Sunday, October 01, 2006
Guess the Plot
Symphony of Devils
1. Socialite Mrs. LeMoyne Perfnaffer is a patron of the arts. But what will happen when one of her gala fund-raisers turns into a Hell-raiser?
2. Maestro Luigi Plutz taps his baton. Instantly the hissing, spitting and low screaming stops. The Maestro raises his baton, a secret smile at the book of spells he has found, his "orchestra" ready to perform. Loren Mazeltoff over at the NY Phil will never make fun of him again.
3. Ted just wants a normal life, but instead he falls into a world of Machiavellian manipulation and supernatural terror, where he is opposed by Lucifer, Ruler of Hell.
4. The judges at the Hog's Hollow County Fair always said Darleen Butz's angel food cake could make them hear bells. But that was before they tasted Joyleen Hoggle's devil's food cake.
5. Pewtie Hollander had dreams of conducting the Philharmonic. But his job as seventh grade Music Director at Eustace Middle School was even more demanding.
6. Genevieve Marshall thought she was ready to take over her father's opera company. Then she learned that he employed forty baritones who all wanted to play Mephistopheles.
Dear Evil Editor,
I am seeking representation for my completed modern fantasy/political thriller, "Symphony of Devils", set in the present day and involving events six millennia in the making. With an epic plot spanning the globe, this 100,000 word character-driven story brings biblical figures into our modern, politically-charged time, and like "The DaVinci Code" and "This Present Darkness" parallels supernatural forces with the grim realities of the mortal world. [Editors just roll their eyes and sigh when they read "like The DaVinci Code." Not because there's supposed to be a space between "Da" and "Vinci," but because your book is undoubtedly nothing like The Da Vinci Code.] [It's actually gotten to the point where I find it rare and refreshing any time a query doesn't cite The Da Vinci Code.]
Journalist Ted Johnston only wants to leave his past behind and forget his brief tenure as a pastor, as well as the broken marriage that ended it. But murder [Whose?] and political ambition [Whose?] will draw him into a web of Machiavellian manipulation and supernatural terror, where he will be opposed by both Michael, Archstratege [Not sure how many people you send this to will be familiar with that word. Dictionary.com wants to know if you mean "orchestrate."] [Google, on the other hand, wants to know if you mean archistratege, and it turns out you do.] of the Hosts of Heaven, and Lucifer, Ruler of Hell. [Michael and Lucifer are teaming up against some guy named Ted? How long is this gonna last, one second?] In this conflict, however, he will find unlikely allies. One is Bronwyn, an agent for a secret mystical society that has been keeping watch over evil since ancient times. One is Lillith, [You gotta start spelling this stuff right, or no one's gonna trust that you've done any research on your characters.] the first wife of Adam, transformed into a demoness for her sins and whose evil is only tempered by her desire to escape judgment. And one is none other than the first murderer, Cain. He is cursed to walk the earth forever [relying on lessons learned from Master Po, seeking justice and his brother Danny.] as the progenitor of horrific creatures of darkness, struggling with his own feelings of regret and anger from his past. For six millennia he has fought Heaven and Hell alike, [You gotta admire anyone whose spent six millenia fighting Heaven and Hell, and is still hanging in there.] seeking to undo the evil he has created, and for six millennia his enemies have risen up with a single purpose: to cause the final battle between good and evil, and end the world. [Basically you've told us who's in the book, and a little about each of them. I still know nothing about what happens, other than there's conflict. Is this conflict the final battle that ends the world? Is there a plot besides that? Why is Ted the person drawn into the conflict?]
I am an avid reader and writer of fiction of all genres, whose hobbies include history and religion. [If everyone viewed religion as a hobby, there'd probably be less hatred and hostility.] In 2002 I began working for Paradigm Concepts, Inc., a publisher of fantasy and modern role playing games, winner of the prestigious Gold Ennie award in 2005 for Best Publisher. I have written many fantasy adventures for PCI's critically acclaimed "Arcanis" campaign setting, and contributed to PCI's sourcebooks: "Player's Guide to Arcanis," "Magic of Arcanis," and "In the Shadow of the Devil". I am currently working on a new novel, as yet untitled. [I can't speak for all editors, but I would expect that credits writing role playing adventures would actually work against you with some of them.]
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to an opportunity to share the manuscript with you soon.
It's just not clear what happens in the book. A guy's marriage ends, he quits his job as a pastor and becomes a journalist, and suddenly he's fighting alongside Lilith, Cain and some other guy against angels and devils? And not just run-of-the-mill angels and devils, but the big guys. Could you fill in a couple of the in-between steps? While also making it shorter?