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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » The Keystone: Looking for Read-Through Swaps

Author Topic: The Keystone: Looking for Read-Through Swaps
Member # 9331

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I've trimmed down *The Keystone* to 104K words, and I'm looking to swap read-throughs. Specifically I'd like to receive *superficial* read-throughs; gut reactions. If you hit a spot where you feel like skimming, just note the spot and skim away.

I'm specifically looking for the following: gags that don't work, dialog that runs on too long, confusing scene transitions, info-dump, scenes or characters that don't pull their weight. Once I've trimmed that stuff then I'll line edit the thing myself.

I have attached the logline and query boilerplate below so you can see if this might be your cup of tea. 2 and 10 page synposes are also available.

A gruff but heroic space captain always manages to give her gregarious ex-husband the slip, but this time he's coming after her with something she desperately needs: a job.

Ten years of hardship and toil in deep space have transformed Kate MacClaine from a painfully shy young frontierswoman into a gruff and abrasive loner. When she returns from her tour in the space exploration service Kate finds her charming and aristocratic ex-husband waiting for her. Archie's never gotten over her, so Kate's got to get moving before he turns his legendary powers of persuasion on her. 

Kate tries to slip away, but her ship is caught up in an epic bureaucratic disaster. There's only one man who can talk his way out of port with that ship, and when Archie takes the opportunity to move in with Kate he's got an unpleasant surprise for her: Diana, his insufferable new fiancée. 

For once it's not Kate that Archie's after, it's her incomparable spacefaring skills. He needs her to lead an expedition that could tip the balance of power in the galaxy. But Diana's presence will test Kate's professionalism, to say nothing of her infamous temper. Kate might be the finest space explorer of her generation, but it's feeling mighty lonesome at the top.

*The Keystone* is a 104,000 word satire re-imagining the 1930s “comedy of remarriage” movie (*The Philadelphia Story*, *His Girl Friday*) in the raygun-gothic universe of 30's pulp sci-fi. It's a universe where mighty rockets ply the stars, and men sometimes act like pigs but always know how to dance. *The Keystone* might be the sci-fi screwball comedy that Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant never made.

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Member # 9213

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Great query, Matt.

Do you have a deadline you're trying to meet?
If not, send it, I'll pick my way through it as time permits.

Dr. Bob

P.S. I'm enjoying your The Quest for Norumbega, btw. Did you ever send it off to agents?

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Member # 8368

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Timing is everything!

I expect to finish this round of revisions to MAGIC'S FOOL by the end of the week. I'll be looking for a similar light read through. Specifically places where the world building isn't strong enough or confusing and places, particularly in the first few chapters, where the conflict may not be strong enough.

MAGIC'S FOOL is a middle grade fantasy, about 50,000 words. No query yet, but briefly:

There are two kinds of magic in Vatar's world. In the coastal cities, a few families jealously guard their inborn magic. On the plains, the nomadic Dardani distrust magic, but they treasure the mystical connection to their totem Spirits. No one has ever possessed both kinds of magic--until now.

Full disclosure: I don't read a lot of science fiction, but I do read some. Right now, primarily the Vorkosigan Saga.

If you want to swap, I'm game.

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Member # 9331

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Meredith, I'll be delighted to do a read through of MAGIC'S FOOL. You should have no problem with Keystone, which is a character driven-comic piece and has to stand on that basis.

Dr. Bob -- I have no deadline now, since there's no point in submitting this piece until I've cut out the bits that don't work.

I'll take one more pass through the manuscript to catch any glaring errors then send a copy to each of you; take as much time as you need. Likewise if you have anything for me just send it along.

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Member # 9671

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I don't have anything to swap, but just wanted to mention that from the looks of your Query I have a good feeling this won't take long to find a home.
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