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Hi all, I also posted this in query review because that section is pretty active. Seeking any comments please! Direct me to yours and I will offer up my thoughts as well!

Logline:

Seventeen-year-old Roslyn Brooks goes into hiding when she’s framed for her boyfriend’s murder after they discover secrets about new drugs that big pharma is desperate to hide from the world.

After discovering  that big pharma is planning to sell a dangerous drug to the highest bidder, seventeen-year-old Roslyn Brooks must find a way to stop them before they silence her forever.

3-lline pitch:

Seventeen-year-old Roslyn Brooks desperately wants her life back from the company that will do anything to silence her and the secrets she accidentally discovered. Hiding out in New York City, Roslyn is joined by a few others with similar stakes in the game. But in the fight against big pharma and even bigger money, no one makes it out alive.

When seventeen-year-old Roslyn Brooks’ boyfriend, Luke, steals a notebook that contains secret drug formulas and even more secret buyer information, he’s hunted down and stabbed in front of Roslyn. Roslyn becomes the prey as she’s framed for Luke’s murder and goes on the run to New York City.  But things are not as they seem, and Roslyn soon finds herself with a few allies fighting against big pharma and their new drugs that do much more than cure illness.
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Query Review / YA pitches for contest this week, seeking comments!
« Last post by Kimmy on October 24, 2020, 03:35:50 PM »
Hi all, I know there is another section for pitches but this page seems to be much more active, so please forgive me for posting this here! I am looking for opinions on my loglines and 3 line pitches. All comments welcome, and please feel free to direct me to yours and I will offer my thoughts as well!

Logline:

Seventeen-year-old Roslyn Brooks goes into hiding when she’s framed for her boyfriend’s murder after they discover secrets about new drugs that big pharma is desperate to hide from the world.

After discovering  that big pharma is planning to sell a dangerous drug to the highest bidder, seventeen-year-old Roslyn Brooks must find a way to stop them before they silence her forever.

3-lline pitch:

Seventeen-year-old Roslyn Brooks desperately wants her life back from the company that will do anything to silence her and the secrets she accidentally discovered. Hiding out in New York City, Roslyn is joined by a few others with similar stakes in the game. But in the fight against big pharma and even bigger money, no one makes it out alive.

When seventeen-year-old Roslyn Brooks’ boyfriend, Luke, steals a notebook that contains secret drug formulas and even more secret buyer information, he’s hunted down and stabbed in front of Roslyn. Roslyn becomes the prey as she’s framed for Luke’s murder and goes on the run to New York City.  But things are not as they seem, and Roslyn soon finds herself with a few allies fighting against big pharma and their new drugs that do much more than cure illness.
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Query Review / Re: Alpha Enchanted-Adult Paranormal Romance-*REVISION in replies!!*
« Last post by eqb123 on October 24, 2020, 10:04:57 AM »
You're welcome.

And honestly, if you're happy with your query, just go ahead and start querying agents. You don't need to wait for anyone's approval except your own.
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Query Review / Re: Alpha Enchanted-Adult Paranormal Romance-*REVISION in replies!!*
« Last post by roree_r on October 24, 2020, 06:57:09 AM »
Twenty-three-year-old Calleigh Aron has reason to fear a man’s touch. A vampire attack during high school not only scared her from dating but also left her with her own pair of fangs. I like this as a hook!

 Six years later, Calleigh is surprised to find vampires are not the only creatures in the world. When a pack of threatening werewolves have their jaws set on sight for her neck, her fear of men increases. As they proceed with their plan to kill, they are thwarted when a mysterious vampire comes to the rescue. Do what feels right for you, but I think you can simplify this paragraph. A lot of the detail feels superfluous. I think you'd be fine if you just said something like 'Six years later, Calleigh finds herself threatened by the supernatural once more. As a pack of werewolves close in, she is saved at the last moment by a mysterious vampire. (that's gross, but you get the idea. don't think it needs to be much longer than a single sentence.)
 
Tall, amber-eyed and with a dangerously sexy pack of rock-hard abs, Axton is a stunning specimen to behold. Kind and respectful, Axton is the perfect fit to help her break free of her fear, until his affinity for human blood threatens her life once more. agree that this sentence reads a touch clunky. maybe Axton begins to help her break free of her fear? While recovering from her werewolf injuries, Calleigh is stunned to find that a vampire as perfect as he seems, wants to sink his own teeth into her. It’s only then does she come to find, that she is a half-vampire.
Again I feel like there's a bit too much information here, especially as the romance is the main focus, right? Maybe something like; 'but just as sparks are beginning to fly, Calleigh discovers... Also, I think there's an unnecessary comma in that final sentence.

According to Axton, the one vampire would be clearer that bit her didn’t have enough time to turn her the whole way.

And her human-blood drives him wild. Wild to the point he fights to stay away, and in that struggle, Calleigh sees a man that doesn’t want to hurt her for the first time.
 
Calleigh now has a decision to make: continue to run from men she’s attracted to or explore a love she never thought she would have. I like this as an ending but I might try to work in that it's not just Calleigh's fears that are getting in her way but the fact that Axton is actually struggling not to hurt her

Your story sounds really exciting and fun! I'm no expert and these are just suggestions. I know you said that you liked the longer version as it had more voice, but I think you have enough voice with just the nice phrases like Axton's description or the opening line. The second paragraph in particular isn't super voice-y and risks you getting bogged down with unnecessary details. In reference to the previous commentator's notes, I think it makes sense that Calleigh would be afraid of men after a vampire attack even if he was attacking her because of vampire reasons. I wouldn't mention that her fear only increases after the werewolves, tho, bc it felt implicit, and bc she gets rescued immediately it's not like she has much time for her fear to change. Good luck with everything :)
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First Five Pages / Re: The Hellborn King - Adult fantasy
« Last post by Christopher G Brenning on October 24, 2020, 02:59:51 AM »
I agree with the others. Solid writing and punctuation. A little lost at the beginning with all of the names but I think the reader would catch on very quickly.

Thank you for the feedback! Much appreciated.
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Literary Agents / My suggestion for form rejection
« Last post by JRMoore on October 23, 2020, 11:08:26 PM »
Hi writers,

We all know that form rejections are a bummer, but necessary.  And I'm grateful to get them as opposed to a bunch of CNRs.  But they don't have to be so dry and cold, even if standardized.  I thought I would offer my suggestion for a form letter to any agents who may be lurking on the forum.  So here it is:


Dear <<AUTHOR FNAME>>,

Thank you for giving me the chance to review your project, <<TITLE>>.  I am afraid I am going to have to pass on this opportunity to represent you.

As I lay awake in bed last night, I thought about your story, an idea so divine I began to shiver with a sense of destiny. Your characters spoke to me in the cadence of angels that reached beyond my mind, the realm of consciousness, and deep into my soul.  I begged the heavens that I could leave my mortal shell and follow them through the journey that you have so masterfully crafted.  And then it hit me.

This tale is destined for greatness and shall have the accolades of a world that will never again be the same for the wisdom you bring. I wanted to be a part of that, to stand by your side.  But who am I?  I have built a career marketing the fantasies of authors. People have smiled, cried, screamed, and dreamed at the words I helped deliver to readers.  But this is something else.  This will change everything, and I'm scared, <<AUTHOR FNAME>>.  I'm scared of that power.  This isn't about me as an agent.  This is about you and destiny and a message for humanity that I am inadequate to deliver.  I would hold you back.  I saw that.  I saw it and wept.

You need the master of masters.  One day, perhaps that will be me.  Meanwhile, I cannot stand in the way of your glory.  I must pass.  But know that you have captured my mind, my heart, and my soul and I shall watch your message spread across the Earth knowing that your words came to me first. And I am forever changed.

Sincerely,

<<AGENT>>
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Comments in blue


Twenty-three-year-old Calleigh Aron has reason to fear a man’s touch. (<--this doesn't make sense. It was a vampire who attacked her, not a man. Also, not all vampires are men, right?)  A vampire attack during high school not only scared her from dating but also left her with her own pair of fangs.

Six years later, (<-- I'd delete the "six years later" because it implies a gap in her life where nothing happens. Your story starts with the werewolf attack.) Calleigh is surprised to find vampires are not the only creatures in the world. (<-- delete. it adds nothing and makes Calleigh look oblivious and incurious) When a pack of threatening werewolves have their jaws set on sight for her neck, (<-- wordy and convoluted and frankly it doesn't make any sense) her fear of men increases. (<-- again with the implication that men = supernatural creatures. also, the phrase comes across as very flat, very dull, imo) As they proceed with their plan to kill, they are thwarted when a mysterious vampire comes to the rescue. (<-- a lot of unnecessary words. in essence, Calleigh encounters a werewolf pack, but before they can kill her, sexy man appears.)
 
Tall, amber-eyed and with a dangerously sexy pack of rock-hard (<-- I'd suggest you trim some of the adjectives) abs, Axton is a stunning specimen to behold. Kind and respectful, Axton is the perfect fit to help her break free of her fear (<-- "perfect fit" doesn't make sense. I know what you're trying to say, but the phrasing is very off), until his affinity for human blood threatens her life once more. While recovering from her werewolf injuries, Calleigh is stunned to find that a vampire as perfect as he seems, wants to sink his own teeth into her. (<-- this sentence is trying to do way too much. We have her injuries, he's perfect, but he's dangerous, and is all this taking place in the first five minutes or the first five hours? And if he's a vampire, why is she surprised that he wants to bite her?) It’s only then does she come to find, that she is a half-vampire. (<-- how does she discover that? and what happened to the imminent danger from Axton?)

According to Axton, the one that (<-- who) bit her didn’t have enough time to turn her the whole way. (<-- so it's only a matter of time that prevented her from being turned completely? And what does "half a vampire" mean for Calleigh? Is she immortal? Has she ever wanted blood? Has no one noticed her fangs?)

And her human blood drives him wild. (<-- Of course it drives him wild. He's a vampire. Also, does this mean the only difference between Calleigh and a human is that she has fangs?) Wild to the point he fights to stay away (<-- This seems to imply that some time has passed, yes?), and in that (<-- in *his* struggle) struggle, Calleigh sees (<-- bland and flat) a man that (<-- who) doesn’t want to hurt her for the first time.

 
Calleigh now has a decision to make: continue to run from men (<-- men in general or sexy Axton?) she’s attracted to or explore a love she never thought she would have.


I know you've done a lot of work on this, but this query is still far from ready to see the world. The prose and details just don't pop, and the plot details are kinda messy. It's not that we need more details, but that we need the RIGHT ones. Best of luck.


Oh wow.

I thank you for the help but I'm a bit surprised. You're literally taking out everything I was told to put in by others...and I don't believe it's messy or anything. The plot is fine, and if you didn't read most of the replies, I mentioned that this query is about the first part of the book, so it's about Calleigh who has no one to turn to when she was bit-therefore becoming scared of men-and how she comes upon more dangerous creatures after. While recovering from her attack later, she still is learning about the supernatural world and it comes as a huge surprise that Axton wants to bite her-only then does she find out after that she is a half-blood.

It's all about perfecting the details I know that, but I can't be explaining literally everything about every sentence and plot point. Have to leave the agent wanting to know more.

Not to say I am not thankful for the help, but I'm just a bit confused since this is my third revision and I changed it to what others said to put in or leave out, and here you come in saying everything needs to go or change or it's not enough.
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Query Review / Re: Alpha Enchanted-Adult Paranormal Romance-*REVISED in the replies!!*
« Last post by eqb123 on October 23, 2020, 07:53:05 PM »
Comments in blue


Twenty-three-year-old Calleigh Aron has reason to fear a man’s touch. (<--this doesn't make sense. It was a vampire who attacked her, not a man. Also, not all vampires are men, right?)  A vampire attack during high school not only scared her from dating but also left her with her own pair of fangs.

Six years later, (<-- I'd delete the "six years later" because it implies a gap in her life where nothing happens. Your story starts with the werewolf attack.) Calleigh is surprised to find vampires are not the only creatures in the world. (<-- delete. it adds nothing and makes Calleigh look oblivious and incurious) When a pack of threatening werewolves have their jaws set on sight for her neck, (<-- wordy and convoluted and frankly it doesn't make any sense) her fear of men increases. (<-- again with the implication that men = supernatural creatures. also, the phrase comes across as very flat, very dull, imo) As they proceed with their plan to kill, they are thwarted when a mysterious vampire comes to the rescue. (<-- a lot of unnecessary words. in essence, Calleigh encounters a werewolf pack, but before they can kill her, sexy man appears.)
 
Tall, amber-eyed and with a dangerously sexy pack of rock-hard (<-- I'd suggest you trim some of the adjectives) abs, Axton is a stunning specimen to behold. Kind and respectful, Axton is the perfect fit to help her break free of her fear (<-- "perfect fit" doesn't make sense. I know what you're trying to say, but the phrasing is very off), until his affinity for human blood threatens her life once more. While recovering from her werewolf injuries, Calleigh is stunned to find that a vampire as perfect as he seems, wants to sink his own teeth into her. (<-- this sentence is trying to do way too much. We have her injuries, he's perfect, but he's dangerous, and is all this taking place in the first five minutes or the first five hours? And if he's a vampire, why is she surprised that he wants to bite her?) It’s only then does she come to find, that she is a half-vampire. (<-- how does she discover that? and what happened to the imminent danger from Axton?)

According to Axton, the one that (<-- who) bit her didn’t have enough time to turn her the whole way. (<-- so it's only a matter of time that prevented her from being turned completely? And what does "half a vampire" mean for Calleigh? Is she immortal? Has she ever wanted blood? Has no one noticed her fangs?)

And her human blood drives him wild. (<-- Of course it drives him wild. He's a vampire. Also, does this mean the only difference between Calleigh and a human is that she has fangs?) Wild to the point he fights to stay away (<-- This seems to imply that some time has passed, yes?), and in that (<-- in *his* struggle) struggle, Calleigh sees (<-- bland and flat) a man that (<-- who) doesn’t want to hurt her for the first time.

 
Calleigh now has a decision to make: continue to run from men (<-- men in general or sexy Axton?) she’s attracted to or explore a love she never thought she would have.


I know you've done a lot of work on this, but this query is still far from ready to see the world. The prose and details just don't pop, and the plot details are kinda messy. It's not that we need more details, but that we need the RIGHT ones. Best of luck.




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First Five Pages / Re: Pale Beauty magical realism revised 2nd 10/22/20
« Last post by rivergirl on October 23, 2020, 04:25:09 PM »
It had been days since I last saw another person… or was it weeks? With my sun-kissed legs outstretched, my back pressed against my home and the wind tossing my brown, unkempt hair about, I looked up and down this pristine caramel colored beach in Havana, only to realize that I was alone. Even that chubby Canadian, who was remodeling the Rosario hotel, was absent. Normally I would catch him glaring at me from the far off and distant ridge. In fact, only once, maybe months ago, did he ever come closer.

As I recall from your query, the mc is an ex-veteran, right? This para above has a very feminine voice/descriptions. I'd rough this up some. For example purposes only:

It'd been days since I last saw person...or had it been week? Fine by me, I was sick to death of all the happy tourists that littered my little caramel beach between the months of June and August. Havana was my home--not theirs. I brooded over this a moment, stretching out bronzed hairy legs. Hell, even that chubby Canadian was absent blah blah


Calling me names in English, French, and broken Spanish, he precariously and delicately moved along a nearby sand dune as he grunted, “You! You, filthy man… get out of here!”

While panting and waving his pale arms, he tried his best to shoo me away from my corner on the beach. Maybe he didn’t understand that I claimed this spot long ago after erecting my home, this tiny metallic shed that I now lean my back against.

Instead of explaining myself, I simply sat with my legs crossed while I watched him shout obscenities in my direction. Growing frustrated over my ambivalence, he hissed something fowl in his native language and took a swing at the air, only to end up tripping and rolling into the ocean.

As I watched his blond hair and chubby arms thrash in the water, some tourists rushed to help him onto his feet. Perhaps they were worried that the tides would carry him away, but I knew, even back then, as I sat against the warm sand covered floor, that the currents weren’t strong enough for that yet.

 That was months ago… at least I think it was. Today, the water would be fierce enough to take someone like him, or even me away…. Feeling uncomfortable, I shifted my back against the patchwork of aluminum that formed the walls of my tiny metallic house and dug my feet deeper into the hot sun hyphen drenched sand, but it didn’t make a difference. As I stared at my front yard, the ocean, the hollowness of the swishing winds and crashing waves echoed within my mind. Magnifying how empty everything around me is, now that I am alone.

Emptiness for the living was dangerous, especially here. If you weren’t careful a darkness could seep into you. Crawl up your legs until you were consumed with the notion that nothing was left, nothing but some dead thing.

Feeling particularly anxious, I walked twenty feet across the pulsating Cuban sand and found a dry enough spot to rest. I didn’t know why but sitting so low and close to the water’s edge calmed me. In truth it shouldn’t. The throbbing sea always had an eagerness to it, almost as if it wanted to crush me. Each glossy blue wave that leapt and fell seemed to reach out with the threat of pulling me closer, but was it really the ocean pulling me or was I… I'm not following this thought

Feeling an unhealthy urge, if he's suicidal this needs a lot more attention. He seems too happy and peaceful above  I turned my head only to jump up from fright. As I clenched the dry earth under me, I was left startled and trying to make sense of a beautiful stranger just 30 feet away. always spell out numbers unless using a scientific term

Where did she come from? this works much better.

Standing with her naked feet along the ocean’s crest, the woman’s white dress swayed gently above the surf and dark skin glowed even though the sun had long begun to settle. Shaped like the furls of a rose, her black hair fell just past her shoulders. Each sable curl, almost perfectly, repeated as if they were links in a delicate chain. While I love this description, it sounds like the words of a poet, woman, but not an ex-warrior. I'd rough this up too. Maybe: My gaze moved up those long brown legs, unable to help myself. Her white dress was in motion as was dark hair that unfurled over athletic shoulders like the furls of a rose.

I couldn’t help but think that the stranger’s feet should have been tickled by the rushing water, yet, her expression only showed concern. Her smooth cheeks, not yet worn with wrinkles or scars, vibrated slightly under sad dark brown eyes. It seemed unnatural for someone who appeared so young, perhaps no older than nineteen, to carry so much worry.

As her wide, sullen gaze continued to stare off into the water, I was reminded of something. For many, peering into the great expanse typically brought terror. Especially since so much was grander in the world of the sea. The weight of it would often collapse one’s confidence, eventually leading them to hurry away and return their senses to land.

However, for others, like this one person, the ocean presented an option. A chance to explore their minds and utilize the blue escape as a canvass. Nothing would be greater for such people than to turn away from everything. Forget the dirt, the toil and all the problems that plagued them. I think she wanted to die.

Just then, I began to wonder, was she even real.  Why didn’t I hear her walk by? It was almost as if this stranger appeared out of nowhere. This is still a ridiculous thought, so have him make fun of himself for thinking it. It think it will work that way.

It had been so long since I saw another person, could this woman be a figment of my imagination or something worse: a spirit? There was something about her dress, whiter than foam, that sent chills down my spine. The way it danced above the water and against the wind.... she shouldn’t be here.

Feeling ridiculous, I shook my head and tried to reason with myself. She couldn’t be a ghost. Without realizing it, while I was staring into the ocean and having... negative thoughts, she must have slipped by me. It made sense, it had to. After all, I had never seen anything that looked like a ghost, maybe only….

Suddenly, about 60 feet from the water and to my far right, a jeep filled with obnoxious laughter streaked across the sand. I recognized the mayor’s son, Ignacio, and his friends as they emptied themselves on to the beach. Per usual, they gleefully yelled and screamed while shoving and tugging at one another.

Not wanting to attract their ire, as I had done in the past, This warrior sounds frightened of these boys. Maybe i misunderstand the character but I wish he curled his fists at their appearance  or something more manly I quickly turned away. Yet, just before, I noticed the mayor’s son staring in my direction. Luckily, however, I was passed over. His playful scheming eyes were instead locked onto the young woman who was still staring out into the water.

I began to try and slide away from his field of vision, when I spotted the strangest thing in the distance. About one hundred feet away, a speck of bright light danced against the old Rosario hotel. In random patterns, it franticly shot up then down or moved from left to right. Disappearing for seconds when it met with the suns direct light only to reappear and continue its spastic movements.

Dismissing it as just some kids goofing off, I decided to ignore everything: the strange woman, Ignacio and that light. Before I could head back into my shed, I heard the soft footsteps of horrible people approaching.

 “Hello, beautiful. Want to share a drink?” Ignacio, now less than 20 feet away from the woman, dropped his Walkman as he confidently raised the bottle of rum, spilling some onto the beach floor.

She turned with each hand atop her stomach revealing a nascently pregnant belly.

“Oh, looks like you got started early,” he smiled, “It’s okay, we can still have some fun.” Grabbing her by the waist, Ignacio pulled the pregnant repeat. The reader can see her clearly. Frightened might work better woman towards him.

“No! “She fiercely hit him on the chest as he and his gang laughed.

 “Look, boss.” One of his goons pointed to me.

Some emotion, preferably anger, from the MC as he's watching this might be in order. Letting go of the woman, Ignacio glared in my direction and slowly walked over to me. His face always seemed stern and now it was colored with a look of disgust as he kicked a plume of sand toward me. The sparkling bits of beach fell lightly over my face and nearly covered my legs completely.

Ignacio knelt before me. “What are you looking at you dirty thing?”

At that moment I wasn’t interested in engaging Ignacio, instead I was too distracted.  That strange erratic light had now come closer. The size of a baseball, the orb moved like a wild bumble bee just twenty feet away. It fluttered to and fro, up and over as it streamed across the palm trees, floor and sky. Was it a large firefly? A group of fireflies?

Stranger yet, it seemed like I was the only one distracted by its presence. Everyone else ignored the pulsating orb while it repeatedly, and hectically, flew right past or hovered near them. At an angle above the water it suddenly stopped. The object spiraled and turned in place until it grew still. For some reason, I got the feeling that it was staring right at me.

Eventually, I became more certain as it slowly moved in my direction.
 
Still sneering, Ignacio turned his head to discover that the pregnant woman had disappeared.

With a smirk, he stood back up, only to lean down slightly, as he dropped the nearly empty bottle of liquor. “It’s okay. We just wanted to see what we had to clean up.”

Just before the glowing object reached me, Ignacio waved over one of his men. The next thing I saw was the heel of a boot followed by the whitest and most beautiful light I had ever seen.

A definite improvement. I hope my comments were helpful!

30
First Five Pages / Re: The Hellborn King - Adult fantasy
« Last post by rivergirl on October 23, 2020, 03:26:12 PM »
I agree with the others. Solid writing and punctuation. A little lost at the beginning with all of the names but I think the reader would catch on very quickly.
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