Monday, April 17, 2017

Face-Lift 1348

Guess the Plot


1. When womanizer Ian falls for chef Ella, it's not her salads that he's after. So of course he's annoyed when she tosses him.

2. Larry Donnaly and his dwarf friends are in Pittsburgh for a Little People convention. When they wander into the wrong bar, it becomes a night they--and Pittsburgh--will never forget.

3. It wasn't the pirates that did Jackie in. Nor was it the kraken, mermaids, or even a shark. His crew tossed him overboard while drunk one night, leading to his demise. Now he can't rest until his takes his revenge. 

4. Zanderphan wins a dragon, which will keep the warlock Lafartus from overtaking his village. But Zanderphan tossed his only gold piece--the thing that makes this dragon appear--into a deep wishing well to impress a lady. Can Zanderphan overcome his fear of water before Lafartus gets to his village at sunrise?

5. The epic saga of salad king Giannini DiFinestra, from his humble beginnings as a Sicilian lettuce picker, to his legendary founding of the world-wide Salads-To-Go chain, to his shocking ouster as chairman by tomato baron Kurt von Faul. Includes recipes.

6. Jimmy McClane loves pretty blonde Charmelle Atkins, a champion barrel racer. But she only dates stars on the pro rodeo circuit. Jimmy's one attempt at bull riding landed him in the hospital, so he opts for the greasepaint and becomes the rodeo clown in the barrel for the bulls to toss. Will he catch Charmelle's eye at last?

7. Her company bankrupt, her husband a philandering idiot, and her bestie joining a cult, Kelly feels like she's been tossed aside by everybody who ever meant anything to her. She finds solace in the arms of the rich, sexy Ambrose. But why does he disappear for a few days around the full moon - and return with the smell of blood on his breath?

8. A serial killer is eliminating NYC’s Chinese bankers by defenestration. They hire PI Johnny Wong to protect them. He pretends he’s a flamboyant banker, and the killer tosses him from the 39th floor. But this time he picked on the guy. Johnny wears an auto-activated body-balloon under his Brooks Brothers suit and bounces. Now Johnny knows the killer's identity the killer, but he escapes to Hong Kong, a city with hundreds of skyscrapers and innumerable bankers. 

9. How was Saharan supposed to know that old lamp was magic? She was merely tossing out junk brought back by her treasure hunting packrat of a husband. Now the genie's free and an evil vizier rules the country. On the positive side, she knows where her husband is: the royal dungeon. 

Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,

I am seeking representation for my contemporary romance novel, Tossed; the first in a series of three. At 84,000 words, it is complete, and ready for your consideration.

When Manhattan royalty, Ian Sanders’ seemingly perfect world collides with bright-eyed chef Ella Scott, their lives are sprinkled with dangerous liaisons, a dollop of hope, and a tragic dose of consequences that would [will] change them both, forever. [I would start the plot summary with the next paragraph, if only to get rid of the cutesy cooking terms.] 

Ian Sanders is a citizen of the world; a visionary with a brilliant mind; unapologetic, ruthless, two heaps of sharpness mixed with one scoop of sugar. [WTF? Is this going to continue throughout the query?] Ian’s testosterone-filled existence is no stranger to dazzling creatures, as long as they pack their bags and leave before breakfast is served; up until he meets the woman who adds ten, warm degrees to a frigid winter. [I think you mean she adds ten degrees to a preheated oven.] Unlike other cooks with a remarkably rich vocabulary of swear words, or epic, post-weed tales to boast of, Ella Scott is a misfit in the culinary world. Armed with a bag of nerve-inspired humor and quiet confidence, she'spainfully linear when it comes to opening her heart.

Despite her heavily armored exterior, Ella goes from being a mere appearance to a beautiful presence [From a mere garnish to a beautiful entree.] in Ian’s life; from whimsical art exhibitions and lavish penthouse gatherings, to turbulent dance clubs; [From whimsical dessert creations and lavish smorgasbords to turbulent Dutch ovens.] amidst the sea of glossy heads and faux air-kisses that flock Ian’s surroundings, the only person who has the ability to render him speechless is, her.

Three years later, when their paths collide again on a green, December evening in flamboyant Hollywood, a lot has changed. [One minute they're society's darlings, the next they haven't seen each other in three years. What happened?] Can Ian forget the one person who crowds his head like the beast of insomnia? Will he forgive the wreck of a woman who left him in shambles? [You haven't suggested that she's a wreck of a woman or that he's a shambles or that she did anything for which she owes him forgiveness.]

Tossed is my first, professional attempt at toying with words; a book that tore my life into two. One; that begins each morning in a breathtakingly beautiful city in Norway, the other; which transforms me into the Duracell rabbit, each evening, after a thick smog of silence takes over the house! 

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.



There are almost as many semicolons as periods in your plot summary. Most of them can (should) be replaced by periods, commas, colons or dashes. There are way too many unnecessary commas, as well. And way too many adjectives.

A query is not the place to be "toying with words." It's a business letter. Working in a bit of your book's voice is okay, but you're trying too hard to be clever. Try telling us what happens in your book in the same language you would use if you were talking to a stranger on a bus. Except write in complete sentences and keep in mind that she will lose interest after nine sentences no matter how interesting they are. If the book is this heavy on adjectives and word-toying, you may need a good pair of kitchen shears.

We don't know anything that happens beyond some guy meets a chef and becomes infatuated. Do you have a story or just a couple characters? Is there a villain? What's preventing these characters from attaining their goals? What are they planning to do about it? Start over, and tell the story.


Unknown said...

Thanks for your cutting and chopping:) I would love to re work on the query and send it again for your comments.

Anonymous said...

For romance queries, you usually want to make sure you say why the couple belongs together and what's keeping them apart. Its pretty standard to have a paragraph about him and one about her.

What's at stake is usually the relationship, so you need to focus more on the obstacles and what the characters have going for them in the way of overcoming said obstacles. Hopefully that will cover the plot.

Good Luck

CavalierdeNuit said...

Is English your first language? Doesn't appear to be.

Unknown said...

Thanks, I have tried to revise the query to cover the plot. Hope you get a better understandinf of the plot from this. Already ready for another revision:)
Thanks again

Anonymous said...

Plots 2 through 9 MUST be coming soon to a theater near me!!!