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 1 
 on: Today at 11:54:45 AM 
Started by ShatteredSmooth - Last post by ShatteredSmooth
   
Hello ShatteredSmooth!

First of all, good luck with your continued querying! And congrats on getting requests with your first version! Of the two versions you posted, I found your original one engaging and much easier to read. My vote goes with that one! I do however enjoy the comps you add to your second one, so I've added them into your first paragraph. Serin's need and problem are clear. I'm a little unsure of your world. Is the independent territory the same as the the 'one nation'? Because a territory can include one or many nations. I'm sure this can be cleared up with a little massaging!

In paragraph two, I'd like to know up front, who Serin's antagonist is, and why Serin is forced to use magic.  I've put a few questions and suggestions in line for this paragraph, and I apologize if they are a repeat of other people's questions.

I really love your last paragraph! A great hook, and plenty of tension!!  Well done!

Please take what works and toss the rest!!



EARTH RECLAIMED is a YA fantasy complete at 87, 000 words, and will appeal to readers who enjoyed Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller and Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis. It features a non-binary protagonist and a LGBTQ cast. Like Seren, I am non-binary and prefer the pronouns they/them.

Seventeen-year-old mage, Seren, wants to see the world--at least the parts that aren’t radioactive or under water. Helping their mother, Assana, run the independent territory would be easier if they used magic like she did, but magic binds the user to the elemental spirits it’s sourced from. Often, Seren isn’t sure who is in charge: Assana or the elementals. Seren can’t help being Assana’s heir, but they never want to be bound to volatile magic like their mother.

When regional leaders from the territory meet to draft a constitution and unite as one nation (is this the independent territory?), Assana sends Seren in her place. After a deadly attack by (who is the antagonist?), Seren is forced to use magic to (accompish what? Save the humans?). A river elemental sinks its metaphysical currents into Seren’s soul, opening a two-way channel to their goddess-like planet (and does Serin lose anything/feel weaker for it?). As Seren draws on more power to expose plots and(you could cut this if you want) fend off continued attacks, Mother Earth tries to use Seren as Her mouthpiece: humans must cease their fighting or face extinction. I like this last sentence!!!

Shutting Her out could be the end of all humans. Letting Her in would mean sacrificing their soul. Somehow, Seren must help selfish politicians find common ground and stop a war, without letting Mother Earth take the reins. I like your ending! Lots of tension here!!!


Thank you! I should've stuck with my instincts on this one. I liked this query, but around the same time requests stopped comming, an agent rejected it saying the story it described was "unwieldy" a critiquer agreed and that lead to a rewrite...

 2 
 on: Today at 11:48:03 AM 
Started by ShatteredSmooth - Last post by Jodic
   
Hello ShatteredSmooth!

First of all, good luck with your continued querying! And congrats on getting requests with your first version! Of the two versions you posted, I found your original one engaging and much easier to read. My vote goes with that one! I do however enjoy the comps you add to your second one, so I've added them into your first paragraph. Serin's need and problem are clear. I'm a little unsure of your world. Is the independent territory the same as the the 'one nation'? Because a territory can include one or many nations. I'm sure this can be cleared up with a little massaging!

In paragraph two, I'd like to know up front, who Serin's antagonist is, and why Serin is forced to use magic.  I've put a few questions and suggestions in line for this paragraph, and I apologize if they are a repeat of other people's questions.

I really love your last paragraph! A great hook, and plenty of tension!!  Well done!

Please take what works and toss the rest!!



EARTH RECLAIMED is a YA fantasy complete at 87, 000 words, and will appeal to readers who enjoyed Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller and Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis. It features a non-binary protagonist and a LGBTQ cast. Like Seren, I am non-binary and prefer the pronouns they/them.

Seventeen-year-old mage, Seren, wants to see the world--at least the parts that aren’t radioactive or under water. Helping their mother, Assana, run the independent territory would be easier if they used magic like she did, but magic binds the user to the elemental spirits it’s sourced from. Often, Seren isn’t sure who is in charge: Assana or the elementals. Seren can’t help being Assana’s heir, but they never want to be bound to volatile magic like their mother.

When regional leaders from the territory meet to draft a constitution and unite as one nation (is this the independent territory?), Assana sends Seren in her place. After a deadly attack by (who is the antagonist?), Seren is forced to use magic to (accompish what? Save the humans?). A river elemental sinks its metaphysical currents into Seren’s soul, opening a two-way channel to their goddess-like planet (and does Serin lose anything/feel weaker for it?). As Seren draws on more power to expose plots and(you could cut this if you want) fend off continued attacks, Mother Earth tries to use Seren as Her mouthpiece: humans must cease their fighting or face extinction. I like this last sentence!!!

Shutting Her out could be the end of all humans. Letting Her in would mean sacrificing their soul. Somehow, Seren must help selfish politicians find common ground and stop a war, without letting Mother Earth take the reins. I like your ending! Lots of tension here!!!

 3 
 on: Today at 11:18:56 AM 
Started by Jodic - Last post by Jodic
Hello again,

I've revamped my query once again!

Any/ all suggestions and criticisms are welcome! 


Thanks in advance!! Grin


Dear Agent:

I’d like to offer my MG contemporary novel, FINDING TALON HANDAXE (complete at 56,000 words) for your consideration. As posted on MSWL, you expressed an interest in funny books and animation and this novel features both. It also includes a quest with unlikely friends, similar to Erin Entrada Kelly's Hello Universe, a similar setting to Peter Brown's The Wild Robot and the antics of Rafe in James Patterson's Middle School series.

To city kid Wallace Shipley, a camping trip in Northern Ontario with his parents and frenemy Adanna, is a twelfth birthday spent in hell. Or worse, gym class. Even his parents' sketchbook gift sucks. It's better for spit balls than flip books. Ugh. But if his dad's willing to hang out like they used to before his new hero-themed animation job, it'll all be worth it.

When a flare shoots up north of the park, Wallace believes its trouble for celebrity adventurer, Talon Handaxe, who is filming his wilderness show nearby. Wallace rushes to tell his parents, but he's interrupted by a call from Toronto summoning his dad back to work. Desperate to keep his father from leaving, Wallace vows to be a real, flesh and blood hero, and find Handaxe. He and Adanna, a self-proclaimed survivalist, sneak off into the wild.

When storms, poison ivy, and vicious animals endanger their journey, Wallace soon learns Adanna's survival skills stink more than a dumpster. In summer time. Ravenous and exhausted, the pair are captured by the same poachers holding Handaxe hostage. To escape, Wallace taps into his once spurned animation skills and concocts a risky plan to save the T.V. hero, Adanna and himself. If he doesn't succeed, Wallace will reach the final frames of his life—and he'll never see Dad again.

My work as an animation teacher and librarian at the middle school level has shown me how much kids enjoy books featuring adventure and humor. A lover of camping and hiking, I am a member of two writing groups and have attended SCBWI conferences in Toronto.

Please find the first ten pages below as per your submission guidelines.

Thank you for your time.



 4 
 on: Today at 07:41:38 AM 
Started by Jodic - Last post by Jodic
Hello Everyone.

I've posted my first five pages of my middle grade wilderness adventure, FINDING TALON HANDAXE.

Do you find any of it confusing? Any problems at all?

Any/all comments are appreciated!

Thank you in advance!!


Chapter One

When she passed it back, I knew what I had to do. Eat it. The egg salad Mom offered didn't ring any bells on my stomach's thrill-o-meter. But Dad wasn't with us as usual, to claim his favorite lunch time treat. He stayed behind in the city. And after five hours of staring at pine trees along the highway, chewing a mushy sandwich seemed like riding a coaster down Mount Everest. I unwrapped the cellophane and took a bite.
Mom, sitting shotgun in the station wagon, turned up the volume of the local Temagami radio station to hear the weather report. One hundred percent pointless. Anyone could see the blazing sun and dark clouds, which turned out to be swarms of mosquito. I chewed my sandwich and stared past Mom at the dashboard as the radio announcer introduced himself.
 Neville Wartlick.
"Ha! Wartlick!" Laughter rose through me as strong as a geyser, along with the sweet eggy spray.
Bright yellow bits of yolk clung to the back of my mom's hair, like tree ornaments.
My mouthful also showered Adanna, a family friend and my longtime foe, sitting beside me in the back seat.
"Ewwwwwww, Wallace!" Adanna screamed. I cringed. She'd been talking non-stop the whole way north from Toronto. Apparently, she still had enough vocal fortitude to make my ears almost bleed.
"What happened?" Naomi, who was Adanna's mother, turned back from the driver's seat. As she did, her hand yanked down the steering wheel.
 The station wagon veered into oncoming traffic.
"Watch the truck, watch the truck!" My mom braced herself against the dash.
"Ah wooooooo!" Cool Beans, Adanna's basset hound came alive in the rear of the wagon.
Naomi swerved her blimp-sized vehicle back to the right. Tires squealed.
My heart jolted hard, probably denting my rib cage.
"I'm gonna die before I try cheeseburger poutine!" I cried.
 We fishtailed. My cheek kissed the window. Our impending crash played in my mind with flip book speed. The wagon bucked as Naomi braked. We lurched forward in our seats before she pulled onto the shoulder.
My heart pried itself from my ribs. Hands still shaking, I patted myself down for any damage. All body parts seemed intact. I'd live to see my twelfth birthday, tomorrow. Barely.
"Everyone okay?" Naomi turned back, her dark eyes filled with concern. She looked from me to Adanna. "Is that egg on your face, Adanna?"
"Why is the back of my head covered in goo?" Mom rubbed her hair.
Cool Bean's cream and tan colored head rose from behind us. Nose up, he snuffled the air before lumbering over our seat.
"Cool Beans, no!" Adanna tried to push him away. But he was on a mission, a tongue wielding superhero. With long licks he wiped egg off Adanna and the seats, leaving trails of sticky saliva.
"Stop!" Naomi and Mom took swipes at Cool Beans from the front.
A warm feeling spread through my chest as I surveyed all the flushed faces and bulging eyes. For the first time since this birthday camping trip was sprung on me, everyone looked as upset as me. An idea hatched in my mind and grew as strong as the stench of egg salad. Sabotage. As long as I was miserable, I'd spread it around like evil fairy dust.
The front of my shorts felt wet, but I forgot that sensation the moment Mom turned around. She wore rose-colored glasses, but behind them, her eyes weren't rosy. The temperature in the car dropped to arctic climes.
"Wallace, did you cause this fiasco?" Mom asked. "We could have had an accident."
Cool Beans paused tongue-detailing the back seat. Even the song on the radio took on a distinct, sinister tone.
"Yes, Sky, it's Wallace's fault." Adanna sniffed, chest heaving.
"Don't look at me!" I snapped my seatbelt. "It was Neville Wartlick!"
"You spit egg salad on me." Adanna pointed an accusing finger my way.
 "You screamed."
"Stop it." Mom wiped her eggy hair on a napkin as Naomi pulled the wagon back on the highway. "Kids, I think an apology is in—"
"Look, he wet himself." Adanna grinned, braces sparkling. Her mocha colored cheeks rose to meet her bright eyes. All signs of emotional anguish completely vanished.
I looked down and felt the slow, dreadful roll of understanding in my gut. The damp stain on my shorts. My water bottle, now empty on the floor. Cool Bean plodding paws over our seats, the culprit. If I didn't clear this up, Adanna might spend the rest of our trip discussing diapers and bladder control.
"Relax." I rubbed the wet stain. "It's only water."
"Yeah right." Adanna scoffed. "Why is your face as red as your hair?"
"Okay kids, we'll stop off at the next gas station," Naomi said. "It smells terrible in here."
"Wallace, you can clean the car," Mom said.
My toes curled in my Converse high tops. Crystal ball, I could foretell my Labor Day long weekend if I didn't smarten up my sabotage plans, quick. Adanna would be smug queen and master of humiliation. I'd be the scrubber of backseat cesspits.
Mom cranked open her window and turned up the radio while everyone mouth-breathed.
Hey, all you Temagami cottagers and campers enjoying this sunny Friday, turn up 105.2,
The Moose! American reality TV celebrity Talon Handaxe, star of Extreme Wilderness
Survival, has been filming his show alone in our seven hundred square miles of
backcountry wilderness.

Adanna shot up in her seat. "Louder, please!"

For eight days he's been out there, with little food and water. Handaxe has two days to
go. And did you know he's upped the ante for this episode?

"Because he's not having enough fun?" I said.

"Shhhh!" Adanna gave me a playful shove.

He won't contact his crew with his satellite phone for any reason! Nope, not until the last
day! That's craaaaaazy up here! Stay tuned until Sunday, to find out if he's been
barbequed by bears or broiled by bobcats...just kidding folks! Let's hope Handaxe is up to
this challenge!

"That is dangerous," Mom said. "I hope he's okay."
"Of course he is. He can survive any situation!" Adanna's silence had lasted twenty seconds. My ears prepared for the onslaught. "He helped polar bear cubs find their mother in a snowstorm and navigated through shark-infested waters on a raft made of water bottles."
"All in the same episode?" I blotted my shorts with my Master Blaster t-shirt. "Your boyfriend's been busy." Handaxe meant boo to me unless I used him to annoy Adanna.
"He's not my boyfriend." She scowled. "He's my hero, I've told you this before."
"Look. Temagami Gas Bar, Bait n' Tackle and Diner." Naomi pointed to a faded sign teetering up ahead on the highway. "Let's fill up with gas before we hit the campground. We can clean up, too."
"Why would anyone leave the Hollywood Hills to come here?" I shook my head.
"Wallace, think of our trip as an adventure," Naomi said. She pulled the wagon into the crumbling parking lot and rumbled up to a pump. "Your mom and I spent every summer in Temagami as kids, camping with our families."
"I can't wait. Oh, did you pack any crocodiles or piranhas to spice up the festivities?" I asked as Naomi got out of the car to pump gas.
"Don't be rude." Mom sighed. "I can see you're still upset at Dad and me. If he were here, he'd tell you camping is a chance to immerse yourself in nature. Explore your creative side, the way you used to."
For a child therapist, Mom could be cruel. She may as well pour more water on my shorts. Six hours ago, Dad and Mom had ripped my gaming console from my hands, right as I reached Master Blaster's highest level. With my system tucked under his arm, Dad had left our apartment to go back to work, with a slim promise he'd show up tonight.

 5 
 on: Today at 06:45:44 AM 
Started by ShatteredSmooth - Last post by ShatteredSmooth

I think both queries could use some work, so I marked up both of them. But overall, I like your original query better, so I can see why that one got more requests. I think my biggest advice is to make sure your magic system is clear: I think it was clearer in the original query than the current one, but I think some questions could still be answered. Also, it seems like this story takes place on Earth, but I wasn't certain; does it take place in everyday Earth, and we'd find Seren walking among humans? Or are ambassadors hiding away in the magical depths somewhere?


Hope my comments help. Good luck! Smiley



The help a lot! I will focus on revising the first one.

Re your last question:

It is on earth, but roughly 250 years in the future where there is a lot less tech and a lot more magic, a lot more nature and a lot less people. The ambassadors are generally leaders where they live (like Seren's Mom is kind of like a mayor but of a county sized area, not a single town and pre-NUNES, there is no government official she reports to or is overseen by) I've gone back and forth about how much of this to mention the time period the query. I don't want agents to assume this is dystopian because its set in the future because it isn't dystopian. It's kind of like 60% fantasy, 30% solar punk.

I suppose if Seren's enemies won it could become dystopian, but *spoiler alert* the "bad" guys don't win.

 6 
 on: Today at 06:37:04 AM 
Started by ShatteredSmooth - Last post by ShatteredSmooth
Quote from: ShatteredSmooth link=topic=23051.msg262924#msg262924 date=1534553715
[b
The one that started getting requests then fizzled: [/b]


This query is easier to read, for me. And a lot more relatable. I'd work on this one rather than the other one. The requests you got ...that is a good thing. I sent out 30 submissions a few months back and didn't get one MS request. And it could be that one of those agents will want your book. The fact it fizzled doesn't mean the query is bad ( my critique is being fussy for this one as I quite liked most of it. )  My advice - relax. The fact you got requests means you were on the right track

I sent out 38 queries with the original. 3 request were in the first 2 weeks. Just after after I changed it and sent out another batch, one of the last people I queried with the old one requested. So in hindsight, my request rate wasn't terrible. It was just front loaded. I've sent out 20 queries with the new one and no bites yet.

Thanks for feedback! I think I'll work on improving the older query.   Smiley

 7 
 on: Today at 01:21:46 AM 
Started by Silverdragon - Last post by Pineapplejuice
Dear (Agent :

The question _________-- has lingered in the back of Sakura’s mind since she was a pup. Her green eyes and odd colored fur makes her feel different among the other wolves. Even the term (relates to title) came to be a known name for the wolf species. Still, Sakura couldn’t shake the feeling that she was meant for more than the comforting shelter of her tiny village and she soon discovers that her silver-colored fur has more mystery ( do you mean mystery? Or purpose? )  to it than just glowing under the bright light of the moon. ( I actually liked this...but I do have a problem with making queries too long , but I really connected with your MC  Grin)
 
When ____( this happens )  Brave Sakura and her younger brother Latius embark on a journey, outside the safe boundaries of home. ( Like Tiger Ash said 'Why' is important ) They quickly realize that the outside world wants to take away everything they love ( be specific here, what has the journey taken away? Warmth, health. comfort? ) and the Blackheart Dragons, will stop at nothing to get what they desire. The Blackheart’s king, Balthazar, ordered ( keep to present tense in a query ) the capture of the wolves ( you mean Sakura and brother or all wolves? How far has Sakura gone? Is the pack at home safe? ) as he was desperately searching for the Wolves Amulet, a power source that he hoped would will grant him the ability to escape the gate that he was imprisoned within hundreds of years ago of his prison of hundreds of years.


When the amulet finds  its way into Sakura’s paws. ( I agree re: 'How?' ) During their travels, Sakura and Latius meet a friendly dragon named Jewel, that offers to help rescue the captured wolves of their village from the clutches of the Blackhearts. ( I'd mention that the wolves have been captured earlier, as I don't think it actually stated this above clearly. )

( I was confused as to why the 'evil darkness' is known as 'the blackheart dragons.' confuses at to whether it's just an evil mist of negativity or actual dragons. I agree with TigerAsh about keeping in pov of MC as this paragraph did read as distant. )


Sakura learns that she is a pure (relates to title), a descendant from the mighty wolf Guardian, Staine, and the only one to be able to control the power that the amulet. ( I'd consider keeping this info in query if it will fit chronologically without giving too much away )

And agree with Tiger Ash: say something about how Sakura has the power to defeat the king, but by doing so, she risks opening up an eve n more powerful being that brings new troubles and greater challenges.

I stole Tiger Ash's critique do have a go over it to make comments. I made deletions that Tiger Ash suggested so that my comments would be clearer in what you're probably keeping. I really like this wolf. I know nothing about MG but looking forward to seeing a clearer version, and Tiger Ash's questions are what I'd like to be answered too.  Remember present tense for queries. Smiley

 8 
 on: Today at 01:02:17 AM 
Started by brendan_hodge - Last post by Pineapplejuice
I'd like to know which one got the MS request. You should probably work on that one. Would you mind posting it?

 9 
 on: Today at 12:52:46 AM 
Started by ShatteredSmooth - Last post by Pineapplejuice
Quote from: ShatteredSmooth link=topic=23051.msg262924#msg262924 date=1534553715
[b
The one that started getting requests then fizzled: [/b]

EARTH RECLAIMED is an 87,000 word YA fantasy novel featuring a non-binary main character and a LGBTQ cast. Like Seren, I am non-binary and prefer the pronoun they/them.

Seventeen-year-old mage, Seren, wants to see the world ( I prefer this start. It has character!  Grin It grabs me with voice. ) -- at least the parts that aren’t radioactive or under water. Helping their mother, Assana, run the independent territory would be easier if Seren ( just like with He and she it's not good to have too many close together, mix it up with a name. Esp for people like me unfamiliar with the use of the pronoun, it just helps us to digest the info without being distracted ) used magic like she did, but magic binds the user to the elemental spirits it’s sourced from.  Grin ( This is interesting and clearly explains something important ) Sometimes, Seren isn’t sure who is in charge: Assana or the elementals. ( This is good as continues the flow of that voice and explanation. )  Seren can’t help being Assana’s heir, but they never want to be bound to volatile magic like their ( I'd use Seren here ) mother. ( the reason why I'd use Seren in last part of sentence near 'mother' is because it reads like the elementals have a mother. They probably do ( the Earth ) but it's going to read too complicated so I'd rearrange the pronouns to.

They can't help being Assana's heir but the Elementals never want to be bound to volatile magic like Serens mother.

Maybe.


When regional leaders meet to draft a constitution and unite as one nation, Assana sends Seren in her place ( I'm wanting a 'because' and brief explanation ) . After a deadly attack, Seren is forced to use magic. A river elemental sinks its metaphysical currents into Seren’s soul, opening a two-way channel to their goddess-like planet. ( I'd say how Seren feels about this two way channel here, as we have no way of knowing if it's good or bad )  As Seren draws on more elemental power to expose plots and fend off continued attacks, Mother Earth tries to use Seren as Her mouthpiece: humans must cease their fighting or face extinction.

Shutting Her out could be the end of all humans. Letting Her in would mean sacrificing their soul ( not everyone beleives in souls so this falls flat. Unless you mean it will kill her physical body?  I'd be clearer. So many fantasy first drafts end on 'sacrifice his/her soul'. ) Somehow, Seren must help selfish politicians find common ground and stop a war, without letting Mother Earth take the reins. ( I know you're summing up here but it falls flat to me as a last sentence as repeats what we know, but in an underwhelming way that doesn't increase stakes. Still not clear if Earth is going to kill Seren or just wants her soul. )



This query is easier to read, for me. And a lot more relatable. I'd work on this one rather than the other one. The requests you got ...that is a good thing. I sent out 30 submissions a few months back and didn't get one MS request. And it could be that one of those agents will want your book. The fact it fizzled doesn't mean the query is bad ( my critique is being fussy for this one as I quite liked most of it. )  My advice - relax. The fact you got requests means you were on the right track

 10 
 on: Today at 12:31:37 AM 
Started by ShatteredSmooth - Last post by Pineapplejuice

Current Query:

EARTH RECLAIMED is an 87,000 word YA fantasy novel featuring a non-binary main character and a LGBTQ+ cast. It appeals to readers who enjoy Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller and Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis.

From birth, 17-year-old Seren was trained to be an ambassador between Earth and humans, but they ( who is they? Oh, took me  a minute. It's non-binary. I got really confused then and thought you were referring to some race Seren is a part of that mediates between Earth. ALso, more importantly I don't understand why Earth needs an ambassador for the humans that live on it? Is Earth a character? I'm missing some words I think. ) never expected humanity’s fate to rest on their shoulders. They don’t even like being an ambassador and despise the risks that come with it.

 Hoping it will give them a break from bargaining with temperamental rivers, ( this confused me then I remembered other query said she is a mage. I think this query needs  to say 'mage' before explaining the river magic etc ) Seren accepts a diplomatic mission that involves negotiating with humans. A group of sovereign territories are trying to unite as one state, but disagreements between a nation of female scientists ( are the female scientists from Earth too? Is Seren from Earth? )  and Earth’s Ambassadors make war more likely. As an Ambassador who’d rather get electricity from solar panels than by siphoning it from thunderstorms, Seren is perfect person for the job. ( What job? Ambassador? It's already established she is ambassador. Or you mean the solar panel idea has a job? )  But there’s a third faction involved. Altzis, a group of fanatics with no tolerance for mid-spectrum genders ( so Seren isn't the only non-binary person? Who else is? ) and powerful women, see a war between ambassadors and scientists as a way to take control of the land. When the fanatics’ attacks force Seren to seek aid from a powerful river elemental, Seren loses control of their body, temporarily becoming Mother Earth’s loudspeaker, proclaiming humans must cease their squabbling or face extinction.

 Seren needs to broker a peace between the three groups or Mother Earth will use Seren as a conduit for Her power when She wipes humanity off the face of the earth. ( Oh so Earth is like a character in this book. I think this is going to be hard to connect to in a query, but I could be wrong. I haven't read other query properly yet. ) However, the politicians involved are set in their ways, and Seren’s supposed allies are not who they appear to be. Seren isn’t sure if they can untangle a web of lies and unite science and magic before Mother Earth loses her patience, let alone survive assassination attempts.

The one that started getting requests then fizzled: [/b



I just wanted to do them one at a time  I think you've probably given away too much. It's so full of action that is so hard to digest ( at least to me ) because the three groups and the planet situation ( which I still don't understand  - I don't know if Seren is human or why Earth is talked about as if Seren is a foreigner. That might not be the case but that's how it reads to me. I just want to be clear on really basic things first before learning of the groups differing on opinions. I don't know what Seren wants from life and it's hard to care about her when all I've heard about is her job and politics of the world, and magic, not her personality or motivations.

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