Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Guess the Plot
My Lady of Baseball
1. Martyred by a foul ball into the seats, Saint Sue Ann of Pittsurgh suddenly finds herself with a direct line to God. But when two dying children call on her to help their teams win the World Series, can she find a way to make both their wishes come true?
2. Johan dreams of becoming a major league catcher. One day when his teenage sister is filling in for a missing player on his team, a major league scout happens to attend the game. The scout likes what he sees--in Johan's sister. She goes on to be a major league pitcher. Johan becomes a depressed alcoholic.
3. When Spinster Amelia Pettipants finds a cheerleader crucified on the goal posts of the Saint Ignoris Boys High School football field, she knows she must act quckly. A second murder on the basketball court leads her to Father Frank, whose obsessions with the church, young girls and sports make him the likely suspect.
4. Father Fitzpatrick still hadn't gotten used to Vatican II or the AL designated hitter rule.This traditionalist becomes an unlikely antihero when the Cincinnati Archdiocese proposes the beatification of Marge Schott. Father Fitzpatrick is the swing vote and finds himself caught in a web of intrigue spun by his former mentor, Bishop Callahan, who turns out to be slipperier than Gaylord Perry's balls.
5. So I made a billion on my dot com and found I could, like, buy a Lordship in England and call my Dukedum or Countdom or whatever anything I wanted. So I'm Lord of Baseball! Sweet! Now I'm having a contest to find a new wife, and it's SOOO way better than The Bachelor. "A Boy Named Sue" meets Field of Dreams, with drag queens. And the pitcher's a eunuch.
6. When the Silver City Sluggers' batboy discovers the Virgin's face in the stitching of a baseball, he must choose between religion and the Sluggers' star pitcher.
Milady has spent her childhood in a small New York City apartment with her mother, father and brother, Johan. After her parents divorce, her father receives a job offer from the largest university in the Dominican Republic and Milady and Johan return with him to their homeland. Milady’s teenage years are spent at the beach, strolling through the Colonial Zone with the most handsome guy in her school, and filling in as a substitute on Johan’s rag-tag baseball team. Johan uses the move to chase his dream of being a professional catcher while Milady begins to follow her father’s path into academia. A chance encounter with Don Ricardo, a baseball scout, changes everything and Milady is the one who is discovered as a phenomenal pitcher. [How can she be this good? The only baseball experience you've mentioned is playing as a substitute on a ragtag team.]
Milady’s father virtually disowns her for leaving her studies to go through the farm system in San Pedro de Macoris. [Then she tells him about her three million dollar signing bonus, and all is forgiven.] Johan refuses to even speak to her and is swallowed up by depression and alcohol. Milady has to contend with disreputable agents, hostile players[, showering with twenty-five guys,] and the constant and growing attention of the media—especially on her and the team captain[, who is the first ostrich to make the major leagues]—before making a dismal debut with the New York Bluebirds, one of the best Major League teams in the sport. [She was rattled by fans yelling, "You throw like a girl."] [Is she the first woman to make a major league roster? That would make her the Jackie Robinson of baseball . . . Wait a minute.] Can Milady mend the relationship with her family and gain the respect of her teammates? [Will she win the Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Awards, win three games in the World Series, and land a seven-figure shoe endorsement contract?] Can she regain her confidence and win her next start before the fans call for her head? [In New York? They were calling for her head after one inning.]
I am seeking representation for my novel, My Lady of Baseball, a story of loyalty, talent and baseball. I am a freelance writer for Dominican Times Magazine. My fiction has appeared in Whistling Shade.
The novel is complete at 90,000 words. I have enclosed the first chapter and a SASE for your response. The full manuscript is available upon request. Thank you for your time.
Well done. A clear plot description. You might change "talent" to "family" in the next-to-last paragraph.
If there's a problem here, it's not the query so much as the premise. In kids' books, girls make boys teams all the time. If your audience is adult baseball fans, however, it may not be easy to get them to buy into Milady making the major leagues. Certainly I could see a minor league team putting her on the roster to boost attendance, and if she happens to strike out sixteen batters in her first game, who knows what happens next? Once in the majors she'd probably have to be a knuckleball pitcher, as she's unlikely to have the arm strength of her peers. In short, I don't know who the audience is, but if they're knowledgeable baseball fans, don't lose them by basing Milady's rise to the top on her 100 mph fastball.