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  1. #41
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    Yeah, get it out there before Mercury goes retro again. (Which won't be until March, but still. )

    *_*



  2. #42
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    leslee - Thanks. Some of your notes did get me thinking over that part of the query and you'll see it's modified here. Disagree with you on "they" versus "are," though. Emphasizing "they" makes it seem like the dying guy is saying they're morally inferior to the other group, not that they're actually the criminals in question.

    Kitty - Heh. Astrology is still crap, but you make it cute.

    Here's the final version, which will soon be hitting the electronic tides:


    Dear ___:

    Birk and Jina can’t remember who they really are, or why they’re working with deadly mercenaries. Someone betrayed them by using magic to block their memories.

    Biggest break of their lives.

    In THE KILLING PAST, the only guides Birk and Jina have are a cryptic journal and diagram, which hint they’re agents tracking a band of vicious criminals. Then, as a man lies dying at their hands, he gasps the truth: they are the criminals.

    As the amnesia spell fades, Jina’s wounds from childhood abuse and Birk’s guilt at causing his brother’s death - the past traumas that drove them to lives of crime - return. So does the diabolical werewolf Garth, who hired them to kill a king.

    Now Birk and Jina have tasted life outside the barren world of hired assassins, and somewhere in there Jina’s defensive sniping and Birk’s distant chill yielded to an unexpected love. Yet they have to finish the job and assassinate the king or Garth’s followers will hunt them down for slaughter. The danger they face, and the weight of their emotional scars, threaten to drag them back into their old familiar abyss.

    There may still be a chance for Birk and Jina to figure out who betrayed them and escape Garth’s wrath...but first they must find in each other the strength to leave the past behind.

    THE KILLING PAST is a 92,000-word fantasy-suspense novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.

  3. #43
    Senior Member Miranda Clementine's Avatar
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    Hey John, this letter has improved, not doubt.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but, wouldn't it be: "...Birk's guilt about causing his brother's death..."?

    and

    "So does the diabolical werewolf Garth..." A comma should come after werewolf.

    As for your third to last paragraph, the tension dwindles. You go from this diabolical werewolf to an unexpected love. In the same sentence you say that they have "tasted life outside the barren..." and what? Liked it? You hint at this, that they want out, but you don't tell us. I think you should hint at the unexpected love, and make apparent their wanting to get out, not the other way around. I think changing the sentence to: "...world of hired assissns, and liked it.", would hold the tension.

    Just my opinion, take it or leave it.

    Good luck!
    Even those who make their living in dreamland must do their chores in the real world.
    -Scarlett Rice
    MC

  4. #44
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    Hey Miranda,

    Thanks for the comments. I'm comfortable with "guilt at..." And no, there shouldn't be a comma after werewolf. That would suggest that a diabolical werewolf has already appeared in the material before, and now we're just identifying him by name. It is proper in this context to go directly from the generic noun "werewolf" to the proper noun "Garth." It's like "the known international terrorist Carlos the Jackal" or "the Oscar-winning actor Jack Nicholson."

    Appreciate your analysis of the tension issue, too!

    JH

  5. #45
    Senior Member Miranda Clementine's Avatar
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    Glad to offer the help.

    I see what you mean about the comma, I didn't realize it worked that way. Commas are my enemy. I either use them too much or... well, use them too much. Thank you for clearing that up for me. (:

    Also, please excuse the typo in my first response, I didn't have a chance to proofread before I posted.
    Even those who make their living in dreamland must do their chores in the real world.
    -Scarlett Rice
    MC

  6. #46
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    Weird. I would have used a comma.

  7. #47
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    It's sort of like the difference between preceding a person's name with his title or with a description of his position. If you're referring to the position and then identifying the holder, you use a comma. If you're using the name of the position directly as a title or descriptor, there's no comma. Thus, it's "the president, Barack Obama," but "President Barack Obama."

    As I think about it, Carlos the Jackal was a bad example, because that one could legitimately go either way. You could say "the known international terrorist, Carlos the Jackal," or "the known international terrorist Carlos the Jackal." But if you were starting a sentence with it, you'd never use a comma. It would never be "Known international terrorist, Carlos the Jackal..."

    I mean, you'd never properly do this. People nevertheless throw the comma in there all the time and it drives me up the wall. If I see "U.S. President, Barack Obama" written one more damn time, I'll go ape.

    In "the diabolical werewolf Garth" it's pretty clear to me that it works better without the comma. "...the diabolical werewolf, Garth" just lessens the impact somehow and doesn't seem right in context for the reasons given above.

    Just for funsies.

  8. #48
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    Hey, John.

    Owing to computer issues, I ain't been here in a while. I have some comments on your most recent version above.


    Birk and Jina can’t remember who they really are, or why they’re working with deadly ARENT' MERCS DEADLY BY DEFINITION? CONSIDER DELETING DEADLY AND/OR REPLACING IT WITH SOMETHING ELSE. mercenaries. Someone betrayed them by using magic to block their memories. CONSIDER, "SOMEONE USED MAGIC TO BLOCK THEIR MEMORIES." THAT'S A NIT, BUT I THINK IT'S CLEANER. GETS TO THE POINT IN A SMOOTHER WAY.

    Biggest break of their lives. I LIKE THIS. IT USES PRECIOUS Q SPACE, BUT LETS YOUR DREAM AGENT KNOW SOMETHING EXCITING IS GOING TO HAPPEN.

    In THE KILLING PAST, the only guides Birk and Jina have are a cryptic journal and diagram, which hint they’re agents tracking a band of vicious THIS IS KINDA LIKE DEADLY MERCS. CAN YOU FIND A WORD THAT SHOWS SOMETHING MORE SPECIFIC? criminals. Then, as a man lies dying at their hands, he gasps the truth: they are the criminals. THIS PARAGRAPH IS A BIT TOO ELLIPTICAL FOR THIS READER. IT'S THE LAST SENTENCE THAT MAKES ME SCRATCH MY BRAIN FOR A MOMENT TO FIGURE OUT WHO ARE THE CRIMINALS. BEYOND THAT, THIS SEEMS TO BE AN OPPORTUNITY TO ADD SOMETHING MORE SPECIFIC THAN THE GENERIC "CRIMINAL." MEBBE ASSASSINS WHO KILLED ARCHDUKE FERDINAND. 'NUTHER THOUGHT IS "CRIMINALS" ISN'T NEARLY AS POWERFUL A WORD AS ASSASSINS/KIILLERS/JEWEL THEIVES.

    As the amnesia CONSIDER DELETING AMNESIA spell fades, Jina’s wounds from childhood abuse and Birk’s guilt at causing his brother’s death - the past traumas that drove them to lives of crime - return. THIS IS KINDA A MOUTHFUL. So does the diabolical DIABOLICAL IS RIGHT ON THE "HAIRY" EDGE OF CLICHE werewolf Garth, who hired them to kill a king. NAW. GIMME THE WEREWOLF MUCH EARLIER.

    Now Birk and Jina have tasted life outside the barren I THINK I'VE COMMENTED ON THIS EARLIER. THE LIFE OF AN ASSASSIN IS IN NO WAY BARREN. I REALLY DON'T THINK THAT'S THE WORD YOU WANT. world of hired assassins, and somewhere in there THIS PRHASE IS AS EMPTY AS AN ASSSSIN'S LIFE. FIND SOME THING MORE EVOCATIVE, OR JUST CHANGE THE SENTENCE TO GET RID OF IT. Jina’s defensive sniping and Birk’s distant chill yielded PRESENT TENSE, NOT PAST. to an unexpected love. THIS SOUNDS LIKE A TV SITCOM. FOR THIS READER, IT SUCKS ANY DRAMA RIGHT OUT OF YOUR Q. Yet they have to finish the job and assassinate the king or Garth’s followers will hunt them down for slaughter. HOW ABOUT GARTH'S FOLLOWERS/MINIONS/ACOLYTES WILL SLAUGHTER THEM? The danger they face, and the weight of their emotional scars, threaten to drag them back into their old familiar abyss. FOR ME, THESE ARE EMPTY WORDS. GIMME A HINT OF SPECIFICS. i ALSO THINK YOU'RE REACHING WHEN YOU USE ABYSS.

    CAPS off. Don't hesitate to ignore, John.

    Cur
    Last edited by Smiling Curmudgeon; 01-29-2012 at 08:43 PM.

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