Guess the Plot
The Prettiest Little Antichrist
1. Six years ago Marlene was seduced by Satan himself. Now she's readying their daughter Firenza to compete in beauty pageants. But she needs the father's permission. Will she discover that there are some things too horrifying for even Satan?
2. He wore a beard, she was smooth-cheeked. He wore sandals, she wore stilettos. And anything he could do, she could do better. Dueling preachers Jesse and Mary were happily married until one vicious argument over transubstantiation tore them apart. Can Jesse ever apologize enough for calling his wife . . . the Prettiest Little Antichrist?
3. Investigative journalist Shiela Nagig is working on an expose of the child beauty contest circuit when the Archdiocese of Sheboygan hires her to find out why six of their little angels from the Christmas Play have mysteriously disappeared along with a valuable altarpiece.
4. “My daddy’s going to be President,” she said, and somehow she was right. Now the world wonders how someone so dim-witted rose to such heights – twice -- and whether anyone will survive eight years of his blundering. No one suspects that the true engineer of global destruction is not the man in power but the girl in his shadow, and nothing can stop her.
5. When movie director Marcus Bray is told that angelic Annika Angstrom, the child star of his latest film, is the Antichrist, he assumes that means she's a typical Hollywood spoiled brat--until a series of grisly “accidents” start killing off the cast and crew. Is a hit movie worth letting Annika achieve dominion over the world?
6. Nine-year-old Ashley-Blanche Carmichael leaves Catholic school to follow her dream of stardom, only to land in the middle of the most bizarre child beauty pageant ever. Can the nuns of St. Wendelyn's keep her from winning the title of . . . The Prettiest Little Antichrist?
7. Dan came prepared to judge the kiddie beauty pageant semi-finals with a full flask of gin and a bottle of Sudafed. But when Little Miss Pittsburgh began spinning her head around and vomiting on the other contestants, he knew he'd found his next Miss Photogenic.
Your Evil Majesty:
The Prettiest Little Antichrist is a comic novel that
Movie director Marcus Bray is thrilled when child star Annika Angstrom is cast in the lead role of his latest project. Little Annika has enchanted America with her angelic looks and girl-next-door charm. It’s her talent, though, that Marcus values most, specifically her talent for raking in heaping piles of cash.
When a friend mentions that Annika is the Antichrist, Marcus assumes he means “spoiled Hollywood brat.” But Annika literally is the Antichrist, whose ascension will bring forth the Apocalypse. Annika’s true identity is an open secret among Hollywood’s power elite, and while they all agree that this whole ending-the-world business is a bad thing—perhaps even a very bad thing—the bottom line is that Annika sells tickets.
The shoot is a nightmare from the start. Marcus, who’s spent his career terrorizing film crews with his egomaniacal bullying, discovers that Annika is essentially a shorter, prettier version of himself, times ten. The crew delights in watching her repeatedly eviscerate him (only figuratively, at this point). Marcus fantasizes about punching her little lights out, but her gargantuan Rottweiler, Lulubell, is always lurking nearby, staring at him. When Marcus finally tries to quit, his sinister producer warns that it would be suicide. (Marcus: “You mean career suicide, right?” Sinister Producer: “Sure, let’s go with that for now.”)
Then a series of grisly “accidents” start killing off the cast and crew. The accidents are revealed to be the work of a renegade Catholic priest trying to shut down the production. The priest tells Marcus that Annika draws her power from the adoration of her fans; the popularity boost she’d receive from the movie’s release would render her unstoppable. After the priest is killed, only Marcus is left to halt Annika’s master plan. The fate of the world hinges on whether he can summon the courage to do the right thing, even if it means sacrificing his career and potentially his life in the process.
The world is screwed.
The Prettiest Little Antichrist is complete at 70,000 words. May I send you the manuscript? I’ve enclosed a self-addressed, stamped envelope for your reply.
Very nice. I didn't even want to interrupt it with my usual cracks.
It might be a bit long. I would rewrite the "accidents" paragraph as so:
Then a series of “accidents” start killing off the cast and crew. A renegade priest tells Marcus that Annika draws her power from the adoration of her fans; the popularity boost she’d receive from the movie’s release would render her unstoppable. Marcus realizes that the fate of the world hinges on whether he can summon the will to scrap his whole project, even if it means sacrificing his career.
That saves a couple lines, and from the previous paragraph you can delete: (only figuratively, at this point). Also, the SASE sentence can go.
The only remaining question is whether declaring that the book is an homage to a movie is a good idea. I wasn't bothered in this case, but people write novels set in the world of Star Wars or Dungeons and Dragons, and those are instant rejects with most editors. If the Omen references are so obvious it'll sound like you've ripped it off, I guess you have to mention it. If the main similarity is that there's a child antichrist, it's not important to bring it up. If you do keep it, you might consider adding it to your last paragraph, rather than putting it up front.
Since The Omen has its own grisly "accidents," I would hope your "accidents" are of the slapstick variety. You don't want your comedy to morph into the horror novel it's parodying.
Trivia: The Omen is also a book, by the same author as the screenplay (David Seltzer). The book came out first, but was actually a (not totally-faithful) adaptation of the screenplay.