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  1. #1
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest

    Prospective Query v2

    Thanks to jayce and some research I've been working on character motivations so the story is definitely taking shape. What do you think about this--and please no more discussion about "cart before the horse" and so forth--version of a prospective query? (Of course at this point specific wording is less important than the ideas behind them.)
    <hr>

    Teresa Castillo wants a normal life—one that doesn’t involve grubbing in the dirt all day before returning to a single-room shack crowded with extended family. When a freak accident destroys the shack, killing her siblings and crippling her father, Teresa has to put her dreams on hold to care for him. With every year escape from her life of poverty seems less likely.

    That is until a chance meeting on a rainy back road with a soldier returning home from the war in Japan. She takes the man into her home, giving him food, dry clothes, and a place to stay until the storm dies out. Only later does she realize he’s Ben Forsythe, son of the town’s wealthiest citizen. Ben shocks her first with a dinner invitation and months later a marriage proposal.

    At first Teresa’s new life with Ben seems like the fulfillment of her fantasies: a life of leisure in a roomy house with a loving husband and beautiful daughter. To anyone who asks why Ben doesn’t leave the house anymore, Teresa makes up a variety of excuses to preserve her illusions. But when Ben refuses to get out of bed to visit their dying daughter at the hospital, Teresa has to face the truth about her normal life.

    The Agoraphobic’s Wife is an X-word literary novel



  2. #2
    Mya Bell
    Guest

    Re: Prospective Query v2

    With every year [that passes], escape from her life of poverty seems less likely. (You need a comma here, at least, and you *might* want to include "that passes" but that's a matter of style, so it's up to you.)

    "That is, until a chance ..." [add the comma]

    "She takes him into ..." [this flows more smoothly than "the man"]

    "... and months later, a marriage proposal." [add the comma]

    "At first, Teresa's new life ..." [add the comma]

    "... Teresa has to face the truth about her dysfunctional life." [doesn't seem "normal" to me---if you were being facetious, then maybe "normal" should be in quotes, or you can be more explicit and say "dysfunctional" or "out of control" or "downward-spiraling" or something the gives the idea that things are not going well]

    --- Mya Bell

  3. #3
    Savannah Thorne
    Guest

    Re: Prospective Query v2

    What kind of freak accident can destroy a shack? If you meant storm, tornado, or hurricane, say so. Another type of accident would be weird--so maybe USE the weirdness by naming it specifically.

    I thought this jumped around a little bit too much to give me a full focus, though. The first paragraph is intriguing and I like the way it pulls me in a little bit. And things transition when she meets a stranger, but "the war in Japan" seems too generic/unneccessary here. Then you continue with a little too much vaguenes: do I care about dinner invitations? The third paragraph should REALLY punch it up. "Normal life" is flat, while agoraphobia on the other hand is a great hook. Try to use some of that in this query.

    Awesome!

  4. #4
    Savannah Thorne
    Guest

    Re: Prospective Query v2

    vaguenes=vagueness

  5. #5
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest

    Re: Prospective Query v2

    What kind of freak accident can destroy a shack? If you meant storm, tornado, or hurricane, say so. Another type of accident would be weird--so maybe USE the weirdness by naming it specifically.

    Well, at this point I'm not sure what the accident will be so the "freak accident" is a placeholder until I figure that out.

    Thanks to both of you.

  6. #6
    Savannah Thorne
    Guest

    Re: Prospective Query v2

    Oh! ROFL. Well, figure it out. This sounds really interesting.

  7. #7
    Harper
    Guest

    Re: Prospective Query v2

    Very much better. Definite progression of story, character, etc.

    I don't like the title. Too many books with that The x's daughter or The X's Wife thing going on. I also think you give away too much by putting agoraphobia right up there in the title. From your previous version, I'm wondering: is he agoraphobic or does he have PTSD?

  8. #8
    Joe Zeff
    Guest

    Re: Prospective Query v2

    I don't like to side with Rogue Mutt, but I have to in this case. Please remember that RM isn't writing a query for a finished book, but as an exercise to work out the story ahead of time. Lighten up!

  9. #9
    Mya Bell
    Guest

    Re: Prospective Query v2

    Lighten up?

    I thought people gave useful feedback. I don't see anything heavy. Harper was very encouraging.

    If you're talking about mentioning details, well, Rogue will need to fix those kinds of things in the manuscript as it's being written, so better to get things right now (like commas) rather than have to go and edit them all afterwards.

    It doesn't hurt to get as much feedback as possible on every aspect of the query because the sooner you hear it, the sooner you internalize it and can use those skills for future writing.

    --- Mya Bell

  10. #10
    LJ Hall
    Guest

    Re: Prospective Query v2

    I found the first paragraph darkly funny, and I hope it's unintentional. All I could think was, 'Well, she didn't want to live in a shack with a bunch of family. Now she has no shack and only a dad. Problem solved.'

    Maybe an issue with wording? Maybe I read too much black comedy.

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