Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Guess the Plot
The Mommy Club
1. When a ragtag, fugitive gang of diaper-clad, daycare delinquents crawls into a rural small town and suffocates the sheriff under bloody binkies, only one woman can stop them from suckling the town dry. She walks tall and carries a big stick--the Mommy Club.
2. A new mother learns of a disturbing tradition passed down through the generations of her family, an object used for disciplinary purposes.
3. The bludgeons peddled by the mysterious stranger are being snapped up quicker than Volvo SUVs by the young mother crowd, but are the results too good to be true?
4. After moving to the quaint little cul de sac of Meandering Trail--part Desperate Housewives, part Stepford Wives--Molly realizes that not getting pregnant isn't the worst thing that can happen . . . Her neighbors are.
5. When zombies invade a day-care center, only one person has any hope of stopping them: single mom Angela Pape and her mystical baseball bat.
6. Twenty years after forming a club to find babysitting jobs, Kristy, Claudia and Mary-Anne decide it's time to farm their own kids off on a new generation of teenagers in order to have some quality "me" time.
My husband and I have not had sex for almost 4 months. [Are you coming on to Evil Editor?] And frankly, I don't miss it. Don't get me wrong, I love my husband and he is a wonderful lover. It all just seems so.pointless. [When you consider that the sun will go nova some day, everything seems pointless.]
I spent my late teens and twenties avoiding pregnancy, after all it was part of the thrill. You know the "oh-my-god-my-period-is-an-hour-late" dilemma or the ever-famous "did-the-condom-break-and-he-didn't-tell-me ?" There was great relief and rejoicing when months end brought my period right on schedule, but also a little excitement in having beat the odds. [Could we get to the query letter part? Evil Editor is getting a little uncomfortable with the conversation.]
I am sure that most people would think I was crazy, but I think its true. Now sex is no great challenge. I am married, I am an adult, I am allowed to have sex - yet somehow it does not hold the same appeal. [On the other hand, think how great it feels to get it out of the way, so you don't have to suffer through it again for another four months.]
I am not crazy, I assure you. But they crazy thing is, I am trying to get pregnant. Really. And yes I know all about the birds and the bees; it takes two to tango and all the other references to baby making. Which may or may not be true but we will talk about that later. Bottom line is I know you gotta do a lot of baking if you want a bun in the oven. [Last time we did a query about pregnancy, Evil Editor was bombarded with comments from women who didn't even turn the oven on, and got bunned.]
The fact that we have been trying for over two years is definitely part of the problem. I say "trying" because rather than have sex everyday everyway trying not to get pregnant, our mating ritual involves Dr's visits, temperature charting, cervical mucus inspection, ovulation predicator kits and carefully planned at-the-specific-right-moment uneventful, missionary position sex. Forget the love.forget the spark.but don't forget the lubricant. It can get really ugly. [The query letter itself is getting a bit yucky.]
But I guess, maybe I should just start at the beginning... [That was part of the query, right? Maybe a "Dear Editor," at the beginning is in order; you wouldn't want an editor to think you accidentally put the wrong letter in the envelope.] Even before her first date with Marc, Molly had already planned their future together and it included 2.5 children. [It also included Marc changing the "c" to a "k."] Unfortunately, just over two years later it wasn't working out as planned. [They were still 1.75 children short.] When a sudden job transfer lands them on the quaint little cul de sac of Meandering Trail, part Desperate Housewives part Stepford Wives, Molly realizes that not getting pregnant isn't the worst thing that can happen. Her neighbors are. [They drug her and impregnate her with the seed of Satan.]
The Mommy Club is a humorous look at the world of infertility from the inside. [It's told from the point of view of Molly's ovaries.] In struggling with infertility for many years before the birth of my son, one thing that kept me going was humor. Please let me know if you have any questions or are interested in receiving the complete manuscript.
Even before her first date with Marc, Molly had planned their future together and it included 2.5 children. Unfortunately, two years have passed since their wedding, and her plan is not bearing fruit. Not even the half-child has arrived.
Molly is miserable. She wants children in the worst way. But when a job transfer lands her and Marc on the quaint little cul de sac of Meandering Trail, part Desperate Housewives part Stepford Wives, she realizes that not getting pregnant isn't the worst thing that can happen . . . Her neighbors are.
Half of Molly's new neighbors have babies, which they're constantly parading up and down the street. And the older neighbors are always asking her when she's going to have children. Just when Molly most needs support, it seems everyone is trying to make her lose control and just scream.
The Mommy Club is a humorous look at the world of infertility from the inside. In struggling with infertility for many years before the birth of my son (doctor visits, temperature charting, cervical mucus inspection, ovulation predictor kits, I could go on and on), one thing that kept me going was humor. Please let me know if you have any questions or are interested in receiving the complete manuscript.
The opening paragraphs are attention-grabbing, but they aren't working. It's not clear, even with the italics, that it's the viewpoint of the character. Especially when the query switches from first person to third. Plus, the book is humorous; the first part of the query is depressing.
Obviously the third paragraph of Evil Editor's Version is a guess. Substitute whatever it is that's making her neighbors the problem.
Posted by Evil Editor at 12:56 PM
Labels: Chick Lit
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Evil Editor is getting a little uncomfortable with the conversation.
That long? I started to feel the need for boundaries half-way through the first sentence.
Whoa. Evil, baby. Where have you been advertising?
If I were the editor, I would have stopped reading and run in terror after the first line. There are some things your editor really, really doesn't want to know about you. Number one on the list is probably your sex life. I can understand an attempt to grab attention, but I don't think this is the kind of attention you want.
There is a lot of potential here for a funny and entertaining book. The idea, although not original, still has legs (so to speak). Man, one could write a lot of stories about women trying to get pregnant. -JTC
Blech! No offense to the query writer but the humor fell terribly flat. I can tell she was trying to be funny, but failed miserably, which makes me suspect that her book won't hit the funny bone too well either. Which is why she should have done a straight query letter instead.
However, the first line was an excellent attention grabber. If she had attributed it to her character instead, it would have alleviated the blech factor.
At first, I thought this was a query letter from a character in the novel. When it struck me that all that beginning stuff was personal things about the WRITER, I cringed. Especially about this:
"I am not crazy, I assure you."
Most people don't feel the need to say they're NOT crazy, unless they truly are.
"[From the inside? It's told from the point of view of Molly's ovaries?]" I broke out in laughter at this, and everyone in my office started to stare at me.
"Danger Will Robinson! Danger!"
Never try to be funny in a query letter. It doesn't translate. I know.
I am sure that most people would think I was crazy, but I think its true.
Now there's a truly unfortunate use of a pronoun without a clear antecedent.
Considering the topic and the methods involved, Marc is yet another name that perhaps would work better spelled backwards.
verification word: znljyfpr
Dictionary.com had no suggestions.
That query was hot. I need a cold shower.
My children just stared because I snorted. I'd read EE was getting uncomfortable, and then we got to "cervical mucus inspection" and I lost it. I can only imagine EE's face.
I also thought it was the character talking in the query. If that's the AUTHOR'S info - EWW.
Oh dear. My queries don't have that much sex talk in them, and I write erotic romance.
On the other hand, think how great it feels to get it out of the way, so you don't have to suffer through it again for another four months.
Interesting comments, thanks ! I thought it was clear that the opening line WAS from the characters point of view and excerpt of the story if you will... but not my own story thank you very much :)
I am glad that I posted it though and I am glad for the feedback (even though it is sometimes mean spirited)... but alas my point was just to see what EE had to say about it and not to freak anyone out... sorry :(
I think perhaps part of the misunderstanding that the first part IS from the characters point of view is the formatting... in the actual query letter, the first parst are italicized and in quotations so that they read as seperate from the actual pitch part of the query... in fact it is interesting because I've actually had requests (luckily no rejections so far) for fulls based on this query which is what leads me to believe that I could have formatted it better to be clearer... I appreciate all the feedback though ! :
That's true, there were italics on the first part. When I moved everything into blogger they disappeared and I failed to re-italicize. Whether we like the start or not, we're all happy to learn that the first part is completely fictitious, and isn't about you in any way . . . or is it?
I've been studying this for some time, and there are only two iron-clad guaranteed rejection-triggering phrases in the entire idiom:
"Arrogant Icelanders" [or any other national / racial / ethnic / religious group, except for some of those wacky interplanetary species that keep popping up here.]
Okay, so the author HAS had sex within the last four months? That part was very unclear to me as well.
However, as the author of the 'other' pregnancy query a while back, this type of novel interests me very much, and I don't know if there are a ton of books out there on infertility, but, to the author, did you read The Baby Trail? Sounds a little similar with the infertility and cervical mucus (just had to throw that in there to gross out the readers once more).
Anyway, if the query was a little bit more concise, it's a book I'd be interested in knowing more about. In fact, I do want to know more!
Good Luck Author!
I have to respectfully disagree. I was searching through AgentQuery just the day before yesterday and at least two agencies were specifically looking for books themed around cervical mucus.
Apparently there's a new imprint starting...
Infertility can be one of the most painful issues for a couple. There can be hope, tragedy, heart break (think of repeated miscarriages of desperately wanted babies). So, even if this query didn't work as presented here, I think a book about infertility would resonate with many people.
That said, I was one of the ones thinking, "TMI, Author -- TMI!"
Hey, don't blame me--it's the NyQuil talking.
Anon, you owe me a keyboard.
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