Sunday, July 16, 2006
Guess the Plot
1. When the tiny nation of Balmagowry develops weapons of mass destruction, its despotic leader embarks on a worldwide campaign to forcibly replace hiphop with Baroque contrapuntal music.
2. Bob doesn't understand why he's so down...until he discovers the soul-sucking parasite attached to his head. This will ruin Bob's sex life--unless he can find the parasite a new victim!
3. After waking from a coma with amnesia, a scientist has visions of a beautiful woman. Are his visions a result of cranial damage? Images from his past? Or are they, as he suspects, a message from a celestial existence?
4. When the entire population of Montana suffer an abrupt change of identity, can Lieutenant Governor Grace Hackel save nine hundred thousand people who suddenly believe they're all opera singers? Or will she abandon them to pursue her own dream of performing at the Met?
5. Friedrich's wife ran off with a violinist--in Friedrich's car. After cleaning out Friedrich's bank accounts. His daughter ran off with a drummer, and took Friedrich's dog. Friedrich is pretty much fugued.
6. Maureen is distressed. Carter, the hunky composer she's been dating, disappeared for three days, and now he claims he can't remember anything about his past. Is he telling the truth, or is this a lame ploy to get Maureen to dump him?
I have an 112,000 word work of literary fiction that I feel your expertise may be able to help traverse the road to publication.
“Fugue State” is the story of Sinjun Tate, a young, brilliant, behavioral science professor at Colorado University who awakens from a coma suffering what only seems to be amnesia. Motivated by a Dissociative Fugue, a condition that forces the victim of traumatic and repressed events to flee the environment around him, Sinjun wanders the streets of Denver, alone and destitute with faded hopes of piecing together the fragmented memories of his past.
Falling prey to violent, unconscious seizures that have scavenged his mind his awakening, he repeatedly sees the strange, lucid visions of a beautiful woman in a utopian land and of a little girl in a train station, both of who’s obscure advice is delicately woven into the answers he so desires. [Well, it didn't take long for this to go from, Hey, this might be interesting, to Next query.] Can he unravel the mystery of their vague existence? Are these visions simply the result of cranial damage done by the unknown cause of his coma? [If he knows he was in a coma, I assume he woke up in a hospital. If you wake up from a coma, and the cause of the coma is unknown, and you have amnesia, are they likely to release you?] Or are these idyllic dreamscapes something more? Perhaps a subconscious attempt to free his own tortured soul from an unbearable past? Or could they be a message from a more…celestial existence? [I keep seeing visions of a little girl in a train station. No doubt someone on a planet orbiting Rigel Kentaurus is trying to send me a message.] [Oh, right, I was supposed to pick up my daughter at the station . . . How long was I in the coma?]
As he begins to unearth all the cosmic possibilities of his minds illustrations, he encounters a society of malevolent drifters who live beneath the social lining of Denver’s lower downtown district. [It's a winter coat metaphor. The lower downtown district is a coat, Coors Field is the lining, and the drifters live in the catacombs beneath the stadium.] Fueled by carnal instincts, the clan of mysterious vagabonds deviously coerce him through a labyrinth of conflict, threatening to derail him from his desperate search. [I hate it when a writer first discovers the thesaurus.]
When a chance reunion with an attractive former student occurs, he realizes, despite his deteriorating psyche, that he must keep her existence in focus as she may be the only one who can help him escape the wrath of destitution and uncover the cause of his mind’s affliction. This however, will prove to be the worst scenario of all as Sinjun’s once ambiguous reveries eventually suggest a truth more horrible than his own potential end. [I'm sure you know what you're trying to say, but you're trying to say it too impressively, and it's falling flat.]
“Fugue State” is a multidimensional literary journey through similar themes of “What Dreams May Come” with the maddening psychological uncertainty of “Memento”. [Good movie. Though the idea of showing scenes in reverse order was done two years earlier in Seinfeld's wedding in India episode. No doubt they stole it from someone else.] [Describing your book by referencing a movie is unlikely to help.] Various chapter flashbacks chronologically carry the reader through Sinjun’s life to the ultimate point of conflict just as Sinjun arrives there himself.
My wife and I moved to Colorado from our Connecticut home in September of 2005, in an attempt to bring as much truth to the setting as possible. This is my first complete manuscript and I declare that so far, I am simply a lifetime writer of hobby. I do hope that my talents will present a respectable resume in place of a portfolio.
I am confident that this work will strike an interest you. If so, I look forward to further correspondence. However, I am extremely appreciative of the time you’ve taken in reading this regardless, and wish you continued success in all your evil endeavors.
Fugue State is the story of Sinjun Tate, a young, brilliant behavioral science professor at Colorado University who awakens from a coma suffering what seems to be amnesia. Driven by a Dissociative Fugue, a condition that forces the victim of traumatic and repressed events to flee the environment around him, Sinjun wanders the streets of Denver, alone and destitute.
With fading hopes of piecing together his fragmented memories, Sinjun repeatedly sees lucid visions of a little girl in a train station and of a beautiful woman. Are these visions simply lingering effects of his coma? Or are they perhaps a subconscious attempt to free his tortured soul from an unbearable past?
A chance encounter with a former student gives Sinjun an opportunity to find the source of his mind’s affliction--if he can pull himself together. But even as he learns more about his past--and his visions--he realizes that discovering the truth may him lead down the most horrifying path of all.
Fugue State is a 112,000-word work of literary fiction. May I submit the manuscript for your consideration? I am extremely appreciative of the time you’ve taken in reading this.
The revised version is nothing to write home about, but all you've provided is a character wandering around in a fugue state and a few details that may not even be important.
I believe you'd be far better off discussing your book in language you normally use in conversation. Editors are more interested in your ability to organize and convey information than in your vocabulary. If the book sounds like the letter, you need to go through it again and take out all the big words. They aren't helping your cause in the letter or the book. Sorry.