Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Guess the Plot
1. All it took was one misheard word on the telephone - and the crack Dutch Cheese Rescue Squad was caught up in a situation for which it was completely unequipped.
2. Archeologist Ellen Suree has just discovered an ancient apple tree after draining a quicksand pit not far from her dig site in the Amazon. When her research reveals the petrified plants are older than any known substance, she thinks she's found Eden. But can she stop it from becoming the next Disney World?
3. Angela has spent her entire life trapped in her father's home and garden, and has never seen another person. But now a group calling themselves The Amenders have taken over the US government, and Angela may be the only person who can save a world she's never seen.
4. Emily Watson loves plants and hates religion - which is why this gifted botanist is startled to be tapped to restore the neglected garden of Eden. Despite the general weirdness of it all, working in Eden is paradise--until she learns why the garden is being restored. But can one lone atheist convince the Big Guy to hold off on the apocalypse?
5. At fourteen years old, Eden already drank, smoked and had a tattoo of a fanged demon on her back. When she takes an after-school job at the Convent of the Trembling Martyrs, the first thing she does is kick Sister Mary Gentile's ass for bossing her around. Will Eden's bad attitude destroy the convent, or will the trembling sisters band together for the purpose of . . . saving Eden?
6. Eden is a teenager lost in the system. He sometimes thinks his graffiti tags are the only evidence he even exists. When his graffiti starts disappearing, his investigation turns up disturbing information about spray paint manufacturers. Can he dodge corporate assassins, while saving himself and other graffiti artists from erasure?
Imagine living your whole life separated from the rest of the world. [That does sound like Eden.] The only other face you’ve ever seen is your father, ["Father's". Unless your father consists of nothing but a face. Actually, that would be a cool character. A giant face with no torso or appendages. Sort of like a picture of the Man in the Moon, except you'd have to figure out whether it just sits on a pillow while its kid feeds it grapes and pizza and eventually poison, or whether it rigs up a robotic body for locomotion. Either way it's sure to be better than the actual book, and while it may seem astounding that I can say that after reading fewer than two sentences of the query, trust me. Make the father a giant face.] and he’s not giving you any clues to what life is like on the outside. [What does he tell me? He must have some explanation for why he's keeping me trapped. Why haven't I killed the bastard?] What would happen to you if you suddenly found yourself in the middle of a big city, surrounded by strange and wonderful people? Is it possible that the real question should be what would happen to the people? [The real question should be How did I suddenly end up in the middle of a big city.] [Also, Where's the nearest doughnut shop?]
In my young adult novel Saving Eden, which is 40,500 words long, fifteen-year-old Angela has spent her entire life trapped inside the confinements of ["]paradise.["] The only other person she has ever seen is her father, who built their home by hand and tends their beautiful garden daily. [You can probably do without the first paragraph, as you've just given us the same information and then some.] It’s the year 2201 and all that is about to change when Angela discovers Jessie, a seventeen-year-old boy from Chicago, sitting in the mist of her garden. Jessie is a member of a secret organization determined to stop The Amenders, which is a group of people who have recently taken over the American government. [Their first order of business: amend the constitution to make it legal to go left on red and to make the Chicago Cubs World Series champions. Then they'll declare war on the Swiss.] [What did they do, march into Washington and say, Okay, everybody out; we're in charge now.?] Angela runs away with him to help save a world that she always wanted to see but never had a chance to know. When Angela discovers the reason behind her secluded life she realizes she may have caused her father, her new friends, and herself to be in more danger than she could ever imagine.
After seeing the books you’ve represented like (Super-Awsome-Book), which I have read myself in the past, I think you might be interested in representing Saving Eden as well as the many books I plan for the future. [This paragraph can go.]
I believe I should tell you a little about me. My name is "words-over-numbers" and I am a Ball State University student majoring in journalism with a minor in creative writing. I live in Indianapolis, IN and I have had a love for literature since I was a child. Though I have some journalistic articles published in The Indianapolis Star and The Indianapolis Recorder, this is the first fiction novel [Okay, before everyone writes in to point out that you don't have to describe a novel as fiction, allow me to point out that henceforth you do have to, as I've just completed what I believe to be the world's first nonfiction novel.] I have written that I feel deserves to be seen by the world. [You can dump this paragraph as well.]
The full manuscript is available at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Now that the query is much shorter you have room to tell us the reason behind Angela's secluded life. Right now her father seems like that Austrian guy who imprisoned his daughter as a sex slave in a dungeon for 24 years. If he had a good reason for secluding her (and for not revealing that reason to her), what is it? That seems to be the most intriguing element of the story, and you want to keep it a secret.
If Angela has always wanted to see the world she must have some knowledge about it. Hard to believe she has no idea why she's confined.
Is Jessie there because he knows about Angela? We need to know what's special about her and we need more plot, specifically what happens after she gets out of paradise and what's the danger?