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The Unlikely Souvenir - re-write. Please critique; will do so in return.


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#1 loopygoose

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 09:56 AM

***LATEST UPDATE AT THE END***

 

Chloe knows it’ll be tricky confronting her autocratic, alcoholic father but she’s a grown woman and it’s about time someone stood up to him. She uses all the techniques that make her successful in business to prepare herself, but none of them include finding him in his office wearing a silk dress. Unable to process what she’s just seen she steps out and shuts the door on him. When she calms down enough to open it again she discovers things can get even worse than seeing your dad in cerise silk with matching lipstick.

 

Having found him lying on the floor Chloe calls the paramedics and is now tasked with saving his life. But she can’t connect this man with her father; the enforcer of strict rules who wears bespoke suits and has a powerful job. In her confusion she wastes valuable time covering up his secret and he ends up dead. The policeman who attends to secure the body picks up a cerise lipstick in a gold case, which she claims as hers. She’s left with the vague unease that what she did was wrong and that the policeman might know more than he’s letting on.

 

Having always had a difficult relationship with her family, to the extent of avoiding them, Chloe is now forced to spend time in their company as they plan the cremation and await the autopsy. The close bond that has formed between her mother and sister in law is a source of intense irritation. Chloe also begins to realise that she barely knows her brother or the secrets ways he deals with the damage wreaked on them both by their bullying father. 

 

As she tries to carry on with her successful career in advertising sales her personal life continues to unravel. The policeman won’t stop ringing and her pursuit of the truth behind her father’s behaviour leads her to question many of the rules she has been brought up to believe.

 

The Unlikely Souvenir is a Women's Contemporary Fiction novel, written in the first person, and is complete at 80,000 words.

 

I am a former Correspondent, Editor and World News Anchor for CNBC and have worked in similar for BBC TV, Radio and World Service.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Yours sincerely



#2 Aightball

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 10:28 AM

Chloe  knows it's time to confront her autocratic, alcoholic father.  But nothing can prepare her for knows it’ll be tricky confronting her autocratic, alcoholic father but she’s a grown woman and it’s about time someone stood up to him. She uses all the techniques that make her successful in business to prepare herself, but none of them include finding him in his office wearing a silk dress unconscious.   You want to give us a hook that draws us right in.  This would make me go "oh...what's going on?" and make me keep reading.  But don't give us too much in this paragraph because that can cause an agent to quit reading. Unable to process what she’s just seen she steps out and shuts the door on him. When she calms down enough to open it again she discovers things can get even worse than seeing your dad in cerise silk with matching lipstick.

 

Having found him lying on the floor Chloe calls the paramedics and is now tasked with tries and fails to save his life. But sShe can’t connect this man with her father; the enforcer of strict rules who wears bespoke designer suits and has a powerful job. In her confusion she wastes valuable time covering up his secret and he ends up dead. The policeman officer who arrives first who attends to secure the body picks up a cerise lipstick in a gold case, which she claims as hers. She’s left with the vague unease that what she did was wrong and that the policeman officer might know more than he’s letting on.  This is a little confusing. So, we know that Chloe finds her dad unconscious.  And she tries but fails to save his life.  I get that...but there's a lot going on in this paragraph.  What's important?  I worked the unconscious part into the hook.  That way, you can start with her trying to save him.  I think you need to streamline this...again, what's important?  And can you give us that and help it be less busy and still make sense?  I made some suggestions in the paragraph.

 

Having always had a difficult relationship with her family, to the extent of avoiding them, Chloe has avoided her family for years. Now, she's now forced to spend time in their company with them as they plan the cremation and await the autopsy. The close bond that has formed between her mother and sister in law is a source of intense irritation. Chloe also soon begins to realize that she barely knows her brother or the secrets ways he deals with the damage wreaked on them both by their bullying father. 

 

As she tries to carry on with her successful career in advertising sales her personal life continues to unravel. The policeman won’t stop ringing and her pursuit of the truth behind her father’s behaviour leads her to question many of the rules she has been brought up to believe.  I think your stakes can be stronger.  I'm not convinced that her career matters much...I'd focus on the police that won't stop calling her.  Has she done something to attract their attention? 

 

The Unlikely Souvenir is a Contemporary Women's Fiction novel, written in the first person, and is complete at 80,000 words.  I am a former Correspondent, Editor and World News Anchor for CNBC and have worked in similar for BBC TV, Radio and World Service.   NEVER say 'fiction novel'...it's like query death. 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Yours sincerely

 

I think you're making good progress.  You just need to tighten and trim and I think you'll have a good query.

 

My query is linked in my sig if you wish to take a gander =)


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#3 Robin LeeAnn

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 09:59 AM

Chloe knows it’ll be tricky confronting her autocratic, alcoholic father, but she’s a grown woman and it’s about time someone stood up to him. (The second part takes the punch out of the hook sentence.) But she  uses all the techniques that make her successful in business to prepare herself, but none of them include finds him in his office wearing a silk dress. Unable to process what she’s just seen, she steps out and shuts the door on him. When she calms down enough to open it again, she discovers things can get even worse than seeing your dad in cerise silk with matching lipstick.  In a query, you have a limited amount of space to tell the agent about the plot. Don't use the space to repeat what you've already said. Move on with the plot.

 

Having found him lying on the floor, Chloe calls the paramedics and is now tasked with saving his life. (For just wearing a dress? Explain.) But she can’t connect this man with her father; the enforcer of strict rules who wears bespoke suits and has a powerful job. In her confusion,  (If we're now explaining him going to the hospital, we shouldn't be brought back to the dress part. We already can tell by the tone of voice that she's confused about her father. You don't need to explain that again.) However, she wastes valuable time covering up his secret and he ends up dead. The policeman who attends to secures the body and picks up a cerise lipstick in a gold case, which she claims as hers. She’s left with the vague unease that what she did was wrong and that the policeman might know more than he’s letting on.

 

Having always had a difficult relationship with her family, to the extent of avoiding them, (You can explain that in the book.) Chloe is now forced to spend time in their company with her family as they plan the cremation and await the autopsy. The close bond that has formed between her mother and sister in law is a source of intense irritation. Chloe also begins to realizes that she barely knows her brother or the secrets ways he deals with the damage wreaked on them both by their bullying father. 

 

As she tries to carry on with her professional life, her personal life continues to unravel. The policeman won’t stop calling her phone. and Her pursuit of the truth behind her father’s behavior leads her to question many of the rules she has been brought up to believe. Explain more. What's the highest/worst thing that can happen to her? The police finding out her dad was in a dress? Her family's secrets? I think you need to focus on one of these parts of the story, the major one, and let your query be about that. It seems as if you're trying to mix two plots together and it's not letting your query have a strong tension of "What happens next?".

 

The Unlikely Souvenir, a work of is a Women's Contemporary Fiction, novel (Title in capital letters), written in the first person, and is complete at 80,000 words. I am a former Correspondent, Editor and World News Anchor for CNBC and have worked in similar for BBC TV, Radio and World Service.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Yours sincerely

 

I know I edited this a lot, but your query has improved from the last time I read this. You're doing great.



#4 trailerbride

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 01:56 PM

I like the sound of your story, but think this query needs to be stripped down and restructured to focus on the critical story points, and to eliminate the "bits" that you enjoy that don't actually help the query.

 

Chloe knows it’ll be tricky confronting her autocratic, alcoholic father but she’s a grown woman and it’s about time someone stood up to him. She uses all the techniques that make her successful in business to prepare herself, but none of them include finding him in his office wearing a silk dress. Unable to process what she’s just seen she steps out and shuts the door on him. When she calms down enough to open it again she discovers things can get even worse than seeing your dad in cerise silk with matching lipstick.

 

There's too much here. I think it's good to demonstrate voice, but a little should go a long way. I think the important elements are:

 

Chloe arrives at her father's upscale law* office ready to confront him about whatever it was (his lifelong bullying?), and finds him unconscious on the floor. In a dress.

 

*An assumption made to illustrate the point that if he has a "sexy" or relevant career, it would be good to say so.

 

 

Having found him lying on the floor Chloe calls the paramedics and is now tasked with saving his life. But she can’t connect this man with her father; the enforcer of strict rules who wears bespoke suits and has a powerful job. In her confusion she wastes valuable time covering up his secret and he ends up dead. The policeman who attends to secure the body picks up a cerise lipstick in a gold case, which she claims as hers. She’s left with the vague unease that what she did was wrong and that the policeman might know more than he’s letting on.

 

Shocked and confused, Chloe wastes valuable time stripping off his dress, forcing his limbs into his bespoke suit, and wiping away every trace of makeup before she calls for help. This delay costs her father his life, and when police discover a lipstick on the floor, she continues her coverup, telling them it's hers. She must have dropped it.

 

Having always had a difficult relationship with her family, to the extent of avoiding them, Chloe is now forced to spend time in their company as they plan the cremation and await the autopsy. The close bond that has formed between her mother and sister in law is a source of intense irritation. Chloe also begins to realise that she barely knows her brother or the secrets ways he deals with the damage wreaked on them both by their bullying father. 

 

Chloe has learned to avoid her family, but now she's trapped with them in mourning and anticipation of the autopsy. Some words to describe her relationship with her mother--did she do anything to protect her children from their father? Some words about resenting her sister-in-law.  Something about her brother, perhaps extending the reference to bullying to include how she feels about her father now he's dead, and her determination to find out why he died in a frock.

 

As she tries to carry on with her successful career in advertising sales her personal life continues to unravel. The policeman won’t stop ringing and her pursuit of the truth behind her father’s behaviour leads her to question many of the rules she has been brought up to believe.

 

I don't think you need to talk about her career in the query. It's hardly a selling point. But I do think you need to say something about the autopsy. Especially if it explains the police interest.

 

 

The Unlikely Souvenir is a Women's Contemporary Fiction novel, written in the first person, and is complete at 80,000 words.

 

I am a former Correspondent, Editor and World News Anchor for CNBC and have worked in similar for BBC TV, Radio and World Service.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Yours sincerely



#5 BraveL

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 10:26 PM

Here are my two cents!

 

Chloe knows it’ll be tricky confronting her autocratic, alcoholic father but she’s a grown woman and it’s about time someone stood up to him. She uses all the techniques that make her successful in business to prepare herself, but none of them include finding him in his office wearing a silk dress. Love this hook! Unable to process what she’s just seen she steps out and shuts the door on him. When she calms down enough to open it again she discovers things can get even worse than seeing your dad in cerise silk with matching lipstick. I would get rid of these details, they're not important. 

 

Having found him lying on the floor Chloe calls the paramedics and is now tasked with saving his life. But she can’t connect this man with her father; the enforcer of strict rules who wears bespoke suits and has a powerful job. In her confusion she wastes valuable time covering up his secret and he ends up dead.  The policeman who attends to secure the body picks up a cerise lipstick in a gold case, which she claims as hers. She’s left with the vague unease that what she did was wrong and that the policeman might know more than he’s letting on. I would agree with Northern Scum- Southern Belle's rewrite of this paragraph. Also her delay killed her father and yet she only has a 'vague unease' about it? 

 

Having always had a difficult relationship with her family, to the extent of avoiding them them, Chloe is now forced to spend time in their company as they plan the cremation and await the autopsy. The close bond that has formed between her mother and sister in law is a source of intense irritation. Chloe also begins to realise that she barely knows her brother or the secrets ways he deals with the damage wreaked on them both by their bullying father. The demise of her father forces her to spend time with her estranged family. As they navigate the loss of her father she realizes the holes in her relationships and the scars her brother carries from a shared childhood of trauma.

 

As she tries to carry on with her successful career in advertising sales her personal life continues to unravel. The policeman won’t stop ringing and her pursuit of the truth I would add this part earlier - that she's questioning her own upbringing behind her father’s behaviour leads her to question many of the rules she has been brought up to believe. Can you make the stakes even stronger here? So what if she questions the rules, how will that change how she sees the world now?

 

The Unlikely Souvenir is a Women's Contemporary Fiction novel, written in the first person, Omit - they'll know this from the very first paragraph. and is complete at 80,000 words.

 

I am a former Correspondent, Editor and World News Anchor for CNBC and have worked in similar for BBC TV, Radio and World Service.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Hope my thoughts were helpful, good luck!



#6 MarthaG

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 11:34 PM

Chloe knows it’ll be tricky confronting her autocratic, alcoholic father but because she’s a grown woman, and it’s about time someone she stood up to him. She uses all the techniques that make her successful in business to prepare herself, but none of them include When Chloe finds her autocratic, alcoholic fatherfinding him in his office lying on the floor wearing a silk dress, she is Unable to process what she’s just seen she steps out and shuts the door on him. When she calms down enough to open it the door again, she discovers things can get even worse than seeing your dad in cerise silk with matching lipstick.

 

 

Having found him lying on the floor Chloe calls the paramedics and is now tasked with saving his life. But she can’t connect this man with her father; the enforcer of strict rules who wears bespoke (I don't know this word in this context) suits and has a powerful job. In her confusion Because she wastes valuable time covering up his secret, and he ends up dead. The policeman who attends to secure the body picks up a cerise lipstick in a gold case, which she claims as hers. She’s left with the vague unease that what she did was wrong. and that Does the policeman might know more than he’s letting on?

 

Having always had a difficult relationship with her family, to the extent of avoiding them, Chloe is now forced to spend time in their  her family's company as they plan the cremation and await the autopsy. The close bond that has formed between her mother and sister in law is a source of intense irritation. Chloe also begins to realise that she barely knows her brother or the secrets ways he deals with the damage wreaked on them both by their bullying father. 

 

As she tries to carry on with her successful career in advertising sales, her personal life continues to unravel. The policeman won’t stop ringing and her pursuit of the truth behind her father’s behaviour leads her to question many of the rules she has been brought up to believe.

 

The Unlikely Souvenir is a Women's Contemporary Fiction novel, written in the first person, and is complete at 80,000 words.

 

I am a former Correspondent, Editor and World News Anchor for CNBC and have worked in similar for BBC TV, Radio and World Service.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Yours sincerely



#7 loopygoose

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 08:16 AM

Thank you, everyone, for being so generous with your time critiquing this.  You have all made excellent points. Gosh this is hard! I'm sorry I haven't been able to critique back yet because I've literally only just been able to get online again. I am out of the country and have managed to find childcare and an internet cafe so that I can get on with this. I'll try to get to all of you in this session. Thank you for your patience!



#8 secondstar87

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 06:11 PM

Chloe knows it’ll be tricky confronting her autocratic, alcoholic father but she’s a grown woman and it’s about time someone stood up to him. She uses all the techniques that make her successful in business to prepare herself, but none of them include finding him in his office wearing a silk dress. Unable to process what she’s just seen she steps out and shuts the door on him. When she calms down enough to open it again she

 

I'd leave that as a great hook, then transition this into the next paragraph: She discovers things can get even worse than seeing your dad in cerise silk with matching lipstick. I think you could rephrase for flow: "However, she soon discovers there's one thing worse than seeing your dad in silks and lipstick: seeing him lying on the floor, dead."  Having found him lying on the floor Chloe calls the paramedics and is now tasked with saving his life. But she can’t connect this man with her father; the enforcer of strict rules who wears bespoke suits and has a powerful job. In her confusion she wastes valuable time covering up his secret and he ends up dead. The policeman who attends to secure the body picks up a cerise lipstick in a gold case, which she claims as hers. She’s left with the vague unease that what she did was wrong and that the policeman might know more than he’s letting on. Again, I think rewording and cleaning things up would help with clarity a lot. Consider something like, "In an attempt to cover his secrets, she hides the clothes and tells the policeman the lipstick is hers..." 

 

Having always had a difficult relationship with her family, to the extent of avoiding them, Chloe is now forced to spend time in their company as they plan the cremation and await the autopsy. The close bond that has formed between her mother and sister in law is a source of intense irritation. Because she feels jealous? Chloe also begins to realise that she barely knows her brother or the secrets ways he deals with the damage wreaked on them both by their bullying father. Interesting! 

 

As she tries to carry on with her successful career in advertising sales her personal life continues to unravel. The policeman won’t stop ringing and her pursuit of the truth behind her father’s behaviour leads her to question many of the rules she has been brought up to believe. This seems to end abruptly. I think you need one more wrap up sentence, reviewing her goal/the stakes. "She must decide whether..." etc. 

 

The Unlikely Souvenir is a Women's Contemporary Fiction novel, written in the first person, and is complete at 80,000 words.

 

I am a former Correspondent, Editor and World News Anchor for CNBC and have worked in similar for BBC TV, Radio and World Service. Wow! Very cool!  You have a lot of experience to pull on. And yeah, writing a query stinks. Hang in there! 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.


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#9 loopygoose

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 11:01 AM

****Here's my re-write. I've completely changed tack, having read the advertising blurb for 5 novels I love and analysed how they did it.  What do you think of this?****

 

Dear Agent,

 

Chloe's world has always been full of rules. She's about to find out that some of them don't make much sense. 

 

Brought up in a household where there was a correct way to do things, and a bullying alcoholic father who made sure everyone knew it, Chloe has learnt to appreciate the importance of following rules. But when her dad's bad behaviour lands her mother in hospital, Chloe decides to break an unwritten family code and stand up to him. She knew it wouldn't be easy but she wasn't expecting to march into his study and find him wearing a dress.

 

The discovery, and the crisis that follows, forces Chloe to spend more time with the family she's been avoiding and leads her to question things she's always assumed to be true. But it's not until she encounters the freewheeling Twiggy that she's finally forced to consider that the rules she's been taught to follow might actually be walls holding her back. 

 

Breaking them down could mean finding the freedom and happiness she's never considered possible; perhaps even love. But Chloe's biggest fear is that she risks losing herself in the process. 

 

The Unlikely Souvenir is Women's Commercial Fiction, complete at just over 80,000 words.  

 

I am a former Reporter, Correspondent, Editor and World News Anchor having worked for both CNBC and BBC TV and radio.  Thank you for your time and consideration. 

 

Kind regards



#10 Sataris

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 05:02 PM

****Here's my re-write. I've completely changed tack, having read the advertising blurb for 5 novels I love and analysed how they did it.  What do you think of this?****

 

Dear Agent,

 

Chloe's world has always been full of rules. She's about to find out that some of them don't make much sense. 

 

Brought up in a household where there was a correct way to do things, and her a bullying alcoholic father who made sure everyone knew it there was a right way to do things, Chloe has learnt to appreciate the importance of following rules This is maybe a little too similar to the first and second line ; all three reference her observing rules. But when her dad's bad behaviour lands her mother in hospital, Chloe decides to break an unwritten family code rule and stand up to him. She knew it wouldn't be easy, but she wasn't expecting to march into his study and find him wearing a dress. This is much more attention-grabbing; I'd try to get to this earlier in the query. maybe even just starting with this paragraph.

 

The discovery, and the crisis that follows, forces Chloe to spend more time with the family she's been avoiding and leads her to question things she's always assumed to be true. But it's not until she encounters the freewheeling Twiggy that she's finally forced to consider that the rules she's been taught to follow might actually be walls holding her back. 

 

Breaking them down could mean finding the freedom and happiness she's never considered possible; perhaps even love. But Chloe's biggest fear is that she risks losing herself in the process. How so? if it's her biggest concern, we might need a bit more on it

 

The Unlikely Souvenir is Women's Commercial Fiction, complete at just over 80,000 words.  

 

I am a former Reporter, Correspondent, Editor and World News Anchor having worked for both CNBC and BBC TV and radio. Unless this experience directly affects your ability to write the novel, I'd probably cut this Thank you for your time and consideration. 

 

Kind regards

Hope that was helpful! If you've got a minute, I'd appreciate it if you could take a quick look at my latest query: http://agentquerycon...poc-ya-revised/



#11 Robin LeeAnn

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 11:44 PM

Dear Agent,

 

Chloe's world has always been full of rules. She's about to find out that some of them don't make much sense. I'd tweak this just a bit: "Chloe's world has always been full of rules, but she's now finding out that some of them don't ______." I'd say something more serious than "doesn't make sense". Like are some of them dangerous? - I like this intro better though.

 

Brought up in a household where there was a correct way to do things,With an bullying alcoholic father, who made sure everyone knew it, Chloe has learned to appreciate the importance of following strict rules. But when her dad's bad behavior lands her mother in hospital, Chloe decides to break an unwritten family code and stand up to him. She knew it wouldn't be easy, but she wasn't expecting to march into his study and find him wearing a dress. Those edits just make the paragraph flow better. It seemed like you were just stuffing information that I don't think the reader needs at the moment. Or repeated information.

 

The discovery, and the crisis that follows, forces Chloe to spend more time with the family she's been avoiding and leads her to question things she's always assumed to be true. But it's not until she encounters the freewheeling Twiggy that she's finally forced to consider that the rules she's been taught to follow might actually be walls holding her back. - 1) What's the crisis? 2) What does she start to question that she always thought was true? 3) What's Twiggy?  --- Try not to be vague with what you say. Do explain those things.

 

Breaking the rules could mean will help her find the freedom and happiness she's never considered possible(Be sure of yourself. Try not to use "may" or "perhaps.") perhaps even love. But Chloe's biggest fear is that she risks losing herself in the process. I'd reword the last sentence to something like: "But will she lose herself in the process?"

 

The Unlikely Souvenir (Put the book in all caps.) is Women's Commercial Fiction, complete at just over 80,000 words.  

 

I am a former Reporter, Correspondent, Editor, and World News Anchor having worked for both CNBC and BBC TV and radio. (I'm not sure World News Anchor helps with this, but the other three do. I'd debate taking that one out.) Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon. (That sentence kind of seals the deal like a seller. Pretend they're already going to write you back.)

 

Kind regards,

 

This draft is so much better! Great job!



#12 loopygoose

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 03:47 AM

Dear Robin and Sataris, thank you SO much for your excellent feedback! Now for my next draft.

 

Robin, you've been so supportive, I really appreciate it. I have been told not to say that I look forward to hearing from you soon because it sounds presumptuous. 



#13 loopygoose

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 05:59 AM

****RE-WRITE DATED 19TH JUNE****

 

Dear Agent,

 

Chloe knows about unwritten rules; she grew up in a house full of them. But she didn’t expect that breaking one would be life-changing.

 

Her powerful father always enforced his laws at home and Chloe knows that one of them is to never challenge him. But when his neglect lands her mother in hospital, she decides it’s time. Of course she realises it won’t be easy but she isn't expecting to march into his study and find him wearing a dress. 

 

The discovery overturns everything she always thought she knew about him, and her family, with deathly consequences.

 

THE UNLIKELY SOUVENIR explores themes of gender and sexuality, how the rules that we live by both define and confine us and how our family inheritance is so much more than material possessions. It is a work of Women's Commercial Fiction, complete at just over 80,000 words.

 

I am a former Reporter, Correspondent and Editor, for both CNBC and BBC TV and radio. 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration

 

 

Kind regards,



#14 Sataris

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 10:33 AM

****RE-WRITE DATED 19TH JUNE****

 

Dear Agent,

 

Chloe knows about unwritten rules; she grew up in a house full of them. But she didn’t expect that breaking one would be life-changing put her life at stake. <Whether you go with that suggestion or not, this latest version of your hook is much better than the last

 

Her Chloe's powerful father has always lashed out in the face of challenge. enforced his laws at home and Chloe knows that one of them is to never challenge him. But when his neglect(abuse? we might need another detail or two if it's actually neglect; does the mother have some specific need that has to take care of for her? lands her mother in hospital, she decides it’s time to confront himOf course She realises knows it won’t be easy, but she isn't expecting to march into his study and find him wearing a dress. 

 

I'm a little torn on the tense here; I know you're generally better off leaving the query in present, but I really liked the effect that "the last thing she expected was to walk into his study and find him wearing a dress" had in past tense v the current version.

 

The discovery overturns everything she always thought (sort of back in past again here; implies the event has now happened) thinks she knew knows about him, and her family, with deathly consequences.

 

THE UNLIKELY SOUVENIR explores themes of gender and sexuality, how the rules that we live by both define and confine us and how our family inheritance is so much more than material possessions I think this last part might be a bit much since it doesn't seem you've really touched on inheritance (at least in the way the reader if likely to view it at a glance) in the query, but I really like the clauses before it. It is a work of Women's Commercial Fiction, that is complete at just over 80,000 words. Nobody's going to quibble with you over few extra words; might as well cut what you can.

 

I am a former Reporter, Correspondent and Editor, for both CNBC and BBC TV and radio. 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration

 

 

Kind regards,

 

This is much better than the previous version. It strikes a good balance of revealing a little and letting the reader speculate on what comes next.



#15 loopygoose

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 11:06 AM

Thank you so much Sataris! How funny that you picked up on the tense.  I am torn too, but I think you're right. The past tense works better as a hook. 



#16 loopygoose

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 01:13 AM

****The latest update****

 

 

PAST TENSE:

Dear Agent,

 

Chloe knows about unwritten rules; she grew up in a house full of them. But she didn’t expect that breaking one would be life-changing.

 

No-one had ever questioned her bullying father’s control but when his neglect landed her mother in hospital, Chloe decided it was time to confront him. She knew it wouldn’t be easy, but she wasn't expecting to march into his study and find him wearing a dress. 

 

The discovery casts doubt on everything Chloe knew about her father, and her family, with deadly consequences.

 

THE UNLIKELY SOUVENIR explores themes of gender and sexuality, how the rules that we live by both define and confine us, and what we keep when people leave us behind. It is a work of Women's Commercial Fiction that is complete at 80,000 words. 

 

I am a former Reporter, Correspondent and Editor, for both CNBC and BBC TV and radio.  

 

Thank you for your time and consideration

 

 

Kind regards,

 

 

PRESENT TENSE:

 

Dear Agent,

 

Chloe knows about unwritten rules; she grew up in a house full of them. But she isn’t expecting breaking one to be life-changing.

 

No-one has ever questioned her bullying father’s control but when his neglect lands her mother in hospital, Chloe decides it's time to confront him. She knows it won’t be easy, but she isn't expecting to march into his study and find him wearing a dress. 

 

The discovery casts doubt on everything Chloe thought she knew about her father, and her family, with deadly consequences.

 

THE UNLIKELY SOUVENIR explores themes of gender and sexuality, how the rules that we live by both define and confine us, and what we keep when people leave us behind. It is a work of Women's Commercial Fiction that is complete at 80,000 words. 

 

I am a former Reporter, Correspondent and Editor, for both CNBC and BBC TV and radio.  

 

Thank you for your time and consideration

 

 

Kind regards,

 

Questions: 

1  Do you think I need more detail to give you more of a sense of Chloe or the environment in which she lives etc?

2  Do you like this title or prefer The Unlikely Inheritance.

3  I have written a past and present tense version. Which do you prefer?

THANK YOU



#17 tsnyder

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 11:24 AM

Dear Agent,

 

Chloe knows about unwritten rules; she grew up in a house full of them. But she didn’t expect that breaking one would be life-changing.I like your hook.

 

No-one had ever questioned her bullying father’s control but when his neglect landed her mother in the hospital, Chloe decided it was time to confront him. She knew it wouldn’t be easy, but she wasn't expecting to march into his study and find him wearing a dress. Nice bit of info. I'm intrigued.

 

The this discovery casts doubt on everything Chloe knew about her father, and her family, with deadly consequences.

 

THE UNLIKELY SOUVENIR explores themes of gender and sexuality, how the rules that we live by both define and confine us, and what we keep when people leave us behind. It is a work of Women's Commercial Fiction that is complete at 80,000 words. 

 

I am a former Reporter, Correspondent and Editor, for both CNBC and BBC TV and radio.  

 

Thank you for your time and consideration

 

The part that interests me is the dress. The father sounds more interesting than the main character, Chloe.

She breaks one of the rules...I'm assuming the walking into his study part?

I like the past tense version the best. 

I'd like to know the inside of the father's head, but I'm guessing the story is from the pov of Chloe and is of a serious tone.

Keep in mind, I'm new to all of this.

Thanks for letting me read your query.



#18 kwmags

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 01:21 PM

Chloe knows knew about unwritten rules; she grew up in a house full of them. But she didn’t expect that breaking one would be life-changing.

 

No-one had ever questioned her bullying  intimidating father’s control but when his neglect (was it abuse? maybe just use that word) landed her mother in the hospital, Chloe decided it was time to confront him. She knew it wouldn’t be easy, but she wasn't expecting to march into his study and find him wearing a dress. this is a great hook!

 

The discovery (discovery that he was wearing a dress? maybe encounter is a better word?) casts doubt on everything Chloe knew about her father, and her family. But this new knowledge doesn't come with a price, instead it comes with deadly consequences.

 

THE UNLIKELY SOUVENIR explores themes of gender and sexuality, how the rules that we live by both define and confine us, and what we keep when people leave us behind. It is a work of Women's Commercial Fiction that is complete at 80,000 words. 

 

I am a former Reporter, Correspondent, and Editor for both CNBC and BBC TV and radio.  

 

Thank you for your time and consideration

 

Well done! This query wants me to find out more about the story and why the dad was in the dress etc. As for the title, it can always be changed, but I thought that it might have to do with a trip. So if it is more of something she gets from her father, inheritance might be a better word. I also like past tense. 

Best of luck!!! 

Here is mine if you get a chance: http://agentquerycon...interchangeable



#19 Robin LeeAnn

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Posted Yesterday, 12:13 AM

Chloe knew about the unwritten rules. She grew up in a house full of them, but she didn’t expect that breaking one would be life-changing. Good hook.

 

No one had ever questioned her bullying father’s control before. But when his neglect landed her mother in the hospital, Chloe decided it was time to confront him. She knew it wouldn’t be easy, but she wasn't expecting to march into his study and find him wearing a dress. Great. I'd expand more on this. Like, what color of dress was her father wearing? What kind of bullying did he do? - Just add two sentences at max if you do. I'd still keep this paragraph short.

 

The discovery casts doubt on everything Chloe knew about her father and her whole family, with deadly consequences. Expand more on this. - How did the discovery cast doubt into her? So far, we've only heard about the father acting crazy and not the family. Perhaps keep the focus on the father and let the family be something the literary agent will find out about after she starts reading your book. Also, what kind of deadly consequences? Is Chloe's life in danger? Is her mother or father's life in danger?

 

THE UNLIKELY SOUVENIR, a Women's Commercial Fiction novelexplores themes of gender and sexuality, how the rules that we live by both define and confine us, and what we keep when people leave us behind. It is a work of Women's Commercial Fiction that is complete at 80,000 words. 

 

I am a former Reporter, Correspondent, and Editor, for television and radio on CNBC and BBC.

 

This has gotten much better. Congrats. I like the structure of your query more and your hook sentence is great. Just add a few more details to fill in the plot.

 

1  Do you think I need more detail to give you more of a sense of Chloe or the environment in which she lives etc?

I think you need to add more detail not about where Chloe lives, but of the plot, involving her father, after she finds him in a dress. I think the family drama part should be saved for later since you introduce it last minute. Perhaps, just develop a query about her VS her father.

2  Do you like this title or prefer The Unlikely Inheritance.

I like Inheritance better because it sounds like it's coming from her family and that's what the plot seems to be about.

3  I have written a past and present tense version. Which do you prefer?

Past. Mostly because the sentence "She knows it won’t be easy, but she isn't expecting to march into his study and find him wearing a dress." sounds super awkward in first tense to me and I couldn't figure out how to fix it until I put it into past tense. Just be careful though, because if you write in past tense, every sentence has to be in past tense.



#20 loopygoose

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Posted Yesterday, 02:21 AM

***Excellent feedback everyone. Thank you.  Here's another swipe! ***

 

Chloe knew about unwritten rules; she grew up in a house full of them. But she didn’t expect that breaking one would be life changing. 

 

No one in her immediate family had ever questioned her bullying father’s household regime. But when his neglect landed her mother in the hospital, Chloe took the rest of the day off from her Soho job and headed to her parent’s house to confront him. She knew it wouldn’t be easy, but she wasn't expecting to march into his study and find him wearing a cerise silk dress. 

 

Chloe's discovery of her father's secret is so unexpected that she panics with deadly consequences. 

 

THE UNLIKELY SOUVENIR, explores themes of gender and sexuality and how the rules we live by both define and confine us. It is a work of Women's Commercial Fiction that is complete at 80,000 words. 

 

I am a former Reporter, Correspondent, and Editor, for television and radio.






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