HomeWritersLiterary AgentsEditorsPublishersResourcesDiscussion
Forum Login | Join the discussion
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Australia - for now ;)
    Posts
    598

    Lets try (yet) again :)

    OK, so I have worked and re-worked. Dumped and started afresh at least 20 times on this QL and now finally I have decided to 'dump the hook.'

    I actually came up with several one-liners but it just felt wrong. I see this as an epic tale and the one-liner hook made me feel uncomfortable.

    So I am trying this from a different angle (again)

    This new QL actually says less but I think I may have been failing before because I was trying to say too much, fit in too much. All I want to do is grab the attention of the reader.

    One area I am failing in is explaining Cecilia’s motivation for accepting immortality. It’s not that I can’t explain it, my issue is Real Estate. So I’ll attempt to explain Cecilia mindset (first) below in an effort to see if any of you lovely ppl find the words I cannot.

    (i) If she doesn’t become immortal she goes straight to the afterlife – no issue.
    (ii) If she becomes immortal she WILL NOT go to the afterlife- it the price of immortality.
    (iii) She cannot say ‘no’ because it is against everything she believes in. She has spent almost all her life ‘talking’ to God, getting visions etc. Her parents also taught her to ‘do as God commands’ – so it’s her beliefs.
    (iv) She fundamentally believes in complete and blind faith.

    OK Folks, go for it

    RAVEN


    Dear Agent,
    Somewhere Street
    Somewhere town & city
    Somewhere 000000

    For centuries they have hunted alone, the Jezi Baba witches, evil creatures thirsting for the blood of man. But tonight the pack has formed and they hunt only one, the old soothsayer Cecilia. For to her has been revealed their demise – and for that she must die.

    In the year 924AD Perun, Slav God of Thunder and Lightning gives Cecilia three visions.
    A new dynasty – the blood of kings filtering through the ages.
    A prophecy – the Jezi Babas capture more than one thousand years into the future.
    A curse, uttered by a dying king, murdered at the hands of his own.

    These three events will mark the end of either the witches or mankind- and it falls on Cecilia to ensure which it will be. Cecilia is entrusted as both guide and the gatekeeper. But the witches are immortal and Cecilia is not. To do as Perun commands, Cecilia must forfeit that which she holds most dear, by becoming immortal she can never enter the peace of the afterlife.

    Immortal, Cecilia is now the bitter enemy of the witches. Having failed to kill her, Cecilia now haunts them throughout the centuries. Teaching the ways of the Ancients and protecting each generation of the kings descendants from coming to harm, until the days of the final battles.

    But to kill a Jezi Baba witch you need witches blood. Perun has played an uneasy game, gambling on Cecilia as a teacher. For Perun’s heroines not only carry the blood of kings in their veins, but also witches blood.

    If Cecilia has taught well the witches will be vanquished. If not, Cecilia has just trained a new generation of Jezi Babas. All of Cecilia’s sacrifices come down to this.

    ZVONIMIR’S CURSE is an 115,000-word historical fantasy set against European history and Slavic mythology.

    This story draws on my Croatian heritage interweaving Slav mythological creatures as the enemy of all mankind.

    Thank you for your time and consideration

    Kind Regards
    if the wine is sour – throw it out

    SatyricalRaven



  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    6,016

    Re: Lets try (yet) again :)

    You wrote:

    "For centuries they have hunted alone, the Jezi Baba witches, evil creatures thirsting for the blood of man. But tonight the pack has formed and they hunt only one, the old soothsayer Cecilia. For to her has been revealed their demise – and for that she must die."

    What if it was:

    "For centuries each blood-thirsty Jezi Baba witch has hunted alone. But tonight the pack has united to hunt the old soothsayer, Cecilia."

    You don't need the rest of the sentence. It's just too much chatter. And the next paragraph goes on to describe what's special about Cecilia.

    BUT

    I actually think you should kill the first sentence altogether and begin with the second paragraph. I mean, compare them. The second paragraph is a much stronger opening.

    "A prophecy – the Jezi Babas capture more than one thousand years into the future."

    Do you mean "are captured" instead of "capture." It's confusing.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Australia - for now ;)
    Posts
    598

    Re: Lets try (yet) again :)

    Thanks Leslee,

    Both your examples ARE much better - and yes captured lol I must have read that 20 times and miss it.
    And you know, I like the suggestion of starting where you suggested - is not the norm but then again neither am I nor my story.

    Can I also say Leslee that you (and others JH and DK, Frank, Stan, Kitty....... I have missed many of you as the list goes on) are my sanity. Really

    I know my story is good. I've had the heart and soul of it edited and critiqued. One of my groups I belong to has an editor who works for Orion and she kindly offered to critique the first 50 pages (about 6 months ago). She showed me where I was strong and where I was weak and told me the truth. The outcome was 'a very interesting read with some moments of utter brilliance and scenes so descriptive and original', things she had never read/seen before. She gave me a lot of hope and a lot of guidance. I have worked my butt off on the re-writes since and I know I have it - the brass ring I mean. I just have to get the QL right now.

    Also, there is still Ms lit agent in the USA who is still waiting for the full MS. Not ready to send it out as yet as I have 3 ppl reading the MS looking for typos, issues with tense/grammar etc. When they all come back, it’s the final re-write/fix up and it will be in the hands of the (lit agent) Gods then.

    Even so, I KNOW I could not have done it without everyone’s help on this site
    if the wine is sour – throw it out

    SatyricalRaven

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    688

    Re: Lets try (yet) again :)

    @Sat

    God forbid I should be the voice of reason, but IMHO I think your critique is too long. I've heard it needs to be between 250-300 words long. If you can't do it in that much space, I think it's because you're writing about writing and not writing about your story. Let your agent be the one who decides whether it's "epic" or not. Your work should come out in your writing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satyrical
    But to kill a Jezi Baba witch you need witches blood. Perun has played an uneasy game, gambling on Cecilia as a teacher.
    Sounds like more of a synopsis to me than an actual query.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Australia - for now ;)
    Posts
    598

    Re: Lets try (yet) again :)

    Hi Author,

    It may be a bit long.
    To be honest I would love to be one of those people that could write a QL in about 100 words - and perhaps one day I will!
    I do think it’s harder to do so when writing historical-fantasy as you need to set the scene and create the fantasy, and make it interesting & believable. For me this has been very difficult.

    MS 2, which is nowhere near finished, is an adult-contemporary and even though the first draft isn't even finished, I have already got a rough draft of the QL and its only 150 words. I didn’t need more words as everyone knows what a modern city looks like. The reason I started working in a QL for MS 2 so soon is because I was failing so badly for MS 1. Knowing MS 2 QL seemed to come much easier gave me hope I might actually get MS 1 QL right! (one day)

    I am not sure that the last line is necessarily a synopsis line - again as it’s my work I'm likely WAY to close to decide so I hope others will comment To my mind I saw it as a bit of an example of the 'twists' the reader can expect. I would be more than happy to be wrong because for each 'wrong answer' I know I am closer to the correct one.

    Much appreciated Author. It's lovely that people are taking the time to help me.
    if the wine is sour – throw it out

    SatyricalRaven

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    227

    Re: Lets try (yet) again :)

    Hey Raven,

    A broader question for you. Who's your protagonist? Through your QL journey we've seen 4.

    - Originally I think it was the American girl (of the 5 girls) when you had them all with the same name.
    - Then it was all the girls.
    - Then it was Cecilia.
    - Now it's the Jezi Babas

    I'm only basing this on the fact that each of them has had their turn as the first mention in your QL which is typically the Pro. I know for my MS there's no way I could change Pro's with that sort of ease, it would cause a major rewrite. So how do you do it?

    If your doing it for the sake of a QL and then once the agent receives the MS it's not what your QL implies then there might be some dissappointment there.

    Lastly, if you have an agent waiting for you MS, why are you torturing yourself with the QL? The QL is only meant to get an agent to request a partial or full MS and you already have that request. I'd suggest spending the energy on polishing the MS and not your QL.

    Just something to think about.

    DK

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    6,016

    Re: Lets try (yet) again :)

    "Can I also say Leslee that you (and others JH and DK, Frank, Stan, Kitty....... I have missed many of you as the list goes on) are my sanity. Really"

    Oh, darling, if you are relying upon me for any portion of your sanity . . . I think it qualifies as insane!

    You're doing fine. None of us are going to give up on you, because we know how sincere you are.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Australia - for now ;)
    Posts
    598

    Re: Lets try (yet) again :)

    Reasonable questions DK.

    I'll answer the easiest one first.
    The reason I'm putting myself through the QL process is because:
    (a) gives me something to do while I wait for the MS copies to come back to me. It also allows me to learn/improve the skill of writing QL's.
    (b) if Ms Lit Agent doesn't take me on, I have a polished QL ready to match my polished MS so I can start the process of querying other lit agents.

    There are three main 'characters' Cecilia, the witches and the heroines (5)
    To be honest the one 'constant' is Cecilia so I have decided she needs to be the focus. Without her there is no story. She receives the prophecy. She moves through time with the witches and she trains the women. It has taken a lot of effort and learning to actually understand this. It has also taken a lot of effort to move from a mind-set of wanting to write a synopsis and not a query letter.

    If I attempt to add all the characters I feel I will either need 3 pages or I will confuse the life out of every reader. (again I get it -Eureka!)
    The MS has A LOT of characters, a bit hard to avoid given it spans 1100 years.

    Its been so hard to grip this concept for my own work but I think the copious amounts of coffee and wine combined with a severe lack of sleep have actually given me clarity! (God I hope so!)

    Just to clarify, the way I got the interest of Ms. lit agent in the first place. I wrote a really shyte QL which was, actually, a synopsis.
    Ms lit agent then asked for the ACTUAL synopsis - which I emailed. That was (to be honest) easy. I had up to 3 pages.
    Ms lit agent then requested the first 5 pages; which I sent.
    She then promptly rejected it but, gave me a personalized reply as to why. It was such an eye opener than it made me take stock. Aside from being told it wasn't good enough, I was ACTUALLY told why.

    It was what I needed. The truth. It also told me the concept could be a winner IF my writing matched my vanity.
    I decided I COULD do that. Since then I have been in touch with her several times and am hopeful but realistic. Hence the preparation of another (and final) 'no thanks' from her.

    Besides, perhaps deep down I like to self inflict pain! hahaha
    if the wine is sour – throw it out

    SatyricalRaven

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    227

    Re: Lets try (yet) again :)

    Hey Raven,

    Wasn't looking for you to add everyone in...was just wondering.

    Keep at it.

    DK

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Australia - for now ;)
    Posts
    598

    Re: Lets try (yet) again :)

    No no, its all good.

    I'm glad you asked because I am sure others have asked too.

    I was feeling SO lost just a few days ago. I feel like I have LIGHT! lol
    if the wine is sour – throw it out

    SatyricalRaven

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts