Query Letter Critique

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anthorn

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[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Hi Okay so this is my proposal to Angry Robot, open month. What do you people think?
[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]
[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Dear [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Lee Harris of Angry Robot Books.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Hello, my name is ~~~~~ and I would like to submit my manuscript to you. It is called Tracing the Shadow and is the first book of three. It is a fantasy with time travel and an alt. Timeline[/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Character Summaries. (The main players)[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Anthorn Xebiar. Anthorn is one of the two main points of view. We first meet him as a child, as he journeys to Caraksand to become a Guardian. He sees this as his destiny, that he will become a hero like those of old, though he learns the truth is far removed from what the stories led him to believe. As the years go by he becomes disillusioned and a chance meeting with Nikita decides his fate. He is conflicted between loyalty and his own ideals. [/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Nikita Sarakus. Nikita is the second of the two main points of view. We also meet her as a child, as she and her sister are taken from their home to Lull, a city half way across the world. She is serious for a child, fearful of things changing. Due to an unfortunate turn of events, years later she and her sister are seperated. In an attempt to find her she joins a resistance group that brings her in contact with Anthorn. [/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Sarana Sarakus. More confident than her sister, Sarana thought she was destined to become a singer but ended up raped and sold as a slave instead. Twisted by the torments she has endured she has vowed to get revenge upon Nikita.[/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Terin Delnoir. Terin wanted to become a Guardian, instead he became a killer for hire. He is desperate for revenge against those who raped and then murdered his sister. Terin is unaware that he is being used by a crime lord in a plan to control the entire criminal underworld of Lull. [/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Faircaira. Faircaira is a Luarith about to undertake her peoples coming of age ceremony, if she passes then she can receive the tattoos that give her people lavender coloured skin. During the ceremony she meets Balthier and ends up with child. Knowing the danger she now finds herself in she joins a resistance group in order to keep her child safe. She will do anything and everything to protect her baby. [/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Rake. Rake is considered by many to be a legend, a figure who has appeared throughout history and immortal. He is all of these things and yet none of them, he is the man Anthorn Xebiar is destined to become. Forced to live through the centuries and knowing the events that are to come, he aims to change things unaware that he will make them happen instead.[/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Xara. Xara is an Aspect, a remnant of the End-Lord Silendra. For years she has manipulated events in an attempt to finally beat her sister. Now, finally the players are in place for the endgame. Nothing will prevent her from returning home.[/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Plot. During the collapse of an Empire they came, an immortal race fleeing an unseen terror, changing the world forever. Yet they did not flourish on Onchara, instead destroying themselves through feuding and betrayal.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Anthorn had always wanted to be a Guardian, yet as an adult the truth has been revealed to him, they're not the same as the stories he read of them. During an excursion to a foreign country he is tasked with bringing a town under their control and is told he must murder a child if they do not convert to their religion. He refuses and is immediately sent back to Caraksand to be punished. The Commander, an alcoholic, seeking to alleviate himself of the guilt he feels sends him to Imara, a tropical country in the south. He has been tasked with escorting the daughter of a merchant, Nikita Sarakus back to Caraksand. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Nikita Sarakus, sensing his dislike of merchants winds him up mercilessly. Nikita is more than she seems however, she is a member of the main resistance group opposing the Guardians and seeks to use Anthorn to learn as much information she can in order to bring them down. She is also using the resistance as a means to find her sister, Sarana, who was kidnapped sometime ago. Along the way they have many adventures and relationships begin to thaw between them, eventually turning to love. Anthorn however discovers her betrayal and does not hesitate in turning her over to the Guardians. After a night of reflection he decides he would rather be happy and saves Nikita from execution. Together they flee back to the resistance and unwittingly lead the Commander and his men to the resistance. After a one sided battle they are only saved by the appearance of a second army and Faircaira and her child are whisked away by Balthier who has broken free of his chains. [/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Meanwhile, Terin Delnoir is expelled from Lull after becoming no longer needed in the crime lords plans. After travelling for several days he comes to a town, Winterfall. Here he meets Sarana, a woman who sees him as her chance of rescue. Sarana blames her sister for the event that saw her raped and then sold as a whore and vows vengance against her. At the same time a woman, Rosina Tulwinkle and her companion, Alwyn Swift, arrive. She tells them that they are being hunted by shadow men, unkillable creatures. Before they can leave though they are attacked and Rosina is killed. This however goes unnoticed by Terin and Sarana, as Xara has taken her form. She plans on convincing them to kill Kara, another Aspect so she can free her body that was imprisoned in the Verrusian crystal and return home. Alwyn who has been left behind is met by an unmarked Luarith and two Ferilim. They are the remaining members of the Scarred, a mercenary group that had undertaken a perilous mission to the Abandoned Isle. Together they rush to warn the others, taking Rosina's burnt body as proof. They do not arrive in time.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Arriving at Damorkine home of the resistance, Rosina and her companions must wait for the arrival of Anthorn and Nikita. Once they do arrive Sarana resolves to murder her sister, yet before she can do the deed, the camp comes under attack though they are saved by the appearance of a second army. During the aftermath Rosina gathers them all together and explains how their lives have been manipulated, how they do not live the lives they should have. She tells them half truths, that she, Xara has been manipulating them for an unknown purpose and that Xara lives on the Abandoned isle, within Lancifer, Anwyn's tower. It is in fact Kara, the Aspect of Anwyn that lives in the tower. She gives them the option to come with her and they all opt to think on it. Once Terin is alone however she tells him that they are going there to kill Xara and she wants him to do the deed.[/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Within the ruins of a city, Rake and his companion, The Ageless Child, await the arrival of Faircaira and Balthier. Rake is tormented, he knows what is about to occur as he has lived through it once yet is powerless to stop it, though he has tried. Because of his meddling a Sorceress, the first one in a thousand years marches on the south with an army. With her is a Warlord enticed by her claims he is the descendant of the Great Arkaim, ruler of the first empire. Inside the floating island fortress of Anin, a child are held against their will by Rake's orders, for the child is a danger to them all.[/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Intentions.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]My intentions are simple. I wish only to tell a tale that will captivate readers and to entertain them too.[/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Inspirations.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Upon the author side I'd say: Ian Irvine. Sarah Ash. Steven Erikson. They would be my top three. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Music side would be soundtrack music, anything from Lost and Final Fantasy. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]I am not that inspired by television, as it's distracting to watch while writing. [/FONT]
 
Having read his post, all I can say is that the stately homes near where Ian lives must be a good deal more interesting than the ones around where I do.
 
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Yes they wanted a summery of characters. Then they wanted the plot and then intents and inspirations,then obviously you need to have your five chapters
 
Did they give a word limit at all? Thirteen hundred odd words seems a bit lengthy. You might look at tightening it up some. There's also a lot of run-on sentences and a few little errors in punctuation and grammar. I don't have time at the moment to go over the whole thing, but I'll endeavour to return tonight and go into some further detail on what I mean...
 
Character Summaries. (The main players)

I would change "players" to "characters", to me it sounds more... normal? I mean players doesn't fit in the whole book language really. I'm no pro so maybe sombody with experience thinks it is right the way it is.

Also in the first characters summary, it jumps into saying he wants to be a Guardian, but there isn't any information on what it is exactly, apart from "like the heroes of old". Does he want to be a town guard? holy knight? specialy trained killer? timelord? what is a Guardian?

Music side would be soundtrack music, anything from Lost and Final Fantasy.

I would say "Music side would be soundtrack music, anything from the TV series Lost and the videogame Final Fantasy" (videogame or film, I dunno wich one your on about)

Hope this helps, and Good Luck!
 
Quite a few points to make although I may be completely wide of the mark as it's nothing I've ever done. However purely from the point of one person writing to to another this seems a bit odd.

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Hi Okay so this is my proposal to Angry Robot, open month. What do you people think?[/FONT]

I seem to remember someone saying that you should footnote each page of a manuscript with your name and page numbers and possibly the title. Again I may be wrong but it's something to check.

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Dear [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Lee Harris of Angry Robot Books. I'd go for For the Attention of Lee Harris.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Hello, my name is ~~~~~ and I would like to submit my manuscript to you. It is called Tracing the Shadow and is the first book of three. It is a fantasy with time travel and an alt. ( I wouldn't use abreiviations in a letter) Timeline (why cap T)[/FONT]

(Here you tell us there are two main characters and then go on to describe seven)

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Character Summaries. (The main players)[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Anthorn Xebiar. Anthorn is one of the two main points of view. We first meet him as a child, as he journeys to Caraksand to become a Guardian. He sees this as his destiny, that he will become a hero like those of old, though he learns the truth is far removed from what the stories led him to believe. As the years go by he becomes disillusioned and a chance meeting with Nikita decides his fate. He is conflicted between loyalty and his own ideals. [/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Nikita Sarakus. Nikita is the second of the two main points of view. We also meet her as a child, as she and her sister are taken from their home to Lull, a city half way across the world. She is serious for a child, fearful of things changing. Due to an unfortunate turn of events, years later she and her sister are seperated. In an attempt to find her she joins a resistance group that brings her in contact with Anthorn. [/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Sarana Sarakus. More confident than her sister, Sarana thought she was destined to become a singer but ended up raped and sold as a slave instead (and sold into slavery. plus if above the unfortunate turn of events was that the elder sister sold the younger into slavery - as implied by the younger sisters wish for revenge - then I can't see there being any hope of reconciliation). Twisted by the torments she has endured she has vowed to get revenge upon Nikita. [/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Terin Delnoir. Terin wanted to become a Guardian, instead he became a killer for hire. He is desperate for revenge against those who raped and then murdered his sister. Terin is unaware that he is being used by a crime lord in a plan to control the entire criminal underworld of Lull. (Oh I see, he isn't the elder brother - not clear, and there seems to be a lot of raping and pillaging mention of which could be a downer If this is a common occurrence then it might be worth a overview of the society)[/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Faircaira. Faircaira is a Luarith (what's one of those?) about to undertake her peoples coming of age ceremony, if she passes then she can receive the tattoos that give her people lavender coloured skin. During the ceremony she meets Balthier and ends up with child. Knowing the danger she now finds herself in she joins a resistance group in order to keep her child safe. She will do anything and everything to protect her baby. [/FONT]
(Is this the same resistance group?)


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Rake. Rake is considered by many to be a legend, a figure who has appeared throughout history and immortal. He is all of these things and yet none of them, he is the man Anthorn Xebiar is destined to become. Forced to live through the centuries and knowing the events that are to come, he aims to change things unaware that he will make them happen instead.[/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Xara. Xara is an Aspect, a remnant of the End-Lord Silendra. For years she has manipulated events in an attempt to finally beat her sister. Now, finally the players are in place for the endgame. Nothing will prevent her from returning home.[/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Plot. During the collapse of an Empire they came, (this isn't an outline of the plot this is a line from the story as in a legend account and it's very Battlestar Galactica) an immortal race fleeing an unseen terror, changing the world forever. Yet they did not flourish on Onchara, instead destroying themselves through feuding and betrayal. (Not sure what that adds to a description of the plot)[/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Anthorn had always wanted to be a Guardian, yet as an adult the truth has been revealed to him, they're not the same as the stories he read of them. (again, this sounds more story extract than plot description)During an excursion to a foreign country he is tasked with bringing a town under their control and is told he must murder a child if they do not convert to their religion. He refuses and is immediately sent back to Caraksand to be punished. The Commander, an alcoholic, seeking to alleviate himself of the guilt he feels sends him to Imara, a tropical country in the south. He has been tasked with escorting the daughter of a merchant, Nikita Sarakus back to Caraksand. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Nikita Sarakus, sensing his dislike of merchants winds him up mercilessly. Nikita is more than she seems however, she is a member of the main resistance group opposing the Guardians and seeks to use Anthorn to learn as much information she can in order to bring them down. She is also using the resistance as a means to find her sister, Sarana, who was kidnapped sometime ago. Along the way they have many adventures and relationships begin to thaw between them, eventually turning to love. Anthorn however discovers her betrayal and does not hesitate in turning her over to the Guardians. After a night of reflection he decides he would rather be happy and saves Nikita from execution. Together they flee back to the resistance and unwittingly lead the Commander and his men to the resistance. After a one sided battle they are only saved by the appearance of a second army and Faircaira and her child are whisked away by Balthier who has broken free of his chains. [/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Meanwhile, Terin Delnoir is expelled from Lull after becoming no longer needed in the crime lords plans. After travelling for several days he comes to a town, (Is the travelling important enough to take up valuable first impression text) Winterfall. Here he meets Sarana, a woman who sees him as her chance of rescue. Sarana blames her sister for the event that saw her raped and then sold as a whore and vows vengance against her. At the same time a woman, Rosina Tulwinkle and her companion, Alwyn Swift, arrive. She tells them that they are being hunted by shadow men, unkillable creatures. Before they can leave though they are attacked and Rosina is killed. This however goes unnoticed by Terin and Sarana, as Xara has taken her form. She plans on convincing them to kill Kara, another Aspect so she can free her body that was imprisoned in the Verrusian crystal and return home. Alwyn who has been left behind is met by an unmarked Luarith and two Ferilim. They are the remaining members of the Scarred, a mercenary group that had undertaken a perilous mission to the Abandoned Isle. Together they rush to warn the others, taking Rosina's burnt body as proof. They do not arrive in time.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Arriving at Damorkine home of the resistance, Rosina and her companions must wait for the arrival of Anthorn and Nikita. Once they do arrive Sarana resolves to murder her sister, yet before she can do the deed, the camp comes under attack though they are saved by the appearance of a second army. During the aftermath Rosina gathers them all together and explains how their lives have been manipulated, how they do not live the lives they should have. She tells them half truths, that she, Xara has been manipulating them for an unknown purpose and that Xara lives on the Abandoned isle, within Lancifer, Anwyn's tower. It is in fact Kara, the Aspect of Anwyn that lives in the tower. She gives them the option to come with her and they all opt to think on it. Once Terin is alone however she tells him that they are going there to kill Xara and she wants him to do the deed.[/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Within the ruins of a city, Rake and his companion, The Ageless Child, await the arrival of Faircaira and Balthier. Rake is tormented, he knows what is about to occur as he has lived through it once yet is powerless to stop it, though he has tried. Because of his meddling a Sorceress, the first one in a thousand years marches on the south with an army. With her is a Warlord enticed by her claims he is the descendant of the Great Arkaim, ruler of the first empire. Inside the floating island fortress of Anin, a child are held against their will by Rake's orders, for the child is a danger to them all.[/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Intentions.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]My intentions are simple. I wish only to tell a tale that will captivate readers and to entertain them too.[/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Inspirations.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Upon the author side I'd say: Ian Irvine. Sarah Ash. Steven Erikson. They would be my top three. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Music side would be soundtrack music, anything from Lost and Final Fantasy. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]I am not that inspired by television, as it's distracting to watch while writing. [/FONT]

Had to stop I'm afraid - bed calleth.

However There seems to be many terms that are unexplained. I found I had to keep going back to see if an unusual term/word had been explained or if I'd missed something. Guardian Aspects etc.

I'd want to know what a guadian can do before I get involved with who's who.

As I said I may be up the creek with these opinions. I have never composed one of these. I do know that it would be a miricle if anyone could do one at the first sitting. I think Cul may have a more in depth view of things.

Hope I helped.

TEiN
 
This isn't part of the manuscript. They only want the first 5 chapters. Or Prologue if chapter length and the first 4

Yeah more or less. Sarana wants revenge for a percieved betrayal. (sister watching her be raped, running off and leaving her.)

Anthorn and Nikita are the main P.O.V but the others are main characters in their own right.
 
I think Cul may have a more in depth view of things.

I'm no expert - never written a query letter, never submitted one. But I do read a lot of writing blogs, like this one and this one, and I've never seen a query letter like this, so it jumped out at me. I'm sure there are far more qualified folk than me in these parts to comment, but if this is what they want, this is what they want.

TEIN already hit on some points I was going to make, but nevertheless:

Dear Lee Harris of Angry Robot Books.
Hello, my name is ~~~~~ and I would like to submit my manuscript to you. It is called Tracing the Shadow and is the first book of three. It is a fantasy with time travel and an alt. Timeline

I agree with TEIN - why abbreviate, and why the cap? Also could move the parts of this paragraph around to be more effective...

My name is _________ and I would like to submit my manuscript, Tracing the Shadow, to you. It is a fantasy novel featuring time travel and an alternate timeline. It is the first book in a series of three.

Anthorn Xebiar. Anthorn is one of the two main points of view. We first meet him as a child, as he journeys to Caraksand to become a Guardian. He sees this as his destiny, that he will become a hero like those of old, though he learns the truth is far removed from what the stories led him to believe. As the years go by he becomes disillusioned and a chance meeting with Nikita decides his fate. He is conflicted between loyalty and his own ideals.

A bit wordy. Can it be compressed?

We first meet Anthorn Xebiar as a child, journeying to Caraksand to become one of the Guardians, an heroic order of old. He soon finds the truth is far removed from the stories, and he becomes disillusioned. When a chance meeting with Nikita decides his fate, he is taken on a path where his loyalty conflicts with his own ideals.

Nikita Sarakus. Nikita is the second of the two main points of view. We also meet her as a child, as she and her sister are taken from their home to Lull, a city half way across the world. She is serious for a child, fearful of things changing. Due to an unfortunate turn of events, years later she and her sister are seperated. In an attempt to find her she joins a resistance group that brings her in contact with Anthorn.

Same as above.

Sarana Sarakus. More confident than her sister, Sarana thought she was destined to become a singer but ended up raped and sold as a slave instead. Twisted by the torments she has endured, she has vowed to get revenge upon Nikita.

Terin Delnoir. Terin wanted to become a Guardian, instead he became a killer for hire. He is desperate for revenge against those who raped and then murdered his sister. Terin is unaware that he is being used by a crime lord in a plan to control the entire criminal underworld of Lull.

The sentence in red is really two thoughts, so the comma doesn't work. I was a little confused here as well, first thought he was an older brother of the two gals.

Faircaira. Faircaira is a Luarith about to undertake her people's coming of age ceremony, if she passes then she can receive the tattoos that give her people lavender coloured skin. During the ceremony she meets Balthier and ends up with child. Knowing the danger she now finds herself in she joins a resistance group in order to keep her child safe. She will do anything and everything to protect her baby.

Again, that first sentence is two thoughts. I'm with TEIN here, too - what's a Luarith?

Rake. Rake is considered by many to be a legend, a figure who has appeared throughout history and immortal. He is all of these things and yet none of them, he is the man Anthorn Xebiar is destined to become. Forced to live through the centuries and knowing the events that are to come, he aims to change things, unaware that he will make them happen instead.

This whole par is very clumsy. The first sentence is vague and clunky - the 'and immortal' just hangs there at the end awkwardly. It's hard to suggest how you might restructure it without knowing more about this legend. The second sentence is again a run-on. It's also confusing - Anthorn is destined to become him, yet he's been around for centuries?

Xara. Xara is an Aspect, a remnant of the End-Lord Silendra. For years she has manipulated events in an attempt to finally beat her sister. Now, finally, the players are in place for the endgame. Nothing will prevent her from returning home.

Plot. During the collapse of an Empire they came, an immortal race fleeing an unseen terror, changing the world forever. Yet they did not flourish on Onchara, instead destroying themselves through feuding and betrayal.

Agree with TEIN - what does this add besides confusion?

Anthorn had always wanted to be a Guardian, yet as an adult the truth has been revealed to him, they're not the same as the stories he read of them. During an excursion to a foreign country he is tasked with bringing a town under their control, and told he must murder a child if they do not convert to their religion. He refuses and is immediately sent back to Caraksand to be punished. The Commander, an alcoholic, seeking to alleviate himself of the guilt he feels sends him to Imara, a tropical country in the south. He has been tasked with escorting the daughter of a merchant, Nikita Sarakus back to Caraksand.

Sentence in red is a run-on. Blue is a fix to help flow. Green - is the guilt because he's an alcoholic? Because that's how it reads now.

Sensing his dislike of merchants, Nikita winds him up mercilessly. Nikita is more than she seems, however, she is a member of the main resistance group opposing the Guardians and seeks to use Anthorn to learn as much information she can in order to bring them down. She is also using the resistance as a means to find her sister, Sarana, who was kidnapped some time ago. Along the way they have many adventures and their relationship begins to thaw, eventually turning to love. Anthorn however discovers her betrayal and does not hesitate in turning her over to the Guardians. After a night of reflection he decides he would rather be happy and saves Nikita from execution. Together they flee back to the resistance and unwittingly lead the Commander and his men to the resistance. After a one-sided battle they are only saved by the appearance of a second army and Faircaira and her child are whisked away by Balthier who has broken free of his chains.

As before, red means run-ons and blue means fixes. Green - repetition of 'resistance' in the first instance, and in the second - where and when did Faircaira come into it? SHe justs pops up out of nowhere. Needs at least some introduction earlier.

Meanwhile, Terin Delnoir is expelled from Lull after becoming no longer needed in the crime lord's plans. After travelling for several days he comes to a town, Winterfall. Here he meets Sarana, a woman who sees him as her chance of rescue. Sarana blames her sister for the event that saw her raped and then sold as a whore, and vows vengance against her. At the same time a woman, Rosina Tulwinkle, and her companion, Alwyn Swift, arrive. She [who?] tells them that they are being hunted by shadow men, unkillable creatures. Before they can leave they are attacked and Rosina is killed. This however goes unnoticed by Terin and Sarana, as Xara has taken Rosina's form. She plans on convincing them to kill Kara, another Aspect so she can free her body that was imprisoned in the Verrusian crystal and return home. Alwyn who has been left behind is met by an unmarked Luarith and two Ferilim. They are the remaining members of the Scarred, a mercenary group that had undertaken a perilous mission to the Abandoned Isle. Together they rush to warn the others, taking Rosina's burnt body as proof. They do not arrive in time.

Sorry, I lost the plot in this par. Too confusing. I had to go back and reread sentences to figure out who was who and who you were talking about at any given moment, and what exactly was happening. I gave up halfway through. You need to go over this and tighten it up.

Arriving at Damorkine, the home of the resistance, Rosina and her companions must wait for the arrival of Anthorn and Nikita [why?]. Once they do arrive Sarana resolves to murder her sister, yet before she can do the deed, the camp comes under attack though they are saved by the appearance of a second army [too much in this sentence]. During the aftermath, Rosina gathers them all together and explains how their lives have been manipulated, how they are not living the lives they should have. She tells them half truths, that she, Xara, has been manipulating them for an unknown purpose and that she lives on the Abandoned isle, within Lancifer, Anwyn's tower. It is in fact Kara, the Aspect of Anwyn that lives in the tower. She gives them the option to come with her and they all opt to think on it. Once Terin is alone however she tells him that they are going there to kill Xara and she wants him to do the deed.

Where the colours stop, I got confused again. I've no idea what's going on. Sorry, but this really needs a lot of work.

Within the ruins of a city, Rake and his companion, The Ageless Child, await the arrival of Faircaira and Balthier. Rake is tormented, he knows what is about to occur as he has lived through it once yet is powerless to stop it, though he has tried. Because of his meddling a Sorceress, the first one in a thousand years, marches on the south with an army. With her is a Warlord enticed by her claims he is the descendant of the Great Arkaim, ruler of the first empire. Inside the floating island fortress of Anin, a child is held against his/her/its will by Rake's orders, for the child is a danger to them all.

This whole par comes out of left field, and sits awkwardly here at the end. Who is this Sorceress, who is this Warlord? What has Rake and the Ageless Child and Faircaira and Balthier been doing this whole time?

Intentions.
My intentions are simple. I wish only to tell a tale that will captivate readers and to entertain them too.

Fair intentions, but I think you should have a look at Ian's thread linked above and expand this a little.

Inspirations.
Upon the author side I'd say: Ian Irvine. Sarah Ash. Steven Erikson. They would be my top three.
Music side would be soundtrack music, anything from Lost and Final Fantasy.
I am not that inspired by television, as it's distracting to watch while writing.

I'd write this a little differently, make it less of a list.

I am inspired by the works of authors such as Ian Irvine, Sarah Ash and Steven Erikson. I find film and television scores to be an inspiring accompaniment to my writing. In particular I feel the scores from the television series Lost and the Final Fantasy games in particular have influenced this work.

Something like that, not such a bland statement of fact.

I hope you take something useful from all this, anthorn. I think you have a lot of work to do to bang it into a shape where an editor would read all the way through, but I know that you're pretty determined, so I trust you'll get there.
 
Yeah thanks Cul. I've set aside today to rewrite it. I suppose I was just iin a hurry to keep it in 2pages as this is the max
 
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Here are the changes.


Terin Delnoir.
[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif] Terin wanted to become a Guardian. Instead he became a killer for hire. [/FONT]He is desperate for revenge against those who murdered his sister Kailien. Terin is unaware that he is being used by a crime lord in a plan to control the entire criminal underworld of Lull.


Faircaira. Faircaira is a Luarith- a race of long lived humans with varying characteristics such as a feline appearance and elongated fingers. She is about to undertake her people's coming of age ceremony, during which she meets Balthier, an End-Lord-a race alien to Onchara and ends up with child. She joins a resistance group, fearing herself to be in danger. Nothing will stop her protecting her child.


Rake. Rake is immortal and considered by many to be a legend. He is the man who Anthorn Xebiar is destined to become, forced to live through the centuries due to an incident yet to occur; an incident that will send him back in time. He aims to change things yet is unaware that by doing so he will cause them to happen.


Xara. Xara is an Aspect, a remnant of the End-Lord Silendra. [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]For years she has sought to find a way to murder her sister. Now, by manipulating events and the lives of people, she believes she has found the way to do so, to end a millennia old rivalry.

[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]During the collapse of an Empire they came, three races fleeing an unseen terror: Luarith, Ferilim and End-Lord. Of the three only the Ferilim and Luarith flourished upon Onchara. The third, the End-Lords or the four as they became known destroyed themselves through feuding and betrayal.

This is backround information. Included because I think it's vital. Should I include that Anthorn dies during a kidnap attempt? Yet apparently comes back to life?
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New version.



For the attention of Lee Harris.
Hello, my name is and I would like to submit my manuscript, Tracing the Shadow, to you. It is a fantasy novel with an alternative timeline and time travel. It is the first book of three.
Character Summaries. (The main players)
Anthorn Xebiar. We first meet Anthorn as a child, journeying to Caraksand to become a Guardian, a heroic order of old. He finds that the truth is far removed from the stories and becomes disillusioned. When he meets Nikita by chance, he is taken on a path where his loyalty conflicts with his own ideals.

Nikita Sarakus. We also meet Nikita as a child, journeying to Lull with her sister and a mysterious woman named Xara. She is serious for a child, fearful of things changing. Years later she and her sister are attacked on the way to another city. At a crucial moment her courage fails her and she abandons her sister. Nikita resolves to find her again, no matter what and joins a resistance group to do so.

Sarana Sarakus. More confident than her elder sister, Sarana thought she was destined to become a singer but ended up raped and sold as a slave. Twisted by the torments she has endured, she has vowed to get revenge upon Nikita, who she believes is the cause of her misery.

Terin Delnoir. Terin wanted to become a Guardian. Instead he became a killer for hire. He is desperate for revenge against those who murdered his sister Kailien. Terin is unaware that he is being used by a crime lord in a plan to control the entire criminal underworld of Lull.
Faircaira. Faircaira is a Luarith- a race of long lived humans with varying characteristics such as a feline appearance and elongated fingers. She is about to undertake her people's coming of age ceremony, during which she meets Balthier, an End-Lord-a race alien to Onchara and ends up with child. She joins a resistance group, fearing herself to be in danger. Nothing will stop her protecting her child.

Rake. Rake is immortal and considered by many to be a legend. He is the man who Anthorn Xebiar is destined to become, forced to live through the centuries due to an incident yet to occur; an incident that will send him back in time. He aims to change things yet is unaware that by doing so he will cause them to happen.

Xara. Xara is an Aspect, a remnant of the End-Lord Silendra. For years she has sought to find a way to murder her sister. Now, by manipulating events and the lives of people, she believes she has found the way to do so, to end a millennia old rivalry with Kara the Aspect of Anwyn living in Lancifer.

Plot. During the collapse of an Empire they came, three races fleeing an unseen terror: Luarith, Ferilim and End-Lord. Of the three only the Ferilim and Luarith flourished upon Onchara. The third, the End-Lords or the four as they became known destroyed themselves through feuding and betrayal.
Anthorn Xebiar. As a child Anthorn had always wanted to become a Guardian. As an adult he has discovered that things are not the same as the stories he'd been told. During an excursion to a foreign country he is tasked with bringing a town under their control, and told he must murder a child if they do not convert to their religion. He refuses and is immediately sent back to Caraksand to be punished. The Commander, an alcoholic, seeks to alleviate himself of a private guilt and sends Anthorn to Imara. Anthorn is tasked with escorting the daughter of a merchant, Nikita Sarakus back to Caraksand.

Sensing his dislike of merchants, Nikita winds him up mercilessly. Nikita is more than a simple merchant's daughter however, she is a member of the Dumas Erandi, a resistance dedicated to bringing down the Guardians. She seeks to use Anthorn to learn as much as she can about the Guardians in order to bring them down. She is also using the resistance as a means to find her sister, Sarana who was kidnapped some time ago. Along the way they have many adventures and their relationship begins to thaw, eventually turning to love. Anthorn however discovers her betrayal and does not hesitate on handing her over to the Guardians. After a night of reflection he decides he would rather be happy and saves Nikita from execution and inadvertently wounding the Commander in the process. Together they run to the Dumas Erandi where Faircaira, a Luarith woman awaits Nikita's return. Faircaira is worried about her daughter Ullii and what might happen should they go to war. Yet war does come, the Commander and a few soldiers have followed Anthorn and Nikita to the resistance and launch a devestating attack. Around this time Balthier an End-Lord and son of Anwyn and father to Ullii breaks free of his chains, appearing only so as to save Faircaira and Ullii.

Meanwhile Terin Delnoir who became a killer to avenge his sister kills the last man involved in her death. He is then expelled from the city by Revera Mortania, a woman who has used him to gain control of Lulls criminal underworld. After travelling for days he comes across Winterfall where he meets Sarana, a woman who sees him as her rescuer. Sarana who was forced to become a whore after being kidnapped years ago has come to blame her sister and vows revenge. Soon after Terin arrives in Winterfall so too do Rosina Tulwinkle and Alwyn Swift. Rosina comes with a warning, they are being hunted by shadow men, creatures who cannot be killed. These creatures also hunt Terin and Sarana and she tells them they must leave at once. Before they can leave they are attacked by the shadow men. During the attack Rosina is killed, though Xara who has been waiting for an opportunity takes the form of Rosina so the death goes unnoticed. Xara as Rosina tells them they must go to the Dumas Erandi and warn Nikita and Anthorn.

Alwyn who has been left behind is recruited by the remaining Scarred, a mercenary group who have returned from a perilous mission to the Abandoned Isle. They have come to take Alwyn to Damorkine in an attempt to warn the others of Xara's plans, though Kara the one who had sent them on this mission fears they will not get there in time. Terin and Sarana and Rosina at the camp of the Dumas Erandi where they meet up with Anthorn and Nikita moments before it comes under attack from the Guardians. Only by the arrival of a second army from the south do the people in the camp survive the attack. In the aftermath of the battle Xara tells them of the manipulations of their destiny through half truth and lies, asks them to join her in a quest to make Kara pay for these crimes. In the far north an army marches on the south led by the descendant of the founder of the first empire. He is counselled by the first Sorceress in a thousand years, the first because of the laws put in place at the end of the Great War, a war that saw the death of Anwyn. Also, upon the Abandoned Isle Vena's home is destroyed by Lycrots, creatures that are half wolf and half man. Rescued by Tanyalla her memory of her terror is erased and Vena comes to think of Tanyalla as her sister. This has been done at the behest of Tulwan, a Mancer of considerable power who is infact Rael, an End-Lord thought dead for centuries. He has been watching over Vena for years for she is not an ordinary child, she is a crystal given life, a crime against nature.

Rake and his companion, an immortal stuck in the form of a girl child are joined by Balthier and Faircaira and Ullii. Together they listen to Faircaira recount the tale of her life. Rake is stricken by the knowledge of what is about to occur and his inability to prevent it.


Intentions.
I see this novel as the beginning of a trilogy with the 1st draft of book 2 already having been written. I foresee it as a fairly closed series, with a proper ending at the end of the third, though with some threads left dangling that could be continued. I also wanted to tell a tale of destiny and fate and how it can be manipulated for dangerous ends, how paths can be altered by a simple choice. I also wanted to detail how some people can become victims of this, such as Terin Delnoir. I would say that my theme was choice and consequence.
Inspirations.
I was inspired in part by authors such as Ian Irvine, Sarah Ash and Steven Erikson. Yet the roots of this tale had been brewing inside my head for 7 years, particularly the tale of Anthorn and Nikita. The whole destiny, fate and the paths our choices cause us to take aspect came later. I've always asked myself questions like, “would I be who I am today if I had not experienced what I had.” Something I hope to address more fully in book 3.
 
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anthorn, your amendments have taken this over the 1500 word limit. I shan't prune anything off this time, but please watch it in future. And while I'm here, since you're in time to edit, could you please enlarge the font so it's readable and put in paragraph breaks -- you're really not helping yourself to get critiques by using such poor formatting.

Incidentally, I know that they are imposing a page limit, not a word limit, but I share Cul's concerns that this is far too long. I'd suggest you cut it by a good third, to bring it down to 1,000 words in total.
 
A far worse sin that that, TJ: it overflows onto a third page (with one-inch margins) if the text is enlarged above its current 10-point (in various fonts)**. At a more reasonable 12-point size, the text would probably have to fall below 1500 words.








** - Even 11-point text overflows onto a third page.
 
I suspected as much, since I've been using 12 pt in 1.15 spacing, albeit with reasonable margins and some breathing room between paragraphs, and that's giving me around 950 words on two pages.
 
hmmm. I was planning on sending as seperate files... I don't know If I could get it done in under 1'000.

I ended up formatting it into 1inch margins. Courier as I think they would like it to be in same format as the 5 chapters. And no room for plot
 
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