Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Guess the Plot
Across the Green Line
1. The Green Line separates Israel from Gaza, but it doesn't keep conscientious Israeli police officer Akira from crossing over to the Palestinian side. What he discovers there will stretch his non-violence principles to their limit.
2. Illianna Glorp was warned about the green line. But she was reckless, reckless as only a nine-year-old with no coordination and only a rudimentary understanding of hopscotch can be.
3. FBI agent Sam Yellowstone must stop serial killer Adrian Green, who has a unique M.O: Green draws a line in the sand and dares his unsuspecting victims to cross it. When they inevitably do, he backs up, draws another and says, “Okay, that one.” He repeats this until both are standing suspended in the air over a giant ravine whereupon the victim, realizing the impossibility, plummets to his death, punctuated by a puff of white smoke.
4. Jake Ramirez pulls a green crayon from his pocket and draws a "safe line" around the corner dining table and chairs at Luigi's Pizza. Which seems daft to his date, Nonna Flores. But she's glad he did it -- when the zombies arrive.
5. John Deere Green? Harley couldn't believe she used the same colour as his tractor to divide up their living space. He hated that colour. Almost as much as he hated having to watch what happened every night across that line when his soon to be ex-wife's girlfriend came home.
6. During a presidential primary debate, one candidate whips out a paint brush and bucket of green paint and sloshes a thick, green line across the stage. Is it just a theatrical campaign ploy? Or will the other candidates eschew the Big Industry lobby and join him . . . Across the Green Line?
Dear Ms. Agent,
What happens when a man opposed to violence comes face to face with his daughter’s killer?
Israeli police officer AKIVA finds the body of a teen-aged girl washed up on a Tel Aviv beach. She reminds him of his own daughter, who was killed three years before in a terrorist bombing. [The man opposed to violence is a cop?
Captain: There's a holdup in Beersheba, Haifa's broken out in fights, there's a traffic jam in Hebron that's--
Akiva: I'll take the traffic jam.
Captain: We also need a crossing guard at . . .
Akiva: I'll be the crossing guard.
Captain: . . . Jerusalem High School.
Akiva: I'll take the traffic jam.]
When Akiva’s investigation reveals that the drowned girl was Palestinian, suddenly the Israeli media loses [lose] interest, and Akiva is reassigned to another case. Determined to continue the investigation on his own, he must travel across the Green Line into Gaza to meet with the Palestinian police. What he discovers there brings him face to face with his own daughter’s killer, and the most difficult decision of his life. [Should I forgive him, or should I torture him, kill him, gut him, eat his internal organs, and claim temporary insanity?]
Dealing with themes of revenge and redemption, the thriller ACROSS THE GREEN LINE is complete at 92K words. Set in the tense climate of today’s Middle East, [as opposed to the tense climate of any other day's Middle East,] the action is reminiscent of Jon Land’s Walls of Jericho and Daniel Silva’s The Kill Artist, but deals with the realities of life in the region in a more intimate way than either. [I can't say I know how every agent reacts to comparisons with published books, but here are the possibilities:
1. Reminiscent of Walls of Jericho and The Kill Artist? I hated those books.
2. Reminiscent of Walls of Jericho and The Kill Artist? I loved those books. And this first-time novelist's claiming he's in that league? Why don't they just say, My first novel will remind you of Tolstoy and Faulkner, only better?
3. Reminiscent of what?]
ACROSS THE GREEN LINE is my first novel, but I am no stranger to the setting and politics of the Middle East. I have a Ph.D. in Arabic and Hebrew linguistics, and I did research for the novel during two trips to the Middle East. The book has been proofed by both Israeli and Palestinian readers. [In retrospect, it was a mistake to have them proof it in the same room at the same time. Those guys'll fight over anything.] While the novel is stand-alone, a sequel involving the same main character is nearing completion at 95K words.
I decided to submit my manuscript to you because you are interested in character-driven crime novels. I hope you will be interested in ACROSS THE GREEN LINE. I have included the first chapter, a one-page synopsis, and enclosed a SASE for your reply. I'd be happy to send a complete copy of the manuscript for your review. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.
When you get assigned to a new case, are you allowed to work another one instead?
Wouldn't social worker or rabbi be better lines of work than cop for someone opposed to violence? True, cops occasionally can stop violence, but usually isn't the violence over when the cops arrive?
The plot paragraph is a good hook. If you eliminate the author comparison, the statement about who proofed your book, and three of the five filler sentences in the last paragraph, you'll have room to tell us more about the story.