Author Topic: Astral Absolution (Suspense)  (Read 282 times)

Offline onyxskul

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Astral Absolution (Suspense)
« on: September 22, 2022, 11:39:17 AM »
Hi <Agent>,

The black dust follows Katherine everywhere. 
Starting in her dreams, progressing to the real world.  Seemingly trying to snuff out her existence.  Homeless, addicted to opioids, and a drive to remember what the pyramids mean, find her yearning for a complete mind.  One that won’t turn against her. 

After a severe psychotic episode, Katherine is guided to a house for addicts, along with her friend, Sterling.  A clean, warm place to live.  She befriends the house’s manager, and is assigned a sponsor.  Attends the required twelve-step program, and prescribed the medication she needs.

But the memories still will not come back.  All of them fuzzy, askew.  Something about pyramids, astral travel.  A lost world, hidden from humans.  A secret. 
Except her mind won’t let her see.

The dust wants to know the secret, too.  Almost as much as Katherine.  The medications ware off, and her mind deteriorates further into the abyss.  Sterling convinces her to leave, to find opioids, to open her mind up, to relax.
On her way into the city, searching for the contraband, reality shatters.  Sterling is not whom he seemed. A puppet master, tugging at the strings of her mind.

Katherine now finds herself in a battle.  One, if lost, means the grinding of the human population into dust.

ASTRAL ABSOLUTION is a suspense novel, complete at over 85,000 words.  It will appeal to fans of Graham Hancock’s, ENTANGLED, and Gina Rosati’s, AURACLE.

Jacob lives in St. Louis, MO.  Residing in a well-built, old brick house, with his loving dog, Tulla.  By day, he works at a local corporate office, by night he works on The Craft.  You can find his published work, YELLOW TRAINS, at NiftyLit.io.

Thank you for the consideration,

Jacob
« Last Edit: September 22, 2022, 02:15:29 PM by onyxskul »

Offline MichelleG

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Re: Astral Absolution (Suspense)
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2022, 02:55:18 PM »
Let me jump to the end first, why do you write about yourself in 3rd person?

I don't understand your query, but i think I get what you are trying to say.

She is in this drug induced haze, but she thinks there is something she has forgotten.  That thing she has forgotten has something to do with pyramids and astral travel.  Am i correct? And somehow it has to do with the end of humans?

If so you need to be clearer. It reads as if the person writing it, not the character, is in a haze.

I don't mean to be harsh.  I hope I have been helpful.

Actually, it reads as if it is a poem.
"You look at these scattered houses, and you are impressed by their beauty. I look at them, and the only thought which comes to me is a feeling of isolation and the impunity with which crime may be committed there." - Sherlock Homes, The Copper Beeches - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Offline Sara.E

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Re: Astral Absolution (Suspense)
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2022, 03:22:40 PM »
Hey there!

This does sound like a really interesting story, but I agree with the reviewer above that it's just a little too vague. I haven't read your story, but I have to imagine your query matches your writing style, which is a plus, but I still think you need to give an agent a slightly better sense of what the story is. I know it's a suspense, but I'm not really sure what the stakes are. Is this all in Katherine's head, or is the world actually in danger? Is the idea that we aren't quite sure if the threat is real or not? It's hard for me to really pinpoint what kind of story this is without understanding what Katherine is actually up against.

Also, while I do like your stylistic choice, there are a couple of sentences that read weird. The last thing you want is an agent having to reread sentences because that will immediately pull them out of the query. Here are just a couple of examples.

Quote
Seemingly trying to snuff out her existence.  Homeless, addicted to opioids, and with a drive to remember what the pyramids mean, find her yearning for a complete mind.

Quote
She attends the required twelve-step program, and is prescribed the medication she needs.

They are minor things, but I think they ensure the query reads as smoothly as possible, and saves your edgy stylistic choices for your novel :)

Hope this is helpful, and let me know if you have any questions.

Offline onyxskul

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Re: Astral Absolution (Suspense)
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2022, 04:32:58 PM »
Let me jump to the end first, why do you write about yourself in 3rd person?
I wrote in third person because that's how you send in your bio to lit journals who utilize Submittable, etc.  So I just used the same format.

I don't understand your query, but i think I get what you are trying to say.

She is in this drug induced haze, but she thinks there is something she has forgotten.  That thing she has forgotten has something to do with pyramids and astral travel.  Am i correct? And somehow it has to do with the end of humans?
You're correct.

If so you need to be clearer. It reads as if the person writing it, not the character, is in a haze.
Agreed, will rewrite it.

I don't mean to be harsh.  I hope I have been helpful.
Not taken harshly.

Actually, it reads as if it is a poem.
Interesting...

Offline onyxskul

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Re: Astral Absolution (Suspense)
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2022, 04:38:25 PM »
Hey there!

This does sound like a really interesting story, but I agree with the reviewer above that it's just a little too vague. I haven't read your story, but I have to imagine your query matches your writing style, which is a plus, but I still think you need to give an agent a slightly better sense of what the story is. I know it's a suspense, but I'm not really sure what the stakes are. Is this all in Katherine's head, or is the world actually in danger? Is the idea that we aren't quite sure if the threat is real or not? It's hard for me to really pinpoint what kind of story this is without understanding what Katherine is actually up against.

Great feedback.  I may have more questions later once I rewrite it.

Also, while I do like your stylistic choice, there are a couple of sentences that read weird. The last thing you want is an agent having to reread sentences because that will immediately pull them out of the query. Here are just a couple of examples.

Quote
Seemingly trying to snuff out her existence.  Homeless, addicted to opioids, and with a drive to remember what the pyramids mean, find her yearning for a complete mind.

Quote
She attends the required twelve-step program, and is prescribed the medication she needs.

They are minor things, but I think they ensure the query reads as smoothly as possible, and saves your edgy stylistic choices for your novel :)

Hope this is helpful, and let me know if you have any questions.

Lovely, very helpful, thank you.

I posted here to the review board based on a recent personal rejection I received from an agent, recommending changes to the query. I.E. stakes, plot points, etc.  I rewrote the original, to the one above, and I'm gathering it's still too vague.

Thank you for the feedback.  I'll post here again once I've made the changes suggested.

Thank you  :)



Offline onyxskul

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Re: Astral Absolution (Suspense)
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2022, 08:07:49 PM »
Hi All,

Please see below corrected query and let me know your thoughts. 
Any and all feedback appreciated. 

Thank you,

Dear Agent,

The astral realm beckons.
For Katherine, it’s a chance to escape her family struggles.  A place where she can come, and experience true happiness. 

While exploring, she’s guided telepathically by a mysterious voice, to a pyramid containing a portal to a depository.  Filled with information about human civilizations across the universe. 

Fast-forward to her adult life and Katherine has a difficult time remembering the events of yesterday, much less what the pyramids mean.  She is also homeless, addicted to opioids, and extremely irritable.
After a mental breakdown, she’s guided to a house for addicts, along with her acquaintance, Sterling.  She befriends the house’s manager, attends the required twelve-step program, and is prescribed the medication she needs.

But, the memories still won’t come back.  All of them fuzzy, askew.  She believes a parcel of information, required to alleviate her troubled situation, lies deep within her mind.
Except her brain bars access.

The medications ware off, and her mind deteriorates further into the abyss.  Sterling convinces her to leave, to find opioids, to open her mind, to relax.
While searching for the contraband, reality shatters, unveiling Sterling as a dark entity.  A puppet master, tugging at the strings of her mind for the last several years.  Desperate for information Katherine’s mind contained.

Katherine now finds herself in a battle.  One, if lost, means the end of all human civilizations across the universe.

ASTRAL ABSOLUTION is a suspenseful thriller, complete at over 85,000 words.  It will appeal to fans of Graham Hancock’s, ENTANGLED, and Gina Rosati’s, AURACLE.

Jacob lives in St. Louis, MO.  Residing in a well-built, old brick house, with his loving dog, Tulla.  By day, he works at a local corporate office, by night he works on The Craft.  You can find his published work, YELLOW TRAINS, at NiftyLit.io.

Thank you for the consideration,

Jacob

Offline MichelleG

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Re: Astral Absolution (Suspense)
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2022, 08:51:24 PM »
This is better.  Unfortunately, it still doesn't tell me anything about the story.

We have a woman who lives in a drug inducted haze and suffers from some mental illness. She has a memory of pyramids - and somehow there is a battle that can end human civilization, There needs to be some details - other than her haziness.

Somehow she is in a battle with Sterling.  This is the same Sterling who goes with her to rehab and then convinces her to leave rehab and do drugs.  What? Why?

It's still too disjointed.  I am sure it makes sense to you, but you know the story.

Neither Filled with information about human civilizations across the universe. or A puppet master, tugging at the strings of her mind for the last several years. are sentences.
"You look at these scattered houses, and you are impressed by their beauty. I look at them, and the only thought which comes to me is a feeling of isolation and the impunity with which crime may be committed there." - Sherlock Homes, The Copper Beeches - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle