Guess the Plot
Black Lick Creek and the City of Broken People
1. Sixteen-year-old Jenna James is leading a pack of teenagers hell-bent on getting out of their small town. There's only one problem. They can't get across the raging river ridiculously called Black Lick Creek. Then Jenna hatches a plan. They can break off branches from the trees and make a bridge. Only she doesn't realize those trees are magical people, and they don't take kindly to meddling kids breaking them. Bedlam ensues. Oh, and a praying mantis.
2. The Tarrant trio (father, son, and blonde, teenaged grandson) are taking a trip across country when they make a wrong turn off the I-10. They find themselves in a city that's populated with folks suffering from various mysterious, crippling symptoms. Then they discover that somehow they can't go back the way they came in and the town is NOT ON THE MAP -- but a cave with a water formation named Black Lick Creek is, and it seems to be the only way out of the town.
3. Undead backpackers converge on Hell Central to discover angels have split EVIL in two. Fiends line up along the creek, zombies team up in the City, every nightmare soul eager to battle to the death — or kiss and make up.
4. Carla, Dean and Lyle love to frolic down by Black Lick Creek, but when they aren't doing that they're a vigilante team of abused 10-year-olds out for revenge on their abusers and any abusers who would break the spirits of children.
5. The city of Black Lick Creek holds a writers convention. Unknown to the city fathers, Black Lick is also scheduled for the Semi-Millennium Demons' Convocation. Writers flock to the venue but due to a NYC snowstorm, few agents or editors are able to attend. The writers mistakenly sit in on Satan's black mass. Afterward, over drinks at the hotel bar, the writers decide it must have been Evil Editor's symposium.
6. ehosephat "Black Lick" Creek has been riding the wild canyonlands of the west for years, never staying in one place. In a side canyon of the Snake river, he runs into a town of...well, people, he guesses, even though so many are crippled and twisted it's a bit hard to tell. Can he help them secure their town from the raging flash floods? And will he be able to do so without having to marry all seven of the ugly, one-eyed Olsen sisters?
Title - “Black Lick Creek and the City of Broken People”
Manuscript completed - about 96k words - dark YA fiction with dreams and a psychic [Most people care as much about fictional characters' dreams as they do about real peoples' dreams.]
I am an attorney with a background as an assistant prosecutor in juvenile court. In an earlier career I was a clinical psychologist. I have drawn on experiences in both careers to formulate my storyline [in which the main character ditches a promising and lucrative career as a clinical psychologist for a low-paying, dead-end career dealing with drug-dealing, crack-smoking punks]. Thank you for your consideration
Overview: [No need to label each section of a business letter.]
Suppose an abused child fights back. [Good for her.] Suppose three of them, each 10 years old, form an unbreakable pact to protect each other from the depredations heaped on them by the adults who should have loved, nurtured and kept them safe. [Yes. I like it. What are their super powers?] They are more than close friends. Their lives meld into one entity and one purpose - to love, protect and succor one another through all adversities. [Screw love and succor. If you want this to become a blockbuster movie they have to form a vigilante team, kill their own abusers, and then go after all abusers.] Carla, the ostensible leader of the threesome, began her life in a home of privilege but was suddenly placed in the care of a selfish aunt and predatory uncle. Dean was forced to murder his psychotic mother [Now that's what I'm talking about.] to keep her from murdering him. Lyle, a skinny, introverted genius, harbored an obsession for revenge against his two half-sisters twins for their false accusation of sexual abuse by his father leading to his death. [Lyle doesn't seem to belong. You said there were three abused children, but Lyle wasn't abused, and apparently his sisters weren't either, and Lyle didn't have depredations heaped on him by adults (or are the twin sisters adults?)] Seeing and experiencing life in a way that at times resembles combat, only two of them survive. [Yes but how many baddies did they take out before one of them succumbed?]
First three sentences:
God how they played! All three of them, ten years old, ran as hard as they could through the field, jumped the ditch, vaulted the fence and scooted down the loose rock bank to the creek. Elmer Gantry was drunk. [Yes he was, often. But what's he got to do with your book? Is Elmer Gantry preaching down by the creek? Is he one of your characters? If only you had provided four sentences.]
Three sentences? Anyone who wants a sample included with the letter will want at least three pages, possibly three chapters. Check their submission guidelines.
I'm sure both of your previous careers required you to write business letters at times, and they probably didn't begin:
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence,
I regret to inform you that your son Barry is a sociopathic delinquent.
This is the first example of your writing the reader will see, so use sentences and paragraphs.
This is just a list of your characters and their backstories. What led to their forming a pact is interesting, but your story is what happens after that. You need to tell us that story, providing specific information about the trio's goals, obstacles, plans, setbacks, dilemmas. Summarize the story in about ten sentences that connect logically to the each other.
I'd put the part about your careers at the end rather than the beginning.