Mar 31, 2010

Query- Facets of Sorrow (revised)

Click here to read the original query.

Dear (Agent’s Name),

Facets of Sorrow is a work of women’s fiction, which is complete at 95,000 words.

Seven months after Gemma Allen’s first date with Aaron Dullis, he takes her to a hotel to celebrate her nineteenth birthday. She falls asleep in his arms, oblivious to the hints he’s been trying to give her: It will be their last night together because when he leaves for his commitment to the Marines, he’s not taking a commitment to her with him. He does leave, and she is heartbroken.

Two years later, Gemma meets Kyle Johnson. She’s not sure what to make of the gorgeous lawyer. Who gives a woman an ant farm on the first date… or any date? He may be odd, but he introduces something new into her life, something she needs: joy.

After a few years of marriage to Kyle, his secretive behavior and mysterious business trips have Gemma convinced he’s not who she thought he was. Her confusion worsens when Aaron returns and says he needs her in his life. She’s not sure which man she should be with – the one who needs her or the one she needs.

When Gemma learns Kyle’s secret, her determination to protect it unfurls a chain of events that land her in a hospital bed, Aaron in handcuffs and Kyle in a legal and ethical dilemma as he tries to clean up the mess they’ve all made.

I have a B.A. in English from the University of Texas. My previous writing experience includes serving as a ghostwriter for Life Builders, a nationwide mentoring ministry.

Thank you for your time and for considering my novel.

Sincerely,
Genevieve Wilson

8 comments:

Victoria Dixon said...

Right now my greatest concern is for your plot solution, which apparently leaves someone besides your heroine (presumably Gemma) solving the problem. If your MC is not your hero/heroine, then you need to concentrate your query around your hero - the person who has the most to lose and who changes the most. Good luck!

Lynn Colt said...

First of all, this version is so much better than the first one! The specifics totally drew me in.

However, I do agree with Victoria's comment. If Gemma is the person we've been following all this time, why is Kyle suddenly the one with the dilemma? If Gemma is the protagonist we need to hear how SHE deals with the crisis. If Kyle turns into the protagonist (like if Gemma is unconscious in her hospital bed?), we need to hear more from his side of the story from the beginning.

Anyway, you've made a lot of progress, so good job! You will totally get there.

Genevieve Wilson said...

Thank you for taking the time with my query. Sometimes I want to comment on other queries, but I can't pinpoint anything as astutely as so many on this blog. It's a talent I don't have.

Yes. I thought it was a great observation, and I tweaked the last paragraph. Here it is:

When Gemma learns Kyle’s secret, her determination to protect it unfurls a chain of events that land her in a hospital bed, Aaron in handcuffs and Kyle in a legal and ethical dilemma. She knows the only way to get them out of the mess she’s made is to stick to the story Kyle told the police, and she must hide the truth that she still loves Aaron, and he didn’t kill that man from Kyle’s past – she did.

Piedmont Writer said...

I was lurking but I do agree that the new last paragraph ties is all together nicely.

Victoria Dixon said...

I agree, the new last paragraph is better. I suggest cutting the last sentence into two. It gets a bit long.

As someone who has only had one comment so far, I'd love to hear anything you have to say about mine - specific or otherwise. ;D It's called Mourn Their Courage.

Lynn Colt said...

I like the revised last paragraph, so now you can start streamlining (the query is a bit long). Suggestions:

The first three paragraphs can be cut down to something along the lines of:
"Gemma Allen's college sweetheart Aaron breaks her heart when he leaves to join the Marines. Two years later, Gemma meets and falls for gorgeous and whimsical Kyle, a lawyer who gives her an ant farm ... and later a ring.

After a few years of marriage, however, Kyle's secretive behavior and mysterious business trips worry Gemma that the man she married isn't who he says he is. As cracks in their relationship deepen, Aaron returns. He says he needs her, and Gemma's torn between her husband and her college love.

And then your final new paragraph, though bits of it can be cut:

When Gemma learns Kyle’s secret, her determination to protect it lands her in a hospital bed, Aaron in handcuffs and a dead man on the kitchen floor. The only way out is to stick to the story Kyle told the police, and Gemma must hide the truth that Aaron didn’t kill that man from Kyle’s past – she did.

(I changed the part about Kyle's ethical/legal dilemma, which is a little vague and doesn't pack as much punch as revealing that someone's been killed. You have the reveal in the last sentence, but it gets overshadowed by the reveal that Gemma's the murderer, so giving each reveal its space makes it more powerful in my opinion)

You're close - just need tweaks now!

Aimless Writer said...

I liked this query. For a while there I forgot to critique because I was pulled into the story. The new last paragraph was better.
Great story and I can see how this is Gemma's story and how she deals with her husband's secret. I even find myself cheering for the main character which is something I usually don't do (feel) when I read a query.
Good job. I'd read this book.

Genevieve Wilson said...

Wow! I can't tell you have helpful and encouraging you all have been. I wish I could buy a round of drinks. (Something we all could use after dealing with query letters, right?)

Thanks again!