Thursday, June 12, 2008
Guess the Plot
One Last Hit
1. After entering a contest to guess when a famous blog will reach one million hits, wannabe author Clyde Parquet becomes obsessed with logging into the site in a desperate attempt to win. His family intervenes, to save him from irreversible geekness, but can they convince Clyde to stop before it's too late? For a blog addict, is there ever . . . One Last Hit?
2. He had missed dinner. He'd bummed quarters from every kid in the place. His hands were a mass of blisters. But after 999 rounds of Whack-a-Mole Matthew knew he was ready for... One Last hit.
3. When Orrie liquidates all of their belongings and heads for the Las Vegas blackjack tables, his wife follows him, figuring it's the best place to divorce him. When she finds Orrie has tripled their money in less than an hour, and has put everything on one hand, ca she talk him out of tking . . . One Last Hit?
4. Benny Band, Yankee slugger, has been accused of cheating with steroids. He didn't care before, but now that his mother is dying and his wife is leaving with their kids, he swears he'll quit. All he wants is . . . One Last Hit.
5. Mafia hitman Jed Undertaker wants nothing more than to retire peacefully after thirty years, move to Mexico, and forget about his past. But not so fast--his boss, Fat Man, wants him for . . . One Last Hit.
6. One-hit-wonder Charlie Maxx has been steadily fading into obscurity when he happens into a Santa Fe diner. A mysterious stranger offers Charlie a sure winner in return for his soul. Hilarity ensues when Charlie trades eternal life for . . . One Last Hit.
Dear Malo Redactor:
As a hitman for more than thirty years for the Mafia in Chicago, Jed Undertaker is tired and numb. He's survived a lonely, danger-filled life and now wants nothing more than to retire peacefully to Mexico, where he aims to forget his murderous past and (hopefully) avoid the U.S. authorities.
But his boss, Fat Man, [That's his name? Listen, if your last name is Man, and you name your kid Fat, you're pretty much consigning him to a lifetime of eating donuts.] needs Jed for one last hit. [He wants the manager of the next-door donut shop killed.] There's a loose-lipped preacher with a wicked heroin habit, and he isn't such a good customer anymore. [If you're a preacher with a heroin habit, and you want to keep your job, I don't recommend loose lips. Sermon:
...and so, brothers and sisters, last night I was hanging out and I thought I'd take the edge off with a massive dose of scag. I went to my junk drawer for the dust. Empty. Called my dealer, told him I needed some horse, fast. He sent over some China White, and charged me through the nose. So, if you could see your way to dropping an extra Jackson in the collection plate this morning I'd appreciate it. Moving on, last night God came to me in a vision . . . ]
Plus, he has something Fat Man wants—a twelve-year old kid. The orders to are to kill him and bring back the kid, Gabriel.
Not only does Jed not know what Fat Man wants with the boy, he doesn't know that the hit is intended for him. [When you retire from a job as Mafia hitman, and they tell you they need you for one last hit, it's always intended for you.] When he gets to the church, he finds two men waiting for him and the preacher dead. He survives the hit and takes Gabriel. [Why take Gabriel?] But soon he finds the preacher's ghost is following him, intent on killing both him and the kid.
As old cronies, the ghost of a preacher, and cops chase Jed and Gabriel through the underworld of Chicago, they form a bond that Jed at first resists. But as the danger deepens, he realizes there is no one else he can trust. As he begins to uncover what Fat Man and the preacher want with Gabriel, he sees that he and Gabriel are not just running for their lives, but that they are at the center of a battle that will either save humanity—or end it.
One Last Hit is a fantasy graphic novel approximately 200 pages in length. It is my first book. I am enclosing the first five pages of manuscript and would be happy to send more upon request. Art samples can be found at [web address]. [So the 200 pages don't include art samples? Is this a novel with illustrations, or is it in comic book format? I would think the artwork is at least as important as the text in making a sale, and should be included. Not that I'm an expert, just seems like common sense.]
If Gabriel is so important to Fat Man, why didn't Fat Man have the guys who killed the preacher bring him Gabriel first and then go back to kill Undertaker?
We have a standard mob plot going until the end of the third paragraph, when we discover that ghosts exist, and one paragraph later all of humanity is on the line. The stakes seem to escalate awfully fast; we might want you to hint at why. Or prepare us with a hook-y opening sentence, something like, Hitman Jed Undertaker has been hired for one last job, but little does he know his actions will determine the fate of the universe.
You don't need "as" at the start of the first sentence. Deleting it works, or you could start:
Jed Undertaker is tired and numb. A Mafia hitman for more than thirty years, he's survived a lonely, danger-filled life and . . .