SOLDIERS OF ALTRUISM: Literary Fiction

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Sadi
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SOLDIERS OF ALTRUISM: Literary Fiction

Post by Sadi » July 24th, 2012, 11:22 am

Dear Ms. agent,
When guns speak, morality is silent.
Taj is a cruel mercenary who believes that war is a way of life, and Arsh is another who is low on cruelty and other skills a mercenary need. The two are comrades stationed at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Taloqan, one of few cities in north of Afghanistan that is not in the hands of the Taliban and is ruled by clusters of warlords. When war has ceased in the winter of 1998, they sometimes travel to town to spend their nights with a sufi and a philosopher, filling nighttime with ripe words and wise debates. Their perspective is changed and they come to know life is worth much more than killing. Therefore they leave soldiering and return to Taj's hometown, which is ruled by several warlords who honor a peace agreement. They start a business and promise not to indulge in bloodshed again.
But things change when the peace agreement is broken and the town becomes a war theatre. Taj thinks if he uses his experience with savagery he could bring peace back to his hometown and live a meaningful life.
SOLDIERS OF ALTRUISM, complete at 65,000 words, is a literary novel of two mercenaries who want freedom from the chains of war.
I work for the Afghan Civil Service Institute, providing writing and editing services and live in Kabul, Afghanistan. The current is my first novel. Thank you very much for your consideration!
Respectfully,

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klbritt
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Re: SOLDIERS OF ALTRUISM: Literary Fiction

Post by klbritt » July 24th, 2012, 12:41 pm

I read your excerpt and overlooking the typos, etc. I did enjoy what I read. So when I saw your query, I thought that, even though I'm better at grammatical correction, I'd make some suggestions. My thoughts/additions are in blue and what I think should be deleted is in red.


Dear Ms. agent,

When guns speak, morality is silent. I like this line, but not sure if it's the right place for it. Could it be that Taj believes this? If so, could you move it to the next paragrah? See below:

Taj is a cruel [what has made him cruel? Perhaps you could expand upon this.] mercenary who has grown to believes that war is a way of life and that when guns speak, morality is silent., and Arsh is another who is low on cruelty and other skills a mercenary needs. [This sentence about Arsh needs more development.] Taj and Arsh develop a camaraderie while they are The two are comrades stationed at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Taloqan, one of few cities in north of Afghanistan that is not in the hands of the Taliban. and is ruled by clusters of warlords.

New paragraph?
When war has ceased in the winter of 1998, they sometimes travel to town to spend their nights with a sufi and a philosopher, filling nighttime with ripe words and wise debates. Their perspective is changed and they come to know life is worth much more than killing. Therefore they leave soldiering and return to Taj's hometown, which is ruled by several warlords who honor a peace agreement. They start a business and promise not to indulge in bloodshed again. [This whole paragraph should be reworded, the flow is poor. Try:]

Taj and Arsh leave soldiering after the war ceases in the winter of 1998. They return to Taj's hometown which is ruled by several warlords who have promised to keep a peace agreement. Taj and Arsh spend their nights with a sufi and a philosopher, filling them with ripe words and wise debates. Over the course of [how long?], they come to know life is much more than killing. But things change when the peace agreement is broken [by who?] and the town becomes a war theatre [what's a war theatre? Maybe it's just me, but I' don't know...]. Taj soon believes that the only way to bring peace back to his hometown is to become the cruel mercenary he once was.thinks if he uses his experience with savagery he could bring peace back to his hometown and live a meaningful life.

SOLDIERS OF ALTRUISM, complete at 65,000 words, is a literary novel complete at 65,000 words. of two mercenaries who want freedom from the chains of war. I work for the Afghan Civil Service Institute, providing writing and editing services and live in Kabul, Afghanistan. This The current is my first novel. Thank you very much for your consideration.!

Sincerely, Respectfully,

****
Hope I've helped some,
~Kristie
~Kristie

-: Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read - Groucho Marx :-

http://www.BKRivers.blogspot.com

Sadi
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Re: SOLDIERS OF ALTRUISM: Literary Fiction

Post by Sadi » July 25th, 2012, 10:25 am

Here's another stab.

Dear Ms. Agent,
Taj is a professional mercenary who has grown to believe that war is a way of life, and Arsh is another who has recently joined the profession. Taj and Arsh develop camaraderie while they are at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Taloqan, one of few cities in the north of Afghanistan that is not in the hands of the Taliban.

They leave soldiering after the war ceases in the winter of 1998 and return to Taj's hometown which is ruled by several warlords who have promised to keep a peace agreement. Taj and Arsh spend their nights with a sufi and a philosopher, filling them with ripe words and wise debates. Over the course of a season they come to know life is much more than killing and promise not to indulge in bloodshed again. But things change when the peace agreement is broken by a lord who goes to war against his rivals. As a result businesses stop and the small bazaar in town becomes a war theatre. Taj soon believes that the only way to bring peace back to his hometown is to become the cruel mercenary he once was.

A SKY OF STARS is a literary fiction, complete at 65,000 words, of two mercenaries who want freedom from the chains of war.
This is my first novel. Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,
Sa’di Sahar

Sadi
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Re: SOLDIERS OF ALTRUISM: Literary Fiction

Post by Sadi » July 25th, 2012, 10:26 am

Here's another stab.

Dear Ms. Agent,
Taj is a professional mercenary who has grown to believe that war is a way of life, and Arsh is another who has recently joined the profession. Taj and Arsh develop camaraderie while they are at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Taloqan, one of few cities in the north of Afghanistan that is not in the hands of the Taliban.

They leave soldiering after the war ceases in the winter of 1998 and return to Taj's hometown which is ruled by several warlords who have promised to keep a peace agreement. Taj and Arsh spend their nights with a sufi and a philosopher, filling them with ripe words and wise debates. Over the course of a season they come to know life is much more than killing and promise not to indulge in bloodshed again. But things change when the peace agreement is broken by a lord who goes to war against his rivals. The war goes on for days, all businesses stop, the small bazaar in town becomes a war theater, and gunfire becomes the only mark of life. Taj soon believes that the only way to bring peace back to his hometown is to become the cruel mercenary he once was and lead a bunch of fighters.

A SKY OF STARS is a literary fiction, complete at 65,000 words, of two mercenaries who want freedom from the chains of war.
This is my first novel. Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,

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Shipple
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Re: SOLDIERS OF ALTRUISM: Literary Fiction

Post by Shipple » July 25th, 2012, 7:24 pm

Sadi wrote:Dear Ms. agent,
When guns speak, morality is silent. This line feels sort of out of nowhere. We don't yet have any feel for what your book is about.
Taj is a cruel mercenary who believes that war is a way of life, and Arsh is another who is low on cruelty and other skills a mercenary need. Another what? "Low on cruelty" is an odd phrase. I think you mean Arsh is kind, but I'm not sure.The two are comrades stationed at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Taloqan, one of few cities in north of Afghanistan that is not in the hands of the Taliban and is ruled by clusters of warlords. When war has ceased in the winter of 1998, they sometimes travel to town to spend their nights with a sufi and a philosopher, filling nighttime with ripe words and wise debates. ripe words? Again, uncertain of your meaning.Their perspective is changed and they come to know life is worth much more than killing. Therefore they leave soldiering and return to Taj's hometown, which is ruled by several warlords who honor a peace agreement. They start a business and promise not to indulge in bloodshed again. So I know I'm a bit picky with my words, but were they really indulging in bloodshed? I indulge in chocolate. I just feel it's not a strong enough word (feel free to disagree, though).
But things change when the peace agreement is broken and the town becomes a war theatre. Taj thinks if he uses his experience with savagery he could bring peace back to his hometown and live a meaningful life.
SOLDIERS OF ALTRUISM, complete at 65,000 words, is a literary novel of two mercenaries who want freedom from the chains of war.
I work for the Afghan Civil Service Institute, providing writing and editing services and live in Kabul, Afghanistan. The current is my first novel. Thank you very much for your consideration!
Respectfully,
It sounds like you could have a very compelling story here. From your (very relevant and helpful) bio, I can believe you know a lot about this type of world and that you could probably do it justice (far more so than us at home). I think you do have a moving plot. I just think you ought to watch your word choice. Sometimes the short, easy words are the most moving because they keep the person in the reality you've created. Odd phrases can pull a person out of your world (or even just your plot line) and make them think "What?" or "Huh. That's weird choice."
"Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." - J.K. Rowling (an awesome opening line)
Me: http://sarahhipple.blogspot.com/ and http://shipple.tumblr.com/

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Shipple
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Re: SOLDIERS OF ALTRUISM: Literary Fiction

Post by Shipple » July 25th, 2012, 8:18 pm

So I've just noticed your revised query, and, congratulations, it's a big improvement. (I do still have an issue with "ripe words" but perhaps that means something to people in Afghanistan?)

However, I disagree with one part of the Kristie's comment. An agent wants to know if you are in a unique position to be able to better tell this tale than anyone else. You have experience in Afghanistan. That is relevant to you being able to create a more believable and true to life story. I'd keep it in.
"Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." - J.K. Rowling (an awesome opening line)
Me: http://sarahhipple.blogspot.com/ and http://shipple.tumblr.com/

Sadi
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Re: SOLDIERS OF ALTRUISM: Literary Fiction

Post by Sadi » July 26th, 2012, 3:20 am

Dear Ms. Agent,
Taj is a professional mercenary who has grown to believe that war is a way of life, and Sarv is another mercenary who has recently joined the profession. Taj and Sarv develop camaraderie while they are at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Taloqan, one of few cities in the north of Afghanistan that is not in the hands of the Taliban.

They leave soldiering after the war ceases in the winter of 1998 and return to Taj's hometown which is ruled by several warlords who have promised to keep a peace agreement. Taj and Sarv spend their nights with a sufi and a philosopher, filling them with wise words and good debates. Over the course of a season they come to know life is much more than killing and promise not to indulge in bloodshed again. But things change when the peace agreement is broken by a warlord who goes to war against his rivals. As war continues businesses stop, the small bazaar in town becomes a war theatre, and gunfire come to be the only mark of life. Taj soon believes that the only way to bring peace back to his hometown is to become the cruel mercenary he once was.

A SKY OF STARS is a literary fiction, complete at 65,000 words, of two mercenaries who want freedom from the chains of war.
This is my first novel. Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,

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Shipple
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Re: SOLDIERS OF ALTRUISM: Literary Fiction

Post by Shipple » July 26th, 2012, 8:58 pm

Sadi wrote:Dear Ms. Agent,
Taj is a professional mercenary who has grown to believe that war is a way of life, and Sarv is another mercenary who has recently joined the profession. Taj and Sarv develop camaraderie while they are at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Taloqan, one of few cities in the north of northern Afghanistan that is not in the hands of the Taliban.

They leave soldiering after the war ceases in the winter of 1998 and return to Taj's hometown which is ruled by several warlords who have promised to keep a peace agreement. Taj and Sarv spend their nights with a sufi I personally don't know what a sufi is and a philosopher, filling them to me "filling them" sounds like they're eating foodwith wise words and good debates. Over the course of a season they come to know life is much more than killing and promise not to indulge in bloodshed again. But things change when the peace agreement is broken by a warlord who goes to war against his rivals. As war continues, businesses stop, the small bazaar in town becomes a war theatre, and gunfire come to be the only mark of life. Tajsoon believes realizesthat the only way to bring peace back to his hometown is to become the cruel mercenary he once was.

A SKY OF STARS is a literary fiction novel, complete at 65,000 words,. It tells the tale of two mercenaries who want freedom from the chains of war.
This is my first novel. Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,
This is a huge improvement! I'm really just nitpicking here, and, obviously, these are only suggestions. I think this is much more promising, although I'd definitely still include the fact that you live in Afganistan in your query. I still think it's very relevant.
"Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." - J.K. Rowling (an awesome opening line)
Me: http://sarahhipple.blogspot.com/ and http://shipple.tumblr.com/

Sadi
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Re: SOLDIERS OF ALTRUISM: Literary Fiction

Post by Sadi » July 27th, 2012, 3:42 am

Is this an improvement?


Dear Ms. agent,
Wars are fought to bring about peace.
When professional mercenary Taj befriends an ascetic and a philosopher he comes to know life is worth much more than killing.
He leaves soldiering and returns to his hometown, promising not to indulge in bloodshed again. But things change when a civil war erupts and gunfire becomes the only mark of life in town, stopping all business and transforming it into war theatre. Taj soon believes that the only way to bring peace back to his hometown is to become the cruel mercenary he once was.

A SKY OF STARS is a literary fiction, complete at 65,000 words, of a mercenary who want freedom from the chains of war.
This is my first novel. Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,
Sa’di Sahar

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