Fanfare for the Common Woman is a 90,000 word work of women’s fiction that revolves around the emotional development of Cris Pereira. She is a twenty-something Latina with a recent history of heartbreak: her first love confessed to cheating on her months after their engagement, and her father succumbed to cancer only a few weeks later. These events have made Cris quietly bitter and openly jaded about love and the possibility of finding happiness. Because she is an inherently strong woman with a low tolerance for pity, she hides her pain behind her sunny smile and acerbic wit. In private, she suffers recurring nightmares centered on her fear of being alone.
And why should I care? This is all tell, no show. Show us what Cris is like. This reads like an intake report of some kind. There's no voice, no spark here.
This is where I'd stop reading in a query letter.
One ordinary Sunday, she volunteers to take her cousins to a celebrity autograph signing. While there, she inadvertently attracts the attention of the young actor Tom Abramson. He is drawn to her unique sense of humor and spirited independence. Intrigued by her disinterest in him, he proceeds to contact her via text messages and emails. Against her better judgment, she cannot ignore the stirrings of her long-dead heart.
Again, this is all tell, no show. We have no sense of her unique sense of humor and spirited independence. You really don't need all the psychological set up. The start of this story is when Tom meets Cris. She's not interested, he
This is all so general as to be boring. What do they do? What choice does Cris need to make? What risk does she take?
Will Cris finally understand what it means to be happy? Will she relinquish her tight hold on the reins and learn to live in the moment?
I don't care about any of that. All I care about is whether this is an interesting and compelling novel.
I came across your blog when I was searching for information on query letters, and I really appreciate both your humor and your efforts to make such a daunting process easier. You truly are filled with "salacious badassness" - in the best kind of way.
Thank you so much for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you. Below is the text from the first five pages of my novel.