Thursday, May 17, 2007

A River Without Water

So I've wrote a bit about writing on here. Told a humorous story or two. But I've never really done much in the way of explaining what I write. Sure I've mentioned that I write commercial women's fiction and linked to my website, which I'm currently dismantling in the hopes of revamping. With knowledgeable help this time. Today is query day so in that spirit, I thought I'd post the part of my letter that doesn't change depending on the agent. I always research and tailor the letter to fit the individual agent, but the description of the book stays the same. I welcome all feedback, positive and negative, so let me know what you think works or doesn't work, or is just flat-out confusing.

Lindsay Parker has always run. As a young girl, she ran to feel free and alive. As a teenager, she chased glory in the track world. At seventeen, she slowed long enough for Rusty Hawkins to sweet talk her into the backseat of his Trans-Am.
For the last nine years Lindsay has simply ran away. Away from one failed relationship after another. Away from anger towards her father. Away from the abortion she will never forget.
Blue Riggins is a man others envy for his stout physical stature, confident, firm demeanor, and ice-cool approach to adversity. A rodeo star turned pro poker player, he knows this entire persona is merely a bluff. The only real thing in his life vanished four years ago when his wife died in childbirth. Since then, he has allowed no one to get close, including his young daughter.
Thanksgiving Day brings Lindsay and Blue together in the town of Eagles Rest, Idaho. Recollections of bygone holidays, strangers with familiar accents, and another woman’s pregnancy rekindle memories that lead Lindsay to finally face her past, and confront her father over the choice he made for her. She catches a ride to Oklahoma with Blue.
Lindsay, a woman who is angry and resentful over a teenage abortion, and Blue, a man who believes his wife would be alive had she chose that option, travel across the country. Along the way, Blue and Lindsay’s many differences come to light. She runs ten miles every morning, his idea of exercise is raking poker chips across a felt table, she shuns red meat, he thinks lettuce is the devil -- And the polar opposites of their grief.
Beneath these contractions, they share a sorrow for what might have been, a hope for the future, and an undeniable attraction to one another. But the rigors of the road, well-meaning but misguided friends, meddlesome family members, and the emotions of going back home might be more than their newfound love and strength can overcome.


bright said...

I like the premise and the characters intrique me, but since you asked, Yes, I did find it a bit confusing. What major event happened to bring these two people together? How did they meet? What is Lindsey's conflict - what must she face today and why should I care? How many times can you tell she had an abortion - I get that this terrible thing happened, but it happened 9 years ago. That would affect her perception of present day events, but it's not the main focus of your story. What is the obstical Lindsey must overcome in this story - today? What is the story about - I still don't know. Finding true love and learning to trust? Overcoming a past full of regrets? Good luck with it, and I love your blog.

Plot Ponderer said...

I have to agree with Bright on some of the points, but I think doesn't have to be clear on some others. If you answered all of the questions in the query you would be writing a synop to the agent. Which most agents don't want until they have asked for it.

keep up the good work. It sounds like a good book.


Travis Erwin said...

Thanks for the comments Bright and P.P. Bright, I see what you mean, especially on the issue of Lindsay's conflict. Until you pointed out it's vagueness I hadn't focused in on that problem. As far as how they met not sure I can bring that in within the tight confines of a query, but maybe? And the abortion has been her crutch for those nine years. It has given her a place to focus her anger, resentment, and an easy thing to pin her own failures upon. For both of the characters the novel is about dealing the hardships of life, accepting their own choices, right or wrong, moving forward and stopping their self-destructive behavior.

And you are right P.P more of this is address in the synopsis.

I'm always tweaking and trying to improve all of my writing, queries, sysopsis, and manuscripts. Fortunaly about sixty percent of my queries end up in requests for partials and about ten percent of those lead to fulls. Maybe I can up those percentage with a bit more clarification. Thanks.