Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Guess the Plot
Beauty for Ashes
1. John's faith in God was unshakable until God let John's beautiful wife burn to death. Now John has a new religion based on alcohol, gambling, and sex with strangers. Can anything save this man's soul?
2. Carlo Frumi is a student archeologist working at Pompeii. When he pours plaster into an ash mold of a former citizen, the woman whose face emerges from the past haunts him. But is she also visiting him in his room?
3. Norma Jean Walker, white trash stage mother extraordinaire, becomes the prime suspect in a string of arson cases involving the homes of rival child beauty pageant contestants. Can Norma Jean elude the police long enough for her little baby to reach the Little Miss Sweet Corn crowning?
4. On a world where death is as curable as your common hangnail, it's not your body up for judgment, but your urn. To win enough money for "permanent resurrection", Lavidia Clomesty must survive the beauty pageant of the dead. Too bad her murderer also happens to be the chief judge.
5. Elke has always been unattractive, so when Satan offers to make her beautiful if she'll burn down a nunnery, she agrees. Hey, she's not even Catholic. But when she discovers that her long-lost twin sister is living in the nunnery, will she go through with the deal or try to con Satan into letting her renege?
6. Sculptor Christobal's latest project is an enormous statue of Aphrodite made entirely from cigarette ashes. But anti-smoking campaigns have limited his raw materials, so he moves to Greece, which has the highest per-capita smoking rate in the world. Will the real Aphrodite take kindly to being portrayed in ash?
Dear Evil Editor,
Jonathon Douglas’ future looked bright- he had a beautiful young wife, a job he loved, and a faith in God that couldn’t be shaken- what more could he want? [A smoke alarm.] But his life goes into a tailspin when a deadly fire claims the lives of his wife and infant daughter.
Stripped of everything he ever held dear, he turns his back on the God who betrayed him and embraces a life of sin, [Perhaps you'd like to go back and rephrase your earlier claim that his faith in God couldn't be shaken?] turning to alcohol to escape his pain. Jonathon hits bottom in the seedy underbelly of the Las Vegas strip, when he wakes up in the bed of a stranger. Broken and repentant, he finds that the Lord had been with him all along. [Wait, you're saying he woke up in the Lord's bed?]
[If I woke up with a hangover in the bed of a stranger, I wouldn't conclude that the Lord has been with me all along. What really clues Jon in to this fact?]
John begins to rebuild his life and discover a new future in California, where he meets and falls in love with Jenni, a young Christian woman. But his days of hard living catch up with him in the form of a very pregnant April, his one-night-stand from Vegas. Will his faith crumble again [I'm starting to think this man's faith is about as unshakable as a James Bond martini in a paint shaker.] and can his relationship with Jenni survive? Everything good in his life is threatened once again, but this time he chooses to cling to his faith and trust in God to carry him through. [Thus when God cometh to him in a vision and telleth him April must be killed and buried in the woods, he doth.]
John must be willing to give up everything to do what is right- and perhaps a soul will be saved in the process. [I hope "what is right" isn't getting married to a crack-addicted prostitute he's known for a few hours and who's pregnant with a baby that might be his, so the child can be raised by two idiots who'll resent each other for the next twenty years.]
Beauty For Ashes is a Christian Fiction novel complete at 93,000 words. Thank you for your consideration.
It sounds weird to say he falls in love with a Christian woman. If she were another religion it would be worthy of remark, given his faith--which is shakable only occasionally, like when God is letting his wife and daughter burn to death--but in this case you could be more subtle and say he falls in love with a woman he meets at a church potluck dinner.
I'm thinking a character losing faith in God in the face of tragedy is standard fare in inspirational books, and perhaps seeking solace in sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll is too. But when that fails, why not try Buddhism or marathon running or the Peace Corps? In other words, tell us what brings John back to the God who betrayed him.