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The Playwrights Forum > The Art & Craft of Writing > Synopses and Cover Letters > Lost Ithacca

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Lost Ithacca  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Tue Feb 2nd, 2010 03:35 pm
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generalizethis
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This is my first querry letter, so any help would be appreciated. JB







Dear John Doe,

My full-length play, Lost Ithaca, is a coming of age drama that retraces the works of Homer, Shakespeare, and mythology while exploring the influence of idealism on western culture.

Bryunce Hogic is a man without god, country, or memory, and young idealist, Janus Prude, can think of no higher calling than to throw his obligations aside and enlist into the amnesiac's journey home.

Through their trials Bryunce slowly rediscovers himself, but will it be too late for Janus to find the man within or will Janus return to his former ways and destroy his past and future?

As stated in your guidelines, I’ve included a synopsis and ten page sample dialogue. Thank you for considering Lost Ithaca for production.

Snicerely,

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 Posted: Tue Feb 2nd, 2010 03:43 pm
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Edd
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Welcome.

This is to the point, concise and gives the reader a good idea of what you've got to offer and what they can look forward to. Those are the qualities a cover letter ought to have. If you have a short bio/resume you might want to include that, or not.

Best,
Edd

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 Posted: Wed Feb 3rd, 2010 02:04 am
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in media res
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In this phrase below I would add "himself," so we know Janus is not trying to find the man within Bryunce. It was unclear whom you were talking about. Whichever way it is meant to be, be specifically clear.

So it reads: "but will it be too late for Janus to find the man within himself, or will Janus return to his former ways and destroy his past and future?"

It is concise, I agree about a resume', but if you have none, don't mention it. If you have a brief resume', you can say something in the body of the letter like "My plays have won several national - or regional - awards, and have had readings at several theatres around the country." Tailor it to your own specifics. If you have a short resume' there is no need for a separate page.

I also do not know the essential outer conflict in the play which produces the wonderful inner conflict of the characters that you so clearly define/describe.

You mention mythology: which or all or a combination?

The general concept is quite intriguing, and it shows you have been to their website, so you must know what type of play they are interested in.

You say it is a coming of age drama - for whom Bryunce or Janus or both?

Could it not say, "Bryunce Hogic is a young man without god etc?"

Who is the amnesiac? I take it is Bryunce, but I do not know for certain. What is Janus' and Bryunce's essential relationship.

Don't get me wrong, I love the letter, but the more specific you can be and leave them with questions they ought to ask, rather than questions the have to ask, it is better.

I'd love to see a re-working of this posted. I am very intrigued by what I believe is the concept, but I want to know a touch more specifically what that conflict is.

I'd love to see a re-posting with a bit more work.

And, I may totally wrong.

But that is my first instinct.

It is an excellent first outline, but I would like to know a bit more.

best,

in media res

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 Posted: Wed Feb 3rd, 2010 03:26 pm
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generalizethis
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Thanks, Ted.

Overall, very encouraging. Sadly, this is a cover for my first p[ay and I have no theatre experience to speak of in a bio or resume. Guess I better make the most of the play description.

Thanks again, JB

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 Posted: Wed Feb 3rd, 2010 04:35 pm
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generalizethis
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Thanks, media res.

Will go through and address each note after it's stated.

in media res wrote:
In this phrase below I would add "himself," so we know Janus is not trying to find the man within Bryunce. It was unclear whom you were talking about. Whichever way it is meant to be, be specifically clear.

Will add himself immediately. Had debated this in earlier revisions, but left it out because I didn't like the repetition-- seems stupid now

So it reads: "but will it be too late for Janus to find the man within himself, or will Janus return to his former ways and destroy his past and future?"

It is concise, I agree about a resume', but if you have none, don't mention it. If you have a brief resume', you can say something in the body of the letter like "My plays have won several national - or regional - awards, and have had readings at several theatres around the country." Tailor it to your own specifics. If you have a short resume' there is no need for a separate page.

No resume worthy experience, so I'll forget that one.

I also do not know the essential outer conflict in the play which produces the wonderful inner conflict of the characters that you so clearly define/describe.

This response may be long. Essentially Lost Ithaca is an Odyssey play. Bryunce (Odysseus) stumbles onto a village, loses his memory and with the help of an idealist Janus (surrogate Therocles) goes off in search of his home and encounters Odyssean trials and tribulations in varying forms of Western idealism. Janus' inner conflicts are a desire to stay with his fiancee versus his desire to leave and please his father, and a desire to keep his morality in the face of Bryunce's amoral methods. Bryunce's inner conflict is the desire to get home at any cost versus the desire to keep his surrogate son alive for the journey. There are subplots and conflicts involving other characters, but I won't mention them, because of length and they seem immaterial for the current discussion.

So what of that should I include and how do I include it and keep my query concise? A second set of eyes would be appreciated right now.

You mention mythology: which or all or a combination?

Just the Odyssey and Beowulf--I'm just gonna omit that.

The general concept is quite intriguing, and it shows you have been to their website, so you must know what type of play they are interested in.

=( Was sending this out as a general query.

You say it is a coming of age drama - for whom Bryunce or Janus or both?

Janus, but I'm not sold on that as a description. Probably will just leave as drama.

Could it not say, "Bryunce Hogic is a young man without god etc?"

How about........memory. And young idealist Janus Prude......?

Who is the amnesiac? I take it is Bryunce, but I do not know for certain. What is Janus' and Bryunce's essential relationship.

Bryunce is the amnesiac. I wanted to hit on the point of his memory loss again, but if it causes confusion, it will be replaced.

Don't get me wrong, I love the letter, but the more specific you can be and leave them with questions they ought to ask, rather than questions the have to ask, it is better.

I'd love to see a re-working of this posted. I am very intrigued by what I believe is the concept, but I want to know a touch more specifically what that conflict is.

I'd love to see a re-posting with a bit more work.

And, I may totally wrong.

But that is my first instinct.

It is an excellent first outline, but I would like to know a bit more.

best,

in media res


Please respond and give me your thoughts. I can smooth most of this out, but your further input will make a better end product.

Look forward to it, JB

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 Posted: Thu Feb 4th, 2010 03:31 pm
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in media res
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I sent you a PM with my comments.

best,

in media res

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 Posted: Sat Feb 6th, 2010 07:10 pm
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generalizethis
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This is the revised query. Can't thank in media res enough for the structure and foundation. All I did is take Res' example query and add the specific details--it was like a more involved Mad Libs. JB


I am querying about my full-length play.

LOST ITHACA is the story of shipwrecked sailor, who while chancing upon a small village, suddenly loses his memory.

To assist him in finding his home and identity, the desperate, but prideful Bryunce Hogic, gains the unasked for help of a local youth. The idealistic Janus Prude can think of no higher calling than to enlist in the aid of the amnesiac's journey, and to throw aside his responsibilities at home along with his love to his fiancee.

However, the wily Bryunce leads the young man on a harrowing trek encountering the foundations of idealism in western culture. Through their trials Bryunce slowly rediscovers himself, but will it be too late for Janus to claim his manhood; or will Janus return to his former life and destroy his past and future?

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 Posted: Mon Feb 8th, 2010 03:13 am
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in media res
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generalizethis,

Glad I could be of some help.

That is what this site is all about.

Hope it goes well.

Keep us posted on the response.

best,

in media res

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