Scatter: Post Edits (Lit Fic)

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KappaP
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Scatter: Post Edits (Lit Fic)

Post by KappaP » February 22nd, 2010, 2:41 pm

H'OKAY! Thanks all for the help, your suggestions were the bomb dot com. Ink, I particularly paid attention to your suggestion to tie all the abstraction to events-- in this version, I'm hoping you get a clearer sense of the plot layout but still retain a sense of theme and character. Any help is appreciated and I'm going back through other people's queries (Serzen, etc) to offer feedback; I've been kind of out of commission for a bit due to medical stuff.



It’s wrong, it’s weird and it’s dangerous. That’s what Cal Painter tells herself every time her heart skips at the sight, touch or sound of Jan Bond. Blue-blooded and charismatic, Cal is a fixture of admiration and fascination in Miles, Kentucky, and she knows her secret fascination with Jan—the shy and prodigious star of Miles’ state renowned girls’ basketball team—is a dangerous fantasy to entertain in the conservative town. But when Jan confesses her feelings for Cal one July night, the excitement of love drowns out any worries about the risk.

As the romance intensifies away from the community’s prying eyes and omnipresent gossip, Cal and Jan find liberation from the stagnation of living under other people’s expectations and hopes. But nothing stays secret in a small town for long, and as whispered speculation closes in around the two hometown heroines, the glimpses of escape they see in each other only make the walls of their cage seem tighter. When Jan’s teammate and longtime rival discovers and threatens to expose the relationship, Jan is forced to make a hasty choice between her reputation and Cal, and her decision to cling to her public image crushes her lover.

When the eloquent and composed Cal begins to deteriorate, news of the broken romance surfaces and Miles struggles to reconcile their glorified images of Cal and Jan with the girls’ starker and more human realities. The ensuing conflict between society and soul forces Cal and Jan to find their true selves in the sludge of other people’s perceptions before their search for escape destroys them.

Told thirty years retrospectively by Cal’s haunted and guilt-ridden best friend, SCATTER is a 114,000 word work of mainstream literary fiction exploring the dark beauty of young love and the devastating power of a community over its heroes.


I'm TRULY hoping this is better. Otherwise.... I will be buying a bottle of whiskey tonight. Thanks guys!
Last edited by KappaP on February 22nd, 2010, 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jessicatudor
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Re: Scatter: Post Edits (Lit Fic)

Post by jessicatudor » February 22nd, 2010, 4:32 pm

Sounds great but I also don't see how it stands out any The hero-worship aspect is an interesting angle, about choosing to be who they want you to be versus who you are, but it's not played up much. I'm also alarmed that it's told by neither Cal nor Jan, thirty years later. What? WHY?

My impression is that the book is probably really good. The writing has a quality to it that I like. But I want more of what makes it special. A homosexual relationship in a conservative town isn't anything new. Not that it has to be, but I don't know. I also think that this query could potentially work just fine as is, especially since I can't point to anything really off about it and my issue with it is definitely more preference than anything that seems actually wrong with it.
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KappaP
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Re: Scatter: Post Edits (Lit Fic)

Post by KappaP » February 22nd, 2010, 5:13 pm

It's not told by either of them because it can't be. The events have to be viewed objectively and having either of them tell it would subject the events to bias. But in third person, you would be too distant from the action. Having the best friend tell it so far after the fact allows him to a) tell it from an angle that also makes the community a sympathetic character and b) allows the events to have settled in time enough for them to be seen clearer in context. A crucial aspect of the story is misperception-- the narrator can tell us the story as it appeared to him (and the community) at the time, but also as he came to understand it as the pieces came together retrospectively.

Another reason is marketability-- the way it's written, this is a book is a same-sex love story told in the context of a sympathetic heterosexual observer. 3/4 of my readers have been straight because, ultimately, this story has to resonate with a straight audience to sell in a mainstream market.

Out of curiosity, what are some titles that bear similarity to this? I'm asking this very honestly because I've searched and I really can't find much at all (mainstream same-sex love stories, particularly in southern fiction) so, to me, it does seem distinctive. But if I'm wrong, I absolutely want to know.

Thanks for the input!
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Calliopenjo
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Re: Scatter: Post Edits (Lit Fic)

Post by Calliopenjo » February 22nd, 2010, 6:10 pm

KappaP wrote: It’s wrong, it’s weird and it’s dangerous. That’s what Cal Painter tells herself every time her heart skips at the sight, touch or sound of Jan Bond.(I'm thinking this should be another paragraph.) Blue-blooded and charismatic, Cal is a fixture of admiration and fascination in Miles, Kentucky, and she knows her secret fascination with Jan—the shy and prodigious star of Miles’ state renowned girls’ basketball team—is a dangerous fantasy to entertain in the conservative town.(45 words in this sentence. Revise.) But when Jan confesses her feelings for Cal one July night, the excitement of love drowns out any worries about the risk. (This would be better shown than told. We nned to see it to feel it.)

As the romance intensifies away from the community’s prying eyes and omnipotent gossip, Cal and Jan find liberation from the stagnation of living under other people’s expectations and hopes.(This sounds like you're trying too hard to avoid cliches, to be different. Simpler words would be my suggestion.) But nothing stays secret in a small town for long, and as whispered speculation closes in around the two hometown heroines, the glimpses of escape they see in each other only make the walls of their cage seem tighter.(39 words in this sentence. Revise.) When Jan’s teammate and longtime rival discovers and threatens to expose the relationship, Jan is forced to make a hasty choice between her reputation and Cal, and her decision to cling to her public image crushes her lover.
When the eloquent and composed Cal begins to deteriorate, news of the broken romance surfaces and Miles struggles to reconcile their glorified images of Cal and Jan with the girls’ starker and more human realities. The ensuing conflict between society and soul forces Cal and Jan to find their true selves in the sludge of other people’s perceptions before their search for escape destroys them.

Told thirty years retrospectively by Cal’s haunted and guilt-ridden best friend, SCATTER is a 114,000 word work of mainstream literary fiction exploring the dark beauty of young love and the devastating power of a community over its heroes.


I'm TRULY hoping this is better. Otherwise.... I will be buying a bottle of whiskey tonight. Thanks guys!
Below are sites that sell same sex stories exclusively.
http://www.bellabooks.com/mm5/merchant.mvc
http://www.boldstrokesbookshop.com/
http://www.intagliopub.com/

Try and cut the long sentences down. Read it out loud. Good form is to mix short and long sentences. The advice I've read from agents about querying is that showing is better than telling. It may be best to show the emotion rather than tell.

Remember, it's an opinion from a reader's POV. What you do with it, is up to you.

Good luck.

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