Sunday, February 10, 2013

Bouncer Post #169

Genre: Women's Fiction
Word Count: 80,000


Hannah discovers a hidden book, and quickly realizes it is about her own life.  The story has landed on the present day, in the present moment.  There are 236 pages left.

She continues reading, unraveling two possible futures for herself.  In the first, Hannah meets the handsome, seemingly perfect, Jared, who gives her the greatest gift of all, a beautiful baby girl.  He also gives her a huge, lifeless apartment, and a cold shoulder.  It’s not a terrible life, but it’s far from the perfection she hoped she’d find.
In the other future, Hannah becomes the writer she’s dreamed of being, travelling the world, stumbling into fame and fortune.  She has everything she has ever wanted, but loneliness hangs heavy over her. She loves almost everything about her life, but still, it feels empty.

In both worlds, Hannah meets David, the one person with whom she has a real connection.  In each instance though, they are fated with terrible timing and impossible circumstances.  She can see happiness, but can’t quite grasp it.

For The Next Three Years is a Women’s Fiction manuscript, complete at 80,000 words. Sliding Doors meets Sophie’s Choice, in a heartbreaking tale of one woman’s unwanted glimpse forward, and the torture of deciding her own fate.  

First 250:

The book was wedged tightly behind the fireplace mantle.  Hannah Gordon would never have seen it if the movers hadn’t put the couch in this ridiculous spot.  She wondered for a moment how she would ever drag it across the room, but her thoughts turned back to the book.  She half expected the whole fa├žade of bricks and mortar to come crumbling down as she dug around, trying to pry the thing loose. 

It was stuck.  Really stuck.  But she couldn’t stop digging.  She knew she was doing damage, but she just couldn’t help herself.  It was too intriguing.  A secret, hidden book.  Who wouldn’t be excited about that?  Ok, lots of people wouldn’t, but not people like her, who had spent countless weeks of their lives curled up in library corners, losing themselves in elaborate stories, while avoiding their journalism textbooks.  Fairy tales were much more interesting than studies about white space.
It was coming loose.  She felt it give a little, moving only a fraction of an inch, but now she could get a better grip.  One more good pull and it was free, along with a small cloud of dust she managed to inhale almost completely.  She choked, coughing, as notions of asbestos breezed past her mind momentarily, but there was nothing she could do about it now.  She blew away a layer of dust and plaster.  She’d always wanted to do that.  Could there be anything more intriguing than a book so old and neglected that the title was illegible from dust?


  1. All I have to say is that I absolutely love your concept and your writing is incredibly engaging. I honestly want to read more, which isn't something I say a lot. Awesome job! I'm bouncer post #176 if you wanna take a look at that (and if you want a beta reader, I'd love to take a look :D)

  2. I would totally keep reading! This is very interesting, and I am dying to know where it goes from here. If you need a beta, let me know. I write women's fiction too and I would love to read this!

    The only tiny thing I would change is I'd remove asbestos from the first 250, and while that may be correct on what comes loose with the book, it took me out of your scene and brought me back to my real life, where all those lawyer commercials talk about mesothelioma entered my head. And you definitely don't want to make the reader leave your world.

    Good luck!!!

  3. Wow, this is a neat concept. I'd definitely read it! I think your writing's very evocative, and I love the line "Fairy tales were much more interesting than studies about white space." I also agree with the commenter above about taking the asbestos reference out, but other than that, it's really well done.

    It's clear this novel would be anything but white space.

    Good luck to you! -Bouncer #170 :-)

  4. I agree with all of the other comments, this is a really great concept and I think your query gets the concept across while keeping the reader interested about what happens next. Your first 250 are written really well, my only complaint, that there isn't more...

    Good luck with this!
    My post is #160 if you want to take a look.

  5. I like your concept and would pick this book for myself. I disagree about the asbestos. I think it gives insight about the MC. When I read it I thought it sounded like my own head.

    The tiny thing I would elaborate on is "She knew she was doing damage". I wondered if it was damage to the book, the wall, her finger nails, or what.

    Good luck from #173!

  6. Such a cool idea! Before I even got to the line in your query, I was thinking Sliding Doors. I love that concept! I would definitely read on. Your query and first 250 were intriguing.

    Best of luck!
    Leslie (#177)

  7. You're in! Cheers!

  8. I can see why you got into the next round. Great, unique hook and terrific writing. Congrats!
    -From Entry #152

  9. Congrats on making it to the next round!!!! #162

  10. I'll echo what others have said -- I was definitely hooked by your query! I have one small recommendation, and this could just be me personally: but when I saw Sophie's Choice as a comp, I was really turned off. It makes me think "Bloody hell, does she choose to kill one of her own children?!?!" Matricide & the Holocaust = does not make me think of women's fiction/mixed with Sliding Doors. To me, choosing whether or not to have a theoretical future child is not the same as picking which of your children gets to die. Sophie's Choice is a major squick for me, personally.

    But huge congrats on getting through!

  11. I love this - it's like the Neverending Story for grownups!

    In the query, I'd love 2 things:
    1) A clearer understanding of how the book shows her 2 different possible outcomes, and
    2) A clearer idea of what her choice in the "real life" part of the story is (i.e. does she meet Jared? David? and have to choose whether or not to follow the script set in the book, or...?)