Sunday, March 16, 2008

Face-Lift 503

Guess the Plot

Quantum Magic

1. Is making potions too slow for you? Cauldron not boiling fast enough? Turn to quantum magic, the quicker, easier way for Wiccans to have fun in the forest!

2. When an evil Celtics fan threatens to turn Los Angeles into a radioactive puddle of slag, whiz kid Mario Degas shrinks basketball legend Magic Johnson to molecular dimensions. Can Magic drive the lane and slam-dunk the evil plot? Or will Los Angeles be destroyed, thus bringing joy to billions worldwide?

3. The physics lab is not all work and no play. Scientist Lou McNerdle has used quantum physics to create an anti-gravity shoe for the basketball team. Will his Quantum Magic lead to a tournament bid, or will NCAA watchdog Hillary Hooper bring McNerdle back down to earth?

4. The Muse of Inspiration has a problem in helping humanity to the stars: Getting scientists to believe in magic, because only magic can go faster than light. Hilarity ensues when she utilizes ethanol and some untried new designer drugs to effect.

5. The dean laughed when physicist Norman Gannon first proposed teaching a course about Magic at the university. But that was before the Sociology Building vanished into smoke.

6. Murders and miracles, physics and prophecy are linked to the author of this magical autobiography, an alien being who explains such mysteries as Revelations and the numerology of 666 and 911. Also, Sputnik.

Original Version






Magic [That, apparently, is the full title. I decided to make it easier for fake plot writers.]

On October 4, 1957 the Soviet Union launched the first of humanity's machines to reach my realm. [You know me as . . . the ionosphere. I'd been sitting there for millions of years, minding my own business, when suddenly this hunk of junk shows up and starts beeping. How's an atmospheric layer supposed to get any sleep? And that was only the beginning. This . . . is my story.] [If you think a memoir narrated by the ionosphere would be weird, wait till you read the actual query.] Sputnik means "co-traveler", so I hitched a ride and waited 92 days to plummet to earth on the burning Star of Sputnik exactly 9 months before I was born on October 4, 1958. I entered the developing egg of a random woman [I'm not saying I was born in 1958, but just out of curiosity, what did this woman look like?] and waited while minions, terrified of a primitive tin can in space, scrambled to create ARPA, the organization which would design your web of weapons of war while giving rise to Gog.

Mine is a new non-fiction genre where one weaves a verifiable yet impossible tale over a Biblical 40 years with a 10 year preamble. [Where one weaves? I think you mean where you weave, unless you know of someone else writing in this genre . . . By the way, are you Gog?] You'll find out how and why I took out the USA's most expensive military aircraft, along with her older sister. [I once took out the younger sister of a heavy battle-axe.] I explain Revelations and the numerology of 666 and 911, [666 is the only 3-digit number which, when added to half of itself and then flipped over yields itself; 911 is the highest known prime number*.] as well as the secrets of the SS9, [Secrets like what it is.] and link them repeatedly to me and only me. [Better title for this book: I, Gog.] I add physics and prophesy to 23 murders [Whoa, 23? Did you come up with that theory that everything is connected to the number 23?] and many miracles in this web I call Autobiographical Magic.

I've been loud. [I wouldn't call it loud so much as annoying.] Much of the plot can be Googled, [So, Gog, did you invent Google?] and lots of folks will remember the rest. Police and paramedics and pastors and physicians [all start with "p" and] make wonderful witnesses when people live and die on cue. And when it comes to weather, I like wind. [You do sound kind of like a gasbag.] Of course, since I'm me, you'll get shredded with commentary on your wars and other fun games, too. [Of course, since we're us, we'll tune you out.]

Part 1, which covers my childhood, is both lived and written. Part 2&3 [2 & 3? 23? Spooky.]continues on through my 50th. A third book, The Gospel According to rick, no, that's later. For now, I'll just prove that I'm the Dick you've been waiting for. [No additional proof is needed.]

* Known to Evil Editor



I assume if this were a hoax you wouldn't have come up with a weird title, so . . . even if the book is wildly over the top, there's a better way to convey this than with a wildly over-the-top query. You're trying to convince an agent to represent you in a business deal, or a publisher to invest lots of money in you. Thus it's best that you not give the impression that you actually believe you're Gog.

You had a plot going for a while there, stowing away on Sputnik etc. Is the rest just a series of rants and a listing of your accomplishments? I think you need to focus on a progression of events that culminates with your biggest achievement or failure. Even a memoir tells a story.


Whirlochre said...

I can't read this for white noise.

The opening para hints at a story but doesn't develop it.

This is way too OTT for a query letter. I know you have to sell yourself as well as your work but in this case the writer needs to get out of his/her own light.

EE does us all a tremendous favour using blue comments rather than red.

Anonymous said...

WTF? is right. This makes no sense at all, it's turgid and badly written, and I am frankly afraid to comment under my actual name.

What is a "new non-fiction genre"? Stories weaving Biblical stuff with modern are not new. Neither are stories about mystical numbers know what? This HAS to be a hoax.

But I'm still scared to comment under my name.

Anonymous said...

Wait, by "a Biblical 40 years and ten" did you mean a Biblical lifetime, which is "three score years and ten"? Because a score is twenty years.

If it's a joke it doesn't work, and if you're serious then it makes me wonder what else you've totally gotten wrong.

Anonymous said...

If real:

You're supposed to make us want to read your novel, not hit you in the face.

If a hoax:

You're supposed to make us want to laugh, not hit you in the face.

Anonymous said...

Completely... confused.

That's me... and (I suspect) Gog.

Author: what's going on here? Rewrite and repost...

Nancy Beck said...


I've no idea what's going on here. My first thought - a hoax: Someone just through this together, with some sentences resembling some sort of plot. Then it kind of goes...all over the place.

As something real - it makes no sense. It's completely and utterly over the top.

As something unreal - it didn't make me chuckle. At least give me some laughs, ya know?

Phoenix Sullivan said...

Author, dear, I don't say this often, but perhaps PublishAmerica is the place for you.

Coincidentally, I watched an episode on Discovery last night about the Book of Revelation (which is singular, btw), and a new parchment was recently discovered that refutes the number "666" and quite clearly shows "616" as the number of the Beast. Perhaps you can explain the discrepancy? Since my WIP touches on much of the prophecy (spelled with a "c", btw) of Revelation, I want to be sure I get my facts correct.

EE: You have outdone yourself on this one! I treated myself to a peek at your blog as a reward for finishing up a particular difficult piece of editing, and was absolutely delighted to find this little masterpiece waiting. A Hall of Famer, I do believe :o)

GTP #1: *snicker*

Matt Larkin said...

Does this have something to do with magic? Or quantum mechanics? Or anything else?

Is he claiming to be the Biblical Gog, like Gog and Magog?

Anonymous said...

If this is a gag query, then the author displays a disturbing lack of humor.
If this is NOT a gag query, then the author displays a disturbing lack of sanity.

Anonymous said...

if Gog invented Google, wouldn't he be called Goggle?

Bernita said...

"I'll just prove that I'm the Dick you've been waiting for."
That line is enough for an agent to ensure s/he has 911 on speed-dial.
Makes the writer sound like a stalker.

Xiexie said...


Dave Fragments said...

There is an New Beginning that matches this query (facelift) which implies that there is a novel.

If you are an author who has a neat idea that combines all of these disparate facts, numerical occurrences and coincidences, then you should look at descriptions of other novels that solve puzzles.

Conan Doyle has several Sherlock Holmes puzzles.
National Treasure has two movies that round up odd facts (mostly Templars).
The Da Vinci Code is another one.
The Rule of Four was a successful DaVinci Code clone.

None of them would ever be described in the way you describe your book in that query. This is a try again.

Stacy said...

Right on. WTF? is right. Because, beyond that, there are no words.

Anonymous said...

Sputnik means "co-traveler", so I hitched a ride...

If only Sputnik had meant "fuck off and leave me alone"...

No matter where you're from, "impossible" means "impossible". You can't verify impossible, because you can't prove a negative; if the tale is verifiable, then it isn't impossible.

Robin S. said...

"Of course, since I'm me, you'll get shredded with commentary on your wars and other fun games, too. [Of course, since we're us, we'll tune you out.]"

Heh heh. This is a scream. (I can't point out all the places where your blue lines are a scream, so I'm with phoenix- might as well tag this one now as a top-10 of 2008.)

Stacy said...

"I'll just prove that I'm the Dick you've been waiting for."

I've heard this line in a bar somewhere.

Anonymous said...

I've heard this line in a bar somewhere.

Ah, yeah -- that was me. Sorry. It does work for me 3 times out of 10, though.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my; oh, my! And I thought MY query needed work!

I have a difficult time believing there is a coherent book to go along with this rubbish... I agree with those who call it a hoax.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Someone has a warped sense of humor. And not in a good way. If this is truly serious - there is a germ of an interesting idea in there, but it's lost in the bad gimmick.

PJD said...

My only comment (besides agreeing with... well, everyone) is that Gog is another one of those weird made-up names that would probably be better if you spelled it backwards.

talpianna said...

I tend to think the author is high or VERY disturbed--or possibly looking for converts for a new religion he's founding.

You know, of course, that the Number of the Beast is really 33--and you turn it around, and guess what you get: EE!

And at least we now know his real name isn't Fermat.

writtenwyrdd said...

Oddly, though I was horribly confused and wanted to smack some sense into the author of this letter, some of the lines (like the sputnik line) were rather nifty and I liked them.

That said, the problem is, nothing within this letter sells the story. Instead, it gives a rather creepy/stalker feel, and the odd use of pronouns is jarring. I gather you wanted to give your query the sense of the story's voice? I don't mean to be snarky, but I really hope that isn't the story's voice because it pretty much stinks as it stands.

Polenth said...

The query missed out the word count of the memoir (part one). Is it a bad sign that the missing word count was the first thing I noticed was wrong?

fairyhedgehog said...

Quantum Magic is such an evocative title. I was disappointed that the plot wasn't "The Muse of Inspiration has a problem in helping humanity to the stars: Getting scientists to believe in magic, because only magic can go faster than light." I rather liked that suggestion.

By the way, I'm learning not to drink anything while reading EE's (or anyone else's) comments.

fh (formerly posting as Gina)

Brenda said...

I'm not reading through all these replies, so if this is already mentioned, sorry. It's REVELATION, not Revelations. There is no "s" on the end. It's singular. It's A revelation, written by John around 93 A.D.

Never know when one who minored in theology may read your stuff, huh?

Jamie Hall said...

Nonfiction this weird does get published - just try googling "David Icke" as an example - but this query letter as it is written needs a great deal of work.

It needs a theme, it needs to flow, and even if the ideas themselves are on the far side of kooky, those ideas need to harmonize with each other in the query.

Try looking at back-of-the-book blurbs for extremely weird nonfiction, and try to imitate that style. I feel as if the query has been written in several different voices.