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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Query Workshop 6--The Proper Way to Say Goodbye

Title: The Proper Way to Say Goodbye
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult

Only one person knew Chloe was gay, and his love and support disappeared when he hung himself.

When she starts college, eighteen-year-old Chloe continues to hide her sexuality, afraid it may affect her current friendships and jeopardize her mother’s job. Unable to deal with the loss ofher brother Brock, she tells nobody of his suicide.

Chloe is stunned to learn her crush, and graduate teaching assistant Sasha, knew Brock. As their relationship deepens, Sasha reveals the reason behind Brock’s suicide, that he was sexually abused as a child, something he admitted to nobody before Sasha. Chloe refuses to believe it, until she reads Brock’s journals, but even then, nobody knows what pushed him over the edge.

She continues to lead a double life, ignoring that her own secrets are hurting the ones she loves most. Her girlfriend Sasha,who is comfortable being a lesbian. And Murphy—the boy she’s pretending to date—is becoming her best friend, but is unaware Chloe is gay.

After finding Brock’s last journal, she is consumed with his plan to take revenge on his molester. But Chloe’s obsession comes at a cost, and she might have to give up everything she’s ever wanted, her girlfriend, her best friend, and her sanity, in order to discover Brock’s final secret.

5 comments:

Charity Bradford said...

Very compelling opening line.

Paragraph 1--I'd drop "when she stars college" and "continues to" from the first sentence.

Paragraph 2 sounds a bit listy. Suggestion: Chloe is stunned when her girlfriend Sasha reveals the reason behind Brock's suicide. It's hard for Chloe to accept he was sexually abused as a child until she reads his journals, but even they don't expose what finally pushed him over the edge.

Paragraph 3 feels like a slide back. It should build. Now that Chloe knows about her brother's past, what is she doing about it? Personally I think you can just cut all of it and get to the next paragraph which does build on the plot.

Paragraph 4--the only nitpick is to remove the comma after sanity.

Huntress said...

Great title!

Can you cut this down to under 200 words? Leave the conflict, angst. Great stuff but try boiling it down a bit.

In the third paragraph, you used ‘nobody’ twice.
In the fourth paragraph, editing is needed. Minor stuff, I know, but there is little to crit :)


Lara Schiffbauer said...

You're awesome, Suzi! I absolutely love the first line. It's a "wow" line. :) This is an excellent query and you totally nail the last paragraph, too.

Just an idea for the second paragraph, so it might flow and capture that third paragraph as well:

Unable to deal with the loss of her brother, Brock, she tells no one of his suicide. When she starts college, eighteen year old Chloe continues to lead a double life by dating her girlfriend Sasha while pretending to date Murphy. (you might have something about him becoming her best friend, but I don't know, which is why I left it out)

Then Charity's third paragraph:
Chloe is stunned when Sasha reveals she knew Chloe's brother and the reason behind Brock's suicide. It's hard for Chloe to accept he was sexually abused as a child until she reads his journals, but even they don't expose what finally pushed him over the edge.

After finding Brock’s last journal, she is consumed with his plan to take revenge on his molester. But Chloe’s obsession comes at a cost, and she might have to give up everything she’s ever wanted, her girlfriend, her best friend, and her sanity, in order to discover Brock’s final secret.

As always, just an opinion. I really like it as you've got it written. My attempts were mostly to try to help cut down on the words, I think. :)

Suzi said...

Thanks, Ladies.

mshatch said...

I’ve offered my comments and suggestions in parentheses:

Only one person knew Chloe was gay, and his love and support disappeared when he hung himself.(I’d reword this and say who this person was: her brother. Gives it more punch)

When she starts college, eighteen-year-old Chloe continues to hide her sexuality, afraid it may affect her current friendships and jeopardize her mother’s job. Unable to deal with the loss of her brother Brock, she tells nobody of his suicide. (I’d reword this to say that not only is she hiding her sexuality but also the fact that her brother committed suicide, maybe like this: When she starts college, eighteen-year-old Chloe continues to hide her sexuality, as well as any mention of the brother she had.’)

Chloe is stunned to learn her crush, and graduate teaching assistant Sasha, knew Brock. (what if you combined the above paragraph with this one like so: When she starts college, eighteen-year-old Chloe continues to hide her sexuality, as well as any mention of the brother she had – until she discovers that her crush knew Brock.’ Just a thought) As their relationship deepens, Sasha reveals the reason behind Brock’s suicide, that he was sexually abused as a child, something he admitted to nobody before Sasha. (awkward sentence, imo. How about ‘…something even Chloe didn’t know) Chloe refuses to believe it, until she reads Brock’s journals, but even then, nobody knows what pushed him over the edge.

She continues to lead a double life, ignoring that her own secrets are hurting the ones she loves most. Her girlfriend Sasha,who is comfortable being a lesbian. And Murphy—the boy she’s pretending to date—is becoming her best friend, but is unaware Chloe is gay. (I might try to combine this with the second para. Which shows the growing conflict Chloe faces: both her interior conflict over her own sexuality and her brother’s death as well as the exterior ones of balancing her gf with her bf.)

After finding Brock’s last journal, she is consumed with his plan to take revenge on his molester. But Chloe’s obsession comes at a cost, and she might have to give up everything she’s ever wanted, her girlfriend, her best friend, and her sanity, in order to discover Brock’s final secret. (Good, shows what a hard choice she has to make.)

Hope this helps :)