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  1. #1
    Senior Member Miranda Clementine's Avatar
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    Desert Rain- Please critique

    Thank you, everyone who have helped me so far, your advice has been great!

    This is my latest attempt, could you please critique it for me? I would greatly appreciate any and all feedback.



    Cole is tied to a chair, fang marks penetrate his neck. Heís woozy and hearing his parasiteís thoughts. Just when he canít imagine life getting any worse, the woman whoís been haunting his dreams bursts in. Every time she shows up in his visions, he is dragged off and killed. This time, however, she kicks in the knee of the nearest vampire and guts another before itís lights out for Cole.

    He awakes to Alex, the vampire who saved him, offering breakfast in bed. As if the pain and bruises arenít bad enough, Alex enlightens him about the surreptitious world around him and the reason for his nightly visions. He is haunted by a spirit who knew her before its death. Although the dreams offer her clues, she cannot remember who this person was because she doesnít remember anything beyond sixty years ago. Cole is her last hope of finding the truth about her forgotten history. He was willing to help until he discovers that vampires were responsible for his wifeís death. If Cole cannot overcome his prejudice for Alex, she will lose her fortitude, and with it, her life.

    Desert Rain, a 90,000 word paranormal romance, is about the journey of how Alex got her memory back and the ensuing revenge on those who took it in the first place. It is told in multiple POVs, focusing on Alex and Coleís perspective.


    Thank you in advanced.



  2. #2
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    Egads. What's going on over there today, Miranda? This Q is just weird. Honestly, you've got to forget you wrote this and start over. There isn't a sentence in here that represents you or your writing in a positive way. It's all chatter and cliches and ends with a summary.

    Come on. Start fresh. What is your book about?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Miranda Clementine's Avatar
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    Alright, thank you leslee. I was once again working on the other query when this one popped into my head, so I polished it and submitted it here. Perhaps I should stay focused on the one I've been sweating over...

    Thank you for your honesty.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Avonne Writer's Avatar
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    Miranda--I thought I was reading an excerpt from the book and had to scratch my head when I got to the word count. My comments were going to be geared toward the summary feel of an excerpt and soooo much telling. Plus, there are a few grammatical errors. But, since Leslee is suggesting you start over, I won't dwell. (Though, I must admit, this had my interest piqued way more than your other attempts. This one had me thinking I would enjoy reading this story--so, good job on that, anyway.)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Miranda Clementine's Avatar
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    Thank you, Avonne, but if you see mistakes please point them out (provided you have the time). I'm sure you know that it's hard to see your own mistakes and I'd hate to make them again.

  6. #6
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    Miranda,

    I agree with leslee that it would be best to scrap this approach.

    One thing I do like is that you seem to have a complex plot and complex characters whose needs and fears are at odds. However, I don't think you're boring into the ice covering what makes your story interesting; you're skating figure eights over the surface. Get out the auger and drill to what's unique and fascinating about your story. (Sorry, practicing with way-too-long metaphor.)


    I'll justing go through this version though with how the info/emotional flow reads for the reader so you'll get an idea about why. Or at least my thoughts about how your flow works on the reader here.

    Three broad reasons this isn't working:

    1. Info that is stressed but doesn't go anywhere throws our focus off again and again.
    2. Shifty POV shifts tangle up our ability to figure out the who are what to care about.
    3. There's no romance in a promised romance.

    Cole is tied to a chair, fang marks penetrate his neck. So it's not a bad thing to start with a scene visual, but you want to make sure that image/scene is really doing lots of jobs in the Q. This one just feels like a convenient entry point. He’s woozy and hearing his parasite’s thoughts. So he has a parasite. Very SF. I'm thinking the thing is going to burst forth from his middle any moment. I'm thinking a thinking parasite is going to at least be pretty potent in the book. But you never go back to this shocking bit. Just when he can’t imagine life getting any worse, the woman who’s been haunting his dreams bursts in. Every time she shows up in his visions, he is dragged off and killed. This time, however, she kicks in the knee of the nearest vampire and guts another before it’s lights out for Cole. Nothing really wrong here. But I'm wondering why Cole didn't consider the Vs all around him when he was considering how life couldn't get worse. Why was he focused on parasite whispers and feeling woozy when he's surrounded by vampires. Again it feels like the focus is off. If you want us to quickly get into Cole's mind and feelings of the moment

    He awakes to Alex, So he goes to sleep because he sees knee kicking and gutting? I'm confused why you'd focus on his sleep and waking? the vampire How does he know she's a vampire? Because you started with a scene-like bit and firmly in Cole's POV, you confuse us when you pull in bits only the narrator should know. who saved him, offering breakfast in bed. Is this supposed to be romantic? If you, it's not reading that way. I would not even ask if you hadn't stated that you'd written a romance and thus made me look for romance elements in here, of which I find none. As if the pain and bruises aren’t bad enough, Alex enlightens him about the surreptitious world around him and the reason for his nightly visions. So you used the word "enlightened," which has a good connotation but oppose that good connotation as worse than pain and bruises. Are we supposed to believe that Cole would rather not know these things? That knowing is damaging to him? Or that he is really enlightened? He is haunted by a spirit who knew her before its death. Confused again. I thought that spirits by definition were not corporeal and could not die. Although the dreams offer her clues, Whoa, in the middle of a graph, in the middle of you Q, and with a POV-ambiguous intro clause, you switch the entire heart of the story over to Alex. she cannot remember who this person What person? We had a spirit? Or do you mean Cole? was because she doesn’t remember anything beyond sixty years ago. Cole is her last hope of finding the truth about her forgotten history. He was willing to help until he discovers that vampires were responsible for his wife’s death. If Cole cannot overcome his prejudice for Alex, she will lose her fortitude, and with it, her life. So you see that in these last couple sentences there's no way for the reader to care what happens to Alex. Why would anyone care if she loses her "fortitude" or her life for that matter. Shes, um, a vampire. They, um, kill people to live. You toss in that Cole is prejudiced but judging a vampire as given to killing is not pre judgement. It's just plain good judgement. You've not built anything else in here. You've also not built a word of romance into this.

    Desert Rain, a 90,000 hypen word paranormal romance, is about the journey of how Read that phrase outloud -- is about the journey of how. Does that sound good to you? Alex got her memory back and the ensuing revenge on those who took it in the first place. What? There's nothing about this in the Q? If that is one of the two things this book is about, why isn't it mentioned even once in the above summary? You just have a vampire who can only remember back sixty years. No hint that anyone took her memory. It is told in multiple POVs, focusing on Alex and Cole’s perspective If you've written a multi-POV story, you've got to prove that you can handle POV in this one page. Here you've done it poorly. I'd drop this bit entirely. Don't hang a lantern on your weak spots for no good reason.

    I really think you need to play with some versions that bring the romance to the forefront.

    Hope something here helps. Good luck.

  7. #7
    martin shaw
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    I sort of like it for its mistakes. It has given me an idea.

    It describes well, the book, but makes the content look fragile.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Miranda Clementine's Avatar
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    CK,

    Thank you for a very thorough critique, you have given me plenty to think about. One thing I wanted to address first is the genre confusion; I told you I'm having a hard time deciding how to categorize my story. lol I didn't know whether to say it's a horror or a romance. In my last query attempt you said it read romance... lol I guess it depends on how I sell.

    As for the "parasite" I was trying for a better word (or words) than "...hearing the thoughts of the vampire who bit him." I was worried parasite wouldn't quite work, but I thought I'd try it out, I have already come up with a better way to word it.

    Although I may very well scrap the version, I will still try to reword it to address some of your comments on what was confusing to you, to see if I can clarify my story. But it'll have to wait until later tonight, when I have time. (:

    Thank you again!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Miranda Clementine's Avatar
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    I sort of like it for its mistakes. It has given me an idea.

    uh-oh, that can mean many things... lol

    It describes well, the book, but makes the content look fragile.

    Thank you for your input martin, guess I gotta beef it up a little. (:
    Last edited by Miranda Clementine; 05-02-2011 at 01:32 PM.

  10. #10
    Amy Lou
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    Hey Miranda, I emailed you most of my thoughts but I just wanted to say that I agree with CK so very much and I feel like you're holding back the things that make your book unique and interesting. Remember, I've read it!!!

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