Author Topic: YA Crossover Urban Fantasy EMPATHY FOR THE VAMPIRE  (Read 470 times)

Offline paddler

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Re: YA Crossover Urban Fantasy EMPATHY FOR THE VAMPIRE
« Reply #30 on: October 12, 2019, 02:11:08 PM »
I'm glad that I am not the only one tossed by that first sentence. I feel like I have gone the wrong way down a one way dead end.

Is this getting closer?

Fourteen-year-old Liz thinks she is sensitive to the emotions of others. Her empathic enteric is much more than that, though. It allows others to harbor in her mental embrace.

When she meets Nathaniel Tillack, he tells her about her ability. She thinks he is deluded, but she starts to feel awful and it has the feeling of Nat. Her body begins to feel like her energy is being sucked away.

She drags herself from her bed to try and find out what is happening. That is when she meets a woman who says Nat is a very bad little vampire. She knows this because she made him into that vampire and is also looking for him. He has things to pay for.

Offline paddler

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Re: YA Crossover Urban Fantasy EMPATHY FOR THE VAMPIRE
« Reply #31 on: October 12, 2019, 04:34:21 PM »
That should be emphatic etheric, sorry

Offline 007 fan

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Re: YA Crossover Urban Fantasy EMPATHY FOR THE VAMPIRE
« Reply #32 on: October 12, 2019, 04:57:53 PM »
Quote
This is hard to explain but she doesn't realize she's empathic

Then why do you open with stating that Liz is an empath? Since queries should be from POV of MC, stating she's an empath has always made me think she knew that about herself.

Wouldn't something like....Liz frequently experiences random emotions, but they always pass, so she doesn't give them much thought....(but better phrased ;D) be more accurate?

I wonder if Nat should be the first person in query to mention "empathic". It might need to be said that she's particularly gifted to have picked up on his "physical" issue since empathy is the ability to feel the "emotions/feelings" of others, not physical symptoms.

Thought I read somewhere in this thread or another that Nat is refusing to feed? So he's starving himself? Getting weaker? Is that what Liz is experiencing?

I'm wondering if Nat's emotional situation of not wanting to eat is what Liz is picking up? So she's not literally picking up his physical condition of starvation but rather his emotional situation of refusing to eat?

How is it in your story? Is Liz eating but getting weaker or has she lost her desire to eat and that's what is making her waste away?

Quote
I don't want to waste words explaining empathy but if it's a real problem

I don't think you have to explain it. If you state what she experiences, then have Nat put a name to it...

I do think he should then say he'd never heard of an empath experiencing someone's "physical" symptoms, and that makes him think she's particularly gifted?

Quote
And I might have to then explain why she doesn't know she has it, as I've been criticised before for that on another site; that 'if she doesn't know she has empathic ability, how strong can it be?

I don't think you need to explain why she doesn't know she has it. Not in the query. It's a bit ridiculous to me that someone would say if she doesn't know she's empathetic then how strong could it be. Just my opinion.

ETA: It might be helpful in understanding why Liz is wasting away if there's a mention that Nat is starving himself if he is so readers to query know HOW Liz is deteriorating. Besides getting weaker, is she losing weight as well?
 
« Last Edit: October 12, 2019, 05:17:54 PM by 007 fan »
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Offline Pineapplejuice

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Re: YA Crossover Urban Fantasy EMPATHY FOR THE VAMPIRE
« Reply #33 on: October 12, 2019, 05:51:21 PM »
Quote
This is hard to explain but she doesn't realize she's empathic

Then why do you open with stating that Liz is an empath? Since queries should be from POV of MC, stating she's an empath has always made me think she knew that about herself. She's an unreliable narrator. Versions I"ve tried with introducing the empathy thing when Nat tells her, are always too long.



Wouldn't something like....Liz frequently experiences random emotions, but they always pass, so she doesn't give them much thought....(but better phrased ;D) be more accurate?

Because it feels a clumsy and boring to me to start off explaining something about explaining something when I'm supposed to be hooking the reader with a turning of the plot that I'm setting up


Also, the book starts off when she's already met Nat the first time. So we don't get to see her empathizing with anyone else. In my cosmology humans forget their first interaction with vampires. The first page of chapter one is Liz in art class. She's exhausted and writes his name on her pencil case but she doesn't remember meeting Nat. She thinks she just scribbled it.


I wonder if Nat should be the first person in query to mention "empathic". It might need to be said that she's particularly gifted to have picked up on his "physical" issue since empathy is the ability to feel the "emotions/feelings" of others, not physical symptoms.



Thought I read somewhere in this thread or another that Nat is refusing to feed? So he's starving himself? Getting weaker? Is that what Liz is experiencing?

I'm wondering if Nat's emotional situation of not wanting to eat is what Liz is picking up? So she's not literally picking up his physical condition of starvation but rather his emotional situation of refusing to eat?

She's weak because he is weak. But at night time when he is conscious, she feels his internal misery - psychological longing for his human death ( thought she doesn't know that's what the feeling is, ) .

How is it in your story? Is Liz eating but getting weaker Yes or has she lost her desire to eat and that's what is making her waste away?

Quote
I don't want to waste words explaining empathy but if it's a real problem

I don't think you have to explain it. If you state what she experiences, then have Nat put a name to it...

I do think he should then say he'd never heard of an empath experiencing someone's "physical" symptoms, and that makes him think she's particularly gifted?

It's funny but I should probably have him say that in the book. I haven't lol

Quote
And I might have to then explain why she doesn't know she has it, as I've been criticised before for that on another site; that 'if she doesn't know she has empathic ability, how strong can it be?

I don't think you need to explain why she doesn't know she has it. Not in the query. It's a bit ridiculous to me that someone would say if she doesn't know she's empathetic then how strong could it be. Just my opinion. Thank you, I thought so at the time but it made me feel like everyone would think that

So something like,

Liz is an empath, and feels the emotions of others as if they are her own, only she doesn't know she's doing it


ETA: It might be helpful in understanding why Liz is wasting away if there's a mention that Nat is starving himself if he is so readers to query know HOW Liz is deteriorating. Besides getting weaker, ( that's all it is, getting weaker .) is she losing weight as well? She's not wasting away. He's not wasting away. He's immortal so not drinking blood doesn't make him lose weight. It's exhaustion and brain fog they share.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2019, 06:01:43 PM by Pineapplejuice »

Offline Pineapplejuice

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Re: YA Crossover Urban Fantasy EMPATHY FOR THE VAMPIRE
« Reply #34 on: October 13, 2019, 04:11:28 PM »
I'm glad that I am not the only one tossed by that first sentence. I feel like I have gone the wrong way down a one way dead end.

Is this getting closer?

Fourteen-year-old Liz thinks she is sensitive to the emotions of others. Her empathic enteric is much more than that, though. It allows others to harbor in her mental embrace.
( I'll have to google enteric...which sort makes me think I'd best not use it to explain empathy. I'm really trying to keep things simple, ideally. 'mental embrace' I think is a bit ...abstract. )


When she meets Nathaniel Tillack, he tells her about her ability. She thinks he is deluded, but she starts to feel awful and it has the feeling of Nat ( This is hard to explain ...to hard really to explain but no this isn't really what's happening. She feels how Nat feels, and he even tells her she's empathizing but I can't word it like 'it has the feeling of Nat' because to her it feels like her own feeling. ). Her body begins to feel like her energy is being sucked away.

She drags herself from her bed to try and find out what is happening. That is when she meets a woman who says Nat is a very bad little vampire. This made me laugh ;D She knows this because she made him into that vampire and is also looking for him. He has things to pay for. ( He doesn't have things to pay for...but the reason I wouldn't end it like this is because the stakes end up feeling like Nat is in danger from Isaskia rather than Liz from her own body and the empathy/Nat. ) But thanks for this. It was fun to read

Offline Sabreur

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Re: YA Crossover Urban Fantasy EMPATHY FOR THE VAMPIRE
« Reply #35 on: October 14, 2019, 01:25:15 PM »
Hi Pineapplejuice,

Sorry, I think I'm getting a bit muddled. Which version is the current clear copy? There has been so much discussion since the last one I'm not sure where we are. ???

Offline Pineapplejuice

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Re: YA Crossover Urban Fantasy EMPATHY FOR THE VAMPIRE
« Reply #36 on: October 14, 2019, 01:39:04 PM »
I don't even know lol.
I've had a cold for a week and I'm just letting it all get away from me.

I'm thinking what I'll do is make a different query...as I've got a few versions here people seem to think are ok. I think the most recent one I was happy with was my revision after Jessika's with Tiger Ash's edits on it.

I'll try to find it

Offline Pineapplejuice

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Re: YA Crossover Urban Fantasy EMPATHY FOR THE VAMPIRE
« Reply #37 on: October 14, 2019, 01:43:00 PM »
This is recent version with most of Sabruers suggestions.


Dear Agent,

Fourteen-year-old empath Liz Morton normally hosts people's emotions; but upon meeting the recently awakened 122 year-old vampire Nathaniel Tillack, her body undergoes a drastic change. All energy is sapped from her, causing Liz to be bedridden for weeks, with no end in sight. Nat explains to her that this extra-sensory empathy she possesses for him is slowly sucking her life away. To her own astonishment, she believes him.

Finally, Liz drags herself out of her house, determined to find more answers. But she finds herself face to face with a young woman whom she learns is an old enemy of Nat’s: Isaskia. She's a dangerous and powerful vampire, far older than Nat. She claims to know him inside out since she's also the one who turned him.

According to her, Nat is using Liz as a walking storage vessel for his feelings: both physical and emotional.

Torn between seeking the truths about Nat’s motivations, and the desperate for a cure for the ‘bone deep’ connection she has with him, Liz must push beyond the limits of her ailing body and find a solution.

Preferably, one that will keep her alive.



This novel can stand alone but has series potential.

Thank you for your time and consideration.



Thanks Sabruer.

« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 02:47:54 PM by Pineapplejuice »

Offline Sabreur

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Re: YA Crossover Urban Fantasy EMPATHY FOR THE VAMPIRE
« Reply #38 on: October 14, 2019, 02:03:10 PM »
Yeah, I still like it. I think a few tweaks would help, though:

Astonishingly, she believes him. To her own astonishment, she believes him.

She's a dangerous and powerful vampire, four times far older than Nat. and she She claims to know him inside out because she's also since she's the one who turned him into the immortal being he is.

...  feelings. The physical and emotional.  ... feelings: both physical and emotional.

Feeling torn between  Torn between

motivations, and desperate for a cure  motivations and the desperate need for a cure

Hope you feel better. :)

Offline jessoterick

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Re: YA Crossover Urban Fantasy EMPATHY FOR THE VAMPIRE
« Reply #39 on: October 14, 2019, 02:19:55 PM »
This is recent version with most of Sabruers suggestions.


Dear Agent,

Fourteen-year-old empath Liz Morton normally hosts people's emotions, but upon meeting the recently awakened 122-year-old vampire Nathaniel Tillack, her body undergoes a drastic change. All energy is sapped from her, causing Liz to be bedridden for weeks, with no end in sight. Nat explains to her that this extra-sensory empathy she possesses for him is slowly sucking her life away. Astonishingly, she believes him.

Those last two sentences raise too many complicated questions. Remember: you should keep a query as un-convoluted as possible. Save all the juicy bits for the manuscript. I think you may also need to clarify that she empathizes subconsciously? (i.e. - "Liz Morton is the unwilling host to other people's emotions")

Finally, Liz drags herself out of her house, determined to find more answers. Determined to find a way to save herself, Liz drags herself out of bed But finds herself only to come face-to-face with a young woman whom she learns is an old enemy of *Nat’s, his powerful sire Isaskia. She's a dangerous and powerful vampire, four times older than Nat and she claims to know him inside out because she's also the one who turned him into the immortal being he is.

You can benefit from a bit more sentence variation here and by simplifying the info you're trying to convey. *It's also a good idea to be super consistent with characters in your query, and not to use too many names if you can help it. Choose either Nathaniel or Nat to keep things simple.

According to her, Isaskia claims Nat is using Liz as a walking storage vessel for his feelings--the both physical and emotional.

Maybe it's just me, but "feelings" seems a weird way to describe this. Might want to change up that phrasing a bit.

Feeling Torn between her budding affection for Nat and her need to learn the truth, seeking the truths about Nat’s motivations, and desperate for a cure for the ‘bone deep’ connection she has with him, Liz must push beyond the limits of her ailing body and find a solution. Something has to happen here. As it stands, we're not given enough.

"Feeling" in general is kind of a bad word from an editing standpoint. It reeks of passive voice. Also, this section in general is really choppy and could greatly benefit from a bit of rewording, and you're definitely repeating points now. We already know she's looking for a solution. What else is going on?

Preferably, one that will keep her alive.


This novel can stand alone but has series potential.

Never put this in a query. It's considered a bit taboo. Agents can assume anything has series potential. You don't need to tell them. But make sure the novel can stand on its own regardless.

I've actually written papers on empathy. (NBC's Hannibal is absolutely fascinating, even if it falls into psuedo-psychology.) It's an interesting subject. That said, we definitely need more info not about empathy, but about the story here. What other things happen once her feelings for Nat come around? What else is at stake besides her own life? What threats do both vampires pose? I think you've got an interesting concept here, but to work as a query, we need just a bit more. I hope I've been helpful and I hope I'm offering advice on the correct query. Looking forward to seeing where you go with this.

~Jess


Offline Munley

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Re: YA Crossover Urban Fantasy EMPATHY FOR THE VAMPIRE
« Reply #40 on: October 14, 2019, 07:48:26 PM »
General question:

Does an empath have to get in physically close range of a person in order to pick up on their feelings?
As opposed to learning about that person's troubles by hearsay, or even by being on the phone with that person.



Offline Pineapplejuice

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Re: YA Crossover Urban Fantasy EMPATHY FOR THE VAMPIRE
« Reply #41 on: October 14, 2019, 08:50:16 PM »
General question:

Does an empath have to get in physically close range of a person in order to pick up on their feelings?
As opposed to learning about that person's troubles by hearsay, or even by being on the phone with that person.

No. They don't have to be nearby. Never occurred to me people would assume that but now you mention it , I think everyone would assume the people have to be in close range/on phone etc

Offline Munley

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Re: YA Crossover Urban Fantasy EMPATHY FOR THE VAMPIRE
« Reply #42 on: October 15, 2019, 03:40:05 AM »
General question:

Does an empath have to get in physically close range of a person in order to pick up on their feelings?
As opposed to learning about that person's troubles by hearsay, or even by being on the phone with that person.

No. They don't have to be nearby. Never occurred to me people would assume that but now you mention it , I think everyone would assume the people have to be in close range/on phone etc

Hmmmm. I was asking because I was looking for some wording to suggest that she could have the experience of being an empath without having any idea she is one.  Something like:

Every time Tina Marie gets within three feet of James, her greedy neighbor, she gets a puzzling itch to rob a bank.

Guess that wouldn't work.

Actually, that sample brings me to another question. Does an empath experience other people's urges to do anything because of how they feel?
Or does an empath simply feel sad or angry or joyful with no impulse to act on those feelings in any way?

I suggest CHANGING YOUR TITLE , even though publishers often change a book title anyway.
My reason is that EMPATHY FOR A VAMPIRE might predispose a reader/agent to get locked into assumption about what the book is going to be about because of common notions about vampires -- mainly that they are bloodsuckers that sneak into people's bedrooms at night and jab their fangs into their necks. Then the person who was bitten goes around sneaking into people's bedrooms . . .

Unless that happens in your book, your query has the double job of dispelling a prejudice (oh, this empath is going to go sneaking into people's bedrooms. . .  without even having to be bitten ever since she encountered some vampire, but doesn't know he's a vampire --- as well as letting the reader/agent know what the book is actually about.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2019, 03:51:38 AM by Munley »

Offline Pineapplejuice

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Re: YA Crossover Urban Fantasy EMPATHY FOR THE VAMPIRE
« Reply #43 on: October 15, 2019, 10:25:25 AM »

General question:

Does an empath have to get in physically close range of a person in order to pick up on their feelings?
As opposed to learning about that person's troubles by hearsay, or even by being on the phone with that person.

No. They don't have to be nearby. Never occurred to me people would assume that but now you mention it , I think everyone would assume the people have to be in close range/on phone etc

Hmmmm. I was asking because I was looking for some wording to suggest that she could have the experience of being an empath without having any idea she is one.  Something like:

Every time Tina Marie gets within three feet of James, her greedy neighbor, she gets a puzzling itch to rob a bank.

Guess that wouldn't work. Lol that's exactly what it is for Liz with other people but the book starts off with her permanently empathizing with Nat...I enjoyed reading that

Actually, that sample brings me to another question. Does an empath experience other people's urges to do anything because of how they feel?

( yes )

Or does an empath simply feel sad or angry or joyful with no impulse to act on those feelings in any way? No, the impulse is a driving force that makes Liz act on the feelings if they are big and permanently stuck in her the way Nat's are.

I suggest CHANGING YOUR TITLE , even though publishers often change a book title anyway.
My reason is that EMPATHY FOR A VAMPIRE might predispose a reader/agent to get locked into assumption about what the book is going to be about because of common notions about vampires -- mainly that they are bloodsuckers that sneak into people's bedrooms at night and jab their fangs into their necks. Then the person who was bitten goes around sneaking into people's bedrooms . . . ( Can  you explain what you mean a bit more? I think I was supposed to make a connection my brain didn't make.

Unless that happens in your book, your query has the double job of dispelling a prejudice (oh, this empath is going to go sneaking into people's bedrooms. . .  without even having to be bitten ever since she encountered some vampire, but doesn't know he's a vampire --- as well as letting the reader/agent know what the book is actually about.

Oh I think I know what you mean here. Like you think the agent will assume that Liz will act like a vampire because she feels like one. They'll assume she wants to drink blood ( it's a passing thought - long story  - but yeah she doesn't crave blood as a human ) She acts on what Nat wants to do  , but what he wants to do isn't typical vampire behaviour. I deliberately left out why he isn't typical from the  queries as in my earlier queries the cosmology and world building terms were quite unpopular in my query.


I used words like 'Longsleep' and 'Permanent Feeling' , which are part of my cosmology.

« Last Edit: October 15, 2019, 10:32:05 AM by Pineapplejuice »