Sep 10, 2009

Query: Ready or Not

Dear Agent:

Yeah, Katherine missed birth control pills in the past, but she never got a freakin' plus sign on her pregnancy test! Now she has to decide how to deal with Nate, her boyfriend of four years who she doesn't really even like. And she is clueless about what to do with these unexpected feelings for Brandon, the ladies man of the payroll office where she works.

Katherine and Nate have had a tumultuous relationship, but because every other man (including her father) ditched her after a few months of her company, she finds it impossible and impractical to leave him—even though Brandon persistently tries to convince her otherwise.

After the baby is born, postpartum depression sets in. Katherine worries about harming her baby, develops an obsession with Vicodin, and struggles with a nagging feeling that Nate is cheating on her. Nate, unable to cope with Katherine's unpredictable emotions, takes off five weeks after the baby is born.

Katherine is convinced that Nate left because of the weight she gained during pregnancy and can only find comfort in skipping meals—not that she's anorexic or anything! Oh, she also develops a nasty habit of sleeping with strange men—anything to not be alone. She can only turn her life around with the help of the man who never loved her enough and the man who never got a chance to love her.

Ready or Not, complete at 96,000 words, is a work of women's fiction. Please contact me if you're interested in seeing my novel. Thank you for your consideration.


Tricia J. O'Brien said...

You have laid out a clear story in crisp form here but not given me any reason to care about this character and her destructive behavior. I think if a book is going to deal with dark, tough stuff, it needs to make the reader feel compelled for some reason to go there. What made her the way she is and why should we care? How will she develop and overcome this? (Not how she will be saved by someone else.)

John said...

I think there's an interesting set-up here, but for me the story doesn't really take off because the main character seems so passive. She's torn about what to do, she stumbles into pregnancy, depression and addiction ("obsession" sounds odd in relation to an addictive drug), and in the end she resolves her conflict only with the help of others. Weaknesses and conflicted emotions are good, even essential, in a main character, but she needs some strengths too if she's going to be interesting. Being defined by the men in (and out of) her life can be part of her problem in the beginning, but if it's also where she ends up, then there's not much of a story. If you can show us how her own efforts and decisions make or break her fate, I think this could be a really exciting read.

Dominique said...

you've got the story laid out quite neatly, but I need a reason to care about a character who does these things. You might want to lead with why she's likeable.

Also, the symmetry in the sentence about her getting her life back together is a bit off.

Natalie said...

I think you did a good job of showing your voice in this query, but I agree with the other posters. I need to know why I should care about Katherine.

TLH said...

I agree with what everyone said about your passive main character that doesn't really inspire me to care. I did want to mention a positive thing, though, that your writing style and attitude comes through nicely. And I really like it!


Donna Hole said...

Good summary. You gave a lot of good facts about what the story is about, and they flowed well from one concept to the other. You had a great beginning about her delimma. Excellent narrative.

I like the line about her "tumultuous relationship" and the impact the abandonment of her father had on her committment to stay in any relationship. I also like how she goes off the deep end after Nate's desertion. The introduction of Brandon in the first paragraph added some spice to the mix.

I think you can condense the synopsis to just what is most relevant: Her need to be in any relationship; her emotions surrounding the baby's birth; her struggle with addiction; and her road to recovery. Be specific. The last line in paragraph 4 is very vague.

Does Brandon have any part in her story? Is he a main character? If so, mention him again. If not, maybe you should leave his name out.

Good luck with this.