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Synopsis Review / Re: ICE AND GLASS (LGBT Psych Thriller)
« Last post by ShadowBeam on Yesterday at 03:54:42 PM »
Hi JEC112,
Glad my questions helped. Yes, this version is a lot clearer. A couple of small suggestions and one more clarification, and then I think you're good to go! Best of luck to you!


CORBIN MICHAELS is sitting in the dark room of Flashes nightclub in drag. While everyone around him has sex, asexual (Oh, okay.) Corbin shoots heroin. Once high, Corbin decides to find CAROLINE STURGESS at Harlem Highlights jazz club to apologize for his behavior at a failed intervention. Once outside, he is gay-bashed. Watch the repeat in close proximity. The drug masks the pain of the beating, and he makes it to the Harlem Highlight where he passes out.
He awakens two days later in the hospital with Caroline by his side. Because Corbin uses needles, (Got it!) the doctor orders an HIV test. Caroline, who came into contact with Corbin’s blood at the jazz club, (Makes sense!)decides to cut all ties with Corbin. He vows to become sober, until he goes home. A couple days later, Corbin’s boss gives him experimental heroin he makes beneath Flashes. (Ah ha!)Corbin blacks out. When he awakens, Caroline is dead on his bathroom floor. Corbin touches a knife on the floor, and memories return to him. He’s the one who killed her.
He hides Caroline’s body in the wooden shed in his yard. He’s not ready to go to the police, but he is ready for help. He starts therapy for his drug habit. But his boss won’t let him quit drugs so easily. While planning a drag Halloween at Flashes, Corbin’s boss gives him more experimental heroin. Corbin gives in to temptation. When he comes too, he finds his boss dead on his bed. He remembers nothing from the night before.
Corbin’s estranged brother visits and gives him an idea to regain memories: magic mushrooms. Corbin asks a co-worker for some. When his co-worker arrives to deliver them, he won’t leave without “payment.” Corbin fights back, but his co-worker injects him with laced heroin against his will. When Corbin becomes conscious the next day, he is unharmed. But his co-worker lies in the bathtub, a knife in his heart.
When Corbin hides the third body in the shed, he makes a discovery that shatters his soul: the other two bodies have vanished.
Corbin takes time to process everything, even writing a letter of guilt to the police. Finally, he eats the ‘shrooms. Corbin watches himself from a third-person perspective, and realizes a mind-boggling revelation: he didn’t kill his boss or co-worker. Someone dressed in black did. They’ve been manipulating him this entire time.
Corbin decides to confess to the police in person about what has been happening. He will go to jail, so he wants one final night of fun before turning himself in: the Halloween Extravaganza.
During the drag performance, the glass ceiling of Flashes breaks and three bodies fall to the floor. Once the chaos is over, the person who placed the bodies there reveals themselves, and Corbin understands he’s been wrong this whole time.
He didn’t kill Caroline. She’s standing right in front of him, dressed in the gown and crown his boss was supposed to wear that night. She reveals that she made Corbin stab her to send him to prison so she would finally be free of him. But Corbin won’t leave her alone. (Okay, you lost me here. He dragged her dead body to the shed, so how is he not leaving her alone?) So she murdered his boss for drug pushing, and his rapist co-worker to frame Corbin.
Now there’s only one way banish him from her life. Caroline shoots at him with a gun, but Corbin fights back. The two fight on the dance floor of Flashes. Corbin grabs the glass crown off of Caroline’s head and jams it into her throat. She rolls off of him just as the police arrive.
Three months later, Corbin is on probation and out of rehab. He visits Caroline in jail, though she can’t speak anymore. She just stares at him from behind plexiglass. Corbin leaves, his brother and mother wait for him. After all the drama and death, he’s finally going to be with his family again.
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Opening Sentence/Paragraph / Re: Opening paragraph from (low) fantasy
« Last post by susan-louise on Yesterday at 03:01:18 PM »
Mentha Piperita…no the nautical  jargon didn’t bother me.  Because I was able to intuit from the anchor (and  by googling) what the capstan does.  Also, I do enjoy openings that immediately draw me into a scene. 

I’d possibly be examining the panting sentence, if you did ultimately revise.   :)
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Opening Sentence/Paragraph / Re: Opening paragraph from (low) fantasy
« Last post by Mentha piperita on Yesterday at 02:40:03 PM »
Ah, good catch on the unintentional rhyme, Tallis. I think I'll switch "place" for "position." Thanks!
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Opening Sentence/Paragraph / Re: Opening paragraph from (low) fantasy
« Last post by Tallis on Yesterday at 02:19:05 PM »
I like the concept too!  Puts the reader immediately on deck with the sailors, and the last sentence is intriguing.

I did wonder what it would look like with a shift of rhythm between sentences one and two:


"Artris and the other sailors hauled the chain one last turn around the capstan. The Holy Light’s anchor locked into place, and Artris dragged his sleeve across his face and neck. So that was the end of the story. He had visited the edge of creation and just picked up a few more freckles."

Thought process for my other suggested edits (for what it's worth):

-- 'hauled' feels like it captures the effort more than 'moved'
-- shifted 'chain' to first part of sentence just to help readers who might not picture a capstan right away
-- added 'neck' only because the rhyme of 'place' and 'face' distracted me... I'm sure you would find better solutions!

Hope some of this is helpful, and good luck!
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Opening Sentence/Paragraph / Re: Opening paragraph from (low) fantasy
« Last post by Mentha piperita on Yesterday at 02:16:44 PM »
Thanks, Susan-Louise!

I'll think about panting! Wait, that came out sort of wrong. ;)

Does the nautical jargon bother you? I don't want to make an agent have to pause and google to understand the sentence...
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Opening Sentence/Paragraph / Re: Opening paragraph from (low) fantasy
« Last post by susan-louise on Yesterday at 02:00:40 PM »
I'm in the holding pattern of waiting for responses for agents is making me wonder whether my words are actually visible to other people, so I'd love any thoughts about the smoothness and grabby-ness of this short opening paragraph for my low-fantasy, second-world adult novel.

I like it!  I can see a gorgeous ship (love the name) and the sailors moving the capstan (had to google the word!).  If, however, I am to be honest, not sure about the second sentence.  Perhaps it was "panting" that put me off.  But I love sentences three and four!  Wishing you every success with the feedback from agents.  Fingers crossed.

"Artris and the other sailors moved one last turn around the capstan, and the Holy Light’s anchor chain locked into place. He dragged his sleeve across his face, panting. So that was the end of the story. He had visited the edge of creation and just picked up a few more freckles."
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Opening Sentence/Paragraph / Opening paragraph from (low) fantasy
« Last post by Mentha piperita on Yesterday at 01:37:37 PM »
I'm in the holding pattern of waiting for responses for agents, which is making me wonder whether my words are actually visible to other people, so I'd love any thoughts about the smoothness and grabby-ness of this short opening paragraph for my low-fantasy, second-world adult novel.

"Artris and the other sailors moved one last turn around the capstan, and the Holy Light’s anchor chain locked into place. He dragged his sleeve across his face, panting. So that was the end of the story. He had visited the edge of creation and just picked up a few more freckles."
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He didn't want to be a father. My brother and I were a package deal that came with my mother. You see, he wanted her. At first, he created the facade of being a father by being a husband. <--This line made me expect we were about to see a facade of fatherhood. I'm not clear what this means so would like something specific like "he always asked us how school was going, but never listened to the answers" or something The fondest memory I have as a child is a family moment where my older brother Luke and I sat in the large hallway and threshold of our third rental in Irving, listening to 70s records with my Mmomma and David. Momma sat cross-legged swaying her shoulders to the beat while snapping her fingers. As she put it, the music was groovy. David playfully pulled Momma from the plush dark brown carpet where we sat with her, enjoying the upbeat music from the previous generation, and they began dancing in a picture-perfect moment. Her long dark hair flowed down just past her shoulders. She barely came to David’s shoulders as she reached up to rest her hands on them as they danced in rhythm to the music.

I very much like how easy it is to visualize this moment! I'm assuming that your next paragraph (or soon) we get a contrast, because this scene doesn't speak to what you've introduced as the main situation in the very first sentences.
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Synopsis Review / Re: ICE AND GLASS (LGBT Psych Thriller)
« Last post by JEC112 on Yesterday at 01:28:11 PM »
Thank you SO much for the questions! They've definitely helped where I wasn't sure I could add that information. Does this read any better?

CORBIN MICHAELS is sitting in the dark room of Flashes nightclub in drag. While everyone around him has sex, asexual Corbin shoots heroin. Once high, Corbin decides to find CAROLINE STURGESS at Harlem Highlights jazz club to apologize for his behavior at a failed intervention. Once outside, he is gay-bashed. The drug masks the pain of the beating, and he makes it to the Harlem Highlight where he passes out.
He awakens two days later in the hospital with Caroline by his side. Because Corbin uses needles, the doctor orders an HIV test. Caroline, who came into contact with Corbin’s blood at the jazz club, decides to cut all ties with Corbin. He vows to become sober, until he goes home. A couple days later, Corbin’s boss gives him experimental heroin he makes beneath Flashes. Corbin blacks out. When he awakens, Caroline is dead on his bathroom floor. Corbin touches a knife on the floor, and memories return to him. He’s the one who killed her.
He hides Caroline’s body in the wooden shed in his yard. He’s not ready to go to the police, but he is ready for help. He starts therapy for his drug habit. But his boss won’t let him quit drugs so easily. While planning a drag Halloween at Flashes, Corbin’s boss gives him more experimental heroin. Corbin gives in to temptation. When he comes too, he finds his boss dead on his bed. He remembers nothing from the night before.
Corbin’s estranged brother visits and gives him an idea to regain memories: magic mushrooms. Corbin asks a co-worker for some. When his co-worker arrives to deliver them, he won’t leave without “payment.” Corbin fights back, but his co-worker injects him with laced heroin against his will. When Corbin becomes conscious the next day, he is unharmed. But his co-worker lies in the bathtub, a knife in his heart.
When Corbin hides the third body in the shed, he makes a discovery that shatters his soul: the other two bodies have vanished.
Corbin takes time to process everything, even writing a letter of guilt to the police. Finally, he eats the ‘shrooms. Corbin watches himself from a third-person perspective, and realizes a mind-boggling revelation: he didn’t kill his boss or co-worker. Someone dressed in black did. They’ve been manipulating him this entire time.
Corbin decides to confess to the police in person about what has been happening. He will go to jail, so he wants one final night of fun before turning himself in: the Halloween Extravaganza.
During the drag performance, the glass ceiling of Flashes breaks and three bodies fall to the floor. Once the chaos is over, the person who placed the bodies there reveals themselves, and Corbin understands he’s been wrong this whole time.
He didn’t kill Caroline. She’s standing right in front of him, dressed in the gown and crown his boss was supposed to wear that night. She reveals that she made Corbin stab her to send him to prison so she would finally be free of him. But Corbin won’t leave her alone. So she murdered his boss for drug pushing, and his rapist co-worker to frame Corbin.
Now there’s only one way banish him from her life. Caroline shoots at him with a gun, but Corbin fights back. The two fight on the dance floor of Flashes. Corbin grabs the glass crown off of Caroline’s head and jams it into her throat. She rolls off of him just as the police arrive.
Three months later, Corbin is on probation and out of rehab. He visits Caroline in jail, though she can’t speak anymore. She just stares at him from behind plexiglass. Corbin leaves, his brother and mother wait for him. After all the drama and death, he’s finally going to be with his family again.
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Opening Sentence/Paragraph / Re: YA Paranormal Romance
« Last post by Mentha piperita on Yesterday at 01:27:32 PM »
Agree this is an impactful opening! The only part that gave me the slightest pause was "lights shone in every direction..." I think because "lights shining in a direction" makes me think of directed beams of light. I might prefer "there were lights everywhere I looked" or even something more specific like "headlights came from both directions and neon signs were everywhere."

But this is very strong and I'm picking nits.
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