Thursday, April 30, 2009

Auction Underway

The Brenda Novak Auction, which raises money for diabetes research is now underway and will run throughout the month of May. There are numerous opportunities to get your manuscript in front of specific agents or editors, to meet authors, to buy vacations, jewelry, autographed books, and lots more. All for a good cause. You can view all the stuff up for auction by clicking here and then on the categories on the left of the page.

Today is your chance to bid on Evil Editor's items without the fear of actually winning them, as the bidding starts very low. A lot of early bids will convince others that the items are among the most desirable ones available, leading to a frenzy of late bidding.

Here are links to the EE items:

1294602 Top of Category Featured Item Your Book Featured in Evil Editor's August Book Chat [preview] Standard Bidding - Click to learn more! $ 2.00 30 days 23 hrs
1294600 Top of Category Featured Item An Amusing Book Trailer (created by none other than Evil Editor) for Your Book! [preview] Standard Bidding - Click to learn more! $ 2.00 30 days 23 hrs
1294591 Top of Category Featured Item Your book (up to 100,000 words) edited by Evil Editor [preview] Standard Bidding - Click to learn more! $ 2.00 30 days 23 hrs

1306198 Complete EVIL EDITOR Library PLUS CD, All Autographed [preview] Standard Bidding - Click to learn more! $ 2.00 31 days 01 hrs
1306199 YOUR BOOK Featured in an EVIL EDITOR FILM [preview] Standard Bidding - Click to learn more! $ 2.00 31 days 01 hrs

Face-Lift 627

Guess the Plot

Dark Visions

1. Teenager Brenda Nockworth discovers a pair of shades on a shelf in the bus station bathroom and puts them on to complete her swank rebel look. She soon realizes they reveal the unseen -- dozens of ghosts and ghouls among the weary travelers.

2. Mariana's family are fortune-tellers by trade, but all she sees in the crystal ball are visions of disaster... And the latest one is about her own future! Also, a talking fruitbat.

3. John knew he shouldn't have bought those cursed sunglasses; now he can't get them off, and he has to fight off a zombie invasion while wearing shades that practically blind him. Good thing his geeky best friend Alvin is around to tell him what's going on... if only Alvin can stop being distracted by the hot zombie leader.

4. Tina has been cast in a new TV show about London vampires. Funny thing is, the male lead never comes out of his trailer unless he's on set. Tina's sure he's a real vampire. Can she confront him without getting bitten?

5. When Jasmine has a psychic vision of her rival Marissa dying at the hands of a serial killer, she's tempted to say nothing, but eventually she tells hunky police detective Eric. Now Jasmine's having visions that indicate she should have kept her mouth shut. Has she become the killer's next target?

6. When Ned founded the Dark Visions sunglasses company he didn't expect it to become popular with the dead-doesn't-mean-gone crowd, but if they're not after his blood, he's not going to complain about the extra publicity. Then he finds out what his sunglasses enable the living-impaired to see...

Original Version

Jasmine Winters is psychic. She knows it is not normal to be psychic, but Jasmine likes to pretend she is normal. So, she does life’s normal things: [We're plodding along here like a tortoise. That story where the tortoise beats the hare? Fiction.] enjoying her friends, like Mark; hating her enemies, [How many enemies does she have?] like Mark’s wife Marissa; and ignoring the visions as best she can. She also tries to do the right thing, though she doesn’t always succeed. [Vague.]

When Jasmine's psychic vision shows Marissa murdered by a headline-making serial killer, she wants to ignore the vision and be done with Marissa once and for all. [Nice. What, exactly, did Marissa do to deserve this?] But Jasmine’s conscience won’t let her, and she warns her nemesis. [When my enemy who wouldn't mind seeing me dead tells me she had a vision in which I was murdered, my first thought is that she's planning to kill me. And I'd better kill her first.] [The first two paragraphs can be condensed to: Jasmine Winters tries to be normal--enjoying her friends, hating her enemies, hiding her psychic abilities--but when she "sees" her nemesis Marissa murdered by a serial killer, her conscience won't let her keep quiet.]

With that done, Jasmine is ready to move on. But, in Dark Visions, my 97,000-word thriller, moving on isn’t so easy.

Mark urges Jasmine to discuss her vision with police investigating the serial murders. [Because he knows the cops are always eager to have input from psychics.] Unable to refuse Mark’s request and trying to do the right thing, Jasmine reluctantly meets with handsome police Det. Eric Mathers. While Jasmine likes the close proximity to Det. Mathers, she’s not enamored of her new visions of the serial killer. [Don't be coy. What does she see in her new visions?]

Things get complicated when Jasmine’s involvement in the case makes the news, putting her on the serial killer’s radar. For a psychic who saw [could see] her own future, this might be alright, but Jasmine isn’t that kind of psychic. [She's more like Kreskin. She can tell you what number you're thinking of, assuming she planted you in the audience and told you what number to think of.]
Not liking the idea of a serial killer lurking in the one future she is blind to, Jasmine dedicates herself to helping Det. Mathers find the killer.

[Jasmine: Detective, I've decided to dedicate myself to helping you find the serial killer.

Mathers: Great. For starters, there's someone I need you to interview. He lives in the Australian Outback.]

As Jasmine and Det. Mathers get closer, new, disturbing visions emerge, but not of the serial killer, of Det. Mathers [dressed in a leather thong and holding a whip].

As Jasmine’s visions of Det. Mathers and serial killer increase, she realizes the killer may be closer than she thought. Jasmine must put the pieces together and find the killer, before the killer finds her. [Everything in this paragraph was already implied.]

Dark Visions is my first novel. By training, I am a journalist and have worked as a night general assignment reporter for The Kansas City Star, where I covered crime and spot news. After leaving the newspaper, I worked mainly in trade media, editing several publications, including Campus Crime.

I’d love to send you the complete Dark Visions manuscript. Thank you for your consideration.


Whether Mark's the serial killer or a love interest or neither, he isn't doing anything important in the query.

As Jasmine tries to live like a normal person and ignore her visions, I assume it's not known to Mark and Marissa and the cops that Jasmine's visions always come to pass (if they do). So why would anyone believe her?

Which is more likely when a serial killer learns that the police are using the services of a psychic to track him down?

1. He immediately makes plans to kill the psychic.
2. He celebrates the obvious fact that the police don't have a clue to his identity by going on a new killing spree.

Cartoon 375

Caption: Wendy

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Beginning 632

So this was the place at last. The forbidden road ended in a small stone-paved yard surrounded by brambles. Beyond the yard was a high wall overgrown with dead vines that covered everything but the door.

The night before I had dreamed of that door as a black gaping mouth through which my younger sister Arli passed laughing with her daughter Suli cradled—prisoned—in her arms. It opened into a windowless chamber hung with tapestries. A gold-mailed serpent with human eyes uncoiled itself from a carved seat against the wall and reared above Arli. She reached out to caress it while Suli cried unheeded. I shouted to warn Arli, I who had been like a mother to her, but she did not hear. I tried to run after her, but I could not move.

At last the dream passed into blackness. But again the blackness shaped itself into that doorway, and Arli stepped through it into flames. She smiled as though she felt only comforting warmth, though Suli screamed.

And I woke in the other side of Arli’s bed, with the aftertaste of her sleeping-draught sickly-sweet in my mouth, and Arli and Suli were truly gone.

And I drifted into the realm of Morpheus once more until, seeing Arli and Suli tied up in a camper van driven by a one-handed former Bosnian war criminal who steered with a steel hook, I sat bolt upright and exclaimed: "Accipere quam facere praestat injuriam!"

Ike Beckman hit "save" and leaned back in his chair, grinning. Awesome, he thought. My first try at literary fiction and it's shaping up to be a classic.

Opening: Joanna.....Continuation: Anon.

Cartoon 374

Caption: WO

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Face-Lift 626

Guess the Plot

The Lonesome Isle

1. Searching a small island for her dead mother, Elizabeth crosses into a parallel universe. Is her mother somewhere in this universe? Before she can begin looking she must first defeat a malicious creature bent on world domination.

2. Oahu decides to relocate a little closer to the big island and sets off nonstop tsunamis and underwater volcanos as it makes the move. Only submariner Sonya Turner can save the day, but her propeller's broken.

3. Timmy didn't believe the babysitter when she said one more prank and he was going to the orphanage. Now he regrets sticking tape loops to the cat. He wishes he brought a toothbrush and more underwear. He knows his penmanship spelling and grammar are so bad his bottled HELPME! notes might be unreadable and the current might take them all the wrong way, but what else can he do?

4. Blinka realized all her childhood nightmares about plumbing monsters were real, as the hand emerged from a mess of gunk burbling out the sink drain. Thank God for cutlery! But now -- what to do with the grisly parts? She'll be safe if the fog clears so Captain Wiggins can see the distress flag and sail to her rescue before the Thing comes back...

5. Gibraltar never gets any respect. Even his best friends, Japan and Madagascar barely acknowledge him. But when global bully Australia floats a plan to reform Pangaea, Gibraltar finds itself turning to outcasts like Greenland and Baffin Island in an effort to prevent continental assimilation.

6. The story of a sad little island, marooned in the middle of the ocean, who hatches an unlikely scheme to join a larger land mass. But even if he can teach the nearby pod of whales to sing at just the right frequency, will he really find happiness as a fjord?

Original Version

Dear Agent,

Elizabeth Milton accepted her mother’s death years ago. [Now if only it would hurry up and happen.] As a writer investigating her first feature length assignment, she is faced with the knowledge that not only is her mother alive, [Make the connection between the assignment and learning her mother's alive--if there is one. If there isn't, don't put both in the same sentence.] but she’s been held captive and now doesn’t want to leave this parallel universe [What parallel universe? Is that what Liz is investigating? How does Liz know what her mother wants if she's in another universe?] that’s so much like, yet so much unlike their home. [In my experience, if a place is vastly unlike my home, I don't even notice the ways it's like my home. For instance, when I think back on my trip to Jamaica, I remember the river rafting and the waterfall climbing and the paragliding, but barely recall getting robbed by a knife-wielding hoodlum.]

Elizabeth’s love of writing takes her to the small island, [What small island? You haven't mentioned an island.] [Again, what's the connection? Millions of people love writing, but that doesn't take them to small islands.] but it’s her compassion for others and her intense longing for the mother that she once knew that makes her cross the threshold into the parallel universe. [I don't see the connection between compassion for others and crossing into a parallel universe.] Once there she finds that the devilish creature Dominic and his plans of world domination are the captivating force that holds many prisoners. [I tend to think "mischievous" when someone is described as "devilish," so while there's nothing wrong with "devilish," if he's planning world domination, you might want to call him evil or demonic or satanic.]

In this paranormal, mysterious tale Elizabeth finds her mother, her true love, and herself as she battles Dominic to gain everyone’s freedom.

The Lonesome Isle is complete at 140,000 words.

I have done some ghostwriting of internet articles and have two poems published in anthologies. [Ditch the credits and consider shortening the book.]

Thank you for your time and consideration.


A twenty-something woman versus a creature set on world domination? That's like Hannah Montana taking on the Borg. Has Liz got anything going for her besides spunk?

The title sounds more like a children's book.

You must connect your ideas in a logical progression. Something like this:

While investigating the sudden appearance of an island off the coast of Uruguay, reporter Liz Milton discovers a map that leads her to a portal to a parallel universe. A hunky clerk at the ticket counter gives Liz a quick look at the portal's passenger manifest, which reveals that her supposedly dead mother "crossed over" six years ago.

Longing for a reunion with her mother, Liz bribes the clerk to provide her mother's email address: Lizsmom@gmail.unv. But in their initial correspondence, Liz learns that her mother, despite being held captive by the devilish creature Dominic, who has plans for world domination, doesn't want to come home. Has she been brainwashed? Only one way to find out. Liz books passage on the next portal trip.

Arriving in the parallel universe, not only does Liz quickly find her mother; she also falls in love with a young juice merchant named Rolf, and single-handedly battles Dominic. Liz emerges victorious; then she and Rolf move in with Mom, get married, and await the inevitable sequel.

Here, each sentence follows from the last, thus giving the feel of a coherent, cohesive story. Feel free to use my summary if its details are accurate.

Cartoon 373

Caption: Anon.

Your caption on the next cartoon! Link in sidebar.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Success Story

Bill Highsmith reports that a flash fiction piece inspired by Dialogue Scene 21 on this blog has been published by in the flash fiction section.

Bill also reports selling a humor/SF piece called "Discerning Women," to in the current edition (April), and an SF story, "Qubit Slip" to an online anthology, Thoughtcrime Experiments (

After three stories sold in April, Bill anticipates a lengthy lull.

New Beginning 631

Okay, I put this title in the query queue without reading it. (It came in an email titled " . . . working on a graphic novel want sound advice.") On the one hand, it could be an attempt to write a clever query in the POV of a character, but I'm pretty sure it's the opening. However, I'm posting some fake plots so those who submitted fakes won't feel their efforts were wasted.

Guess the Plot

Mermaid Country

1. Genetic manipulation has gone too far. Passenger Pigeons are darkening the skies over London, Mastodons are rampaging across Siberia, and Cretaceous Parks are growing up all across the U.S. Spencer Wildman isn't one to be left behind by a trend. His plan to engineer creatures from out of mythology should make history, but he'll need to convince the Minotaurs not to eat the Kraken if Mermaid Country is to become a success.

2. After Jerry saves the fish at the Orlando Aquarium from disaster, reporters hound him night and day, but unless he wants to be thrown in the loony bin, he can't reveal the true story of Layla, goddess of . . . Mermaid Country.

3. The brochures talked up the new island getaway, Atlantis, as a great place to relax and get in some swimming and surfing. But when Andrew and Lauren finally arrive, they discover that their parents have already been taken captive by the mermaid overseers of the place. Can two teenagers beat the fishy fiends and save their family and the other vacationers?

4. When small-town deputy Dan Hickett accepts his cousin's challenge to try a fisherman's life, he doesn't imagine he'll be swept overboard and forced to deal out justice and lay down the law to mermen and tritons--or lose his heart to a green-skinned beauty.

5. Charlie the Tuna thought he was a whale of a good guy, but when he gets swept out of his comfort zone by a rogue tsumani, he learnsd that he doesn't know fishsticks. It all happens when he lands flukes over fins in . . . Mermaid Country

6. Jefferson High School's football team has quite a mascot to live down--despite being 500 miles from the nearest ocean, their mascot is the Mermaids. But no matter how much the McCutcheon Maulers laugh, this here's . . . Mermaid Country.

Chalk it up to fate on the eve of the 1976 Bicentennial to be the night Jerry Ingram's life changed for the better

Unless you have been hiding in a cave for the past week, you must have seen the story in the local papers.

He saved the marine life at the Orlando aquarium from a most horrific fate,and unwittingly thwarted one of the most heinous plots in the Aquariums' History.

The reporter's were hot on his heels. The dogs hounded poor Jerry ,until he wearily agreed to tell his side of the story.

Of course he lied right through his pearly white teeth. It was an absolute necessity. He couldn't have very well told them the real story. It was a tad too bizarre. The truth usually is.

You couldn't blame the guy for stretching the truth a little.He was just reaping the just rewards of being a good person,The last thing in the world he wanted was for the citizens of earth to think he had lost all of his remaining marbles.The humans would lock Jerry in the loony bin and throw away the key.

This would be his fate if he told the earth people the real story or anything about me. I am of course the biggest reason for the cover up. I shudder at how the citizens of earth would react if they ever set their beady, little eyes on me.

My name is Layla, goddess of an underwater, deep sea demention, known as Piaska, by our native inhabitants or Mermaid country, by the few non - sea life creatures who know of our unique culture.

I ,Layla Empress of the deep, will serve as your tour guide through this thoroughly Rollicking tale.

Anyway, the guy in the room across from me is an editor, and I asked him how he’s crazy, because I like to know that sort of thing, and he just sobbed and said he couldn’t take it any more.

So I said editing couldn’t be that hard, you’re just reading books all the time and he said something about typos and commas and spelling and I was like, let me see, so he gives me this paper.

It’s about this goddess named Layla, which is me! But it doesn’t have the whole story and I said to the guy, "This is kind of fun, what’s wrong with it?" and he starts screaming and now I understand why they put padded walls in these places.

Opening: Kristy Hoard.....Continuation: _*Rachel*_

Cartoon 372

Caption: Anon.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Film Series

Sometimes the films are so hot they set off the sprinkler system, so don't be alarmed if it's a little damp in Evil Editor's Shorts.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Face-Lift 625

Guess the Plot

The Magic

1. When 13-year-old Spenser meets magician Morgan Miracle, he wonders if this guy can help him finally get rid of his imaginary friend. Also, two skeletons and a ghost.

2. Science geek Connie has not only figured out the secret to popularity - she's bottled it and is selling it for 40 bucks a pop. But what will happen when the entire student body is dosed up on ... The Magic?

3. Stage magicians Royal and Donat have been rivals since they were boys struggling with the five-ring trick. When they are swept into a world where magic is real, and recruited into opposing armies, will they cooperate to find their way home, or joyfully pitch enchanted fireballs at each other?

4. A loose zoo monkey bites surly waitress Robbi Newport on the ankle, and on Friday she calls in feeling like death with the flu. Monday morning she gets to work on time, but Bob the chef panics when she swoops in like a bat, rearranges the architecture, and starts gobbling raw steak.

5. Mad Felix, the terrible red-eyed ghost of Cousin Sally's cat, levitates his Datsun toward a midnight duel with Uthgar, Son of the Horde. Was he upset by something Sally said? Or is his temper adversely affected by the miniature nuclear reactor Cousin Dave left in the trunk?

6. As the mystery of the Baskerville cat deepens, body parts are found, storm clouds threaten, detectives are summoned, and little Jim-Bob Jenkins goes missing. But nothing can stop Roland Reinhart from cuddling up with the one he loves. Unless, perhaps, it's that man-eating Bengal tiger prowling the 'hood.

Original Version

Dear Editor:

The first rule of magic is never, ever tell how a trick is done. After all, you don’t want to spoil the illusion. [Interestingly, that's also the first rule of hot dog manufacture and editing.] In the Buckler house, the same applied to family secrets. But sometimes rules, like promises, need to be broken. And you do want to know what happened, don’t you? How the bones got into the lake and how they got out again? Where the money came from? How Spenser Buckler discovered who his father was?

With these words, Eddie, the imaginary friend of thirteen-year old Spenser Buckler, introduces us to the Buckler family, [If the first paragraph is the start of the book, making it the hook of the query kind of dilutes its effectiveness for the editor. Especially as you may be enclosing the first x pages with the query. Plus, I wasn't sure I wasn't reading a query for a nonfiction book the way it began.] the leading political and economic dynasty in the town of Quarry, Ohio. Spenser, who suffers from epilepsy, may be the heir to a fortune, but his life is a mess. His grandfather Hiram, a state senator, disappeared shortly after Spenser’s birth, his mother abandoned him to his grandmother’s care in order to pursue an academic career and no one knows who his father is. Hounded by the town bully Arnie and desperate to get rid of Eddie, who refuses to go away, Spenser spends the summer before he turns fourteen trying to uncover the family secrets.

Defying his grandmother, Spenser visits the local magic shop and meets Morgan Miracle, a retired vaudeville magician, who becomes his mentor and his friend. When his mother arrives for a visit and is forced to remain in town, Spenser hopes she will reveal the identity of his father. Through the discovery of two skeletons in the lake behind the Buckler property, Spenser learns the identity of his father. [Are they talking skeletons? How do they reveal anything?] He also finds out that he had a twin sister, Edwina, the ghost of whom is the true identity of the imaginary friend he is so eager to shed. [This paragraph is just a list of some things that happen. Choose the most important one(s) and elaborate. Leave the others out of the query.]

The Magic is an 85,000 word YA novel that explores the importance of family and the cost of keeping secrets while offering information about famous American magicians of the 20th Century

[Spenser: Oh my God! How did these skeletons get here?

Skeleton 1: Your father was the gardener at the Buckner estate.

Skeleton 2: Did you know that magician Doug Henning (1947 - 2000) was born in Manitoba and grew up in Ontario? He performed his first show at the age of 14 at the birthday party of a friend.]

and teaching about epilepsy. It is complete and has two sequels. [One of them, The Dummy, is the gut-wrenching story of Morgan Miracle's losing struggle with pancreatic cancer, into which I've sprinkled anecdotes about great 20th-century ventriloquists; the other, Balls and Clubs, involves Edwina, Parkinson's Disease, and famous jugglers.]

I am a teacher and a published author whose stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, 42opus, Tertulia Magazine, and The Oyez Review, among others. I have been awarded a Fiction Fellowship from the Midwest Writers Conference and the Leo Love Fiction Award from the Taos Writers Conference.

I hope you will consider representing The Magic and would be happy to send a first fifty. [I'm not happily sending you fifty until we've signed a contract. And I recommend you set your sights a little higher than fifty, even if it is your first novel.]


There's a guy with a magic shop, and a ghost. Is there actual magic?

I wouldn't start out with the first rule of magic if you aren't going to talk about magic. Yes, you mention Morgan Miracle's magic shop, but you drop it immediately, so I can see no reason it's in the query.

I would start out: Thirteen-year-old Spenser Buckler, who suffers from epilepsy, may be the heir to a fortune, but his life is a mess. That gives you more room to explore the plot.

Telling us there's a magic shop and a character with epilepsy is enough to convince us we might learn something. Telling us you've worked in information about 20th-century magicians and epilepsy serves only to make me worry you've interrupted the narrative flow of the story. (See the Write Like Cassie Edwards exercise, February 24, 2008 on this blog for exaggerated examples.)

A 13-year-old main character with an "imaginary" friend may be better suited to middle grade than YA, although this may be longer than most middle grade books. Maybe you should focus on the Morgan Miracle/Spenser relationship (I'm assuming Morgan is a major player).

Mostly what this needs is plot. You quote the opening of the book, give us some setup, and then list some events. I want to see a logical progression of events.

Cartoon 371

Caption: Anon.

Your caption on the next cartoon! Link in sidebar.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Anniversary Celebration

Three years already? It feels like only 36 months ago we started.

Link below to a special blogEEversary something or other. And don't leave without watching the film.

Cartoon 370

Caption: Anon.

Your caption on the next cartoon! Link in sidebar.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Face-Lift 624

Guess the Plot

Leonard the Great

1. Leonard doesn't have any problems with being run-of-the-mill. Unfortunately, his father is Phil the Fabulous and his younger brother is Richard the Very Awesome. Is there something incredible in his genes?

2. I am tasked with telling the story of an amazing man, one who led Subiru through its greatest triumphs and darkest hours. From the horror of the great Muskrat Swarm to our victory over Hoondai, he was our King. But no one must ever learn about the goats.

3. Leonard Albacore's mission: get his master, Sir Ronald the Mediocre, a seat at the Round Table. But when Sir Ronald gets arrested for attempted bravery without a license, will Leonard have what it takes to spring him from the royal dungeon?

4. Leonard got called a lot of names growing up: Leonard the Fat, Leonard the Smelly, Leonard the Plain. Later, he became Leonard the Bald, Leonard the Flabby, and even Leonard the Limp. But now, with an unexpected inheritance and a bottle of Rogaine, a vial of Viagra, and a gutful of Hydroxycut, he can finally be . . . Leonard the Great.

5. In the twenty-third century, popes are chosen from among the crowds gathered to celebrate the winter solstice in St. Peter's Oblong. Leonard Jones, stumbling his way from one great Italian restaurant to another, pops in for a drink at the Vatican's La Trattoria PietroPaulo and finds himself anointed before he can finish his beer.

6. Leonard is just another downtrodden cubicle-jockey, until the CEO has a breakdown and declares martial law throughout the building. Suddenly Leonard's detailed knowledge of places to hide and sneak a smoke is vital to the survival--and eventual triumph--of the entire staff.

Original Version

Dear Editor,

Leonard the Great is a middle-grade fantasy novel (77,000 words) set in the days of King Arthur. It's the story of Leonard Albacore, [Already this is sounding like a fish story.] a young page who dreams of getting Sir Ronald the Mediocre, his kind but incompetent master, a seat at the Round Table. [Ah, I was wrong. It's a fish-out-of-water story.] After a chance encounter with a suicidal dragon, he cooks up a plan that will get both of them what they want -- death for the dragon and a sure-fire invite to Camelot for Sir Ronald.

But the plan backfires horribly when the [tuna cartel get wind of the plan and suggest that the] snooty Knights of the Round Table show up and arrest Sir Ronald for "attempted bravery [and fishing] without a license", dragging him off to Camelot's dungeons. Wracked with guilt, Leonard vows to do whatever it takes to free his master even if it means having to outwit dangerous monsters, doing battle with an ancient evil that has taken over Camelot, or going on a dangerous quest with a girl that takes his breath away every time he looks at her.

Full of rough and tumble action, this boy-centric novel is also rich with irreverent asides and unique characters.

I would be happy to send a sample chapter at your request.



This sounds good as it is. It does open the door to a question, namely how is going on a dangerous quest with a girl and outwitting dangerous monsters connected to getting Ronald out of the dungeon? Did the knights give Leonard these tasks, like the Wizard of Oz tasking Dorothy with getting the witch's broomstick? I would suggest dumping the monsters and quest and focusing on the ancient evil:

Wracked with guilt, Leonard vows to do whatever it takes to free his master. But now an ancient evil has settled over Camelot, causing A, and unless Leonard can B, C will happen. Presumably you know your ABCs. Better to give us one super-adversary than to make it sound like a series of unrelated events. (This might be true of the book as well as the query, but I assume the connection is made in the book.)

How hard can it be for a suicidal dragon to die? If plummeting from 20,000 feet won't do it, walking into Camelot breathing fire should get the job done.

Cartoon 369

Caption: Roger Eschbacher

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Beginning 630 (Excerpt)

Joe hung back and rode behind the wagons. It smarts bein’ traded for a horse. Jus ‘bout any way a body look at it, it’s belittlin’. Young pup Kincaid goes and gets his horse kilt, then wants old Joe as payment. A slave see a sight of twisted things in the world, but this beat all. An’ Kincaid puts on like he done the right thing, like a nigger ought to be happy and beholden. “But I ain’t no nigger,” Joe swore to himself. Decent folk jus don’t uproot a person like that. Black or white. Fifteen years workin’ for Lerocque, even though he be the masser, means somethin’. Goin’ through good times and bad, sharing cold camps, short rations, and danger; binds people together. Even masser and slave. Lerocque weren’t so bad. He only gave a taste of the lash oncst, and then he didn’t lay it on hard.

No, sir, ain't nothin' worse 'n' bein' traded fer a horse.

Joe mumbled to himself for the next hour, till the group fetched up at ranch. He followed Kincaid and the others as they wandered over to a paddock where a huge horse was kicking up a storm.

"Holy smoke," Garrigan said, pushing back the brim of his hat. "That's one wild stallion. Jeez, look at the size of his--"

"That's the truth," Kincaid said. He leaned on the fence. "Reckon he's frustrated. A meeting with my mare woulda calmed him down enough so's he'd take a saddle."

"Mebbe so, Kincaid, but what you gonna do now yer horse been kilt?"

Kincaid thought for a while, then turned toward Joe.

Opening: Wes.....Continuation: Anon.

Cartoon 368

Caption: Anon.

Your caption on the next cartoon! Link in sidebar.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Diabetes Auction

As I'm not thrilled with the continuations I've received for the remaining openings, and have received no more than two fake plots for any of the queries waiting, I'll use this space to mention that The Brenda Novak Auction begins May 1. I've offered six items, one of which has been declared a 1-day auction, and the others of which will run throughout the month of May. There are numerous opportunities to get your manuscript in front of specific agents or editors, to meet authors, to buy vacations, jewelry, autographed books, and lots more. All for a good cause. You can view all the stuff up for auction by clicking here and then on the categories on the left of the page.
The EE items:

Item Title Type Bid Ends
FEATURED LISTINGS Featured Item! (sorted and displayed first)
1306200 Top of Category Featured Item FOUR Consecutive Chapters of your Book Edited by EVIL EDITOR [preview]

(1-day auction. 5/29)
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Cartoon 367

Caption: Anon.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday Film Series

Remember: What happens in Evil Editor's Shorts stays in Evil Editor's Shorts.

Friday, April 17, 2009

New Beginning 629

It’s an interesting experience, rushing headlong through the woods after dark. The trees and bushes scratch me like they’re trying to and it’s a wonder I haven’t slammed into anything solid enough to break bones.

Ugh, it’s hard to breathe, probably because of the Goliath-sized arm clamped around my waist. I didn’t ask to be carried, but the monster doesn’t care. I wonder if the ride would be more comfortable slung over its shoulder.

And honestly, all this for a rose? It was nobody’s, growing by the pathside!

Hey, light… some sort of building up ahead—stone, maybe. Medieval, with a giant gateway and courtyard.

Wait, medieval in Colorado? Nearly as weird as a tabloid! But the building has to be medieval—torchlight, stone walls, a tapestry with more square feet than my family’s house. Well, at least I’m out of the trees.

I wish I could take a better look at those tapestries…. No, what I’d really like is to be home hot tea and some Robert Frost. Goodness, at this point I’d take reading Poe alone on a stormy night with no electricity!

Well, maybe not Poe, but I think you know what I mean.

The monster stops at the top of the stairs. I can see some swords on the wall, stained glass windows, carpets on the stone floors.

A tall man in a long coat walks over to me. "So this is my rose thief, yes?"

I glance up at him. Dark hair, impossibly good-looking, and fangs. Vampire fangs.

I drop my head. How in God's name did I get trapped inside a crummy romance novel?

Opening: _*Rachel*_.....Continuation: Khazar-khum

Cartoon 366

Caption: anon.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Face-Lift 623

Guess the Plot

Harper Street

1. To Kill a Sparrow, To Kill an Albatross, and To Kill a Dodo were all flops. Sooner or later, Harper Street will just have to face it: she's a cheap imitation.

2. From where I lie, I've seen them all-dames, dolls, dicks, devils. On one end it's the sticks, the other, the docks. In between it's penthouses and parks, slums and schools, churches and chopshops. I'm more than just a slab of asphalt: I'm Harper Street, and this is my story.

3. Mandy drives her Hummer to the Harper Street Mall to shop for shoes, but her heel & buckle man is none other than Dwight Lopez, undercover super-spy, who suddenly needs to borrow Mandy's car and lipstick to flee assassins so he can stop the Tinker, a deranged mastermind with a nuclear device in a shoebox.

4. Once the realm of the wealthy elite, Harper Street has fallen on hard times--which is why I've chosen it as my personal hunting grounds. I'm Geoff Van Der Plaz, the sexiest, most ruthless vampire of them all.

5. Who is killing the homeless? I'm Addy. I run the shelter, and I've fallen for one of the homeless guys, but that's the least of my problems. The cops think I'm the obsessed serial killer behind all the grisly murders committed lately, here on . . . Harper Street.

6. Everything gets strange when we move to the mansion on Harper Street and Tyrone digs in the backyard and finds bones. Ramona convinces him we can make it a tourist attraction. She'll sell tickets and tee shirts. And all I need to do is train the ghost.

Original Version

Dear Agent:

I have recently finished a 90,000 word romantic thriller titled Harper Street, for which I am seeking representation.

Tucson celebutante Addy Harper gave up her carefree lifestyle when a drunk-driving accident caused the death of a good friend. Ten years later, her former friends would hardly recognize her – she’s the hardworking director of the Harper Street Shelter, named after her deceased father.

Along with funding the shelter before he died, Ben Harper also left Addy one half of his multi-million dollar empire – If she could stay out of trouble for ten years. He left the other half to her brother, Paul Harper, on the same condition.

When a series of grisly murders is uncovered among the street people of Tucson, all signs point to Addy’s involvement in a complicated insurance scam where death means a nice, meaty payoff. But Tucson homicide detective Renner Cole isn’t so sure. He’s gone undercover at the shelter to try and dig up solid evidence on the real killer, and he’s seen the woman Addy Harper has become: hardworking, spirited, and generous. As a matter of fact, she’s just the kind of woman he’s been looking for – if he can keep her off of death row.

When Addy finds out that her newest resident is really an undercover cop, she’s furious and hurt that she's been lied to. [Now you tell me you're not a homeless guy? Now that I've fallen head over heels in love with you?! Bastard!] She liked RC, with all his crazy talk about walking the perimeter and his invisible buddy Frank. [Frank should be an invisible animal of some sort, but not a rabbit, which has been done to death. Maybe an ostrich.] But when the smoke clears, she realizes that Renner Cole is the only thing standing between her and a serial killer who's out to prove her guilt - permanently. [That word makes me think death, but I don't see how her death proves her guilt. And how does she know the serial killer is out to get her?]

Along the way to tracking down a killer and clearing her name, Addy realizes that she’s finally found the one man brave enough, caring enough, and tough enough to steal her heart. [RC's invisible buddy.]

I would be glad to send you a sample chapter, or the manuscript, at your request. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to facilitate your consideration.



Very nice. Whether or not you want to slip in the answer to a question or two, it should get a positive response from someone.

Is killing homeless guys really enough of a no-no to cost Addy her inheritance?

Are there other specific suspects, or is it just a matter of Addy or anyone else?

As they don't usually put you on death row for running an insurance scam, I assume they suspect Addy is the serial killer. You'd think someone running a shelter would have an alibi for some of the murders.

Obviously Addy's brother is the serial killer. It's refreshing to see a query whose author isn't afraid to give away the surprise ending.

Cartoon 365

Caption: D. Lemma

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