May 15, 2009

Query- Story for a Shipwright (Revision 2)

Click here to read the original query and sample pages.
Click here to read the first revision.

I am seeking representation for my novel STORY FOR A SHIPWRIGHT, a work of commercial fiction complete at 82,000 words.

Family dysfunction and responsibilities weigh on shipwright and aspiring novelist Samuel Wesley; he has no time for himself, let alone na├»ve Marlena, hired to stay on at his mother’s bed & breakfast. A story within a story develops when she reveals a tale of a captain’s shipwreck, a pregnant woman’s survival on an uninhabited island and a girl’s rescue. Her farfetched stories leave Samuel wondering if they are merely the imaginings of a delusional girl—what he does not realize is that her stories are autobiographical, holding the key to his family’s ancestry, and will launch him into recollections of his own repressed memories.

If he risks pursuing her, he must compete with his womanizing friend, and confront suspicions over her motives, while keeping his own emotional fallout at bay. If he does not, he could miss out on an extraordinary woman and becoming part of her incredible story.

Marlena and Samuel, through their own unique perceptions, help each other find the home and love we are all looking for.

Thank you for your consideration.


Scott said...

The only major change I would make would be to drop your first paragraph to the end. I think you do a good job summing up the story.

I kind of think of these query letters like news stories. As a repoter, I was trained to write in an "inverted pyramid" style. That just means getting the most important facts first and then filling in the details later.

I think you want to hit the agent with the key elements of your story first, generally the key point of your story. Everything else can feed off of that.

jbchicoine said...

I've seen that done on several other queries here, and now that you mention it, I rather like the idea. Thanks for taking the time--I appreciate it.

jbchicoine said...

After reading many other posts, both here and on sited links, I feel as though my first sentence lacks a real hook. I’ve been rethinking—okay, obsessing over—it, and some of my description, and just so I’ll sleep better tonight, I have to post another revision. Rick, thanks for indulging me.