Sep 11, 2009

La Dame D'Or - 1st Revision

Click here to read the original query.

I am seeking representation for my work of commercial fiction La Dame D’Or. It is complete at 90,000 words.

Knowledge is power. Sometimes enough will get you killed. Eleanor Lyons isn’t aware she harbors any knowledge of the deadly sort until the handsome and elusive Connor Stevens tracks her down. His dogged interest in the subject of her discarded doctoral thesis, which includes the resting place of an ancient chest of medallions, immediately raises her hackles.

A history professor who jealously guards her personal life, Eleanor Lyons is terrifically unprepared to deal with Connor’s world, a place full of hired killers, personal vendettas, and treasure hunting. She tries convincing Connor Stevens her thesis is nothing more than an interesting myth. That might have worked, too, if Connor Stevens turned out to be her biggest problem.

A man as bloodthirsty as he is relentless, Jonathan Dubois believes the medallions belong to him by birth. Connor has witnessed Jonthan’s willingness to kill in order to obtain them and has vowed to beat him to the punch. The two men, nurturing a decade long hatred for one another, will stop at nothing to be the first to claim the medallions. Eleanor’s knowledge has landed her not only in the middle of the men’s struggle against each other, but between them and their ultimate prize. It is a deadly place to be.

As she reveals a tale that travels through time, beginning in ancient Rome and ending on a nineteeth century shipwreck, Eleanor won't give up until she finds a way to save herself and her friends. Also reminded of the passion she once felt for the medallions themselves, she forms an electric, though uneasy, alliance with Connor in order to beat Jonathan to the treasure. If they can be the first to find La Dame D’or and her sunken treasure, she might be able to reclaim her quiet life. That is, if she still wants it.

I have a bachelor’s degree in Radio-TV-Film from Texas Christian University where I polished a talent for vivid and succinct writing. I am currently working towards a Master’s degree in Ancient History at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, which has instilled in me a passion for the past that is instrumental in bringing this plot to life. Thank you for your time and consideration.

4 comments:

Gina said...

Sounds very Romancing The Stone and therefore lots of fun!

This query is a great improvement on the first one, amongst other things in that it makes your heroine sound a lot more spunky.
However, a few things still struck me as incongruous:

- an ´elusive´ person tracking another person down somehow doesn´t sound right

- it´s not entirely clear why interest in her work, which should be flattering, raises Eleanor´s hackles

- why does she guard her personal life ´jealously´? Who or what is she jealous of?

- Also not sure about the ´terrifically unprepared´. I would just leave out the adverb, seeing as you already have one in that sentence

- you start your second and third plot paragraphs with the same sentence structure

- ´a tale that travels through time´ somehow doesn´t sit right with me

- what ´friends´? As they weren´t mentioned before in this version of the query just leave them out. You got enough going on

- re your creds: show that you have a talent for succinct writing rather than telling it, by condensing this part of the query. Say something like ´my background is in...´ and then briefly mention that you´re doing a Master´s in Ancient History. That in itself will convey to the agent that you have a passion for the past. Don´t explicitly state it. I get the impression agents aren´t keen on these kind of declarations of passion.

Overall the query could profit from some more tightening, but it flowed very well indeed and got everything accross to me very well. And it sounds like a great adventure yarn. I can see Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner bickering over the Dame D´or!

Gina Logue said...

Like Gina, I thought of Romancing The Stone as well. And I really like Romancing The Stone.

The beginning of this query, I thought, was fine.

My comments below starts from the third paragraph:

A history professor who jealously* guards her personal life, Eleanor Lyons is terrifically* unprepared to deal with Connor’s world, a place full of hired killers, personal vendettas, and treasure hunting. [*What does it mean “Jealously”? of what? Remove "Terrifically"]

That might have worked, too, if Connor Stevens turned out to be her biggest problem. [This sentence seems a bit awkward.]

*A man as bloodthirsty as he is relentless*, [You show Jonathan’s bloodthirstiness and relentlessness in the following sentences so don’t need this phrase here.]

Connor has witnessed Jonthan’s [name misspelled] willingness …

Eleanor’s knowledge has landed her not only in the middle of the men’s struggle against each other, but between them and their ultimate prize. [This seems to be re-stating the obvious, which was already explained earlier in the query.]

As she reveals a tale that travels through time, beginning in ancient Rome and ending on a nineteeth [nineteenth misspelled] century shipwreck, Eleanor won't give up until she finds a way to save herself and her friends. [This sentence structure is a bit awkward, “as she reveals …, Eleanor won’t give up”. “as she reveals…Eleanor is reminded of the passion...” would make better sense. Who are her friends? How are they involved in this and need to be saved?]

“electric, though uneasy” feels like ‘telling’ to me. How is their alliance electric and uneasy?

If they can be the first to find La Dame D’or and her sunken treasure, she might be able to reclaim her quiet life. [Wouldn’t the relentless and bloodthirsty Jonathan come after the treasure? How does finding the treasure first allow her to reclaim her quiet life?]

The story sounds interesting.

Good luck.
Gina Logue

Donna Hole said...

Maybe it's too early for me.

I liked it. Except when I got to the fourth paragraph. I think you could delete that entirely. Its just more summation of what you've alread disclosed. I think you could also delete the "terrifically" in the line: Eleanor Lyons is terrifically unprepared . .

In your credentials, I think you're right to list your education in this field, but don't put in anything about your skills for writing or your passion for history. Save that for the author bio. Leave it as: I have a bachelor’s degree in Radio-TV-Film from Texas Christian University and am currently working towards a Master’s degree in Ancient History at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Nice job on the revision! It engaged me all the way through. Good luck with it.

............dhole

SomedayAuthor said...

Thanks a lot everyone, good to know I'm on the right track. Fixed the spelling errors and the adverb overuse, going to tackle that problematic fourth paragraph!