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My fall is a short one. I only roll down what feel to be three or four steps. In the process of falling, I drop my flashlight and end up with my feet and legs dangling over my head. Suddenly, without warning of any kind, something warm, wet and slimy starts squirming over my face, making it difficult to breathe. I reach out to try and tear it away from my face. All of a sudden, while I am trying to get whatever it is away from my face, I snatch a handful of fur, and a choke chain collar. “ Thumper ?” I whisper questioningly. I then hear a whimper and then a resounding “Ruff”. By now I’ve been able to regain my footing and can barely see the light of my flashlight about twenty feet from me. I retrieve my flashlight and start looking around the cave. I glance back towards the entrance and notice a shimmer every so often. I think that there must have been some sort of camouflage covering the entrance. I turn back and start down the tunnel. My flashlight plays over the walls of the cave. They look as if they have been sanded smooth as a baby’s bottom, and the deepest color black I have ever seen. Surely this isn’t a natural phenomenon? Unpredictably I come upon what seem to be tables mounted to the walls. Adjacent to the tables is what appear to be swivel type chairs. The light hits one particular chair that has what’s left of a body in it. The body has been there for what looks to me a number of years. Not withstanding the fact that the uniform contains basically a skeleton, there is a considerable amount of dust and dirt on the uniform, as well as the surfaces of the tables or counters, and the floor itself.
The Current Title – How catchy is it? How well does it convey the information in the manuscript?
by Barclay Berg
This title is catchy, and it conveys the information in the manuscript. This is a terrific title, and it will draw your potential readers in. I like this choice for a title.
The Current Synopsis – How catchy is it? Does it intrigue?
The current synopsis is catchy, intriguing, but short.
The synopsis is the first item that a book publisher reads. It must grab their attention. Add more details about the plot and/or events.
Remember you must engage an agent or would-be publisher and leaving him or her virtually breathless with anticipation to begin reading your manuscript. The synopsis is supposed to accomplish this. The synopsis must be written in such a way, that the editor will feel as if they absolutely have to read this manuscript.
Aside from being free of typographical and grammatical errors, a good synopsis should aspire to be much more than a mere rendition of events or a chronology. It should give the reader a sense of why events occur as they do and of who the players are, also show him or her how the pieces of your story connect.
How can you make your synopsis unique, exciting? Start with the main character and his or her crisis. Include snippets of dialogue or quote briefly from the novel itself. Don't neglect to reveal the character's emotions and motivations, those points that explain why a character does something, but keep it brief. If the setting is exotic, inject a taste of it into the synopsis with a brief paragraph. This includes any background information that is absolutely necessary for the reader to understand the story. Build excitement as you near the conclusion of the story summary by using shorter sentences and paragraphs. The synopsis is a sample of your writing; it is a taste of what reading the actual novel will be like, so give it your all.
A synopsis is usually at least one page in length.
The Current Length of the Work – Is it appropriate for the target market?
The current length of this work is around 78,960 words.
The target market is for Teenage and older
I do agree with this target market. I feel that the ages can be seventeen and over.
The current length is appropriate for a novel length manuscript.
What is the power of the opening 3-5 sentences?
We made pretty good time on the first leg of this journey. It’s been
a long ride out of Phoenix but not half as long as the ride we have ahead
of us. The sign says there is an exit a mile ahead. From the looks of
things, we might just find a spot off the road where we can pull over
without getting rousted by local law enforcement. I think I’ll head
towards those hills in the distance.
These sentences are powerful. They set the tone. This is an excellent beginning, and these sentences will grab the attention of your readers.
Dialogue (if any) – Describe and comment.
The dialogue is easy to understand and follow. The readers will appreciate the ease with which this may be read. Nice work. Each scene transitions smoothly into the next because of this dialogue.
As I think you already quite well understand (from what I’ve seen in your manuscript), Always keep in mind that dialogue is an excellent way to convey character. The more you can “show” someone through dialogue (both external and internal), gestures and action, the less you have to “tell” your reader (I. e., narration). “Telling” doesn’t directly involve your reader; “showing” does. And to write a successful story, you have to involve your reader! Nice work.
Maybe there are sensors for movement or body heat or something,
I think to myself. I stop in front of the door and wave my hand; then I
touch the door; finally I just say “Open Sesame”. Nothing happens.
“That is not a command that I recognize” I hear from out of the
blue, causing me to practically jump out of my skin.
“Who the hell are you, and where are you?” I query.
“I am a model AI4757N0A. You may simply refer to me as
‘Noah’. As to where I am, I am available at 147 locations at this planet side
installation. Now how may I be of service?”
“Noah is it? I have a few questions for you. First, what shape is
the Aurora in?”
The dialogue is fine. It sounds natural and appropriate to your characters.
Mechanics – Grammar:
Nice work. The editors will be pleased.
Mechanics – Spelling:
franticly Spell as frantically. (page 171)
shinning Spell as shining. (page 177)
loosing This can be spelled as losing.
looses This can be spelled as loses.
Mechanics – Punctuation:
up" Place a comma after this word. (page 2)
"Thumper" See above. (page 2)
boy" See above. (page 2)
minutes" See above. (page 8)
approval" See above. (page 8)
Sir". Place the period inside of the quotes. (page 8)
When using quotation marks, the ending punctuation marks are placed inside of the quotation marks. Proofread for this throughout.
Mechanics – Formatting:
You obviously understand the requirement of paragraph breaks every time you change speakers in a dialogue – and (as a courtesy to your reader) once again to break up larger bits of information into more manageable sizes. Thank you for doing your homework concerning paragraph usage.
When submitting a manuscript to an editor for corrections or suggestions, Times New Roman size 12 is usually used.
Double space all lines.
As a side note...
New chapters should begin on a new page.
Each page, except the title page, should have a header with title, author, and page number. LAST NAME/Title in the left hand corner, page number in the right hand corner.
Margins should be a minimum of 1 inch on all four sides. (My personal preference is 1 inch – top, right, and bottom – 1.25 inches for left margin).
In the center of the title page should be the title in all caps, underneath is ‘by’ space ‘author’s name’
Is there a need for illustrations? (Children’s, non-fiction, etc.)
I feel that illustrations are not needed for this young adult/adult fiction manuscript. The text provides a clear image of characters, settings, and events. Nice work. The imagery is fantastic.
Other / Conclusion
I believe you can turn this into a marketable story. It has all of the necessary elements: good characterization; interesting (and well-described) settings; and authentic-sounding dialogue.
This is a good piece of work and I can see it becoming great. The characters are strong and I like the plot. I am impressed so far. I sincerely wish you luck with this endeavor. Your agency will of course want the work to be great, and I hope you find the time and energy to make it so.
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