Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Guess the Plot
1. A new dance craze hits the tiny Carribean town of Port Au Feu. But tourist Staci Mesa discovers that it's an invitation to death when she meets a handsome zombie in the hotel bar.
2. In this fast-paced novel of the wunda down unda, Australian deep-sea diver Stryne Hardly takes us on a thrill ride to find and rescue the trapped occupants of a tourist submersible in the Great Barrier reef. Will he reach them in time? Or will their SOS become SOL?
3. A London man escapes from the dreadful routine of writing propaganda for the government into a blissful orgy of the poet's life.
4. Freedom is the message, and the messenger is a child who speaks to God Herself, a child known as . . . the Sosunda.
5. Desperate to rescue his beloved car from the repo man, Jose decides to take a job as a male stripper in his cousin's new business. Dressed as a masked Spaniard, he drives the ladies crazy as . . . the Sosunda.
6. Hannah Quinn is drawn into an underworld of secrets and passion that threatens the entire city when she investigates the origins of a mysterious building in the center of Rome, a building known as . . . the Sosunda.
Dear Evil Editor:
Thank you for your wholesomely terror-inducing blog. May your minions continue to strike fear into the inept and inane.
Delaem, daughter of the Governor of Burramesh, is going to court. She has a contract for a marriage to a handsome courtier and a will to explore the world beyond the walls of her provincial city.
But when her mother arranges one last gift for her daughter, Delaem's certainties begin to fray. [Her certainties? Begin to fray? Not sure what that means.] Her lessons in the "easing" of men are learned too well. [Easing of men? Is that the same as pleasing of men? Are these lessons the gift from her mother?] When all her attention should be focussed on her betrothed, Delaem can only dream of Shapeis, the head-horned servant employed to teach her. [Head-horned? Is that the same as horn-headed?] [Would you describe Shapeis head as looking more like a rhinoceros, a bull, or a trumpet?] [If the lessons are the mother's last gift, what mother, even if she has the gall to hire someone to teach her engaged daughter the art of man-easing, would hire a horn-head? What does an alien from Planet X know about what men want?]
Shapeis has problems of his own. [For starters, he's head-horned.] The servants in the city are finding themselves a new religion - her name is the Sosunda, [Her name? The religion is female?] the child who speaks to God, and God has a message for his chosen people: freedom. Between his lessons with the Governor's daughter, Shapeis learns about the history of his people, the genetic wrongness of his creation - and the increasing desire he has for his aristocratic pupil. [Apparently he's not just horned; he's horny.] [Not clear what the part about the new religion has to do with Shapeis's problems.]
Beyond their knowledge, the world is changing. Life has never been easy on this planet: a new plague has evolved in the southern ports, and the Empire will destroy cities to halt its progress. Fearful that illegal servant movements are threatening his city, the Governor orders their termination.
Escaping the city, Shapeis [Why is he escaping, if the plague is beyond his knowledge?] discovers an alien world where survival depends on knowledge and cooperation. [He wanders onto the set of Survivor, Cook Islands.] For Delaem, too, survival has become more than deciding which dress to wear for breakfast. Both have to grasp new strengths and skills.
Yet no skill can stand firm before the plague. It stalks the city's unwashed streets, killing all in its path. Despite the Governor's every effort to contain the disease, the news of its presence within the city walls travels fast beyond them.
The Empire must act - the disease must die, as must the city and all within it. [All within it will die. The plague kills all in its path.] If the surviving servants are to fulfil their dreams, they must reach the safety of the mountains before the the soldiers arrive. [But our main characters escaped the city two paragraphs ago; are they still our main characters?]
One man will not listen to prophecy. One woman will not accept defeat. Only when these two people learn to work together and respect each other will any life - master or servant - be rescued from the fires and fevers of death. [Are we talking about Shapeis and Dalaem? I thought they were in love. Why wouldn't they already respect each other?]
"The Sosunda" (working title), my first full novel, is a 90,000 word work-in-progress [Work-in-progress? Have you finished writing it? Are you up to 85,000, or 8,500? As you won't be sending the query out until the book is ready, no need to include this.] for which I hope to find representation in due course. My previous writing experience has ranged from drafting government propaganda [I write for Fox News.] to writing and publishing my own poetry. I hope you find my first serious foray into writing interesting enough to ask for a further 750 words.
As stipulated in your post, the opening paragraphs of the first chapter follow.
And many thanks for taking the time to read my submission.
It's too long. Too much of it is vague. You need to distill it into specific, clear information. Something like:
When a plague strikes the walled city of Burramesh, the governor's daughter, Delaem, heads for the hills with her head-horned man-easement tutor, Shapeis. Also, a Sosunda.
Maybe there should be more about the Sosunda in the query.
Just tell us who we care about and why, what their problem is, and what they do about it. You should be able to do this in fewer paragraphs.