Guess the Plot
Of Time and Chance
1. Book 1 in the "Of Vagueness" trilogy; to be followed by Of Things and Stuff, and Of This and That. Annotated.
2. When Pete lands on Chance in a game of Monopoly, his card reads, Go back in time. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Suddenly Bob is in the Dark Ages, wishing he'd chosen the race car or the iron instead of the wheel of time.
3. Bud Green's retirement plan was simple: win the lottery. He bought as many tickets as he could every week for decades. Now, at age 74, he's a winner! Yay! That $17,000,000 jackpot is all his! But here come the bill collectors and tax collectors, and a committee of church ladies, plus Bud's eight impoverished middle-aged children with their drug rehab and cancer treatment bills and that mob of grandchildren who all want him to put them through college.
4. Life is short, but Bob Jones discovers you can make it even shorter by attempting to buzz across the Grand Canyon in a home-built aeroplane. But wait! Here comes a raft! Paddled by 17 scantily clad wenches! Maybe he can crash-land on that beach up ahead! And they'll save his sorry ass!
5. Penniless and recently diagnosed with an inoperable tumor, Jack Pryor has nothing to live for. Then someone claiming to be from the CIA contacts him and offers him a job: break Sheik Idus Zuwari out of Libya’s notorious Abu Salim prison. Can Jack pull this off before he dies? Maybe not, but he's going to try!
6. Gambling addict Greg Lewis borrows $80,000 from a loan shark and puts it on the Buffalo Bills to win the Super Bowl. With 70 to 1 odds he'll be set for life. When the Bills fail to even make the playoffs, hilarity ensues.
7. Why does disaster strike Laurence every October 2nd at 12:49 PM, just when he's ready to enjoy a bite of dessert? At first he thought it was bad luck. Then his girlfriend, Evelyn, took all the blame. Now, he knows he's cursed. The old hag who lived next door really was a witch, and she's still mad about the time he put duct tape on her cat's tail and drove it crazy. Can he ever redeem himself? Maybe not, but he's going to try!
Of Time and Chance is an 80,000-word thriller.
Jack Pryor is diagnosed with a tumor that will choke off his spinal cord; his ex-wife has early onset Alzheimer’s, and he’s broke. [Do we really care about his ex-wife? Only if you explain why we should. Which you don't.] Unexpectedly, the CIA offers him a job: [Unexpected because the CIA fired him a few years ago? Or because he's a mall cop?] They fear that Sheik Idus Zuwari—a valuable Western ally—is about to be executed, and they want Jack to help free him from Libya’s notorious Abu Salim prison. [Maybe you should introduce him as retired CIA agent Jack Pryor, or ex-Navy Seal Jack Pryor. Right now it sounds like there was a conversation like this at the CIA:
-We need to break Zuwari out of that prison.
-But that's a suicide mission. No agent will...
Libya holds traumatic memories for Jack. Decades ago, while working in the Sahara oil fields, he was falsely arrested and tortured for selling explosives to a Berber separatist; the scars, both mental and physical, remain. Now [Nonetheless], desperate for cash, Jack accepts the CIA offer. [If you want American readers to care about this, I recommend changing the Berber separatist to a barber/stylist.]
He returns to Tripoli. Libya’s bloody revolution rages, with rebels battling loyalists at the gates of the city. Jack is targeted by Col. Kaleem al Barasa, commandant of Abu Salim and the very man who savaged his life.
[-Colonel, The rebels are at the gates. The city is sure to fall.
When an explosion eliminates the CIA team and his means of communicating with his handlers, Jack must engage in a solitary struggle to defeat his nemesis Barasa—if he is to save Zuwari and assuage his soul’s renascent torment. [So close. You came so close to getting through the query without consulting a thesaurus.]
Thank you for your time.
So there's a CIA team? Did the CIA ask Jack to be on the team or to lead the team? Because if I were a CIA operative and they told me I was to be on a team, and that the leader of the team was a poverty-stricken, terminally ill non-CIA guy, I'd say, How about I lead the team, and we use the dying civilian guy as a human shield?
It would be ironic if the explosives that wiped out the team were the same ones Jack sold to Berber separatists twenty years ago.
Why don't you make Jack an actual CIA agent? Then he can be assigned a mission instead of being offered a job. If I'm broke and need a job, I still think I'd balk if the job is in Libya and involves breaking someone out of a notorious prison.