HH Com 13

I’m seeking representation for my completed commercial novel, MAX AND IRIS (58,000 words).

Paris, Manhattan, Rockport and the Florida Keys of the early 1970’s provide a cinematic backdrop for the moral conflict that results when 24-year-old Iris Wingate, an aspiring writer, becomes involved with 32-year-old Max Cameron, a paid escort for well-to-do Upper East Side women.

Iris is powerfully attracted to Max, as he is to her. But for Iris it is a dangerous attraction that threatens to undermine her values and destroy her emotionally. Paul, a young musician, further complicates matters by forming an ambiguous, tension-filled alliance with the two lovers. Secrets and revelations weave a pattern of deceit that causes Iris to question Max's intentions. Psychoanalyst Al Harrison helps Iris understand the psychosexual dynamics that underlie her dependency on Max, while Miranda Paine, a sage-like woman in her seventies, shows Iris how synchronicity and fate interact to shape our lives. Max, who is as rich and complex a character as Iris, is more than just a “bad boy” lover. As Iris struggles to free herself from Max's spell, he tries to save the relationship by taking her to Paris. But in the cemeteries, cathedrals and cafes of Paris, their differences become more apparent--although their passion for each other remains intact. Finally, a truly humiliating incident for Iris involving one of Max’s clients may lead her to break free from Max's spell.

You cannot seriously use the phrase "break free from Max's spell" and expect anyone to take you seriously. It's not even cliche anymore it's so over done.

There's nothing here that is fresh and new. Or if there is, you've plastered it with blather.

Focus. Try again.


HawkOwl said...

Is this about Max and Iris Stern? Cause that's already been done and I didn't want to hear about it then, either.

December Quinn said...

I don't understand. So Max and Iris fall in love, and at first it seems that's a good thing, but then a musician and an old woman step in and suddenly Max is a horrible Svengali?

Oh dear, he's taking her off to Paris and making passionate love to her. What a scoundrel!

Anonymous said...

"As Iris struggles to free herself from Max's spell... "

"...may lead her to break free from Max's spell."

I think sometimes we grind on these queries so hard, trying to make the pitch 'sound' professional, that we fail to pay attention to what's actually on the page.


Anonymous said...

"Cinematic backdrop"...?

I thought this was a book.

I recall the 70's when all you had to worry about was catching the (curable kind of) clap. Iris can lose the guilt, have fun, and the writer can make this into a comedy.

Benja Fallenstein said...

I think I'm expressing basically the same sentiment as Miss Snark when I'm saying: I don't know why I should care about this. There's a love affair, and things happen to the people involved, but the only thing that ties the events together seems to be "Max is bad for Iris, can she break free of his spell?" This is not enough for me by itself because, as Miss Snark says, it's terribly over-done.

I think you need to focus on what makes this story unique and interesting.

(Also note that 58'000 words is short.)

Anonymous said...

Iris hooks up with a paid escort and then the "underming of her values" is a problem? I don't buy that - it is a consequence or a direct result of her chosen behaviour. I wouldn't read on. Sorry.

Mig said...

Question the use of the term "commercial novel." Commercial could mean anything. Also 58K is too short for a novel.