Thursday, July 23, 2009
Guess the Plot
1. An aspiring novelist in Edwardian London writes a juicy romance, but is nearly undone by indecision about the heroine's name -- until she finds a brilliant way to write around it!
2. Convicted of sixteen murders by the age of thirteen, the world's youngest serial killer, waits on death row. And if you think Mendelve's daughter Sarah was bad, wait'll I tell you about Mendelve.
3. One roll in the hay with Fixdwarve and wham, Mendelve the maid is pregnant. Worse yet, a prophecy, a golden spatula and a cabbage-shaped birthmark on baby Patchmix's butt mean trouble from the jealous castle kitchen staff.
4. When Gustavo Mendelve died in 1724, he left behind an impressive array of lifelike automatons that delighted Royal Courts everywhere. Historian Jeff Hunter has found them. But as he restores them, he discovers something strange about the little harpist called Mendelve's Daughter. Is she really just a machine, or did the old inventor find the secret of creating life?
5. Jack John James quit his job after being required to spend a week in purgatory. His new job is to keep the boss's daughter happy. The problem? She wants items from the hells of all the world's religions.
6. Shouldn't that be Mendeleev, like the chemistry guy? The tragic true story of Tiffany Mendelve, and how the 13,121st repetition of that question drove her to begin the bloodiest killing spree in the history of Ogden Dunes, Indiana.
Title: Mendelve’s Daughter
Genre: Mystery/ Suspense/ Thriller
Lengths: 90,000 words
Five years ago Joyce Wherret was an ordinary housewife living in one of Seattle’s wealthiest suburbs with her husband, Daniel and only daughter, Satiety. [Satiety? That's her name? Did they decide what to name their kid right after hitting an all-you-can-eat buffet?] But all that changed after Joyce’s husband was caught steeling money from her father’s company. [Which was U.S. Steel.] Disowned by her parents and siblings, [Her entire family disowns her because the guy she married turned out to be a crook?] Joyce followed Daniel into a run down apartment, and took a job as a maid. [When you move into a run-down apartment, it's always nice when someone follows you in looking for work as a maid.] Less than a year later, Satiety is kidnapped from her new school. [Or did she run away because of all the teasing about her name?] Now Joyce lives in East Tennessee with Daniel, struggling to make ends meet and her marriage work. [When you stick your kid with a name like Satiety, you deserve whatever misery befalls you.] Everything changes when a letter, arrives containing details about Satiety’s abduction only the kidnapper could know. The author is Sarah Mendelve, the world’s youngest serial killer. [So far; you can bet there are a few eleven- and twelve-year-olds hoping to break that record.] Convicted of sixteen murders at age thirteen, Sarah has spent the last five years on death row. Sarah will tell everything, all Joyce has to do is stop the serial killer’s execution. Joyce is more than willing. For one thing, she doesn’t believe in the death penalty. But mostly she’ll do anything for her daughter. There’s one problem: her husband. [And there's a second problem: she's not the governor. In fact, she's a maid with no political clout whatsoever.]
Daniel doesn’t want Joyce anywhere near Sarah Mendelve and he tries to stop his wife with violence. Joyce doesn’t know, but Sarah’s grandfather, Gerhardt Mendelve, is the man who kidnapped Satiety. [That's why Sarah is known as . . . Mendelve's Granddaughter.] And he’s been using Satiety to blackmail Daniel. When, Joyce starts digging deeper into the case against Sarah Mendelve, she uncovers a corrupt detective, [who framed an innocent thirteen-year-old for sixteen murders.] and discovers the FBI have classified her husband as a “person of interest,” but refuse to tell her why. ["No specific reason. We just find him extremely interesting."] Then people start dying [Does anyone finish dying?] and all the clues point toward Daniel. [Immediately the FBI swing into action, upgrading Daniel's status to "person of fascination."] In the end Joyce will learn the truth, but it comes with a steep price; to herself and everyone she knows.
I graduated from redacted in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. I am currently an English Teacher [I'm betting "satiety" was one of your vocabulary words while you were writing the novel.] living in redacted. [And that was another one.] Mendelve’s Daughter is my first completed work of fiction. I have attached sample pages. I look forward to further communication.
When you're offered an opportunity to get your kidnapped child back, whether you believe in the death penalty isn't among your considerations.
Nor is it worth stating that Joyce would do anything for her child. It's not like other parents of kidnapped children would say, "Sorry, I'll do anything for my child except stop an execution."
When did they put Sarah on death row? Surely not when she was thirteen. That would never happen. They have special facilities for serial killers who are thirteen-year-old girls.
If your principal sees those commas after "letter" and "When," your English-teacher gig is in serious jeopardy.
Did Gramps kidnap Satiety just to blackmail Daniel, or to try to get the execution stopped? Either way, I see no reason the kidnapper chose Satiety. Why not kidnap the child of someone who's wealthy or who has clout? The authorities will reason similarly and assume she was kidnapped by a relative. Her grandfather. Meaning Daniel is Mendelve. They'll realize they should have known all along, because of the book's title. They'll realize that Mendelve conspired with a police detective to have his thirteen-year-old daughter charged with the sixteen murders he committed, and then moved to Seattle and married Joyce after changing his name to Daniel Wherret.
Not clear what Joyce is expected to do to stop the execution. Her husband doesn't want her anywhere near Sarah Mendelve, but how was she going to get near her anyway? They don't let just anyone visit death row inmates.
Why hasn't Daniel told Joyce about the blackmail? Why hasn't Joyce told the authorities about the letter from Sarah?
I'm not buying the plot. If it all makes sense in the book, you need to get the stuff that's bothersome out of the query.