Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Guess the Plot
1. The members of a garage band dream of hitting the charts. But because they play all their songs in A minor, they don't stand a chance.
2. Peopled by blood-splattered retirees, Dismal Key is the only remaining zombie habitat in the southeastern United States. And a Florida real estate developer has her eye on it.
3. Eleven year old David Connor finds a mysterious key in the attic of his new home which gives him the power to unlock the spirit world. When he uses this power to defeat the bullies at his new school, David unlocks . . . a dark and menacing power he doesn't know how to control!
4. Mckluskey Harvey is enjoying his summer in the Florida Keys--until human traffickers swoop in, kidnap his girlfriend, and turn her over to a serial killer to satisfy his cravings. Mcklusky tracks the traffickers through a mangled maze of mangroves to Dismal Key. But is he too late to save his sweetie?
5. When Babi was a twenty-something pop star, famous for her bright & frankly annoying singing style, she sneered at her critics. Now a forty-something has-been, plagued by depression and addiction problems, Babi has one last chance to save her career--singing the blues.
6. Bud and Judy put their life savings into a retirement island off the Florida coast, not realizing they'll be thrashed by every hurricane to hit the Caribbean. Suddenly Minnesota doesn't look so bad. Still, their lives aren't totally ruined -- until Bud rents half the key to a gang of drug-smuggling pirates.
Dear Evil Editor:
Sixteen-year-old Mcklusky Harvey is enjoying his summer in Florida until a group of human traffickers decides to store their next shipment of girls in The Ten Thousand Islands. [I know how he feels. I've had more than one vacation ruined by the sudden arrival of human traffickers.] [I think human traffickers would prefer to be called a ring or a gang rather than a group. Also, they'd probably come up with different words for "storing their shipment," which sounds more like what drug smugglers do. Perhaps you should temporarily infiltrate a ring of human traffickers until you pick up the lingo.] Ex-CIA agent John Becker follows the traffickers seeking retribution for his sister’s kidnapping and death. [This guy is involved professionally and personally with the human traffickers. Why did we open with some random teenager spending the summer in Florida?] Instead of cussing Yankees and working on his grandfather’s fishing boat, Mcklusky [We're back to Mcklusky? Maybe we should focus the first paragraph on Mcklusky, and bring in Becker in paragraph 2.] is tangled in a treacherous rescue mission. [Mcklusky may be a Red Sox fan, but do we really need to know, in the query, that he isn't cussing Yankees?]
When Mcklusky's girlfriend is kidnapped by the traffickers, his grandfather and Becker leave him behind to save her. [That could be interpreted to mean Gramps and Becker headed for the hills, leaving Mcklusky behind to save his girlfriend.] But Mcklusky isn't one to let others determine the fate of someone he loves. Intent on killing the traffickers, Mcklusky tracks them through the mangled maze of mangroves to Dismal Key, an inhospitable island. Once there he discovers that his girlfriend is not meant to be sold but to satisfy the cravings of a serial killer/rapist who works with the traffickers. [Whether you're a circle of knitters, a book club, a baseball team or even a human trafficking ring, it's pretty stupid to recruit a serial killer as part of your group.] [Where do these human traffickers get their shipments of girls? Why wouldn't the serial killer be satisfied with one of those girls, thus making it unnecessary to kidnap girlfriends and sisters of people with the means to seek revenge, like ex-CIA agents?
Human Trafficker 1: New shipment of Laotian girls is in.
Human Trafficker 2: Great. Now go kidnap an American girl.
Human Trafficker 1: What for?
Human Trafficker 2: To satisfy the cravings of Borgo the Disemboweler.
Human Trafficker 1: Tell me again why we keep this guy around.]
Armed with a KA-BAR knife, Mcklusky confronts the traffickers. [It's pretty stupid to confront a crew of human traffickers with a knife. Do I have to post this scene yet again:]
Once the traffickers know who Mcklusky is, his failure to kill them will cause the death of everyone he loves. [Because human traffickers have nothing better to do than research your life and travel throughout the country hunting down your loved ones.]
DISMAL KEY is a Young Adult Thriller complete at 80,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.
You have nine sentences of plot, and seven of them contain the word "traffickers." Which beats the old record on this blog by seven. Not that I'm suggesting calling them criminals once or twice. I'm suggesting always referring to them as "human traffickers" rather than just "traffickers." I figure if one use of the term "human traffickers" is amusing, seven uses would be hilarious.
A quick count reveals that I have mentioned human traffickers fifteen times in my notes and comments, thus shattering your record.
Who's in charge of hunting down kidnappers and human traffickers? Has Becker or Mcklusky informed the authorities of the kidnappings?
It seems like a sixteen-year-old kid who isn't even from Florida wouldn't have the skills to track someone to one specific island among ten thousand.
How did the maze of mangroves get mangled? And can you say "mangled mangrove maze" five times fast?
Mcklusky sounds like a last name. Are you sure his name isn't Harvey McKlusky? Not that I'm complaining. It's better than calling him Jenn.