Friday, January 22, 2010
Guess the Plot
1. When you simply have to have chocolate. When you spill lemonade on the front of your pants right before the debate with the other nominee. When you wake up in your sleeping bag and discover a boa constrictor wrapped around you.
2. When the condom breaks. When you find yourself pregnant with triplets. When your no-good louse of a husband leaves you in your eighth month. When you can't get a sitter on the day of your big presentation so you bring the kids to work knowing the only way to keep them quiet is to breast feed them.
3. When it's your first day at your new high school and your new classmates find out your name is Charmin. When your mother comes to your school and starts yelling at your math teacher . . . during your math class. When you're surfing the web and discover your kid brother secretly photographed you in your underwear and put the pic on SnapShotz.com.
4. When the timer goes off signaling that your souffle needs to come out of the oven at the same time the dog is on the new carpet making pre-puking gag noises. When an alien nursery ship crash lands in North Dakota and lets loose forty species-worth of extraterrestrial infants.
5. When the most popular boy in high school falls in love with you . . . and you're a guy. When your own brother falls in love with you . . . and you're a guy. When your best friend Patrick is so jealous of the guys who are in love with you that he storms your school with a gun . . . and you're a guy.
6. When you see the most darling pair of sandals on sale, and your credit card is already maxed out. When your waitress turns out to be your ex and she's better looking than your date. When your hair is on fire.
Dear Evil Editor,
I am currently seeking representation for my YA novel, Little Emergencies. It clocks in at 69,000 words and, from your list of interests on your website, could be a good fit for you.
Zach Mulholland has drama on his plate like any other teen: [Actually, most teens have pizza on their plates.] pressure to settle down and conform, parents who just won’t get off his back, and Patrick, his best friend who doesn’t understand that they aren’t a couple. Then suddenly Zach meets Jonathan, the most beautiful and most popular boy in school, who somehow loves him back. Then there’s a hasty engagement to marry said popular boy, [Already? They just met. Wait, which one is pregnant?] [Now that we know his name, no need to refer to Jonathan as "said popular boy."] an engagement that has everyone raising their eyebrows – even Zach himself. [Even Evil Editor.] Then Zach has to deal with Patrick’s insane jealousy, becoming one half of the school’s ‘it’ couple when he’s used to blending into the scenery, and figuring out what he really wants out of all this. Oh yeah, and then his estranged brother just has to fall in love with him, [Seems like there should be a step or two between being estranged and being in love.] and Patrick just has to storm the school with a handgun...
Little Emergencies is a story about impetuousness and practicality, “wanting different things”, [Putting quotation marks around it doesn't make it less vague.] and how much high school sucks. But mostly, it’s a story about three kinds of love: unrequited love, fairytale love, and the kind you call the cops on [i.e. the kind where you need to borrow a set of handcuffs]. Its intended audience could be similar to the audience of such authors as Julie Anne Peters, David Levithan and Rachel Cohn.
I am a first-year university student majoring in Creative Writing. I have a few publishing credits with the local newspaper and high school newsletters. [That isn't gonna sway any decisions. Better to use the space telling us something that happens.]
I can be reached at [phone number] or [email]. I look forward to your response.
Why is everyone so crazy about this guy who tries to blend in with the scenery? Are there any girls in this school? Used to be girls complained that all the best boys were taken by the cheerleaders. Now they're all taken by the other boys.
There's a lot here about relationships--who loves, is engaged to, is jealous of whom--but not much plot. Is the storming of the school with a handgun the big climactic event everything's been moving toward? Does someone get shot? Is there a vampire? What are the driving forces that lead Zach to the conflict resolution? Hey, that gives me an idea for a better title: Mulholland Drive.