Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Guess the Plot
1. Performance artist Tanya Wickinish is thrilled to find an old typewriter to play as a musical instrument in her project for MOMA. But when she fixes the sticky shift key and types MM to test it, she frees the ghost of Marilyn Monroe, who insists they must solve a murder mystery.
2. Australian Christina Margolin is the world's only known weredingo, a fact she has kept hidden, until she involuntarily "Shifts" into dingo form in the presence of Special Agent Donovan Moreno – who himself is a Shifter– a werepussy.
3. When the Earth's magnetic poles shift, suddenly it's freezing at the equator and millions of people move to Antarctica and Siberia, where it's tropical. But there isn't enough food for everyone once the penguins have been eaten, so mankind teeters on the brink of World War III.
4. On a trip to Portland, Anne's car breaks down and she has to borrow her friend's Maserati, but she's always used cars with automatic transmission before, and her failure to shift correctly causes a wreck. Is this the worst day of her life or will the hunk who rear-ended her become her one true love?
5. Hot-blooded boiler mechanic Norm Leech leaves work every morning at seven A.M., just before steamy receptionist Gladys Palmo arrives at seven fifteen. They are fated to be together in a passionate eternal love, but it takes a serious time clock malfunction before they even meet. Will they ever find happiness? Or are they doomed to each always be on a different . . . Shift?
6. Minor celebrity socialite London Marriot knows it's only a dress. But every time she puts on that vintage Chanel shift, she gets an irresistible urge to wash her face, put on gloves and keep her knees together. She loves it, but boyfriend Justin has other plans for the . . . Shift.
When the only known weredingo in the world is found out, her neighbor is endangered. [You had me at weredingo.] [But you lost me at neighbor. The threat should be to the entire community. No one is safe when a weredingo is on the prowl.]
The police want private investigator Christina Margolin to liaise with the International Supernatural Board, a.k.a. Internature. [Why? Since when do the police want a private investigator working one of their cases?] Chris's ability to Shift into a dingo is secret, until she involuntarily Shifts in the presence of Special Agent Donovan Moreno – who himself is a Shifter of the feline variety. [Is he a special agent of the police or Internature or the Cat Fanciers Association?] [Does the fact that one guy knows you're a weredingo make you a "known" weredingo? Or does Moreno blab it to the press?]
But when Chris finds out her neighbor is missing, she discovers the case links with Internature in a bad way. Paired with Moreno to investigate, Chris's loyalty to her live-in lover, Scot, [the world's only known werekangaroo,] wanes. It takes a Shifter to understand a Shifter, but to find a supernatural abductor Chris must revisit her past and explore the present. [Those sentences aren't connecting well, and are pretty vague anyway. How do they know the neighbor was abducted by a supernatural being? Tell us how the case links with Internature, rather than say "in a bad way." "Explore the present" tells me nothing. Any investigation of a missing person would involve exploring the present.]
Shift, complete at approximately 69,000 words, is an urban fantasy novel. Written under the penname of Tez Miller, it may appeal to readers of Kelley Armstrong's Bitten, Rachel Vincent's Stray, and Sparkle Hayter's Naked Brunch. The weredingo and Australian setting will interest international readers [(people who read while on planes flying between countries)] wanting a different kind of Shifter and paranormal location.
[Agent: I'm sick and tired of books about people turning into wolves. I'm looking for something fresh.
Author: I have a book about people turning into dingos.
Agent: Now you're talking my language.]
I have written columns and reviews for the ACHQ and The Northern Sound, both international websites [(websites read by people who surf the Internet while traveling between countries)]. Two of my short stories won second prize in the Eastern Regional Libraries Short Story Writing Competition (2000 and 2003), with a third receiving an honorable mention (2003). Another short story won the October Writing Challenge (2006), administrated by the international Otherworld Writing Group. [That's three "internationals" in four sentences, and while "international" sounds more impressive than "foreign," even more impressive would be "world-renowned," "universally recognized," or "exalted."] [On the other hand, you've used the word "weredingo" only twice; see if you can work it in again.]
A synopsis, partial or full manuscript will be sent at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.
The transitions between sentences in the plot paragraphs are weak. You need to connect some ideas, not just list facts. This wouldn't sound much different if the sentences were rearranged.
Possibly the problem is that the events are in the wrong order. This order seems logical:
Private eye Chris investigates.
Chris discovers supernatural aspects.
Police ask her to infiltrate Internature.
Moreno discovers that Chris is a weredingo.
Dingodoll and Manxman have wild animal sex.
Neighbor saved from world's only known wereplatypus.
That may not be the actual order, but it seems unlikely the police would ask a private eye to look into anything if she didn't already have a personal interest in the case.