Publish me!

Alchemator

my god if you don't have an iced tea for me when i
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#1
Hold your horses, donkeys, and various quadrupeds, mods. This ain't an advertisement. This is a

BLOG

Ok not quite that either. Let me explain further:

As many of you will already know, I'm a writer and budding author. Interestingly, back when I was younger I hated writing short stories and the like (I guess I was suffering from premature writer's block), but as I've grown older I've found it more and more entertaining to write stories and come up with interesting characters and so on. I even delight in putting themes and symbolism into things, which is pretty weird for a 16-year-old Brit. I should instead enjoy getting off my face on vodka and vomiting all down myself. Each to their own.

Now, after that little ramble there, I'll bring you back to the beginning: "As many of you will already know, I'm a writer and budding author." -- perhaps you'll ask, "Hey, Alch, what's the difference?", and I guess the answer to that is "Gotta be published to be an author, man!"

So that's what I intend to do, and I figured you guys might be interested in seeing how I get along in the world of full recycling bins and deleted emails, and some of you might even be able to help me on my quest. Obviously this isn't going to be a fast process -- publishers just love to make you wait -- so expect contributions with as much as a month between them. Of course, it would be awesome to hear your opinions/experiences on/of publishing.


Yes this thread is quite scatty so far: I just spent the whole day working on preparation for a submission, so my brain is mushed. Writing synopses is definitely not fun.

So, like I said, I've spent the day preparing for my virgin submission [not a euphemism for sexual assault], which I plan to set in motion tomorrow. Instead of giving you a run-down of the novella I plan to send off, I'm just going to show you exactly what I'm sending to the publisher.

Wish me luck!

Oh, and one more thing: I welcome criticism, but please keep it constructive. I'm self-conscious enough as it is.

Query Letter said:
Addresses and suchlike.

Dear Sir / Madam,

It pains me to start a letter so impersonally.

'Halfway into the Fog' is a 40,500-word contemporary bildungsroman set in the fictional, Scottish town of Morgon, a relic of the formerly-bustling fish industry, and clinging to relic-like beliefs. This completed work is primarily targeted at an audience between 14 and 19 years of age, but its message is relevant to both the younger and older generations.

In the midst of financial troubles, the Robins family is forced to sell up and move to Morgon, a dilapidated town perpetually plagued by fog. Ostracised by both his peers and the mysterious school principal (the time-obsessed 'Marshal' Mendel), their son Dan takes solace in the quirky Beth. Soon, however — even with his family disintegrating under the weight of the town's out-of-whack faith — he must work to protect the ideas he hates. He needs to win Beth's heart, too.
'Halfway into the Fog' is a punchy novella that aims to use wit and colourful characters to make deep issues accessible to a teenage audience. It deals with unhealthy introversion, bereavement and prejudice, and yet engages with both irony and the occasional deplorable pun.

Writing has always been a huge part of my life: I enjoyed writing short stories from an early age — after all, it's like reading, except the plot goes exactly in the way you'd like. After enjoying success in school writing competitions for many years, I then decided to turn my hand to extended pieces of writing at age 14. This resulted in a text numbering almost 51,000 words, but generally I was unsatisfied with the narrative style and — on a smaller scale — the language choices I had made. Since that time, I have been tirelessly honing my style, culminating in the production of the work I put to you today. At age 16 I believe I already have much to offer, capitalising on my younger perspective of the world, and hoping to build on my skills as I grow older.

Enclosed is a more-detailed synopsis of the manuscript, and I would be very grateful if you might take the time to read it.

Thank you for your consideration,

Alchemator [Affectionately known as Alch!]

And the accompanying synopsis:
Synopsis said:
Synopsis of ‘Halfway into the Fog’
Genre: Bildungsroman
Word Count: 40,550 [Synopsis word count: 1,072]
By: Alchemator [Alch / Alchy / Alchmeister / Al Alchemist / Alcheroony

Appearances can be – no, they are – deceiving. Dan Robins and his family find themselves in Morgon, where everything is a shade of sickly grey, even the sunken eyes and skin of its residents. However, the smoking chimneys of the fishery and the grizzly faces of its workers belie dangerous ideas.

Dan hopes to God (well, not really…) that he’ll fit in at his new school, but the signs don’t look good: the cruel principal, ‘Marshal’ Mendel, immediately seems to dislike him. The other kids set about testing the strength of Dan’s “Sticks and stones—“ mantra, and indeed the strength of their actual sticks and stones. All Dan wants to do is to fit in, and so he finds an ideal friend in Mike. Maybe, though, he’s too ideal…

Convincing himself that he needs to get revenge, Dan sets out to track down his bullies, but is caught by Marshal Mendel. His punishment: to be held back in the pointless ‘Social Support’. Fortunately, he manages to while away the time with Beth, an intelligent (and not-too-unattractive, I suppose…) girl, who oddly refuses to give her surname.

Attending Church that Sunday as a matter of politeness, a distinctly-slurred sermon is given by Pastor Carlton. He vomits out a skewed interpretation of the Bible, and the congregation wholeheartedly agrees with it. After all, it was the only thing they’d ever heard. Dan begins to realise just how dangerous Carlton’s effective dictatorship can be, and tries to take solace in Mike, who has no answers. He is forced to turn to Beth, a believer.

The next week, Beth claims that there is treasure – the greatest treasure known to man (and probably woman, too) – under the school, and invites the cynical Dan to join her. To his surprise, they discover a trapdoor in Marshal Mendel’s office, leading to a dank tunnel. Finding a ramshackle wine cellar its end, the two soon discover that they are underneath the church – Carlton is a drunkard. Meanwhile, The Pastor’s estranged son returns, and – after failing to reconcile with his father – sets fire to the church, with Dan and Beth trapped inside. Beth reveals, to Dan’s horror, that she is Mendel’s daughter, and then she prays for their survival. Dan talks to Mike, who has oddly appeared, before falling unconscious.

Staring at the ceiling of a hospital, Dan discovers that Carlton’s son saved him from the burning wreckage, along with Beth. Soon afterwards, however, the fire had struck the wine cellar, causing an explosion and killing their rescuer. Stricken with grief, Carlton disappears from Morgon, and does not return. Dan’s father is happy that the church was destroyed, and claims it is a sign that there is no god. His mother, however, disagrees, saying Dan and Beth’s survival was miraculous. His father’s vehement opposition to his wife’s apparent conversion causes many arguments, leading to his mother leaving entirely.

Beth invites Dan to stay with the Mendels, to give his father some space. Though initially apprehensive, Dan discovers that Mendel is not the heinous character he portrays at the school, and is actually wise and compassionate. In order to give them more time to recover from their injuries, he sends them to a mansion on the edge of the town, which supposedly houses the old Henry Thorne.

The children are surprised to discover that Thorne, though haggard and arthritic, is still alive, sitting in the entrance hall of the mansion. He tells them he has sat there for years, disconnected from the world. Amazed by the structure of the mansion, despite its dereliction, Dan and Beth beg Thorne to show them the other rooms. Reluctantly, he agrees.
Leading them to the music room, Thorne reveals that he was once a piano teacher, and (with difficulty) tells them the story of his isolation through one of his compositions – ‘The Broken Man’. Decades previous, he was to marry the beautiful Teorna, but Carlton would not permit it, as she had previously been a prostitute. Hated by Morgon and ostracised by Carlton, Teorna eventually takes her own life. This leads Thorne to hate the town and everything it stands for, and hides himself away in his mansion, in many ways hoping to be forgotten.

Reflecting on Thorne’s story with Mike, Dan realises that the hatred of religion – and not the religion itself – has caused the problems in his life. He goes to reconcile with his father, and finds that he has locked himself away in the house. Recognising that his father would eventually become like Henry Thorne, Dan convinces him to reconsider his views and live his life. On the way back to the Mendel household, Dan discovers that there are plans to build a new church, led by the personable Rob Glough.

Beth wakes him the next day, and points outside – reporters fill the previously-empty streets of Morgon, having been tipped off about the construction of the new church. They aim to stop the build, and mock Mendel, Glough and religion as a whole. Without hesitation, Dan realises he must defend Morgon’s beliefs from mockery, in order to preserve peace in the town (and, as Thorne recognises, to curry favour with Beth). However, he does not know how to do so.
Returning to Thorne, Beth realises that they must show the reporters what hatred can do, by playing ‘The Broken Man’. Dan points out that Thorne can no longer play well enough, but Beth correctly deduces that Mendel was once a student of Thorne’s. Commandeering the school’s piano, they take it to Morgon’s central square, where Mendel reveals he struggles with his left hand. Thorne states that Dan will be able to play, despite having no prior experience, and so Mendel and Dan sit down together to play the piece.

Some weeks later, outside Thorne’s mansion, Beth and Dan relive the piano-playing. The reporters had simply ended their broadcasts and left – it was almost miraculous. The town’s doctor steps outside and informs them that Thorne has indeed died, but passed away peacefully, having written a characteristically tongue-in-cheek letter for Dan, and entrusting him with the crumbling mansion.

A year on, Dan and Mike sit on the Morgon shore, reminiscing about Thorne and Dan’s awkward-half-relationship-sort-of with Beth. Dan decides that he need no longer be so introverted, as he is no longer an outcast in Morgon. With a final witty exchange, Dan says goodbye to his imaginary friend, and Mike fades away into the fog.
 

Matthew

I love weather; Sun for days
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#2
I didn't finish reading this, sorry but this struck me:

Staring at the ceiling of a hospital, Dan discovers that Carlton’s son saved him from the burning wreckage, along with Beth. Soon afterwards, however, the fire had struck the wine cellar, causing an explosion and killing their rescuer. Stricken with grief, Carlton disappears from Morgon, and does not return. Dan’s father is happy that the church was destroyed, and claims it is a sign that there is no god. His mother, however, disagrees, saying Dan and Beth’s survival was miraculous. His father’s vehement opposition to his wife’s apparent conversion causes many arguments, leading to his mother leaving entirely.[/quote]

"and claims it is a sign that there is no god," God should be capitalized in this. I don't know whether or not you were looking for these claims, but if you are (I think) sending this to a publisher, I'd assume these nitty gritty details are important.


edit:

UNLESS that is a stylistic kind of thing.
 
#3
Well Alch, you have a lot of guts to be already trying to publish a book. I wish you the best of luck, and if it happens to get published, I'll make sure to look for it in the next bookstore I go into (no seriously, tell me the name of what the book will be, who it's by, and I will reserve one).

The main character definitely struggles in this book, but from the little summary you gave us, it seems like a believable story too, which makes it all the better. I can't wait to read it, that's for sure!
 
#4
I'm not very skilled at giving writing critiques (especially to writers who are much more talented than I), so I can't really do anything for you in that department. However, I will say that I quite enjoyed what little of this you have to present. I really love the concept and would definitely like to see the full story. It's a damn shame that most 16-year-old kids in my school can barely write a complete sentence, and it's comforting to know there are people like you who've developed an obvious knack for writing at such a young age.
 
#5
Alch, if you want I'll critique your query? I assume that's what you're asking.

But there is a forum site for writers, and there is a sub forum for query letter critiques. I can give you the link if you want.
 

Alchemator

my god if you don't have an iced tea for me when i
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#6
"and claims it is a sign that there is no god," God should be capitalized in this. I don't know whether or not you were looking for these claims, but if you are (I think) sending this to a publisher, I'd assume these nitty gritty details are important.

edit:

UNLESS that is a stylistic kind of thing.
Yeah I deliberately didn't capitalise that. To me, God is the Christian deity, whereas "there is no god" refers to a lack of deity from any religion. While the book is based within the Christian religion, I've done a fair few things to try and broaden its message. For example, the words "God", "Bible" and "Hell" aren't present anywhere in the text.

Alch, if you want I'll critique your query? I assume that's what you're asking.

But there is a forum site for writers, and there is a sub forum for query letter critiques. I can give you the link if you want.
The purpose of this thread is more to detail my progress in getting published: once I send it off and get a reply back, I'll update this thread with what they said [if anything], and talk about what I'll change to make the book more appealing to publishers. I guess I'm hoping for this thread to be as short as possible, in a way!

If you want to post a critique, though, it's welcome.
 

xenu

Banned deucer.
#7
as a 16-year-old writer myself, i'm legitimately impressed not only at your skill but also the fact that you actually managed to put up a 40k word novel; i've tried my hand at writing novels too and have continually scrapped and restarted several different fiction projects over the years, either due to lack of time or loss of interest. it's great to see you've pulled it off, though. i really liked your story, good luck!

out of curiosity, are you submitting your work to just one particular publishing house or are you applying to multiple publishers?
 

Alchemator

my god if you don't have an iced tea for me when i
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#8
out of curiosity, are you submitting your work to just one particular publishing house or are you applying to multiple publishers?
For the moment, I'll live in the blissful delusion that one submission is all it will take.

Obviously, though, that's bull.

I'll be sending work to multiple publishing houses, but hopefully keeping them local (so not big firms, which hopefully will make it easier for me to get published). Your question is a little ambiguous: are you asking whether I'll be sending it to multiple publishers simultaneously? To answer that question, I'm not sure -- I guess what matters for now is getting the ball rolling.
 
#9
Alchemator, we have never spoken but I am a writer too. And I commend you for tackling a novel, and being ambitious in general. That's very pleasing to see in a younger writer. I write poetry mostly, and have been published already. Keep in mind that it is highly unlikely that you will be published right away, it is incredibly hard to accomplish that. Edith Sitwell was rejected over 200 times before she was first published. I was rejected around 24 times before it happened for me.

To be perfectly honest, your submission letter and your synopsis do not read particularly interesting to me. It reads a bit self-indulgent and your writing should not reveal your age. Yours does reveal your age, you sound like a teenager. Take your art seriously, but don't take yourself seriously. I don't know what kind of novelist you envision yourself, or whom your influences are. I'm very interested in what kind of books you read. If I knew what you read and ultimately what you want to do as a novelist I'd have an easier time critiquing you.

Please don't hold any contempt against me. Literature is the most important thing in my life, and I always love talking to other writers. Honesty is important though. If you would like to discuss more with me, feel free to PM me.

By the way, don't be self-conscious. If you are self-conscious you won't get anywhere.
 
#10
Alch, I hope you get published! ^.^ I used to dabble in a bit of writing (but that ended with the world's longest Writer's Block), so I know how hard it is. If you get published, you should host a party!
 
#11
i think one of your main issues in your writing is being wordy for the sake of being wordy
cutting down on some of the complexity of this would make it much more enjoyable to read, many of your sentences are clunky and do not flow well
 
#12
lots of writers in this thread, i am one too, congratulations on your work, etc

this post is going to be really rude and obnoxious, sorry for that, you can just skip it, but i read the introduction letter and noticed a few little things that might be off-putting to a potential publisher's office that i saw in the rest of your post as well. so i made edits to the letter and the synopsis. -my criticism may seem like an overreaction but I TA a lot of work and see a lot of this kind of not-really-funny but trying to be style that seems to have spread like a virus over most if not all teenagers. try to distance yourself from it; true humor is a criticism of the comedian, and true comedians are able to see themselves wryly and critically.

you don't have to listen to any of this but better that some random asshole on a pokemon website says it than a publisher. i am american so maybe some of your stuff is more accessible in britain which might account for me feeling like certain words are off. gabe is right that your submission letter is uninteresting. to be brutally honest, you pepper it with a number of little jokes and pedantic details, most of which are vaguely humorous but not really funny. stuff like:


Dear Sir / Madam, should be "dear mr/mrs. x"


It pains me to start a letter so impersonally. this is obnoxious, take it out

'Halfway into the Fog' is a 40,500-word contemporary bildungsroman pretentious, i'd put novella but it's up to youset in the fictional, you don't need a comma here Scottish town of Morgon, a relic of the formerly-bustling fish industry, and clinging to relic-like beliefs. this is awkward, try to rephrase it -- antiquated maybe?This completed work is primarily targeted at an audience between 14 and 19 years of age, but its message is relevant to both the younger and older generations. there's no need for you to say the demographic you believe your work to be

In the midst of financial troubles, the Robins family is forced to sell up awkward -- "sell up" isn't really a phrase and move to Morgon, a dilapidated town perpetually plagued by fog. Ostracised by both his peers and the mysterious school principal (the time-obsessed what?'Marshal' Mendel), their son Dan takes solace in the quirky Beth. who? say "classmate Beth" or something as we have no idea who this is Soon, however — even with his family disintegrating under the weight of the town's out-of-whack faith — he must work to protect the ideas he hates. He needs to win Beth's heart, too.
'Halfway into the Fog' is a punchy try not to compliment yourselfnovella that aims to use wit and colourful characters to make deep issues accessible to a teenage audience. It deals with unhealthy introversion, bereavement and prejudice, and yet engages with this should be "engages IN," not withboth irony and the occasional deplorable pun. you really just need to attach the thing and describe it succinctly, not give a great review of yourself. and puns are not a good thing :(

Writing has always been a huge part of my life: I enjoyed writing short stories from an early age — after all, it's like reading, except the plot goes exactly in the way you'd like. After enjoying success in school writing competitions for many years, I then decided to turn my hand to extended pieces of writing at age 14. This resulted in a text numbering almost 51,000 words, but generally I was unsatisfied with the narrative style and — on a smaller scale — the language choices I had made. Since that time, I have been tirelessly honing my style, culminating in the production of the work I put to you today. At age 16 I believe I already have much to offer, capitalising on my younger perspective of the world, and hoping to build on my skills as I grow older. -- to be honest, no one in the publishing world really wants to hear your life story, they have a ton of manuscripts to read and everyone has basically the same shpiel about how they got started writing. like gabe said, don't take yourself too seriously, just be short sweet and to the point.

Enclosed is a more-detailed synopsis of the manuscript, and I would be very grateful if you might take the time to read it.

Thank you for your consideration,

Alchemator [Affectionately known as Alch!] -- 99% you will substitute your real name here but if i'm wrong, do so, and don't say "affectionately known as" anything
also, Matthew is right. regardless of the context, you have to capitalize God, it is a stylistic choice. nastyjungle is right too, try to not use a flowery word when a simple one will do. it will clear up your writing and remove some your voice (since you're writing in the third person, your voice really should not be as prominent as it is, especially since it's very self-conscious as you yourself have pointed out)

for the synopsis:

Synopsis of ‘Halfway into the Fog’
Genre: Bildungsroman
Word Count: 40,550 [Synopsis word count: 1,072]
By: Alchemator [Alch / Alchy / Alchmeister / Al Alchemist / Alcheroony

Appearances can be – no, they are – deceiving. Dan Robins and his family find themselves in Morgon, where everything is a shade of sickly grey, even the sunken eyes and skin of its residents. However, the smoking chimneys of the fishery and the grizzly not an adjective, you mean "grizzled" faces of its workers belie dangerous ideas. very general, try to be more specific

Dan hopes to God (well, not really…) unnecessary -- if you don't want to mention god don't put him in and just say dan really hopesthat he’ll fit in at his new school, but the signs don’t look good: the cruel principal, ‘Marshal’ Mendel, immediately seems to dislike him. The other kids set about testing the strength of Dan’s “Sticks and stones—“ mantra, and indeed the strength of their actual sticks and stones. lol -- i'm making a mention of this because it was the first joke that actually made me laugh out loud so you can see the differentiation in your humor All Dan wants to do is to fit in, and so he finds an ideal friend in Mike. Maybe, though, he’s too ideal… should be 'Though maybe he's too ideal...

Convincing himself that he needs to get revenge, Dan sets out to track down his bullies, but is caught by Marshal Mendel. either keep the single quotes everywhere or lose them everywhereHis punishment: to be held back in the pointless ‘Social Support’. i have no idea what this is -- a program? you need to say so Fortunately, he manages to while away the time with Beth, an intelligent (and not-too-unattractive, I suppose…) your opinion shouldn't be in the synopsis -- there should be no "i suppose" at all , so just say "a intelligent and not unattractive girl, who oddly refuses to give her surname.

Attending Church that Sunday as a matter of politeness, a distinctly-slurred this is an oxymoron sermon is given by Pastor Carlton. He vomits out a skewed interpretation of the Bible, mixing images -- vomiting makes me think of fluidity, skewed is more of an analytical word and the congregation wholeheartedly agrees with it. After all, it was the only thing they’d ever heard. Dan begins to realise just how dangerous Carlton’s effective dictatorship can be, you don't think this is an overreaction? all pastors pretty much do this lol and tries to take solace in Mike, who has no answers. He is forced to turn to Beth, a believer.

The next week, Beth claims that there is treasure – the greatest treasure known to man (and probably woman, too) unfunny, take it out – under the school, and invites the cynical Dan to join her. To his surprise, they discover a trapdoor in Marshal Mendel’s office, leading to a dank tunnel. Finding a ramshackle wine cellar its end, the two soon discover that they are underneath the church – Carlton is a drunkard. this is already apparent Meanwhile, the Pastor’s estranged son returns, and – after failing to reconcile with his father – sets fire to the church, with Dan and Beth trapped inside. Beth reveals, to Dan’s horror, that she is Mendel’s daughter, and then she prays for their survival. Dan talks to Mike, who has oddly appeared, split infinitive before falling unconscious.

Staring at the ceiling of a hospital, Dan discovers that Carlton’s son saved him from the burning wreckage, along with Beth. Soon afterwards, however, the fire had struck the wine cellar, causing an explosion and killing their rescuer. Stricken with grief, Carlton disappears from Morgon, and does not return. Dan’s father is happy that the church was destroyed, and claims it is a sign that there is no god. His mother, however, disagrees, saying Dan and Beth’s survival was miraculous. His father’s vehement opposition to his wife’s apparent conversion causes many arguments, leading to his mother leaving entirely.

Beth invites Dan to stay with the Mendels, to give his father some space. Though initially apprehensive, Dan discovers that Mendel is not the heinous character he portrays at the school, and is actually wise and compassionate. In order to give them more time to recover from their injuries, he sends them to a mansion on the edge of the town, which supposedly houses the old bachelor? curmudgeon? who is this person?Henry Thorne.

The children are surprised to discover that Thorne, though haggard and arthritic, is still alive, sitting in the entrance hall of the mansion. He tells them he has sat there for years, disconnected from the world. Amazed by the structure of the mansion, despite its dereliction, should be "derelict state" or "state of dereliction" Dan and Beth beg Thorne to show them the other rooms. Reluctantly, he agrees.
Leading them to the music room, Thorne reveals that he was once a piano teacher, and (with difficulty) tells them the story of his isolation through one of his compositions – ‘The Broken Man’. Decades previous, he was to marry the beautiful Teorna, but Carlton would not permit it, as she had previously been a prostitute. Hated by Morgon and ostracised by Carlton, Teorna eventually takes her own life. This leads Thorne to hate the town and everything it stands for, and hides himself away in his mansion, in many ways hoping to be forgotten.

Reflecting on Thorne’s story with Mike, Dan realises that the hatred of religion – and not the religion itself – has caused the problems in his life. He goes to reconcile with his father, and finds that he has locked himself away in the house. Recognising that his father would eventually become like Henry Thorne, Dan convinces him to reconsider his views and live his life. On the way back to the Mendel household, Dan discovers that there are plans to build a new church, led by the personable townsman? foreman? Rob Glough.

Beth wakes him the next day, and points outside – reporters fill the previously-empty streets of Morgon, having been tipped off about the construction of the new church. They aim to stop the build, and mock Mendel, Glough and religion as a whole. Without hesitation, Dan realises he must defend Morgon’s beliefs from mockery, in order to preserve peace in the town (and, as Thorne recognises, to curry favour with Beth). However, he does not know how to do so.
Returning to Thorne, Beth realises that they must show the reporters what hatred can do, by playing ‘The Broken Man’. Dan points out that Thorne can no longer play well enough, but Beth correctly deduces that Mendel was once a student of Thorne’s. Commandeering the school’s piano, they take it to Morgon’s central square, where Mendel reveals he struggles with his left hand. Thorne states that Dan will be able to play, despite having no prior experience, and so Mendel and Dan sit down together to play the piece.

Some weeks later, outside Thorne’s mansion, Beth and Dan relive the piano-playing. The reporters had simply ended their broadcasts and left – it was almost miraculous. The town’s doctor steps outside and informs them that Thorne has indeed died, but passed away peacefully, having written a characteristically tongue-in-cheek letter for Dan, and entrusting him with the crumbling mansion.

A year on, Dan and Mike sit on the Morgon shore, reminiscing about Thorne and Dan’s awkward-half-relationship-sort-of colloquial, change this with Beth. Dan decides that he need no longer be so introverted, as he is no longer an outcast in Morgon. With a final witty take ou the witty exchange, Dan says goodbye to his imaginary friend, and Mike fades away into the fog.
i didn't pay attention to the thematic structure and plot, just word and tone choices. honestly, ignore this if you want, whatever, but I think you have a lot of potential and talent and it would be a shame to see some publisher reject all of your hard work just because a perceived lack of professionalism. kudos to your accomplishment and i wish you luck in all your noblest endeavors.
 
#13
The main issue with young writers is that they often feel they need to prove themselves by writing in archaic and verbose prose in order to be taken seriously. The problem with this synopsis is that it is marketed to 14-19 year olds, yet the language chosen sounds like the last thing a 14-19 year old might want to read one word of let alone 40000. When you write to be published, you come to the sobering truth that you write not for yourself but for your audience. I feel that when you take that to heart you will be able to reach your potential as a writer.

Your ideas are clever. Their execution is a tad immature.

The writer's biggest fear is that his message will not be heard. The first step to ensuring that you WILL be heard is to create a narrative that will enrapture the reader and convey its message subtly.


EDIT: I would just like to clarify that I don't think your writing is bad. Your grammar and syntax is fine and your prose is sound. You just need to be less concerned about the words you choose and more concerned about the elements of your actual story. Clean windows cannot drive a car.
 

Alchemator

my god if you don't have an iced tea for me when i
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
#14
Good responses so far!

Keep in mind that it is highly unlikely that you will be published right away, it is incredibly hard to accomplish that. Edith Sitwell was rejected over 200 times before she was first published. I was rejected around 24 times before it happened for me.
Already got the cushions for the blow.

Dear Sir / Madam, should be "dear mr/mrs. x" Yeah, the issue there is that the publisher's website doesn't include any names, otherwise I would have.


It pains me to start a letter so impersonally. this is obnoxious, take it out. I certainly need something more than jumping straight into the book description, so I'll consider a replacement.

'Halfway into the Fog' is a 40,500-word contemporary bildungsroman pretentious, i'd put novella but it's up to you. It's more true than pretentious: I felt like it was important to get the genre in there quickly. set in the fictional, you don't need a comma here Scottish town of Morgon, a relic of the formerly-bustling fish industry, and clinging to relic-like beliefs. this is awkward, try to rephrase it -- antiquated maybe? Aiming to emphasise its (to use your word) antiquity. This completed work is primarily targeted at an audience between 14 and 19 years of age, but its message is relevant to both the younger and older generations. there's no need for you to say the demographic you believe your work to be

In the midst of financial troubles, the Robins family is forced to sell up awkward -- "sell up" isn't really a phrase Certainly is here, but I'll look for alternatives. and move to Morgon, a dilapidated town perpetually plagued by fog. Ostracised by both his peers and the mysterious school principal (the time-obsessed what?'Marshal' Mendel), their son Dan takes solace in the quirky Beth. who? say "classmate Beth" or something as we have no idea who this is Soon, however — even with his family disintegrating under the weight of the town's out-of-whack faith — he must work to protect the ideas he hates. He needs to win Beth's heart, too.
'Halfway into the Fog' is a punchy try not to compliment yourselfnovella that aims to use wit and colourful characters to make deep issues accessible to a teenage audience. It deals with unhealthy introversion, bereavement and prejudice, and yet engages with this should be "engages IN," not withboth irony and the occasional deplorable pun. you really just need to attach the thing and describe it succinctly, not give a great review of yourself. and puns are not a good thing :(
YES THEY ARE UGH YOU'RE SUCH AN ASSHOLE [jk]

Writing has always been a huge part of my life: I enjoyed writing short stories from an early age — after all, it's like reading, except the plot goes exactly in the way you'd like. After enjoying success in school writing competitions for many years, I then decided to turn my hand to extended pieces of writing at age 14. This resulted in a text numbering almost 51,000 words, but generally I was unsatisfied with the narrative style and — on a smaller scale — the language choices I had made. Since that time, I have been tirelessly honing my style, culminating in the production of the work I put to you today. At age 16 I believe I already have much to offer, capitalising on my younger perspective of the world, and hoping to build on my skills as I grow older. -- to be honest, no one in the publishing world really wants to hear your life story, they have a ton of manuscripts to read and everyone has basically the same shpiel about how they got started writing. like gabe said, don't take yourself too seriously, just be short sweet and to the point.

Enclosed is a more-detailed synopsis of the manuscript, and I would be very grateful if you might take the time to read it.

Thank you for your consideration,

Alchemator [Affectionately known as Alch!] -- 99% you will substitute your real name here but if i'm wrong, do so, and don't say "affectionately known as" anything
Yeah it's literally just my name there.
also, Matthew is right. regardless of the context, you have to capitalize God, it is a stylistic choice. Not capitalising it, especially since it's an implied indefinite article. nastyjungle is right too, try to not use a flowery word when a simple one will do. I don't try to. it will clear up your writing and remove some your voice (since you're writing in the third person, your voice really should not be as prominent as it is, especially since it's very self-conscious as you yourself have pointed out)

for the synopsis:

Synopsis of ‘Halfway into the Fog’
Genre: Bildungsroman
Word Count: 40,550 [Synopsis word count: 1,072]
By: Alchemator [Alch / Alchy / Alchmeister / Al Alchemist / Alcheroony

Appearances can be – no, they are – deceiving. Dan Robins and his family find themselves in Morgon, where everything is a shade of sickly grey, even the sunken eyes and skin of its residents. However, the smoking chimneys of the fishery and the grizzly not an adjective, you mean "grizzled" faces of its workers belie dangerous ideas. very general, try to be more specific

Dan hopes to God (well, not really…) unnecessary -- if you don't want to mention god don't put him in and just say dan really hopes A point of humour, in that he's Atheist. I'll clarify this. that he’ll fit in at his new school, but the signs don’t look good: the cruel principal, ‘Marshal’ Mendel, immediately seems to dislike him. The other kids set about testing the strength of Dan’s “Sticks and stones—“ mantra, and indeed the strength of their actual sticks and stones. lol -- i'm making a mention of this because it was the first joke that actually made me laugh out loud so you can see the differentiation in your humor All Dan wants to do is to fit in, and so he finds an ideal friend in Mike. Maybe, though, he’s too ideal… should be 'Though maybe he's too ideal...

Convincing himself that he needs to get revenge, Dan sets out to track down his bullies, but is caught by Marshal Mendel. either keep the single quotes everywhere or lose them everywhere Nah, Marshal becomes his accepted title. It's highlighted the first time because it's odd for a principal. His punishment: to be held back in the pointless ‘Social Support’. i have no idea what this is -- a program? you need to say so Fortunately, he manages to while away the time with Beth, an intelligent (and not-too-unattractive, I suppose…) your opinion shouldn't be in the synopsis -- there should be no "i suppose" at all , so just say "a intelligent and not unattractive girl, who oddly refuses to give her surname.

Attending Church that Sunday as a matter of politeness, a distinctly-slurred this is an oxymoron Yeah I missed that, oops! sermon is given by Pastor Carlton. He vomits out a skewed interpretation of the Bible, mixing images -- vomiting makes me think of fluidity, skewed is more of an analytical word and the congregation wholeheartedly agrees with it. After all, it was the only thing they’d ever heard. Dan begins to realise just how dangerous Carlton’s effective dictatorship can be, you don't think this is an overreaction? all pastors pretty much do this lol lol, yeah I was floundering a little here. and tries to take solace in Mike, who has no answers. He is forced to turn to Beth, a believer.

The next week, Beth claims that there is treasure – the greatest treasure known to man (and probably woman, too) unfunny, take it out ;_; k – under the school, and invites the cynical Dan to join her. To his surprise, they discover a trapdoor in Marshal Mendel’s office, leading to a dank tunnel. Finding a ramshackle wine cellar its end, the two soon discover that they are underneath the church – Carlton is a drunkard. this is already apparent Meanwhile, the Pastor’s estranged son returns, and – after failing to reconcile with his father – sets fire to the church, with Dan and Beth trapped inside. Beth reveals, to Dan’s horror, that she is Mendel’s daughter, and then she prays for their survival. Dan talks to Mike, who has oddly appeared, split infinitive I don't actually know what this is. before falling unconscious.

Now onto cleaner paragraphs! Either this means they're better, or you got a bit tired of critiquing it...

Staring at the ceiling of a hospital, Dan discovers that Carlton’s son saved him from the burning wreckage, along with Beth. Soon afterwards, however, the fire had struck the wine cellar, causing an explosion and killing their rescuer. Stricken with grief, Carlton disappears from Morgon, and does not return. Dan’s father is happy that the church was destroyed, and claims it is a sign that there is no god. His mother, however, disagrees, saying Dan and Beth’s survival was miraculous. His father’s vehement opposition to his wife’s apparent conversion causes many arguments, leading to his mother leaving entirely.

Beth invites Dan to stay with the Mendels, to give his father some space. Though initially apprehensive, Dan discovers that Mendel is not the heinous character he portrays at the school, and is actually wise and compassionate. In order to give them more time to recover from their injuries, he sends them to a mansion on the edge of the town, which supposedly houses the old bachelor? curmudgeon? who is this person?Henry Thorne.

The children are surprised to discover that Thorne, though haggard and arthritic, is still alive, sitting in the entrance hall of the mansion. He tells them he has sat there for years, disconnected from the world. Amazed by the structure of the mansion, despite its dereliction, should be "derelict state" or "state of dereliction" Dan and Beth beg Thorne to show them the other rooms. Reluctantly, he agrees.
Leading them to the music room, Thorne reveals that he was once a piano teacher, and (with difficulty) tells them the story of his isolation through one of his compositions – ‘The Broken Man’. Decades previous, he was to marry the beautiful Teorna, but Carlton would not permit it, as she had previously been a prostitute. Hated by Morgon and ostracised by Carlton, Teorna eventually takes her own life. This leads Thorne to hate the town and everything it stands for, and hides himself away in his mansion, in many ways hoping to be forgotten.

Reflecting on Thorne’s story with Mike, Dan realises that the hatred of religion – and not the religion itself – has caused the problems in his life. He goes to reconcile with his father, and finds that he has locked himself away in the house. Recognising that his father would eventually become like Henry Thorne, Dan convinces him to reconsider his views and live his life. On the way back to the Mendel household, Dan discovers that there are plans to build a new church, led by the personable townsman? foreman? Rob Glough. He's the new Pastor. I guess that could be clearer.

Beth wakes him the next day, and points outside – reporters fill the previously-empty streets of Morgon, having been tipped off about the construction of the new church. They aim to stop the build, and mock Mendel, Glough and religion as a whole. Without hesitation, Dan realises he must defend Morgon’s beliefs from mockery, in order to preserve peace in the town (and, as Thorne recognises, to curry favour with Beth). However, he does not know how to do so.
Returning to Thorne, Beth realises that they must show the reporters what hatred can do, by playing ‘The Broken Man’. Dan points out that Thorne can no longer play well enough, but Beth correctly deduces that Mendel was once a student of Thorne’s. Commandeering the school’s piano, they take it to Morgon’s central square, where Mendel reveals he struggles with his left hand. Thorne states that Dan will be able to play, despite having no prior experience, and so Mendel and Dan sit down together to play the piece.

Some weeks later, outside Thorne’s mansion, Beth and Dan relive the piano-playing. The reporters had simply ended their broadcasts and left – it was almost miraculous. The town’s doctor steps outside and informs them that Thorne has indeed died, but passed away peacefully, having written a characteristically tongue-in-cheek letter for Dan, and entrusting him with the crumbling mansion.

A year on, Dan and Mike sit on the Morgon shore, reminiscing about Thorne and Dan’s awkward-half-relationship-sort-of colloquial, change this with Beth. Dan decides that he need no longer be so introverted, as he is no longer an outcast in Morgon. With a final witty take ou the witty exchange, Dan says goodbye to his imaginary friend, and Mike fades away into the fog.
i didn't pay attention to the thematic structure and plot, just word and tone choices. honestly, ignore this if you want, whatever, but I think you have a lot of potential and talent and it would be a shame to see some publisher reject all of your hard work just because a perceived lack of professionalism. kudos to your accomplishment and i wish you luck in all your noblest endeavors.
I'll be straight up honest with you and say that I was pretty thrown when I first read this, but I'm thankful for all the help given -- if you do something, do it well.

E: Forgot to mention one thing, in the publisher's submission guidelines, it says this:
email or post a query letter, brief synopsis and info about yourself, your writing experience and potential audience, if you have a manuscript you would like us to read.
Hopefully that should explain the presence of the bragging, which I hated doing.[/HIDE]

I somewhat resent accusations that I choose to be verbose or deliberately 'flower-up' my language choices. I do not try to "prove myself" or attempt to be pretentious, I just write.
 

Matthew

I love weather; Sun for days
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#15
Yeah I deliberately didn't capitalise that. To me, God is the Christian deity, whereas "there is no god" refers to a lack of deity from any religion. While the book is based within the Christian religion, I've done a fair few things to try and broaden its message. For example, the words "God", "Bible" and "Hell" aren't present anywhere in the text.
Probably not worthwhile but in the context which it is used, a former religious man I assume, him saying there is no God makes it iffy. I'm sure you could change the sentence itself, but God exists in many religions apart from Christianity. Though from what I read of the Jewish religious works they blank out His name (it was mostly bar mitzvahs) either way, in the context of your synopsis it isn't clear that he's speaking to all deities from any religion. Which is why that would seem incorrect. I suggest changing the "there is no god" to something where a) it would fit in better context where the man denounces all religion or b) change it from God to gods with different wording of course. These types of things are important to consumers, or at least the demographic in which I am in, though I guess you may not be aiming for the demographic in which I am apart of, and that's okay!
 
#16
Your synopsis does not give a clear picture of the plot. I do not understand what is being built up to. The theme is not portrayed consistently. First it's about fitting in and then it suddenly is about hatred of religion and then hate in general. The scene with the piano also comes across as strange and out of place. You should explain why it's significant and why it fits in with the rest of the story.
 
#17
I really liked the twist at the end of the synopsis. Reminded me of Fight Club.
Anyway, whether you listen to the constructive criticism being offered to you or not, I wish you the best of luck! I'll be sure to pick up a copy if/when this gets published.
 
#18
Again, while I'm not very skilled at or knowledgeable about writing like this, I'd have to disagree with a few of the things Pernicious advised you to change. A few of his changes recommended you lay off on some of the humor, while I actually thought some of the jokes made it a better read (personal preferences on humor are obviously going to differ between different folks, so that's not a big deal). I also think that he's mistaking your habit of sometimes using more complex words as a purposeful way to make your writing look smarter, when they're probably just characteristics of your writing style. People are going to have different opinions on these two specific matters, so don't feel inclined to change them up because some readers might not get the point.

Other than that I think Pernicious said a lot of helpful things, and am further impressed by the level of maturity and intelligence being displayed in this thread... It's a forum, this shit's not normal.
 

Jellicent

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RoA Co-Leader
#19
Damn, this is weird for me...

I spent several months writing the rough draft of a novella (novel? hard to tell actual length when it's handwritten >.>) When I finally started typing the second draft, my laptop died. I got a new one, and decided I'd keep a backup for my files. That lasted the whole of two chapters before I got careless again, and then my hard drive got erased X__X At that point, I decided to distance myself from it for a bit and come back with a fresh perspective. It was around that time that I started writing for Smogon, and soon I was able to put it in the far back of my mind.

Anyway, the reason this is weird for me is today at work, the whole story kinda came flooding back into my mind. I started remembering characters and motifs and shit that I hadn't thought of for months. I was thinking it's finally time for me to get cracking on the second draft once more, and when I got home, I saw this thread o_o Chalk it up to fate (not Fatecrashers >.>) I guess...

So, more on topic, I'm wondering how you are going about trying to get your work published. Are you just mailing off what you posted above and hoping? Did you get any outside help with how to get a foot in the door? How many drafts did you go through? Are you actually planning on using a pseudonym? (That's actually always been my plan. I like to keep my work and my personal life separate, I suppose...)

Also, I'd recommend not completely dismissing what Pernicious and others have said. Criticism can be harsh, but that's the best kind of criticism. People saying "oh, god, that was great!" are the least helpful critics. Always be open to how you can improve your work, and how you can better present yourself and your work to potential publishers. A diverse vocabulary is of course a great thing, but being able to present your intentions clearly without resorting to unnecessary wordiness reveals a deeper mastery of language ("To be, or not to be, that is the question:" Shit's basic, but there's a reason it's iconic. There's also a reason not many remember the shit that comes after it.) It doesn't have to be simple, but don't let it be superfluous. Also, always keep your audience in mind. There's a difference between writing for publishers, writing for 14-19 year olds, and writing for yourself. None of that junk is meant to be belittling or anything, just some advice from one writer to another.

Completely unrelated, are you ever gonna try out for the GP team? I started out GPing so I could keep a careful eye out for problems with my own work, and I think it's actually helped. The fact that I genuinely enjoy it makes me wonder if I should consider a career in editing...

Oh yeah, and best of luck with getting published! I know you've got the talent, so don't let any nay-saying publishers crush your hopes. Instead, be eager for their critiques, take in their advice, and never stop trying to improve your style. You got this, kid ^.^
 
#20
I don't have enough experience or knowledge to help you out here too much Alch, so I'm just going to say good luck, hopefully things will go well for you and if/when it comes out I'll definitely pick up a copy! It's great to see your commitment paying off in a first submission, and hopefully this novella is the first of many to come.

All I will say is listen to criticism, it might seem harsh but it will help you become better.

Also seconding Jelli on trying out for the GP team, hopefully your answer has changed since the last time I asked you!

Also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Split_infinitive

Good luck Alchemator [Alch / Alchy / Alchmeister / Al Alchemist / Alcheroony]! Alcheroony is the best ever
 

Alchemator

my god if you don't have an iced tea for me when i
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
#21
New Query Letter said:
Dear Sir / Madam,

'Halfway into the Fog' is a 40,500-word contemporary bildungsroman set in the fictionalScottish town of Morgon, a relic of the formerly-bustling fish industry, clinging to its antiquated beliefs. This completed work is primarily targeted at an audience between 14 and 19 years of age, but its message is relevant to both the younger and older generations.

In the midst of financial troubles, the Robins family is forced to sell their house and move to Morgon, a dilapidated town perpetually plagued by fog. Ostracised by both his peers and the mysterious school principal (the all-too-puntual 'Marshal' Mendel), their son Dan takes solace in quirky classmate Beth. Soon, however — even with his family disintegrating under the weight of the town's out-of-whack faith — he must work to protect the ideas he hates. He needs to win Beth's heart, too.
'Halfway into the Fog' aims to be a punchy novella, using wit and colourful characters in an attempt to make deep issues accessible to a teenage audience. It deals with unhealthy introversion, bereavement and prejudice, and yet engages inmany layers of irony.

Writing has always been a huge part of my life: I enjoyed writing short stories from an early age — after all, it's like reading, except the plot goes exactly in the way you'd like. After enjoying success in school writing competitions for many years, I then decided to turn my hand to extended pieces of writing at age 14. This resulted in a text numbering almost 51,000 words, but generally I was unsatisfied with the narrative style and — on a smaller scale — the language choices I had made. Since that time, I have been tirelessly honing my style, culminating in the production of the work I put to you today. At age 16 I believe I already have much to offer, capitalising on my younger perspective of the world, and hoping to build on my skills as I grow older.

Enclosed is a more-detailed synopsis of the manuscript, and I would be very grateful if you might take the time to read it.

Thank you for your consideration,

Alchemator [Affectionately known as Alch!]
Synopsis said:
Synopsis of ‘Halfway into the Fog’
Genre: Bildungsroman
Word Count: 40,550 [Synopsis word count: 1,072]
By: Alchemator [Alch / Alchy / Alchmeister / Al Alchemist / Alcheroony

Appearances can be – no, they are – deceiving. Dan Robins and his family find themselves in Morgon, where everything is a shade of sickly grey, even the sunken eyes and skin of its residents. However, the smoking chimneys of the fishery and the grizzled faces of its workers belie dangerous ideas.

Dan hopes to God (well, not to God per se...) that he’ll fit in at his new school, but the signs don’t look good: the cruel principal, ‘Marshal’ Mendel, immediately seems to dislike him. The other kids set about testing the strength of Dan’s “Sticks and stones—“ mantra, and indeed the strength of their actual sticks and stones. All Dan wants to do is to fit in, and so he finds an ideal friend in Mike. Though maybe he's too ideal...

Convincing himself that he needs to get revenge, Dan sets out to track down his bullies, but is caught by Marshal Mendel. His punishment: to be held back in the pointless ‘Social Support’ program. Fortunately, he manages to while away the time with Beth, an intelligent (and not-too-unattractive) girl, who oddly refuses to give her surname.

Attending Church that Sunday as a matter of politeness, an unnerving sermon is given by the Pastor, Carlton. He vomits out his odd interpretation of the Bible,and the congregation wholeheartedly agrees with it. After all, it was the only thing they’d ever heard. Dan begins to realise just how dangerous Carlton is, and tries to take solace in Mike, who has no answers. He is forced to turn to Beth, a believer.

The next week, Beth claims that there is treasure – "The greatest treasure known to man!" – under the school, and invites the cynical Dan to join her. To his surprise, they discover a trapdoor in Marshal Mendel’s office, leading to a dank tunnel. Finding a ramshackle wine cellar its end, the two soon discover that they are underneath the church – Carlton is a drunkard. Meanwhile, the Pastor’s estranged son returns, and – after failing to reconcile with his father – sets fire to the church, with Dan and Beth trapped inside. Beth reveals, to Dan’s horror, that she is Mendel’s daughter, and then she prays for their survival. Dan talks to Mike, who has oddly appeared,before falling unconscious.

Staring at the ceiling of a hospital, Dan discovers that Carlton’s son saved him from the burning wreckage, along with Beth. Soon afterwards, however, the fire had struck the wine cellar, causing an explosion and killing their rescuer. Stricken with grief, Carlton disappears from Morgon, and does not return. Dan’s father is happy that the church was destroyed, and claims it is a sign that there is no god. His mother, however, disagrees, saying Dan and Beth’s survival was miraculous. His father’s vehement opposition to his wife’s apparent conversion causes many arguments, leading to his mother leaving entirely.

Beth invites Dan to stay with the Mendels, to give his father some space. Though initially apprehensive, Dan discovers that Mendel is not the heinous character he portrays at the school, and is actually wise and compassionate. In order to give them more time to recover from their injuries, he sends them to a mansion on the edge of the town, which supposedly houses the old curmudgeon Henry Thorne.

The children are surprised to discover that Thorne, though haggard and arthritic, is still alive, sitting in the entrance hall of the mansion. He tells them he has sat there for years, disconnected from the world. Amazed by the structure of the mansion, despite its state of dereliction, Dan and Beth beg Thorne to show them the other rooms. Reluctantly, he agrees.
Leading them to the music room, Thorne reveals that he was once a piano teacher, and (with difficulty) tells them the story of his isolation through one of his compositions – ‘The Broken Man’. Decades previous, he was to marry the beautiful Teorna, but Carlton would not permit it, as she had previously been a prostitute. Hated by Morgon and ostracised by Carlton, Teorna eventually takes her own life. This leads Thorne to hate the town and everything it stands for, and hides himself away in his mansion, in many ways hoping to be forgotten.

Reflecting on Thorne’s story with Mike, Dan realises that the hatred of religion – and not the religion itself – has caused the problems in his life. He goes to reconcile with his father, and finds that he has locked himself away in the house. Recognising that his father would eventually become like Henry Thorne, Dan convinces him to reconsider his views and live his life. On the way back to the Mendel household, Dan discovers that there are plans to build a new church, to be led by the personableRob Glough.

Beth wakes him the next day, and points outside – reporters fill the previously-empty streets of Morgon, having been tipped off about the construction of the new church. They aim to stop the build, and mock Mendel, Glough and religion as a whole. Without hesitation, Dan realises he must defend Morgon’s beliefs from mockery, in order to preserve peace in the town (and, as Thorne recognises, to curry favour with Beth). However, he does not know how to do so.
Returning to Thorne, Beth realises that they must show the reporters what hatred can do, by playing ‘The Broken Man’. Dan points out that Thorne can no longer play well enough, but Beth correctly deduces that Mendel was once a student of Thorne’s. Commandeering the school’s piano, they take it to Morgon’s central square, where Mendel reveals he struggles with his left hand. Thorne states that Dan will be able to play, despite having no prior experience, and so Mendel and Dan sit down together to play the piece.

Some weeks later, outside Thorne’s mansion, Beth and Dan relive the piano-playing. The reporters had simply ended their broadcasts and left – it was almost miraculous. The town’s doctor steps outside and informs them that Thorne has indeed died, but passed away peacefully, having written a characteristically tongue-in-cheek letter for Dan, and entrusting him with the crumbling mansion.

A year on, Dan and Mike sit on the Morgon shore, reminiscing about Thorne and Dan’s awkward-half-relationship-sort-of with Beth. Dan decides that he need no longer be so introverted, as he is no longer an outcast in Morgon. With a final exchange, Dan says goodbye to his imaginary friend, and Mike fades away into the fog.
It's difficult for me to make any changes with regards to "this synopsis/letter isn't interesting", because an equal amount of people have found it interesting. Where is the distinction between objectivity and personal taste? Nevertheless: thank you for all the criticism!

I'll probably send this off tomorrow if no-one has any further comment.

iDunno said:
The scene with the piano also comes across as strange and out of place. You should explain why it's significant and why it fits in with the rest of the story.
Astrid said:
I really liked the twist at the end of the synopsis. Reminded me of Fight Club.
Looks like Astrid got it.

Jellicent said:
So, more on topic, I'm wondering how you are going about trying to get your work published. Are you just mailing off what you posted above and hoping?
Yep. Obviously it's key to read each publisher's submission guidelines, so I'll be chopping and changing both the query letter and synopsis as fits their requirements.

Jellicent said:
Did you get any outside help with how to get a foot in the door? How many drafts did you go through? Are you actually planning on using a pseudonym? (That's actually always been my plan. I like to keep my work and my personal life separate, I suppose...)
I've had no outside help: this criticism is the first I've heard on the matter. This is why I'd love to hear stories of people attempting to / getting published, and you're free to post them in this thread!

As for a pseudonym, I've certainly considered it. My surname is kinda clunky and unattractive, so I may end up replacing that, but we'll see.

Jellicent said:
Completely unrelated, are you ever gonna try out for the GP team? I started out GPing so I could keep a careful eye out for problems with my own work, and I think it's actually helped. The fact that I genuinely enjoy it makes me wonder if I should consider a career in editing...
I've done a little bit of unofficial GPing [and GPing for The Smog] in the past, but I don't think I suit it -- while I can see the benefits of being part of the team, I think my style is a little bit flamboyant for analyses.

Thank you to both the well-wishers and the critics!
 
#22
You know you missed the close bracket at the end of your nickname list, right?

Also I wouldn't put in so many nicknames. It makes it really hard to take you seriously.
 

Yonko7

Guns make you stupid. Duct tape makes you smart.
is a Contributor Alumnus
#23
I'm not very skilled at giving writing critiques (especially to writers who are much more talented than I), so I can't really do anything for you in that department. However, I will say that I quite enjoyed what little of this you have to present. I really love the concept and would definitely like to see the full story. It's a damn shame that most 16-year-old kids in my school can barely write a complete sentence, and it's comforting to know there are people like you who've developed an obvious knack for writing at such a young age.
I applaud you for writing this early, usually people wait until they finish college / university (depending where in the world you are). I hope it works out, and maybe it'll get made into a movie. (Twilight :kongler:)
 

Alchemator

my god if you don't have an iced tea for me when i
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
#24
Having tweaked it a little (there were a few typos left from editing in the critiques) I have just sent off the query letter and synopsis to the first publisher on my list.

I'd be grateful if you could now hold critique until I receive their verdict, because it'll just make me horrendously insecure otherwise!

Thank you again for you help, and I'll be sure to update this thread with the publisher's judgement when it returns.

In the meantime, I'm very curious as to Smogon's interaction with publishers. I know Gabe has already said he's published, but surely there must be more on this site. I'd love to hear from you!