Monday, April 06, 2020

Feedback Request

The author of the book featured most recently here would like feedback on this new version of the query. My feedback, for what it's worth, is to consider removing everything I've colored red, adding or addressing the blue, and see if it reads better.

For millennia, magic has been the exclusive domain of a select group of men; stolen from witches, crafted into books, catalogued in a vast and ancient library, for these men alone to wield. In women, magic is raw and emotional; written down it is easy to control and pure in form. [But] All magic controlled by a few doesn’t sit well with everyone. To wrest control of the library, one of these desperate men [man], Matthew, will do anything, even give magic to a woman.

Alexandrea Hawthorne doesn’t know she’s that woman. A spell cast by her father left her unable to see, hear, or know magic. A recurring nightmare, a lost memory of Matthew murdering her parents, is her only warning of the incredible danger as Matthew demands her participation as his willing pawn. He believes she is the key to [cooperation in] freeing magic from the Library. He will use her to create his own book, containing all magic stolen from the library, a process she cannot [might not?] survive. 

Breaking the spell is the first trial she must endure; only then can she learn about magic. Once she knows magic is real and discovers her father and Matthew were collaborators, Alexandrea must decide: Did her father work with Matthew for his benefit or did he secretly want Alexandrea to keep the magic for herself?

Alexandrea does not know what her father intended for her. She only knows what she believes is right: She must return magic to women, even if Doing so will not only [might] pit her [Matthew] against [her] Matthew, but those men controlling the library. To succeed, she needs Matthew's [unwitting?] help, and for that, she must [convince]  make him believe she will help him in return. To negotiate the maze of dangers, Alexandrea must trust even those who seek to do her harm.

THE BOOKS OF ALEXANDREA, 125,000-word adult urban fantasy, unfolds in a contemporary world where few believe in magic. [In P.1 you say: All magic controlled by a few doesn’t sit well with everyone. Now you say few believe in magic. The "everyone" in the first paragraph suggests a lot of people, but there aren't a lot of people who believe in magic. Even women who call themselves witches doubt its existence. My book contains women of diverse backgrounds and orientations.

In 2019, I published A GOAT AND TEN COINS OF SILVER in World of Myth Magazine and GOODNIGHT in Exposition Review’s February Flash-405 Contest (republished in 2020).

Thank you for your time and consideration.


nadler369 said...

You've been a fantastic help. Thank you so much!

St0n3henge said...

I'm gonna have to cite you for improper use of a semicolon in the first sentence. Try to just make two sentences. Most people don't use them anymore anyway.

It's wordy, so it's hard to keep interest in the plot.
You say the word "magic" way too often.

Look for clunky or awkward sentence structure and change that. For instance "even if Doing so will not only..." You'd never talk this way. At least I hope you wouldn't.

Intesar Toufic said...

Sounds interesting, in the same way some countries can't acquire nuclear arms because it's been monopolized and banned.

I agree with the comment about it being clunky and wordy. Also, in the first paragraph, it's not clear whether Mathew wants to make magic available for everyone, or take it all for himself. So he's either a good or evil person, and defining this would sharpen the spear here.

Good luck.