danielsmi wrote:The feedback about the treasure is insightful.
Here it its,the word perfect is a double entendre. It is the 'Perfect' treasure because a cathar holy person is called a 'Parfait' or 'Perfect'.
The whole twist to the book, (and factual history) is that the young woman herself turns out to be the treasure. I did not want to blatantly put that in the query. From the feedback maybe it is necessary. It is like putting the answer to a mystery or the Da Vince Code in the query.
Either way I am happy to take title suggestions as they are just for pitch. I am not married to it. It used to be 'Cameron Kincaid and the Treasure of the Cathar' and it could easily be the 'The Cathari Treasure' . I thought it was clever to use the double entendre as one of my research books about the 13th crusade was called 'The Perfect Heresy'. I understand that editors and publishers often change the title before publishing.
Good catch on propitious and flight. The dictionary definition of flight - noun - the action of fleeing or attempting to escape
I guess I can dumb it down and change it if you think it will confuse a 'literary' agent.
That's a very interesting reason to use the word "Perfect." I'm not opposed to you using it if you convey this double entendre in the work itself. You can't expect me to know this--I haven't thoroughly studied religion or cathars. I'm not sure how many of the agents you may seek representation from are going to know the intricacies of the topic that well, either.
I'm not saying that they're stupid by any means, but sometimes it's nice to have a little explanation for specifics like this. I don't think I'd expect an English major to know the latest news in Psychology or Mathematics. I wouldn't want to go into great detail, but a little sentence of explanation so they don't feel disconnected might be appreciated.
As you've pointed out, I'm not an expert, and you're free to take my suggestions with a grain of salt. I do really think that 'The Cathari Teasure' is more appealing, though. I think it's really good and has a nice ring to it.
It's an interesting twist that the woman turns out to be the treasure. Now that I know that, I would agree with you: I wouldn't put it blatantly into the query, either. I would, however, hint at it. Perhaps a line like, "they ladies know it's not a location, but a person." Then who
the person is becomes the mystery--maybe it's Cameron, maybe it's one of the ladies.
I do realize you can use the word "flight" can mean escape or running from someone. However, the way you used it made me think
more of a plane ride. Cameron escorts them on a flight just implies a plane ride to me. Maybe I'm the only one of this opinion, but that's the visual I got from your line. If you don't care, that's fine--if you think maybe you could reword or change escort or flight to make the sentence stronger, then I'm glad I could help you think a bit more deeply on your word choice.
I never suggested that you needed to dumb it down. Maybe the confusion comes from how you use words and the words that you've chosen, not so much the intelligence level of those reading your query.
danielsmi wrote:I do want to mention as well, particularly to D.S. Deshaw that a I am looking for a suggestive critic and a bit of professionalism. I know this public forum is far from my grad school critiques, still there is nothing beneficial with using sentiments like, pompous, boring, typical, cliche, bragging..etc. I can really use some constructive criticism that is well thought out. I assure you that if an agent at your education level decides to pass, I would be fine. A suggestion would be to only comment on the parts you are knowledgable otherwise you put your foot into your mouth. Also, if you are going to correct usage or grammar, please use a dictionary first.
So, in short, please play nice or don't play at all.
I'm sorry that I didn't come across constructive. I'm also not a grad student--nor a professional by any standards (unless I can be a professional student)--so I'm not quite sure how I would be able to efficiently critique you as if I was. I suppose if you were looking for that kind of feedback, you might want to try hiring an editor or an agent to look over your material instead.
I'm also not randomly pulling words out of a dictionary to be unprofessional or unhelpful in any way. It's a bit insulting that you'd think I wasn't thinking through my suggestions. I'm also a little insulted that you'd try to imply that I'm not smart enough to give you an opinion. Again, if you're looking for a certain kind of person to critique your work who is at your level, you should perhaps go somewhere else. Although there are a great many qualified people here who have great ideas and great critiques, we're writers critiquing writers. If you're going to discredit our opinions--or my opinions--simply because you think you're smarter, then I have no idea why you posted your query publically at all...
My point in posing the questions that I did, in calling your word choice and phrasing pompous, was to show you how your query might be perceived. I'm not sure you want this kind of perception. To me, you're coming across very arrogant in your query but if that's the effect that you're going for, then you've got it nailed.
I think your story has potential. I like the idea of using history like that. I just don't think right now that your query is doing your story any justice. This is why I've called it boring, typical, and cliché. I'm sure your story is different, but I need to know how it's different from your query.
My intentions for your query and your novel are all the best. If you think I'm not smart enough to help you then I'll humbly back away from the thread :)
I also appreciated your comment on my blog. I think you might benefit from reading this post
by Miriam Goderich of Dystel & Goderich Literary Agency about critiques.