Monday, June 04, 2018

Face-Lift 1376

Guess the Plot


The Power of Dusk

1. The power of dusk is a curious thing / Make a one man weep, make another man sing. 

2. You can't stop it. You can't reason with it. It just keeps coming, relentlessly, until everything is black and even the sun is gone. 

3. After Carrie Silver's fiancé departs in his sailboat on the short trip  to the mainland, he mysteriously disappears. Three days later, Carrie sets out . . . at dusk . . . on a stolen sailboat with her little terrier, Fickle, to find him. 

4. They come out . . . at dusk . . . and terrorize the small town of Loganville. But are they werewolves or vampires? Or both? It's up to blind sheriff Paul Matthews to end the carnage.

5. Lulu never worries about daytime, but as the sun sets, and night approaches, a cold sweat shakes her body, for she knows this could be the night she dies. That's . . . the power of dusk.

6. Surgeon Gene McAdoo has never separated conjoined twins, but not only has he taken on the task, he's also planning to perform the operation outdoors . . . at dusk.

7. The newest supervillain on the block has been underestimated for far too long! Dusk might have a power with no real use, but that doesn't mean he can't villain with the best!! Now if he could just find his keys, the world will pay!!!! 

8. With the setting of the sun, the ancient vampire rises once more. Will four plucky teenagers and their dog save the old village? Or are these their last highjinks? 

9. For decades, Dawn has been the best weapon in the Dishwasher Guild's arsenal. But Aunt Matilda's twenty-cheese mystery meat casserole won't be washed away so easily. This calls for something more powerful than Dawn. Something darker. Also, elbow grease.

10. In a world where fossil fuels have been banned and solar energy powers the grid, there is a time between daylight and darkness when things get a little draggy.

11. 17-year-old Morgan forms a bond of friendship with Jonathan and his sister Ava. But he soon wonders if the siblings have anything to do with the gruesome murders that have been committed lately . . . at dusk.

12. Medieval Persian Magician's daughter Blue Dusk has been reincarnated as a fluffy Persian kitten. Let's see how much trouble she can get into THIS time!



Original Version


I'm seeking the right agent to represent my manuscript THE POWER OF DUSK. The novel is New Adult – suspense with a word count of 85,459. Based on your varied interests, I believe you're the ideal fit for my manuscript. [Everyone has varied interests. Which specific interests are relevant to this book?]

THE POWER OF DUSK is the saga of MORGAN, a seventeen-year-old striving to escape life with his alcoholic and neglectful father in small-town Pennsylvania. [Seventeen is a good age for Young Adult books. New Adult books usually feature twenty-something MCs.] When Morgan must earn money to feed himself, he develops a friendship with AVA and JONATHAN. [After reading the first half of that sentence, I expect the second half to be something like . . . he takes a job at the local Exxon station. How does developing this friendship get Morgan money to feed himself?] As their bond deepens, Morgan receives the guidance and love absent from his life. [How old are these people giving him guidance?] Soon he learns the siblings have a secret. A dark secret he promises to keep. [What is the secret? Don't worry, this agent isn't going to reveal the secret to the world. She just wants to know whether the secret is they're vampires or they're sleeping together. Or both.] Meanwhile, the small town is on edge following a series of gruesome murders. [Is this the same small town where he was living with his neglectful alcoholic father? If I were trying to escape from my home life, I'd go farther than across town. Especially if the town I'm in is the scene of a recent series of gruesome unsolved murders.] A stranger from Ava['s] and Jonathan's past threatens danger. [Too vague.] When the threat becomes too great, Morgan must conquer his fears and alter his plans for the future. [Also vague.] But the consequences bring an extraordinary danger Morgan must defeat on his own to survive. [Still vague.]


Notes

We need to know what Morgan's goal is, how he plans to achieve it, what's stopping him, what he does about that. With specific information. Danger is threatened. The threat becomes too great. The danger becomes extraordinary. Who is the stranger, and why is he/she threatening our hero? Without specifics, we don't know what sets this book apart from other books.

6 comments:

khazarkhum said...

This reads like the blurb on the back of a book that you don't buy because it's too vague and generic.

How does Morgan survive? How do the siblings fit into that? Is his dependence on the siblings clouding his judgement, or is he in too deep to get away from them safely?

Those are the things that need to be discussed in a query.

Mister Furkles said...

The dark secret is they haven't paid the electric and gas bills. So at dusk they can't do anything productive. They do sneak out and steal wood to burn in their fireplace to warm their abode. But a stranger threatens to turn them in to the enviro-police for burning wood without a licence. And the series of murders--well, that's every town.

So, as EE points out: vague is not your friend, specificity is your friend.

By-the-by, if the stranger is from their past, why is s/he a stranger? People from my past aren't strangers but people I once knew.

Iamanoldvampirechild said...

It's very vague. I would like specifics. I don't really know what the book is about except a young man needs a job ( and you don't tell us how that pans out ) and then befriends some people and then a bunch or random mysterious things that aren't enticing because they aren't specific happen and there's a serial killer somehow.

I agree with Stephen King as say people love reading about work. I'd mention if he gets a job and what doing. If he doesn't I'd say why, what got in his way exactly?

On a re-read I can assume the person vaguely 'threatening danger' from Jonathon and Ava's past is the serial killer. But it reads clearer if you just say it how it is, and use the extra words to give intriguing specifics.

When you say 'When the threat becomes too great, Morgan must conquer his fears and alter his plans for the future.'

'the threat' of the serial killer? I'd say how Morgan knows he is being targeted. As for Morgans plans, since you didn't say he had a job, and from this query just hangs out with his friends, it's not big stakes that his aimless plans are going to be interrupted.




St0n3henge said...

This is definitely suffering from the vagues.
You don't have to be so coy. You're sending this to someone you hope will help sell your book. It's going to be hard for them to do that if they have no idea what it's about.

All we know is that a teen ran away from his father, met two siblings, and there have been some murders. There must be more than this, or you couldn't have come up with a book length manuscript about it.

Anonymous said...

So ... it's difficult to offer suggestions when we know practically nothing about the story.

Step one: we need to know what the story is about. Considering it's supposed to be suspense we can assume danger threatens and it gets worse so saying that doesn't tell us anything new.

Look for the big climax (or at least one of the big desperation/decision scenes) in your story. Write a half-page or less block of text that you would give a beta reader to catch them up if you only wanted them to review that scene. Concentrate on this event leads to that actions leads to the next event rather than this happens and then that happens and then the next happens. That's what you want in your query.

Good Luck

Also, ALL CAPS to introduce characters is something for synopsis, not the query. ymmv

Anonymous said...

As a series of gruesome murders occur Morgan learns a pair of siblings have a few secrets.

A little wobbly, easily fixed. Not sure the feeding thing is important as you introduce the story. Maybe put that in a little later - distracting, mixed message.

Good luck.

Wilk/Mac