Dear Ms. Snark, (snarl)
Mella Corcoran has just graduated summa cum laude from the University of Chicago. Her life was supposed to be full of new expectations and ambitions. But instead everything was maddeningly the same: she was obsessed with Sam Hardigan, the boy who dumped her over a year ago.
Even though Sam cared less about Mella than the newest episode of South Park, he ruled her existence. Day after day she went through the motions of a real life: going to her temp job (the only work she could find), coming home (to her under-employed room-mates) and watching bad reality TV (because her own reality was too painful). And all the while Sam dominated Mella’s thoughts like a snippet of bad music (i.e. the latest Kelly Clarkson single) that her brain couldn’t shake.
So Mella took a stand against unrequited, unrelenting love and went live at her cousins’ house in Dublin, Ireland.
Little did she realize how completely she failed to escape the memory of Sam. In fact, she was bringing him with her--or at least a small part of him-- a wee bit of genetic material nestled in her right ovary.
Now Mella must deal with a different kind of adventure than she anticipated--. in a country that banned abortion, with no money, scrambling for jobs like bar-wench, vanity photographer and dotcom tech-goddess. In the midst of all this she has a breast cancer scare, a short episode of homelessness, a cousin having a psychotic breakdown, and also several dates with Eurotrash suitors. On top of all this she must decide between abortion, adoption and single motherhood. All of this upheaval fortunately does come to a happy conclusion where Mella ends up with the man of her dreams and a true understanding of what it means to get a life.
The above is the premise for my 65,000 word novel, Title, a poignant yet humorous story of a woman seeing her life veer into a zigzag detour before even knowing which direction to go in. I hope you will consider taking a look at it.
My writing experience is mostly non-fiction: I’ve published a book (info redacted-nf/reputable publisher)
funny huh. humorous?
like Steven Wright is funny I guess.
For starters, your heroine sounds like an idiot.
Do you like her?
Do you think I will/should? Tell me one thing that's likeable about her. Now, convey that to me in the query letter.
I'm reading your pages in a VERY skeptical frame of mind. That is not good. You want me chomping at the bit to find out what happens, not thinking "yikes, is that a train wreck I see".
It all started at the University of Chicago, where I had met Sam during my sophomore year. I fell in love-- complete, utter, toe-curling, heart-fluttering love. I was happier than I’d ever been. Until Sam broke up with me two years later.
When Sam broke up with me it was not, I’ll admit, the worst day of my life. But that was simply because I refused to believe it happened.
Don’t get me wrong. I was quite aware our relationship wasn’t perfect. He played a lot of Grand Theft Auto and liked to watch back-to-back episodes of South Park while stoned. But who doesn’t have vices? (Mine involved reality shows and Ben and Jerry’s) What I did count on was that he wouldn’t ever give up on me, because he was the only person I had ever been able to say anything to, who “got it”. We all know what that means, right? When someone “gets it”? It’s such a relief when you find someone like that. You’ve got your partner-in-crime, your second psyche. So how can your second psyche dump you? That’s like dumping yourself! Which, I suppose, is possible since there’s always suicide but--but let’s not even go there.
Instead, let’s go to Sam’s break-up speech.
It was a beautiful August morning, a few weeks before the start of my senior year at U of C. I was walking to my work at the campus biology building when I saw Sam coming towards me across the quad. At first I felt a thrill of excitement at seeing him so unexpectedly, but then I glimpsed his expression and I knew something terrible had happened. Only I didn’t realize it had happened to us.
He didn’t bother to say hello or even smile. “Mella, I think we should stop.”
He looked at me, unblinking, making sure I realized the seriousness of the situation.
My heart began to flop about unsteadily.(there's an image) “Stop what?”
“Last night, when I heard your message, it made me realize that—we need to break this off.”
Suddenly the campus quadrangle-- the sunlit trees and freshly cut grass-- lost all its color. The other people walking by us became fake cardboard figures moving across painted scenery as in a play. Sam’s voice was frighteningly crisp as I took in his explanation of why we could no longer be together. And I felt my life falling further and further apart with every sentence he uttered.
You're opening with backstory of course.
You're telling not showing.
And where is the humorous part?
And did I mention that I'm really really really over the unempowered girl motif. Give me some kick ass ninja girls any day of the week and leave that oh-we're-soulmate crap to the ..well, I dunno, does anyone publish that these days?? Even the crinoline skirt divisions of the Christian publishing houses don't have weak ass heroines. They may kick ass for Jesus, but they are kicking ass.