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Monday, September 16, 2013

Workshop #2 Another New Life

Dear Agent,

Miranda Preston, a socially stunted piano major, knows about starting over. She's done it before.   At ten years old, Miranda was abused by a neighborhood boy and instead of dealing with it; her parents moved the family away, far from her hometown and away from her best friend, Troy.

Even at four years old, Troy was Miranda’s protector. On the playground, it was Troy and Miranda against the world. The move away from him proved more damaging to her psyche, than the abuse itself. For years, Miranda used that pain as an excuse for her self destructive choice.

Now, Miranda’s talent has afforded her the opportunity to start Another New life, but this time on her own terms. With a full scholarship to college on the other side of the country, she is determined not to let her past or her parents dictate her behavior any longer.

She has all the time in the world to discover the type of person she wants to be, but a week into her college career, her time to work on herself is interrupted when Troy, the highly recruited star quarterback, most popular guy on campus, and Miranda’s childhood best friend walks into class. On the outside, it looks like Troy has had the charmed life that teen romance novels are written about.

They pick up where they left off eight years ago and the romance that ensues is inevitable.  Troy calls it fate. Miranda’s friends have created a fairy tale inspired destiny to their reunion. Miranda tries to be happy, but she knows it's only a matter of time before the secrets she holds will be revealed.

When she left Troy before, it wasn’t by choice.  When Troy finds out that what happen to her so many years ago, set in motion the struggles he faced growing up, as well. This time, he will choose to leave her.

ANOTHER NEW LIFE is my debut New Adult Romance novel completed at 76,000 words. It explores how even when choices are made for you that are out of your control, you still have to deal with the consequences soon or later.

I am excited to share this project with you. Thank you for your time and consideration.

8 comments:

Huntress, aka CD Coffelt said...

First paragraph: Not sure if you need ‘socially stunted piano major’.

Second paragraph: Cut ‘her’ in last sentence. Insert ‘a’.

“On the outside, it appears that Troy has had the charmed life written about in teen romance novels.”

Excellent last paragraph.

Regarding: “ANOTHER NEW LIFE is my debut New Adult Romance novel completed at 76,000 words. It explores how even when choices are made for you that are out of your control, you still have to deal with the consequences soon or later.”

I would cut ‘my debut’ and the last sentence. It meanders and adds nothing to the query, IMHO.

At 314 words, the meat of this query is a bit long. Try to cut it down to 250 or less. 200 is better.

Charity Bradford said...

You can definitely tighten this up. I love the idea that you will be exploring her emotional damage and feelings of unworthiness in this story. I hope Troy can convinced her she's worth fighting for.

Ok, let's see...

Totally agree with CD on cutting "socially stunted piano major" because it doesn't really play into the rest of the query. It's only mentioned again as her way to choose her school. I also don't think you need a lot of the backstory about her and Troy at 4 years old.

Suggestion:
Miranda Preston knows about starting over. At ten years old she was abused by a neighborhood boy, and her parents dealt with it by moving the family far away. Moving her away from her best friend Troy proved more damaging to her psyche than the abuse itself. For years, Miranda used that pain as an excuse for her destructive choices.

Determined to find herself again in her music, she's ready to start again with a full scholarship to college. She thinks she's got all the time in the world, until Troy walks into her class.

On the outside, it looks like Troy has led the charmed life that teen romance novels are written about--highly recruited star quarterback and most popular guy on campus. (maybe a short sentence to solidify that you are alluding to the fact it wasn't a charmed life.)

They pick up where they left off eight years ago and the romance that ensues is inevitable. Troy calls it fate. Miranda fears the happiness is fleeting. When she left Troy before, it wasn’t by choice. She fears that Troy finds out what happen to her so many years ago he will choose to leave her.

You hinted at his own pain in that last paragraph but the wording of the sentence was confusing. I'd move the hint up to the paragraph about "on the outside" for him.

Patchi said...

I think all you need is to streamline this query so it's not too long. I think you should focus POV on Miranda, without shifting to Troy. This is what I would keep:

Miranda Preston knows all about starting over. After a neighborhood boy abused her when she was ten, her parents moved the family far from her hometown. But leaving Troy, her best friend and playground protector, proved more damaging to her psyche than the abuse itself.

A full scholarship to college on the other side of the country is what Miranda needs to let go of her past and her parents. But when Troy walks into class, romance replaces their broken friendship.

Troy calls it fate and their friends think their reunion is a fairy tale. But Miranda knows it's only a matter of time before she reveals her secrets. She fears that when Troy finds out that what happened to her so many years ago, he will leave. And she will have to live again with the consequences of someone else's choice.

Charity Bradford said...

THAT was a great edit Patchi!

Robin said...

I really like the premise of this story. And I think Patchi's edit is fantastic. Good luck to you!

Martha Mayberry said...

I love Patchi's edit and can't add a thing the others haven't already mentioned. Her last sentence suggestions is perfect.

mshatch said...

This is too long, too many paragraphs. How about something like this: Miranda Preston knows all about starting over. As a survivor of childhood abuse she had no choice but to do so when her parents decided to move. But now, a scholarship offers Miranda the chance, and the choice, to start over once again, but this time on her terms.

Kristin Smith said...

You have a great story here! I love the premise and I like how you make me care about Miranda.

With that being said, I just think you need to rework some sentences. I think Patchi really nailed it, but I will point some things out from your query that threw me off.

"Miranda’s friends have created a fairy tale inspired destiny to their reunion."
Maybe reword this sentence. I get what you are trying to say, and I think it's important to your query, but just a little rewording should do the trick.
Possible suggestion: "Miranda's friends have coined their reunion a fairy tale inspired destiny." Or something like that (except better). :)

"When Troy finds out that what happen to her so many years ago, set in motion the struggles he faced growing up, as well."

This sentence seems awkward. Is there a better way to say it? And, maybe per Charity's suggestion, you could add it to the third paragraph.

Just some thoughts. Hope this helps! Good luck to you!!