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Struggling with explaining addiction,


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#1 RecoveryMac

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 06:32 PM

In my Query for my YA NOVEL "Dipso" I am trying to stick to the correct format while explaining that the MC is an alcoholic and why she drinks. I get a comment about not understanding or getting why typical teenaged issues plus issues of a pathological parental divorce would cause a teen to drink so much.
I'm stymied. The reasons why an alcoholic or even non alcoholic drinks at all are common enough. But the fact of drinking to excess in the face of repeated disasters is exclusive to the disease.
How does one explain this without going clinical in a query letter? And if one is not a drunk (I am albeit in recovery) how can this "odd" behavior be explained?

#2 Blueberry Tide

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 06:37 PM

I'm not sure I understand - is it that someone reading your query didn't understand why the MC was an alcoholic? Then, it could be the reader. I've have people leave strange feedback before. In a workshop of twenty people, there's always the weird one that comments of weird things that no one else does, things that don't matter. I highly recommend getting more feedback on the letter - there's a forum on here if you haven't already posted it there. 



#3 RecoveryMac

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 07:08 PM

I have and maybe cleared it up. It's that my 15 Y/O MC drinks overthinks like her parents divorce, her social unease in school, her nxiety about her self-image etc. a commentator kerosene saying he doesn't get why these things make her drink heavily.
But I've made clear she's an alcoholic...to me that in itself answers the why. But if it does not then I need to figure out how one explains that without killing the query letter.

#4 Testome

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 08:42 PM

I get addiction is something someone can't control. There are some people that can drink or do drugs and not become addicts and others one sip sends them over the edge, but what I was missing from you, for example, is what made her take that first drink that made her an alcoholic. I'm sure people with fifteen years of life under their belt don't take that first sip of alcohol for no reason. But I don't have experience with alcohol really so that maybe missing the mark from what I'm expecting here. But since you said this wasn't a memoir, I figured you would have this answer. Also, i was looking for a way to connect with your mc since I was really finding any reason to in your query.



#5 Blueberry Tide

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 05:37 PM

Ah; the answer is the psychological reasons behind the drinking. A 15 year old with an addiction would likely need explaining, because they are so young. It's not "common" like adult addiction.



#6 RecoveryMac

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 03:24 PM

It isn't ? Most meetings I attend about 90% of the people started drinking alcoholically by age 12.




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