Guess the Plot
One Day I Will
1. ...finish that goddamn novel I started for Nanowrimo five years ago, because I always liked that one character but could never quite find the right plot to fit, and now I think I have finally found one that will work.
2. Morton is five. You're five. Right now, Mommy is reading you a book about Morton's mommy telling him he'll do all kinds of cool and big things someday. It feels like you're going to be stuck at five forever. Yes, it's metafiction for the kid lit crowd.
3. Faye has a loveless marriage, hates her friends, and works at Kmart. Understandably, she's suicidal. Then she remembers her longtime dream of becoming a published author and starts working on a novel. If that doesn't push her over the edge, nothing will.
4. ...be a big movie star. Or a professional golfer. Or president. Or at least rich. Or popular. But not today. Today I'm just gonna surf the Internet for cat videos.
5. ...find a husband and start a family. That's what Marion's been telling herself for two decades as she's climbed the corporate ladder while working twelve-hour days. Is it too late?
Dear Mr. Evil Editor:
Please consider representing my 70,000-word Women‘s Fiction book [, title]. I’ve researched your agency through Writer’s Market and saw [see] that you handle women’s and literary fiction. [I'd dump this paragraph, put the word count with the title in the next paragraph and change "a mainstream novel" in the next paragraph to "women's fiction."]
One Day I Will is a mainstream novel in a similar vein to Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar or the movie The Good Girl. It is the story of a young woman who must find a way to correct the mistakes she has made in order to improve her life and to save herself from a path of irreversible decline. [I'd move this paragraph to the end. It's general. We're much more interested in the specifics in your plot summary. Also, when you compare your book to Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar or the movie The Good Girl, all I think is: Suicidal poet and romantic comedy actress Jennifer Anniston. If you must compare to something, choose one, preferably a book.]
Faye Harris, a neurotic but cynical and sharp-tongued woman, witnesses a horrific car accident that nearly kills four teenagers. This catalyst leads Faye to question the course of her own life. [Those four teenagers nearly died; I never should have majored in English.] She realizes that it’s been ten years since she graduated high school. Back then she was eagerly ready for anything. Anything but how her life turned out. The bad choices she made over the last decade plague her: marrying young, forgoing college, and relinquishing her dream of being a published novelist. [Aha! So this is autobiographical.] [You have to be a novelist before you can be a published novelist. Has she written a novel?] Her indecision has left her poor, unsuccessful, and complacent. [Bad decisions aren't indecision.]
She now struggles through a loveless marriage to Aaron, the insecure and jealous type, whose idea of a good time is a night of binge drinking and video games. She suffers at a menial and hellish retail job at Kmart, unappreciated by her bitter and chain-smoking boss Mary. The friends she has she hates: her next-door neighbors Matt and Nikki Sweeney, their epic, drunken fights worthy of the show Cops. [If nothing else, reading an entire book about this miserable dispirited woman is sure to make anyone feel better about their own life.] Plus, she feels alienated from her family: her shallow mother Jaclyn and her drug-addled brother Zack--the closest person Faye has to a confidant.
Faye becomes desperate to find meaning in her life again. She returns to night school and bonds with a fellow classmate who later breaks her heart. Eventually she falls into a suicidal depression [I'm starting to fall into a suicidal depression. Maybe some binge drinking and video games will cheer me up.] and endeavors the cathartic task of finally writing her novel. [Uh oh. I was hoping for at least a mildly uplifting ending, but this is looking bad.] But if she can’t find a way to set things right, [What things?] she will lose herself forever and be doomed to live and die in her small, sheltered town and within her dismal marriage. [Please don't kill yourself. Many of the Evil Minions have been where you are. Tell her, people.]
Set against the backdrop of rural Maryland, One Day I Will explores the strength found in following one’s dreams and in the redemptive powers of art. Female readers will especially enjoy this book and relate to Faye’s universal hardship of a marriage gone bad and of finding love again after years of numbness. [Females who can relate to a marriage gone bad are those who've been in a marriage gone bad. Not a small number, but hardly universal.]
Thank you for your consideration.
The whole query is about how miserable Faye's life is. You can do that in one paragraph. I can do it in one sentence (After a decade of bad decisions, Faye Harris now struggles through a loveless marriage and a hellish retail job at Kmart, friendless and alienated from her family.) but you shouldn't try that at home.
Condensing the misery leaves room to show us how the book explores the strength found in following one’s dreams and in the redemptive powers of art and finding love again after years of numbness. Was the night school classmate an example of finding love again? Or is there a new love you haven't mentioned? Because that first fling didn't exactly turn out well. Is writing her novel an example of the redemptive powers of art? In what way? What's the novel about? Does she try to get it published? If so, how can that possibly make her any less depressed than she already is?
Writing a novel while also holding down a job is going to take a lot of time. She's in a suicidal depression now. I hope she gets some help to get her over the low points.
Maybe it should be called literary fiction. Do you have a story? In which things happen? Basically, a woman tries to find meaning in life by writing a novel? Unless there are some major events you haven't mentioned, I think you need to focus more on what it is Faye has to set right and how she plans to do that.