Query: VALENTINE, New Revision & stuff

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rainbowsheeps
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Re: Query: VALENTINE

Post by rainbowsheeps » May 1st, 2010, 10:13 pm

So, I'm trying to connect the strings a little better. I don't know if it's working, so that's what I'm here for, I guess. Any critique is welcome and appreciated, but I've been focusing mostly on that. I didn't feel like I could slip anything into the third paragraph, so I tried to fix it in the end of the second. I don't know if it worked, but I'm curious to hear what you guys think.

NEWEST VERSION:

Specific Agent,

Nineteen-year-old Adam is recovering from a suicide attempt. His five-year-old sister, Evelyn, found him bleeding on the floor. Every night, Adam tucks her into bed and hopes to find a way to make it up to her. His only chance to do this might be Richard White, a young and eager psychologist, but their prepaid appointments are running out fast.

One day in the waiting room, Adam meets Cherith, the young love of his life, and everything changes. He's happy for the first time. When he learns she has cancer, he promises to stay with her. Suddenly, he's haunted by vivid nightmares. He's forced to replay his suicide attempt again and again, and see the pain he caused Evelyn. *He asks Eve about school every day, finds time to play with her and her dolls every night, and tries to find the perfect way to apologize or what he did.

When Cherith collapses on Valentine's night, the dreams change. Every time he closes his eyes, he finds Cherith in a carnival made completely of lights, or he's dancing with her under the violet skies and in the red grass blades of what he believes is heaven. Soon, his visions seep into real life, and Adam can't discern the difference between dreams and reality. All Cherith wants to hear is Adam won't hurt himself if she dies, but he desperately wants to believe his dreams are showing him a world where they can be together forever.

VALENTINE is a work of literary fiction of approximately 100,000 words. [Specific agent information.]

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
[redacted]

*: This sentence ("He talks to Eve about school every day...") was originally this:
rainbowsheeps wrote:He becomes afraid to sleep, so he keeps the stuffed animal Eve gave him close for company.
I used the original one to try to make Adam more sympathetic, and that conflict a little more tangible. I changed it, though, to try to show an example or two of what he's actually doing for Evelyn. I'm wondering which one seems "better" though?
Last edited by rainbowsheeps on May 6th, 2010, 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Query: VALENTINE

Post by ceiser » May 2nd, 2010, 7:23 am

Hi, rainbowsheeps. Thanks for all your help with my query. Looks like you've made some progress here. Overall it looks good. I'm no authority, but here are just a few things that stood out to me...
rainbowsheeps wrote:So, I'm trying to connect the strings a little better. I don't know if it's working, so that's what I'm here for, I guess. Any critique is welcome and appreciated, but I've been focusing mostly on that. I didn't feel like I could slip anything into the third paragraph, so I tried to fix it in the end of the second. I don't know if it worked, but I'm curious to hear what you guys think.

NEWEST VERSION:

Specific Agent,

Nineteen-year-old Adam is recovering from a suicide attempt. His five-year-old sister, Evelyn, found him bleeding on the floor. Every night, Adam tucks her into bed and hopes to find a way to make it up to her. His only chance to do this might be Richard White, a young and eager psychologist, but their prepaid appointments are running out fast.

One day in the waiting room, Adam meets Cherith, the young love of his life, and everything changes (saying that she's the young love of his life before saying that everything changes felt a bit out of order to me. maybe the love of his life bit would work at the beginning of or combined with the next sentence?). He's happy for the first time (today? this week?). When he learns she has cancer, he promises to stay with her. Suddenly, he's haunted by vivid nightmares. He's forced to replay his suicide attempt again and again, and see the pain he caused Evelyn. *He asks Eve about school every day, finds time to play with her and her dolls every night, and tries to find the perfect way to apologize for what he did.

When Cherith collapses on Valentine's night (I'm probably stupid, but I had to look at this twice: the night of Valentine's Day, right?), the dreams change. Every time he closes his eyes, he finds Cherith in a carnival made completely of lights, or he's dancing with her under the violet skies and in the red grass blades (I think it reads more smoothly if you swap the two preceding prep phrases and lose the and) of what he believes is heaven. Soon, his visions seep into real life, and Adam can't discern the difference between dreams and reality. All Cherith wants to hear is that (?) Adam won't hurt himself if she dies, but he desperately wants to believe his dreams are showing him a world where they can be together forever.

VALENTINE is a work of literary fiction of approximately 100,000 words. [Specific agent information.]

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
[redacted]

*: This sentence ("He talks to Eve about school every day...") was originally this:
rainbowsheeps wrote:He becomes afraid to sleep, so he keeps the stuffed animal Eve gave him close for company.
I used the original one to try to make Adam more sympathetic, and that conflict a little more tangible. I changed it, though, to try to show an example or two of what he's actually doing for Evelyn. I'm wondering which one seems "better" though?

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Re: Query: VALENTINE

Post by kathleen » May 4th, 2010, 7:50 pm

What a great idea--very high concept! I think your query is quite good (much better than mine). I have one question, and it's probably quite stupid. Do the sister and his new love ever meet? Will the sister be the one who saves him after his love dies? I just want to know for myself. :P

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Re: Query: VALENTINE, New Revision & stuff

Post by rainbowsheeps » May 5th, 2010, 1:38 am

Thanks for the feedback!

I would really appreciate any comments, criticisms, suggestions, whatever you can offer about this... but at least, I'm hoping some of you can tell me which of the two versions below you feel is better?

Note: All of the significant changes occur in the 2nd paragraph. You might not need to read the whole of both of them to decide which is better.

NEWEST VERSIONS
VERSION A
rainbowsheeps wrote: Specific Agent,

Nineteen-year-old Adam is recovering from a suicide attempt. His five-year-old sister, Evelyn, found him bleeding on the floor. Every night, Adam tucks her into bed and hopes to find a way to make it up to her. His only chance to do this might be Richard White, a young and eager psychologist, but their prepaid appointments are running out fast.

One day in the waiting room, everything changes. A teenage girl sits across from him with red and white striped stockings, oversized sunglasses, and a sweatshirt on in the middle of summer. Richard insists Adam take a chance and talk to her. Adam learns her name is Cherith, and she’s the young love of his life. Even when Cherith says she has cancer, Adam promises to stay. Suddenly, he’s haunted by vivid nightmares. He’s forced to replay his suicide attempt again and again, and see the pain he caused Evelyn. He asks Eve about school every day, finds time to play dolls with her every night, and tries to find the perfect way to apologize for what he put her through.

When Cherith collapses on Valentine’s night, the dreams change. Every time he closes his eyes, he finds Cherith in a carnival made completely of lights, or he’s dancing with her under the violet skies and in the red grass blades of what he believes is heaven. Soon, his visions seep into real life, and Adam can’t discern the difference between dreams and reality. All Cherith wants to hear is that Adam won’t hurt himself if she dies, but he desperately wants to believe his dreams are showing him a world where they can be together forever.

VALENTINE is a work of literary fiction of approximately 100,000 words. [Specific agent information.]

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
[redacted]

OR...

VERSION B
rainbowsheeps wrote: Specific Agent,

Nineteen-year-old Adam is recovering from a suicide attempt. His five-year-old sister, Evelyn, found him bleeding on the floor. Every night, Adam tucks her into bed and hopes to find a way to make it up to her. His only chance to do this might be Richard White, a young and eager psychologist, but their prepaid appointments are running out fast.

One day in the waiting room, Adam meets Cherith, the young love of his life. He's happy for the first time. When he learns she has cancer, he promises to stay with her. Suddenly, he's haunted by vivid nightmares. He's forced to replay his suicide attempt again and again, and see the pain he caused Evelyn. He becomes afraid to sleep, so he keeps the stuffed animal Eve gave him close for company.

When Cherith collapses on Valentine's night, the dreams change. Every time he closes his eyes, he finds Cherith in a carnival made completely of lights, or he's dancing with her under the violet skies and in the red grass blades of what he believes is heaven. Soon, his visions seep into real life, and Adam can't discern the difference between dreams and reality. All Cherith wants to hear is Adam won't hurt himself if she dies, but he desperately wants to believe his dreams are showing him a world where they can be together forever.

VALENTINE is a work of literary fiction of approximately 100,000 words. [Specific agent information.]

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
[redacted]
What do you guys think: Version A, or Version B?

Of course, if anyone would like to comment further on one, or both, of these, I'd more then welcome that as well.

Thanks in advance!
Last edited by rainbowsheeps on May 6th, 2010, 9:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Query: VALENTINE, New Revision & stuff

Post by HillaryJ » May 5th, 2010, 3:23 am

I really like version B, except for the stuffed animal bit. It seems superfluous.

I do feel that there is a bit of a jarring transition between the first paragraph and the remainder, like the psychologist disappears when he should be included, but his inclusion in version A didn't seem right either. Maybe just a mention later on as to what he thinks of the blurring of dreams/reality, if Adam chooses to tell him at all. If he withholds that information from the shrink, that's interesting, too.

Very nice re-do.
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Re: Query: VALENTINE, New Revision & stuff

Post by romana » May 5th, 2010, 7:10 am

Hi rainbowsheeps. I’m a newbie, so I’m not sure how helpful my advice can be. Nevertheless, I followed the thread and liked your initial query, although I found it confusing. The revision work you have done up until now has sharpened the query substantially.

Of the two options, I prefer the first. I like the descriptive line about Cherith, whom you described as a ‘teenage punk girl’ in the first query. I prefer the one-line description you have included here, allowing us to envision her.

I also like that you have interwoven Adam’s relationships with Cherith and Evelyn into the second paragraph of version one. I imagine that his relationship with both characters is key in your novel and I was sorry to see Evelyn disappear from your initial query once you have set up a powerful opening paragraph and explained Adam’s need to make things up to her. Because of this, it’s odd that she “disappears” once Cherith enters the story. It's coming along well. Good luck.

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Re: Query: VALENTINE, New Revision & stuff

Post by Quill » May 5th, 2010, 10:58 am

Nineteen-year-old Adam is recovering from a suicide attempt. His five-year-old sister, Evelyn, found him bleeding on the floor.
The second sentence is a disconnect from the first, for me, almost like it starts a new paragraph. The subject and tense both change. Don't know what to do about it, but it has struck me the same the four or five times I've seen it in the past week. Not a cohesive opening, for me.
Every night, Adam tucks her into bed and hopes to find a way to make it up to her.
This is kind of sweet.
His only chance to do this might be Richard White, a young and eager psychologist,
I don't believe this. For one, he's already making it up to her by tucking her in. What does he need White for? You don't say.
but their prepaid appointments are running out fast.
A little jarring. Prepaid by whom? Why is it important that they be prepaid? Makes me think of a phone card. Why is it important that they are "running out fast"? Is nothing being accomplished? What needs to be accomplished?
One day in the waiting room, everything changes.
I don't believe you. Everything changes? Does he still have a nose? A face?
A teenage girl sits across from him with red and white striped stockings, oversized sunglasses, and a sweatshirt on in the middle of summer.
Seems a little incongruous to describe her in such detail when you have previously introduced three characters with absolutely no description of them.
Richard insists Adam take a chance and talk to her. Adam learns her name is Cherith, and she’s the young love of his life.
Love of his life is, of course, cliche, and is an author's aside (how would he know this?). And the word "young" sticks out; as in the variance in description, why give ages of your main character and his sister and then just call the girlfriend "young" and "teenage"?
Even when Cherith says she has cancer, Adam promises to stay.
Stay where?? In the waiting room? Stay is vague.
Suddenly,
Suddenly will raise some agents' eyebrows as being an overused and non-specific word. And here it doesn't seem to fit; at once he's having nightmares? All of a sudden he's having nightmares?
he’s haunted by vivid nightmares.
Can one be suddenly haunted? Omit "vivid"; are there any other kinds of nightmares besides vivid?
He’s forced to replay his suicide attempt
Who is forcing him? Or, what is forcing him. Can a nightmare force?
again and again, and see the pain he caused Evelyn.
Which is not dramatic, since you have already demonstrated remorse and remedial activity on his part.
He asks Eve about school every day,
This is mundane for a query, we need bigger action.
finds time to play dolls with her every night, and tries to find the perfect way to apologize for what he put her through.
Again, this is just repeating what you said above about tucking her in. Put this with that, or omit.
When Cherith collapses on Valentine’s night, the dreams change.
This makes it seem that the dreams are ongoing, that he has no waking life, that he is dreaming when she collapses. Is that what you mean to convey. If so, be clear. So far you only describe nightmares.
Every time he closes his eyes, he finds Cherith in a carnival made completely of lights, or he’s dancing with her under the violet skies and in the red grass blades of what he believes is heaven.
So now it seems that yes, you have morphed his dream world into the waking life of visions. Again, if this is the case please make clear your main character's transformation. And, I must say, he is sounding a bit like a victim, just being taken for some sort of ride. The story with his sister seems clearer and more interesting than this love of his life story, so far.
Soon, his visions seep into real life,
Wait a minute, haven't they already done so??
and Adam can’t discern the difference between dreams and reality.
Omit.
All Cherith wants to hear is that Adam won’t hurt himself if she dies,
I can't seem to care what Cherith wants. I know nothing about her.
but he desperately wants to believe his dreams are showing him a world where they can be together forever.
He seems delusional and I feel sorry for him. Maybe that's why he wanted to kill himself? We never find out. I think he should stick with helping his sister.

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Re: Query: VALENTINE, New Revision & stuff

Post by rainbowsheeps » May 6th, 2010, 8:58 pm

It's a little strange how endearing it can be when people gather to rip apart something you made. I like it. It makes me question my choices.

Thank you, all of you.

Here's a new one:

NEWEST REVISION

Dear Specific Agent,

Nineteen-year-old Adam tried to kill himself. His biggest regret is that his five-year-old sister, Evelyn, found him bleeding on the floor. Every night, he tucks her into bed and hopes to find a way to make it up to her.

Then one day, Adam meets Cherith. They begin to date, and Adam feels true happiness for the very first time. Even when Cherith tells him she has cancer, Adam promises to stay with her, always. But nightmares start to haunt him. He replays his suicide attempt and sees the pain he caused Evelyn, again and again. When Cherith collapses on Valentine's night, the dreams change from death and agony to radiant beauty. Every time he falls asleep, he meets Cherith in the tunnel of love in a carnival made completely of lights, or he dances with her under the violet skies and in the red grass blades of what he thinks is heaven.

Both his chances of winning Evelyn's trust and keeping his promise to Cherith seem to be slipping away. But Adam desperately wants to believe his dreams are showing him a way they can be together forever, in a world much prettier than the one they've been given.

VALENTINE is a work of literary fiction of approximately 110,000 words. [Stuffs.]

Sincerely,
me.

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Re: Query: VALENTINE, New Revision & stuff

Post by ceiser » May 7th, 2010, 5:52 pm

Hi, rainbowsheeps. I think this version is much tighter and smoother.

The only thing that niggled me was the "winning Evelyn's trust" statement in the third paragraph. Is she angry with him? Does she feel she constantly has to watch him to make sure he doesn't do it again? Or is it really all about his guilt? If it's not all in his head and she is angry about what he did, then maybe including something along the lines of how she felt betrayed that he would leave her alone in the first paragraph would help it come together in the third paragraph. You tell us that he caused her pain, but, if not told otherwise, I would think she'd be glad he's alive.
rainbowsheeps wrote:It's a little strange how endearing it can be when people gather to rip apart something you made. I like it. It makes me question my choices.

Thank you, all of you.

Here's a new one:

NEWEST REVISION

Dear Specific Agent,

Nineteen-year-old Adam tried to kill himself. His biggest regret is that his five-year-old sister, Evelyn, found him bleeding on the floor. Every night, he tucks her into bed and hopes to find a way to make it up to her.

Then one day, Adam meets Cherith. They begin to date, and Adam feels true happiness for the very first time. Even when Cherith tells him she has cancer, Adam promises to stay with her, always. But nightmares start to haunt him. He replays his suicide attempt and sees the pain he caused Evelyn, again and again. When Cherith collapses on Valentine's night, the dreams change from death and agony to radiant beauty. Every time he falls asleep, he meets Cherith in the tunnel of love in a carnival made completely of lights, or he dances with her under the violet skies and in the red grass blades of what he thinks is heaven.

Both his chances of winning Evelyn's trust and keeping his promise to Cherith seem to be slipping away. But Adam desperately wants to believe his dreams are showing him a way they can be together forever, in a world much prettier than the one they've been given.

VALENTINE is a work of literary fiction of approximately 110,000 words. [Stuffs.]

Sincerely,
me.

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Re: Query: VALENTINE, New Revision & stuff

Post by lunerunit » May 15th, 2010, 12:06 pm

This is definately coming together. I have been following your progress, though not sure just how to comment yet, and now I really feel I'm beginning to understand the plot of this intriguing story. I agree with ceiser's point about "winning Evelyn's trust." I think you need to add that he he broke it in the first place. There were a couple other things that stuck with me as well, but all-in-all, I'm interested in this story.
Dear Specific Agent,

Nineteen-year-old Adam tried to kill himself. His biggest regret is that his five-year-old sister, Evelyn, found him bleeding on the floor. Every night, he tucks her into bed and hopes to find a way to make it up to her. Awesome hook, want to read more. Consider adding something like: ...hopes to find a way to make up for the trust she has lost in him.

Then one day, Adam meets Cherith. They begin to date, and Adam feels true happiness for the very first time. Even when Cherith tells him she has cancer, Adam promises to stay with her, always. But nightmares start to haunt him. He replays Not sure what you mean by replays. In his mind? On you tube? (just kidding) Consider: relives. his suicide attempt and sees the pain he caused Evelyn, again and again. When Cherith collapses on Valentine's night, the dreams change from death and agony to radiant beauty. Every time he falls asleep, he meets Cherith in the tunnel of love in a carnival made completely of lights, or he dances with her under the violet skies and in the red grass blades of what he thinks is heaven.Don't know if this is relevent, but does Cherith share these dreams? Does she participate in them in any way that might encourage this poor, dillusional fellow to believe his dreams are a better reality?

Both his chances of winning Evelyn's trust and keeping his promise to Cherith seem to be slipping away. But Adam desperately wants to believe his dreams are showing him a way they by they, do you mean Evelyn and Cherith? Or just one of them? Who? can be together forever, in a world much prettierNot sure if I like prettier. It seems weak. It should be better than just pretty if he's considering ditching this life for a new one. than the one they've been given.
I feel in the last paragraph, I want to know a little more of the agony he has considering leaving his kid sister behind, and why this new world is worth leaving her. But I'm still a little confused. The way it reads now is almost like he can bring the both of them with him.

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Re: Query: VALENTINE, New Revision & stuff

Post by rainbowsheeps » May 15th, 2010, 2:39 pm

lunerunit wrote:
rainbowsheeps wrote: Both his chances of winning Evelyn's trust and keeping his promise to Cherith seem to be slipping away. But Adam desperately wants to believe his dreams are showing him a way they by they, do you mean Evelyn and Cherith? Or just one of them? Who? can be together forever, in a world much prettierNot sure if I like prettier. It seems weak. It should be better than just pretty if he's considering ditching this life for a new one. than the one they've been given.
I feel in the last paragraph, I want to know a little more of the agony he has considering leaving his kid sister behind, and why this new world is worth leaving her. But I'm still a little confused. The way it reads now is almost like he can bring the both of them with him.
The last paragraph is exactly what bothers me too. I purposely tried to make it sound like he wants to bring both Evelyn and Cherith to this world, to try to tie the strings together for the query, but it's not exactly true to the book. In the real story, Adam does wish the world was prettier/ more forgiving and better for his sister. He feels the world isn't good enough for her, but he wants her to live on, even without him if something happens to him. Living in a dream world has more to do with Cherith, who Adam can't really save if she's going to die. He can help Evelyn by making up for his mistake, and by teaching her how to be a better person through what he's learned from Cherith, but he can't save Cherith if she's going to die. On the surface level there's really only one similarity: Adam wants a better world for both of them.

The problem is that a lot of it has to do with themes and dialog. There's a lot of plot in the book, a lot of plot lines that aren't even alluded to here that are connected in the end... but it's more like a web than a straight line. The actual story makes sense, but it doesn't explain everything for the reader. It trusts them to think on their own and connect some of the pieces themselves. That's essentially why it's difficult for me to tie it up together for the query.

I like your other suggestions, and plan to use them. It's the ending that I'm still pondering, unfortunately. I have no idea, really, how to do it.

Thanks, luner and ceiser!

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Re: Query: VALENTINE, New Revision & stuff

Post by lunerunit » May 15th, 2010, 8:21 pm

He can help Evelyn by making up for his mistake, and by teaching her how to be a better person through what he's learned from Cherith, but he can't save Cherith if she's going to die. On the surface level there's really only one similarity: Adam wants a better world for both of them.
Can you find a way to say this in your query?

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Re: Query: VALENTINE, New Revision & stuff

Post by rainbowsheeps » May 15th, 2010, 11:53 pm

Thanks again luner! :)

To answer your question, it's only Adam who has the dreams. Cherith doesn't. I had it in a previous query, but she actually just wants Adam to promise he won't hurt himself if she dies.

Okay, so it might look like I changed one word then tacked on an ellipse and a few words to fix the problem that I've been having with this query. And I did... but that would totally ignore how hard I thought about this.

The choice that the query proposes for Adam is, of course, stay with Evelyn and take care of her, and deny himself the one person that could take care of him instead, or choose to embrace the dreams and live forever with Cherith, perhaps "believe the lie." I think this wording makes that conflict more obvious here, but I really really don't want to make Adam sound like a horrible person, either.

NEWEST VERSION

Dear Specific Agent,

Nineteen-year-old Adam tried to kill himself. His biggest regret is that his five-year-old sister, Evelyn, found him bleeding on the floor. Every night, he tucks her into bed and hopes to find a way to make it up to her.

But one day, Adam meets seventeen-year-old Cherith, and his life changes. They fall in love, and he's happy for the first time he can remember. Even when Cherith tells him she has cancer, Adam promises to stay with her, always. Nightmares start to haunt him, though. He relives his suicide attempt and sees the pain he caused Evelyn, again and again.

When Cherith collapses on Valentine's night, the dreams change from death and agony to radiant beauty. Every time he falls asleep, he meets Cherith in the tunnel of love in a carnival made completely of lights, or he dances with her under the violet skies and in the red grass blades of what he thinks is heaven. The visions seep into real life, and both his chances of helping Evelyn and keeping his promise to Cherith seem to be slipping away. But Adam desperately wants to believe his dreams are showing him a way Cherith and he can be together forever... if only it wouldn't mean leaving Evelyn behind.

VALENTINE is a work of literary fiction of approximately 110,000 words. [Personalized info.]

Sincerely,
me.

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Re: Query: VALENTINE, New Revision & stuff

Post by ceiser » May 22nd, 2010, 3:26 am

Hi, rainbowsheeps! Been meaning to come back and offer up just one little piece of feedback. First, though, I want to say that I think this is very nearly it. The only thing, and I know the "only" thing before was really minor and probably only me, but this time, the only thing is the way the first two sentences read together. With the third sentence, it works, but the first two sentences are almost jarring. It almost sounds like he regrets Evelyn finding him because she interrupted him or prevented him from success. Again, it's probably me. BUT, you've been so helpful with my query, so I wanted to give what I could.

Anyway, good job and good luck!
rainbowsheeps wrote: Dear Specific Agent,

Nineteen-year-old Adam tried to kill himself. His biggest regret is that his five-year-old sister, Evelyn, found him bleeding on the floor. Every night, he tucks her into bed and hopes to find a way to make it up to her.

But one day, Adam meets seventeen-year-old Cherith, and his life changes. They fall in love, and he's happy for the first time he can remember. Even when Cherith tells him she has cancer, Adam promises to stay with her, always. Nightmares start to haunt him, though. He relives his suicide attempt and sees the pain he caused Evelyn, again and again.

When Cherith collapses on Valentine's night, the dreams change from death and agony to radiant beauty. Every time he falls asleep, he meets Cherith in the tunnel of love in a carnival made completely of lights, or he dances with her under the violet skies and in the red grass blades of what he thinks is heaven. The visions seep into real life, and both his chances of helping Evelyn and keeping his promise to Cherith seem to be slipping away. But Adam desperately wants to believe his dreams are showing him a way Cherith and he can be together forever... if only it wouldn't mean leaving Evelyn behind.

VALENTINE is a work of literary fiction of approximately 110,000 words. [Personalized info.]

Sincerely,
me.

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Re: Query: VALENTINE, New Revision & stuff

Post by rainbowsheeps » May 22nd, 2010, 1:38 pm

ceiser wrote:Hi, rainbowsheeps! Been meaning to come back and offer up just one little piece of feedback. First, though, I want to say that I think this is very nearly it. The only thing, and I know the "only" thing before was really minor and probably only me, but this time, the only thing is the way the first two sentences read together. With the third sentence, it works, but the first two sentences are almost jarring. It almost sounds like he regrets Evelyn finding him because she interrupted him or prevented him from success. Again, it's probably me. BUT, you've been so helpful with my query, so I wanted to give what I could.

Anyway, good job and good luck!
rainbowsheeps wrote: Dear Specific Agent,

Nineteen-year-old Adam tried to kill himself. His biggest regret is that his five-year-old sister, Evelyn, found him bleeding on the floor. Every night, he tucks her into bed and hopes to find a way to make it up to her.

But one day, Adam meets seventeen-year-old Cherith, and his life changes. They fall in love, and he's happy for the first time he can remember. Even when Cherith tells him she has cancer, Adam promises to stay with her, always. Nightmares start to haunt him, though. He relives his suicide attempt and sees the pain he caused Evelyn, again and again.

When Cherith collapses on Valentine's night, the dreams change from death and agony to radiant beauty. Every time he falls asleep, he meets Cherith in the tunnel of love in a carnival made completely of lights, or he dances with her under the violet skies and in the red grass blades of what he thinks is heaven. The visions seep into real life, and both his chances of helping Evelyn and keeping his promise to Cherith seem to be slipping away. But Adam desperately wants to believe his dreams are showing him a way Cherith and he can be together forever... if only it wouldn't mean leaving Evelyn behind.

VALENTINE is a work of literary fiction of approximately 110,000 words. [Personalized info.]

Sincerely,
me.
Hmm thanks ceiser.

I'll have to think about this, but the way it's worded here, "his biggest regret is that Evelyn found him bleeding on the floor" says to me that it's her having to see/find him like that that bothers him. It's not exactly stated that she interrupts him, and I think the image that some people might have is that he tried and fell unconscious, but didn't die. Of course, in the story, she does interrupt it, but he doesn't fault her for that. He's more worried about her than himself.

I actually just sent this query out to my very first agent two days ago. I'm hoping she won't think it's a problem :) We shall see.

Thanks again for the comments!

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