Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Face-Lift 1392

Guess the Plot

Roadside Attractions

1. When ace detective Zack Martinez is called to investigate a body found near Interstate 10, he knows one thing: all those buzzards must be here for a reason. 

2. He was standing on the shoulder of the northbound interstate, handsome and rugged, with his thumb outstretched and a smile in his bright blue eyes. She was going the other way, white dress and red hair dancing in the wind of passing vehicles. The attraction was immediate, intense, undeniable … but could it survive crossing eight lanes of high-speed traffic? 

3. Mrs. Lovette's Roadside Attractions is the best bar and grill off highway 666, with a sympathetic bartender who tells outrageous local ghost stories. Until, that is, the health inspector arrives to find out what's in the Mystery Meat Special. Fortunately, he stops at the barbershop next door first. 

4. After Amanda's boyfriend dumps her in the middle of their romantic road trip, she has a choice to make. Go home or take advantage of all the roadside attractions, namely the bars and motels and truck stops along I-95. Time for an adventure.

5. For over 70 years people have stopped at the MacDonald family of Nevada's little roadside gift shop to eat at the 'best burger joint in the galaxy' and pay a few bucks to see the 'alien mummy'. It's great, until the day the aliens show up to claim their son's body. Will the MacDonalds cede possession of their prize attraction without a fight?

6. Julia has always walked the same roadway to school. To the side, there is always someone new selling a new thing. After she gets her allowance, a new attraction has caught her eye. Too bad she has also caught its eye. 

Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,

Amanda’s romantic road trip becomes a celibate single’s tour after her boyfriend dumps her. She envisions miles of loneliness with only sarcasm and liquor to keep her warm. Audacious isn’t a self-descriptor, but she’s off and running. [Not sure what that sentence is saying, but it seems contradictory to the previous sentence. Is it saying she never considered herself audacious, but now she's gonna prove herself wrong? Would "adventurous" be a better word?] [Were they in her car or her boyfriend's?]

On the road, Amanda realizes the difference between lonely and alone. She squirms less while dining solo and unapologetically builds blazing campfires for one. All this independence doesn’t go unnoticed. She’s befriended by a group of men out for one last hurrah. [This sounds like the men all befriended her at once. Which may be the case, but if it's not, change "group" to "string."] [Also, I don't know that men out for a last hurrah are specifically drawn to independence in a woman. Unless "independence" means aloneness.]

Old-Amanda would’ve relinquished her singlehood with the first husky hello. ["Singlehood" meaning solitariness, rather than marital status, I assume.] But old-Amanda was stuffed in the trunk somewhere along I-95. 
[So she has the car. That she was building campfires had me wondering if she was walking and hitchhiking.] Even so, it’s hard to ignore her thumping, especially when two of the men want more than a single night. 

It’s one thing to allow them in her bed, [or her sleeping bag] but her heart, well that’s another matter.

ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS is women’s fiction at 87,000 words.

Thank you for your consideration,


So her boyfriend dumps her and she decides she's not gonna let that jerk ruin her road trip, and the plot is basically a string of events as she drives the Interstate, most of them involving men chasing a last hurrah? That's a typical format for a road trip novel and there's nothing wrong with it, but perhaps some specific examples of her encounters (the funniest, the worst, the most appealing...) would give us a better idea if we want to read about this trip. We want to know there's more than bars and motels. We want to know what really goes on at South of the Border.

There's some good stuff here, and I mostly nitpicked, but do throw in some sexy details and hint at the attempted murder.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Friday, April 12, 2019

Face-Lift 1391

Guess the Plot

The Murderer from Jerusalem

1. In ancient Jerusalem, there's a murderer loose in the temple. If scrub maid Arsiya can expose him, she's positive the king will make her the first Priestess of Jerusalem. 

2. Someone killed Lord George, but detective Collier isn't sure whether it was the butler from Jerusalem or the gardener from Geneva. You'll never guess which one.

3. Don't believe everything you read. That story about Jesus being crucified? Hogwash. He was murdered by a fat guy from Jerusalem. This is his story.

4. Tel Aviv police detective Lev Mendelsohn has enough on his plate, what with Passover approaching, but when someone starts killing people by battering them with stones stolen from the Wailing Wall, it looks like he'll be missing the seder. Oy vey.

Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,

In ancient Jerusalem, lofty priests sitting in luxurious temples control science and magic. Being a priest in the Holy Temple is one of the most desirable jobs a man can have. Unfortunately, Arsiya is a thirteen-year-old girl who dreams of becoming a priestess. Honestly, she’s done nothing wrong. Trying to get accepted into the priesthood program with the boys in her city doesn’t count, right? Alas, the snotty priests who sentenced her think she’d do better as a scrub maid in the Holy Temple. [That was a lot of words to set up the situation. This is more concise: In ancient Jerusalem, thirteen-year-old Arsiya dreams of becoming a priestess. But the temple priests would never accept a girl into the priesthood program. They put her to work as a scrub maid in the Holy Temple.]

Yeah, right. Arsiya would rather spend her time in prison than waste her days tasting firemelons and other strange fruit as part of her work. [I don't see tasting fruit as a scrub maid's job.] But right before she tries to escape her “new home”, she overhears a conversation about magic. Now, that’s an opportunity she is not going to miss. She decides to stay, read some scrolls, and become the first priestess of Jerusalem. [A shorter version of this paragraph: No way is Arsiya going to waste her days cleaning floors and scrubbing pots. But then she overhears a conversation about magic, and decides to stick around after all. She'll secretly study some scrolls, and become the first priestess of Jerusalem.] 

Refusing to give up on her dream, Arsiya scours the temple for a scroll of secret [arcane] knowledge that will help her prove she’s as good as any other apprentice. Instead, she finds the mutilated body of a maid. Eyes pricked and flying in the air, the dead maid is definitely [has] not [been] sacrificed to the god Resheph; she has been murdered. As the bodies pile up, Arsiya’s quest of [for] secret scrolls turns into [becomes] a search for a killer. If she catches the murderer who lurks within the walls of the Holy Temple, the king will name her First Priestess of Jerusalem. If she fails, she might be the next victim.

ALADDIN meets AGATHA CHRISTIE, THE MURDERER FROM JERUSALEM is an #OwnVoice middle grade fantasy, complete at 54,000 words.



There's a lot that's unclear. What was the sentence the priests handed her? Is she in prison? If not, why does she need to escape? If so, how is she free to look for scrolls? Did the king tell her he'd make her a priestess? Whose bodies are piling up? Important people or maids? Eyes pricked and flying in the air? If you shorten what you have as suggested, you might have room to answer some of these questions.

A better title would help.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Monday, April 08, 2019

Sunday, April 07, 2019