Thursday, July 20, 2006

Competition

So, you think it's hard to condense your plot into one page? Maybe it would be easier to do with someone else's book. Choose one of the books below and write its query letter. Of course plot summaries of these books are a dime a dozen on the Internet, but you won't win with any of those. We're looking for creativity and humor. You may have until August 4, enough time to re-read the book you choose, if you wish to do so. You may submit entries as comments to this post, or as email. Prizes: publication of winning queries.

The Da Vinci Code
The Catcher in the Rye
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

20 comments:

evil author #96 said...

Oh, FUN. EE, you are awesome.

BuffySquirrel said...

Damn, I wanted to do Pride & Prejudice.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that an editor in possession of a budget must be in want of a witty romance.

Anonymous said...

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of my favorite books; but, I'll pass. -JTC

Catherine said...

Too bad I'm off to the RWA National Conference on Tuesday. I'd take a mad stab at it, except I haven't read any of those books. My bad.

Catherine said...

Evil Editor,

After you've grown bored with queries, why don't you take on synopses?

And yes, I am trying to take advantage of Evil Editor. My grandmother did not raise a dumb-dumb.

nut said...

Why stop at the synopses? EE, how about the first five pages... Careful with that hammer! No, EE, don't crack the poor nut... Ok, ok, I've seen the error of my ways.

What about the first paragraph? A small one, smaller then, the queries, anyhow... Could we?

(mtsqrn=mount scorn? Ok, I'm officially nuts.)

illiterate said...

EE, have mercy! I've trouble enough to read me own scribbles, and the blog. You want me to read actual books? Couldn't we just pretend to ave read them?

(dang, can't spill check)

December Quinn said...

I read The Catcher in the Rye, but since it seems I'm the only person alive who didn't like it much, I don't think I could write an effective query for it.

I'd try, but I think it would be hard to leave the words "childish, sneering, and self-absorbed" out of my character description.

(And yes, I did understand the book. I still didn't like it, and can't to this day understand the girls who had crushes on Holden. There are so many better messed-up men in literature to fall in love with, if dysfunction and vulnerability are your thing.)

Feisty said...

Read the book AGAIN? Hey, this is summer. I'll be out of my office until after Labor Day. I'll try to be back to you on this by Thanksgiving.

Brenda Bradshaw said...

laughs - Hi Catherine! *waves*

I'm with you - we need some synopses to break up the queries! Of course, I'm a bit high maintenance.

Anonymous said...

Dear EE,
I vote with Catherine. I have a synopsis in need of a professional's eye and Miss Snark has not revived her Crap-o-Meter for its summer session.

Bernita said...

No, December, you're not.
Sometimes I think the suicide rate among teens would be considerably reduced if the high school curriculums contained a little more positive material and less defeatist, life-sucks stuff.
First pages, EE, 250-500 word limit.

bonniers said...

December Quinn -- make that two of us. What a loathesome creep that dude is.

And don't get me started on One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Anonymous said...

I read The Catcher in the Rye 3 times trying to figure out what all the hubbub was about. I guess some people get it and some don't. I don't see anything special about it. -JTC

Evil Editor said...

A quick reminder that the object of the competition is to create a query letter, not to belittle the books. If you don't like the books, it should be easier to make your letter amusing.

Bernita said...

Have we been evil, Evil?

evil editee said...

If you don't like the books, it should be easier to make your letter amusing.

What's our goal here? To write amusing query letters? Or to write achingly sincere query letters (which you can then ridicule)?

Evil Editor said...

Query letters won't be ridiculed. The goal is not to sell the books, but to entertain your fellow minions.

bonniers said...

Clearly I was taking this far too seriously :)

kis said...

DQ, Bernita, et al,

I hated Catcher in the Rye. The non-gripping story of a guy who drifts aimlessly from one dumb-ass situation to the next, doing nothing but whine about other people's shortcomings while overlooking his own. By the end of it, I was as depressed and hopeless as he was. If I ever met someone like him, I'd feel immediately compelled to smack him upside the head. Maybe more than once.

One Flew Over, however, was great. Depressing and hopeless, sure, but at least the characters were interesting and tolerable.

And I read the Hitchhiker's Guide as a teenager (I won't say how many years ago), and have been meaning to read it again. Totally awesome book, but the only specifics I can remember from it are the fish-translator in the ear, and the name Slartybartfast. I wanted to name my first-born that, but my husband wouldn't let me. :(