Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Guess the Plot
Cheaters Never Win
1. The new high-tech security system at Purdle's Casino showed everything. But Chief of Security Brad Road wasn't ready to see what went on under the craps table with his wife and the new croupier.
2. Lenny and Denise have been scamming Vegas tourists for years, and finally just stole a pile of cash from the Bellagio casino in an untraceable, high-tech confidence scheme. Wait, what is the title again?
3. Muriel and Tolbert meet in Reno for a fling away from their spouses. But will this vacation end in quickie divorces or just a call at the Cash Advance window?
4. A klutz and a cop cooperate on a case, but their "cop-ulation" could keep them from catching the crooked con.
5. Lori just won the Powerball Lottery - then discovered her boyfriend playing the bongos, naked, with her sister. Can they convince her it was just a lark, or will she cut them out and keep all the winnings for herself?
6. Third grade isn't all it's cracked up to be for little Iggy Miller. Caught cheating on his vocabulary test, Sister Medea shows him the meanings of "torment" and "anguish."
I am writing to you because you sold Eileen Dryer’s novel A MAN TO DIE FOR. [Not a good start. First of all, we can discuss Eileen later, let's start with you. Secondly, if you don't know the correct spelling of Ms. Dreyer's last name, perhaps you shouldn't mention her to her agent. And lastly, the book is fifteen years old, and you've made no connection between it and your own.]
I have written an amateur detective novel set in present day Columbia, South Carolina, entitled CHEATERS NEVER WIN. My klutzy protagonist is driven to find the murderer of his best friend and client. [Amateur detectives have clients?] Incidentally, the protagonist [Incidentally, if you'd name the protagonist, you wouldn't have to keep calling him "the protagonist."] knows that an insurance policy worth $800,000 was placed on the now deceased friend. Who would want the money [Who wouldn't want $800,000?] and who would want this guy dead? [The antagonist.] Along the way he develops a very intimate relationship (OK, they have sex) with a female cop, who helps him solve the mystery. ["Intimate relationship" was fine. Then you had to drag it into the gutter with the "S" word.]
I am a member of Mystery Writers of America and the Cincinnati Writers Project. The first fifty pages of this novel were reviewed by the MWA Mentor Program. The first twenty pages of this novel were also reviewed by three editors/agents at the Murder in the Grove writing contest. All reviewers liked my novel and made only editorial comments. [Actually, what they liked was the first few chapters, and this agent doesn't care much what anonymous people thought.]
I have written a character into this novel that gets whacked in my second novel, MURDER IN MAUI. [Is it a character who gets whacked, or a novel that gets whacked?] [So, this character has no useful role in the book? It's just your signature move to include a character in each book that gets whacked in the next? Like Hitchcock appearing in his films, like Chef Ramsay with his signature dish.] [If I were a character in one of your books I'd be sweating it out, thinking, Give me some lines, some action, anything.] [Being a character in one of your books who seems to play no role is like being a Star Trek actor who gets sent on an away team with Spock, Kirk, and Bones. You know he's not coming back. And you know you're getting whacked in the next book.] You can contact me at my e-mail address____________ or call me at my home phone__________.
I don't think there's enough here. I want more plot. What's the klutz's real job? How does he know about the insurance policy? What's his name? Who are the suspects, and why are they suspects?
MWA membership is worth mentioning, and if this book is a lot like Eileen Dreyer's book, you can tell the agent at the end that that's why you're contacting him. We don't need to know that people have liked the beginning, or what happens in your next book.