Monday, April 06, 2015

Face-Lift 1253

Guess the Plot

Danger in the Darkness

1. When Lyle takes his date to the carnival and talks her into going on the Tunnel of Love ride with him, he has no idea the exit has been locked and the ride's been stocked with hungry lions and crocodiles.

2. The heart-pounding story of one man's search for an outdoor latrine during the Great Northeast Blackout.

3. 12 year old Amarosa is short, fat, and the smartest girl in her class. When the teacher's beloved baseball trophy is stolen, Amarosa organizes an all-sixth grade detective team to find the culprit. But is there more to this than a simple theft?

4. When 17 year old Kaisley buys her reclusive neighbor's black horse, she's delighted to learn he's really Danger in the Darkness, a one time world champion Tennessee Walking Horse. With show season fast approaching, can Kaisley and the old man return Danger to his former glory?

5. Detective Jennie Carlson asks Zachariah Sinclair to assist in finding the person who's been killing young women and leaving their bodies in a dark alley at night. Will Jennie wish she'd left the investigation to her own team when she finds out that Sinclair is actually a creature of the night who feasts on the blood of innocents?

6. Bats. Honey badgers. Coyotes. Wolfmen. Cougars. Cat burglars. Mink. Owls. Drunk drivers. Dracula. Revenge-seeking ghosts. Ocelots. Skeletons.

Original Version

When the bodies of young women begin turning up in the alleyway behind local bars, detective Jennie Carlson and her team are called in to investigate. [Jennie suspects foul play, until the coroner reports that the women all died because their bodies had no blood. And you can't live without blood.] [Is "called in" the right term? If they're police, they would be assigned. They wouldn't be sitting around on call, waiting for their next mission.]

The small New England town is rocked by the murders and want answers. [It's a rare alleyway behind a bar that doesn't produce a few bodies every week; how do they know these women were murdered? Was the cause of death the same in each case?] [Also, if corpses are filling the alleyway in my town, It's not answers I'm looking for; I'm looking for The Avengers.] Who would want to hurt these innocent women? [Serial killers. Obviously.] Zachariah Sinclair thinks he knows who the culprit is. [Change his name to Zach Martinez. And report that he knows two things: the dead women didn't commit suicide, and if he doesn't bring home a bottle of Lagavulin, his wife will drain his blood.] The problem? Zachariah harbors a dangerous secret: he is a creature of the night who feasts on the blood of innocents. [I can see how he would want to keep that to himself if the dead women had puncture wounds on their necks and no blood. Otherwise, what's the problem?] He believes the culprit to be the vampire who, over a hundred years ago, murdered his [Zachariah's] fianc√©e and made him what he is. Zachariah wants to know why he is back and wreaking havoc on the small town. [That's the difference between the cops and bloodthirsty creatures of the night. The cops prefer to stop the killing first and then worry about whether the killer has a reasonable explanation. Your characters seem more interested in information than in safety.]

Determined to bring the killer to justice Jennie turns to Zachariah for help. [Why does she turn to him? Does she know his secret?] The sexual attraction is undeniable and she finds herself tumbling headlong into a dangerous love affair. [Some women are attracted to older men, but a hundred years older is way up on the Ewww Scale.] As the body count rises, the passion between them mounts and the flame of their desire is ignited. [Or, to put it another way: As the passion between them is ignited and the flame of their desire rises, the body count mounts.] When a scorned lover plots to get Zachariah back [Do you mean win him back or get back at him?] the intimate world he and Jennie created crashes down around them and their love is put to the test. [What happened to the old vampire? Suddenly we've switched to this scorned lover as the villain?]

With Jennie’s life hanging in the balance Zachariah must make the ultimate sacrifice to save the woman he loves or risk losing her forever. [The term "ultimate sacrifice" is generally accepted to mean death. If you mean something other than he must kill himself, spell out what he must do, instead of calling it that.]

DANGER IN THE DARKNESS, book one of a trilogy, is a 107,00 [107,000-] word erotic fiction novel. [No need to describe a novel as fiction.] This is my first novel.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.



I would give the old vampire a name.

We need to know why a detective with her own team is consulting Zachariah. What makes Jennie think he brings anything to the table? Who is he to her?

If the main goal is stopping the old vampire from killing again, focus on that. The scorned lover sounds like a subplot.


InkAndPixelClub said...

I think this needs major reworking, if not a total rewrite. What you have right now is convoluted and not selling me on the book.

The first sentence does not grab me. The murders are interesting. A team of detectives being assigned to the case is not. It's routine.

"Alleyways," unless all of the local bars in this small New England town share a single back alley.

When a character is mentioned by name in the first sentence of a query, I assume that it's the main character. But Jennie disappears from the query for a n entire paragraph. The next sentence is about the small town demanding answers and the following one introduces a new character. It's fine if you've got two main characters, but they need to be given equal attention, like one paragraph each. Right now, I'm think Zachariah is actually the main character and Jennie is more of a love interest.

So the old vampire turned Zachariah into a vampire and murdered his finance and all Zachariah wants is to know what he's up to? If Zachariah is really that dispassionate about the old vampire, I'd drop the shared backstory and just say that he believes the killer is an old vampire he knows. If Zach wants to do more than catch up, put that in the query instead.

I'm equally clueless about where the scorned love comes from, how s/he fits into the rest of the story, and what happened to the murder mystery.

"...the intimate world he and Jennie created crashes down around them..." Unless Zach and Jennie carved out some sort of literal or figurative space where they could be together, this is meaningless and a tad too purple for my tastes.

You say that this is an erotic novel. That's a problem because I would have guessed "supernatural mystery" and "sexy" is not on the list of words I'd use to describe the query. I have no clue why these characters are together aside from "I'm hot, you're hot, let's sex." The mystery comes across as a much bigger part of the story than the characters and their romance. In the query, it reads like women are being killed left and right and they two people best equipped to solve the crime are too busy making the beast with two backs to prevent it. Connecting the rising body count with the couple's rising passions almost makes it seem like the murders are helping their romance along.

Reframe the query so the relationship between Jennie and Zachariah is the main focus. The murders and the ancient vampire can still be in there, but the two main characters and their love affair need to feel like the story, not a distraction from it.

This all sounds kind of familiar. Have we seen it before in another GTP or beginning, or have I just seen do much mystery vampire erotica?

IMHO said...

"The Body Count" would be a good title for a series featuring Count Dracula as an apprentice Medical Examiner.

Sequel: "The Body Count Rises" -- Drac's promoted to chief ME.

InkAndPixelClub said...

IMHO> I'd read it.

SB said...

@ IMHO - LOL. I'd read that too.

@ author - Sounds like the genre is paranormal romance. Vampires and sex are pretty standard in that genre.

AA said...

I didn't even make it half way through this.

I am SO tired of vampire novels. It really needs to be something special to get the attention of the vampire weary.

The "Good vampire must stop old nemesis" storyline has been done, lets face it. The vampire/human love story has, too.

Please tell me what is original and new about your story.

Jo Antareau said...

Well, at least that vampire has graduated from high school....

Ok, enough cheap shots.

If the story is well written, it can get past the well worn plot points. I'm not an afficionado of vampire erotica, (I haven't actually read one) but it did sound cliche'd even to me. Maybe the author needs to highlight the point of difference in the query to get a chance for an agent to ask for more detail.

By the way, do these novels ever feature female vampires seducing young men? As I said, I've never read any so sorry if my question sounds stoopid. i'm too lazy to find out for myself.