Empress Theresa - what do you do with unlimited power ? - Page 4


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Thread: Empress Theresa - what do you do with unlimited power ?

  1. #31
    This means forum members have no idea what the story is about or what the other elements of a story, tone, tension, conflict etc etc will be.
    Not true. When you send the first little bit of your story to an agent, that's exactly what you want to tell them - what the tone will be like, what the conflict will involve.

    Look at Tim Bowler's Blade books - the first one opens with a few pages about the character escaping from a police interview. It reveals a lot about his character, the tone of the book, and tells us this characer is the sort of person who gets into these sorts of situations. That's just a few pages.

    If your work doesn't do likewise, then you need to have a good look at it. The ball is in your court. How can you make that opening more exciting?
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  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by empresstheresa View Post
    What's wrong with the process is that nobody is going to put their entire novel on the internet free for anybody to read, because then no publishing house would touch it.
    So we only put a tiny excerpt on here, usually the opening pages. This means forum members have no idea what the story is about or what the other elements of a story, tone, tension, conflict etc etc will be. And so we get suggestions like the quote from post #7 above.
    This isn't true. There are plenty of ways to get your book critiqued without jeopardizing first publication rights. You can post it, section by section, in the Writer's Workshop here. That forum is available only to members and is not visible to search engines, so your work retains it's un-published status. You can also contact members via PM to ask them to consider reading and critiquing your book. As Foxee mentioned there are also pay sites available for this sort of thing.
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  3. #33
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    pickpocket,
    thank you for their comments. They are well thought out. They do discern some of my problems with ET.

    I have worried about this for a long time and considered my options.

    In The Hunger Games trilogy, the first book ends with END OF BOOK ONE !!!!!!

    I was quite surprised by this and a little angry that I would have to read more books to find out what happens to Katniss.
    Suzanne Collins had already published a series of books ( anybody remember their names? ) and so she could get a publisher interested in a trilogy. But how do you get the kids to read three books when teachers beg to class to read anything at all? I think the publishers realized that word of mouth would let the kids know the basic premise of the books before reading them, teenagers are chosen for an elimination by death mutual-murder contest in an arena. Who wouldn't raise their eyebrows on hearing that!

    The premise of Empress Theresa is a little more esoteric. Theresa acquires limitless power extending over the entire globe. Really? How? Why? What does she do?
    The premise is difficult to understand, and doesn't promise any excitement from dangerous situations so why should the kids read it?

    Actually, the book does have dangerous situations. Theresa is put into a jet fighter with an atom bomb, the purpose being to get rid of HAL, but Theresa has to be sacrificed. ( This project fails when Theresa escapes the plane. )
    Late in the book, Theresa walks out along on a large boulevard in the North Korean capitol city Pyongyang to stare down four million North Koreans who have been ordered to attack her and her South Korean army column. Will they attack, or will they disobey their leaders and free themselves?
    Also, Theresa is always under threat of assassination by any one of a thousand assassins for a thousand reasons. She survives a year at the millionaire's mansion near London because the Prime Minister has assigned five thousand British soldiers to the estate to guard her. And so on.

    The kids will know none of this ahead of time. It's doubtful they will begin reading a trilogy.

    Collins had the advantage of being able to divide her story into three parts.
    In book one, Katniss survives the Games.
    In book two, Katniss is sent back to the "Quarterly" Games and survives again.
    In book thres, she leads the rebels against the capitol
    This is all neatly managed.

    In Empress Theresa, over a dozen major situations follow one another with the logic and certainty of a row of falling dominoes. There is no point where I can say "OK, the story is over at this point. See book two for the further adventures of Super Theresa." No. It is all one interlocking continuum ( except for the North Korean adventure which is Theresa's own idea, but not enough material for a book ) For example: When OPEC puts the pressure on Theresa she tells her millionaire host, "You were right, Mr. Parker. I shouldn't have gotten involved in international politics." He replies, "I retract my former statement. It was inevitable somebody would go after your power with extortion no matter what you did or didn't do."

    So you can see my problems.
    Last edited by empresstheresa; November 28th, 2012 at 04:29 PM.

  4. #34
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    It's doubtful they will begin reading a trilogy.
    Why do you think this? If they're interested, they'll read the next book. It's not that much different from reading all of the first book, keeping the reader's interest is keeping the reader's interest no matter what genre, audience, or type of writing.

    I have a child reading YA books and I can tell you something, she loves a good series! I picked up the first in Margaret Peterson Haddix's Missing series. Neither of us knew who Haddix was or was familiar with the series, it just looked interesting. Guess who's had to drive back to the library for every subsequent book? Then my daughter was delighted to find out that Haddix had written a different series, now she's reading that one. Same with the Michael Vey series, she wants the next book for Christmas.

    If your manuscript is too long to be one YA book and doesn't offer natural divisions to become a series of books, you may need to consider either restructuring your book or going for an audience who will read a very long book, an adult market.
    We'll burn that bridge when we come to it.

  5. #35
    In The Hunger Games trilogy, the first book ends with END OF BOOK ONE !!!!
    So does The Knife of Never Letting Go. That won an award, I think.

    I thought The Hunger Games worked great as a stand-alone book. The third book in the trilogy had a greater effect on me, though.

    In Empress Theresa, over a dozen major situations follow one another with the logic and certainty of a row of falling dominoes. There is no point where I can say "OK, the story is over at this point. See book two for the further adventures of Super Theresa." No. It is all one interlocking continuum ( except for the North Korean adventure which is Theresa's own idea, but not enough material for a book )
    That's the sign of a very confused plot.

    You could probably flesh out each individual event and turn it into a book, you know. I was thinking about the first few lines of your book, and thought they'd make a great chapter if you went into her past rather than simply commenting on it. Your tale of the atom bomb? A great climax. Have some thigns that lead up to it. That's a whole book, if you work on it some.

    The fact that your events are not neatly managed should be a clear indication that you need to start neatly managing them. Then this could turn into a very exciting read.
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  6. #36
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    If your manuscript is too long to be one YA book and doesn't offer natural divisions to become a series of books, you may need to consider either restructuring your book or going for an audience who will read a very long book, an adult market.


    Actually, I originally wrote a, ( are you ready for this ? ) 142,000 word version. I still have it on my computer ( and Norton Online Backup )

    But I noticed that some literary agents were saying they rarely looked at a book with more that 125,000 words. So I trimmed some fat and reduced the book to "only" 119,000 worlds.

    Then in March 2012, I saw an article in AARP magazine titled "60 Going On 16" It was about older readers such as retired high school English teachers finding out there were enjoying reading YA books more that adult books. It's the nostalgia thing. They remember what it was like to be young."
    I realized that Empress Theresa screamed to be a YA book. So I trimmed out more fat and reduced it to 96,000 words, which is still good for 355 pages.
    Notice that I put these nostalgic remarks on page one. "My job as a kid was to figure out what the heck was going on and what to do about it. It's not easy when you're young and everything is brand new." and "Yeah, well, why should I be worrying about it in the fourth grade?"

  7. #37
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    In Empress Theresa, over a dozen major situations follow one another with the logic and certainty of a row of falling dominoes. There is no point where I can say "OK, the story is over at this point. See book two for the further adventures of Super Theresa." No. It is all one interlocking continuum ( except for the North Korean adventure which is Theresa's own idea, but not enough material for a book )


    That's the sign of a very confused plot.
    How can you possibly say that since you haven't read the book and don't even know the more than a dozen major situations.

    Your tale of the atom bomb? A great climax. Have some thigns [ Theresa has great thighs that lead to.... ] that lead up to it. That's a whole book, if you work on it some.
    The atom bomb situation can't be the climax of a book. It's in chapter four, and HAL's reaction to it starts the row of dominoes falling, which Theresa has to deal with.

    This is what's wrong with "the process".
    Last edited by empresstheresa; November 28th, 2012 at 05:12 PM.

  8. #38
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    Okay, so it's a YA book you're marketing to pretty much everyone. Considering that I've read The Hunger Games as well as the YA books that my daughter's reading I can see this. So, what do you think you'll do here? Divide it or keep it as one? I haven't read every word of your thread so you may have covered this but are you going to write more about empress theresa? If there is more material to come I'd still say go for a series. Why not?

    I have to admit from the bits and pieces I've seen of your plot I agree with those who think she comes across as a mary-sue. Obviously I can't know that for sure with just this much but I'd say that's something to be aware of and objective about. Just make sure that her flaws get enough time that she's not perfect and you're fine, really. Flawed people are usually a pretty darned interesting read.
    We'll burn that bridge when we come to it.

  9. #39
    I think you could stretch those 96,000 words to 960,000, if you fleshed out the number of interesting stories you have in your one big jumble of them. it looks like you've written the whole story of Theresa, and that story is of epic proportions.

    Imagine if you tried to squeeze A Song of Fire and Ice into one book. I think that's what you might be doing here.

    Give all the individual moments you have some space. Then they can get the attention they deserve.

    How can you possibly say that since you haven't read the book and don't even know the more than a dozen major situations.
    Good luck trying to grab yourself an agent, then.
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  10. #40
    The atom bomb situation can't be the climax of a book.
    Only if you won't let it.

    I would bet a good sum of money that if you outlined all the events leading up to it and slightly after it, you'd find a half-decent plotline at the very least. The same with all your individual major events. They all sound like great stories in their own right. I think what makes me lose interest is the way the story goes past them so quickly. 355 is nothing when you have so many major events. 355 for one, maybe two of them? Now you're on to a winner.
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