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Novel number two, 'Lo Boièr (The Oxherd's Song)', a work of upmarket woman's fiction with a speculative edge, is almost ready to go out to the world.

Iren Discussions
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I've been learning a lot with Daggilarr's recent thread about his cover letter. So I'm posting mine …
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  •  · Concerning the question of whether it is good to mention in a query letter that you have a previous …
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I have this irresistible urge to finish chapters where scenes neatly round off. I'm not sure I'm dra…
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  •  · Thanks Patrick, I will. I've not read Dickens for a while and I've been thinking about it recently s…
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Trepidatiously I release my second novel to the world (the first having been shelved as a learner). …
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  •  · Hi Alison. Many thanks for your comments. It's great to read what impression you are left with. I've…
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Hi Everyone, I need to include an epigraph in my submission because it is key to the story. It is a …
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  •  · Thanks very much, I'll have a play around and see what looks right. :)
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Hello Everyone,I'm looking for a comp title for my WIP. I wanted to use The Time Traveler's Wife by …
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  •  · I'm getting some great reading recommendations out of this thread!
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Very confused after the elevator pitch competition last night.It seemed that very few elevator pitch…
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  •  · Hi. I also pre-submitted a 55 word 3 sentence pitch which I'd reworked after Harry's webinar in the …
Added a post  to  , Iren

Hi Iren, Thanks for befriending me! I hope you're well.

Hi Glyn, I've not read your story yet, but concerning writing about 'the other' the following article was recommended by someone on the Shit No One Tells You About Writing podcast. I've not read it yet, but apparently it is a go-to for many on this issue.

Just realised this is a really old thread! Oh well, I hope the above is some help, if not, then, no matter.

I don't know if Kate's document is private? I'd be very interested to read if not, but currently access is denied.

Hi Fred, sounds like a great story, love the killer nuns. I'm also working on my synopsis and hope to post it soon. It's really tricky, isn't it? So much has to be taken out.

These are my notes. I've not yet looked at the comments above because I think it helps to know what people think on a fresh read. I'll see what they say I've written this.

Chiefly, I believe, agents will be looking for an emotional ark to your characters journey, interwoven with the action. What was his inner normal in the beginning, how did he change at key points (perhaps at the midpoint) and how did the story fundamentally change him in the end.

Also how does Frank feel about all that is going on. Don't flood it with emotion, but indictors that make Frank human would be great. 'Frank was devastated when...' etc. 

I've read that agents only want to see four or five main characters in your synopsis. If they can be left out (i.e. they are a subplot) then leave them out. It's also fine to refer to people generically (is that the right term?) without mentioning names, such as 'the killer nuns'. As I understand it, cut out everything that doesn't lead to or set up your big finale. Also, I don't think we need the Pope's name and the beekeeper at the end (as the beekeeper's role was not defined earlier). And the law firm's name doesn't need to be highlighted (only character names). I like the first mention of character names in capitals. but that may be a personal preference.

I personally wouldn't leave it on a cliffhanger -- the one nun left alive. I think agents want to see everything nicely rounded off. You can always talk to an agent about sequel potential if they are interested.

I really like 'His is a disjointed world where quietly-spoken nuns are assassins; cardinals are crooks; a CIA agent is a mass-murderer and a ferocious dictator is his only protector.' I believe it is in the wrong place. Might make a good starting hook, or be great in a query letter. 

Be clear as to what is the status quo, the initiating incident, the development (possibly based around the turn at the midpoint, the big show down, and finally the resolution. so the agent is clear what happens at each of these points. 

Perhaps it is a good idea to set the tone of the novel. For example, 'a network of psychiatric clinics', could become 'a network of sinister psychiatric clinics', if that suits the story. 

'Frank will discover' -- keep it in the present tense, not future or past. 'Frank discovers...'

Good luck with it!

Love that cover and love the spelling!

Added a comment to Cover Letter 

Concerning the question of whether it is good to mention in a query letter that you have a previous shelved manuscript, I read in one of Donald Maas's books that he liked to read that an author had two or three manuscripts under their belt. I think he said it showed staying power and that the author has had time to perfect the craft. Does anyone have any opinions on this? Include or not include?

I like your purple text, a great example of purple prose!! :D very bad joke.

Yes, I did mean a colon in place of the full stop --  '...or take the perilous option: go down to London to end this thing.

Wow, this is really improving, both overall and on the line level.

I wouldn't include 'bubbles for an epitaph. Personal preference, but it didn't seem to add anything to the plot or what you are trying to convey. 

Consider a colon here instead of a full stop: 'or take the perilous option. Go down to London to end this thing.'

I was a little confused about, 'When two of Teller’s henchmen appear and die in a violent confrontation, Megan becomes an accomplice to murder.' Was the violent confrontation involving Danny? I'm guessing it was from reading previously. I think it would make more sense if it's explained.

I would keep the author bio. I thought it was a great addition, showing the agent you know what you're talking about.

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