Guess the Plot
1. Patrolman Zeke Martin is first on-scene at the Fairfield Inn by Disneyland. Zeke knows two things: the victim is very dead and he’d better … uh … no wait … the paramedics just revived the victim. Zeke doesn't know anything. Maybe that’s why he’s still a patrolman after twenty-seven years. Also, a talking motorcycle.
2. Fairfield. A sedate Los Angeles suburb in the 1970s. Home to dentists, accountants and housewives, each in full-blown midlife crisis and living a life of quiet desperation except for the occasional extramarital affair. Yes, it's literary fiction.
3. Two divorces and three kids later, Lynda's facing imminent eviction. However, her fortunes take a leap forward upon catching her manager, Harold, snogging fellow cashier, Jerome. Her botched attempt at blackmail ends with Jerome dead. Suicide in the butcher shop? All is not well in Fairfield.
4. The only thing that keeps the predatory cattle in Fairfield from making manburgers of occupants from neighboring realms is an udderly delicious drink called True Milk, produced by Bessie Teatsfull Enterprises. But when contract renewal time comes up, Bessie demands top fodder, or she ain't putting out. Will mankind be ground? Or will cattle just continue to suck?
5. Jay Hughes inherits an abandoned hotel in Fairfield, and sets out to have a look. Turns out the building is now occupied by a bunch of old people. Did I say old? I meant dead. Long dead. Once Jay realizes they're just ghosts and not zombies, he has only one priority: collecting all that back rent.
6. Fairfield was known as the armpit of the rust belt until Barry Carpenter came to town. Suddenly the place is shaping up. Crime is down, the streets are clean, everyone's happy. But now Barry Carpenter is threatening to leave and take the town's children with him . . . unless Joelle Stewart marries him.
SYNOPSIS OF 'FAIRFIELD'
Jay Hughes has been deeded an abandoned building in his old home town of Fairfield, a nondescript little town on the outskirts of nowhere. [If you can't tell us what it's on the outskirts of, no need to mention outskirts.] Jay’s living in Indianapolis and has no use for the place [Which place? The abandoned building or Indianapolis?] and no idea why he’s suddenly gotten so lucky. [Hard to believe you can be informed you now own a building with no explanation.]
Mulling his problems, [Do his problems have anything to do with the plot?] he learns that the building was formerly owned by Deenie Rafton, [This sounds like something he would learn while investigating his acquisition rather than while mulling over his problems.] an old woman who may or may not have died a mysterious death. [Can't that be said of anyone who dies?]
So, Jay and his young associate, Mal Brown, set out to see what’s inside the old wreck.
When they arrive, the eerie calm in Fairfield isn’t particularly frightening, but it is odd. They kick open the front door and find disrepair, aging rotted boards, a few pigeons and a lot of dusty memories.
And an old woman, who’s happy to see Jay again after all these years.
As the intrigue continues, [Hang on. Did Jay know the old woman? Is the intrigue the fact that she seems to know him, or the fact that he owns the building with no explanation?] with each trip, Jay meets still another old-timer who’s happy to see him, glad he’s come to fix up the hotel. [He's fixing it up? I thought you said he had no use for the place.] After a few more trips, the trend continues. [The trend is that one new old person is in the place each time he returns?] Finally, more than two dozen old people are around, milling about, [They're milling, and he was mulling. Are you sure this building wasn't a mall?] all just being here and there. [All just being here and there? That isn't helping us.]
There’s a connection. [Between what and what?]
When Jay and his new love interest, Carmella (also Mal’s aunt) begin to dig into the story, they learn that the Old Ones are long dead, but have materialized – awaiting space in the cemetery annex.
The convoluted paper trail takes them to what could have been investment fraud, trickery, deceit and perhaps murder. The Old Ones aren’t much help. They remember something one day, forget it the next.
With each trip, Jay and his associated learn more about the dilemma. The Old Ones are waiting until the annex opens. [You said that already.] Their souls are patient. Even Ron Patterson is awaiting the return of his body from Southeast Asia.
Deenie Rafton had made a connection and was, in her death, helping the Old Ones find their way to peace. Jay and Carmella eventually learn the truth, through the help of an old couple living in Jay’s boyhood home. [The end? Do they do anything? Complete the annex? Fix up the hotel and let the dead live there? Investigate the annex fraud and bring the guilty parties to justice?]
There are too many words and not enough story. Your setup is: Jay inherits an abandoned hotel and discovers that it's occupied by ghosts. Seems they were tricked into buying plots in a proposed cemetery annex that no one intended to build, and now they're hanging out in the hotel, patiently waiting for the annex to open.
Now you have plenty of room to tell us who the villains are, what happened (including the murder, which I assume was Deenie's), what Jay plans to do to make things right, what obstacles he must overcome...
If that's not your story, if the story is just finding out what the ghosts are doing in the building, I don't see how that's enough to carry a novel.