Guess the Plot
1. On Ashley's eleventh birthday, Mum finally gives her her own key. The first time Ashley uses it, she lets herself in--not to their grotty flat, but to Gold Valley, where every day is a carnival and coins drop from Ashley's mouth every time she speaks. But a fairy steals the key and Ashley needs to get back--with some of the loot for Mum, of course.
2. When Casey gets a reception job at Gold Valley Chinese Takeaway she thinks she’s hit it lucky; she’s getting over £6 an hour. But when she hears rumours about the other receptionists, and finds bodies in the freezer, she can’t help but wonder if she should have applied at McDonald's.
3. The economy sucks. Greg is yet another victim of corporate downsizing. Desperate to fend off impending foreclosure, he heads to Gold Valley, hoping to eliminate his financial woes. Barely a day into the valley, Greg is lost and forced to endure violent storms, swarms of hungry mosquitoes, and the affections of a lonely sasquatch. Suddenly, bankruptcy doesn't seem like such a bad option.
4. Ava, Isaac and Adam, three survivors of a bus crash in the remote mountains, stumble upon Gold Valley, a small town that Ava thinks is Eden. But when the women in town start disappearing, Isaac and Adam suspect . . . the Hungry. Can they get Ava out of town before she, too, is eaten?
5. Author Buck McClain's life takes a turn toward terror when he discovers that Gold Valley, the serial killer bestseller he
6. When gold plummets from a record high to a more traditional $350 an ounce, Minuteman and survivalist Will Whitbread is convinced it's just a valley, and the price will climb again. But when he tries to buy up all the krugerrands in Arizona, investors from a rival militia take it personally. Hilarity and automatic weapons fire ensue.
Dear Evil Editor,
Ava Gunner just assumed the McCormick brothers were dead. She hadn’t seen or heard from them since the Hunger Sickness struck the population ten years ago. Since they abandoned her, and civilization crumbled. Since the dream of Eden came alive.
Now, on a bus promising to take its passengers to Eden, [This was a Star Trek episode.] [How about "destined for Eden"?] Ava finds herself once again face to face with Adam and Isaac McCormick. She got along fine without them, even learned how to shoot a gun. And judging from their scars, they managed to take care of themselves too. But despite her grudge she’s relieved that they’re together again.
After the bus crashes on a remote mountain pass in the Colorado Rockies, the survivors are forced to find a place to hide from the now nocturnal Hungry before the sun goes down. [Having read ahead and seen that you call this literary fiction, I can appreciate your desire to use the term "now-nocturnal Hungry" instead of "mutant Cannibals" or "ravenous Zombies." But if cannibals or zombies are roaming the country, maybe you should call this a thriller or a horror novel.] Waiting out the night in an abandoned cabin, it begins to dawn ["Begins to" is implied by "dawns."] on the group that they’ll be together for a while. Which means Ava, Adam, and Isaac need to resolve their issues if they want to focus on survival. [Their "issues" being that the brothers abandoned her to be eaten by the Hungry ten years ago. That's gonna be a tough one to resolve, what with the Hungry now lurking outside the cabin.]
But the three of them are stubborn.
[What you've provided so far is about the amount of plot summary a query should have. But all you've done is introduce the characters and their situation. Condense all of that into one three-sentence paragraph.] With no food or water in the cabin, it's obvious that they have to keep traveling. They stumble almost too late into Gold Valley, a well preserved town that has managed to thrive despite its isolation. They have food, whiskey, and Joshua, a leader who cares deeply for the well being of his town and shows the survivors hospitality. [Joshua is Captain Kirk. The survivors keep calling him Herbert.] As the days wear on, Ava begins to believe that Gold Valley just may be Eden.
But when female survivors start disappearing [They disappear. Or are they gradually fading away?] and Joshua sits idly by, it becomes clear to Adam and Isaac that Gold Valley and its leader are far more sinister than they appear. However, [I don't like starting consecutive sentences with "but" and "however." You could put "however" after "easy." Or start the previous sentence: After three female survivors disappear...] convincing Ava isn’t so easy, [How many women have disappeared? Does Ava have a theory as to where they've gone?] and the brothers know the survivors are running out of time to escape before Gold Valley makes her disappear too.
I am actively seeking representation [I've never understood what "actively" means when I see that. I know you've sent the query letter. Does "actively" imply you're doing other things besides sending query letters?] for my 60,000 word literary fiction novel titled GOLD VALLEY, a story of survival, sacrifice, and lost love. [Lost love? Was Ava in love with the McCormick brothers when they abandoned her to be eaten by the Hungry?] Chapters or a synopsis are available upon request.
Isn't it possible the Hungry are slipping into town and taking the women, and that Gold Valley and Joshua aren't sinister?
In the Star Trek version, the people who make it to Eden get hungry and eat the fruit and die. So the difference is that in one version the people get hungry and in the other version the Hungry get the people. That probably wasn't worth the effort I put into it.
Hyphens often belong between words that, together, form what is really one word, as in well-preserved, now-nocturnal, well-being, 60,000-word.
Who or what are the Hungry? And if they're hungry, can't they find a way to seek food than hanging out in the remote Rocky Mountains hoping for a bus crash?