That Damn Sentence

I’m getting feedback on my one sentence summary for Malach story.  “An angel falls for a woman and must choose between a terrible love and eternal damnation.” Seems people are saying two things. That I need another descriptor for the angel as it’s too vague. And that the phrase “terrible love” is unclear.

So here I thought I was being clever with the first problem and the second needs more explanation than the sentence provides. So I’m going to first explain the sentence a bit and then solicit opinions and/or suggestions from anybody out there willing to share.

I didn’t give any additional explanation to the angel in question, a watcher or Grigori, because neither of these sounded good or was sufficiently evocative and “a fallen angel falls in love” is redundant. So you get “An angel falls”. As in he falls from heaven and he falls in love and he chooses human love and is cast out of heaven. I still think it works and rather like it, but if it’s not working I gotta change it because writing is all about making things easy for the reader.

The second part, the last part of the sentence is about the angels choice between his child and his woman. I’m giving a lot away here, but it’s for a good cause. He must pick between two ugly choices. Saving a woman  he loves by destroying his last child and thus being cast into hell. Or allowing his last child to murder the woman he loves and prolonging the time he has on earth giving him time to propagate his lineage and avoid being cast into hell. So a terrible love would be the love of the monster that is his child. It could also be the curse he brings along with his love, the nearly always fatal birthing of a nephilim by the woman he loves.

So what do you think now? Can I get away with changing it to “cursed love” or do I need to rework that whole sentence. Keep in mind that this thing is supposed to come in under 25-words. Sadly I was pretty happy with the results of my labors right up until people started “not getting it”.

I wrote  a few other sentences for other ideas I have. What do you think of these:

A young woman discovers she has extraordinary gifts and must master them to defeat an undead army.

One guy, three women, two crimes, a detective story.

A plumber stumbles upon a bundle of cash, and in so doing makes himself a target of the couple bent on hiding the secret behind it.

A guardsman must foil a kidnapping and prevent a dock strike from crippling the city.

Three friends discover a street corner that cannot exist and it’s key to another realm, and in so doing make themselves the target of the shadows bent on hiding the secret.

That last one is a too much a copy of Holly Lisle’s sentence for Dreaming the Dead, but in my defense that is one great sentence she crafted. Later.

One Comment on “That Damn Sentence”

  1. When you explained the “falls for a woman” part, it seemed clever. I will point out, however, that his “falling from heaven” isn’t related to the woman in this story, which might be part of the confusion. I was going to suggest “For a woman, an angel falls and must choose…” but I don’t think that works either. So the answer is, Yes. It’s unclear.

    How about something referring to the angel’s choice affecting the destiny of each one of the three of them?

Comments are closed.