Friday, November 04, 2011
Guess the Plot
1. When a love spell gone wrong shrinks Lizzie to 3 inches high she wonders how she'll ever impress hunky Brad from next door. But that's the least of her problems when she discovers the vampiric weeds in her back garden orchestrated the whole thing for one purpose...dinner!
2. Just as dandelion leaves have tiny teeth that annoy you if you lie on them naked for a while, Julia Marsh's family have kept secrets from Julia, secrets about family members Julia didn't even know existed. Which annoys Julia. See, it's an analogy.
3. A new serial killer leaves a bizarre signature - he hacks out his victims teeth and puts dandelions in the gums. As investigators waste time arguing over whether his nickname should be "dandelion mouth" or "the floral dentist," he manages to kill three more times.
4. Going to Lewanski School for Witches wasn't that hard for Megan. Dragon Handling, Wand Making, Potion Brewing--all cake. But when Mr Larch, orders them to get deadly dandelion teeth from the Troll Swamp, suddenly that nursing school all the other girls went to doesn't look so bad.
5. What's a witch to do when alien plant monsters invade, cats go on strike, and the town council condemns her condo? Create a better love potion with the help of an Egyptian zombie. Also, illicit fertilizer usage.
6. 10-year-old Lizzy loves Dandelion wine. Too bad some of the crushed dandelions get stuck in her teeth. Too bad—for her parents—that they decide to make fun of her for it. And . . . maybe they should have hidden the family axe.
23-year-old Julia Marsh gets a mysterious voice mail from her father: he must talk to her face-to-face and is catching the next plane to Chicago. When his plane crashes, Julia returns home to mourn and find out what her father thought was so important. Coming home isn’t what she expects. Instead of comforting each other, her mother turns to a friend and her younger sister keeps pushing her away. [But all] her attempts to learn why her father had to see her [questions] are met with deflections.
Julia discovers an old version of her father’s will that divides his assets between her and Amy, a girl listed as his eldest daughter. [Nothing to his wife? Easy to guess when that marriage hit the skids.] The more Julia pushes to learn about Amy, the more her mother retreats and the angrier her [younger] sister becomes.
An estranged uncle crashes the memorial service, revealing an extended family Julia’s parents worked hard to hide. Desperate to hold onto her father through memories, hers and other’s, [others'] Julia seeks out her uncle, even after her mother sends him away.
Julia learns that Amy had a fatal chromosomal disorder and died as an infant. While her death wasn’t unexpected, [It rarely is when you have a fatal disorder.] the circumstances and family stories Julia is just now hearing make her wonder if her father actually killed Amy. [That's why he wanted to talk to her face-to-face. It's unlucky to leave a murder confession on someone's voice mail.]
Pursuing the truth about a sister she never knew existed and a trying to connect with a family she never knew she had could cost Julia the only family she’s ever known.
Dandelion Teeth is a 52,000 [-word] women’s fiction novel.
Thank you for your consideration.
[Author's note on title: Dandelion leaves have minute teeth on the ends that you may not notice at first, but if you lay on them for any length of time (Julia is a runner who, at one point, collapses on a dandelion-filled lawn), they start to dig in, annoy you and cause pain. Much like secrets.]
This seems a bit long, so I've indicated a few lines that can go. Also, you might combine paragraphs 3 and 4.
Something feels like it almost doesn't add up. What's the chronological order of these events:
Amy is born.
Julia is born.
Parents learn Amy has chromosomal disorder and will die.
Father has will drawn up leaving all to Amy and Julia.
Amy dies as an infant.
You have two daughters--both are infants and one has a fatal disorder--and you make time to have a will drawn up splitting all your assets between the girls?
It sounds like Mom and Sis and Unc all know the big secret. Usually a small number of people are keeping a secret from everyone. Here, everyone who matters except Julia is in on the secret. Why would they tell Julia's younger sister but not Julia?
The secret is that Julia was adopted because they were afraid a second child would have the same disorder. Wait, no, they were twins. Or Julia's father isn't her biological father. Or the mother killed Amy. Or Amy isn't dead. The father wasn't on the plane when it went down. Or he was and Mom and Sis planted a bomb on the plane to keep Dad from telling Julia the secret.
Why don't you tell us the secret, and we'll tell you whether it should be in the query.