Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Guess the Plot
One Night in Magadan
1. When an invasion force from the Madlands attacks the city of Magadan, the massacre is on. One common minstrel joins up with a band of strangers--not to try to defeat the overwhelming forces, but to run like hell in hopes of surviving . . . one night in Magadan.
2. Kincaid O'Sheefe, Ireland's top secret agent, is assigned to track and capture the Assassin, an ex-KGB official turned hired killer. O'Sheefe travels to Magadan where he has a one-night-stand with his contact--who happens to be the very person he's trying to capture. And he's next on her hit list.
3. One night in Bangkok, and the world's your oyster. One Night in Magadan and the world's more like the mussel you were going to throw out because the shell was open but then you figured you were cooking it so it would be safe to eat but when you were wheeled into the ER that night the triage nurse who was really smokin' hot asked you what kind of idiot you were to eat tainted shellfish and you knew she'd never go out with you and a blow job was out of the question. It's that kind of novel.
4. Terry Winslow has everything that a man could want: family, fame, and fortune. But when his wife hires a new maid, Terry finds himself longing for something more. Terry's attempts to woo the maid prove futile. Eventually, she quits her job and heads to Spain. Three months later, Terry receives a note that the maid is ready to yield to him. Now Terry must decide if he's willing to risk it all for . . . One Night in Magadan.
5. Sultry. Sleazy. Itching from a skin rash you don't want to look at too closely. Magadan is all these things, and for ex-Vietnam vet Bruce Bottomwell, it's also the steamy pit where he finds the rent boy he left behind in Saigon. Then Bruce gets shanghaied at a bar and drafted into the Magadan army, and finds the commanding officer is his rent boy grown up. Can he rescue himself - and his dreams?
6. Visit sunny Magadan and die. On her "I'll spend my inheritance any way I want tour," supermodel Tiffany discovers old Nukes in the hands of new terrorists with plans to create WW3. Can she thwart the terrorists, or will they drown her in the Sea of Okhotsk?
Dear [wise and all-powerful literary agent]
In the eternal battle between light and darkness, sooner or later the bad guys win. [If somebody eventually wins, can the battle truly be called "eternal"?]
Aust is a common minstrel in Magadan, the largest city in the world – a bustling international metropolis whose greatest hero, Aidan Trevanik, has waged a war against the power-hungry Lich Lords [Bet you can't say "Lich Lords" 5 times really fast.] of the Madlands. Aust is entertaining revelers on the night that Aidan’s army returns to the city from a supposedly victorious campaign – except that Aidan is dead, and the returning soldiers are in fact an invasion force from the Madlands disguised by a magical illusion. As the army of the Lich Lords tears the city apart from within and the victory celebration turns into a massacre, Aust finds himself on the run with a band of strangers [Did he just emerge from a trance or a coma? When an invasion force is massacring everyone in the city, you run like hell; you don't "find yourself" on the run.] whose only goal is to escape with their lives as Magadan burns to the ground.
ONE NIGHT IN MAGADAN is a fast-paced [That's it? We're done with the plot? Our main character heads for the hills while his city burns to the ground? The Lich Lords win?] [If you wrote Lord of the Rings, Gandalf's fireworks would burn Hobbiton to ashes at the beginning, Frodo would die in the flames, and Sauron would rule Middle Earth by chapter three.] 80,000 word [80,000 words about one night? Is this a trilogy, with One morning in Magadan and One Afternoon in Magadan yet to come?] “low fantasy” novel for an adult audience. It is the story of the worst night of Aust’s life, a tale of friendships formed and loves lost in a whirlwind of nightmare and disaster. It is a story of death and sacrifice, of faith in the face of overwhelming darkness, and the choices people make when all hope is gone. [I call it low fantasy because it's a downer.] [Fantasy types based on height:
shallow grave fantasy
pit of hell fantasy]
I would be happy to send the current complete draft of the novel for you to review. Thank you for your time and attention.
I don't expect happily ever after in everything I read, but if you describe your book using words like nightmare and disaster, death, overwhelming darkness, all hope is gone, etc., and the book basically recounts the worst night of the main character's life, and the main character is just a common minstrel, what's the selling point? Couldn't you at least make him an uncommon minstrel? I'm more likely to wade through the worst night of Bob Dylan's life than that of some guy with a garage band in Scarsborough.
We don't need to know Magadan's ranking in size among cities of the world.
Assuming one of the following happens after the invasion, it deserves a paragraph in the query:
1. They escape and plot Magadan's revenge on the Lich Lords.
2. They're captured, tortured and impaled in what's left of the city square.
3. They escape and form a traveling minstrel show, achieving moderate success including an appearance on Letterman.
4. Aust wakes up and says, "Man, I gotta stop eating Lorraine's chilidogs at bedtime."