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Posted 20 April 2017 - 04:05 PM

The author of the book featured in Face-Lift 1342 would like feedback on the following version of the query:

Dear Evil Editor,

Jay Stevens leaves England as a young man. As soon as he sets foot aboard of a Portuguese ship, he is relieved. Relieved [of all his belongings, for it is a Portuguese pirate ship.] to get far away from the grief that ever lingers at home since the death of his sister.

Together with his cousin Tristão Vaz, he roams the coasts of the known world, his restless soul ever driving him towards new adventures. [That sounds more like what you'd say if he were sailing his own ship. He would have no say in where this ship goes, and probably little time for adventures.] He is afraid to stay ashore for too long. [So his restless soul drives him toward new adventures, as long he's back on board by dinnertime.] People might become close to him and he remembers all too well how much it can hurt to lose someone you love. 

Still he cannot avoid Laura. She is a simple tavern wench, but as soon as Jay sets eye on her during his first journey [voyage] to Venice, he knows it will be hard to keep his distance. 

She is the first to break through the wall around his heart, something that scares him beyond measure. After all, everyone knows that no tavern girl truly loves the sailor that pays her. 

His cousin’s plan to go search for gold along the unknown coasts of Africa in service of Henrique the Navigator comes just in time. But then [a] storm arises and Jay’s decisions send them adrift on the ocean, with little prospect of ever finding the way back home.  Alone, lost at sea, he reconsiders his choices. [You said the storm sent them adrift. So why is Jay alone?] If he ever returns, would he dare risk to love again? [Who is adrift? Jay and Trystão, or the entire crew of Henrique's ship? I mean, if you're on a ship helmed by Henrique the Navigator, you shouldn't be that pessimistic about finding your way home.]

NAVIGATORS, is a historical novel set in the fifteenth century. It is complete at 98,000 words and available for your review. 

Thank you for your time and consideration.


I would condense this to something like:

Jay Stevens joins the crew of a Portuguese ship, hoping that by leaving England he can escape the grief he's felt since his sister's death. He tours the port cities of the 15th-century world, and during his first stopover in Venice, meets Laura, a tavern wench who steals his heart. Of course, no tavern girl truly loves the sailor that pays her, right?

Jay's thirst for adventure leads him to join his cousin on a search for gold in service of Henrique the Navigator. A storm sends them adrift off the African coast with little prospect of finding their way home. Lost at sea, delirious, Jay vows that if he ever makes it back to civilization, he'll settle down with Laura and never go to sea again. 

Okay, that's probably not what he vows, but at least I didn't drop Laura from the query. I assume she doesn't get dropped from the book. And there's room to expand this with another paragraph between or after those, in which you provide more specifics. 

Some of the minor errors suggest English may not be your first language, or that you need to proofread more carefully. You may need to find someone to help you out.

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