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  1. #11
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    Miranda,

    So I really do think you should scrap this. I meant what I said that I only commented on the flow of info/emotion to give you and idea of HOW I think you went off so you could apply that to your next version. NOT to give you guidance for revising this version. Broad stroke stuff.

    I don't remember your last version in which I said it read romance. I doubt I meant that it read "hot" and romantic. I bet I meant that it read like a romance writer in terms of theme. Like evil isn't something to be overcome, but something to make a lover of. Horror doesn't do that. Romance, of the paranormal genre, does.

    Figure out what differentiates romance and horror and paranormal romance. I believe these lines are along theme, like what force actually saves the day. And, then, what day are we saving. If it's love/romance that brings contentment to the MC(s), it's a romance. If it's a character personally rising to the occasion, despite his love interest, it's probably horror. Both horror and paranormal engage in what lies beneath the surface of the ordinary world. But it's not until romance is the flag-waving force that we refer to horror as paranormal. Right? Romance writers like to call horror "paranormal" because it sits better with those readers and signals that the underlying theme is finding true love and that classic evil will be in service to a character's need for love. So you'll fall in love with a vampire, classic evil, to serve a murkier sort of good-evil, where sexual desire comes on par with societal good/evil.

    I think both approaches are valid and offer insight beyond trash/escapist reading. But you gotta know which approach you're taking or neither the horror nor the paranormal/romance readers will get you.

    Easier way: What do you actually read? Stephen King doesn't write romance, although love story figures into some of his plots. Stephanie Meyers doesn't write horror, although horror (see how paranormal works better because it strips the offensive bits off horror, which must be seen as evil, black and white, while paranormal allows a vampire to be good), shapes her romance. Would that help? To think King writes horror and Meyers writes romance? Right. Meyer's story works if you take out the vampires and makes the glistening guy just a supercool guy, a wild and powerful prince and the MC chick is an innocent commoner. King's stories work if you strip out the love interests and just make them about some guy, ill-equipped to face some evil and deciding what the hell. So strip off the subplot of what you've written. What's the core story? It can't be both. Those of us who do not read romance, do not buy that some guy/relationship makes us heroic. Those of us who do read romances believe that coupling with the right guy makes us strong enough to attack evil. There's very little cross-over. I know a few friends who read romances; they do not read the books I read. They get mad at the books I read and feel like the author is trying to make them feel bad about themselves. I have read a few of the books they read and feel like shrugging. There's very little cross-over here.

    You can't get us all. You should not. Decide.

    Horror with love-story subplot. Or romance with paranormal subplot.

    Egads, don't know what I've written here. Hope it's helpful.



  2. #12
    Senior Member Miranda Clementine's Avatar
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    @ Amy- thank you. How could I ever forget? You were my first after all... lol

    @ CK- When I said I'd rewrite this version I only meant as an exercise, to make it less confusing, not to actually keep. (:

    I guess it would be a PR then, because it is about a 2000 year love affair after all. I just thought that everything else in the story was more interesting than the love story because it's what makes it unique, but perhaps I need to focus on that more for my query... I actually prefer King over Meyer. I can get lost in a soppy romance here and there, but I like my chills served after a course of terrifying blood fests or a monsters hiding in the closet.

    Thank you for your help!

  3. #13
    Senior Member Zoe Saadia's Avatar
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    I agree with Avonne most of all.
    It reads as an interesting piece. It attracted my attention; I would definitely read more!
    But the style of this QL is so... plain (he hears, he feels, he awakes, she bursts in...). It's telling and it's a simplified telling at that.

    How about posting an excerpt in the Writing Critique?

  4. #14
    Senior Member Zoe Saadia's Avatar
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    CK, your last post was so enlightening! (Thank you )

  5. #15
    Senior Member Miranda Clementine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoe Saadia View Post
    How about posting an excerpt in the Writing Critique?
    Thank you for your feedback. I actually have an excerpt here. I've worked with it since I first posted, but there it is since you asked. (:

  6. #16
    Senior Member Miranda Clementine's Avatar
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    Ok, I'm still working on other angles of this query, but I think it will help if I get this one at least fixed, as in it reads how I intended. I actually did this days ago with no plans of posting but I really think feedback will help me. My last attempt at it had many flaws that I hope are corrected. I don't want to repeat mistakes in my next attempts. Thank you for any comments!


    Cole is tied to a chair and surrounded by vampires. With fang marks penetrating his neck, he’s woozy from blood loss and can read his captor’s thoughts. Just when it seems life can't get any worse, the woman who’s been haunting his sleep enters the room. Every time she shows up in his visions he is dragged off and killed. This time, however, she kicks in the nearest vampire’s knee and guts another before fatigue takes over and it's lights out for Cole.

    He awakes to Alex, the woman who saved him, offering breakfast in bed. As if the pain and bruises aren’t bad enough, her gesture comes with a side of enlightenment. Apparently, she too is a vampire and needs his help. She lost her memory sixty years ago and, because he dreams about her, believes Cole has answers to her past. At least she provides clarity to his nightly visions: they’re glimpses into the life of the spirit who’s haunting him. This apparition is the spirit of a man who knew Alex prior to his death. Cole agrees to assist Alex until he discovers that vampires were responsible for his wife’s murder. Now, he must overcome his prejudice for Alex and embrace his unique bloodline which connects him to Alex and this spirit. If not, he will find that clarity is not enough to fend himself against vampires more powerful than those who first attacked him.

    Thank you!

  7. #17
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    Dude, I'd totally read this. The first one had me going and I didn't understand every one elses problem. The parasite bit threw me but you cleared it up in the second draft. The structure seems right. It kind of has the book slip feel, but tells a lot about the story. In the first paragraph alone you show us it's a story about vamps, mind reading is involved and that he is dreaming about the wacky lady vamp. I wonder why he is tied up but I guess that isn't for the query, it just tells me that the lady vamp isn't the only one who needs him or he's got bad luck?
    The second para sets up some sarcasm. Even the first time I picked up on the sarcasm with the word enlightenment, but the rest of the para didn't have the same feel, the first time. In the second attempt you followed through with it. Good. I like sarcasm. The only sentence that really stood out for me was the last one. It seems a bit long and I tripped over it a little. I have no suggestions for it just now but if one comes to me I will share it.
    Good luck.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Avonne Writer's Avatar
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    Miranda,

    "Cole is tied to a chair and surrounded by vampires. With fang marks penetrating his neck, he’s woozy from blood loss and can read his captor’s [captors' - apostrophy after--assuming more than one captor since there are "vampires"] thoughts."

    Tied to a chair and woozy from loss of blood, Cole lifts his heavy head to find himself surrounded by frenzied vampires. - Just an idea. Your first few sentences are a little choppy.

    Good luck

  9. #19
    Senior Member Zoe Saadia's Avatar
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    I liked this version much better

    The only thing that jumped out on me was penetrating in "With fang marks penetrating his neck...".
    The marks are not penetrating, the fangs are. So I would think something like "With fang marks upon his neck..." would sound better (just my opinion, of course)

  10. #20
    Senior Member Miranda Clementine's Avatar
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    Del- Thank you for being my cheerleader! Sometimes we need to hear the good with the bad, not matter how much you are already braced for the bad. I'm glad my sarcasm came through.

    Avonne- Thank you for the suggestion, that is something I would have said/written in the MS but didn't think to write it that way in query. With the one part it is only one captor's thoughts he is hearing, so it didn't work. I would hate for a potential agent to think I messed up on a possessive noun (not that a potential agent will be seeing this version).

    Zoe- Thank you also for the cheerleading. (: Penetrating was definitely one of the words I kept playing with and wasn't too happy about. I was trying to find a stronger verb than "on." Other words I was tossing around were "littered" and "marked" (only when I used them it read "puncture wounds marked (or littered) his neck," or "fang punctures marked his neck.").

    Thanks again! Now I'm off to finish my romance angle, and polish the one I've been working on forever (but just can't get just right... lol)

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