Friday, July 18, 2008
Guess the Plot
The Only Way
1. Evey wakes up one morning realizing she must escape her fifteen-year marriage to her psychiatrist husband. It just so happens he's also the best-selling author of The Only Way: a misogynist's guide to keeping your wife in line. Can Evey escape without bloodshed?
2. Psychiatrist David Justin is summoned to the White House. The president's eight years are nearly up, power in Congress will soon shift to the other side of the aisle, and the existence of 70,000 detainees being held in secret prisons around the globe will come out. There's only one way to salvage any of the president's reputation: brainwash all 70,000. But is Justin up to the task?
3. There's a right way. There’s a wrong way. And then there’s Chance Harney’s way. If feisty newcomer Sasha McDougal wants to make it in the world of kickboxing, she’ll have to submit to Chance’s dictates. But Sasha’s never been very good at that obedience thing. Maybe it’s time for the hunky coach to learn a thing or two about submission.
4. In Carla's world, there's no right way and wrong way--there's only Papa's way. He decides what she does, where she goes, who she is. When Carla meets Tom, an impulsive young man with a wicked sense of humor and a dangerously seductive smile, she begins to think that maybe Papa's way isn't the only way. Wonder what Papa's going to think about this.
5. When an editor tells Kiki the only way she'll ever be published is if she sells her soul to the devil in exchange for some talent, she does just that. Years later, after she hits the New York Times Bestseller List, Satan comes to collect, and Kiki realizes that maybe it wasn't worth it. She makes another deal. Now the only way she can save her soul is to write a book good enough to make Satan himself cry.
6. Deedee's friends always said the only way a man could get her attention was if Mister Right tasered her. When her PETA protest gets a little out of control, John, a rookie police officer, does just that. This starts up an unlikely relationship. Deedee and John have nothing in common other than an intense attraction to one another. Can they overcome their differences to find true love?
When Dr. David Justin agrees to become Director of the Arcadia Operation it’s to help out in the War on Terror, not to become a victim of it.
Justin, now at the reins of a desperate organization, [Why is the organization desperate?] is charged with “recovering” information from detainees before additional lives are lost. During a late-night meeting at the White House, Justin is shocked to learn more than 70,000 individuals (not just the 22 at the Arcadia Operation) are being held captive in secret prisons around the globe. And the President is runing out of time. His eight years are almost up and power in Congress is shifting to the other side of the aisle. [What are the consequences if the president runs out of time? We need to know this if we're to have any sense of the danger.]
In THE ONLY WAY psychiatrist David Justin struggles with his conscience and battles powerful government forces to save his new family after he is recruited by the CIA to brainwash detainees in secret American prisons around the globe. [Amazing. You've somehow managed to have two first sentences.] [The first first sentence would be stronger if it ended: . . . not to become its next victim. But even then it's not accurate. He was already director of Arcadia when the CIA recruited him to brainwash detainees, which is what puts him in danger of becoming a victim of the war on terror, which probably doesn't happen anyway. The second first sentence has too much information. We're bored by struggles with conscience, Justin's family, and vague powerful government forces. Keep the hot-button terms: secret prisons, brainwashing, the CIA. In THE ONLY WAY, psychiatrist David Justin takes on the CIA after he is recruited to brainwash detainees in secret American prisons. If he in fact doesn't take on the CIA in your book, that was the old version of the book. In the new version, which you'll be writing after you send out the query, so that if someone asks for the manuscript you have something to submit that matches the query, he takes on the CIA.] [Now, if your second first sentence becomes your first sentence, your first first sentence can be the first sentence of the second paragraph. Though not exactly. Something like:
Justin, Director of the Arcadia Operation, is summoned to a late-night meeting at the White House, where he is shocked to learn that more than 70,000 individuals (not just the 22 at the Arcadia Operation) are being held captive in secret prisons around the globe. The CIA want Justin to "recover" information from the detainees in hopes of saving American lives. And so on.]
Complete at 92,000 words my sometimes humorous thriller THE ONLY WAY follows Dr. Justin through the painful experience of deciding what role he is willing to play in a distasteful, yet threatening situation. When, exactly, will the good doctor finally say: this far…no farther? [More importantly, when will the person reading your query say: this far…no farther?] And what will happen when he does?
My work will appeal to those who enjoy the entangled hero suspense of Brad Thor and Vince Flynn. Currently I write a humor column, published monthly in a local magazine, and am working on a new manuscript. Thank you for your time and for your consideration.
I don't get a sense of why the situation is threatening. Is it threatening to the country because a new president won't understand the danger? Or threatening to the president because he doesn't want the new regime revealing that he's been holding so many people prisoner?
No need to call it "sometimes humorous" unless you give a hint of what's funny about it.
Let's see, 70,000 prisoners at 22 per prison, that's almost 3200 secret prisons. Keeping 3200 prisons secret is no easy task.
Who is threatening Justin's family? Why?