Friday, December 23, 2011
Guess the Plot
1. One of the world's most accomplished and eminent scientists offers a solution to the impending world fuel shortage.
2. A famous golfer/womanizer intentionally misspells his name at Heaven's pearly gates, but Saint Peter is on the ball for a change and sends him to Hell.
3. William Blake is transported to 21st century Indonesia, hires a local guide, and goes in search of the last remaining Sumatran tigers. But when a forest fire breaks out, can he rescue the cubs?
4. Gay super-villain Tyger, a man who can transform into a burning tiger, escapes from his cell and goes in search of his arch-enemy Kallie, a lesbian superhero with scalpels for fingers.
5. A poet stricken with cancer fights to stay alive as he hopes his daughter will visit him in the hospice. A heart-wrenching story broken up by the inclusion of the main character's hope-filled poetry.
6. Professional wrestler Tyger, who dresses in a tiger costume, realizes that he should have sprung for the flame-retardant version when he discovers he'll be wrestling washed-up superhero "The Flamethrower."
Dear Evil Editor,
People with abilities they shouldn't have. Abilities that are impossible. A man who can transform into a tiger, apple core eyes, and orange, black stripes, burning. A woman with metal fingers instead of flesh, scalpel-like. [An author who needs no verbs.] They are called Caps.
Kallie is a Cap. She is stronger than anyone she's ever known, and she aches to be the hero she could be. She shatters bones of those who would steal, spills blood of those who would kill. [How does she determine who would steal and kill? Even if she reads minds, you can't just walk up and break someone's bones on the grounds that he would have stolen in the future. Does she always arrive at just the right moment to catch criminals who are about to steal or kill? ] When the man who maimed her years ago is broken out of his padded cell, Kallie knows he will find her again. John Doe plucked the fingers from her hand, and he must remember how she tastes, and now she finally has the chance to hurt him like he hurt her.
TYGER, BURNING, a gay/lesbian superhero novel [A what?] complete at 90,000 words, is written from two points of view: The woman preparing for her final encounter with John Doe, and the man responsible for breaking him out. It is my first novel. I have a B.A. in creative writing from Eckerd College.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration [and evilness].
It's not obvious whether John Doe is the guy who can become a tiger, or if that's the guy who breaks John Doe out. I would expect a tiger to have done something more violent than "pluck" Kallie's fingers. Like at least rip them off.
If "Tyger" is the name John Doe goes by: Most superheroes and their nemeses have secret identities, but we don't call them John Doe, we use their awe-inspiring super names. If this is a world in which super powers are known to exist, JD would be referred to as Tyger.
Thus if Tyger is the character who breaks Doe out, I'd refer to him as Tyger, the super-villain responsible for breaking him out.
This is all set up. Kallie's arch-nemesis has been sprung from prison and she wants to capture him either to make the world a safer place or for revenge. Now, what's her plan? What's making it difficult? What's at stake? Is this guy out to destroy the world, or does he just want to pluck Callie's toes now? Tell the story.
I think you can do without the first paragraph. You might want to open: TYGER, BURNING is a gay/lesbian superhero novel complete at 90,000 words. This makes it clear what we're dealing with, and you can describe the characters' powers as you introduce them.
I assume you've thought about whether the gay/lesbian aspects of a gay/lesbian superhero book need to be brought out in the query letter, and have determined that they don't? After I'd read the summary, it came as a surprise when you declared it a gay/lesbian superhero novel. Possibly that's because I'm so naive I didn't realize that spelling "tiger" with a "y" is code for gayness. Is this a superhero book whose main character happens to be a lesbian, in which case I'm not sure it's even necessary to call it gay/lesbian? Or is it a book you don't think would appeal to those who aren't gay/lesbian?