Guess the Plot
1. Johnnny Gunz doesn't want to be a one hit wonder. So when he stumbles upon a brilliant songwriter, Johnny kills him and claims all of the songwriter's compositions as his own. Just as his second album becomes a hit, Johnny's loved ones begin to die one by one. Is it a coincidence? Karma? Or a vengeful ghost?
2. Dr. Emile Steinner has learned about a plot to assassinate a U.S. senator, but a bizarre supercollider accident has accelerated him to 35,000 times normal human speed. Now Steinner has fifteen minutes to save the senator from certain death, but those fifteen minutes may be the longest year of his life.
3. When superstar Anthony Harris collapses, poisoned, at the hot dog stall in the mall, Disco Dog assistant manager Rebecca has the fame she has longed for. But can she parlay her fifteen minutes into something more? Perhaps a job as full manager?
4. Geri doesn't want fame, but she does want fortune. So she settles for a live-in job as the personal assistant for socialite Cora Delaney. Living the high life second hand is pretty good--until Cora dies and the cops hang the murder on Geri.
5. Demiel the arch-incubus has a terrible problem: he only lasts 15 minutes. Among incubi, that's comparable to a human male who only lasts 5 seconds. Demiel seeks out the multiverse's most competent sex instructor, but a series of mistakes cause him to be trapped in a commune full of elderly bisexual hippies. Also, panties that grant wishes, but only in the way you didn't mean.
6. Controversial game show "15 Minutes" offers contestants the best 15 minutes of their lives--provided they're also the last 15 minutes. But socialite Nancy Cochrane, armed with charm, money and stilettos, thinks she can beat the system.
Dear Wonderful Agent,
I've very much enjoyed reading your blog and having read BOOKX that you represent, I decided to contact you about my novel, 15 Minutes.
All Rebecca wanted was to be famous - despite that niggling little issue that she didn’t have a good reason. She wasn’t pretty enough to be an it-girl and not talented enough to lead a rock band. She didn’t know anyone who could give her a big break and her family socialized with accountants and librarians instead of movie moguls. [When you say she didn't have a good reason, we assume you mean a good reason for wanting to be famous. What you mean is she didn't have a chance in hell. You can say it that way, or you can delete "didn’t have a good reason. She".] Trying to get noticed took up all of her time - her mother insisted that if she put that much effort into anything else, she wouldn’t be stuck in a dead-end job as assistant manager of the Disco Dog food-stall at the Buena Park Mall. [At first I thought you meant a stall where they sell dog food. Sort of an upscale Taco Bell.] But she was convinced there was a solution to her dilemma.
It finally seemed she found it when she recognized hot teen super-star Anthony Harris and waved him over to her. [Hey, big boy, how about a foot-long, all the way?] She’d just made him a double-onion mustard dog when he collapsed at the counter. She rang the long-since memorised phone number of the local gossip mag and then an ambulance, convinced she was finally at the right place at the right time. But when it turned out he had been poisoned, [If he ate a mall hot dog, of course he's been poisoned.] Rebecca found herself a lot less happy about being in the limelight. And then the death-threats began...
15 Minutes is 90,000 word YA novel. I am a freelance writer with a monthly column in Piper Flyer. My short stories have been published in EverydayFiction.com and Dark Tales Magazine. This is my first full-length novel.
When you wave a superstar over to your hot dog stand, do his bodyguards and entourage actually let him go?
What does a superstar think when a hot dog seller waves him over to her stall? Hmm, that woman seems to want something. It could be important. I'd better check it out. Or...Note to self: have bothersome hot dog chick killed after leaving mall.
It sounds like he collapses before eating the hot dog, in which case why the death threats? If he eats and then collapses, that could be made clear.
Usually the plot sounds better in present tense than past.
I could do with less set-up and more plot. Do we need an explanation of why a woman working in a mall hot dog stall isn't famous? Even with looks and talent and connections most people don't achieve fame.
You might see how it sounds beginning the query when the guy collapses and working in more of the aftermath. Or at least shorten the set-up to something like All Rebecca James wanted was to be famous - but without looks, talent or connections, it seems she's destined to languish in her job as assistant manager of Disco Dog. Then she gets her big break: teen super-star Anthony Harris dies after eating one of Rebecca's hot dogs, and the face of the "Disco Dog Killer" is plastered on newspapers and magazines worldwide.