TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR oh so very rough of a draft

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Serzen
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TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR oh so very rough of a draft

Post by Serzen » February 13th, 2010, 12:31 am

Dear $Agent,

You have an average job; it pays well but day by day retreats further from what you thought it would be and grows increasingly frustrating. Jamie is your ideal companion; you each have your quirks but you love and support each other intensely.

The day Jamie leaves on a career-making assignment is the same day your job takes you to a place you devoutly hoped to never see again. One by one, fiends you thought long gone reintroduce themselves into your life. With Jamie in the field, out of touch for two long weeks, you have no one to help you save the mind you are unsure is still your own.

TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR is the story of someone who went insane a lifetime ago but has managed to live a normal life in spite of it. That person is you.

Related entirely in the second person, the narrative combines dreams, memories and hallucinations with a recounting of current events to describe, enhance and distort reality. Through a distinct lack of cultural or gender identification, BROKEN MIRROR aims to fully engage the reader as it explores the madness which is the human condition.

I have written this paragraph to connect with you, the agent, on a personal level. I think your recently expressed views on $Topic are spot on and I would totally subscribe to your newsletter if you had one. Also, go $LocalSportsTeam.

Weighing in at just 4X,000 words, TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR is a brief work of literary fiction.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

$RealNameHere
Il en est des livres comme du feu de nos foyers; on va prendre ce feu chez son voisin, on l’allume chez soi, on le communique à d’autres, et il appartient à tous. --Voltaire

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Re: TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR oh so very rough of a draft

Post by Yoshima » February 14th, 2010, 2:14 pm

Hey Serzen!
Serzen wrote:Dear $Agent,

You have an average job (Oh my. I can see an agent raising their brows at this. They get queires that start with the "I am..." intro or straight to the story and everything in between, and might not get at first that you're launching into the story. Rephrase?); it pays well but day by day retreats further from what you thought it would be and grows increasingly frustrating. Jamie is your ideal companion; you each have your quirks but you love and support each other intensely.

The day Jamie leaves on a career-making assignment is the same day your job takes you to a place you devoutly hoped to never see again. One by one, fiends you thought long gone reintroduce themselves into your life. With Jamie in the field, out of touch for two long weeks, you have no one to help you save the mind you are unsure is still your own.

TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR is the story of someone who went insane a lifetime ago but has managed to live a normal life in spite of it. That person is you.

Related entirely in the second person, the narrative combines dreams, memories and hallucinations with a recounting of current events to describe, enhance and distort reality. Through a distinct lack of cultural or gender identification, BROKEN MIRROR aims to fully engage the reader as it explores the madness which is the human condition.

I have written this paragraph to connect with you, the agent, on a personal level. I think your recently expressed views on $Topic are spot on and I would totally subscribe to your newsletter if you had one. Also, go $LocalSportsTeam.

Weighing in at just 4X,000 words, TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR is a brief work of literary fiction.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

I hate to say it, but I think writing the query in second person is gimmicky, like how writing a query in first person is gimmicky. It was kind of off-putting, to be honest; which is a shame because your writing is wonderful (I've read your samples, and LOVE them). If it's told in the second person, tell the agent that in your "about" section where you give the title, word count, etc. I'm thinking you were trying to show that while most books in second person don't work so well yours does (and I'm really sure it does). However, I think you should reconsider writing your query in second person. Plus, I know you can do better. ;) Good luck! Hope this helps you!


$RealNameHere

Serzen
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Re: TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR oh so very rough of a draft

Post by Serzen » February 15th, 2010, 1:53 am

Yoshima,

Thanks for the comments.

I know that my writing is strong, but I've been unsure how to tackle the query so far. I considered "what would I see on a dust jacket?" and wrote this piece while in a hospital waiting room the other day. I can never tell whether hospitals bring out the good or the bad in what I'm doing.

Fortunately, I'm still editing the text of the novel itself so I haven't sent this off to anyone as yet. The subject matter I'm dealing with is, obviously, quite difficult and rather obscure. The audience may well be limited. The time I've spent thinking about the query has been an exercise in figuring out how to convey this in a way that screams "Hey, you, buy me!"

Thanks for the compliments and the vote of confidence.

~Serzen
Il en est des livres comme du feu de nos foyers; on va prendre ce feu chez son voisin, on l’allume chez soi, on le communique à d’autres, et il appartient à tous. --Voltaire

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Re: TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR oh so very rough of a draft

Post by aspiring_x » February 15th, 2010, 9:31 am

Hey Serzen,
For what it's worth, I agree with Yosh. I've heard that literary fiction is the most difficult for which to write a query. But man, you're brilliant. Maybe if you played around with a filler name for the yous, something generic like a man could work. Hit them with your idea first, because its a great one. They're going to be reluctant about the second person, so hook them with your idea first. Then top it off with the whole second person/ personal journey thing at the end. That way they won't stop reading right away and form rejection you. By the way, from what I've read, I don't think that your audience is going to be as narrow as you think. Each person out there has experienced grief and fury. While not everyone has actually lost grip, most have probably come closer than they would ever tell you. Because of that, people are drawn to stories that explore the concept of insanity and its ramifications. It makes them feel validated, as though their actions and thoughts were not unusual, there are other people like them... and because it's a book, they can put it down when they feel overwhelmed. And after they've had a break, they'll be drawn back to it. I've always thought that the human condition was loneliness and emptiness. It's that need for likeminded companionship that will draw in your readers. I hope that made a bit of sense, I'm just starting my first cup of coffee, and the cobwebs are reluctant to be swept off my brain.
I'll be looking forward to seeing your next query attempt!
-vic

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Re: TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR oh so very rough of a draft

Post by kaykaybe » February 15th, 2010, 10:23 am

Hi Serzen,
I was a bit off-put by the vagueness, which I realized after reading to the bottom is intentional. And you can't start with the classic 'Character X' has lost his grip on reality, etc. because you give the character no name. My first thought was that you were insulting the agent, telling them they have a dull job and I'm sure that's not what you want. Is it? I don't mean to sound doom and gloom, because your premise sounds interesting. I would love to read a story that would explain what goes on in my head every day (Am I crazy? How about now?) LOL I'd try starting with the title/concept paragraph towards the end, then go back and give particulars.

Have you read "If on a winter's night a traveller" by Italo Calvino? It's told from second person (I'm about a third of the way through). Lit agent Eddie Schneider lists it as one of his fav books. If I were going to query this, I'd start with someone that has expressed love for a second-person story. (I hope this isn't rude to mention in your forums, Nathan. I'm sure Serzen intends to give you a shot, but none of our odds are great if we only query one agent. Again, Sorry!)

Good luck! -Kelly Bryson
http://www.bookreadress.blogspot.com

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Re: TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR oh so very rough of a draft

Post by Serzen » February 15th, 2010, 5:48 pm

Hooray for criticism. I'm glad people are reading it. kaykaybe and aspiring_x, thanks for chiming in. The compliments and encouragement are, of course, welcome, but I'm even more grateful to have your critical thoughts on the letter. It's obviously going to be a chore.

Mrs Serzen bought me a new pen today, one with a really super micro fine point (the only kind that won't blur my tiny little letters), so I think I'll try it out a little later and see if the new toy can give me better ideas. I'll keep your thoughts in mind while I work.

~Serzen
Il en est des livres comme du feu de nos foyers; on va prendre ce feu chez son voisin, on l’allume chez soi, on le communique à d’autres, et il appartient à tous. --Voltaire

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Re: TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR oh so very rough of a draft

Post by kaykaybe » February 15th, 2010, 6:00 pm

No problem Serzen. I agreed with everything that the first replier said, so didn't feel I had too much to add. I'll be posting my query in the next few days, and would love it if you ripped mine up (but only if it needs it lol). Thanks- Kelly

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Re: TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR oh so very rough of a draft

Post by maybegenius » February 15th, 2010, 7:03 pm

The opening line threw me, as well. My first thought was "Uh oh, second person?" I wondered what your angle was until I got to the line detailing that the manuscript itself was entirely in second person POV. I would open with something less potentially insulting and less vague. When I read "you have an average job," it puts me immediately in the mind of my own "average job" and how boring my days can be. Not really the mindset I'd like to be in when trying to get into a narrative.

As is, I'd either start with something more gripping - perhaps lead with the insanity? - or I'd specify up front that the novel is in second person POV and go from there.
You have an average job; it pays well but day by day retreats further from what you thought it would be and grows increasingly frustrating. (The second part of the sentence reads awkwardly to me. I think I'd be able to read it more smoothly if it were something like: "... it pays well but each day retreats further from what you thought it would be." Cut "grows increasingly frustrating.") Jamie is your ideal companion; you each have your quirks but you love and support each other intensely. (This was a strange transition. It went from hating your job to Jaime being your ideal companion, with no apparent correlation.)

The day Jamie leaves on a career-making assignment is the same day your job takes you to a place you devoutly (unusual word choice, a bit jarring) hoped to never see again. One by one, fiends (I originally read this as "friends," but that's probably just my eyes playing tricks. That said, could you elaborate more on the fiends?) you thought long gone reintroduce themselves into your life. With Jamie in the field, out of touch for two long weeks, you have no one to help you save the mind you are unsure is still your own.
Is the "place" the narrator is being taken a place in their own mind? With the juxtaposition of Jaime leaving, my mind went to physical location. It may need clarification.

I hope that helps! Interesting premise.
aka S.E. Sinkhorn, or Steph

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Represented by Michelle Andelman of Regal Literary

Serzen
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Re: TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR oh so very rough of a draft

Post by Serzen » February 15th, 2010, 11:30 pm

Hey, Maybe,

Just let me say thanks right out of the gate. Like I said, my first thought was "dust jacket text." Clearly this isn't working, so I've been revising my angle today.

Now to comment on your comments.
maybegenius wrote:The opening line threw me, as well. My first thought was "Uh oh, second person?" I wondered what your angle was until I got to the line detailing that the manuscript itself was entirely in second person POV. I would open with something less potentially insulting and less vague. When I read "you have an average job," it puts me immediately in the mind of my own "average job" and how boring my days can be. Not really the mindset I'd like to be in when trying to get into a narrative. A compliment, though you didn't realize it. My stated goal is for the reader to feel "there but for the grace of BOB go I" as they turn the pages.

As is, I'd either start with something more gripping - perhaps lead with the insanity? - or I'd specify up front that the novel is in second person POV and go from there.
You have an average job; it pays well but day by day retreats further from what you thought it would be and grows increasingly frustrating. (The second part of the sentence reads awkwardly to me. I think I'd be able to read it more smoothly if it were something like: "... it pays well but each day retreats further from what you thought it would be." Cut "grows increasingly frustrating.") Again, thank you. The words were supposed to LOOK right but read off key. Jamie is your ideal companion; you each have your quirks but you love and support each other intensely. (This was a strange transition. It went from hating your job to Jaime being your ideal companion, with no apparent correlation.) That was less intentional. The two sentences were to setup the two things around which the story orbits; I had no real desire to connect them, but only to establish them as the center of your life. At least at the beginning of the story.

The day Jamie leaves on a career-making assignment is the same day your job takes you to a place you devoutly (unusual word choice, a bit jarring) ;) mais oui hoped to never see again. One by one, fiends (I originally read this as "friends," but that's probably just my eyes playing tricks. That said, could you elaborate more on the fiends?) below you thought long gone reintroduce themselves into your life. With Jamie in the field, out of touch for two long weeks, you have no one to help you save the mind you are unsure is still your own.
Is the "place" the narrator is being taken a place in their own mind? With the juxtaposition of Jaime leaving, my mind went to physical location. It may need clarification. below

I hope that helps! Interesting premise.
Okay, so, without giving away TOO much, let me try and help out. The word 'fiends' was a compromise of sorts. I didn't want to play the old "your past comes back to haunt you" card, even though that's what actually happens. 'Demons' or 'skeletons in the closet' are overplayed. But fiends, well, they're a little different, they're the accomplices of the demons, the grunts who do the menial work, the subordinate ones. The things that you encounter are not the actual cause of your insanity, they are subordinate things, things that aggravate an existing condition.

The place that the reader goes to encounter the first of these things is a town called Kerring. It's the town you moved out of several years ago after a traumatic breakup with someone named Chris. When you left Kerring you did your best to rid yourself of everything associated with the town; now your job is forcing you to return.

But, hey, it doesn't amount to much at this juncture.

Thanks again,

~Serzen
Il en est des livres comme du feu de nos foyers; on va prendre ce feu chez son voisin, on l’allume chez soi, on le communique à d’autres, et il appartient à tous. --Voltaire

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Re: TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR oh so very rough of a draft

Post by Serzen » February 15th, 2010, 11:32 pm

kaykaybe wrote:No problem Serzen. I agreed with everything that the first replier said, so didn't feel I had too much to add. I'll be posting my query in the next few days, and would love it if you ripped mine up (but only if it needs it lol). Thanks- Kelly
Feel free to send me a PM if I don't see the thread or jump on it in the first 24 hours. My situation has gotten pretty way weird for a little bit, but not so much that I can't make time to try and help out.

~Serzen
Il en est des livres comme du feu de nos foyers; on va prendre ce feu chez son voisin, on l’allume chez soi, on le communique à d’autres, et il appartient à tous. --Voltaire

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Re: TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR oh so very rough of a draft

Post by Serzen » February 15th, 2010, 11:42 pm

I probably should have tried to combine all three of tonight's posts here into one, but felt they all needed to be given their own space.

This is what I've cobbled together while watching a movie tonight. It's more or less just a new opening paragraph and a slight change to another sentence...But it's a start.

=====
The same things touch each of us. We all know love, fear, rejection, happiness, anger, loss and, above all, hope. Each of these things mark us in way so integral to our being that we never notice the influence they apply. The fact that these markers are silent hides them from others as well as ourselves.

TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR is the story of a person who went insane a lifetime ago, yet has lived a normal life in a world that fails to notice.
=====

And that's all I've got so far. Some of the descriptors that I used in the first rough will make appearances here (enhance and distort reality, the slippery slope of madness, a mind no longer wholly controlled, etc), but I haven't set about trying to lay them out yet.

Thanks for looking,

~Serzen
Il en est des livres comme du feu de nos foyers; on va prendre ce feu chez son voisin, on l’allume chez soi, on le communique à d’autres, et il appartient à tous. --Voltaire

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Re: TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR oh so very rough of a draft

Post by Ghost in the Machine » February 16th, 2010, 10:15 pm

Hi Serzen,

Let’s do this thang!

Okay, the point of view is definitely the road less taken. You are a brave soul. But you don’t want the agent to read the first line, think you are crazy, and move on to the next query.

While the trend in queries is to start with the mini-synopsis, you might want to start with the material in the third and fourth paragraphs. If you warn the agent ahead of time that the book is in second person, the material in the first two paragraphs has a better chance of being received as you intend.

But starting with “Hi, my book is called . . .” is not exciting enough. You still need a killer line, a winning introduction, like you are in charge of the rollercoaster called Madness, hawking for customers on the fairway. The audience is willing to let you confuse and confound them—hey it’s entertainment—but they need to know that the ride wasn’t put together by the current patients of Bellevue.

Okay, now for the part of the critique known as Ghost’s Folly. Strap on your continence pants, this could get ugly.

Dear $Agent,

Suggestion: Schizophrenics give themselves away, eventually. You don’t see their hallucinations, or hear them either. But there are signs: the nonsense words, the incessant rhyming, the odd malapropism.

The protagonist in TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR went insane a lifetime ago but has managed to live a normal life in spite of it. Instead of watching from the sidelines, BROKEN MIRROR takes you inside the protagonist’s dreams, memories and hallucinations using second person.


Comment: I would strike “a recounting of current events to describe, enhance and distort reality. Through a distinct lack of cultural or gender identification” because it’s all generalization. Try to “show” it in the next two paragraphs.

Now the gist of your mini-synopsis is ‘job and love disappear at same time pushing unstable person over the edge’. This could happen to lots of people. What’s special is how your protagonist reacts to the stress. We need to feel it more in the query. You almost need to cut and paste from the actual manuscript. I’ll give it a shot, but please, have your barf bag ready.


You have an average job; it pays well but day by day retreats further from what you thought it would be and grows increasingly frustrating. Jamie is your ideal companion; you each have your quirks but you love and support each other intensely.

The day Jamie leaves on a career-making assignment is the same day your job takes you to a place you devoutly hoped to never see again. One by one, fiends you thought long gone reintroduce themselves into your life. With Jamie in the field, out of touch for two long weeks, you have no one to help you save the mind you are unsure is still your own.

Suggestion: You’re just an adjunct, schmuck. One step above the smarmy grad students. That christing Benny, he drank out of your water bottle. The top was popped. Remember? By the mop. He’ll flunk his qualifiers though, just wait and see. He’s got to go. You saw him piss in coffee pot, didn’t you?

Tell Jamie, she’ll believe you. Jamie, your love, your fly-away dove. She’s gone to the field, it’s her grant. Granted you can’t live without her for two weeks. God, she’s got to come back. You need to tell her. Just two more weeks. You can make it.

Comment: Ug, I can’t do it anymore. And you got through 40 K in that perspective? I think my attempt is useless ranting that doesn’t tell the agent squat. You version makes sense but doesn’t convey mental illness. Somewhere in between lies a happy medium.


TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR is the story of someone who went insane a lifetime ago but has managed to live a normal life in spite of it. That person is you.

Related entirely in the second person, the narrative combines dreams, memories and hallucinations with a recounting of current events to describe, enhance and distort reality. Through a distinct lack of cultural or gender identification, BROKEN MIRROR aims to fully engage the reader as it explores the madness which is the human condition.

I have written this paragraph to connect with you, the agent, on a personal level. I think your recently expressed views on $Topic are spot on and I would totally subscribe to your newsletter if you had one. Also, go $LocalSportsTeam.

Weighing in at just 4X,000 words, TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR is a brief work of literary fiction.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

$RealNameHere

Question: 40 K seems unusually short for a novel. Is this a concern?

Ghost in the Machine

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Re: TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR oh so very rough of a draft

Post by Serzen » February 17th, 2010, 12:07 am

Going to snip and post inline and things as needed. Feel free to refer to the original post (of the Ghost) to see what in the world is going on.
Ghost in the Machine wrote:Hi Serzen,

Let’s do this thang!

Okay, the point of view is definitely the road less taken. You are a brave soul. But you don’t want the agent to read the first line, think you are crazy, and move on to the next query. Hah, I don't want to think I am either. And I'm the one who wrote it.

While the trend in queries is to start with the mini-synopsis, you might want to start with the material in the third and fourth paragraphs. If you warn the agent ahead of time that the book is in second person, the material in the first two paragraphs has a better chance of being received as you intend. I'm going to fling a new angle on this out in a post to follow this one. Trying to find the flow...

But starting with “Hi, my book is called . . .” is not exciting enough. You still need a killer line, a winning introduction, like you are in charge of the rollercoaster called Madness, hawking for customers on the fairway. The audience is willing to let you confuse and confound them—hey it’s entertainment—but they need to know that the ride wasn’t put together by the current patients of Bellevue. Enjoy the imagery of the hawker. I'm a salesman for a living, so it's frustrating to be unable to think how to make this sale.

Okay, now for the part of the critique known as Ghost’s Folly. Strap on your continence pants, this could get ugly.

Comment: I would strike “a recounting of current events to describe, enhance and distort reality. Through a distinct lack of cultural or gender identification” because it’s all generalization. Try to “show” it in the next two paragraphs. I've been considering how to either drop this or work it differently. A note below.

Now the gist of your mini-synopsis is ‘job and love disappear at same time pushing unstable person over the edge’. This could happen to lots of people. Job is still in place; but, yeah, it could happen to anyone is the important part. What’s special is how your protagonist reacts to the stress. We need to feel it more in the query. You almost need to cut and paste from the actual manuscript. I’ll give it a shot, but please, have your barf bag ready.

Suggestion: You’re just an adjunct, schmuck. One step above the smarmy grad students. That christing Benny, he drank out of your water bottle. The top was popped. Remember? By the mop. He’ll flunk his qualifiers though, just wait and see. He’s got to go. You saw him piss in coffee pot, didn’t you?

Tell Jamie, she’ll believe you. Jamie, your love, your fly-away dove. She’s gone to the field, it’s her grant. Granted you can’t live without her for two weeks. God, she’s got to come back. You need to tell her. Just two more weeks. You can make it.

Comment: Ug, I can’t do it anymore. And you got through 40 K in that perspective? I think my attempt is useless ranting that doesn’t tell the agent squat. You version makes sense but doesn’t convey mental illness. Somewhere in between lies a happy medium.


It reads like NAKED LUNCH, which is no mean feat. Not bad. But, yeah, I got through 40K of REALLY disturbing material. For what it's worth I was told that THE EXORCIST is light entertainment compared to BROKEN MIRROR.

Question: 40 K seems unusually short for a novel. Is this a concern?
To me, not really. A novel, by what passes for definition in this business, is a work of prose longer than 25,000 words. I told the story that needed to be told. ANIMAL FARM is only ~30K, but it's a helluva book. I understand that there are people who won't want to touch it because it's too short but that's neither here nor there if I can't properly present it anyway.

Ghost in the Machine
For the record, the annoying guy at work isn't Benny, it's Danny. ;) Good guess, though.

There are, obviously, very specific reasons for using the phrase "enhance and distort reality", but, in the end, they may not matter to an agent reading a query. During the course of the narrative (it takes place in mid-to-late-spring) the weather is described in various styles; frosty, rainy, stifling hot. They are "perfect" snapshots of weather, an imposition on the mind of what the body detects--whether correct or not. You may get out of bed and the floor is chilly, leading you to expect that it's cold outside; you cross to the window and see frost covering everything. It doesn't matter whether or not it IS frosty, your damaged mind has already formed an image that it imposes based on very little input. Things become TOO perfect.

Thanks for chiming in. Be sure to berate the piece I'm going to post directly after this one.

~Serzen
Il en est des livres comme du feu de nos foyers; on va prendre ce feu chez son voisin, on l’allume chez soi, on le communique à d’autres, et il appartient à tous. --Voltaire

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Re: TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR oh so very rough of a draft

Post by Serzen » February 17th, 2010, 12:24 am

Spent more time today playing with query ideas. I think I'm done making trips to the hospital for a while (for good reasons!), so maybe that'll work in my favor here.

Here goes:
=====
A river meanders through this part of the country, constantly carrying someone's past into someone else's future. Dunningston is the present, a clean start. Kerring is the past, a messy, confusing place. Further upstream lies the ultimate past, shut out from memory, even by name.

A trip from Dunningston to Kerring upsets the natural flow of memory, bringing a past best left behind into the present.

A small trickle begets a great flood and a short period of isolation is enough to shred the facade of sanity, bare a soul and leave nothing but hope for release.

This is the story of a person swept away by that torrent, a recounting of a trip through deadly mental rapids. It is, ultimately, the story of an out of control mind rushing to empty itself in serenity.

TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR is a brief work of literary fiction; it's 40,000 words are delivered entirely in the second person. Using a combination of dreams, memories and hallucinations to offset the recounting of current events, the narrative describes a reality that is both distorted and enhanced by the filter of madness.
=====
I know I'm really abusing the river symbolism. But the river exists in the book, so it's not like I pulled it out of nowhere.

I'm still stuck with telling and not showing, which bites. The text itself is a single stream; there are no chapters, pauses, sections, anything. You are taken from wakefulness to dreaming to utter lack of control without regard for anything. I should probably convey that here, but wonder if it's not too strong a tactic. All of the "test" readers that I've spoken with have indicated liking the way it's done, but being confused and having to re-read passages two or three times to be sure that nothing was missed. I hardly want an agent to be unable to follow the letter.

Erg.

Anyway, feel free to use all three of the ideas to build something if you can. Or, if you can't, stick your tongue out, thumb your nose and do whatever else it is you do.
Il en est des livres comme du feu de nos foyers; on va prendre ce feu chez son voisin, on l’allume chez soi, on le communique à d’autres, et il appartient à tous. --Voltaire

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Re: TO STAND BEFORE A BROKEN MIRROR oh so very rough of a draft

Post by Aimée » February 18th, 2010, 8:36 pm

First of all, I love your story idea. It sounds so intriguing and I want to read it. :) Also, I think the gender neutral names are clever (Jamie/Chris) so that "you" can be whatever gender the reader is. That had to be difficult to avoid pronouns.
Secondly, though the second person is cool and really personalizes the story, in my opinion, not many people may be able to relate to it, seeing as some people like their jobs and don't think they're crazy (me NOT included). :) This, in addition to the 40K really reduces your number of readers.
I definitely liked your second attempt at a query letter much better because saying that "you have a dull job" might be taken as an insult to the agent. I actually didn't notice that at first, but as I read the other comments, it made me laugh a little. Your writing is great, by the way!

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