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Sandshell Island Revision #stoppedcounting...plusone

Womens Fiction Commercial Fiction

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#1 Keeppositive

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 11:07 PM

Latest revision is at the end of this thread. Thank you in advance for any suggestions and comments you offer.

 

 

 

Thank you in advance for reading this. This is my 4th or 5th rewrite, finally reaching out for some objective readers (like I should have done the first time!) I will read yours as well. 

 

Dear (Agent Name):

 

When high school counselor KATHLYN MURRAY inherits a beach cottage, she encounters more than just a new homestead. She greets hostility, resentment, and mistrust. She’s an outsider.

An island facing economic trouble, this place will become a ghost town if Kathlyn cannot convince them to cooperate with their tourists instead of shunning them. But islanders swear she will never be accepted, and her advice never trusted. She must make it work; she has staked her future here. Back “home” six hundred miles away, a former student’s suicide was the final tack in her counseling career. Burnt out and seriously questioning her skills, she grabbed this opportunity to find a new career in a new place when this cottage was bequeathed to her. Sandshell Island will become the place to determine her next step. However, unless the residents embrace her innovative ideas and work with their visitors, the island will fold, leaving her and everyone else homeless. Not to mention that it will be the final assurance of her professional failure. Sandshell Island will either become her saving grace or her Achilles’ heel.

 

(Word count, genre basic, bio and closing words)



#2 Springfield

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 01:46 AM

Thank you in advance for reading this. This is my 4th or 5th rewrite, finally reaching out for some objective readers (like I should have done the first time!) I will read yours as well. 

 

Dear (Agent Name):

 

When high school counselor KATHLYN MURRAY no caps inherits a beach cottage, she encounters more than just a new homestead. She greets hostility, resentment, and mistrust.Encounters then greets is odd. She’s an outsider. Aside from the generic phrasing, I don't know where she IS from or where the beach is so this doesn't really have any impact.

 

An island facing economic trouble, this place will become a ghost town if Kathlyn cannot convince them agreement  to cooperate with their tourists instead of shunning them. I've no idea what's going on -- you never said where this was, that there are tourists, that tourists are shunned (which is odd), etc. But islanders swear she will never be accepted, and her advice never trusted. She must make it work; she has staked her future here. You didn't say that -- all you said is she inherited a cottage.  Back “home” six hundred miles away, a former student’s suicide was the final tack in her counseling career. Burnt out and seriously questioning her skills, she grabbed this opportunity to find a new career in a new place when this cottage was bequeathed to her.Why is this all backwards?  Sandshell Island will become the place to determine her next step. I thought she'd decided to stake her future -- the back and forth here is really confusing. However, unless the residents embrace her innovative ideas Her innovative ideas to... not shun tourists? and work with their visitors, the island will fold, leaving her and everyone else homeless. Wait, what? It''s an island -- that's apparently been there for some time at least, How does an island fold? Why would everyone who lived there end up homeless because tourists don't come? Further, they've apparently always hated tourists so... Not to mention that it will be the final assurance of her professional failure. Sandshell Island will either become her saving grace or her Achilles’ heel.

 

(Word count, genre basic, bio and closing words)

 

I don't understand why you decided to put the relevant information after the information that refers to. It makes it confusing for no reason. Even if it were rearranged, there are a lot of holes that bring up questions.



#3 Keeppositive

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 05:54 PM

After leaving the manuscript for a few weeks, I have rewritten parts of it, as well as the query letter. If anyone could provide some feedback, I welcome it. 

 

When KATHLYN MURRAY, Virginia high school counselor, inherits a vacation bungalow on a little advertised Florida island, she welcomes the weeklong distraction from her current life problems to check out this unexpected gift. She does not expect mysterious pranks happening in the cottage, island business owners giving her the cold shoulder, or nosy residents asking what she plans to do with the cottage!
As an only child whose parents have died, Kathlyn is alone in life. She holds herself away from close friendships, thinking independence is preferable to losing any more important people in her life. Professionally, she is weathering the tragic suicide of a former student and questioning her career path. She believes Sandshell Island is an opportunity for a “do-over” and decides to relocate and change vocations. All she wants is a new life in her new cottage. But she is a mainlander, and these islanders do not want any more mainlanders invading their island, taking their land. As Kathlyn tries to settle in, islanders push back, hoping she will leave. Decades of bad blood run between the two groups: islanders and mainlanders. Her years of counseling have given her novel ideas to broker peace for the most stubborn enemies, even if she hasn’t been able to find inner peace herself, so she approaches island leaders with some innovative ideas to change tolerance for outsiders to acceptance. This will either seal her fate as a permanent outsider or create a reputation as a “know-it-all.” Neither choice is appealing, but she must try to create a life on this island. She will either thrive or fail on Sandshell Island, and one more failure might be enough to break her.



#4 KatieLDavis

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 01:41 PM

Hi!

So I think your second query in this post is a big improvement, but it's still falling a little flat. For starters, when I read this, I don't know what genre it is. Mystery? Romance? Suspense? Thriller? Crime? If I had to guess, I'd guess mystery, but there's not a whole lot of "clue" words that tell me what genre this is. That's really important!

I'd also condense her backstory as much as possible because that makes your query a little confusing. Focus more on what would happen if the islanders kicked her out--she'd have nowhere to go--and what challenges she faces in trying to stay (which you do a bit of, but it's a little sporadic).

Ultimately, I think you focus too much on her past, which could easily be summed up in one sentence: When (AGE) Kathlyn Murray inherits a vacation bungalow in beautiful Florida, the loner welcomes the excuse to leave her tragic past behind her.

You don't need to say what was tragic in your query because it's not relative to the story, at least not the way you present it. Only mention the counselor part when you talk about her mediating skills.

In summary, if you trim out the unnecessary information and focus more on your genre and the big plot points of your story, I think you'll have a much better query. :)

If you feel like reciprocating, here's mine: http://agentquerycon...i-fi-adventure/

#5 jaustail

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 09:59 PM

JMO:

 

When KATHLYN MURRAY, Virginia high school counselor, inherits a vacation bungalow(maybe mention who gives her this bungalow. does she receive a letter from attorney of a long lost relative?) on a little advertised Florida island, she welcomes the weeklong(there is curly red line under weeklong and it is suggesting either:

week long or week-long)distraction from her current life problems to check out this unexpected gift. She does not expect mysterious pranks happening in the cottage, island business owners giving her the cold shoulder, or nosy residents asking what she plans to do with the cottage!

(line break)
As an only child whose parents have died(maybe mention when. did the parents die when Kathlyn was a kid or did they die recently), Kathlyn is alone in life. She holds herself away from close friendships, thinking independence is preferable to losing any more important people in her life(repetition of 'life'). Professionally, she is weathering the tragic suicide of a former student(maybe start from here. that the suicide of a student puts her in emotional mess. then she gets a letter of inheritance and she moves in the cottage to get away from her life) and questioning her career path. She believes Sandshell Island is an opportunity for a “do-over” and decides to relocate and change vocations(any idea what she wants to do for new career?). All she wants is a new life in her new cottage.(already implied so maybe remove this)

(line break)

But she is a mainlander, and these islanders do not want any more mainlanders invading their island, taking their land. As Kathlyn tries to settle in, islanders push back, hoping she will leave. Decades of bad blood run between the two groups: islanders and mainlanders.(already implied) Her years of counseling have given her novel ideas to broker peace for the most stubborn enemies, even if she hasn’t been able to find inner peace herself, so she approaches island leaders with some innovative ideas to change tolerance for outsiders to acceptance. This will either seal her fate as a permanent outsider or create a reputation as a “know-it-all.”(i dont see much difference in 'outsider' and 'know it all' in both cases the inlanders detest her) Neither choice is appealing, but she must try to create a life on this island. She will either thrive or fail on Sandshell Island, and one more failure might be enough to break her.(maybe in the end reiterate that she doesnt want the last option of returning home)

 

 

I think it's an interesting story. I'm glad this is not-- 'she goes to island, people hate her, a murder happens, and she ends up solving the murder'



#6 Keeppositive

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 09:28 PM

Thank you all so far for your help. I have taken a combination of many of your suggestions and hope this rewrite is a better query. I have included the entire query letter. 

 

Dear __________,

I would like to send you my current project, Sandshell Island, a commercial/women's fiction story of a woman hoping to convince an island, rejecting of outsiders, to accept her.

When KATHLYN MURRAY, Virginia high school counselor, inherits a vacation bungalow on a little advertised Florida island, she welcomes the week-long distraction from her current life problems to check out this unexpected gift. Professionally, she is weathering the tragic suicide of a former student and questioning her career path. She comes to believes Sandshell Island is an opportunity for a “do-over” and decides to relocate and change vocations, a change that does not go well.

She is a mainlander, and these islanders do not want any more mainlanders invading their island, taking their land. As Kathlyn tries to settle in, islanders push back, hoping she will leave. Years of counseling have given her novel ideas to broker peace for the most stubborn enemies, even if she hasn’t found that inner peace herself, so she approaches island leaders with some innovative ideas to change tolerance for outsiders to acceptance. Their reaction could seal her fate as a permanent outsider and brand her a “know-it-all,” but she must try to create a life on this island. Returning to Virginia would be an admittance of failure, and one more failure might be enough to break her.

I am a debut novelist seeking representation, with a background teaching Literature and Language Arts. My years of teaching/engaging middle-schoolers left me with an appreciation for keeping a reader’s attention!

Sandshell Island is complete at 91,000 words. This novel will reach readers who identify with crises of the spirit and the struggle of fitting in. I appreciate the time you have taken to read this query and welcome the chance to send you the full manuscript.

                    ***************

To KatieLDavis, I hope the first sentence lends a better understanding of the genre, but if you read it and it's still not clear, please let me know. To jaustail, thank you for the suggestion for moving sentences and for saying the story looked interesting! At this stage of the game, every little building-up gives me a bit more confidence to proceed. After having only one MS request which resulted in a "pass" with no additional feedback, it's frustrating. But I'll keep plugging along!



#7 jaustail

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 10:04 PM

Congrats on the full request. At least it's something positive.

 

 

Dear __________,

 

I would like to send you my current project, Sandshell Island, a commercial/women's fiction story of a woman hoping to convince an island, rejecting of outsiders, to accept her.(how about...hoping to convince the people of an island to let go of their prejudice and accept her as their new inhabitant/citizen)

 

When KATHLYN MURRAY, Virginia high school counselor, inherits a vacation bungalow(I still think you should mention who gave her this island) on a little advertised Florida island, she welcomes the week-long distraction from her current life problems to check out this unexpected gift. Professionally, she is weathering the tragic suicide of a former student and questioning her career path. She comes to believes Sandshell Island is an opportunity for a “do-over”(when she comes to the island does she not see the hatred the people have for outsiders? why would she leave her home and move to a place where the people hate her?) and decides to relocate and change vocations, a change that does not go well.

 

She is a mainlander, and these islanders do not want any more mainlanders(any more? are there some mainlanders already there in the island? maybe Kathlyn can befriend them instead of trying to win the haters) invading their island, taking their land. As Kathlyn tries to settle in, islanders push back, hoping she will leave. Years of counseling have given her novel ideas to broker peacefor the most stubborn enemies, even if she hasn’t found that inner peace herself, so she approaches island leaders with some innovative ideas to change tolerance for outsiders to acceptance. Their reaction could seal her fate as a permanent outsider and brand her a “know-it-all,” but she must try to create a life(a life for herself or like cheer up the people of the island?) on this island. Returning to Virginia would be an admittance of failure, and one more failure might be enough to break her.(but she's a counselor and sounds very hard on herself. what does she say to students who fail exams?)

 

I am a debut novelist seeking representation, with a background teaching Literature and Language Arts. My years of teaching/engaging middle-schoolers left me with an appreciation for keeping a reader’s attention!(maybe don't mention this reader's attention bit. I mean it also depends on the reader and what you're submitting. A great book can make an avid reader fall asleep if it's not his genre)

 

Sandshell Island(capital: SANDSHELL ISLAND) is (mention genre)complete at 91,000 words(How about: SANDSHELL ISLAND is a 91,000-word Commercial/Women's Fiction). This novel will reach readers who identify with crises of the spirit and the struggle of fitting in. I appreciate the time you have taken to read this query and welcome the chance to send you the full manuscript.



#8 KatieLDavis

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 09:47 AM

I think this is a great improvement! It flows better and makes sense, which is great!

I have two suggestions.

I would remove your first paragraph explaining the genre and add it to the paragraph with the book's title and word count. Open your query point blank, so to speak. :)

Secondly, your query reads more like a synopsis than a pitch. It flows well and I get a great idea of your story, but it lacks emotional depth. Try and add Kathlyn's feelings wherever you can. Example from second paragraph: Broken but still hopeful, she believes Sandshell Island is the perfect opportunity for a much needed do-over. (or whatever works for you).

Great improvement overall! It just needs some emotion! And make sure it doesn't get too long (under 300 words should be your goal, but try to get closer to 250).

Good luck! :)

#9 redtornadowrites

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 03:22 PM

Based on your query, I can foresee a potentially appealing narrative. I won't offer a line-by-line critique, but a couple of points for reflection:

 

I'd describe your manuscript as a mainstream novel rather than a commercial fiction story. 

 

I'm drawn to the following line: "Years of counseling have given her novel ideas to broker peace for the most stubborn enemies, even if she hasn't found that inner peace herself." I assume this conflict plays out in your story. Why not give it more play in your query? Also, the idea of island could be used to good effect as a metaphor, and could tie in with her being alone in life. (Maybe you do this in your story.)

 

Omit the line about being a debut novelist. This is assumed unless you include a credit. 

 

Onward. 



#10 Keeppositive

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Posted 25 November 2017 - 03:01 PM

Thank you, redtornadowrites, for your suggestion of changing the genre to mainstream. I agree and maybe it will open new agents to me...I have rewritten the query again and hope it is more streamlined and focused. One agent responded to my query and said "it looks like there are too many sub-plots." In my quest to be appealing and mysterious, I came across more "befuddled." :) Here is my most recent and hopefully, more successful query (minus the structured, basic info like word count, bio, etc.) Suggestions welcome!

 

When KATHLYN MURRAY, Virginia high school counselor, inherits a bungalow on a little advertised Florida island, she welcomes the distraction from her life to check out this unexpected gift from an uncle she barely knew. Professionally, she is weathering the suicide of a former student and questioning her value as a counselor. Visiting Sandshell Island seems an opportunity for rest. It isn’t. Islanders do not welcome her or any other tourists. Through her skilled questioning (read “snooping”), she learns the islanders mistrust, resent, and fear outsiders overtaking their once-hidden island and forcing them out. Kathlyn grasps this conflict as a chance to redirect her career and restore her depleted self-confidence, so she relocates to Sandshell Island. Years of counseling have given Kathlyn novel ideas to broker peace for the most stubborn enemies, even if that peace eludes herself. Her initial efforts fail, and she earns a reputation as a troublemaker and instigator. Tenuously trusting her training and instincts, she approaches island leaders with some innovative ideas to change thin tolerance for outsiders to acceptance. Their reactions could seal her fate as a permanent outsider and a meddler. Her self-worth is at stake, and returning to Virginia would be admittance of failure, one that might be enough to break her.



#11 nattydee

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 10:50 AM

When KATHLYN MURRAY, Virginia high school counselor, inherits a bungalow on a little-known advertised Florida island, she welcomes the distraction. from her life to check out this unexpected gift from an uncle she barely knew. Professionally, she is weathering the suicide of a former student and questioning her value as a counselor.  Sandshell Island seems an opportunity for rest from her turmoil and self-doubt over the suicide of a former student. But her visit isn't the getaway she expected.

 

Islanders do not welcome her or any other tourists. Through her skilled questioning (read “snooping”), she learns the islanders mistrust, resent, and fear {pick one} outsiders overtaking their once-hidden island and forcing them out. Kathlyn grasps this conflict as Recognizing a chance to redirect her career and restore her depleted self-confidence, so she Kathlyn relocates to Sandshell Island with ideas to broker peace and rally acceptance.  for the most stubborn enemies, even if that peace eludes herself. But when her initial efforts fail, earning her a reputation as a troublemaker and instigator {pick one}, Kathlyn must convince the fearsome {or some other adjective that raises the stakes} island leaders with strange, unconventional methods...or Tenuously trusting her training and instincts, she approaches island leaders with some innovative ideas to change thin tolerance for outsiders to acceptance. Their reactions could seal her fate as a permanent outsider and a meddler. Her self-worth is at stake, and returning to return to Virginia as a would be admittance of failure, which might be enough to break her.

 

 

Interesting premise! Find ways to condense to the most salient info. And focus on the main stakes before Kathlyn, not her previous experience brokering peace. 



#12 Keeppositive

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 09:54 PM

Thank you, nattydee. It reads much better when it's tightened up. I will use your suggestions and plug forward.



#13 Keeppositive

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 09:36 PM

My latest query for this novel:

 

An island getaway that wants its tourists to “get away” proves to be a not-so-fresh-start for troubled high school counselor KATHLYN MURRAY.

When Kathlyn unexpectedly inherits a bungalow on a little-known Florida island, she welcomes the distraction. Sandshell Island seems an opportunity for rest from the turmoil and self-doubt over a student’s suicide. But her visit isn't the break she expected.

 

Islanders do not welcome her or any other tourists. They fear outsiders overtaking their once-hidden island and forcing them out. Fear turns to anger and anger to resentment. Since conflict resolution is her forte, Kathlyn seizes the chance to redirect her career and restore her self-confidence by relocating to Sandshell Island with ideas to broker peace and rally acceptance for visitors. But when her initial efforts fail, she earns a reputation as a meddler, and those old self-doubts resurface. Leaving the island would be acceptance of failure. With a "Go big or go home" attitude, Kathlyn must convince reluctant islanders to trust her renegade strategies or return to Virginia having failed, which might be enough to break her.

Like the protagonist, I have worked with teens for over 20 years, counseling and educating them. In addition, I am familiar with the difficulties facing this type of community, witnessing rapid growth in small tourist-destination cities.

SANDSHELL ISLAND is a commercial/mainstream novel of a woman hoping to convince an island rejecting of outsiders to believe otherwise (complete at 88,000 words). It is also the story of a woman reclaiming her value and will reach people who identify with crises of the spirit and the struggle of fitting in. Readers of Dorothea Benton Franks and Elin Hilderbrand will enjoy SANDSHELL ISLAND. I appreciate your time and welcome the chance to send you the full manuscript.

 

Please point out strengths and weaknesses. And I need alternatives for the word "fail" used three times in one paragraph :) Suggestions always appreciated :)



#14 Keeppositive

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:10 PM

I am continuing to revise. Having updated my manuscript, shaved some more words, and developed Kathlyn's inner conflict more fully (I hope) here is my latest revision: Please offer insight, suggestions, or encouragement :) 

 

Attn __________,

 

High school counselor KATHLYN MURRAY struggles to cope with a former student’s suicide whose family places blame on her. When she unexpectedly inherits a bungalow on little-known Sandshell Island, she seizes an opportunity to get away and think things out. Her initial visit to the island reveals a community mistrustful of outsiders and unwilling to embrace tourists. Seeing a chance to leave the stressful field of teen counseling behind, Kathlyn takes her counseling skills to the island, intending to broker peace between residents and visitors. Her methods fail, and she is branded a meddler. Suddenly all the problems she outran resurface. She doubts her professional abilities, left with the thought that there is no job at which she can succeed and no place to belong. Her last chance lies in convincing reluctant island leaders to trust renegade strategies for reconciliation. Failure again means the island rejects her- leaving her homeless, jobless, and worthless.

 

(BIo)

(Comp info, closing remarks)



#15 SnowFox23

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:23 PM

High school counselor, commaKATHLYN MURRAYcomma, struggles to cope with a former student’s suicide whose family places blame on her. cool, can you maybe give a brief insight as to why they blame her? 

 When she unexpectedly inherits a bungalow on little-known Sandshell Island, she seizes an opportunity to get away and think things out. cool, but maybe it would be more impactful if you say, "re-think her life," or something.

 

Her initial visit to the island reveals a community mistrustful of outsiders and unwilling to embrace tourists. Seeing a chance to leave the stressful field of teen counseling behind, Kathlyn takes her counseling skills to the island, intending to broker peace between residents and visitors. Her methods fail, and she is branded a meddler. Suddenly all the problems she outran resurface. She doubts her professional abilities, left with the thought that there is no job at which she can succeed and no place to belong. cool, but I think the wording could be a bit more impactful. I do think adding why the family of the student who suicided blame her, could help you here. If you explain why they blame her in the beginning, we will understand her self-doubt, and understand why her internal conflict is resurfacing.

 

 

Her last chance lies in convincing reluctant island leaders to trust renegade strategies for reconciliation. This is too vague. I don't understand what renegade strategies mean. Bring out the big guns, girl. Tell us exactly what those renegade strategies are. Failure again means the island rejects her- leaving her homeless, jobless, and worthless.

Cool.

Yup, so, the plot is there. Good stuff. I don't quite understand the last paragraph though. This is where the conflict needs to amp up. Explain what the renegade strategies are. Give us some juicy stakes :)



#16 darsenault

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 01:21 AM

I am continuing to revise. Having updated my manuscript, shaved some more words, and developed Kathlyn's inner conflict more fully (I hope) here is my latest revision: Please offer insight, suggestions, or encouragement :) 

 

Dear __________,

 

Be nice! You're not e-mailing a corporation, you're talking to a person. "Dear" is well respected.

 

High school counselor KATHLYN MURRAY (You don't capitalize the protagonist's name in a query, only in a synopsis) struggles to cope with a former student’s suicide whose family places blames on her. When she unexpectedly inherits a bungalow on little-known Sandshell Island, she seizes an opportunity to get away and think things out. Her initial visit to the island reveals a community mistrustful of outsiders and unwilling to embrace tourists. Seeing a chance to leave the stressful field of teen counseling behind, Kathlyn takes her counseling skills to the island, intending to broker peace between residents and visitors. Her methods fail, and she is branded a meddler. Suddenly all the problems she outran resurface. She doubts her professional abilities, left with the thought that there is no job at which she can succeed and no place to belong. Her last chance lies in convincing reluctant island leaders to trust renegade strategies for reconciliation. Failure again means the island rejects her- leaving her homeless, jobless, and worthless.

 

Your writing with the query is very tight; your sentences flow and are easily understood. However, the query as it stands doesn't shine a very good light on either the protagonist OR the story. 

 

Right now, Kathlyn DOES seem like a meddler. What's she do, kidnap a bunch of tourists and natives and make them talk about their feelings? Why does she feel like this is her place, and why does she stake her personal reputation on the success of something so naive? As a reader, I'm left to wonder whether Kathlyn really is a failure, which makes me not want to root for her.

 

That said, I don't believe that's a fair assessment of your STORY. That's just the view the query leaves me with. You need to reframe her goal, her motivations, and ultimately the choice she has to make. The climax of the conflict isn't, "Get the island leaders to accept a drastic strategy to make the locals accept the tourists." The climax of your conflict is the choice she must make, because she certainly has options. 

 

Let me phrase this one more way to try and help you with your next draft. Kathlyn must want to help the island because the ISLAND needs it, not just because she needs it. If the island doesn't WANT her help, then she's just a meddler, the real protagonists are the islanders, and they need to decide whether to exile her or accept her help. If Kathlyn really is the protagonist, then ultimately it will come down to this:

Island needs Kathlyn's help. Her choice is whether to give it a shot or not. If she gives it a shot, she risks [terrible consequences], if she doesn't give it a shot, the island faces [terrible consequences]. On the converse, if she gives it a shot, she might get [reward], and if she doesn't give it a shot, she might find [lesser reward].

 

Character. Conflict. Choice. Stakes.

 

Good luck!



#17 Keeppositive

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 06:24 PM

Okay, darsenault, and SnowFox23, thank you for your honest and helpful feedback. I have revised again, hopefully making the stakes for Kathlyn clearer without getting too lengthy...sigh. This query stuff really is MUCH harder than writing the actual manuscript! Argh..

 

Dear ________,

High school counselor Kathlyn Murray struggles to cope with a former student’s suicide whose family blames her for missing warning signs. When she unexpectedly inherits a bungalow on little-known Sandshell Island, she seizes an opportunity to get away and think. Her initial visit to the island reveals a community mistrustful of outsiders, and unwilling to embrace tourists. Years ago mainlanders scammed residents, stealing their money and leaving many destitute, forced to sell their homes to the highest bidder. Relations between the two groups never healed, upsetting tourism, an industry the island needs to maintain self-sufficiency. Kathlyn sees a win/win situation: take her counseling skills to the island to broker peace between residents and visitors, and she gains acceptance, leaving the stressful world of teenage counseling behind. However, she fails to convince islanders to tolerate the tourists and is even branded a meddler for her interference. Suddenly all the problems she outran resurface. She doubts her professional abilities, wondering if there is any job at which she can succeed and any place to belong. Her last chance lies in convincing reluctant island leaders to let the visitors they mistrust take an active role in the community or face the fact that without tourists, Sandshell Island will fail, quickly becoming a ghost town. Without Sandshell Island, Kathlyn will be homeless, jobless, and worthless.

 

(bio stuff)

 

SANDSHELL ISLAND is a women’s fiction novel of a woman hoping to convince an island rejecting of outsiders to believe otherwise (complete at 88,000 words). It is also the story of a woman reclaiming her value and will reach people who identify with crises of the spirit and the struggle of fitting in.



#18 GeorgeIsCurious

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 09:16 PM

Okay, darsenault, and SnowFox23, thank you for your honest and helpful feedback. I have revised again, hopefully making the stakes for Kathlyn clearer without getting too lengthy...sigh. This query stuff really is MUCH harder than writing the actual manuscript! Argh..

 

Dear ________,

 

High school counselor Kathlyn Murray struggles to cope with a former student’s suicide. whose The student's family blames her for missing warning signs. This needs perhaps one more sentence of grounding before you can go into the next section. 

 

When she Kathlyn unexpectedly inherits a bungalow on little-known Sandshell Island, she seizes an opportunity to get away and think. Her initial visit to the island introduces her toreveals a community of mistrustful of outsiders, and unwilling to embrace tourists. She learns that years ago, mainlanders scammed residents, stealing their money and leaving many destitute, forced to sell their homes to the highest bidder. Relations between the two groups never healed, upsetting tourism, an industry the island needs to maintain self-sufficiency. (Combine the past two sentences into one and summarize the point that they were scared and relations frayed) 

 

Kathlyn sees a win/win situation: take her counseling skills to the island and broker peace between residents and visitors. and she gains acceptance, leaving the stressful world of teenage counseling behind. However, she both fails to convince islanders to tolerate the tourists and is even branded a meddler for her interference. Suddenly a All the problems she outran resurface. She doubts her professional abilities, wondering if there is any job at which she can succeed and any place to belong. Her last chance lies in convincing reluctant island leaders to let the visitors they mistrust take an active role in the community or face the fact that without tourists, Sandshell Island will fail, quickly becoming a ghost town. Without Sandshell Island, Kathlyn will be homeless, jobless, and worthless.

 

(bio stuff)

 

SANDSHELL ISLAND is a women’s fiction novel of a woman hoping to convince an island rejecting of outsiders to believe otherwise (complete at 88,000 words). You don't need to put the word count in parentheses. It is also the story of a woman reclaiming her value and will reach people who identify with crises of the spirit and the struggle of fitting in.

 

This just needs a bit of tightening. Keep plugging and I'm positive something beautiful will come through :)







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Womens Fiction, Commercial Fiction

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