Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Guess the Plot
1. First Penny's boyfriend vanishes, then she starts imagining sexual predators around every corner and has a nervous breakdown and now her nosy therapist is asking way too many questions. Life was so much easier in junior high.
2. Jim's wife took off with his best friend's brother; his kids are all staying with his former mother-in-law, who redefines the word "witch"; his Dad has Alzheimer's and now Corporate is announcing layoffs. That update to the old board game "Life" he was assigned? Yeah, you bet it's getting updated.
3. Ah, the pathetic life of Lester Lorins. Birth, teething, toilet. Crawling, walking, talking. Stupid haircuts, clarinet practice, 6th grade 'graduation'. Football tryouts, SATs, Senior Prom. First job, first marriage, first kid. Lather, rinse, repeat. Wait! He can do it over? Gimme that book!
4. Menopause, divorce and empty nest syndrome are the least of the problems facing three fifty-something women on a road trip to a reunion of the Milltown High class of '76. Equipped with back issues of Oprah magazine as inspiration, they’re out to vanquish an evil prom queen and the cheerleaders who once made their lives hell.
5. Wall Street mover and shaker Jeff Ricksby recounts the tragic challenges and events which led to his ultimate calling: chieftain of a tribe of Himalayan chimpanzees. Guest prologue by Bubbles.
6. Bored billionaire Hugh Morrow makes a deal with a magical being to swap his life with two lesser lives of equal value. He then inhabits the bodies of Ken and Ada Vlasblom, a troubled married couple who must now work out their differences while sharing Hugh's body.
Dear Evil Editor,
Penilia Rutherford's life changes abruptly when her boyfriend gets harassed by a stranger at their school's hockey game and then disappears a couple of hours later.
The police dismiss the case as Brent just taking a break from his demanding sports schedule until Penny picks the stranger's face out of an index of prostitution ring members. [Tips for criminals #236: If you're gonna kidnap or kill someone, never choose someone you were harassing a couple hours ago in front of an arena full of witnesses.] [Tips for criminals #237: If you're kidnapping someone for your prostitution ring, the girl named Penilia will be easier to control than the athlete named Brent. Especially if the athlete plays hockey. Hockey players are taught to beat the crap out of people before they're taught to skate.]
With the nationwide search in full motion, her parents expect Penny to move on with her life. [Her parents are idiots. Etiquette demands that you wait until the next nationwide search for a missing person is in full motion before you move on with your life.] But that is easier said than done when Penny suspects [imagines] sexual predators behind every corner. [Shouldn't that be "around" every corner? Google is familiar with behind, but Google is familiar with everything. And they're more familiar with around. I'm familiar with "behind the eight ball," or "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain," or Behind the Green Door. If you're in a room, what's behind the corner would be a stud, but the wooden kind, not the sexual predator kind.]
After a nervous breakdown, Penny finds herself in the office of nosy therapist Dr. Tannen, [She "finds herself" there makes it sound like she has no idea how she got there. Was Tannen expecting her?] who seems way too interested in Brent's disappearance... [What are you suggesting? Brent's disappearance was the catalyst for Penny's breakdown. What is Tannen supposed to be interested in?] [Wait, does Penny suspect that Tannen is head of the prostitution ring because Tannen's acting interested in the topic that brought Penny there in the first place?]
Life Changes is an 80,000 word YA drama.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
I'm guessing Brent "disappeared" to get away from Penny's paranoia.
I assume the main plot is Penny's mental breakdown, not the search for Brent. If Brent is alive, his "life changes" seem more extreme than those of Penny.
This is the skeleton of a plot summary. Combine the first two paragraphs into one. That's the setup. If the main plot is Penny's mental state, add two paragraphs that focus on what's really going on and what she thinks is going on. No need to keep secrets. And these paragraphs should be more than one sentence each. Build on ideas, elaborate with cause and effect; we want specific information. If the main plot is the rescue of Brent, dump Tannen and add two paragraphs that focus on the obstacles and the plan and its execution.