Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Guess the Plot
Jacks Fall and Kings Conquer
1. Cecily is the world's reigning champion at Jacks, and she's agreed to marry the first man who can beat her at her own game. King Henry dons a disguise and leaves his kingdom in the middle of a bloody civil war to give it a try.
2. His three Jacks have lost to three Kings three times, so the next time it's Harry's deal he takes out a little insurance: he declares Jacks wild.
3. Card sharp Manny Romero knew he was going to Hell for the way he treated his family. OK. That, he could handle. But playing 'Go Fish' with Stalin, Hitler & Mao for eternity wasn't part of the plan.
4. Ollie's psychic powers might be useful to law enforcement, but he has a better idea. He heads for the World Series of Poker, where his ability to telepathically see his opponents' cards should win him millions. What he doesn't count on is getting stuck at the same table with another psychic poker player who's better at it than he is.
5. In this strategic guide to poker you will learn how to spot sharks, cheaters, and new blood; how to place bets without needing a second mortgage; and which casinos have strip sessions in the back rooms. Among other things.
6. With the IRS knocking on their door, Dakota and Daphne King take their last ten grand and a Greyhound to Vegas. Dakota enters a Texas Hold’em tourney up against the likes of Jack "Sprat" Geller and Jack "Fat Daddy" Roberts. Will Dakota and Daphne lose everything, or will the Kings conquer?
Dear Evil Editor,
Nineteen year-old psychic Oliver White is unemployed and on the verge of eviction just one month after moving out of his mother’s house. [Usually they don't let you move in if you're unemployed and have only a month's rent saved up.] To prolong his independence, he directs his skills where they reap instant, profitable rewards [Rewards are assumed to be profitable.] – at the poker table. What begins as a desperation move for cash evolves into a journey to the world’s largest poker tournament. What he doesn’t know is that this path was chosen for him long ago; a path that leads to a divine intervention.
This is the premise of my recently completed 103,000-word contemporary novel entitled Jacks Fall and Kings Conquer.
Beginning in Chino, California and culminating in Las Vegas, [an epic journey of about 250 miles,] Jacks Fall and Kings Conquer is the story of Oliver White, a college-aged man from humble beginnings who uses his psychic prowess to play poker at a level most only dream of. With the ability to see his opponent’s hands telepathically, he sets off for the Main Event of the World Series of Poker with his financial backer, Chuck, in hopes of taking down [taking home] the multi-million dollar prize, and dreaming of setting himself, and his recently laid-off single mother, up for life. [You may as well dump the first paragraph and start with this one. They're mostly the same information.]
The discovery of another, more experienced psychic player, [I recommend making everyone in the poker tournament psychic. Wait, some of them have other ways of cheating, like they've tapped into the television feed or bribed the dealer. But every player is cheating in some way. The best cheater of all is about to collect his winnings when armed gunmen bust in and steal it all. Nah, no one would believe that.] along with disturbing dreams that press Ollie to second-guess Chuck’s motives, [Hey, I thought you were in this just to make millions of dollars by cheating at cards. Now I discover you have ulterior motives?] threaten to derail his shot at life-changing cash and force a confrontation with himself in order to redress a tragic past. [This last part is too vague.]
My complete manuscript is ready to be sent at your request.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
This is mostly setup. One could get the impression that most of the plot takes place at the poker table, which is not an impression you want to give. The divine intervention and the tragic past are probably worth more than a brief mention. They may be what turns this from a poker memoir into a novel.