Sol of a Gladiator - Query VERSION 3

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adamg73
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Sol of a Gladiator - Query VERSION 3

Post by adamg73 » July 29th, 2010, 7:06 pm

***THIRD DRAFT ON SECOND PAGE

Ok, let's give this a shot. Let me know what you think. Thanks for the help!

Dear PROPERLY SPELL AGENT NAME,

For the average person, living their entire life in a single building might seem an absurd impossibility. For Sol it seems a fate impossible to avoid. Born in the depths of the great Coliseum of Astrolia, Sol is raised by a makeshift family of guards and fellow slaves to become the most famed gladiator in all the empire. With his giant fury fighting partner, Sol must battle cunning gladiators and fantastic beasts in order to stay alive.

When a captured daughter of the Resistance is forced into his cell as a prize, her words force Sol to reconsider the fate he’s been raised to accept. Meanwhile, outside the stadium Sol’s growing fame transforms him into a revolutionary folk hero and the Empire decides that the fighter must fall. With Astrolia’s most ruthless assassin tasked to take him down, Sol’s only hope is to rely on friends new and old in order to do what no slave has ever done, escape from the coliseum and the only home he’s ever known.

Complete at 83,200 words, Sol of a Gladiator is an action packed fantasy that explores the meaning of freedom and what it is to lose it. I am submitting this novel to your for consideration because PERSONALIZE 1 OR 2 SENTENCE REASON.
Last edited by adamg73 on August 17th, 2010, 4:42 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Sol of a Gladiator - Query

Post by Krista G. » July 29th, 2010, 7:53 pm

adamg73 wrote:Dear PROPERLY SPELL AGENT NAME,

For the average person, living their entire life in a single building might seem an absurd impossibility. The wording here is a little awkward. Also, something about the tone of this makes me think we're getting a possibly futuristic tale about a guy living in a glass bubble (or something). But then we don't. For Sol it seems a fate impossible to avoid. Born in the depths of the great Coliseum of Astrolia, Sol is raised by a makeshift family of guards and fellow slaves to become the most famed gladiator in all the empire. With his giant fury fighting partner (Do you mean a literal Greek-mythology-style fury? If so, you might want to clarify; if not, you might want to reword this), Sol must battle cunning gladiators and fantastic beasts in order to stay alive.

When a captured daughter of the Resistance is forced into his cell as a prize, her words force Sol to reconsider the fate he’s been raised to accept. What is "the fate he's been raised to accept"? Meanwhile, outside the stadium Sol’s growing fame transforms him into a revolutionary folk hero (I'd add a comma here) and the Empire decides that the fighter must fall. With Astrolia’s most ruthless assassin tasked to take him down, Sol’s only hope is to rely on friends new and old in order to do what no slave has ever done, (I think you need stronger punctuation here, a colon or a long dash) escape from the coliseum and the only home he’s ever known. I'd like to know a bit more about this assassin. Is Sol slated to face him in the arena? Is he trying to sneak into the coliseum and kill Sol underground?

Complete at 83,200 words (Round this word count to the nearest thousand), Sol of a Gladiator (And put this title in all caps) is an action packed fantasy that explores the meaning of freedom and what it is to lose it. I'm not wild about the last bit. Phrases like "that explores the meaning of freedom and what it is to lose it" often sound a little vacuous in a query. You could probably just strike the phrase altogether and not lose anything. I am submitting this novel to your for consideration because PERSONALIZE 1 OR 2 SENTENCE REASON.
I love the idea of combining fantasy with ancient Rome. If you smooth this out a little more and maybe add a few more plot-specific details, I think this could really work. Good luck.
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Re: Sol of a Gladiator - Query

Post by Meredith » July 29th, 2010, 9:02 pm

Okay, I'll be honest. My first reaction was Spartacus! I think you definitely want to add some details to this query to make me not think that.
adamg73 wrote:Ok, let's give this a shot. Let me know what you think. Thanks for the help!

Dear PROPERLY SPELL AGENT NAME,

For the average person, living their entire life in a single building might seem an absurd impossibility. For Sol it seems a fate impossible to avoid. Delete the first two sentences. Born in the depths of the great Coliseum of Astrolia, Sol is raised by a makeshift family of guards and fellow slaves to become the most famed gladiator in all the empire. With his giant fury do you mean furry? If he has an animal or animal-like partner, this is a good detail to take me away from the image of Kirk Douglas as Spartacus. fighting partner, Sol must battle cunning gladiators and fantastic beasts in order to stay alive.

When a captured daughter of the Resistance is forced into his cell as a prize, her words force Sol to reconsider the fate he’s been raised to accept. Meanwhile, outside the stadium Sol’s growing fame transforms him into a revolutionary folk hero why has he become a fold hero of the revolution? What did he do to cause that? Did he make a choice that drew the Empire's ire? Or did circumstances just make him a victim? and the Empire decides that the fighter must fall. With Astrolia’s most ruthless assassin tasked to take him down, Sol’s only hope is to rely on friends new and old in order to do what no slave has ever done, escape from the coliseum and the only home he’s ever known.

Complete at 83,200 words, Sol of a Gladiator is an action packed fantasy that explores the meaning of freedom and what it is to lose it. I agree, just give the title (in all caps) and the word count (rounded to the nearest thousand). Leave the theme out. I am submitting this novel to your for consideration because PERSONALIZE 1 OR 2 SENTENCE REASON.
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Re: Sol of a Gladiator - Query

Post by Emily J » July 30th, 2010, 9:56 am

adamg73 wrote:Ok, let's give this a shot. Let me know what you think. Thanks for the help!

Dear PROPERLY SPELL AGENT NAME,

For the average person, living their entire life in a single building might seem an absurd impossibility. start at the specifics, start with Sol, don't start at generalities, also the construction isn't grammatically correct, a singular subject vs. a plural pronoun, it's a common error For Sol it seems a fate impossible to avoid. the next sentence is where your story actually starts --> Born in the depths of the great Coliseum of Astrolia, Astrolia is a proper noun not given any context , Astrolia could be a town, city, country, world, or a dude Sol is raised by a makeshift family of guards and fellow slaves to become the most famed gladiator in all the empire. With his giant fury like someone else pointed out, at first I thought this was furry, this needs to be explained fighting partner, Sol must battle cunning gladiators and fantastic beasts what type of beasts? in order to stay alive. but also for someone's amusement right? the people of Astrolia maybe?

When a captured daughter a bit awkward of the Resistance what/who are they resisting? is forced into his cell as a prize, her words what words?? force Sol to reconsider the fate he’s been raised to accept. Meanwhile, ack avoid meanwhile at all costs! please!i think queryshark has a rant about this word outside the stadium comma needed here as well Sol’s growing fame transforms him into a revolutionary folk hero a man they call Jayne?? ahem... sorry and the Empire what Empire? this is beginning to sound a bit like Star Wars decides that the fighter must fall. With Astrolia’s most ruthless assassin tasked to take him down, Sol’s only hope ahem, star wars? is to rely on friends new and old in order to do what no slave has ever done, agree with Krista G. this should be a colon escape from the coliseum and the only home he’s ever known.

Complete at 83,200 words, Sol of a Gladiator title in all caps, also Sol of a Gladiator sounds a bit awkward, Sol of the Gladiators? not sure I can do any better... is an action packed action packed is cliched fantasy that show don't tell what a novel is about, and don't point out themes like sign posts, please cut this --> explores the meaning of freedom and what it is to lose it. I am submitting this novel to your for consideration because PERSONALIZE 1 OR 2 SENTENCE REASON.
I feel like I'm becoming a broken record around this place, but I have to say, please add more specifics. What is the Empire? What is Astrolia? What is the fury? What is the Resistance/ Who are they resisting? The basics are all there, it's like the outline is done but you need to go back and fill in the interesting details that make your story unique.

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Re: Sol of a Gladiator - Query

Post by J. T. SHEA » July 30th, 2010, 10:24 am

SPARTACUS indeed! Also GLADIATOR, ROLLERBALL, THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE and various B-movies. But that's not necessarily a problem if you can differentiate your story a bit more in the query. It's already one of the most intriguing queries I've read on these Bransforums.

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Re: Sol of a Gladiator - Query

Post by adamg73 » July 30th, 2010, 12:44 pm

Thank you for the comments thus far. You've given me a lot to think about already. Oh...it was supposed to be furry.

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Re: Sol of a Gladiator - Query

Post by Leonidas » July 30th, 2010, 2:19 pm

After reading this query, I still don't really get a sense of the world that it's based in. As far as I know, it could be set in Ancient Rome with new names and some weird, mysterious creatures. I'm a history nerd (if the username didn't tell you that), so I enjoy reading historical novels, and I also enjoy historical novels. I'm just not sure what I'd be getting more of with this query, and that's the main problem for me. In order for me to suspend my disbelief, I need to know and understand the rules of the world, but all I know right now is that Sol's a gladiator who fights in the Coliseum of Astrolia, wherever and whatever this is.

I think your story really starts when the daughter of the Resistance (we don't know what/who the Resistance is, but I'm assuming it's more of a movement, so I'm somewhat confused on the use of "daughter") convinces him that there might be something more than fighting for his life everyday. Maybe you should literally start the query with her words, and move from there; I know that I'd find that more of an interesting beginning than what you have right now.

Good luck and keep trying!

(Hope this was helpful. :))

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Re: Sol of a Gladiator - Query

Post by mfreivald » July 31st, 2010, 10:33 pm

I don't have much to add that hasn't been said, but here's a few thoughts.

First, saying "building" at the beginning confused me because I don't think of the coliseum as a mere building.

Second, if you are presenting this as fantasy, I think you need to highlight something about the fantasy world that makes it fantasy. I don't see anything that appears to be fantasy in the query.

Third, I think you need to focus on a particular problem, and raise a question in the query for you to follow through with rising tension. I'm not sure if the main focus should be on the girl, freedom, the assassin, or the Resistance. Each mention of these should stretch the tension of that one question. (Caveat: I'm barely a baby a this, so the third point here is an expression of an early, formative opinion.)

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Re: REVISED Sol of a Gladiator - Query

Post by adamg73 » August 2nd, 2010, 12:52 pm

Thank you for all of the feedback. Here is my second attempt:

Dear PROPERLY SPELL AGENT NAME,

Born in the depths of the Coliseum in the heart of the tyrannical Astrolian Empire, Sol is raised by a makeshift family of guards and fellow slaves to become the most famed gladiator in all the land. With his Frorian fighting partner, a giant beast-man from the frozen south, Sol must battle cunning warriors and fantastic monsters to delight the crowd and stay alive.

When a captured member of the Resistance is forced into his cell as a prize, her words of defiance force Sol to question his fate as a slave. Outside the stadium, an unknown bard’s tales transform Sol into a revolutionary folk hero and the Empire decides that the fighter must fall. Astrolia’s most ruthless assassin is tasked with Sol’s vilification and eventual demise. Sol’s only hope is to rely on friends new and old in order to do what no slave has ever done: escape from the coliseum and the only home he’s ever known.

SOL OF A GLADIATOR is fantasy novel complete at 83,000 words. I am submitting this novel to you for consideration because PERSONALIZE 1 OR 2 SENTENCE REASON.

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Re: REVISED Sol of a Gladiator - Query

Post by Emily J » August 2nd, 2010, 4:20 pm

adamg73 wrote:Thank you for all of the feedback. Here is my second attempt:

Dear PROPERLY SPELL AGENT NAME,

Born in the depths of the Coliseum in the heart of the tyrannical Astrolian Empire, this isn't bad, and it is grammatically correct, but starting the first sentence with such a long subordinate clause isn't a dynamic way to start, I think your query could use an attention grabbing hook Sol is raised by a makeshift family of guards and fellow slaves to become the most famed gladiator in all the land. With his Frorian without an explanation of "Frorian" i think it reads better without - "With his fighting partner,..." fighting partner, a giant beast-man what sort of beast-man? is he part panther? from the frozen south, Sol must battle cunning warriors and fantastic monsters to delight the crowd and stay alive.

When a captured member of the Resistance is forced into his cell as a prize, her words of defiance force Sol to question his fate as a slave. these sentences could be linked better Outside the stadium, an unknown bard’s tales transform Sol into a revolutionary folk hero and the Empire decides that the fighter must fall. <-- perhaps explain that Astrolia sees him as a threat now? Astrolia’s most ruthless assassin is tasked with Sol’s vilification and eventual demise. Sol’s only hope is to rely on friends new and old in order to do what no slave has ever done: escape from the coliseum and the only home he’s ever known. <-- good ending

SOL OF A GLADIATOR i get it now, this is a pun eh? still feels a bit awkward to me is fantasy novel complete at 83,000 words. I am submitting this novel to you for consideration because PERSONALIZE 1 OR 2 SENTENCE REASON.
This isn't bad. You definitely accomplish the task of concisely describing the plot of your novel. My suggestions are more about finesse than anything else.

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Re: Sol of a Gladiator - Query VERSION 3

Post by adamg73 » August 17th, 2010, 2:35 pm

Ok, I've made some revisions and I would very much appreciate some more feedback. Thanks a bunch!

Dear PROPERLY SPELL AGENT NAME,

In the heart of the tyrannical Astrolian Empire, deep in the bowels of the Coliseum, the orphan Sol is raised by a makeshift family of guards and fellow slaves to become the most famed gladiator in all the land. With his fighting partner, a giant beast-man from the frozen south, Sol must battle cunning warriors and fantastic beasts to delight the crowd and stay alive.

When a captured member of the Resistance is forced into his cell as a prize, her words of defiance compel Sol to question his fate as a slave. Outside the stadium, an unknown bard’s tales transform Sol into a revolutionary folk hero and inspire an oppressed populace. The Empire decides that the fighter must fall and Astrolia’s most ruthless assassin is tasked with Sol’s vilification and eventual demise. Sol’s only hope is to rely on friends new and old in order to do what no slave has ever done: escape from the coliseum and the only home he’s ever known.

SOL OF A GLADIATOR is fantasy novel complete at 83,000 words. I am submitting this novel to you for consideration because PERSONALIZE 1 OR 2 SENTENCE REASON.

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Re: Sol of a Gladiator - Query VERSION 3

Post by thewhipslip » August 27th, 2010, 1:18 pm

I like it, but I don't see how this is unique from any other gladiator story. You're probably going to need to differentiate from other stories using your character. Let him pull us to read the novel, i.e. try to infuse this with more of his voice.
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Re: Sol of a Gladiator - Query VERSION 3

Post by TigerGray » August 27th, 2010, 1:40 pm

adamg73 wrote:Ok, I've made some revisions and I would very much appreciate some more feedback. Thanks a bunch!

Dear PROPERLY SPELL AGENT NAME,

In the heart of the tyrannical Astrolian Empire, deep in the bowels of the Coliseum, the orphan Sol is raised by a makeshift family of guards and fellow slaves to become the most famed gladiator in all the land. With his fighting partner, a giant beast-man from the frozen south, Sol must battle cunning warriors and fantastic beasts to delight the crowd and stay alive.

You repeat the word beast. It's confusing because then I wonder if the beast-man and the beasts in the arena have some kind of relationship to one another.

When a captured member of the Resistance is forced into his cell as a prize, her words of defiance compel Sol to question his fate as a slave. Outside the stadium, an unknown bard’s tales transform Sol into a revolutionary folk hero and inspire an oppressed populace. The Empire decides that the fighter must fall and Astrolia’s most ruthless assassin is tasked with Sol’s vilification and eventual demise. Sol’s only hope is to rely on friends new and old in order to do what no slave has ever done: escape from the coliseum and the only home he’s ever known.

SOL OF A GLADIATOR is fantasy novel complete at 83,000 words. I am submitting this novel to you for consideration because PERSONALIZE 1 OR 2 SENTENCE REASON.
I like this! It excited me and I would read it.
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