Friday, May 3, 2013

Forging Fridays - Middles Matter

Today is our fifteenth Forging Fridays Query! Wow...fifteen, this year is flying by. Yay! We love volunteers! As stated before, I won't be revealing the identities of the volunteers for Forging Fridays unless otherwise requested. If you feel like unmasking yourselves in the comments, be my guest. But, I won't mention anyone by name.

Here is our next volunteer! *applause* *cheers* *confetti*

            ANCIENT GRAVITY, a contemporary young adult fantasy is complete at 107,000 words. I flinch at over 100k words, but I know in the fantasy area it is done, so if you're certain you've trimmed all the fat, then carry on. :)
            Being the center of a Mayan prophecy can be tricky, especially when you don’t know if you’re the good guy or the bad guy. Strong opening! My only concern here is that "if you're the good guy or the bad guy" weakens it a bit. I'd recommend finding a way to rephrase it.
            When Shea Chapman finally gives into temptation what temptation? What's tempting her about it? Give us a hint of who she is by showing her motivation here and trespasses onto the sacred Warrior Spires in the Black Hills of South Dakota, she crosses into an ancient land. So when you mention an ancient land and then this capitalized proper noun, I thought this was the name of the ancient land. I'd rework this and tell us a detail about the land. It's the setting and will matter. When you say ancient land, are we talking about Mayans again? Is this a time-travelling situation? We need more info here. Not necessarily all of it, but some of these questions should be answered. Kalem, a warrior who guards his tribe from the outside world, spares her life Why was he supposed to kill her?despite his honor bound oath.
            There is something beyond her interest in Kalem that pulls Shea into his forgotten world. She discovers that the thousand-year-old tribe living there is dying, and they’re desperate to restore the power that keeps them alive. If she can’t discover the truth of the prophecy before it falls into the wrong hands, then Kalem won’t be the only one who wants to steal her heart. . .  literally. You have a strong ending here, too, but in the middle we're straying a bit. 

Your first line and last line have great voice, everything in between falls a bit. I think this is because the motivations are missing for everything that happens. Why is she tempted? Tell us more about her. Why does he spare her? Tell us more about him. We know she has interest in him, but we don't know what it ties to--physical chemistry? Intense fascination with forgotten cultures? We don't know. Give us a closer look at your characters here and I think your voice will naturally come with that. This is a great and unique concept, you're only a couple steps away from a killer query! :) Good luck!

Okay, that's it for today and this query. Thank you so much for volunteering, oh mystery writer! :) I really hope this helped you. It takes guts to send in a query, to me or an agent. Go you! You have awesome guts! :)

So, what do you guys think? Agree or disagree with my assessments? Discuss! May we all be tougher and stronger thanks to our days in the fire.


  1. Oooh, fun concept! I'd read this! Love the comments, I learn so much from every one you critique. Thanks for doing this!

    1. No problem! Happy to hear each one helps. Thanks, Chris! :)