Sunday, March 25, 2012
Guess the Plot
The Final Clue
1. At last it is revealed: Colonel Mustard did it on the billiard table with Miss Scarlett.
2. First it was just Mr. Boddy. But now Mrs. White's disappeared, Professor Plum's got a nasty lump on his head, and Mrs. Peacock's been reduced to a quivering lump of terror. This is no game.
3. Nancy Drew has solved over 5,000 cases in her life. At age 79 she’s been retired for a decade, but when she receives a mysterious letter she’s on the case again. If the letter is real she may finally one-up her nemeses’, the Hardy Boys.
4. In the final showdown, it's Bugs Meany vs. Encyclopedia Brown, and this time Sally isn't there to save the random-fact-spouter's bacon.
5. Someone is leaving death-threat poems on Gina's front door. Is it the serial killer known as . . . "The Rhymester"? Maybe, but Gina hasn't rejected the possibility she has a secret admirer.
6. What really happened to Bob's pet chicken? Well, the bloody hatchet in the dishwasher is the first thing that got Bob to thinking. But the discovery of his wife's shopping list, which included eleven herbs and spices, is what gave him . . . the final clue.
7. Jeremy and Rachel are this close to winning the house of their dreams from magazine "Cedar Rapids Today". They've solved all the puzzles, met all the requirements, and jumped through all the hoops. Now all they need is . . . The Final Clue.
8. Jim is convinced he's cracked a code hidden in the Old Testament for centuries, namely that the saga of Abraham isn't really about him, but is instead the story of Akhenaten, the Egyptian pharaoh who tried to install monotheism. Now Mossad, al Qaeda and the Vatican are after him.
9. Detective Clavoue knows cases remain unsolved until the final clue is found. So he ignores all the early clues in a desperate search for the final one. Will the "Clavoue Method" revolutionize criminology?
Dear Evil Editor,
FBI agent Gina Russo: A tenacious investigator, but a woman so scorned, she swore off men.
A career criminal presumed dead, devastated over his brother’s life incarceration: Ignites revenge.
[An aspiring author: submits query letters that don't have actual sentences/ Overconfident; invites rejection.]
An egotistical agent assigned to assist Gina, wonders what the hell he ever did that karma would bite him in the ass: Frustrated; dealing with her is more than he ever signed on for.
[An editor so evil he'd rather watch TV than read oddly punctuated fragments and run-ons: New shredder needs breaking in; works fine, just in time for Mad Men.]
She’s fueled like never before when she’s challenged to solve clues [Technically, you solve puzzles, mysteries, crimes; clues are what you gather in order to do the solving.] in the bizarre poems arriving at her front door. It’s imperative that she learns the man’s identity [What man? The career criminal? The poet? Are the poems signed? If not, how does she know it's a man?] to bring his ass down [When I write poetry to a woman, I'm generally hoping for a different reaction out of her than trying to bring my ass down.] for not only threatening her life, but also for causing Joey Zicara, the agent assigned as her partner, to enter and disrupt her comfort zone. [There are plenty of women who wouldn't mind Joey Zicara entering their . . . comfort zone.]
Gina and Joey scramble to unravel the mystery of the rhymester’s twisted vendetta against her, before time runs out. [Are you calling him a rhymester instead of a poet because you think his poems have no literary value? If so, do you feel they have no literary value because they rhyme? Because they include death threats? What makes you an authority on poetry? Here's a little test. One of the following death threat poems has the potential to become a literary classic. Which one?
Death. It cometh to us all,
Bringing grief and sorrow.
And yours will surely cast a pall,
For it's happening tomorrow.
I've got some bad news to impart,
So you'd better sit down, Gina.
I'm planning to rip out your heart,
And feed it to my hyena.
Not as easy as you thought, is it? Show us one of his works so we can judge for ourselves.] [Also, if you're gonna call him a rhymester, call him The Rhymester. All killers with gimmicks have cool names. Think The Joker, The Riddler, Polka Dot Man. Frankly, I think "The Poet" sounds more villainous than "The Rhymester."]
THE FINAL CLUE is a 100,000-word, character-driven suspense novel set in New York City.
I was born and raised in New Jersey then relocated to South Florida where I’ve been working in law enforcement for 23 years to present time.
I find it interesting that the query mentions both Joey Zicara's ass and the villain's ass. You might want to work in Gina's ass too, by changing "before time runs out" to "before Gina's ass is grass." In fact, you could even say: I was born and raised in New Jersey then moved my ass to South Florida.
If this is romantic suspense, in which Gina and Joey fall in love in the end, say so.
Does anyone get killed? Is the main plot thread two FBI agents race to determine who's writing poems to one of them? I think there should be a stronger hint that lives are on the line. As it stands, the poems could be a practical joke from a fourteen-year-old.
Those first three paragraphs must go. Maybe you could open with one of the poems if they're short. Then you say: So reads the poem FBI agent Gina Russo finds nailed to her front door. She's about to write it off as a prank when she sees that it's signed by the serial killer known as . . . The Rhymester.
Now that you've set up the situation, show us that The Rhymester means business, and what Gina plans to do about it.