Friday, February 12, 2010
Guess the Plot
1. ’ , ’ , ’ , ’,’,’,’,,,,
2. Its a Wo'nderful Life meets ... I mean Its a Wonderful Li'fe meets ... Sorry, meant to say Its a W'onderfu'l L'ife Me'ets ... Goddammit, stop that!!!
3. It's a happy 'story about a punctuation mark that u'sed to be unhappy with it's lot in life. But now it bounce's about all over the place, announcing to everyone, "Here come's an S!"
4. A FORMER TELEGRAPH OPERATOR WORKS SECURITY IN A SCOTTISH POETS APOSTROPHE BAR WHERE THE MORSE CODE HE HEARS IN THE FLAMENCO DANCER APOSTROPHE S STEPS MAKES HIM ARGUE PUNCTUATION WITH THE CLIENTELE STOP ALSO COMMA A GRAMMAR NERD APOSTROPHE S LOVE TRIANGLE STOP
5. Apostrophe is a nine-year-old girl with super-springy knees that send her high in the sky whenever she jumps. When she bounces all the way across the ocean from London to Michigan, she must find a way to get herself and her dog, Dash, back home to her parents. Also, twenty mustachioed snowmobilers.
6. Ellen is a copy editor at Hot!, the magazine for young fashionistas. When the gloriously goth Allen comes aboard as layout artist, she finds herself in love. Unfortunately, so does Allen--with Dmitri, the caterer. Hilarity ensues.
7. Jasper havin’ ritten da firs’ fo’ leng’ literature novel brakes all da rulz, of splellin,’ n’ grammer: teachs the bes’ shizzle in a a p'aranormal-romance-tell-all-historiacl-fiction-thriller starin’ an gay werewolves meets pirate on way to show da worl’ rulz don’ mack a fine book it confuses da reel massage.
Apostrophe is a girl with a problem. [Is it her name?] No, it’s not her name. She has super-springy knees. If she gets overexcited and jumps up and down, her elastic joints send her up, up, up in the sky... She usually lands with an unladylike bump somewhere far from her London home. [I think the sound would be less bump and more splat.] This is a major pain in the kneecap. Dash, her faithful dog (named after the punctuation mark and for his aerodynamic shape), has a sixth sense when it comes to her bouncing. He grabs hold of whatever body part is nearest with his teeth. She doesn’t mind. Much.
This time, Apostrophe’s bouncy knees have sent her and Dash across a vast ocean to a land where trousers are pants, rubbish is trash, and chips are fries. That’s right, the United States of America. The Upper Peninsula in Michigan, to be exact. [The Internet shows many fish & chips restaurants in the Upper Peninsula, so it's not clear that someone whose first trip to the USA was there would discover that chips are fries. In fact, being so close to Canada, and having a large Finnish population, wouldn't the UP use a lot of British terms spoken in Scandinavian accents?] Apostrophe must get herself and Dash home to England, but like any self-respecting nine-year-old, she can’t bear to ask for help from her parents. “Independent ladies don’t require assistance,” she says. Trying to bounce back is too risky, though, they could end up further from home. While trying to come up with a plan, Apostrophe gets to know some of the locals – a gang of twenty mustachioed snowmobilers, [Amazing how different Upper Peninsula gang culture is from, say, Detroit.] the Kilpinen kids (all thirteen), and the town’s boot-throwing champion. [Please. It's called Welly Wanging. Here's an introduction to casual welly wanging, and here's a champion wanger.] Her linguistic nuances cause minor awkward misunderstandings, major life-threatening confusions, as well as tear-jerking belly laughs. It is through her new-found friendships, though, that Apostrophe discovers how being truly independent sometimes means relying on others.
It sounds like the whole point of the story is to show that relying on others isn't a bad thing, but you don't show us any instance in which Appie relies on others. Who does what to help her get back?
Presumably this is not the entire query letter, as the recipient will want to know how long it is, what age range it's intended for, whether it's got pictures.
If she's come down far from home in the past, wouldn't she be under strict orders to contact her parents whenever she bounced far away? They must be worried sick if she's in Michigan and not even contacting them.
It seems to me that the arc required to bounce from London to Michigan without reaching unpleasantly fatal speeds would take Apostrophe into realms where the temperature and lack of oxygen would be unpleasantly fatal. Not that little kids will care, but the age at which kids won't scoff at the science may be the age at which they expect illustrations.
Bouncing to Wales or Scotland isn't good enough?
I'd drop Dash from the first paragraph. He isn't needed in the query, but at least he's not taking up much space in the second paragraph.