Thursday, March 15, 2007
Guess the Plot
One Wrong Move
1. So it was one little mistake. A guy can't make a mistake? Thank God it didn't affect my reelection and now, if I move fast, I can invade Iran, too!
2. Kidnapped CIA Agent Garth Pelter wakes to find a bomb strapped to his body and a chessboard in front of him. If he loses the game, the bomb goes off. But Pelter doesn’t even know how the Prawns are supposed to move.
3. If Lonnie Lambert can get his right hand onto a red circle, he might just win the World Twister Championship. On the other hand, if his arm makes contact with Pretzel Jackson's breast, he's sure to get a black eye. With the ESPN cameras rolling, will Lonnie make . . . One Wrong Move?
4. The Smythe family moves, on average, every eight months. Denver, Chicago, Atlanta -- they've seen them all. When they move to Bucksnort, TN, however, the Smythes meet their new neighbors, the Smiths, who keep a pig for a pet and brew moonshine in a backyard still. Can the Smythes get beyond their stereotyped opinions of their neighbors, or will they have to admit they've made . . . One Wrong Move?
5. Twinkie Thompson thought his fortunes had changed the night old Mrs. Billiard traded a Holstein for his magic beans. He was so happy he ran to the Smith's and got engaged to Maryanne. But in the morning he discovered that beast in the barn was no banal bovine, but . . . a zombie cow.
6. When Monica decides to ride in a hot-air balloon, her life takes off in a new direction. Will her boring friends and family bring her down to Earth, deflating her dreams? Or will she soar to new heights?
Attn. Evil Editor:
Funny, absurd and overly cautious--all describe Monica Baker, a 33-year-old single girl with more baggage than a Boeing 747. [Not sure what you mean by baggage, but overly-cautious people usually don't accumulate it in great quantity.] When Monica decides to dump her cautious act and really live--talk up a cute stranger, ride a hot air balloon, brave a hot tub-- [A hot tub?! Throwing caution to the wind is one thing; this woman is a maniac!] her life takes off in a direction she never imagined.
But where's the old Monica? Some want her back. Some need her help. Ex-boyfriend Sammy is a Fruit Loop-eating drummer with a talent for making women hum. [Hum? I gotta get out more. Is that hum like a finely tuned engine, or hum like when they don't know the words?] Teddy, her dad, camps on his La-Z-Boy and buys tulip bulbs and steak knives from The Home Shopping Network. [Regularly? How many steak knives do you need?] Duffy, her mom, can't be bothered as she gambles, downs gin and amasses a collection of gnomes to rival Tolkien. [If you mean to rival the number of gnomes in Tolkien's published works, this is one puny collection. Try the Brothers Grimm, or Discworld . . . Or are you talking about Tolkien's personal collection of garden gnomes, which I understand numbered in the tens of thousands?]
I would be happy to submit "One Wrong Move", complete at 80,000 words. A stamped envelope is enclosed for your convenience, hoping you'll want to see more. [Personification is a fine literary device if not overused. Using it while informing me of your SASE in a query letter is probably going too far.]
That's it? Where's the plot? All we have is four characters and a few tidbits of information about each of them. What happens in the book? What's the new direction Monica's life goes in? Does her new-found boldness lead to hilarious disaster? How so? Does it lead to Happily Ever After with a hunky guy who eats a more mature breakfast cereal? Tell us about it. Is there a villain? A challenge? A pivotal life-changing moment toward which the book inexorably marches? Once we know your plot, if you have more room on the page you can tell us all about Monica's father's shopping choices, but not a moment before.
Isn't that spelled "Froot Loops"?