Monday, June 08, 2009
Guess the Plot
1. To hear them tell it, the drinkers at Cara's Tavern were all big shots in their day, running banks and shady spying operations. But Cara knows they are what they always were: lushes. When these men and women organize to protest the city's new beer tax, hilarity ensues.
2. Four frat boys wander into a strange bar and challenge four other men to a drinking contest. After a while, it becomes clear that these men are satyrs. The frat boys win, but it turns out satyrs are sore losers. Can one semi-civilized small college survive the wrath of four drunken goat-men?
3. A group of eccentric alcoholics who meet at AA in an old church basement decide to form a rock & roll band called, ironically, The Drinkers . . . and to produce a rock opera that will raise enough money to replace the church roof.
4. In a world where vampires no longer drink human blood, there are exceptions: Drinkers! When Cyril learns that some Drinkers may be living in town, it's up to him to investigate, and to report his findings to the World Vampire Association.
5. Despite her years of apprenticeship, Natalie is denied entry to the all-powerful Tasters Guild for daring to point out that all red wine pretty much tastes the same. Natalie responds by organizing the town breweries and secretly replanting the vineyards with hops.
6. Pat O'Malley's bar has attracted its share of regulars over the centuries. The same regulars. Pat's bar is built over the Fountain of Youth, and when Pat decides to close up shop and retire, his immortal clientele take offense.
Please find enclosed a synopsis and the first chapter of DRINKERS.
As far as Ethan and Forrest know, they are the only two vampires in the city, or maybe the world, if, indeed, they are actually vampires. [That could be said of anyone. For example: As far as Evil Editor knows, he is the only vampire in the city, or maybe the world, if, indeed, he is actually a vampire. What makes Ethan and Forrest think they might be vampires?] When they find a body with bite marks on the neck, it opens the door to discovering people like themselves—if [, indeed, they are actually vampires.] that’s what they choose.
Ethan and Forrest aren’t the only ones interested in the body. Cyril is the Director of the local group of vampires, who are part of the world vampire organization. [If that's the name of the organization, capitalize it. If it's not the name, use the name. Surely Cyril would know the name.] All vampires today hide their true natures, never become intimate with humans, and never drink human blood—all except Drinkers. [If the Drinkers ever want any decent PR, they can start by coming up with a better name than Drinkers. It sounds a bit silly. I mean, you don't see zombies calling themselves Eaters, do you? They go with Devourers. Much scarier.] [Maybe your Drinkers should be called Downers. Get it? It's a double meaning.] The body is evidence of Drinkers in the area, and as Director it falls to Cyril to report it and lead an investigation. Cyril has had his eye on Ethan for a while—Ethan might help him find the Drinkers, unless they both come under suspicion themselves.
DRINKERS is a vampire novel that reaches beyond vampires to [werewolves.] questions of morality, identity and belonging. It is literary and thought-provoking as well as tense and action-packed. [There's no evidence in the query that the book is any of these things. I'm not taking your word.] It is gritty, violent at times, and feels more like Chuck Palahniuk than Anne Rice. Though I had not read Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns before writing Drinkers, I feel some similarities with how Miller twists a fantasy story into something deeper, maybe more cynical, and certainly more literary. [I think what you're trying to say is, My novel is literary fiction, like Batman.] I hope you enjoy it.
That final paragraph has to go. If you describe a plot that's thought-provoking, tense, action-packed, gritty, violent at times, Palahniukish, and that twists a fantasy story into something deeper, maybe more cynical, and certainly more literary, then you won't need to declare it in so many words. Also, I don't think the average person looking for a novel about the World Vampire Association is going to be swayed by knowing it's "literary."
Are people aware vampires exist? If so, why do Ethan and Forrest think they're possibly the only vampires in the world? If not, how do people explain bodies with their blood drained through bite marks on their necks?
Are the Drinkers a danger to Cyril and Ethan and Forrest? Investigating and reporting isn't as interesting as kill or be killed. What's at stake?