Thursday, October 19, 2006
Guess the Plot
1. After George's boating accident leaves him blind, he fears he'll have to give up his career as a NASCAR driver. Can Mary, his lovely pit crew leader, convince him to keep driving?
2. Pegleg Paul is the most brutal pirate captain to ever terrorize the Bering Sea, ruling the waves unopposed until a valiant Aleut warrior realizes that the eyepatch isn't just for show.
3. Taking advantage of an Equal Rights ruling, Ted got accepted into dental school despite being blind. But now that he's graduated, he can't understand why he's having so much trouble building a practice.
4. The Scarlet Letter meets The Village in this historical novel based on music by the Swedish rock band Blindside.
5. Only a quarterback could truly love a left tackle. When the coach finds out just how much his QB Brad loves the left tackle Don--and just how hard Don works at covering Brad's blind side--he considers trading Don for a big tight end.
6. A one-eyed supermodel fights to be photographed on the left (it's her good side), despite the missing orb.
Dear Evil Editor:
Blind Side is, basically, as Tolstoy once put it about his novel, Anna Karenina, a novel about an affair, and the devastating effects of it. [Tolstoy certainly had a way with words.] It follows a widowed August Pahcon, 31, living in a constant state of guilt from the death of his wife, the result of an affair with the tragic Rivka Svetchite, [I'm starting to think it would be easier to pronounce the names in Anna Karenina than in this book.] not so long ago. Set in the 1680s and ‘90s (a parallel to our 1780s and ‘90s), in the farce land of Homstail, [Unclear what the point of calling it a parallel is. Why not just call it the 1790s in a world just like ours, instead of the 1690s in a world just like our 1790s?] it has hints of The Scarlet Letter, The Crucible and “The Village” as we follow August in the village of West Tale [Already I see the hint of The Village: it takes place in a village.] as he tries to learn to love once more, and forgive himself for his wife’s death and his own sins. On the anniversary of his wife’s death he meets the mysterious Blaise Sylen, carrying her own secrets, and soon, her own guilt. Through her he tries to learn to love and to live once more, but her own secrets, the fact that she is a witch and the cousin of August’s most hated person, the village cleric and his brother-in-law, Mr. Atholl, [I can't tell if she's the cousin of one, two, or three people.] thwart their love, and an attempt is made upon their lives, leaving them separated from each other for ten years. [I've read query letters shorter than that sentence.] August ends up in Scoebrinn, the capital of Homstail, living with his sister-in-law [I'm not sure whether you mean he's living with his wife's sister or with his brother's wife; either way, he's in trouble with someone.] and the beguiling Rivka, in a new state of guilt, under the notion that Blaise has died because he could not save her. Still searching for some comfort, August gives into temptation once more, and his second affair with Rivka begins. But when he hears news that Blaise is alive, as well as depressed, blind and vanished from West Tale, he leaves to find her,
[August: I'm leaving you for another woman.
Rivka: What?! Again?! Who is she?
August: She's depressed, blind, invisible, a witch, and I haven't seen her in ten years. But I'm sure to be happier with her than with you.]
and what love may still be there. When he finds Blaise, however, what happiness he thought would be there is absent, as Blaise denies loving him, [seeing him,] or even knowing him at all. We are left with August pondering whether to stay with Blaise, to try and resituate what love was there, [Resituate?] or if he should leave, realizing that his marriage to her was a mistake, [His marriage to her? You didn't say they were married.] and the only woman he has ever truly loved was Elina, the woman whose death is his culpability.
Blind Side is pensive, dramatic and highly original. [Well, original except for the parts that are like The Scarlet Letter, The Crucible, The Village, and Anna Karenina.] It would attract not only readers who enjoy the classics, but fans of the band Blindside (as such it was named after). [If that works, I suggest you title your next novel The Beatles.] Their album, Silence, released in 2002, helped me create the novel, including the plot and reasoning behind certain characters and their actions. Each song on the album has been used in the novel, [With permission?] each song becoming a chapter, the lyrics infused within the writing. Any fan of Blindside’s could easily find the lyrics imbedded, [You realize you can't just imbed (or even embed) song lyrics you didn't write, right?] but one does not need to know the music to understand the novel. I believe it is the first novel of its kind, and because of its originality [I don't get how a book closely based on a record album can be called "original." Doesn't that make it completely derivative?] and fascinating plot, it could draw readers of all ages and interests, [making it the bestselling book of all time.] including many fans of Blindside from America and Europe (seeing how Blindside is from Sweden, and has a marvelous following overseas as well as in America). [Did you call the book Blind Side merely in hopes of selling books to fans of Blindside?]
Being female, and just sixteen, Blind Side was a fun, and interesting challenge for me during the eleven months I spent writing it, [even if it did cause me to miss my junior year, but who really cares about chemistry and geometry and French?] especially seeing how the main character is about twice my own age, and then aged to my parents’ age, and mainly, male. It is a literary fiction/historical fiction novel (as much of the culture is Puritan) at 226,050 words. It is not the first novel I have written, but it is certainly the longest [I hope so. I hope half of it is the longest.] and most serious. I’ve not had anything published before, and I am quite exited to have Blind Side be my debut! [So excited, I can't remember how to spell "excited."]
Thank you so very much for taking the time to read my query letter. I look forward to speaking with you.
Tolstoy wrote novels shorter than this query letter.
It's not a good idea to compare your book to classic works. Let reviewers and editors make the comparisons. Also, let others decide if your book is the first of its kind, fascinating, highly original, etc. Your opinion of your book will not be seen as unbiased.
Your book is going to be 800 pages long. Some people won't even be able to lift it.
Shorten those long sentences. Longer isn't always better, as your boyfriend will try to convince you after you finish laughing.
You stick the phrase, "the fact that she is a witch," in a list of facts about Blaise, and move on like it's as natural as saying she's a seamstress. If one of your main characters is a witch, you might want to elaborate.