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Author Topic: 'A DOOR' 92,000 words urban fantasy  (Read 3592 times)
Pineapplejuice
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« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2018, 04:04:06 PM »

Thanks Alislove  Smiley

Noticed a few little helpful changes. I'm so glad the empathy was interesting. I've been very worried it is another overdone thing in vampire novels but I didn't know this when I came up with it. Yes I am empathic. It's been  hard with this query as  to me empathy is not a difficult concept to understand but I keep having to explain it l when I'd rather use the wordcount on other things lol.

I'll keep persisting.
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Pineapplejuice
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« Reply #31 on: June 13, 2018, 12:27:07 PM »

Hi everyone , I got a pitmad request so would really like some help with this.

I've taken a step back and read earlier posts with my query as I felt the query I was using, it's voice was too strong and my first pages are serious in tone. Agents don't like it when the pages don't match the voice of the query. Feel free to cross stuff out in quote function as my eyes aren't good ( Long story one eye longsighted other legally blind ) and i read best in the small font of quote function, so if you like that function don't be shy.



Dear Agent _________

Fourteen year old Liz is longing for a cure to the mysterious ache in her heart. She follows her instincts by walking to secluded Spraggs Road, looking for what she calls 'the solution'. Liz meets Nathaniel Tillack at the forest clearing near the river, and upon seeing her distressed, he opens his arms to give her a hug. It's the best hug since her father died and Liz believes he only wants to protect her. Nat says he knows exactly how she feels, and since no-one else does, Liz views him as a friend. Only the next day, Liz is so weak she can barely hold her recess apple, let alone chew it, and when Liz starts craving bloody meat juices she wishes she could go back to fancying a donut.

Nat visits for coffee the next night and explains 'Empathy'; a sixth sense Liz doesn’t realize she possesses. Liz normally rationalizes the emotions she hosts as belonging to her and they pass. But Nat's preternatural torment is stuck inside her and could kill her within weeks. Liz stays with Nat, his friend and their freaky half vampire cat at their crumbling old cottage and they take Liz on a hunt. When Nat drinks blood from a victim, Liz feels instant relief. Just like Nat. Nat promises this insight is enough to break the connection and Nat takes her home. 

When Liz grows even weaker, no doctor can help and she can’t find Nat for advice. She walks back to Spraggs Road, sensing her cure is there but instead she runs into Nat's enemy. ‘Isaskia’ says Nat is just using Liz as a walking storage vessel for his 'Permanent Feeling' ( the feeling that will haunt him for all eternity due to how the moment he died affecting him. ) Liz doesn't know who to trust, Nat who has always been kind, or the vampire Nat hates who is an open book. One thing is certain, with her body thinking it's a starving vampire, the one person Liz cannot trust for anything is herself.

Bio

Thank you for your time and consideration
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 01:13:49 PM by Pineapplejuice » Logged
Sabreur
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« Reply #32 on: June 13, 2018, 01:26:34 PM »

My thoughts, and worth what you paid for them; they were mostly meant to tighten things up. I hope I formatted it properly for you.

Quote
Fourteen year oldFourteen-year-old Liz is desperately longing for a cure to the mysterious ache in her heart, and she follows her instincts intuition to secluded Spraggs Road, looking for what she calls 'the solution'. Liz meets Nathaniel Tillack at the forest clearing near the river, and upon seeing her distressed, he opens his arms to give her a hug. A friendship strikes up when Nat says he knows exactly how she feels, and their friendship opens. Only, the next day, Liz is so weak she can barely hold her recess apple;, let alone chew it, and when Liz she starts craving bloody meat juices she wishes she could go back to fancying a donutrealizes something is deeply wrong. (The donut is left from earlier versions, and doesn’t really fit anymore.)

Nat visits for coffee the next night and explains 'Empathy'; a sixth sense Liz doesn’t realize she possesses: Nat is a vampire, and she is feeling his feral needs. Liz normally rationalizes the emotions she hosts as belonging to her and they pass. But Nat's preternatural torment is stuck inside her and could kill her withing weeks.

Liz stays with Nat, his friend, and their freaky half- vampire cat at their crumbling old cottage and they take Liz on a hunt. When Nat drinks blood from a victim, Liz feels instant relief. Just like Nat. Nat promises this insight is enough to break the connection and Nat takes her home. 

When Liz grows even weaker, no doctor can help and she can’t find Nat for advice. She walks back to Spraggs Road, sensing her cure is there but instead she runs into Nat's enemy. ‘Isaskia’ says Nat is just using Liz as a walking storage vessel for his 'Permanent Feeling' ( the feeling that will haunt him for all eternity due to how the moment he died affecting him. )

Liz doesn't know whom to trust,: Nat who has always been kind, or the vampire Nat hates who is an open book. One thing is certain, with her body thinking it's a starving vampire, the one person Liz cannot trust for anything is herself—and she is running out of time.
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Pineapplejuice
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« Reply #33 on: June 13, 2018, 01:50:04 PM »

Sabreur Thank you so much! I didn't even notice all those extraneous words. And your ideas are really interesting. "Feral needs' , and I think you might be right about the donut. ( Not a fan of word 'feral' as in Australia it's ...an insult lol but I might wrack my brain to see if I can think of a replacemen, might get used to it though ) Karma for you help
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 01:52:47 PM by Pineapplejuice » Logged
Munley
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« Reply #34 on: June 14, 2018, 05:31:32 AM »


Dear Agent _________

Fourteen year old Liz is longing for a cure to the mysterious ache in her heart. She follows her instincts by walking to secluded Spraggs Road, looking for what she calls 'the solution'. Liz meets Nathaniel Tillack at the forest clearing near the river, and upon seeing her distressed, he opens his arms to give her a hug.  . . .

=======================

I’m heading out for work and don’t have time to offer much. Here are some comments on the first paragraph:
   I suggest not flipping over momentarily to Nathaniel’s point of view and back (“and upon seeing her distressed”), but staying in Liz’s POV. Maybe you could quickly describe ( half a sentence or so) something that shows how he knows she’s distressed and offers that hug as a response. Describe something she does that elicits that gesture from him. Does she blurt out her story? Does she mutter something aloud, thinking she’s alone, only to discover someone observing her with a look of tremendous sympathy?
     What makes her trust him enough to accept that hug? Is there some feeling she gets that matches up with unexplained ache she had come there to alleviate? Something that hints he's part of 'the solution'? It just seems too abrupt and not very sensible for a young girl to immediately accept a hug from a stranger in an isolated place, without some convincing reason she'd do that. How does she know he's not just some creep using sympathy as a lure when he chances upon a vulnerable girl he'd like to get his hands on? I take it that this encounter is not just chance.

The one editing suggestion I have right now is to combine the first two sentences and then open the next sentence with a transitional phrase:

Fourteen-year-old Liz, plagued for months by an unexplained ache in her heart, turns intuitively down secluded Spraggs Road, looking for what she calls 'the solution'. At the forest clearing near the river, . . .


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Denisa
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« Reply #35 on: June 14, 2018, 07:14:13 AM »


Dear Agent _________

Fourteen year old Liz is longing for a cure to the mysterious ache in her heart. She follows her instincts by walking to secluded Spraggs Road, looking for what she calls 'the solution'. I would start your second sentence with the underlined part, as it connects with your first one better. Liz meets Nathaniel Tillack at the forest clearing near the river, and upon seeing her distressed, he opens his arms to give her a hug. It's the best hug since her father died and Liz believes he only wants to protect her.This feels a bit forced here. I think you would be better off taking it out. Nat says he knows exactly how she feels, and since no-one else does, Liz views him as a friend. You have two POV in the same sentence. this confused me a bit, and i had to read it again to make sure I got it right. This might be just a personal issue of mine. Only the next day, Liz is so weak she can barely hold her recess apple, let alone chew it, and when Liz starts craving bloody meat juices she wishes she could go back to fancying a donut.Her reaction here seems a bit forced, or unnatural. I mean, people would be freaked out if they suddenly craved blood, and grossed out, but she's like, meah, i just miss the donut

Nat visits for coffee the next night and explains 'Empathy'; a sixth sense Liz doesn’t realize she possesses. Liz normally rationalizes the emotions she hosts as belonging to her and they pass.This contradicts your first paragraph, where Liz consider's her heart ache mysterious and is searching for a solution. now here you have Liz rationalizing her emotions and waiting for them to pass But Nat's preternatural torment is stuck inside her and could kill her within weeks. Liz stays with Nat, his friend and their freaky half vampire cat at their crumbling old cottage and they take Liz on a hunt. When Nat drinks blood from a victim, Liz feels instant relief. Just like Nat. Nat promises this insight is enough to break the connection and Nat takes her home. 

When Liz grows even weaker, no doctor can help and she can’t find Nat for advice. She walks back to Spraggs Road, sensing i think hoping would work better hereher cure is thereTo find help? but instead she runs into Nat's enemy. ‘Isaskia’ says Nat is just using Liz as a walking storage vessel for his 'Permanent Feeling' ( the feeling that will haunt him for all eternity due to how the moment he died affecting him. okay, this came a bit unexpected, since nothing suggested or hinted she felt the pain of death, the torment of it, just weakness and blood craving) Liz doesn't know who to trust, Nat who has always been kind, or the vampire Nat hates who is an open book. One thing is certain, with her body thinking it's a starving vampire, the one person Liz cannot trust for anything is herself.

Bio

Thank you for your time and consideration
[/quote]
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mgmystery
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« Reply #36 on: June 14, 2018, 07:58:22 AM »

Hi everyone , I got a pitmad request so would really like some help with this.

I've taken a step back and read earlier posts with my query as I felt the query I was using, it's voice was too strong and my first pages are serious in tone. Agents don't like it when the pages don't match the voice of the query. Feel free to cross stuff out in quote function as my eyes aren't good ( Long story one eye longsighted other legally blind ) and i read best in the small font of quote function, so if you like that function don't be shy.



I've never used this quote thing, so I hope it turns out right  embarrassed I really liked Munley's suggestion for the opening sentence, and she made some good points about Nat looking like a creepy stalker or something.

Dear Agent _________

Fourteen year old Liz is longing for a cure to the mysterious ache in her heart. She follows her instincts by walking to secluded Spraggs Road, looking for what she calls 'the solution'. Liz meets Maybe use a description here like grandfatherly?) Nathaniel Tillack at the forest clearing near the river, and upon seeing her distressed, he opens his arms to give her a hug. It's the best hug since her father died and Liz believes he only wants to protect her. Nat says he knows exactly how she feels, and since no-one else does, Liz views him as a friend. Only the next day, Liz is so weak she can barely hold her recess apple, let alone chew it, and when Liz starts craving bloody meat juices she wishes she could go back to fancying a donut. (Sabreur's use of "deeply wrong" adds urgency and fits with the mood of this version.)

Nat visits for coffee the next night and explains 'Empathy'; a sixth sense Liz doesn’t realize she possesses. Liz always assumed her overactive emotions were her own, but she actually absorbs other people's feelings. normally rationalizes the emotions she hosts as belonging to her and they pass. But Now,Nat's preternatural torment is stuck inside her and could kill her within weeks. Liz stays with Nat, his friend and their freaky half vampire cat  Grin at their crumbling old cottage and they take Liz on a hunt. When Nat drinks blood from a victim, Liz feels instant relief. Just like Nat. Nat promises this insight is enough to break the connection and Nat takes her home. 

When Liz grows even weaker, no doctor can help and she can’t find Nat for advice. She walks back to Spraggs Road, sensing her cure is there but instead she runs into Nat's enemy. ‘Isaskia’ says Nat is just using Liz as a walking storage vessel for his 'Permanent Feeling' ( the feeling that will haunt him for all eternity due to how the moment he died affecting him. ) Liz doesn't know who to trust, Nat who has always been kind, or the vampire Nat hates who is an open book (This doesn't really tell us anything. Maybe state what she's like ...vampire Nat hates who's obviously a selfish ...". One thing is certain, with her body thinking it's a starving vampire, the one person Liz cannot trust for anything is herself. (Nice ending!)

Bio 

Thank you for your time and consideration

 (Ooh forgot one thing. Here are some synonyms for feral:https://www.powerthesaurus.org/feral/synonyms

« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 08:01:23 AM by mgmystery » Logged
Pineapplejuice
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« Reply #37 on: June 15, 2018, 07:45:13 AM »

Thank  you so much for your advice everyone. '



Fourteen-year-old Liz can’t bear to feel like this forever. She walks the wet roads to secluded Spraggs Road, convinced she’ll find a cure for the opressive ache gripping her heart there. Only when she reaches the clearing by the river, she finds nothing. Night falls and she’s about to leave, albeit reluctantly, when she spots snowy skinned English-man Nat Tillack standing by the river. Liz suddenly remembers she's met him before, and convinced he will be able to explain the disturbing holes in her memory, she shares her feelings him. Nat responds with tremendous sympathy. He says he knows exactly how she feels and gives her a hug.

The next day, Liz is so weak she can barely hold her recess apple, and when Liz starts craving bloody meat juices she realizes something is deeply wrong. Nat visits for coffee the next night and explains 'Empathy'; a sixth sense Liz doesn’t realize she possesses. Liz always assumed her overactive emotions were her own, but she actually absorbs other people's feelings. Now Nat's preternatural torment is stuck inside her and could kill her within weeks.

Liz stays with Nat, his friend and their freaky half-vampire cat at their crumbling old cottage and they take Liz on a hunt. When Nat drinks blood from a victim, Liz feels instant relief. Just like Nat. Nat promises this insight is enough to break the connection and Nat takes her home.

When Liz grows even weaker, she can’t find Nat for advice. She walks back to Spraggs Road, sensing her cure is there but instead runs into Nat's enemy. Wild eyed red-headed girl ‘Isaskia’ looks sixteen but claims she’s four hundred years old and that Nat and his friend are amateurs. Isaskia explains Nat is just using Liz as a walking storage vessel for his 'Permanent Feeling' ( the feeling that will haunt him for all eternity due to how the moment he died affected him. )

Liz doesn't know whom to trust,: Nat who has always been kind, or the vampire Nat hates who seems willing to tell her anything. One thing is certain, with her body thinking it's a starving vampire, the one person Liz cannot trust for anything is herself—and she is running out of time.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2018, 09:42:04 AM by Pineapplejuice » Logged
mgmystery
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« Reply #38 on: June 18, 2018, 07:25:47 AM »

The first paragraph of this is still bugging me. Maybe you could get away with a less is more approach and skip the hug?

Fourteen-year-old Liz can’t bear to feel the opressive ache gripping her heart like this forever. She walks the wet roads to secluded Spraggs Road, convinced she’ll find a cure for the opressive ache gripping her heart there. Only when she reaches the clearing by the river, she finds nothing. Night falls and she’s about to leave, albeit reluctantly, when she spots snowy skinned English-man Nat Tillack standing by the river. Liz suddenly remembers she's met him before, and convinced he will be able to explain the disturbing holes in her memory, she shares her feelings him. For once, someone understands. Nat responds with tremendous sympathy. He says he knows exactly how she feels and gives her a hug.

The next day, Liz is so weak she can barely hold her recess apple, and when Liz starts craving bloody meat juices she realizes something is deeply wrong. Nat visits for coffee the next night and explains 'Empathy'; a sixth sense Liz doesn’t realize she possesses. Liz always assumed her overactive emotions were her own, but she actually absorbs other people's feelings. Now Nat's preternatural torment is stuck inside her and could kill her within weeks.

Liz stays with Nat, his friend and their freaky half-vampire cat at their crumbling old cottage and they take Liz on a hunt. When Nat drinks blood from a victim, Liz feels instant relief. Just like Nat. Nat promises this insight is enough to break the connection and Nat takes her home.

When Liz grows even weaker, she can’t find Nat for advice. She walks back to Spraggs Road, sensing her cure is there but instead runs into Nat's enemy. Wild eyed red-headed girl ‘Isaskia’ looks sixteen but claims she’s four hundred years old and that Nat and his friend are amateurs. Isaskia explains Nat is just using Liz as a walking storage vessel for his 'Permanent Feeling' ( the feeling that will haunt him for all eternity due to how the moment he died affected him. )

Liz doesn't know whom to trust,: Nat who has always been kind, or the vampire Nat hates who seems willing to tell her anything. (This still seems vague. Maybe something like "...willing to share all of the vampire secrets Nat keeps," or something more accurate that would give her a reason to trust Isakia more than Nat.) One thing is certain, with her body thinking it's a starving vampire, the one person Liz cannot trust for anything is herself—and she is running out of time.
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Denisa
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« Reply #39 on: June 18, 2018, 07:30:21 AM »

Hi!
Thanks for your feedback on my query!



Fourteen-year-old Liz can’t bear to feel like this forever. I liked the other beginning better. it was more specific and straight to the point. You know, this exact thing (mysterious heart ache) is the MC problem She walks the wet roads to secluded Spraggs Road, convinced she’ll find a cure for the opressive ache gripping her heart there. Only when she reaches the clearing by the river, she finds nothing. I'm not really sure what you're trying to tell us here. Her heart ache is somehow connected to this place?Night falls and she’s about to leave, albeit reluctantly, when she spots snowy skinned English-man Nat Tillack standing by the river. Liz suddenly remembers she's met him before, and convinced he will be able to explain the disturbing holes in her memory, she shares her feelings him. Nat responds with tremendous sympathy. He says he knows exactly how she feels and gives her a hug. I think you're giving us a bit to much info. I know you've been told to explain the hug, but do we really need to know all this? Might work better if you go with something simpler like: Liz suffers from a heart ache she cannot explain. Her instincts (or whatever) tell her she might find the cure in Spraggs Road. instead she finds (adjective) Nate, who seems to understand her struggles and offers her comfort.  

But instead of answers, Liz confronts herself with more troubling questions when the next day she finds herself craving for blood.    


The next day, Liz is so weak she can barely hold her recess apple, and when Liz starts craving bloody meat juices she realizes something is deeply wrong. Nat visits for coffee the next night and explains 'Empathy'; a sixth sense Liz doesn’t realize she possesses. Liz always assumed her overactive emotions were her own,then she wouldn't be searching for a cure in the first place. this sentence here contradicts your first paragraph. maybe go with: she has always tried to convince herself that these were her emotions but she actually absorbs other people's feelings. Now Nat's preternatural torment is stuck inside her and could kill her within weeks.

Liz stays with Nat, his friend and their freaky half-vampire cat at their crumbling old cottage and they take Liz on a hunt. When Nat drinks blood from a victim, Liz feels instant relief. Just like Nat. Nat promises this insight is enough to break the connection and Nat takes her home.

When Liz grows even weaker, she can’t find Nat for advice. i would go with something stronger. Advise doesn't quite cut it here, considering his torment is what's making her weak, or even kill her She walks back to Spraggs Road, sensing her cure is there but instead runs into Nat's enemy. Wild eyed red-headed girl ‘Isaskia’ looks sixteen but claims she’s four hundred years old and that Nat and his friend are amateurs. you don;t really need this in the queryIsaskia explains Nat is just using Liz as a walking storage vessel for his 'Permanent Feeling' ( the feeling that will haunt him for all eternity due to how the moment he died affected him. ) this is a very cool concept

Liz doesn't know whom to trust,: Nat who has always been kind, or the vampire Nat hates who seems willing to tell her anything. One thing is certain, with her body thinking it's a starving vampire, the one person Liz cannot trust for anything is herself—and she is running out of time.

[/quote]

Your story sounds really intriguing, but i think your query gives a tiny bit too much info, and thus reads a bit synopsy. yeah, it's good to be specific in a query, but you have to find a balance between specific and too specific, if that makes sense.
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« Reply #40 on: June 18, 2018, 10:36:19 AM »

Quote
Here is another look, with my usual guarantees  Smiley

Fourteen-year-old Liz can’t bear to feel like this forever. She walks the wet roads to secluded Spraggs Road, convinced compelled by an intuitive conviction that she’ll find a cure for the opressive  oppressive ache gripping her heart there. Only when she reaches the clearing by the river gets there, she finds nothing. Night falls and she’s  She’s about to leave, albeit reluctantly, when she spots snowy skinned English-man  pale, enigmatic Nat Tillack standing by the river. Liz suddenly remembers  realizes she's met him before, and convinced he will be able to explain the disturbing holes in her memory, she shares her feelings him. Nat responds with tremendous sympathy. He says he knows exactly how she feels and gives her a hug.

The next day, Liz is so weak she can barely hold her recess apple, and when Liz  she starts craving bloody meat juices she realizes something is deeply wrong. Nat visits for coffee the next night and explains 'Empathy'; a sixth sense Liz doesn’t realize she possesses. Liz always assumed her overactive emotions were her own, but she actually absorbs other people's feelings. But she also learns he’s a vampire, and now his Now Nat's preternatural torment is stuck inside her and could kill her within weeks.

Liz stays with Nat, (why, for heaven’s sake?) his friend and their freaky half-vampire cat at their crumbling old cottage and they  They take Liz on a hunt. When Nat drinks blood from a victim, Liz feels instant relief. Just like Nat. Nat promises this insight is enough to break the connection and Nat takes her home.

When Liz grows even weaker, she can’t find Nat for advice. She walks back  returns to Spraggs Road, sensing her cure is there. She  but instead runs into Nat's enemy. Wild eyed red-headed girl ‘Isaskia’ (why quotes?) looks sixteen but claims she’s four hundred years old and that Nat and his friend are amateurs. Isaskia explains Nat is just using Liz as a walking storage vessel for his 'Permanent Feeling' ( the feeling that will haunt him for all eternity due to how the moment he died affected him. ) (the US usage is no space just inside parentheses)

Liz doesn't know whom to trust,: (delete comma) Nat who has always been  seemed kind, or the vampire Nat hates who seems willing to tell her anything. One thing is certain, with her body thinking it's a starving vampire, the one person Liz cannot trust for anything is herself—and she is running out of time.
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Pineapplejuice
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« Reply #41 on: June 20, 2018, 05:51:21 AM »

Dear Agent ___,

 Fourteen-year-old Liz can’t bear the oppressive ache gripping her heart forever. Looking for what she calls 'the solution', Liz follows her intuition to secluded Spraggs Road. After an exhaustive search of the forest she is about to reluctantly leave, when she spots snowy skinned Englishman Nat Tillack near the river. Nat says he knows exactly how she feels. Thank goodness for that. No-one else does. Liz views him as a friend and her burden is eased considerably just knowing someone understands. Only the next day, Liz is so weak she can barely hold her recess apple, and when Liz starts craving bloody meat juices she knows something is deeply wrong..

 Nat visits for coffee the next night and explains 'Empathy'; a sixth sense Liz doesn’t realize she possesses. Liz always assumed her overactive emotions were her own, but she actually absorbs other people's feelings. Normally the feelings pass, but she learns Nat is a vampire. His preternatural torment ( including his self-imposed starvation ) is stuck inside her and could kill her within weeks.

 Liz stays with Nat, his friend and their freaky half-vampire cat at their crumbling old cottage, because Nat thinks they can solve the problem with a little experimentation. Liz accompanies them on a hunt. When Nat drinks blood from a victim, Liz feels instant relief. Just like Nat. Nat promises this insight is enough to break the connection and takes her home.

 When Liz grows even weaker, she returns to Spraggs Road with her last reserves of energy, again sensing her 'solution' is there. But instead of a cure she runs into Nat's enemy. Wild eyed Isaskia claims she’s four hundred years old and explains Nat is just using Liz as a walking storage vessel for his 'Permanent Feeling' (the feeling that will haunt him for all eternity due to how the moment he died affected him.)

 Liz doesn't know whom to trust: Nat who has always been kind, or the vampire Nat hates who is willing to share all those vampire secrets Nat keeps close to his chest. One thing is certain, with her body thinking it's a starving vampire, the one person Liz cannot trust for anything is herself—and she is running out of time.


A DOOR @ 94,000 words is a YA urban fantasy novel set in a small town in Australia.


Thank you all for your feedback.  Smiley

Sabreur the quotes were partly for insinuating this is Liz's POV as people kept thinking every sentence that begins with a new name is the new characters POV.

Denisa, thankyou , yes too specific. And I don't feel the empathy sentence is a contradiction. I think it's apparent empathizing with Nat is the exception

MG thanks, yes first paragraph a bugger. I've gone back to other version. Thanks for that example of what to put in the last paragraph.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 08:18:16 AM by Pineapplejuice » Logged
mgmystery
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« Reply #42 on: June 20, 2018, 07:53:33 AM »

This works for me!  Thumbs Up I think you forgot and before Nat takes her home though.
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Pineapplejuice
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« Reply #43 on: June 20, 2018, 07:59:28 AM »

Lol thanks MG. 'And' now replaced.  wink2
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Munley
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« Reply #44 on: June 20, 2018, 09:20:11 AM »

Since around 250 words for the story part of you query is standard, I was looking for places to cut down from the 378 words the latest version has. I also thought some details were unnecessary and appear to be inserted randomly, taking away the sense of one thing leading logically to another. Getting rid of those would improve coherence and tighten the sense of increasing suspense.

As a sample, keeping most of your original word choices, I cut 23 words from the first paragraph, mostly getting rid of details that aren't necessary for the purpose of the query, such as the unproductive search that nearly has Liz ready to head home before she spots Nat. Also trimmed the overly explained stuff about how happy Liz is to finally be understood by somebody, but added more intuition/instincts as one tool of coherence and character development.

Not sure if I understand correctly in my assumption that instincts/intuition are notably high for Liz, assets she can reliably call upon throughout the book, though she may or may not interpret them correctly each time. Anyway, assuming that, I thought the first paragraph could bring that out more and answer a concern I had in an earlier post about how unusual (not impossible) it would be for her to trust a stranger so soon. If my assumption about her intuition as a major asset is wrong, my suggestions in Paragraph #1 (knowing by intuition that Nat really does understand her) would be wrong, too.

I'll paste in your original Paragraph #1 followed by my revision. Hope this helps.

O R I G I N A L (116 words):

       Fourteen-year-old Liz can’t bear to feel the oppressive ache gripping her heart forever. Looking for what she calls 'the solution', Liz follows her intuition to secluded Spraggs Road. After an exhaustive search she finds nothing and is about to reluctantly leave, when she spots snowy skinned Englishman Nat Tillack in the forest clearing near the river. Nat says he knows exactly how she feels. Thank goodness for that. No-one else does. Liz views him as a friend and her burden is eased considerably just knowing someone understands. Only the next day, Liz is so weak she can barely hold her recess apple and when Liz starts craving bloody meat juices she knows something is deeply wrong.

R E V I S I O N  (93 words):

       Fourteen-year-old Liz can’t bear the oppressive ache gripping her heart. Looking for what she calls 'the solution', she follows her instincts to secluded Spraggs Road. Her search leads to the river, where she spots snowy-skinned Englishman Nat Tillack. When Nat says he knows exactly how she feels, her intuition tells her he really does. And thank goodness for that. No-one else has a clue. But Nat’s understanding comes at a price. The next day, Liz is so weak she can barely hold her recess apple. By lunchtime, she’s craving bloody meat juices.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 09:30:44 AM by Munley » Logged
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