Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Face-Lift 661

Guess the Plot

Trust Me, Love Me, Let Me

1. Vienna Hampton never suspected her boyfriend was a con artist, even when he whispered, "If you trust me, if you love me, then you'll let me borrow your credit cards."

2. Tom Langton, self-help guru, is scheduled for a massive publicity push to support his new book. His rival threatens a counter-campaign to reveal Tom's failed personal life, so Tom asks his beautiful new neighbor to pretend to be his girlfriend. Hilarity ensues.

3. Rock star Jacob Lindsey hasn't noticed that his personal assistant, Beth, has been in love with him since she was in a training bra. Maybe if she quits he'll realize that there's more to life than fame, fortune, groupies, and being worshiped by millions.

4. A warts-and-all look at modern romance, from the first meeting, one enchanted night on a moonlit beach, to the discreet appointment at the specialist clinic for diseases of the rectum.

5. Memoir of fraud literary agent Nick Chambers, focusing on how he seduced would-be romance authors and fleeced them for thousands of dollars in "reading fees."

6. A young girl tries to convince her overprotective parents that if they really loved her, they'd let her get piercings, take birth control and date the hot construction worker down the street.

Original Version

Trust Me, Love Me, Let Me is a completed 73,000 word contemporary romance set in Los Angeles, CA.

Jacob Lindsey is this year’s big thing in music. ["Big thing" is pretty general. Try this: Jacob Lindsey is this year’s Hootie and the Blowfish.] As his personal assistant, Beth Lawson sees sides of him the public never gets to witness. Lately, that means covering for his excessive partying as he rides the smashing success of his first album. [Music stars don't want their partying covered up; they want it covered by . . . the press.] She’s been his friend since she was fourteen, but loyalty only buys so much patience, and she’s sick of being taken for granted. [That makes sense only if he's the one who's been loyal. He can't buy her patience with her loyalty. He can buy it with his friendship.]

After a car accident sets Beth up for months of recovery, she quits her job, [When you haven't shown up for two months, chances are you were replaced five weeks ago anyway.] [Somehow, after two months of hospital bills and physical therapy bills and no pay checks, quitting your job doesn't seem like the brightest move.] reconnects with her estranged father, and starts over. When Jacob orchestrates a reunion months later, she thinks he’s going to beg her to come back to work, instead discovering he’s determined to prove he can’t stop thinking about her. [How can he prove that?

[Jacob: Beth, I can't stop thinking about you.

Beth: Prove it.

Jacob: Okay. I'm thinking about you right now.

Beth: What about now?

Jacob: Still thinking about you.

Beth: And now?

Jacob: Still you.

Beth: Neat. So I was wondering . . . What'reyouthinkin'boutnow?

Jacob: Tiger Woods. SHIT!]

She fears she won’t be able to keep up in his world, but she’s loved him since she was in a training bra and [he's loved her since she moved into a C cup and she] can’t turn him down. [What is it she can't turn down? Did he ask her to come back to work? Did he propose? If she's not going to be working for him, why is she afraid she won't be able to keep up in his world?]

I am an unpublished author looking for representation. The synopsis and manuscript are available upon request. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you. [You can drop the first and last sentences of that paragraph.]



She's been his friend since she was fourteen, and she's loved him since she was in a training bra. First tell me how old she was when she was in a training bra, and then I'll ask my next question.

The reconnecting with her estranged father does nothing for the query since we know nothing about why they're estranged and it's never mentioned again.

Does Jacob take Beth for granted despite knowing she loves him, or has she kept this fact from him? It sounds like she's upset because she has to cover for him so he won't look like a jerk. But if that's one of the duties of a personal assistant, and she's getting paid, then what's really annoying her is that he hasn't professed his undying love for her.

So maybe the main plot is that Beth has long loved Jacob, but he sees her as just a friend, so she quits her job as his personal assistant. He soon realizes that fame and fortune aren't bringing him happiness because Beth isn't there to share it with him. Wait, sorry, that's the plot of Jerry Maguire.

But if that's also your story, the covering for his partying and the car accident are obscuring the romantic angle somewhat. We don't need to know about the accident; we need to know she gave up on his ever realizing they were meant for each other. Focus on the romance.


Mame said...

I've got nothing to add, you nailed it. I'm free to saunter off and peruse Cake Wrecks.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if the author is a teenager because this plot description would've seemed completely plausible and logical to me at age 14, although from the adult perspective, it does not.

Dave Fragments said...

This reminds me of those Hugh Grant comedies...

Like EE said, this needs to focus on the romance.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first anon comment about this making sense probably to a teenager but seeming to have quite a few plot holes to an adult.

With the cleaning up after thing: Look at the papers and the tabloids and everything else. The stars who get the most coverage--and often the most fame--are the ones who are always in trouble. People love to hate celebrities.

With the "I can't stop thinking of her" type thing, how is he going to prove that? It's much too vague. Is he going to take her to do all of her favorite things and prove he's been paying attention? And even if she is satisfied by whatever he does, is it going to last? Or is he going to slip right back into ignoring her again because he won her back?--this could be interesting if it is what happens just because we'd get to see how strong/weak she really is.

Also, this feels mostly like set up with very little plot. Give some more plot, please...with select details that will make sense together.

Anonymous said...

"When Jacob orchestrates a reunion months later, she thinks he’s going to beg her to come back to work, instead discovering he’s determined to prove he can’t stop thinking about her"

This sounds like Sarah Palin speaking. And that is not, from a usage perspective, a good thing.

Sarah from Hawthorne said...

I love your title and your set-up has potential, but this doesn't read like a romance to me.

If you want to do a romance, the characters should struggle and grow because of their relationship with each other. Seeing as all the change and growth happen while the characters are separated, this seems more like women's fiction. I would rather read about post-accident Beth having Meaningful Epiphanies and working through her Co-Dependency Issues than watch her chase a guy who doesn't care.

_*rachel*_ said...

This isn't too bad, it's just a bit blah. I don't see a ton of conflict, and I think I've seen the underappreciated childhood friend/helpful assistan falls in love plot a dozen times before.

Keep in mind that I'm reading a spy novel, and the one before that was about pirates, and the one before that was also about pirates... I'm not a romance person. Maybe this really is good for a romance, but it doesn't hook me.

Hey, maybe he REALLY can't stop thinking about her. Can he prove it by stalking her? THAT might make it interesting.

Matt said...

This reminds me of that movie with Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston. What was it called...Rock Star?

Anonymous said...

"Hey, maybe he REALLY can't stop thinking about her. Can he prove it by stalking her? THAT might make it interesting."


Yes indeed, we should all demonstrate our undying love for someone by stalking them. Of course, we will then be labeled a sociopath or a psychopath or maybe just a little bit nutty.

Anything for love.

Back in the day, the way someone demonstrated love for another was by letting them be free. Therefore, demonstrating deep seeded control issues - but at least you didn't go to jail.

"You love me?"

"Yes I do and I'll show you how much by letting you go" he then untied her from the radiator.


"You love me?"

"Yes I do and I'll show you how much by peeking thru your window, hacking into your email, reviewing all the telphone calls you make and recieve, following you to the ends of the earth and risk arrest for breaking that restraining order."

I don't think I have ever read a romance novel, so I can not comment on the query. I do, however, (probably wrongly) disagree with EE, I could see how it would become annoying covering up for an unappreciative boss that does not return your love. I would imagine, however, that the unrequited love is the real reason she is annoyed. I bet if they were dating, she would not a problem at all with protecting him. (Therefore, demonstrating co-dependency issues) That could be good point in the novel - her realization that she is not really annoyed with his behavior but instead his failure to recognize and return her love and devotion.

After recognizing this - she should just move on to a healthier more mature relationship. (Especially considering he must be older than she is and her crush began at such an early age).


Chelsea Pitcher said...

Hootie and the Blowish! Thank you, I needed that.

Steve Wright said...

It does seem a bit thin, to me. She loves him, he can't stop thinking about her ... fine. What do they actually do about it? It seems, to me, that that would constitute the plot. Is there an antagonist? Are there obstacles to their relationship? People who read query letters probably want to know.

Blogless Troll said...

The names Beth and Jacob aren't really doing anything for me. Have you considered changing them to something more exotic, like Tallula and Kal-El, or maybe Chockablock and Two-Step?

Jeb said...

I'm sure I've seen published romances with equally thin plots (and some clearly anorexic).

I agree with the Evil One's advice to drop the estranged father from the query, with this caveat: if getting to understand her father and what went wrong with that relationship is a catalyst for her having a more mature understanding of Rocker-Dude when he comes crawling, then it needs better elucidation rather than elimination.