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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    14

    2nd Attempt: DAY OF DREAMS

    The feedback from the previous version was that I had managed to make the concept interesting, but failed to show enough voice or build up the character. I've spent a few days retooling, so would very much appreciate any thoughts. I'm still struggling to capture everything I want to. It's already gotten too long and needs to be cut down by 30-40 words or more.

    {
    Dear Agent,

    The most important choices are the ones made for us by the world. One person canít be an executive, a professor of creative writing, a self-destructive introvert and the leader of a socialist movement, but when Edward Johnston was seventeen all of these things were still possible.

    Lost in his own world and scribbling rhymes on scratch paper, Edward was startled to hear the teacher call his name. He looked up at her with bright eyes, ready to invent an excuse for some transgression. She handed him a note from his mother, reminding him of a dentistís appointment that would change his life forever, while another future is in store should the note go undelivered.

    Edward tapped his fingers impatiently in the bleak waiting room. He had already flipped through and discarded the pile of golf magazines on the side table. He took out his notepad. Something about the silence and sickly-sweet smell of mouthwash allowed his mind to wander, and Edward wrote the first poem of which he was truly proud. Emboldened, he follows his heart by studying literature in the hopes of becoming a writer. On the verge of success, his mother is killed in a car accident. Overcome with grief, he returns home to care for his ailing father and loses faith in himself. If the car accident never occurs, a long and prolific career as an English professor awaits him instead.

    Edward dies a different man in what eventually become four parallel storiesóin some he changes the world forever and in others he finds happiness or sorrow in an ordinary life.

    DAY OF DREAMS is a 91,000-word literary novel that explores both the possibilities in one manís life and the boundaries of free will. Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Sincerely,
    . . .
    }



  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    508

    Re: 2nd Attempt: DAY OF DREAMS

    Ananth,

    For me, the same criticism as last time. There's one note here, and the Q is flat.

    You replaced one general statement with another as the first sentence, but this time it's worse because the sentence wobbles off. You debase choice as not a choice, which makes me wonder what you're saying and why you're saying it

    You give us two images: a boy sitting in a class, a boy sitting in a dentist's office. Neither is compelling. Why did you choose these two images out of all the scenes in your book?

    The writing doesn't feel literary. "Edward tapped his fingers impatiently..." Tapping fingers are often used to show impatience. But you have to tell us, too. "On the verge of success," "Overcome with grief." These are cliche phrases that aren't in keeping with a literary work. There's more of this sort of thing in here, where the beat is off, useless words, baggy construction. But overall, there isn't a strong voice, which is what you need to show off for a literary work.

    Recommend going back to the brainstorming stage.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    6,016

    Re: 2nd Attempt: DAY OF DREAMS

    JUST MY OPINION, FEEL FREE TO IGNORE:

    Your first paragraph begins with a false idea. The most important choices are NOT made by the world. Sorry. Even if you think it's true, the second sentence seems to have nothing in common with the first, so your point is entirely wasted.

    From there, it meanders along, putting the reader to sleep.

    "Lost in his own world and scribbling rhymes on scratch paper, Edward was startled to hear the teacher call his name. He looked up at her with bright eyes, ready to invent an excuse for some transgression. She handed him a note from his mother, reminding him of a dentistís appointment that would change his life forever, while another future is in store should the note go undelivered."

    None of that belongs in a query letter. In the book? Fine. In the letter? No. It's all too chatty and rambling.

    WHAT IS YOUR BOOK ABOUT. Figure out the skeleton of the story and stick close to it. Not all the bits and pieces, the STORYLINE.

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