Thursday, January 28, 2010
Guess the Plot
1. Kaleena Shrapner, agent of the Midwest Regional Supernatural Control office, is dead . . . but only in the realm of the living. In the realm of the dead, she's alive. Which is highly annoying to those in the Realm of the Dead who are dead. Or undead.
2. Unlike all the other foxes, Eddie hates hunting and killing. Eddie enjoys the relaxed life of swimming in the pond and lounging in the sun. So, taking a cue from his possum friends, he plays dead in order to get everything he has ever wanted in life: to do nothing. But will he be happy?
3. Sick and tired of school bullies and his overbearing parents, 17-year-old Gus decides to start over by faking his own suicide - only to be shocked when his long time crush admits in her eulogy that she's always had a thing for him. Can he carry on a romance from beyond the grave?
4. After years of dinner theater and TV commercials, classically trained actor Jacob Foxworthy finally gets not one, but two chances at legitimate theatre. But which role should he take? The ghost of Hamlet's father, or Higgs in The Real Inspector Hound?
5. Eric Tripp wants everyone to be sorry, so he engineers his own suspicious disappearance. In front of the TV at the vacation cabin he's broken into, he sits back to enjoy the weeping and searching. Except there isn't any. After three weeks, he gives up and heads home--only to discover no one remembers him.
6. It's 1974 and Bob's dream has come true: front row for the Grateful Dead. When the keyboardist dies midway through "Truckin'," Jerry calls out, "Can anyone play piano?" Bob can, but getting on stage will tip off the IRS that he's been . . . Playing Dead.
My name is Michelle Garrett, and I am [telling you this because I'm worried I'll forget to sign this letter. I am] seeking representation for my fantasy novel entitled Playing Dead, complete at approximately 120,000 words. Below is a very brief synopsis of a twisting and turning story. [Turning and Twisting. Alliterative synonyms should be listed alphabetically unless they also rhyme.] I have made significant progress on the sequel, yet to be named, and I plot material for additional novels in the same world as Playing Dead outlined. [Say what?]
Kaleena Marie Shrapner has just graduated with a degree in Supernatural Control. [Apparently you can get a degree in anything these days. I assume she attended Paranormal University?] Now, as one of the newest and fastest-learning agents at the Regional Supernatural Control office in the Midwest, she has been assigned the task of killing a notorious demon named Botis. [They send one green agent to kill a notorious demon? Who do they think is gonna win between Kareena Marie Shrapner and Botis the Notorious?] When the tables are turned and he kills her instead, [I don't wanna say I told ya so, but . . . ] the adventure really begins as she regains consciousness in the Realm of the Dead, fully functional and alive. [Also known as undead.] [We will assume she's fully functional and alive from the fact that she does stuff in the rest of the query.]
Wrapped up with the disintegrating barriers [Whaddaya mean, "wrapped up with"?] between the three realms, Living, Demonic, and Dead, Kaleena must learn what it is she has become: the newest Traveler. [From whom can she learn this? Is everyone in the Realm of the Dead alive?] To make matters worse, she’s the only Traveler and the only one who can heal the collapsing barrier separating the three realms … [Actually, she's not the only Traveler, as another one appeared in Face-Lift 305.]
… And the best resource she has for knowledge may be the very demon that killed her.
I've been writing for fun for about six years, and I've had a chance to really watch my writing develop and change. I've finished five novellas previously, and [Delete this paragraph up to here (if not entirely) and use the extra space to explain what happens if the barriers disintegrate.] I have been published as a co-author for a children‘s story called “The Lonely Monkey“ in the anthology The World is Our Home: A Collection of Short Stories, written for children in Rwanda learning English. Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
I suggest dumping the entire first paragraph and starting the last paragraph: Playing Dead is an urban fantasy, complete at 120,000 words.
There's not much here about what happens after "the adventure really begins." All we know is Kaleena will try to mend the barriers and it may or may not be useful to consult Botis the Notorious on the matter.
If there've been barriers separating the Demonic Realm from the other realms, how does anyone know Botis is notorious?
Has the barrier already disintegrated? If not, how can Kaleena get to Botis? If so, why haven't thousands of demons spilled into the Living Realm?
Out of curiosity, if the barriers disintegrate and Kaleena goes back into the Realm of the Living, will she be alive or dead?
They wouldn't call it the Regional Supernatural Control office of the Midwest. They'd call it the Midwest Supernatural Control office. Actually, they'd probably give it a name whose acronym is pronounceable, like Supernatural Control Alliance of the Midwest.