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A Broken Island

Womens Fiction Commercial Fiction

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#1 Keeppositive

Keeppositive

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 04:11 PM

In full disclosure, this query is the umpteenth revision and one I've placed here before under a different title. So, after many revisions to the manuscript, a writing workshop, a break for short-story writing to see if I could get published (yay! one flash-fiction piece under my belt), I'm back to query this novel. My concern is that this query sounds stiff, formal, vague, and/or boring. Suggestions welcome, and return critiques offered:

 

High school counselor KATHLYN MURRAY never saw herself a modern day Wonder Woman, but she’ll have to become that to save herself.

Kathlyn heads to Sandshell Island where she has inherited a cottage, determined to relocate, following a professional crisis in her school counseling job. However, islanders greet her unenthusiastically and the longer she stays, the deeper the animosity grows. Years ago mainlanders scammed residents, stealing their properties, and creating distrust between them. This mistrust remains, and she is the newest recipient of islanders’ suspicions.

Because she lives there now, she sets out to change this dynamic. Her plan to use her mediation skills to repair the tourist/resident relationship fails miserably. She misjudges the depth of residents’ anger towards new homeowners, and the leaders bully and ostracize Kathlyn, orchestrating ways to push her out. However, she has nowhere else to live and must succeed here. Their refusal to listen to her ideas drives her confidence to new lows, and if she cannot convince them to accept the tourists they so desperately need, Sandshell Island will become a ghost town, taking Kathlyn’s future with it. This is her only home, and she must find acceptance here or risk becoming an outcast, a failure to herself the worst of all.

 

(Bio and one-time publishing information here).

(Compared to authors Mary Alice Munroe and Dorothea Benton Franks here)



#2 callalilly

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 06:00 PM

Hello. Below are suggestions for you to take or ignore -go with your gut when doing edits based on what I offer :)

 

In full disclosure, this query is the umpteenth revision and one I've placed here before under a different title. So, after many revisions to the manuscript, a writing workshop, a break for short-story writing to see if I could get published (yay! one flash-fiction piece under my belt), I'm back to query this novel. My concern is that this query sounds stiff, formal, vague, and/or boring. Suggestions welcome, and return critiques offered:

 

High school counselor KATHLYN MURRAY (Why all caps?) never saw herself a modern day Wonder Woman, but she’ll have to become that to save herself. (I get the feeling you're suggesting with this, but I would suggest another hook. This one does not tell us a whole lot about your character or plot. Having read the query, I think a hook relating to how she has to be a hero to the town that doesn't want her could be a good hook.)

 

Kathlyn heads to Sandshell Island where she has inherited a cottage, determined to relocate, following a professional crisis in her school counseling job. (This is a lot of information in a short sentence and feels a little jumpy. I suggest this: "After a crisis with her school counseling job, Kathlyn heads to Sandshell Island, determined to relocate to her newly inherited cottage.") However, islanders greet her unenthusiastically and the longer she stays, the deeper the animosity grows. Years ago mainlanders scammed residents, stealing their properties, and creating distrust between them. This mistrust remains, and she is the newest recipient of islanders’ suspicions.

 

Hoping to change this dynamic, Kathlyn uses her mediation skills in hope of repairing the tourist/resident relationships. However, she misjudges the depth of residents’ anger towards new homeowners, and the leaders bullying and ostracizing Kathlyn in hope of pushing her out. Their refusal to listen to her ideas drives her confidence to new lows, but it's not just her future they put in jeopardy; if she cannot convince them to accept the tourists they so desperately need, Sandshell Island will become a ghost town. Kathlyn has nowhere else to go, this being her only home, but if she can't find acceptance here, she risks becoming an outcast, a failure to herself the worst of all.

 

(Bio and one-time publishing information here).

(Compared to authors Mary Alice Munroe and Dorothea Benton Franks here)

 

I played around with the above and moved sentences around. I think your story sounds like a good read and I am hoping that my suggestions will help your query some. Again, if you don't like my rewording, please pay my edits no mind. Best of luck.


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