"View From The Edge of the World" Query

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Dankrubis
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Re: "View From The Edge of the World" Query

Post by Dankrubis » February 4th, 2010, 9:45 pm

Nice revision. Can't really say anything bad about it. Got my vote.

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JustineDell
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Re: "View From The Edge of the World" Query

Post by JustineDell » February 5th, 2010, 1:25 pm

I knew it!! I knew it!! I knew someone died!!!!!!!!!!!! Awesome twist by the way. So, I think this new version is almost perfect. But now I'm wondering if it's too long? I realize you added some WONDERFUL information that helped me as a reader, so now I'm going to try to keep those details and shorten the length. Below is my attempt at that. Feel free to chuck it out the window if needed....
Seadhlinn wrote:

Dear Fantastic Agent,

When Rose MacRae’s family tries to derail her teaching career by marrying her off to a boorish family friend, she storms out of Miller’s Bay, Nova Scotia to start over in the United States. She cuts off contact with everyone, including Alasdair MacKinnon, the young boy she mentored. Even a desperate call from her suddenly bereaved sister and her nephew Blàir MacIsaac doesn’t shake her resolve. Not for twenty years.

During this time Alasdair built his modest musical career, but when the Grand Banks fishery fails and the provincial government threatens to force the citizens of Miller’s Bay to relocate, Alasdair hatches a plan to save the town and promote his music. The plan puts him on a collision course with the increasingly unhinged Blàir, who blames Alasdair’s for a failed love affair. Blair wants to keep Alasdair from success, no matter the cost to everyone else.

Rose’s chases her son Nick when he flees to Miller's Bay for refuge after his best friend commits suicide. Their presence shatters the already broken friendship between Alasdair and Blàir. Attempts to smooth things over fail when Alasdair's murder leaves the town without leadership. For those who remain, it is up to them to save Miller’s Bay, a task made even more difficult by the uproar surrounding the town’s posthumous discovery of Alasdair’s secret life and the struggles each of them personally possess.

A View from the Edge of the World, a work of literary fiction, is complete at 80,000 words.

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you at your convenience.

Sincerely,

Wide-Eyed Optimist
So, I don't know if I helped at all. Prob not....
I took Hamish out of the query all together - she didn't seem like she needed to be mentioned. I think the query is just about there....but I'm afraid it may be too long and not left with a good hook. Something like "The death of Alasdair brings a secret to the surface and no one knows if Miller's Bay can be saved." Or something along those lines. Everything else was good (before I butchered it to make it shorter), so you could leave it as-is if you like the length. But do try to get someone catchier at the end.

~JD

http://www.justine-dell.blogspot.com/

"Three things in life that, once gone, never return; Time, Words, & Opportunity"

Ghost in the Machine
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Re: "View From The Edge of the World" Query

Post by Ghost in the Machine » February 5th, 2010, 2:28 pm

Howdy Seadhlinn,

This is getting better and better. I’ll still tweak anyway. Hope you don’t mind.

Dear Fantastic Agent,

When Rose MacRae’s family tries to derail her teaching career by marrying her off to a boorish family friend, she storms out of Miller’s Bay, Nova Scotia to start over in the United States. She cuts off contact with everyone, including Alasdair MacKinnon, the young boy she mentored. Even a desperate call from her suddenly bereaved sister and her nephew Blàir MacIsaac doesn’t shake her resolve. Not for twenty years.

In those twenty years, Alasdair builds a modest musical career and life with his lover Hamish, a love he hides from his conservative hometown. When the Grand Banks fishery fails and the provincial government threatens to force the citizens of Miller’s Bay to relocate, Alasdair hatches a plan to save the town and promote his music. Unfortunately, the (this) plan puts him on a direct collision course with the increasingly unhinged Blàir, who believes that Alasdair(’s advice - cut) is responsible for causing him to be spurned by the woman with whom he is obsessed (how about - 'ruining his chances with the woman of his lustful dreams'). Blair wants revenge. He’ll keep Alasdair from succeeding, no matter the cost to everyone else.

Meanwhile, Rose’s son Nick Jones is also on the brink of his “big break” as a musician when his best friend commits suicide. Unable to cope, he flees to an unlikely refuge– Miller’s Bay. His attempts to make friends and recover emotionally have severe consequences. Nick reveals Blair's determination to ruin the town's revival which shatters a fragile truce between Alasdair and Blàir. Alasdair’s attempt to smooth things over ends with his murder. ( and leaves the town without his leadership. – cut)

It is left to Nick, Hamish and Rose to bring Alasdair’s plan to fruition,a task made even more difficult by the uproar surrounding Alasdair’s posthumous outing.

Comment: As soon as I realized Alastair was gay, “posthumous outing” made perfect sense to me. I think you can keep it.

Considering Rose’s pride (is she back in Miller’s Bay now?), Nick’s crushing guilt, and Hamish’s avoidance of anything emotional, this task may be too large to bear.

Comment: Maybe you can end on a pessimistic note since it’s literary fiction.


A View from the Edge of the World, a work of literary fiction, is complete at 80,000 words.

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you at your convenience.

Sincerely,

Wide-Eyed Optimist – Stay that way. For as long as possible. Ghostling crying, gotta run.

Ghost in the Machine

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Dankrubis
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Re: "View From The Edge of the World" Query

Post by Dankrubis » February 5th, 2010, 2:41 pm

When I see posthumous outing, I think Weekend at Bernie's. Which is kind of awesome.

Ghost in the Machine
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Re: "View From The Edge of the World" Query

Post by Ghost in the Machine » February 5th, 2010, 10:09 pm

Dankrubis wrote:When I see posthumous outing, I think Weekend at Bernie's. Which is kind of awesome.
Yeah, baby! That is freakin' hilarious.

But would I still keep 'posthumous outing'? Probably. When I first read it, I thought it was an elegant, succinct way to describe the situation. Then again, I might be reveling in the devil's advocate position which isn't real helpful. Seadhlinn, it's your call.

I made a dog's dinner of my critique ending. I don't think well when small humans are screaming at me. Ending this query is tricky. Some rhetorical questions come to mind such as:

How will they pull off the revival when they're wrecked over their friends death? Considering the town's attitude towards gays, is it really worth it?

Well, yuck. Those don't do it for me. Forget pessimism. In that last post, I was trying to end with an implied question instead of an actual question. Ending with a weak rhetorical question would hurt the query. Like, duh.

Stay cool,

Ghost in the Machine

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