Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Face-Lift 295

Guess the Plot

The Bad Girls Club

1. Tired of being seen as nerds and goody-goodies, the girls of the Central High School Chess Club don skimpy disguises and take on alternate identities as they hit the clubs for a little excitement.

2. The women at Alderson Federal Prison Camp decide they've had too much of worthless boyfriends, rotten kids, bad drugs, and reckless driving. They form a club to do good-girl stuff -- singing, knitting booties for orphans, baking cookies for soldiers, and home decorating. Everything's going great . . . until Martha Stewart moves in.

3. Morticia (nee Heidi) paints her finger nails black and joins the Bad Girls Club in hopes of trashing her parents' reputations. Two lackluster camp-outs and one fondue session later, she realizes that it isn't the (Bad Girls) Club; it's the Bad (Girls Club).

4. Beth, Juliette and Imogen form a club in which they dare each other to do "bad" things. Their sex lives are suddenly more exciting. But can their friendship survive when a "real" bad girl enters the picture?

5. Louanne, Sally, and Tiffany are so mean and stupid they have no friends. They spend all their time watching TV, eating junk food, being rude -- until a tornado sucks Sally's house up and plops the girls down on Cannibal Island, where they are suddenly very popular.

6. Bethany thought St. Agnes' Catholic school was strict. But when she arrives at Saint Helga's Girls School for the Unusually Unruly, she finds out that the "bad girls club" there isn't an extracurricular group. It's an actual wooden club.

Original Version

I am currently looking for representation for The Bad Girls Club, a sizzling chick lit novel (80,000 words).

The Bad Girls Club is about dares – dark and sexy and full of forbidden pleasure. It is about breaking free of nice girl rules. It’s also about friendship.

The Bad Girls Club is off to a rocky start. Imogen starts the club because she wants to get laid, but she's not sure she can become a bad girl until she loses a few pounds. Beth wants to schmooze her way into meeting her hero, Imogen's mother while Juliette thinks it beats another night playing Nintendo with her boyfriend. The only bad girl they know is Poppy – boss, friend, relative and all round bitch. Poppy, the girl who has everything.

Bad girls don't have rules, but they have an obligation to complete a series of dares. Dares that don't always go as expected but always push them out of their comfort zone. [Failing to complete your dares results in expulsion from the club? But what are the advantages of being in the club? Even though I'm uncomfortable with the idea of having sex with a complete stranger in an elevator, I will do so, so that I can remain in the club and . . . do something else uncomfortable next week?] [Are there parties, orgies, field trips to Bangkok?]

Imogen inspires the others with her stories of a hot encounter on a nudist beach but, in reality, she has a hard time shedding her clothes, let alone her inhibitions . Juliette gets transformed by a bad girl makeover and transfixed by a visit to an S&M club, but discovers she can't be a bad girl and keep her boyfriend. [Horrors! The boyfriend who wants her to play Nintendo every night? What's he got going for him?] Beth dreams of a magazine life but the Bad Girls Club pushes her into a life more like Hustler than Vogue. She's happy to be a bad girl so long as no one finds out.

As each of the girls gets pushed too far, they turn on each other and the club is disbanded. [The end.]

Without the support of the club, Imogen goes to crazy lengths to prove her desirability while Juliette, fearing her dominatrix power, returns to frumpy comfort. A drunken fling jeopardises Beth’s career. [So the club was a failure, and disbanding the club was also a failure. What's the moral?]

Then Poppy invites all three girls to her house warming party. Secrets are exposed and friendships betrayed. Are the girls ready to take the final leap that will have them branded as bad girls for real? [Yes. Spoiler alert: They kill Poppy, bury her in the woods, and feel closer and more exhilarated than ever. Not even Poppy was this bad. They resolve to kill again and again.]

Although this is my first novel, I have had several short stories published in anthologies of erotic fiction. I would be happy to forward a partial/full manuscript and thank you for your consideration.


I don't get the point of the club. Sometimes women get together to go to male strip shows because they don't feel comfortable going alone. But these women don't do their dares together, so there's no real "support" involved. Normally I would never go to nude beach and have a hot encounter, but if my fellow club member has declared she is going to an S & M club tomorrow, bring it on?

Has Beth considered telling Imogen she wants to meet her mother? Has Juliette considered breaking the Nintendo controller? I don't see that adopting a Hustler lifestyle and murdering Poppy is going to advance their cause.


writtenwyrdd said...

AS EE points out, this query doesn't give us a reason for these women to do these dares. I think that particular point is your hook. Is the evil Poppy the driving force? Does she offer a big bankroll to the one(s) who follow through on a series of Bad Girl antics like some perverted treasure hunt? (Actually, that's not a bad idea. I might use that myself, lol.)

This sounds like it could be good, but you don't show me 'sizzling' with this plot description.

And, by the way, you might want to avoid describing your work using adjectives. Tell what it's about and let the reader decide if it sounds sizzling.

Anonymous said...

To #5: Not all cannibals are mean and stupid. We're suing for discrimination!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a rambling pile of sex scenes in search of a plot. Reminds me of some friends I had back in the 70's who were questing to be free of sexual inhibition and screw everything that moves. Thanks to HIV, they're dead now.

Blogless Troll said...

Maybe it was the tone of the query, but this sounded too YA-ish, like they're high school girls.

Also, the name Imogen was distracting to me. I don't know if it's because I think it may be some clever statement (I'm a Jen), or because I was waiting for her to buy an island off Costa Rica and clone dinosaurs. Of course, I'm not an avid chick lit reader, so you should probably ignore this.

Robin S. said...

I thought it was only men who took "field trips to Bangkok."

Brenda said...

I like the overall premise of this, but one thing I'd like to see that I'm not seeing is some type of redemption for them in the end. What lessons are learned and how to do they find peace within themselves, if at all?

Poor Juliette. It's not easy to be a hardcore dominantrix.

Anonymous said...

Anon Cannibal --
Read #5 again, it's the bad girls who are mean and stupid. The cannibals are friendly.

Sandra Barkevich said...

This type of plot was done very well in an Ellora's Cave Paranormal series called "Fantasy Fix". In that, the "evil" instigator was Ava. I'm still waiting for her story to come out. The "Fantasy Fix" came about at a lady's night among friends who'd been drinking too much and talking about their lack-luster romance/sex lives. The series is very entertaining. So, done right, this plot certainly has potential. But, I agree with some of the other commenters. Your query needs to show a reason for the women accepting these dares. What's in it for them? How is this plot going to be strong enough to carry an entire book? You'll want to make these things very clear in your query.

Sandy :-)

Robin S. said...

Hi Author-

You mention having had stories published in anthologies of erotic fiction.

You've categorized your novel as "sizzling chick lit" - so is this kind of a hybrid chick lit/erotica piece? If so, is this the type of plot that is expected by the readers of this genre? It looks like there are three women who are on a journey of self-discovery - and who they "are" is being tested, sexually and otherwise.

Blogless troll- Imogen is a name I hear in the UK - but have not seen in the States.

Blogless Troll said...

Right, I know it's a British name. So is Yeardleigh. Having only the query to go by, maybe Imogen is the perfect name. Maybe it's not.

writtenwyrdd said...

Maybe it's just me, but "sizzling" generally implies erotica.

Evil Editor said...

It's just you. To me it implies bacon.

shaded-lily said...

Spoiler alert: They kill Poppy, bury her in the woods, and feel closer and more exhilarated than ever. Not even Poppy was this bad. They resolve to kill again and again.

Oh, that's brilliant! EE, mind if I borrow this idea for the next NaNoWriMo?

Anonymous said...

Here's what. If I was pitching a funny steamy book I would use a funny steamy hook in the query letter. Otherwise, you look as sure to flop as a romantic comedy movie that's being promoted with a trailer that's all about unattractive people looking awkward and miserable.

writtenwyrdd said...

"To me it implies bacon."


Anonymous said...

Oh, and suddenly "bacon" and "erotica" are incompatible?

Talk about judgmental.


PS: I like the name Imogen.

Robin S. said...

Yes, writtenwyrdd, I had it pegged all by myself that sizzling was a clue about erotica.

I thought it would be obvious that I was asking whether the loose (not a play on words) plot structure was the norm for erotic fiction, and if that then carried over to chick lit - as I read neither.