HH Com 185

In this 140,000-word Fantasy, Takktin Kallaran runs from what may have been his most glorious mistake--killing a General's son. Festival of Mirrors is a fast-paced story told from multiple viewpoints. It is targeted toward teens and upward.

Hook starts here:
For seven years, the world has cowered under the Koyartan's brutal occupation and their foreign philosophy of Purity. Here, where violations of these vague ideals get you tortured or imprisoned, where being of a different species gets you executed on sight, it is easy to become an enemy. It is easy to hate. As Takktin struggles to escape the wrath that he has brought down upon his people, he is drawn into a resistance that he never knew existed--and undercurrents he never could have imagined. He is forced to see that the consequence of rashness is blood and, uncontrolled, his own hate will kill him. Desperate to escape his embattled city, he scrambles toward freedom with his crippled friend Timler, a powerful and secretive man called DiRan, and his insane mother taunting him at every turn. But Takktin will soon discover that the Koyartan are not the only dangers hunting him--and running will not be enough.
and it ends here

This manuscript is complete and ready to be sent upon your request. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to your response.
Enclosed: SASE

this is blather. You're awash in events. A good hook might have three events total. I'm absolutely unclear on the problem here. He's the bad guy? (brutal wrath he brought down on his people would seem to indicate that) He's the good guy (he's trying to escape the hell of his own making?). If he's the good guy, who are the bad guys?

Write short declarative sentences that flow one from another. If you end up with long ass sentence cause you feel you need to explain something, don't explain.



shannon said...

Well, first of all, "Where being a different species gets you executed on sight" would mean they're all dead by now, wouldn't it? They certainly wouldn't be able to work, therefore live, and what's the relevance anyway, apart from trying to establish that it's a brutal land? You've already said so: "Koyartan's brutal occupation." Get your paring knife!

Is Takktin Kallaran one of the Koyartan people? I'm unclear as to how his "glorious mistake", killing a general's son (why is that "glorious"?) brings wrath on anyone but himself - or is it that the general is pissed so he takes it out on everyone else? Who is this Takktin person? Is he important in the ranks?

"The consequence of rashness is blood." Huh? if you do something rash, you could get a nasty cut? He is "drawn into a resistance" - ah, group? sticky substance? AND "struggles to escape the city"? The time-line is complicated here, is he now fleeing the resistance as well? Are they helping him flee? Why?

The "Purity" is "foreign" - so the Koyartan are from another planet? They have taken over the world, after all. I'd scrap the word "foreign".

Focus on Takktin. Who is he? Start at the moment of crisis. Tell us what he did, and what he does next, and who his nemesis is. As it is, there's no clue as to what he's actually running from apart from an "embattled city" (it's been seven years and the world is "cowering" but there's still battles going on?) and his insane mother (I'd be insane too, if I had to figure out what Takktin's up to). Get rid of sentences like "It is easy to hate." You're going to need to start over.

Crys said...

this is one of the reasons i have such a hard time with sci-fi/fantasy, and it's a really pedestrian reason at that: if i have difficulty pronouncing the names in my head, i then have a difficult time reading the prose altogether---it gets choppy and i get exhausted. plus i always end up thinking, how'd they come up with that one?

lots of funky names here. i realize that people from another planet probably aren't named Jack or Mary, but throw a sister a bone.

M. Takhallus. said...

In a world where writers are hunted for sport, the only hope may come from a poodle-brandishing, stiletto-wearing vamp. But for cowed and desperate writers the price of salvation may be too high. Will they be gathered to the shelter of her no-doubt youthful, toned and perfectly-proportioned bosom? Or will they be driven to madness by . . . the snark?

(Cue SFX of high heels on tile and tile and tile and then . . . the crunch of flesh and a cry of ecstatic pain.)

Off-screen: "Your hook starts here, little man. Right . . . here!"

Fade to tag line: There's no escape from the snark.

Fade to bumper of showtimes and credits.

Fade out.

HawkOwl said...

I think what I dislike the most about this is the "targeted toward teens and upward" part. What makes you think that the "upward" demographic, on average, wants to read novels targeted at teens? Other than that, I can't say the query stands out from the average fantasy manuscript.

Jeremy James said...

In the email I got from the lovely Miss Snark, I was given number 185. Did I miss something obvious to everyone else as to the discrepancy in numbering? I am ADD, so it wouldn't surprise me.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy - there are two 162s, so don't lose heart. I'm sure it will appear.

KC said...

Jeremy, this was my post and I was given 179, so... Uh, I don't know.
Thanks to everyone for the comments--all good points so far. I swear, query letters are way harder to write than the books. Of course, I welcome more comments.
Aaaaahhhh, such good pain...

Anonymous said...

Okay, I get it, he killed the Koyartan, that brought down their wrath. If you were trying to hook me (you little hussy), you'd have to reveal more to me about the people involved rather than the world involved. Bulding those worlds is fun, but it's the personal conflict that makes me want to read it, the rest is scenery. I think you could bust out with something to the effect of "he killed this guy out of rage (or whatever)" "It brought down the wrath of the occupying force" "he flees (out of fear? trying to save mom?)" and then you're going to have to give up the goods on the mystery guy with the power. If he turns things into water or something cool, tell us. And, if Takktin organzies a rebellion, then you really need to include that in a much clearer way.

Anonymous said...

i would LOVE to see a sci fi book with NORMAL names.

LORD JOE- was the evil villian

FRED - is the hero

JANE- is his love interest

the EEEEE man