Thursday, March 22, 2007

Face-Lift 300!!

Guess the Plot

Chance Encounter

1. Who knew that a game of strip Monopoly would be the end of their affair? An unpleasant encounter over a Chance card, and Lyle storms out. Until he learns the meaning of "Do Not Pass Go," Kitty won't take him back, no matter how often he compliments her Community Chest.

2. Love is kindled at a Monopoly tournament, when Muffy and Ken touch hands reaching for the same Chance card. When Ken reveals he recently got out of jail, will Muffy hop on the Reading Railroad? Or will they settle down at Park Place?

3. Saxophonist Geoffrey Lunt's life is a mess. His wife has left him for a cushy lifestyle with her dentist, his children want nothing to do with him, and he keeps hearing a Kenny G solo in his head. Will a chance encounter with the famous saxophonist cure Geoffrey of his ills? Or will it make his life even more miserable?

4. Sure, her boss wants her dead, the FBI wants her in jail, and there's a hitman waiting on her sofa. But when Delia runs into an intensely handsome man, all bets are off. She slips him her card and says, "Call me." Turns out she slipped him someone else's card. It's just not her day.

5. Tracey Robinson wasn't supposed to even go to her aunt's wedding, but a last minute change of plans had her driving south. Little did she know that a chance encounter with a dashing stranger at a rest stop would end with her engaged to the antichrist, who has at his command a thousand zombies waiting to take over the world.

6. When Hillary meets Chance in a bar, her life is about to change forever. Is Chance really from another planet? Does he have superpowers beyond human comprehension? Will he take her with him when he returns to his home world? Or has Hillary just fallen for another loser with a big imagination?

Original Version

Dear Mr. Generic:

Query for A Chance Encounter, a romantic suspense novel of 72,000 words

Delia Weintraub has done something foolish. She has handed another woman's business card to an intensely handsome man, saying, "Call me." [This happens to Evil Editor a lot. It gets pretty awkward if I do call:

She: Hello?

EE: Hi. It's me. From the Star Trek convention?

She: Pardon me?

EE: You remember. I was the Klingon with the pince-nez.

She: Listen, pal, I don't know what you're--

EE: Not again. Sorry, misunderstanding. Someone apparently thought it would be funny to slip me your card. Probably didn't even realize I was Evil Editor.

She: Whatever. Now if you don't mind, I'm trying to watch Dancing with the . . . Did you say Evil Editor?

EE: I did.

She: Now I remember. I'll be in the lounge at the Ritz Carlton in a half hour.]

Now the woman whose name is on that card is lying dead at the bottom of a flight of stairs, murdered, and Delia just might be next. Adding to her woes, her boss wants her dead, [Firing an employee isn't easy for some bosses, but if the relationship has reached the point where you literally want your employee dead, you've waited too long.] the FBI wants to arrest her for murders she didn't commit, [After years of wasting resources trying to capture people and arrest them for murders they did commit, the FBI has finally realized it's much easier to capture people who didn't commit murders.] and a hired killer is relaxing on her living room sofa. [Who is this woman? Her problems seem a bit extreme if it turns out she's a manicurist or a florist.] And as if that were not enough, Brad Blackburn, the man who may have killed the woman of the business card, claims he's fallen in love with her. [There's gotta be a way to avoid the embarrassment of referring to one of your characters as "the woman of the business card."]

My published work, Samantha and the Bear, was released in 2001, by Neighborhood Press, when they were still a small but real publisher. [Now they're a small but imaginary publisher.]

I've included the synopsis, and a few pages, and as I am certain you have already guessed, I would be delighted to submit the entire manuscript.


It's awfully brief. If it answered a few of the following questions it would be more informative and less listy:

1. Did Delia pass the woman of the business card's business card intentionally, and if so, why?

2. Is Delia aware the woman of the business card has been murdered?

3. What does Delia do for a living?

4. Why does her boss want her dead?

5. Who hired the hired killer?

6. Is Delia in love with Brad? Is Brad hunky?

8. The FBI wants to arrest Delia for murders she didn't commit? Murders besides the murder of the woman of the business card? Whose murders? Why is she a suspect? If the FBI wants to arrest her, why don't they? Is she on the run?

You don't need to answer everything, but by elaborating on your points, you'll show the ability to string ideas together rather than just list them.


Anonymous said...

"7. Is Delia in love with Brad? Is Brad hunky?" By George, EE, you've done it again. God knows I need to start Thursdays off with a laugh (particularly after sitting for two numb hours at my cobwebby keyboard). But really, you needn't post these at 6:30 a.-freaking-m.!

As for the story, the plot, as nearly as I can make it out, is better than average (assuming Brad is indeed hunky), and I get the feeling the writing is sparkly.

Anonymous said...

for some reason, I saw the Monopoly man and immediately wanted the title to be "Love and Monopoly."

I agree, there isn't enough to sell the story here. It sounds like it might be good. Keep at it.

Anonymous said...

It's awful listy. Numerous interesting plot elements but it might be more effective to give a more story-like introduction to the main troubles and leave the minor ones to be discovered in the text.

Bernita said...

Hints of really good stuff here ( the dead card owner/ a hired killer relaxing on her living room sofa) but we need to know who SHE is, before we can identify with her problems.

Brenda said...

Although it's all listed, if it were a well-written query, I'd be all over this. I'd love for you to rewrite it and post it here as a comment for us to see again.

The Ritz Carlton, huh? I'll have on the shirt...

Brenda said...

Congrats on #300!

PJD said...

This sounds like an interesting book. Good luck with it.

I'm not sure I like beginning with "Delia Weintraub has done something foolish." It implies that she meant to give someone else's business card, but it's unclear (as EE points out) whether it was intentional.

Also, it's unclear why Delia might be next. She gave the guy someone else's business card, so how would he know where to find her? Is the business card the thing that ties all these things together?

Does she have a sidekick at any point, or is it just her against the world? You call it romantic suspense, but the only reference to love is that the maybe-murdered says he loves her. Does she have any love interest here? (The guy on the couch?)

Anonymous said...

Speaking of hunky, I got my Evil Editor coffee mug yesterday. So I pour some hot coffee into it this morning, and NOTHING HAPPENED! I thought the three piece suit would fade away, leaving an amazing view of EE's washboard abs.

Jeez, was I disappointed.

Anonymous said...

Simonbun, it doesn't work with coffee, sillyhead! Try something stronger.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Was Brad the intensely handsome man and if he killed the woman on the business card because he thought she was Delia, how is he in love with Delia? Gives real meaning to "I love you to death."

So many great possible books in the other plot guesses.

Congrats, oh Evil Overlord, on reaching 300! You have amazing staying power.