Friday, July 06, 2007
Guess the Plot
1. Asked by a centurion how many enemy soldiers are approaching, Algebron wanted to say DX, but having never been good at arithmetic he mixed his Roman and Arabic numerals. Though he was punished severely, he later was credited with inventing a new field of mathematics.
2. When urban rapper "500" Cent learns he's the illegitimate son of Malcolm X he leaves the hip-hop lifestyle behind in his search for a time portal.
3. "Fee Fie Foe Fum" is all well and good for scaring off the locals, but everyday life for a giant is not easy. For starters, it's nearly impossible to find a decent t-shirt in size 500X.
4. Sir Isaac Newton is on the verge of inventing calculus, but no one knows that he is being coached by Vallomint, an astronaut from the Twenty-First Century. If Sir Isaac can't figure out a derivative that yields 500 X, the future of the planet is at stake. Can Vallomint knock some sense into Newton's thick skull?
5. Janne is a Fortune 500 market analyst, but on weekends nosedives into the Xstacy-fueled underworld of Helsinki, Finland's grungy rave parties. Threatened with exposure by a colleague, Janne heads for the relative calm of New York City.
6. 500 . . . 499 . . . only 498 miles to go. Danica is on her way to winning the Indy 500, bagging that new hunky mechanic she hired, and showing the world women can drive fast too. She's got it all in the bag until she accidentally passes her pit . . . and has to back up. Where the hell is reverse on this car?
My name is Henrik Wilenius and as I understand, you have an interest in commercial fiction. Therefore, I believe you may be interested in my novel, 500 X. Below, you will find a short synopsis for your consideration:
Bright, ambitious, and handsome Janne Valo wants to live his life to the fullest. Throughout the week, he is a hardworking, dedicated international market analyst with an exemplary life style, while on the weekends, he takes nosedives into the Xstacy-fuelled underworld of around-the-clock clubbing. [Uh oh. Not another autobiography masquerading as a novel.] When an embittered colleague threatens to expose his nocturnal life, [Actually, it's what he does on the weekends, not at night.] Janne makes a fatal mistake and the consequences throw his life into an abyss. He flees to New York [When your life is in an abyss, heading for New York is not the solution.] to seek oblivion through any means available. With death just a few breaths away, he finally awakens. [We editors and agents are rather dense, and would prefer that you spell things out for us. What was the fatal mistake? You mean literally fatal? He killed the embittered colleague? Why is death a few breaths away? What do you mean, "he finally awakens"? No need to be cryptic.] Along with the help of a friend, he makes a complete transformation, which sends him on a journey to face his past and find meaning in his life.
500X is a contemporary novel with 60 000 words. The story is set in Finland at the end of the 20th century. After the fall of the Soviet Union, many Russians immigrated to Finland in a quest for a better life. At the same time, the younger generation took to a new club culture and designer drugs. In smoky industrial warehouses with pulsating strobe lights, they were looking for a lost Eden while the rest of the country was pulling clear from the great depression caused by the stock market crash of 89. [We seem to have morphed from a novel to a Finnish history book. Perhaps that's a good thing. Finland is one of those countries that always gets short shrift in American history books, not unlike Uruguay. One might even say Finland is the Uruguay of Scandinavia. ] Janne’s insatiable thirst for fulfillment takes him from the grungy rave parties of Helsinki, Finland and through the megaclubs of Ibiza, Spain to the Yakuza-joints of Tokyo, and finally after a sobering stay in New York, to the remote Finnish woodlands close to the Russian border. [I got the impression earlier that he fled directly from Finland to New York. Now it seems he went there after a world cruise.]
My first book, The End of Restlessness, was published in Finland in 2001 by WSOY. Aktivist, a popular Helsinki city paper commented:”This new book surprises and will no doubt be one of the literary topics this spring. Mr Wilenius reveals his life of travel, parties and drugs not only honestly but also with laconic, gonzo-oriented and ultimately humorous (black) attitude”.
Currently, I am working on two screenplays for the Finnish market and preparing material for my third novel.
If you would be interested in reading a partial or the entire manuscript, I would be most happy to send you a copy either by email or snail mail.
I thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
With kind regards,
If Janne did indeed kill his bitter colleague, I would assume it was because he was in danger of losing his career. Then he gives up his career anyway. If I killed someone to salvage my career, I would be doing whatever I could to get rid of the evidence, not fleeing to New York. It's not like the cops in Finland know what they're doing anyway. They're all parked in front of Dunkin' Karjalanpiirakkas.
The title tells us nothing. I guessed X refers to Xstacy, what's 500? I note that the title is spelled 500X once and 500 X another. To you, no big deal. To Stephen Hawking, the difference between eternity and the end of the universe.
You might want to tell us what's to like about Janne. Readers like to pull for a main character, but you haven't made it clear why we should care what happens to him.
Has Janne committed a crime? That he fled to NY makes me think so. That he returns to Finland makes me wonder.