Monday, February 07, 2011
Guess the Plot
1. Sharing their squalid apartment, all three dream of fame and glory. But when Hop Toit and Jump Toconclusions end up as cubicle slaves, is there any hope for Skip Tomylou?
2. His real name is Reinhardt Flimbergast IV, and he's an ogre in miniature, the terror of Mrs. Jones' fourth grade class. She's on the verge of burning her hair and joining the Peace Corps when she realizes the only viable alternative is to bring this juvenile despot-in-training down a peg. So she gives him that nickname. The rest is history.
3. Inspired by his two young daughters, Dr. Robert Bormann’s exercise regime is sweeping the nation. A dynamic combination of aerobic workout and youthful exuberance, the "Bormann workout" is unparalleled in converting couch potatoes to exercise enthusiasts. Don’t walk. Don’t jog. Skip.
4. A novel told through the journal entries of a ten-year-old who writes about everything--everything except her older sibling, who might literally kill her if she even tried. And yes, I know the meaning of "literally." Unfortunately, this means everything in the journal is drop-dead boring.
5. In the year 2113, a handsome rapscallion makes his fortune by stealing and then hopping between dimensions. When he makes a haul so huge he can end his life of crime, he realizes that means leaving behind the beautiful cop who's been on his tail -- and who might be the girl of his dreams.
6. Elaine has been cursed with a great infirmity from birth--she can't walk, she only skips. When she realizes only a modeling career can bring her happiness, she goes on a quest to revolutionize the catwalk world to accommodate her impairment.
Dear Evil Editor,
Ten year old Brooke writes in her journal about almost everything. Brooke writes about how hard spelling tests are in fifth grade
Faled anudder speling tessed. Fith grayed sux. If Caitlin wood lemme cheet offer payper Ide dew bedder. Sum frend.]
and about how angry she is at her former best friend Kaitlyn [Angry why?]. Brooke writes about everything except Leah.
Leah is Brooke’s big sister and Leah is sick. At least that’s what Brooke’s parents say. Brooke doesn’t know what kind of sickness makes you punch walls and refuse to get out of bed, but she knows she doesn’t want to make Leah mad. And last time Leah caught Brooke writing in her notebook about her Leah was really mad. ["Was really mad" is vague. See how much more interesting it is with some specificity: Last time she caught Brooke writing about her, Leah stripped her nude, coated her with honey and dropped her off in the middle of bear country.] Brooke doesn’t mind not writing about Leah though- she kind of likes getting to pretend that her sister doesn’t exist.
While Brooke continues trying to focus on school and her complicated relationships with her friends, Leah takes a turn for the worse. As insurance bills, [broken] dishes, and failed spelling tests pile up, Brooke is forced to stop pretending and start growing up. [I'm not crazy about consecutive long sentences with the same structure. While x, y. As z, q. You could drop the first sentence and insert "Leah takes a turn for the worse, and" after "pile up." This also puts the "stop pretending" sentence directly after the "likes to pretend" sentence, making it more clear what it is she has to stop pretending.]
SKIP is a middle grade novel told through Brooke’s journal entries. It is complete at 22,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Specifics that illustrate your points are more interesting than generalities.
If Brooke doesn't write about Leah in the journal, and the story is told through the journal entries... you see where I'm going with this? It seems like Leah is in the query more than she's in the book. What's the plot? By "turn for the worse," do you mean Leah is dying, or becoming more uncontrollable?
The writing feels simplistic and plodding, even for a middle grade audience. For instance: "she kind of likes getting to pretend that her sister doesn’t exist" could be "she likes pretending her sister doesn't exist." "Continues trying to focus on school and her complicated relationships with her friends" could be "tries to focus on school and her complicated friendships."
Are there lots of misspelled words in the journal?
Note to evil minions: this was the last query in the queue. If you've been waiting for the perfect time to submit yours, now's it.