Thursday, February 05, 2009
Guess the Plot
North American Primates
1. It's about men. Need I say more?
2. Homo redneckus. Homo thuggus. Homo canadiansis. These are just a few of the primates you'll meet in North America.
3. It's a dating jungle out there, and a girl needs to know her way around the wild life. This book is your own trusty wilderness guide to stalking and landing the alpha male, and making him your prime mate.
4. Maria is investigating the university's fraternities for the school paper. She thinks the members absolute animals, especially the President of Sigma Phi. He's practically an ape. So why does she find him so attractive?
5. An introduction to the unimaginable past, when warm-blooded bipeds roamed the continent, before the Great Release that freed cockroachkind from the constant terror of squashing.
6. After encountering a massive animal at his campsite, Clay Sturgeon immerses himself in the Bigfoot phenomenon. But will his new obsession put a damper on his already meager social life?
7. When Judy Higgins takes her shaggy new dog to get a trim, the clippers reveal the true identity of the beast: her long lost son, Jeff. Hilarity ensues as he resists psychiatric treatment, chases cars, and seems to be a total misfit. But then the town is taken hostage by international terrorists, and soon everyone realizes the boy-dog is their only hope.
8. Forty years as a wilderness guide, and Shorty still couldn't afford to retire. He'd got pretty sick of the soft city slickers who ordered him around. So when the aliens wanted to complete their collection of North American stockbrokers, attorneys, and middle managers, Shorty hired on without a second thought.
9. Amos Lee McAlverson, the world's leading televangelist, sets out to disprove evolution once and for all by creating North American Primates: a reality TV show where humans and apes live in mutual captivity. Unfortunately for Amos, in a house with no rules, the apes aren't the first to start flinging poo.
10. Archeologist Spencer Philby Twickingham discovers the fossilized remnants of a civilization in what is now Simi Valley, and pieces together a people's struggle from petrified dung and cave drawings.
Dear Mr. Editor,
I discovered your website in the 2009 Novel and Short Story Writer's Market, and through your blog I've discovered that you and your cronies can turn dogmeat into Miracle Whip in terms of raising the quality of a reeking query into something acceptable. I'd like to tell you about my 53,000 word novel, North American Primates.
Cryptozoology is the study of hidden animals, [I love that. Here's a pretty cool hidden animal puzzle.] some mythical, some simply waiting for the scientific light of scrutiny to illuminate their invisible lives. North American Primates studies a suicidal man who embraces a mystery to justify his own invisible life.
Clay Sturgeon is a small town recluse who has had an encounter with a mysterious animal, a massive, reeking thing [with muttonchops] that lurks just beyond the firelight at his campsite in the Adirondacks. [Probably just a damn bear.] Convinced that the animal was not "a damn bear," as his friend would have him believe, Clay immerses himself fully into the Bigfoot phenomenon, [I don't think Bigfoot exists. Maybe it's a Wookie.] but his new obsession creates havoc in his already meager social life as an eccentric group of characters, from hippie cultists to high school rejects, invades Clay's world with the promise to bring him closer to discovering meaning in a secluded life where love is as elusive as a legend. [Is Sturgeon suicidal because his wife left him? Is he a recluse because the girl he was attracted to laughed at him? What's love got to do, got to do with it?]
My novel wasn't intended for a genre audience, though with the popularity of shows like Monster Quest and Fringe, I expect that they'll be near the front of the line. I'm looking for a wider readership than that, and I think anyone who enjoys unconventional contemporary authors like Junot Diaz or Chuck Palahniuk will be entertained by the flamboyant characters and sharp dialog that shape this story. [Instead of tossing out TV shows the editor doesn't watch and authors the editor doesn't read, just say, My novel is for Bigfoot fans and non-Bigfoot fans alike.]
I've included the first three chapters for your consideration and a SASE for your response. I'd love to send you the complete manuscript at your request.
If the guy's a small-town recluse, I would expect him to stay at home all the time--yet he goes camping (Does he live in his campsite? If so, I'd call him a hermit, not a small-town recluse.)
Also, I wouldn't expect a recluse to have a social life, even a meager one. Apparently he has enough of a social life that making time to chase Bigfoot plays havoc with it.
Less about whom it's for and more about what happens, please.
The title, as you no doubt intended, sounds like a textbook. I don't like it. Clay Sturgeon and his Quest for Love and Bigfoot sounds more interesting.