Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Guess the Plot
Four at Night
1. A collection of four ghostly tales set aboard four 19th-century sailing ships that pass in the night.
2. It wasn't easy being a multiple-bodied, single individual when the sun went down; or so Sharon thought. But then her boyfriend, Stan "the Ironman" Kazinsky got busy.
3. When The Vamps rock band went on the road, they performed at night. They dined at night, and partied at night too. They slept all day. In short, they were like any other rock band
4. Rebecca didn't know if she should reveal to her friend Gareth that she's been dating a vampire. Finally she comes clean, and Gareth reveals that he, too, is a vampire. Also, a couple more vampires. At night.
5. By day he’s a powerful force in the literary world, suave and wealthy and utterly ruthless. But when the sun goes down he becomes a little boy again, afraid of his own shadow. Can his trophy wife put up with the bed-wetting, thumb-sucking and lack of nookie when her fortyish sugar daddy becomes … four at night?
6. Running low on cash after being downsized, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse resort to performing in an all-male burlesque show ("Hung Like Horsemen"), but the show fails to develop any word of mouth because the entire audience dies every night.
Dear Evil Editor:
I am seeking representation for my novel, Four at Night, an urban fantasy complete at 130,000 words.
After a good deed turns into a near fatal mistake, marathoner Rebecca Hanson discovers four vampire brothers living in a quiet Baltimore suburb. [Not specified what the good deed or mistake are, and thus why they're even mentioned.] [Of course it's easy enough to guess that the midnight marathon is winding through Glen Burnie when a woman suggests to her son that he provide the runners with Gatorade, but the kid thinks she means gator aid and releases several alligators onto the course, which leads to a lot of bleeding from chomped limbs, attracting the four vampires, but if you're not going to spell it out, best not to bring it up at all.] Far from undead, these living creatures thrive on contact with humans, and can sense and manipulate emotion through touch. Willing to protect their secret, she finds a budding romance with Christopher, the youngest of the four. [You happen upon a quartet of creatures who must drink human blood to stay alive, and you can't resist getting romantically involved with one of them?] [She must be on the rebound. After her breakup with a weredingo.] As their relationship deepens, Rebecca learns that she is one of few humans who can mentally link with the vampires and temporarily share their abilities—their strength, their rapid healing, and their ability to [pronounce their "w"s as "v"s.] control feeling—without their drive for blood. [That rapid healing will come in handy when their drive for blood leaves her anemic.]
But Christopher and his brothers have fallen under attack from a new, more powerful vampire with a hidden goal. As the threats to his brothers prove progressively more deadly, [If that's "deadly" meaning "causing death," I'm not sure how many progressive levels there are.] Christopher is forced to abandon his relationship to protect his family. Hurt and bewildered by his sudden rejection, [It's bad enough when you can't keep a boyfriend, but when a vampire dumps you, before he's even drunk your blood . . . Maybe you have garlic breath.] Rebecca seeks and finds friendship with her new running partner, the ever charming Gareth.
When her trusted friend reveals himself to be the terrifying new vampire, [What a coincidence.] [When your sweetheart and your trusted friend both turn out to be vampires, maybe it's time to get a mentor, someone to help you make better choices. Preferably a mentor who's human.] [It must be tough breaking it to someone who trusts you that you're a vampire:
Gareth: (gasping) I'm dying. We should have stopped after 10K.
Rebecca: Here, drink some of my water.
Gareth: Never touch the stuff . . . Mind if I tap into your carotid artery?]
Rebecca must fight for her life and the brothers' survival with everything she has—including her newfound ability. But when Gareth tells her his real reasons for coming to Baltimore [--to participate in the Cab Calloway Vocal Competition]--she must make some serious decisions about who truly needs help, who can be trusted, and who the true villain really is. [I don't think I want her making serious decisions about anything.]
Thank you for your consideration. Should you have any interest, please do not hesitate to contact me.
There should be three vampire brothers. Literary groups are always threes. Take the biblical characters, Shadrach, Meshach and Horshack. Or The Three Musketeers (Athos, Porthos and Abednego). Even though there was eventually a fourth musketeer (Shemp) the title was still three. Three Amigos. Three Men and a Baby. Maybe your title should be Three Vamps and a Babe. Four at Night isn't grabbing me.
Something about how manipulating emotion pays off might be nice. Is that how Christopher gets Rebecca to fall for him?
The plot doesn't sound like 130,000 words worth. Maybe it should be cut to 100,000. Or is there really important stuff going on that you haven't told us about?