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Desuvan

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Is this thing on? [Dec. 18th, 2016|08:46 pm]
Desuvan
* tap tap *

Testing. Testing. 1. 2. 3. Testing. Testing.
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The query letter, version 2. And 2 versions of version 2. [Oct. 21st, 2010|11:05 pm]
Desuvan
Dear Ms. Jackson,

I am seeking representation for my fantasy novel, The Crimson Mask, complete at 130,000 words.

A synthesis of epic fantasy and Grecian myth with an Asian flair, The Crimson Mask tells the story of Ryjel, an orphan-turned-assassin who must save the world from a powerful mage who has unraveled the laws of death - but to do so, he must ally himself with his parents' killer. It is a visceral fantasy that combines intense action, engaging characters, and a world that is both mythical and dangerous. It's a tale of gritty, urban warfare but never loses the wonder of the world, nor forgets the art of story-telling.

The story is set in Jyoto, the world's religious capital, where the High Priestess of the Goddess Inashita holds benevolent court. Along with the creator-goddess, the world is populated by a cast of demi-gods known as the “Wanderers.” But a shadow is cast over this peaceful world by a group of zealots calling themselves the “Chosen of Inashita” who split from the faith, eager to eradicate the Wanderers and worship the Goddess as their sole deity. This conflict catapults Ryjel into an unexpected life as an assassin when the Chosen of Inashita martyr his parents, attendants to one of the Wanderers.

Ryjel's quest for revenge must be put on hold when he must join forces with Betel the Guise, leader of the Chosen of Inashita, in order to safeguard the world from Antares, the mage who has learned to defy the laws of death, and his army of undead. Now embroiled in what has become an all-out war for the city of Jyoto, Ryjel finds unlikely allies in a mysterious attendant to the Red Lady- the avatar of death, a warrior-mage prodigy who wields a sentient and curmudgeonly sword, and the High Priestess who guards a secret.

But opposing this unlikely federation is an army of the undead lead by Antares and his champion, Shaula, another attendant of the Red Lady and a master sword-maiden, who herself seeks vengence on Betel. Before the battle is over, Ryjel will find that there are things more important to him than vengeance and will discover just what he is willing to sacrifice to save his world.

Included with this query are the (number of pages) sample and a brief synopsis of The Crimson Mask. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Thank you so much for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Matthew Schwartz



Note: Underlined parts I'm considering simply cutting out.

Main improvement. Fixed some of the middle, but mostly added a kick-ass opening line/elevator pitch. Opinions?
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Crimson Mask query letter - help needed. [Oct. 19th, 2010|07:10 pm]
Desuvan
Wow, this thing still exists? I kind of figured LJ would just delete it from inactivity. Anyway, Sara has written a query letter for me and I desperately need some feedback on it. Hopefully soon, too, because I'd like this thing mailed out (or e-mailed out) by Thursday.



Dear Agent,

I am seeking representation for my fantasy novel, The Crimson Mask, complete at 130,000 words.

The Crimson Mask is a fast-paced medieval fantasy set in Jyoto, the religious capital of the book's world, where the High Priestess of the Goddess Inashita holds benevolent court. Along with the creator-goddess, the world is populated by a cast of demi-gods known as the “Wanderers.” But a shadow is cast over this peaceful world when a group of zealots calling themselves the “Chosen of Inashita” split from the faith, eager to eradicate the Wanderers and worship the Goddess as their sole deity. It is this conflict that catapults Ryjel, the book's protagonist, into an unexpected life as an assassin when the Chosen of Inashita martyr his parents, attendants to one of the Wanderers.

When a schism within the Chosen of Inashita brings their leaders back to Jyoto, Ryjel sees an opportunity to achieve long denied vengence. But his quest for revenge must be put on hold when he is forced to join with Betel the Guise, the leader of the Chosen of Inashita and the man who led the attack on his parents, in order to safeguard the world from an even greater threat: Antares, a mage who now wields power over death itself. Now embroiled in what has become an all-out war for the city of Jyoto, Ryjel finds even more unlikely allies including a mysterious attendant to the Red Lady- the avatar of death, a warrior-mage prodigy who wields a sentient and curmudgeonly sword, and the High Priestess who guards a secret.

But opposing this unlikely federation is an army of the undead lead by Antares and his champion, Shaula, another attendant of the Red Lady and a master sword-maiden, who herself seeks vengence on Betel. Before the battle is over, Ryjel will find that there are things more important to him than vengeance and will discover just what he is willing to sacrifice to stop Antares and save his world.

The Crimson Mask is a visceral fantasy that combines intense action, engaging characters, and a world that is both mythical and dangerous. It's a tale of gritty, urban warfare but never loses the wonder of the world, nor forgets the art of story-telling.

Included with this query are the (number of pages) sample and a brief synopsis of The Crimson Mask. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Thank you so much for your consideration.

Sincerely,
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A meme I couldn't resist. [Jul. 13th, 2010|06:54 pm]
Desuvan
When writing 1001 Insomniac Nights ...


I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!




Crimson Mask is...


I write like
Jack London

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!




Just the prologue got me Mario Puzo. (The guy who wrote The Godfather.) Might have had something to do with the violence level and liberal use of the word "assassin."

And when I'm working on Code Name: The Runesmith's Daughter


I write like
Dan Brown

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!




To the last - You have GOT to be kidding me!
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Cutting with a chainsaw - It's editing time. [Jul. 1st, 2010|10:40 am]
Desuvan
Several writing projects have been set to the side at the moment as I've started attempting to trim down The Crimson Mask's word-count significantly. So far, so good, as I'm averaging 65 words per page, and at 247 pages, that's close to 16,000 words. Now, I'm only 20 pages in, and still at the beginning before I started worrying about word-count, so its possible my average will plummet near the end, but if it does hold up, we're talking about taking something that's around 145,000 words and reducing it to below 130,000, which should make representing the novel a little more appealing to agents. (Hopefully.)

What I've been cutting hasn't been any of the story. I'm cutting extraneous details, adverbs that aren't important, and side actions that aren't important. I'm also attempting to say things with less words, when possible. I have a tendency to do adjective pairs when I write, because it makes the text flow better for me in my mind, but I've been focusing on cutting the pairs down to a single adjective.

Now, I don't think anyone's going to notice anything different. Generally, there's a kind of flow chart to whether or not I cut something. 1) "Is it necessary to the story?" - If yes, it stays. If no, then 2) "Does it develop the character in a non-redundant fashion?" - If yes, then it stays, if not, then 3) "Is it artistically important to the flow of the prose." If yes, then it's highlighted in blue text for later review and if not, then it gets cut. Obviously, it's more complicated than that, but that's the short version. Currently, the biggest thing I've cut was an entire paragraph where Ryjel contemplates the architecture of the Temple of the Lady in Red. That failed each question and was worth 77 words to boot. So away it went.

It should be noted the current word count still counts the blue text. Once I finish the document, I'm going to go through and cut out all the blue text, or at least the blue text that isn't 100% necessary and make an even more trimmed document. One I'm hoping will come out at under 120,000 words.
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Two things... [Jun. 16th, 2010|09:32 am]
Desuvan
Because the only things I talk about on this thing are writing related.

1) Massive, and I mean MASSIVE, update to 1001 Insomniac Nights. I've been lapse for about seven weeks now but am all caught up. If you're not reading it, you should be. C'mon - the current chapter is called "The Grapes of Passive Aggression." How could you not want to read it? And don't be intimidated by the number of posts. I've been told, on good authority, that it reads very quick. Or it at least seems very quick.

Note: I'm not responsible for missed deadlines, staying up late, or being late for work.

2) I have to confess, I haven't been doing much to get Crimson Mask published at the moment. The problem is that most of the rejections were turned over very quickly - quick enough that I had to question whether they had even been looked at. And having skimmed several agents blogs, it seems that word-count is more important than ever now. Basically, if your novel is over 90,000 words, don't waste their time. Which, since CM is sitting at 145k-ish, makes me despair of getting anyone to even look at it. Currently, CM is only queried at one publisher, and though this one isn't one of the "big six", they have a book-store presence and their ideal novel is 120,000 words. Which means they might at least look at it.

Current work on other novels is suffering as well, since I'm constantly dogged by self-doubt. Is this going to be too long? Is the concept strong enough to sell itself? Should I only be using "said"? It's basically ham-stringing my work. I've got some momentum on the prequel/sequel to CM, which I hope to be posting some sample stuff soon. Problem is that there's not a whole lot of action going on in the story, and I'm not even sure its interesting.
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Something for Contemplate and Writing Update [Apr. 23rd, 2010|08:45 pm]
Desuvan
Consider this: You go back in time and meet someone from two centuries ago. I've been saying Thomas Jefferson, but really, it could be anyone predating industrialization. They believe you when you tell them you're from the future, and want to know what the greatest achievement of humanity is. (Not counting time-travel itself. :p ) What do you tell them?

The cool thing about this question, besides making you realize just how much we've managed to pull off in two centuries, is what it can tell you about yourself. For me, the answer is putting a man on the moon, or possibly getting a space-probe out past Pluto. For saraphina_marie, it's the instant communication and information on the internet. I'm sure for others, it could be the advances of medicine.

There are no wrong answers, but it does tell you what you value most and what you think are the biggest challenges that humanity has overcome.

Anyway, the writing update: In some ways, I'm writing in circles. My sci-fi concept has stalled because, while I had cool characters and a great setting, the plot wasn't solid enough to really push forward with it. Conversely, I finally got the Crimson Mask prequel solid enough to go ahead and work on it. I filled in two major issues with the plot, namely a weak (concept wise) main villain and a lack of an emotionally satisfying ending. Not surprisingly, these two things were related. And if I manage to sell Crimson Mask, this just becomes part one of the Crimson Mask sequel, Unity, Divinity, Triumph.

I will admit a temptation to make more stories about these characters, but lets see how the first one goes, and how it fits into the big plan first. Currently untitled. But so was Crimson Mask for the first six months, so I'm not worried. If I can actually get a Chapter One written and completed, I'll post it and get some feedback.

Otherwise, it's business as usual. Watching the hockey play-offs and working.
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Fiction check [Mar. 7th, 2010|11:26 pm]
Desuvan
So I'm 8000 words into the science fiction. That marks it close to ten percent of the way through for a novel, and a fifth the way through for a novella.

I honestly don't know how long it going to be. But since there's a possible market in either form (I'm looking at you, Apex), I'm not worried about it. I'm simply writing the story as it tells itself.

It's going well, but its tough. Some of it's the genre: I've never written science fiction as anything more than a short story, and never anything hard sci-fi. It's always towing the line between giving your reader enough information to understand the science and avoiding reading like a non-fiction book. The world-building too, is more of a challenge. There may have been magic in a fantasy novel, but at least there were grass, trees, sun, and gravity. The world of the science-fiction is cold, dark, and weightless. Some of it is the narrative voice. I'm having trouble pinning it down, a rarity for me.

I almost feel like I'm sculpting this story. That its like a block of stone, and I'm having to break free the story, that there are parts of it that I have no clue of until I crack it open. And even then I may only see a hint of it, and I have to continue on another part until more of the story breaks free. And when it does, I may have to go back and change parts of it.

We'll see what happens and if my optimism holds. For the moment, I'm happy with it.

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New 1k1in - "The Guru" [Feb. 26th, 2010|01:32 pm]
Desuvan
“Hmm… You know what you need to do, Shades?” Tony said suddenly. “You need to buy her a few dozen roses. Then you need to go by her house and sit on her doorstep, waiting for her. And then, when she gets home, you need to stand up and shove them into her hands and say, ‘I love you! I need you back. I’ll never do – whatever it is you did – again.’”

Do I even need to tell you? It's Friday again! 1001 Insomniac Nights has been updated.
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"Said" is not as awesome as you think it is. [Feb. 20th, 2010|11:35 pm]
Desuvan
Okay, I've seen this around way too many times, and I am utterly sick of it.

This

I don't have a problem with the whole list. There's some good stuff there. But, believe you me, it has problems.

Now, while I have an issue, as a reader, with #2 (Never use prologues, he says. I like reading prologues, I say.), the issue I have the biggest problem with is #3 - Never use any word other than "said" to carry dialogue. Of course, this also brings in #4, as well, where you never use an adverb with "said".

Super-long snark belowCollapse )
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