Monday, October 05, 2009
Guess the Plot
In All the Wrong Places
1. A complete catalogue detailing every single place where Lorraine looked for love from 1992 through 2005, and a picture what she found there.
2. Amber wants to rid the world of men who touch children "in all the wrong places." So she teams up with her friends Cassie and Robin to form a vigilante trio of pedophile eliminators. But will they get their first victim before he gets them?
3. The problem with Joanie's career is geography. Every time she gets a job, disaster strikes, removing her office from the map, or at least reducing it to rubble. But she has great legs and fabulous hair, so Steve hires her anyway. Trouble ensues.
4. Joelle can't understand why her self-published romance novel isn't selling. When her mother suggests it's because the only places it's available are Billy Bob's Bait & Tackle Shoppe and the concession stand at the local cockfighting pit, Joelle looks into advertising in the Wimbledon program.
5. Elvis Midnight, vampire hunter, never gives up when stalking his prey. What he can't figure out is why a vampire is living in the middle of the Sahara.
6. Rosie likes her new boyfriend, except for the fact that he has no idea what he's doing in bed. So she enlists the help of sexologist Peter Patel—only to discover after a few sessions she's in love with him. Will she have the courage to tell Dr. Patel how she feels, or will her boyfriend continue touching her . . . In All the Wrong Places?
Dear [specific agent]:
I’m querying you because you are ‘drawn to a conflicted protagonist trying to right some wrong.’ [That's too vague for your opening sentence, even if it is taken from the agent's website. If you describe a good story in which a conflicted character rights a wrong, the agent will be drawn to it without having to be reminded that it's his/her cup of tea.]
Over-achieving and insecure, Amber dreams of saving children from abuse by ridding the world of pedophiles, but she wonders if she’s prepared to risk her marriage to David—he defends the justice system even when it fails.
[Amber: Unbelievable. According to Time, DNA evidence proved that yet another innocent man went to the electric chair.
David: Hey, they all had their day in court.]
Veterinarian Robin, a grieving widow, cannot euthanize an animal without feeling Roman Catholic guilt; she wonders if she can risk eternal damnation. Car dealer Cassie doesn’t wonder at all. [At least you have one realistic character.]
Over dinner and laughter, they devise ten rules for committing the perfect murder. Rule #1: Convicted pedophiles only. Rule #2: No connection between huntress and the pedophile or his victims… But what if dinner party rules don’t work in real life?
To test the rules and her resolve, Amber stalks a suspected pedophile [Suspected by whom? What happened to Rule #1?] and discovers an outlet for the anger that threatens her marriage. She doesn’t know her target tortures his victims to death. She never imagined he would threaten her life and David’s. Now it’s too [late?] for regrets. To save David, [She actually wants to save her pathetic pedophile-sympathizer husband?] Amber and her friends must ignore the rules and eliminate the killer before David discovers their secret. [I would think eliminating the killer before he kills them would be stronger motivation than eliminating him before David discovers their secret.]
IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES is currently the #1 all-time favorite on HarperCollin’s authonomy® website. [That's like saying, When the opening of my novel appeared on Evil Editor's website it got more positive comments than any other New Beginning.] [Also, that should be "HarperCollins's".] [Also, this leads one to wonder why HarperCollins hasn't snapped it up.] Hollywood screenwriter Michael Grais (“Poltergeist” and Stephen King’s “Sleepwalker”) says, “This brave novel goes beyond ‘Dexter’ and ‘Death Wish’ and asks whether vigilantism is ever right. Great movie potential.” [Not clear why a Hollywood screenwriter is being quoted. You can worry about film rights later, or adapt it into a screenplay, but whether it would make a good movie isn't going to matter at this stage of the game.] Scenes from the novel have won two contests sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts and BC Arts Council in the literary and crime fiction categories.
For the many parents who worry about their children’s safety, IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES explores their fantasies of vigilante justice. For me, a corporate lawyer, vigilantes are the stuff of thought-provoking novels. EPIPHANIES, my book on the fiction-writing craft, will be published early in 2010 by AMADIS Publishing LLC (website under construction.) [Actually, your qualifications to write a book on the fiction-writing craft would make better credits than the fact that you wrote one.]
I have attached the first chapter of my novel and inserted it following this query in case you prefer not to open attachments.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
What exactly is threatening Amber's marriage? Her husband's refusal to take the law into his own hands?
I found the perfect murder discussion the most interesting part. Maybe you should open with something like: Over dinner and laughter, three women devise a formula for committing the perfect murder--little realizing they'll soon have a need for that formula.
After that you can tell us who the women are, and it won't feel so much like a list of unrelated items.
Unless you bring up how the veterinarian's guilt and the car dealer's lack of it affect the murder plot, you can leave that out and just identify them by occupation or as Amber's friends. Those tidbits feel like random facts as presented.