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  1. #1
    Jen Chatfield
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    Another Lonely Day - 2nd Attempt

    First, thanks to everyone who commented on my first attempt - much appreciated. Here's my 2nd try. Hopefully it's better!

    Dear ???,

    Anne Donnelly’s happily ever after was shattered when her boyfriend of three years left her for another woman. Now Anne sees smiling couples everywhere. They were always there, of course, only now, instead of blending in with the background, they really stand out. Like shouting neon lights. Look what I have and you don’t!

    When a new job opportunity takes her to Key West, Anne intends to pick up the pieces and try again for her happily ever after. Instead she falls for Joe, a complicated, tattooed musician who awakens a passionate side Anne never knew existed. As if to drive her completely crazy, he weaves in and out of her world while she bounces from relationship to relationship, leading her to question if the life she’s longed for all of these years is really what she wants.

    This newfound passion is addicting. But can she tame him? Or will she give in to her practical side, choosing a man who can provide stability and endurance? When the decision is devastatingly ripped from her grasp, instead of diplomatically facing the results head-on, Anne runs as far away as possible. While overseas, she finds her roots, and a journey that started out simply an escape helps to finally put things into perspective. After the longest plane ride of her life she will find out if what she wants is waiting for her, or if she’s lost everything she’s worked toward over the past two years.

    ANOTHER LONELY DAY, a work of Contemporary Women’s Fiction, is 70,000 words.

    If you are interested, I would love to send you the completed manuscript. Thank you so much. I look forward to hearing from you soon.



  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Another Lonely Day - 2nd Attempt

    Jen,

    You succeeded in removing all the confusion. Yippie!

    But the Q feels like set up. You describe the state your main character is in man wise pretty thoroughly. But as soon as the action starts you get very vague.

    Try a version in which you give yourself only two sentences to cover everything before "decision is devastatingly ripped" and make most of the summary about what happens from there on out.

    I'm still not clear about what this "life she's longed for all these years" is. Just a man who won't leaver her? Just to have her own neon sign over her head? Be specific in those couple of sentences you use to set up who your MC is and what she wants.

    Lots of little language things, but better to worry about them once you've got the bones set.

    It's loads better.

  3. #3
    Amy Lou
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    Re: Another Lonely Day - 2nd Attempt

    HI Jen, I do think this one is much better. It's so funny to me how I can see what needs to be done in my own query just by reading yours. Our characters are somewhat the same, broken, abandoned by the man they thought they would spend their life with. that is very cliche and so over done. I see it now. To me your your second paragraph jumps right into the action and is so much more interesting than your first. When I read your first one, although nicely written, I was bored, thinking been there done that, even written that myself. LOL But when I got into your second paragraph, I was like Yeah, now it's getting interesting, hot musician! I think it's important to give a hint that she is moving on from being hurt but an entire paragraph was cliche and boring. I'm only telling you this because I'm going through the same thing. My character is hurt, broken, alone, depressed and I feel the need to dwell on that, when all anyone wants is the good stuff! What happens to Chloe once she meets Phoenix,not what she dealt with when her husband left. Like your character, what happens to her once she gets to Key west and meets mr hottie! Give us more of that and less of her wallowing in her pain. I hope this helps!
    Amy

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lea Zalas's Avatar
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    Re: Another Lonely Day - 2nd Attempt

    Jen, here's a few of my comments:

    This newfound passion is addicting. (In the previous paragraph you just said that he comes in & out of her life and she hooks up with different guys. Now you're saying "newfound," but it's not newfound if they've been going at like bunnies long enough for him take off and come back, and still give her time to bed a couple of other guys. In fact, it sounds like a booty call whenever he shows up. ) But can she tame him? (Sorry, but obviously she can't, since he never hangs around. ) Or will she give in to her practical side, choosing a man who can provide stability and endurance? When the decision is devastatingly ripped from her grasp, (Is it "ripped" from her grasp, which makes it sound like someone died, or is it that he leaves for good - in other words - he makes the decision for her? ) instead of diplomatically facing the results head-on (nobody ever faces a break-up "diplomatically." Maybe you're trying to say that instead of acting like an adult, she hides from her loss? ), Anne runs as far away as possible. While overseas, she finds her roots (what roots? was she adopted? or does she go to the village her family came from, or something like that? ), and a journey that started out simply an escape helps to finally put things into perspective. (Put WHAT things into perspective? Way too vague. ) After the longest plane ride of her life she will find out if what she wants is waiting for her, or if she’s lost everything she’s worked toward over the past two years. (Is this the same plane she took to run away, if so how did she get overseas and discover her roots? Did she do it all while still on the plane - which would explain why it's the longest plane ride of her life. If she's running away, how could whatever she wants be waiting for her? Did she make a phone call or send an email? Is the flighty musician guy supposed to be waiting for her? And how would he know she's on her way? )

    JMO, but it was vague and confusing.

    Lea

  5. #5
    Jen Chatfield
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    Re: Another Lonely Day - 2nd Attempt

    Amy - Thanks! It helps a ton. I did change it around, and you're totally right, it makes more sense that way.

    Lea - Thanks for the comments. Interestingly enough, all of your comments are almost dead on as to what happens. But do I really want to give that much of the story away? If the reader knows right off the bat that Joe dies, why bother reading? Isn't the point to be somewhat vague? I don't know - this is my first query. I kind of think it's successful if it made you think all of those things without actually saying them.

  6. #6
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    Re: Another Lonely Day - 2nd Attempt

    Isn't the point to be somewhat vague?

    NO. This isn't a tease. "The reader" is an agent, not someone standing at Costco reading the book jacket. You want to present your storyline in a manner that makes the agent want to read more, and that is done with excellent writing, not with question marks and vague references. This letter represents you. If the writing isn't strong, you aren't going to be asked for more. Don't be vague. Be brilliant.

  7. #7
    Jen Chatfield
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    Re: Another Lonely Day - 2nd Attempt

    Got it - makes perfect sense. I'm getting myself all twisted up in trying to make this perfect, sometimes I forget what I'm actually doing. Thank you!

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Re: Another Lonely Day - 2nd Attempt

    You're welcome. It's easy to get confused. I feel that way about half the time.

  9. #9
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    Re: Another Lonely Day - 2nd Attempt

    Hi Jen,

    Is this story entirely fiction or is it based on something that happened to you? 'Cause it's reading like a summary of things that happened to someone, rather than the summary of a story.

    Perhaps that's due to the vagueness of your query.

    Try focusing on the following:

    What Ann wants, what specific obstacle stands in her way of getting what she wants. What she does to get past the obstacle(s). You can also take it to the next level by adding what she risks in order to get what she wants.

    Also think about where she starts out and how she's changed by her experiences.

    Good luck

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