On The Fringe Query Three

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superduperkool
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On The Fringe Query Three

Post by superduperkool » June 16th, 2010, 4:29 pm

This will be the last time i will post this query. Thank you so much for your input, and any thoughts you have.

Lucy A master's degree from Penn State can't get her hired at museums, daycare centers, fast food restaurants, or as a body guard for Brittney Spears. With a dwindling bank account, her options are homelessness, or a rusty futon in her father’s basement. Bunking behind her dad’s washing machine, her room is made up of three concrete walls and a door made of Backstreet Boys sheets. Lucy spends her time watching Keeping up with the Kardashian marathons and sipping on Captain Morgan. The day after her boyfriend dumps her, she gets hired at Cowboy Cal’s Pizza Corral. The boss considers her a sexy cougar at the age of 25 and mandates thigh high daisy dukes, push up bras, and his sexual harassment of the employees. Biting her tongue, Lucy tries to turn this Hooters and Chucky Cheese hybrid into her dream job. She tries to put her life back together one greasy pizza slice and bad tip at a time.

Her boss’s cougar label imitates life when her younger coworker asks her out. Lucy is surprised when this post break-up fling with a Zac Efron look-a-like turns into something more. Lucy's new romance threatens her job security because her cougar-loving, sexually harassing boss wants her. He’s not the only one vying for Lucy's attention. Just as she is settling into her new life, her ex shows up offering her the dream life she once thought she wanted. With a little humor, self bar tending, bad reality television marathons, and an adjustment of her post college visions, Sally creates a life for herself in unexpected places.

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Quill
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Re: On The Fringe Query Three

Post by Quill » June 16th, 2010, 9:41 pm

superduperkool wrote:This will be the last time i will post this query. Thank you so much for your input, and any thoughts you have.

Lucy A master's degree from Penn State
What is a "Lucy A master's degree"? Is there a word missing?
can't get her hired at museums, daycare centers, fast food restaurants, or as a body guard for Brittney Spears.
Cute, but I'm not sure what it is saying. A degree can't get one a job? That isn't news.
With a dwindling bank account, her options are homelessness, or a rusty futon in her father’s basement. Bunking behind her dad’s washing machine,
Usually a washing machine is installed up against a wall for hookups to power, water, and drain. How could a futon fit there??
her room is made up of three concrete walls and a door made of Backstreet Boys sheets.
Is this vital info? Perhaps omit.
Lucy spends her time watching Keeping up with the Kardashian marathons
I guess you are going for the younger agents? I don't know what this is.

And, wouldn't "Keeping up with the Kardashian" have some capitals and maybe need quotes? Is it a title of something?
and sipping on Captain Morgan.
What is it? Rum?
The day after her boyfriend dumps her, she gets hired at Cowboy Cal’s Pizza Corral. The boss considers her a sexy cougar at the age of 25
Why is the age emphasized here? It sounds like he thinks it is unusual that anyone could be a sexy cougar at that age. Seems awkward.
and mandates thigh high
Wouldn't thigh-high be better with a dash?
daisy dukes,
What are daisy dukes? Shorts? Wouldn't they be Daisy Dukes?
push up bras,
Wouldn't push-up be better with a dash?
and his sexual harassment of the employees.
It's a bit awkward to have him mandating his own harassment. Not to mention illegal?

Biting her tongue, Lucy tries to turn this Hooters and Chucky Cheese hybrid into her dream job. She tries to put her life back together one greasy pizza slice and bad tip at a time.
Sounds like her life never got started. When did you have her have her life together for it to fall apart?
Her boss’s cougar label imitates life when her younger coworker asks her out.
How can a label imitate life, or anything for that matter? How does having her boss label her a cougar relate to someone else asking her out? Are you implying that the coworker thinks she is a cougar? I think it is best in a query to not allude to or imply anything. Speak directly, you only have a few words to convey what makes your story special.

Lucy is surprised when this post break-up fling with a Zac Efron look-a-like turns into something more.
Why would you characterize this as a fling? Who is Zac Efron? Wouldn't it be "look-alike"? And why is she surprised that she could find a nice guy?
Lucy's new romance threatens her job security because her cougar-loving, sexually harassing boss wants her.
For variety I think we need some new words for "cougar-loving, sexually harassing".
He’s not the only one vying for Lucy's attention.
Omit, as it is telling and not showing.
Just as she is settling into her new life, her ex shows up offering her the dream life
The two "life"s in the sentence sound repetitive.
she once thought she wanted.
What dream life? What does he offer?
With a little humor, self bar tending, bad reality television marathons, and an adjustment of her post college visions, Sally creates a life for herself in unexpected places.
How about saying instead what she does, or what her big choice to make is? What is the conflict?

Emily J
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Re: On The Fringe Query Three

Post by Emily J » June 16th, 2010, 11:17 pm

superduperkool wrote:This will be the last time i will post this query. Thank you so much for your input, and any thoughts you have.

Lucy A master's degree something missing here from Penn State can't get her hired at museums, daycare centers, fast food restaurants, or as a body guard for Brittney Spears. Britney with one t. I know this is for comic effect but spelling still matters. And yes, I am ashamed that i CAN spell her name With a dwindling bank account, her options are homelessness, or a rusty futon in her father’s basement. Bunking behind her dad’s washing machine, her room is made up of three concrete walls and a door made of Backstreet Boys sheets. Lucy spends her time watching Keeping up with the Kardashian marathons and sipping on Captain Morgan. The day after her boyfriend dumps her, she gets hired at Cowboy Cal’s Pizza Corral. The boss considers her a sexy cougar at the age of 25 25 yo are not cougars! and mandates thigh high daisy dukes, push up bras, and his sexual harassment of the employees. not sure if the last part of the sentence sounds right Biting her tongue, Lucy tries to turn this Hooters and Chucky Cheese hybrid into her dream job. She tries to put her life back together one greasy pizza slice and bad tip at a time.

Her boss’s cougar label imitates life when her younger coworker asks her out. Lucy is surprised when this post break-up fling with a Zac Efron look-a-like turns into something more. Lucy's new romance threatens her job security because her cougar-loving, sexually harassing boss wants her. He’s not the only one vying for Lucy's attention. Just as she is settling into her new life, her ex shows up offering her the dream life she once thought she wanted. With a little humor, self bar tending, bad reality television marathons, and an adjustment of her post college hyphen? post-college? visions, Sally creates a life for herself in unexpected places.
Nice query! Excellent voice, cheeky and smart. Honestly this is in pretty good shape. Just make sure the first paragraph isn't too dense for the eyes.

notw
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Re: On The Fringe Query Three

Post by notw » June 17th, 2010, 11:08 pm

superduperkool wrote:This will be the last time i will post this query. Thank you so much for your input, and any thoughts you have.

Lucy A master's degree from Penn State can't get her hired at museums, daycare centers, fast food restaurants, or as a body guard for Brittney Spears. With a dwindling bank account, her options are homelessness, or a rusty futon in her father’s basement. Bunking behind her dad’s washing machine, her room is made up of three concrete walls and a door made of Backstreet Boys sheets Might just be me but when you say sheets do you mean posters?. Lucy spends her time watching Keeping up with the Kardashian marathons and sipping on Captain Morgan I think you need to italicize the name of the reality show.. The day after her boyfriend dumps her, she gets hired at Cowboy Cal’s Pizza Corral. The boss considers her a sexy cougar at the age of 25 and mandates thigh high daisy dukes, push up bras, and his sexual harassment of the employees I also agree 25 seems really young to be considered a cougar.. Biting her tongue, Lucy tries to turn this Hooters and Chucky Cheese hybrid into her dream job. She tries to put her life back together one greasy pizza slice and bad tip at a time.

Her boss’s cougar label imitates life when her younger coworker asks her out. Lucy is surprised when this post break-up fling with a Zac Efron look-a-like turns into something more. Lucy's new romance threatens her job security because her cougar-loving, sexually harassing boss wants her. He’s not the only one vying for Lucy's attention. Just as she is settling into her new life, her ex shows up offering her the dream life she once thought she wanted. With a little humor, self bar tending, bad reality television marathons, and an adjustment of her post college visions, Sally creates a life for herself in unexpected places. Little confused here. The starting sentence says Lucy then it ends here with the name Sally. Did you mean Lucy?
I think it looks pretty good :)

Krista G.
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Re: On The Fringe Query Three

Post by Krista G. » June 17th, 2010, 11:51 pm

superduperkool wrote:Lucy A master's degree from Penn State can't get her hired at museums, daycare centers, fast food restaurants, or as a body guard for Brittney Spears. With a dwindling bank account, her options are homelessness, or a rusty futon in her father’s basement. Bunking behind her dad’s washing machine, her room is made up of three concrete walls and a door made of Backstreet Boys sheets. The phrase "Bunking behind her dad's washing machine" doesn't work because the sentence's subject, "her room," isn't what's bunking behind her dad's washing machine - she is. Lucy spends her time watching Keeping up with the Kardashian marathons (Seems like "Keeping up with the Kardashian" (and do you mean "Kardashians," plural?) should have quotation marks around it) and sipping on Captain Morgan. The day after her boyfriend dumps her, she gets hired at Cowboy Cal’s Pizza Corral. The boss considers her a sexy cougar at the age of 25 and mandates thigh high daisy dukes, push up bras, and his sexual harassment of the employees. I agree with Quill - those phrases need hyphens, and someone can't mandate their own sexual harassment. Biting her tongue, Lucy tries to turn this Hooters and Chucky Cheese hybrid into her dream job. She tries to put her life back together one greasy pizza slice and bad tip at a time.

Her boss’s cougar label imitates life (I agree with Quill again - besides being a cliche, this phrase just doesn't make sense) when her younger coworker asks her out. Lucy is surprised when this post break-up fling with a Zac Efron look-a-like turns into something more. Lucy's new romance threatens her job security because her cougar-loving, sexually harassing boss wants her. He’s not the only one vying for Lucy's attention. Just as she is settling into her new life, her ex shows up offering her the dream life she once thought she wanted. With a little humor, self bar tending, bad reality television marathons, and an adjustment of her post college visions, Sally creates a life for herself in unexpected places.
I like your voice and the details you include in the first paragraph, but I think the old adage "Less is more" applies. You spend so much time on backstory in the first paragraph that we miss out on the plot itself. Also, I'd like to hear a little more about what sets your book apart. "Boy dumps girl, girl finds new boy, old boy comes back" is a fairly common plotline.

Good luck with this.
Author of THE REGENERATED MAN (G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, Winter 2015)
Represented by Kate Schafer Testerman of kt literary
www.motherwrite.blogspot.com

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fivecats
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Re: On The Fringe Query Three

Post by fivecats » June 18th, 2010, 12:12 am

While I think, as usual, Quill got it right, I'll still add my additional 2¢
superduperkool wrote:This will be the last time i will post this query. Thank you so much for your input, and any thoughts you have.

Lucy A master's degree from Penn State
Again, something is missing here. I know this is only a practice run, but you need to double-check everything before sending it out to an agent or posting it here.
superduperkool wrote:can't get her hired at museums, daycare centers, fast food restaurants, or as a body guard for Brittney Spears.
Actually, it can. However, it sounds to me like Lucy is either not trying very hard or wallowing in self-pity, neither of which make her a very sympathetic character.
superduperkool wrote:With a dwindling bank account, her options are homelessness, or a rusty futon in her father’s basement. Bunking behind her dad’s washing machine, her room is made up of three concrete walls and a door made of Backstreet Boys sheets. Lucy spends her time watching Keeping up with the Kardashian marathons and sipping on Captain Morgan.
I get that you're trying to add some "color" to your writing (hopefully suggesting the tone of your writing) but this could just as easily be summed up by saying "just as she hits rock bottom" (in a less clichéd way, of course)

Again, sitting around watching trash TV and drinking spiced rum isn't going to make Lucy an engaging character. It would be far better to have her hustling her resume everywhere she can possibly think of and then have the only job offer she gets be a waitress.
superduperkool wrote:The day after her boyfriend dumps her, she gets hired at Cowboy Cal’s Pizza Corral
Are these two events linked in some way? It reads as if they are, but I don't see the connection.
superduperkool wrote:The boss considers her a sexy cougar at the age of 25 and mandates thigh high daisy dukes, push up bras, and his sexual harassment of the employees.
Then the boss either doesn't know what a "cougar" is or he's 16.

I have a very hard time believing that a recent college graduate would be willing to put up with this type of blatant sexual harassment. If she does, then she's completely lost any interest I may have had in her or the story.
superduperkool wrote:Biting her tongue, Lucy tries to turn this Hooters and Chucky Cheese hybrid into her dream job. She tries to put her life back together one greasy pizza slice and bad tip at a time.
I don't get this pizza place hybrid. Chuck E Cheese (not Chucky Cheese) is a combination arcade/pizza place that is targeted at kids and families with kids. Hooters is an adult bar/restaurant targeting sexually frustrated males. Where, exactly, do those two places meet? (The only thing I can think of is "the restaurant/bar dad takes the kids when it's his weekend to have the kids" and even then it sounds pretty gross)
superduperkool wrote:Her boss’s cougar label imitates life when her younger coworker asks her out. Lucy is surprised when this post break-up fling with a Zac Efron look-a-like turns into something more.
She's 25. She is not a "cougar". Even if the guy she's dating is 18, she's still not a "cougar".

And why is the younger guy being "a Zac Efron look-a-like" important enough to mention here?
superduperkool wrote:Lucy's new romance threatens her job security because her cougar-loving, sexually harassing boss wants her. He’s not the only one vying for Lucy's attention. Just as she is settling into her new life, her ex shows up offering her the dream life she once thought she wanted.
I understand the need for complications to arise in a Romance, but the sexually harassing boss doesn't come across as realistic to me.

I'm curious to know why her ex left her in the first place and why he's changed his mind? And why he's now able to offer Lucy "the dream life"? If he left her because she was wallowing in self pity, I doubt finding her working in a family style T&A bar/pizza parlor would change his impression of her.
superduperkool wrote:With a little humor, self bar tending,


So, you're saying she's still drinking. A lot. Alone.
superduperkool wrote:bad reality television marathons, and an adjustment of her post college visions, Sally creates a life for herself in unexpected places.
I don't get any sense of what Lucy wants from your query. If she's only looking for Love, she could have/should have found it in her four years at Penn State. Not only did she have plenty of time to find a guy, but her prospects for a financially stable mate were far better there than in 'the real world.'

Since she didn't, I can only assume she wanted something else. What was that? There is where Lucy's real story begins.

As a college graduate Lucy would likely have somewhere between $40-60k in college loans to pay back. Repayment starts six months after graduation -- unless (a) her parents paid for her education (but then why would she be living in the basement of her father's place?) or (b) she decided to go to graduate school.

I work at a major university and see kids who are about to graduate all the time. They're serious about what they're doing, they are working jobs while in college and/or taking on internships to get some real-life experience in their chosen fields. I have a hard time believing Lucy would graduate with a four year degree (what was her major?) and not have any plans for herself other than to apply for minimum wage jobs and watch trash TV and drink.
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Tom M Franklin
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