Monday, July 30, 2007
Guess the Plot
Second Time Around
1. The term leftover takes on a new meaning when food critic Vera LeBlanc dies from a bad meal. Her assistant must prove the death wasn't an accident. But first, he, too, must learn the hard way that no food dish is good . . . the second time around.
2. When Tess Malone answers her ringing phone, she's plunged back in time eight years. Will she have to live those painful years over again? Either way, she vows to learn what all the buttons on her iPhone do before pushing them again.
3. An outcast caveman who is reincarnated in New Haven, CT in the mid 1940's must fight his primitive instincts if he is ever going to become the modern president his father failed to be.
4. Alexi was born in the frozen hinterlands of Russia, where he worked hard and died in poverty. In his second life, Alexi was born in the frozen hinterlands of Norway, where he worked hard and died in poverty.
5. Gay divorcee Wesley Welsey left Harry for Barry two years ago. When he tries to recreate the magic of his first love on Bali Bali, he finds that love is lovelier and fun is funnier - the Second Time Around.
6. Rookie Nascar driver Brett Kilgore had the lead after one lap of the Daytona 500, but when veteran Bobby Joe Hitchcock's girlfriend tosses a grenade on the track, Brett realizes he may not make it a . . . Second Time Around.
I read on AgentQuery.com that you are interested in women's fiction. I am hoping you may be interested in my novel Second Time Around (women’s fiction; 94,000 words). I invite you to review my manuscript and consider representing me.
When Tess Malone answers her ringing phone, she’s plunged backward, to a time when her life seemed much simpler. [A time when there were no telephones.] [Idea for a story: Woman picks up telephone but forgets to dial prefix; just dials 1875. Suddenly she's transported to 1875. In order to return to 2007 she must inspire a drunken Alexander Graham Bell to lay off the sauce and invent the telephone. She succeeds, but she failed to recall that the concept of zero had not yet been discovered in 1875, and the phone dial has only 1 through 9. Brilliantly, she dials 2111, planning to then use a phone to return to 2007, but when she appears in 2111, she's on a Pacific island where natives decide she's a witch, and sacrifice her to the volcano.] [I should have used that as one of the Guess the Plots; no one would have believed someone made it up.] [Someone write that up and submit it to Asimov's; we'll split the payment.] After eight years, Jim Tidwell has decided to track down and get reacquainted with the woman he kicked out of his life. With one phone call, the floodgates between the past and the present have opened. Like all floods, the havoc that ensues affects everyone. [Except people who live on houseboats.] [I don't think "opening the floodgates" is the right expression. It usually means everyone will be doing something that wasn't previously allowed. I can't tell what your flood consists of.]
In Second Time Around, Tess is given the opportunity to step back into the arms of the man she thought she loved eight long years ago. [Given the opportunity?
Jim: Tess, baby, long time no see. I know I broke your heart eight years ago, but let's face it, it was kinda your fault. Anyway, all is forgiven, and you can have me back.
Tess: Are you serious?
Jim: Well, I do have conditions.]
She hesitates, questioning his rationale for phoning her, and her rationale for letting him back into her life. But when her questions deepen, and no answers are forthcoming, Tess realizes she must revisit the past, those painful first years after the breakup, and discover why her heart has stalled. Through the reading of her journals, she comes to recognize that she’s been living her life on the fringe ever since that fateful day Jim broke things off. [The fringe of what?]
Even though she’s overcome the death of both her parents, [a brief fling with Alexander Graham Bell,] a debilitating dance with alcoholism, [You have a bout with alcoholism; you dance with the one who brung you.] and a move across the country, she now faces the most daunting choice of her life: whether to stay in the shadows, or fully embrace life and walk in the light once more [; whether to latch back onto the scum responsible for her being in the shadows for eight years, or to laugh in his face; whether to forgive him for deciding to sow his oats for eight years, always assuming he could have her back whenever he felt like it, or to invite him over for a healthy serving of arsenic casserole] .
[Jim: Tess, I was a fool. It took eight years of playing the field, making love with thousands of women, to teach me what I should have known all along: you're the only woman for me.
Tess: Are you serious?
Jim: Yeah, thousands. Hard to believe, huh?]
Second Time Around gives us a glimpse into one woman’s journey through the decisions of the heart; both the heart of the past, and the heart of the present. The novel shows a woman willing to finally stand on her own for what she wants, rather than wait on the people in her life to show her what is best for her. [Vague and wordy. What does she want, and what did the people in her life think was best for her?]
I am a member of RWA, PRO-status. This is my fifth completed (unpublished) novel. I am unmarried with a grown daughter in her junior year of college, and recently relocated from Cleveland to California.
I’d be happy to send you a complete manuscript for your review. Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Frankly, the time travel and arsenic casserole scenarios sound more interesting. You've taken a lot of space just to say that Tess must decide whether she'd be happy with the total loser she thought she loved eight years ago. That situation can exist in a suspense, paranormal, historical, contemporary, or comedic romance. We want an idea of what happens in the book, not just the situation Tess finds herself in. Do they meet? Do they have jobs? What century is it? Do they go somewhere together? Is there a vampire? Surely it's more than dialogue and journal entries.