Query critique 5/14/20

Offer up your page (or query) for Nathan's critique on the blog.
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Nathan Bransford
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Query critique 5/14/20

Post by Nathan Bransford » May 14th, 2020, 10:05 am

Want to see how your editing approach compares to mine?

Below is the query up for critique on the blog today. Feel free to chime in with comments, create your own redline (please note the "font colour" button above the posting box, which looks like a drop of ink), and otherwise offer feedback. When offering your feedback, please please remember to be polite and constructive. In order to leave a comment you will need to register an account in the Forums, which should be self-explanatory.

I'll be back with my own post on the blog and we'll literally be able to compare notes.

If you'd like to enter a query for a future Query Critique, please do so here.

Dear <Agent>,

<INSERT how I found the agent, something specific, e.g., “I saw you are looking for xxx from your recent #mswl tweet… because you represent xxx comp author, I think my novel will be a great fit for you.>

Eliza Clark is a 32-year-old alcoholic who believes that she must not deserve to be loved. After all, her mother abandoned her in the middle of a snowstorm, her father merely tolerated her when she was being helpful around the vet clinic (and when he wasn’t passed out drooling on the kitchen table), and her musician husband who’d promised her a new life got killed. Through her vodka-induced haze, Eliza pieces together enough of a life in Brooklyn, NY to convince herself that she’s better off alone, away from grief, away from the rural ranching town she tries not to call home.

But when a will and a letter from her father are found under his mattress, a year after his death, she is faced with the possibility that she’s misinterpreted her past and underestimated both her parents. Eliza returns to her father’s house and clinic to get the lawyers off her back, but finds herself surrounded by friends still willing to welcome her with open—yet brutally honest—arms. She has the opportunity to look at her past with new eyes and decide, for once, what she wants in her life. Eliza must first accept her pain and realize the world doesn’t revolve around her grief in order to accept the love that she’s deserved all along.

PROOF OF LOVE, complete at 75,000 words, is a poignant character-driven literary fiction/women’s fiction novel with a strong female protagonist and themes of grief and complicated family relationships. It will appeal to readers of Anna Quindlen’s STILL LIFE WITH BREADCRUMBS and <COMP 2>.

I write for the Sunset Beacon and Richmond Review newspapers, and I’ve been published in the Adelaide literary journal. I’m active in the San Francisco writing community through classes at the Writer’s Studio, Writing Salon, and the Grotto. I have participated in writing retreats led by Jen Louden, Lisa Jones, and Marianne Elliot, and I’m involved in Louden’s robust online Oasis community for creatives. I blog and write other articles at bankoferin.com.

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