Thursday, July 06, 2006
Guess the Plot
To Love a Gingerbread Boy
1. Marty has wasted his life running away from commitment and into every jail in Kansas. Can schoolteacher Stephanie's unconditional love save him?
2. How to build the perfect mate out of flour, sugar, ginger, eggs, decorative candies, latex, a disassembled blender, and two double-a batteries.
3. When a debilitating illness strikes a rock musician, he ponders whether to tell his girlfriend, Catherine, or to disappear with her despicable roommate, letting Catherine believe they've run away together.
4. Memoir of the Black Forest witch, written during her stay at The Betty Ford Clinic, in which she repents the attempted murder of Hansel & Gretel.
5. Sally's mom told her never to cry over spilt milk. Weeping over the soggy crumbs of her lover, Sally thinks this is the exception.
6. A white-bread girl must choose between her prominent family of anti-miscegenationists and the boy from across the tracks with the ginger complexion.
Dear Mr. Evil,
It is the 1980’s, and Daniel LaMont is a musician fighting an uphill battle: to change the image of rock ’n roll into something powerful and uplifting. [That was already the image of rock music. It only became unlistenable-to in the last 20 years.] But after meeting a plucky and courageous veterinary-medicine student [Veterinarians are kind and devoted. "Plucky and courageous" describes Buffy the Vampire Slayer.] named Catherine Sealy, his grandiose ideals morph into a more tame dream--the white house and picket fence type of dream. [Actually, it's the picket fence that's supposd to be white in this image. The house (or cottage) can be any color.] It is then he learns of his illness, and struggles with the most gut-wrenching dilemma of his life: to admit to Catherine what he’s up against and risk her giving up a career she’s built her life around to care for him-- [How long have they known each other at this point? A few months? And he thinks she would consider for one moment giving up her career to care for him? Who's going to bring in the money? Him, playing his powerful, uplifting rock music from his hospital bed?] [Is there a reason you're not naming the illness? Is he dying?] [Never tell a veterinarian you're dying; she might decide "putting you down" is the only humane option.] or allowing her to believe he left her for her despicable roommate, Beth. [How is she going to believe he left her for Beth when Beth lives with her? Won't she notice that Beth is there, and Daniel isn't? Or does he think Beth will agree to pack her belongings and move out just to give the impression she's run off with Daniel?] Neither decision will be easy for the woman he feels deserves the best life has to offer.
Daniel’s mother calls him her Gingerbread Boy, as he always seems to be running from something, just as the cookie ran from the fox in the nursery rhyme. [First of all, the gingerbread boy is no mere cookie. You must be thinking of a ginger snap, a fine cookie in its own right, and one that is occasionally shaped like a small gingerbread boy; a true gingerbread boy is more cake-like, thick and soft. It should be eaten warm, with plenty of real whipped cream. Just make sure all the doors are closed before opening the oven.] [Secondly, while there are variations on the story, in most versions, the fox is the one animal the gingerbread boy doesn't run from. The other people and animals chase it in vain, but the clever fox tricks it into coming close enough to snatch it up.] [And what a treat it must have been for Mr. Fox!] My wish is that the reader is left with a feeling of fulfillment that, yes, it is possible that even a coveted and charismatic young man such as Daniel can have the noble and selfless nature so many women desire in a man--especially a man in such a stereotyped profession. [I'm not sure "coveted" and "charismatic" are adjectives I would associate with a stereotypical lack of nobleness and selflessness.]
I have been honing this 90,000-word manuscript, To Love a Gingerbread Boy over a year, and with the help of my critique group I’ve revised it into something I feel is publishable. Although To Love a Gingerbread Boy can be sold as a stand alone novel, I have finished a rough draft for a sequel titled The Cinnamon Girl, in which years have passed and Catherine is preparing to marry a wonderful artist...[who wants to change the image of romanticism into something emotional and spiritual,] until she begins to believe Daniel is haunting her. Both novels would most likely be considered commercial women’s fiction. [The third novel in the trilogy will be Chocolate Mousse, in which Catherine's favorite stuffed animal comes to life, possessed by Daniel, and needs her veterinary expertise to repair the tear under its left foreleg.]
I have spent the last several years in the advertising industry, writing copy and designing ads, and have learned to be patient and professional with revisions. I am also quite comfortable with deadlines. I think these qualities would be an asset in working with me. My short story ["Bear Claw"] has just been accepted for the March issue of Tales of the Talisman, and an editor at a small press has requested the full manuscript of a different novel. May I send you To Love a Gingerbread Boy?
Dear Mr. Evil,
It is the 1980’s, and rock musician Daniel LaMont is on a quest to change the image of rock 'n' roll. But after meeting a kind and devoted veterinary-medicine student named Catherine Sealy, his grandiose ideals morph into a different kind of dream--the kind that includes a charming cottage with a white picket fence.
When Daniel learns he has Parkinson's Disease, he struggles with the most gut-wrenching dilemma of his life: should he admit to Catherine what he’s up against, and risk her giving up a career she’s built her life around to care for him? Or should he disappear, making it look like he left her for another woman?
Daniel’s mother always called him her Gingerbread Boy, because he always seemed to be running from one thing or another. But this time, he thinks running might be the most noble and selfless action he can take. It might be what's best for the woman he loves.
Although my 90,000-word manuscript, To Love a Gingerbread Boy, is a stand-alone novel, I have completed a rough draft for a sequel entitled The Cinnamon Girl, in which years have passed and Catherine is preparing to marry a wonderful artist . . . until she begins to believe Daniel is haunting her. Both novels would be categorized as commercial women’s fiction.
May I send you To Love a Gingerbread Boy?