hope that helps!


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






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