Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Guess the Plot
Hitting the High Notes
1. Marco knew that becoming one of the sultan's eunuchs would mean he'd never father a child. What he didn't know was that it also meant he would be cast in the role of Lauretta in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi.
2. Carl Fetterling wins a scholarship to Julliard to study voice. But his dreams of singing all the great baritone roles of opera turn upside down when his beautiful teacher presses him to become a countertenor. Hilarity ensues.
3. Unlike many "singers," Georges Jones knows she can't sing to save her life. However, she's been known to kill small animals and fish with the sound of her singing voice. Which gives her an idea. Realizing she can forever rid the world of Paula Abdul, she tries out for American Idol.
4. When failed tenor Roberto Gambini hears a gorgeous, haunting song in the woods, he's instantly enchanted. He must find the amazing singer and bring her to the stage. But how can he, when the singer is Kadrille, a young centaur?
5. Baritone Lorenzo Pazzazzi, trying to recover from bad reviews, poses as a kidnapped celebrity running from the environmental kooks known as the Green Socks Gang. Will his ruse win the heart of unemployed Maggie Duncan, or is Pazzazzi singing the wrong tune?
6. Tired of playing just the bass notes, and desperate to get closer to hunky flautist Toby James, symphony tuba player Martha Carlson switches to piccolo. Will Toby fall for Martha once she starts . . . Hitting the High Notes?
Dear Evil Editor:
Hitting The High Notes: Carl Hiaasen meets Thelma and Louise (sans cliff dive).
[How do I hate thy first line? Let me count the ways.
1. It's quite likely that your query is going to be read by a twenty-year-old intern English major who's studied Milton and Keats and who reads romance in her leisurely hours, and who never heard of Carl Hiaason unless she remembers his name from the credits in the movie Strip Tease.
2. She was also two years old when Thelma and Louise (sans cliff dive) came out, and if she's seen it at all, the only thing she remembers about it is the cliff dive.
3. Okay, she probably also remembers Brad Pitt.
5. If she looks up the movie on the Internet, she'll find it's about an Arkansas waitress and a housewife who drive cross-country pursued by federal authorities after killing a rapist. Having looked ahead, I don't see it as the best comparison.]
South Floridian, Maggie Duncan, [Two unnecessary commas in the first four words has me worried I'll be commatose by the end of this.] is flirting with fifty. [She'd have better luck if she flirted with just one! Ba-dum-tsss.] Her hormones wreak havoc. Her job’s outsourced to India and she’s still navigating the shoals of mourning after her mother’s death when she meets by chance AWOL opera singer Lorenzo Pazzazzi who is nursing a bruised ego from bad reviews To pass time during his self-imposed exile, Lorenzo cooks up a scheme to win Maggie’s sympathy, and affection. Posing as a kidnapped celebrity on the run from [How can he be both kidnapped and on the run? Also, I'm picturing this guy as built like Pavarotti, in which case if he's on the run, he'll be easy to catch.] a kooky ransom-seeking environmental group, The Green Socks Gang, the bad-boy baritone leads Maggie on quite a chase. [Is she chasing him, or running with him? In either case, why?] She figures out [exposes] his ruse, however, with help from her best friend [Ah, Louise finally shows up. I was beginning to think it should just be Carl meets Thelma.] and turns the tables, meeting “a potential keeper” along the way.
Thanks for your time and consideration of this completed 90,000 plus lady-lit with strong romantic elements. I am a member of RWA. Hitting The High Notes finaled in the adult genre category of PNWA’s 2006 Literary contest.
I assume the romantic elements involve Maggie and the "potential keeper." If you're selling this as lady-lit with romantic elements, you might want to tell us more about the "keeper."
I'd also like to know more about Maggie turning the tables. You've given us the set-up: an opera singer meets a bereaved, unemployed woman and, inexplicably wanting her affection, inexplicably pretends to be the target of environmental terrorists. The story we want to hear, and which you've left plenty of room to tell us, is how Maggie dumps this clown and ends up with Mr. Right. At least temporarily.
That really long sentence is bothersome. I'd start:
South Floridian Maggie Duncan is flirting with fifty. Her hormones are wreaking havoc; her job’s been outsourced to India; and she’s still navigating the shoals of mourning after her mother’s death. She and her best friend Louise spend all their time watching Nurse Betty over and over.
Bad-boy baritone Lorenzo Pazzazzi is nursing a bruised ego from bad reviews. During a self-imposed exile to South Florida, he chances to meet Maggie, who is fascinated by the overwhelming number of "z"s in his name.
You can take it from there.
Is there some way to make it clear why being on the run from environmental kooks would make one seem more attractive to a woman?