Monday, April 14, 2008
Guess the Plot
Witch Ever Way You Can
1. Two doughy spinsters experiment with different food preservation methods. But wait --is that a broomstick in the corner, over by the simmering black pot?
2. Yet another hot teen witch enrolls at Crossland High School. It's getting so there's no room for bicycle parking anymore, with all the broomsticks.
3. A Wiccan wannabe sets out to train an orangutan to perform religious rites. Hilarity ensues when the ignorant ape guzzles the ceremonial ale and then starts grinding the ritual cakes into the derrieres of female attendees.
4. A guide to love potions, magical incantations, and a few summoning charms that will help even the worst writer get the attention of an agent.
5. Practicing Witch Deirdre Connelly's reward for procuring the Star Stone is dinner with her crush, actor Rob Addison. Hilarity ensues when the Star Stone becomes permanently fused into Dierdre's hand, causing her to keep setting Rob on fire.
6. Vesta Marcotte knows there are only three ways to become a witch: innate talent, years of study, or paying someone from the occult black market to steal some witch's powers and transfer them to you. Having chosen the easy way, hilarity ensues as Vesta tries to master the powers of Allora, the most powerful witch in the western hemisphere.
Dear Adorable Evil Agent,
When best-selling author and practicing Witch Deirdre Connelly gets a call from billionaire Stewart Tyler asking her to use her magic to open a mysterious box, she has no idea she will end up with an ancient mystical crystal permanently fused within her palm or handsome actor Robert Daniel Addison by her side as she fights for life, love and control of the powerful Star Stone. [No need to cram the whole story into one sentence when you're about to cram it into two paragraphs. If you shorten this to something like When best-selling author and practicing Witch Deirdre Connelly gets a midnight phone call from a billionaire, she has no idea her life is about to turn inside out, you can tack it onto the front of the second paragraph.]
Witch Ever Way You Can is a completed 74,000+ word paranormal romance featuring a protagonist who is strong, quirky and wry. [She's wry? I haven't heard that word applied to a person. Usually it refers to a comment made by a person. Perhaps you meant to say your protagonist is wheat, sourdough and rye. That would make even less sense--unless your protagonist is the Pillsbury Doughboy.] [You might want to trade "wry" for "bewitching" or "enchanting."] Although Witch Ever Way You Can is a stand-alone book, it is intended as the first in a series and the second book is already underway. [Already?! Incredible.]
Deirdre’s life is going just fine until the midnight call from eccentric billionaire Stewart Tyler. [Have you ever noticed that billionaires think they can call you any time of day? They're totally inconsiderate, and I'm sick of it. Yes, I'm talking to you, Gates.] He makes her an offer she can’t refuse: in exchange for working a simple bit of magic, she gets dinner with Robert Daniel Addison, the television star she’s had a crush on for years. Dinner goes well, but it’s all downhill from there. The treasure her magic reveals, the otherworldly Star Stone, ends up inside her instead of in the hands of its intended owner. [After you change the first sentence you'll have to change "ends up inside her" to "gets fused within her hand." Otherwise we'll think she ate it.]
Now she and Rob are hostage-guests at Tyler’s isolated Montana ranch [I think hostage situations would go better if all criminals treated their hostages as guests.] and Deirdre must find a way to return the Stone. Or else. [Or else what? The billionaire will have her killed?] Can she master the powers of the Star Stone before it masters her…or drives her crazy? Can she find the answers to the Stone’s long-lost secrets from an unexpected spiritual guide before it’s too late? And most of all, can Deirdre and Rob find love in the midst of all this madness and magic? And will he still love her if she keeps setting him on fire? [There's a limit to how many consecutive questions people will listen to without getting any answers. Four is over the limit.] Only time will tell, and time is running out.
My award-winning short story, “Dead (and Mostly) Gone,” is included in The Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction: 13 Prize Winning Tales (forthcoming from Llewellyn in October 2008). I have also published two non-fiction books; Circle, Coven & Grove: A Year of Magickal Practice (Llewellyn 2007) and Everyday Witch A to Z (Llewellyn 2008) and have just sold my third book to Llewellyn. I am practicing Witch and a Wiccan High Priestess [Listen, there are a few people I need turned into toads. Email me.] with a number of articles and a weekly column in a Pagan publication.
I would be pleased to send you a synopsis, sample chapters or the entire manuscript on request. Thank you for taking the time to consider my work. I have enclosed a SASE and look forward to hearing from you.
Considering how many fake plots I received involving orangutans, you might want to come up with a title less like the Clint Eastwood movie.
I don't care how big a crush I have on some TV star, if someone wants a favor from me, and he's a billionaire, he's gonna have to do more than get me a dinner date. I'll bet he offered the actor a lot more than dinner.
Is the TV actor a hostage? What's keeping him from leaving? How does the billionaire know Dierdre would rather have a date with Rob than a million dollars? Would a TV actor drop what he's doing and go to Montana for dinner? Has the billionaire tried opening the box with a hack saw? Note that Evil Editor is allowed to ask five consecutive questions. That hardly seems fair, and yet it is.
Being a practicing witch and Wiccan High Priestess may be solid credentials for a nonfiction book going to Llewellyn; as this romance novel query is going to an agent, possibly a sane one, it may not be so important. Sure, I know this is all cool and spiritual etc., but I doubt Anne Rice admitted that she was a practicing vampire and Queen of the New Orleans Blood Cult until after she was a bestseller.
Same with a weekly column in a Pagan publication. You say Pagan; the unenlightened think The Wicker Man. Possibly your credits should just read, I have sold three nonfiction books on witchcraft to Llewellyn, and my short story “Dead (and Mostly) Gone,” will be included in The Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction: 13 Prize Winning Tales. Your description of the book doesn't lead me to believe a working knowledge of witchcraft was vital in writing it, any more than a staff writer on Bewitched needed to be a witch, so don't go overboard.