Guess the Plot
1. When "Shrink-to-the-Stars" David Cohen's yacht Mental Pause is found aflame with the good doctor and three starlets dead in the galley, homicide detective Zack Martinez knows two things: whatever Cohen was cooking up, it wasn't kosher; and Zack's wife will now insist he take her on that Caribbean cruise.
2. Susan has always been a daydreamer. One day, when off in her own world, she is startled by the realization that reality has been paused. Can she use her time-stopping powers to save the twin sister she never knew she had?
3. Hillbilly boy genius Buddy Boone tests his newly invented human catapult joyride and crash lands near a cave inhabited by old old old people who seem to be comatose -- it's the Van Winkle syndrome!!! Nothing he does wakes them, and soon he, too, is feeling very very sleepy...
4. Jared has the unique ability to kick his mind into overdrive, making the world seem to move in slow motion. Now a freshman in high-school, he decides to conquer first the sports-world, then academics, all while juggling a few girlfriends. What could possibly go wrong?
5. When Sissy's rich husband dumps her for a young babe, she's forced to pause and take stock of her life. She takes a job cleaning up blood and entrails from crime scenes. Now if she could just solve a murder, maybe that handsome cop would finally notice her.
6. Alison's new years resolution in 2024 is to watch less Tube. Not easy when Clik-It hits the surgery shelves and all her friends get implanted. Out of fashion and out of touch, Alison wonders why everyone is wearing a suit and telling the same lame jokes. The comedy turns to horror when she realizes they're all channeling late night talk show host SamG TanG! Can she turn these zombies off?
Growing old is not for sissies, as Cecelia “Sissy” Cavanaugh is about to find out. When her husband steals her designer luggage and runs off with a younger woman who has a tight tush and perky tatas, [If the guy cared about a tight tush and titillating tatas (note added alliteration), he would have simply suggested Sissy get liposuction and a tata job. Obviously it was the designer luggage he was after.] Sissy Cavanaugh’s posh road to happiness veers off course. [Roads don't veer off course. Cars do. Roads tend to stay put. If you need a metaphor for life, you could say her Cadillac of contentment veers off course. Or her Lexus of love. Or her Mercedes of marital mirth. Any luxury car will do as long as it's alliterative. I recommend just saying her life veers off course.] She must decide whether to ask her manipulative mother-in-law for a handout or get a job. Sissy chooses the path of least resistance—a job. A job that includes cleaning crime scenes. Only she doesn’t know that part. Yet. [You don't need those last two sentences, as you never show any significance to her not knowing . . . yet.]
Instead of enjoying manicures and sipping margaritas, she’s mopping floors, scrubbing toilets and trying to balance an empty checkbook. Fearing that her country club membership will be revoked, Sissy begins to build a life that doesn’t include tee times and garden parties. [Those last two sentences say pretty much the same thing. Combine them into something that transitions into the following sentence. For instance, Having traded manicures for a mop, massages for Mr. Clean (note alliteration), Sissy rises to the top of Millie Maid, Inc., then buys out the owner.] As her career takes off, [Careers mopping floors and scrubbing toilets seldom take off. Explain.] so does her personal life. She finds herself caught between three men: her cheating husband, a wealthy widower ready for love, and a handsome cop who gives new meaning to the words hot flash. [Don't insult her intelligence by implying that she's actually considering taking back that miserable cheating slimebucket.] [Marry the rich guy, have a life-long affair with the hunk, frame the ex for a murder, and live happily ever after.]
After investigators name a close family friend as a murder suspect, Sissy is assigned to clean the crime scene. ["Listen, Sissy, you've been doing such a good job scrubbing toilets, I've decided to see how you do as crime scene technician. Your first gig is a homicide at 56 Elm Street. Apparently the guy was cut in half with a chain saw. Blood and entrails everywhere. And when he died his bowels purged themselves. Add to that the fact that the body wasn't discovered for over a week. Oh, and when the cops entered the crime scene it was so gross they all puked. They'd just come from an all-you-can-eat burrito buffet at MexiSlop. The carpet is white shag, so better bring some bleach."] When her daughter finds out, she urges Sissy to embark on a mission to find evidence and steer the investigation in another direction. Sissy finds a clue in the most unlikely place—her own home. [It's her daughter's diary, in which she confesses to being the murderer. Although that doesn't necessarily prove anything; I understand back in '63 dozens of teen girls confessed in their diaries to having committed the Kennedy assassination just to find out if their mothers were reading their diaries. Actually that would be a good conflict for this book. The mother reads the diary, discovers her daughter is the murderer. Should she let the close family friend be executed in order to avoid the loss of trust that would come with revealing she read her daughter's diary?] [And yes, you may use this idea in your book.] Armed with this new information [What new information? Oh, right, the diary.] she sets out to solve the case and comes face-to-to-face with the murderer. [Her ex-husband. Now she wants him back even more, so she can sell her story to the tabloids after he gets the needle.]
Complete at 77,000 words, Mental Pause is women’s fiction. A formerly pampered woman discovers inner strength and self-reliance while learning that crime—someone else’s— does indeed pay. [I would replace the first sentence of the query with that sentence.]
Thank you for taking the time to consider my submission,
What's the clue she finds in her house? If you're keeping it secret because you don't want to give away who done it, note that I had no trouble guessing that anyway.
Her mission was to find evidence that would steer the investigation in another direction. Why doesn't she give the evidence to the cops instead of setting out to solve the case herself?
If you've been living the very good life, you ought to have enough assets available that you can hold out for a better job than toilet scrubber. She could probably get enough for her car and her jewelry to hire a ruthless divorce lawyer who'd see that she got the house and a healthy alimony settlement, not to mention child support.
Does solving the murder improve Sissy's financial situation or her life? Instead of telling us she's torn among three guys, did you consider focusing the query on the hunky cop as she helps him solve the case and he falls for her brilliant mind and they live happily ever after?
That all said, this has a certain appeal if you can make Sissy's rise from the ashes sound believable. Right now it sounds like she goes from inexperienced maid to CEO of a Fortune 500 company in about two weeks.