Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Guess the Plot
A Cold, Dark Place
1. Painfully shy Norbin Wartly gets a part time job as a custodian in the Coroner's Office. But will his quest for love lead him to . . . A Cold, Dark Place?
2. The coldest, darkest place Lester Hobbs can imagine is the deep freeze in the basement. That’s where he keeps donor sperm samples after he collects them from drugged patients at the Harris Gloams mental hospital. Maybe the deep freeze isn’t the coldest, darkest place after all.
3. When a rival mold colony threatens to destroy their own, Spanky Spore and a ragtag group of misfits embark on a quest to the outer reaches of Hvacia to find help. If they can survive the high winds and lethal UV lighting, Spanky and his companions just might be able to convince the legendary Elder Warriors of the Evaporator Coil to join their cause.
4. A trail of clues has Laurel and Jackie chasing the sick bastard who killed a boy and drained his blood. But as they break down the last door, will they be capturing a killer, or entering the cold, dark lair of a vampire? Also, another vampire.
5. When he’s bad, Tommy has to take his “timeouts” in the old root cellar. His dad thinks spending time in a cold, dark place will make Tommy think before he misbehaves. Maybe so, but Tommy has tunneled to Marcie Stellar’s house next door where they play “doctor” and “house” and “guess the body part in the dark.” Needless to say, Tommy can take all the hard time his old man can dish out.
6. Two mice named Guildenstern and Rosencrantz, trapped in a refrigerator, debate the merits of Swiss Cheese versus Cheddar, whether rats really are as bad as people say, and why it gets very bright for brief periods of time. Also, a fly in the mayonnaise and an elite squad of militant cockroaches.
I am looking for representation for my paranormal suspense manuscript which is complete at 118,000 words. A bit on the dark side, with emotionally troubled characters, and a different play on what it means to be a vampire, A Cold, Dark Place should appeal to mystery, suspense, and vampire novel readers alike. I read that you are currently looking for this kind of story.
FBI agent Jackie Rutledge has a dead boy on her hands. Some sick bastard had drained him of his blood. [Let me guess. The conversation goes:
Jackie: The victim has no blood.
C. Chan: Two possibilities. Possibility one: After murdering boy, killer risked discovery by hanging around another hour to drain victim's blood into large bucket through tiny puncture marks on neck.
Jackie: And possibility two?
C. Chan: Vampire.
Jackie: Don't be ridiculous. I'll tell the boys to be on the lookout for a sick bastard carrying a giant bucket of human blood.]
PI Nick Anderson was the sick bastard that Jackie and her psychic partner, Laurel suspected of killing the boy. [Do they suspect him because he's a sick bastard? Or is he a sick bastard only if he's guilty?] [I don't think I've ever received a query letter in which the term "sick bastard" was used so often so early . . . Though I do seem to receive more than my share of personal letters in which the phrase is tossed around more freely than I'd like.] Only, he knows who the real killer is, and knows that the FBI is no match for him. Nick knows because he has the same need of the killer; the need for blood. [We all need blood. The difference is that for some of us it's a life force, carrying oxygen to our brain cells, fighting off infection, supplying nutrients, and disposing of waste. For others it's a refreshing beverage.]
Jackie has spent her ten years in the bureau catching sociopaths, poor substitutes for the one she was never able to catch as a child. Laurel is the only agent who knows her past, and has enabled Jackie to keep it from boiling over into her current life. Nick has been chasing the killer for 140 years now, riddled with guilt over the death of his family and what he allowed himself to become in order to catch him. [Or rather, to not catch him.] [If you've spent 140 years at something with nothing to show for it, perhaps it's time to try a less-demanding task.] He refuses to be the one thing that will allow him to catch [the sick bastard named] Cornelius Drake. [You just said he allowed himself to become something in order to catch him. Now you say he refuses to become what will allow him to catch him.]
When Drake makes Laurel one of his victims, [The psychic gets killed? Shouldn't she have seen that coming? (Sometimes my job is just too easy.)] Jackie’s life begins to fall apart, and despite his best efforts to push her away, Nick finds that he needs her help if Drake is going to be caught. [In the beginning you claim Nick knows the entire FBI is no match for the killer. In the end, you claim he needs the help of only one agent to capture Drake.] Their trust for one another is pushed to the ultimate limit when they are trapped by the killer and only one option for survival remains. He must accept what he is and take them both over to the world of the dead where Drake has even more power than in the realm of the living.
So for the 140 years Nick has been chasing Drake, he hasn't accepted what he is?
The plot sounds interesting, but it's hard to tell, as the description is too general in places. Give us more specifics.
The plot might be more clear if there were fewer pronouns. Those last two paragraphs have so many his's, her's, him's, he's, she's, their's etc., it becomes work trying to figure out who's who.
Normally a murder isn't enough to bring in the FBI. But with paranormal aspects and a sociopath hunter, this is like The X-Files meets Criminal Minds. Jackie is Dana Sculley and Nick is Jason Gideon. At the beginning of each chapter Nick quotes a famous historical figure he actually knew, and Jackie refuses to believe what is painfully obvious.