Monday, March 01, 2010
Guess the Plot
Love and Lies
1. Greg has spent years trying to find the best way to get a woman in the sack. Now he's got it narrowed down to two.
2. Andy's in love with Melissa, but she's torn between him and Rob. Rob, though, is in love with Shirl, who's mildly interested in Andy. And one of them is lying.
3. When a duke confesses to killing his mistress's brothers, their affair is over. But he later realizes that he's in love with her, so he tells her he lied and her brothers were actually killed by a vampire. Turns out the duke and his mistress are also vampires. Pretty much everyone's a vampire.
4. Thelma Love, mild-mannered IRS agent, only wants to meet the man of her dreams, little does she know her soul-mate is Gervais Lies, a French spy intent on stealing government secrets so the French can have as complicated and annoying a bureaucracy as Americans.
5. The unauthorized true story behind EE and Miss Snark's tumultuous romance and apocalyptic break-up, featuring stiletto puncture wounds, the real reason why EE keeps his hair in mutton chops, and the strange circumstances that led them to grow Whirlochre in their lab.
6. Jennifer's in love with Paul, but she thinks he'll dump her if he finds out her last boyfriend died under suspicious circumstances. Paul's in love with Jennifer, but he thinks she'll dump him if she finds out he's not a rich doctor. Have these lovebirds dug holes so deep they can't climb out?
7. Nick Natty, conman extraordinaire, finds love on the slopes in Colorado. When she finds out he isn't a team scout for the next winter Olympics, can she convince him he's actually in love with her twin sister who's moving to Alaska?
I am writing in hopes of gaining your representation for my 95,957-word paranormal romance, LOVE AND LIES, a tale of love betrayed and then redeemed.
In LOVE AND LIES, [No need to tell us which book's plot you're describing . . . unless it's a book other than Love and Lies.] after the death of her mother in 1808, Dara became a duke’s mistress, something she’d sworn never to do, to support her orphaned siblings. [As God is my witness, I'll never be a duke's mistress. A peasant's mistress, maybe. An earl's or a prince's, definitely. But never a duke's.] Returning home after ending the affair, she finds her brothers dead and the duke claiming responsibility. [Your brothers? Yeah, I killed them. Hey, I'm a duke.] She tries to avenge them but instead ends up with a two-week hole in her memory and a new life as a vampire. Protecting her remaining sister’s descendents [sp.] became her only means of salvation. Now in the 21st century, the duke is back and has a confession to make. [You tossed the vampire angle off like it happens every day. Vampires are a major plot point; move your (revised) first paragraph to the end and open with a hook sentence that mentions vampires. Something like: This book has vampires!]
Anthony had walked the earth for a millennium in service of the vampire council when he bought Dara’s innocence in an attempt to stave off boredom. [Who's Anthony? Who'd he buy her innocence from? Usually vampires stave off boredom (and hunger) without having to fork over cash.] When her brothers were killed by another vampire, he claimed responsibility to keep her from hunting the true killer in hopes of keeping her safe and failed. [...keeping her safe. He failed, and...] That failure has haunted him ever since. A chance arrives for him to clear the air and make one additional confession: he wants her back in his arms for all time. [Hey Dara, remember how I confessed to killing your brothers a couple hundred years ago? I was lying. So . . . we good?] [When someone has spent 200 years thinking you murdered her brothers, you need to do something stronger than "clear the air."]
Too much switching between past and present tenses. Either put the 1808 stuff in past tense and the 21st century stuff in present, or put it all in present.
It might be better to explain why the duke takes responsibility for the murders as soon as you mention that he does so. Possibly this would mean opening in the duke's POV: 1808: When his lover finds her brothers murdered, the Duke of Earl takes responsibility; it's the only way to keep her from hunting the real killer, a brutal vampire.
Does Dara try to avenge her brothers' deaths by going after the duke?