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Monday, September 16, 2013

Workshop #7 Letting Go

Revision 2
Dear Agent,
After the tragic death of her husband, Giselle Roberts is certain she will be single forever. Barely staying afloat caring for the needs of her five small children, romance is the furthest thing from her mind. But a chance meeting of a jaw-droppingly good-looking stranger, leaves her wondering if she’s ready to open her heart again.

Declan Worthington is charismatic, wealthy, and British, hence the sexy accent that drives Giselle to the brink of blissful surrender. He’s also great with her kids, who quickly grow to adore him. All except for Giselle’s oldest son Cohen who thinks another man in the house is one too many.

As Declan weaves his way into her heart and life, Giselle begins to dream about a new future, one that involves romance and passion. Never once does it cross her mind not to trust the man who has brought happiness back to her family.

When she finds out about Declan’s shadowy past, will Giselle throw away her chance at second love? Or will she let go of the pain and anger that the truth brings?

LETTING GO is a romance novel complete at 105,000 words. I am currently knee-deep in another romance novel and wading through plans for more in the future. Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope my work piques your interest!

Revision 1
Dear Agent,

Giselle Roberts isn’t looking for love when she walks into the crowded restaurant a year after losing her husband. Barely staying afloat caring for the needs of her five small children, all she really wants is a night out with her friends. But a chance meeting of a handsome stranger who knows more about her than he lets on, might just change her perspective.

Declan Worthington is everything she could ever hope to find in a second love. He’s charismatic, wealthy, and British, hence the sexy accent that drives Giselle to the brink of submission. He’s also great with her kids, who quickly grow to adore him. All except for Giselle’s oldest son Cohen who thinks another man in the house is one too many.

As Declan weaves his way into her heart and life, Giselle allows herself to dream of a new future that involves romance and passion. Never once does it cross her mind to not trust the man who has brought happiness back to her family.

With the realization of Declan’s shameful secret (or shadowy past??), Giselle has a choice to make. Will she throw away her chance at second love? Or will she let go of the pain and anger that the truth brings?

LETTING GO is a romance novel complete at 105,000 words. I am currently knee-deep in another romance novel and wading through plans for more in the future. Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope my work piques your interest!


Original
Dear Agent,
Giselle Roberts isn’t looking for love when she walks into the crowded restaurant a year after losing her husband in a tragic car accident. Barely staying afloat caring for the needs of her five small children, romance is the furthest thing from her mind. But a chance meeting of a handsome stranger who knows more about her than he lets on, might just change her perspective.

Declan Worthington is everything she could ever hope to find in a second love. He’s charismatic, wealthy, and British, hence the sexy accent that drives Giselle to the brink of submission. Another plus is how great he is with her kids who adore him and beg him to be their new dad. All except for Giselle’s oldest son Cohen who thinks another man in the house is one too many.

As Declan weaves his way into her heart and life, Giselle allows herself to dream of a new future, one that involves romance and passion. Never once does it cross her mind to not trust the man who has brought happiness back into her family’s life. However, the man she’s given her heart to has a shameful secret. One that connects them in a way she never suspected.

When Giselle finds out about Declan’s shadowy past, she has a choice to make. Will she throw away her chance at second love and let the past grip her heart? Or will she let go of the pain and anger that plagues her?

LETTING GO is a romance novel complete at 105,000 words. Although this is my first novel, I am currently knee-deep in another romance novel with plans for more in the future. Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope my work piques your interest!

Best Regards,

17 comments:

Huntress, aka CD Coffelt said...

Try short sentences with pithy information. Example: “Giselle Roberts isn’t looking for love.”
Note that you give the same information several times: “...isn’t looking for love...” and “...romance is the furthest thing...” That’s an echo.

Also, think of the first paragraph as your hook. Never mind the backstory because at this point no one cares about your MC. Give us a reason to keep reading. Keep ‘barely staying afloat’ but I’m not sure if we need to know about the tragic car accident. Btw, aren’t all accidents ‘tragic’?

Good information in the second paragraph. I think you could tighten it a little but the info about her son is super.

Third paragraph: A little wordy and, er, transparent? I hope I didn’t just guess Declan’s involvement with her family.

105,000 word count is a little big for a romance novel but not overboard. Cool about ‘knee-deep in another romance’.

And Do not, Do Not say it is your first novel. Ever.

Martha Mayberry said...

This sounds like a great story!

I think the “romance is the furthest thing from her mind” in para 1 could be removed because you’re already saying this in your first sentence.

For some reason I felt the part about the kids wanting him for a new dad made me uncomfortable because their dad’s only been gone a year. Wouldn’t kids still be missing their dad too much to beg for a new one?

In the last paragraph, the anger and pain and a past gripping her heart comes out of nowhere for me, since the query mostly focuses on how she isn’t looking for love but seems to be letting it into her life. Maybe stating something about this in the opening paragraph will up these stakes.

Hope this helps; best of luck with it!

Charity Bradford said...

Having seen earlier versions of this query, I can say you've come a long way! And I think you are almost there. A bit more tightening and a little more mystery might just do the trick.

Suggestion:
Giselle Roberts isn't looking for love when she walks into the crowded restaurant. Barely staying afloat caring for the needs of her five children a year after the death of her husband, all she really wants is a night out with her friends. but a chance meeting with a handsome stranger has her feeling like a woman, not a mom. (or something like that)

Declan Worthington is charismatic, wealthy, and British--hence the sexy accent that drive Giselle to the brink of submission (although the use of submission might make people think this is more of a bondage type romance when I know it's not). Over time her kids grow to adore him. All except for Cohen, her oldest, who thinks another man in the house is one too many.

As Declan weaves his way into her heart and life, Giselle allows herself to dream of a new future that involves romance and passion. Never once does it cross her mind not to trust the man who has brought happiness back to her family.

When Giselle learns about Declan’s shadowy past, she will have to make a choice. Will she throw away her chance at second love? Or will she let go of the pain and anger that plagues her?

L. Blankenship said...

If Giselle's angry and hurt and in trouble, that is the FIRST thing you need to tell me.

Being melancholy and stumbling into bliss is not a gripping story. What's at risk here? What danger are Giselle and her kids in? What's the cost of failure?

Patchi said...

This query is a bit wordy, and the previous comments offered some good suggestions. I'll just add that you don't need to tell us she has to make a choice if you're showing us what the choice is:

When Giselle learns about Declan’s shadowy past, will she throw away her chance at second love? Or will she let go of the pain and anger that plagues her?

You might want to look for repetition in the novel too, as >100K for a romance seems like a lot.

mshatch said...

I'm wondering if I've also guessed how Declan's past will come into play. If it's that he's the cause of her husband's death you should know this has been done before (more than once) which means the standards will be higher for a another novel with a similar plot line. You'll need a killer query and a flawless manuscript. Not saying it can't be done, just saying...

That said, I think everyone before me made some excellent suggestions.

Liz A. said...

I like the first paragraph, although the others have some good tightening suggestions.

I could tell that there was going to be something amiss with Declan...

Liz Blocker said...

I agree with most of the comments here, so I won't repeat them. Instead, I'll give one small picky note ;)

In the 2nd paragraph, I love the bit about the sexy accent - it is SO TRUE and I think most people reading it will have an immediate connection to that - but the sentence sort of flops at the end. How about a more powerful word than 'submission'? Maybe 'delirium' or 'deliriousness'? 'Insanity'? Or something better?

Kristin Smith said...

Thank you for all your suggestions and comments! I made a few changes, and submitted it again, but I am still working on another rewrite.

Is it still too wordy? Do I now have enough mystery? The last thing I want is for someone to guess his secret just from reading the query!

Just to answer some questions: No, Giselle is not in trouble or danger, but she does have emotional pain and anger, which comes from learning of Declan's secret.

As for the word "submission"- it is definitely not a bondage type romance, so I'm wondering if I should change that word. Any suggestions for a better word? Surrender? Capitulation? Blissful resignation?

Thanks so much for all your help! I need it!

Huntress, aka CD Coffelt said...

The revision is fine. I blinked over your use of the word 'submission' also, but surrender, capitulation, etc all sound the same.
How about "make her sigh and smile"? "Catch her breath".

Sorry, about the bad examples, LOL.

Kristin Smith said...

Thank you for your thoughts Huntress! And no, they aren't bad examples. :)

I think I decided on "blissful surrender" as long as it sounds like a sweet surrender of mind, body, and heart instead of a dominant relationship.

Huntress, aka CD Coffelt said...

@Kristin
My suggestions were just this side of dopey and close to meh anyway.

Good choice :)

Martha Mayberry said...

The only thing I'm not keen on are the questions in the end, but I realize it's a style choice.

Otherwise, I think this is very well done. Great job!

Liz Blocker said...

I like blissful surrender much better! Great revisions :)

Renée A. Price said...

Another vote for "blissful surrender".

I think this is great, but I am not sure about the second question in the end.

I don't write romance - yet -, but isn't 105k a bit too long?

mshatch said...

I like this latest revision. it's much more concise. I like blissful surrender, too ;)

mshatch said...

This is pretty good. I might like a few details added back in but it's tight. And I agree with Huntress, this sounds like a fun read.