Friday, November 19, 2010
Guess the Plot
Trial of the Heart
1. Jennifer is a family lawyer who specializes in divorce. David is a family lawyer who specializes in fathers' rights. Can they somehow overcome all odds while--oh, screw it. They hop in the sack the minute they meet and spend the rest of the book bitching about it.
2. Emily's family was killed by egotistical Conway Duke. As she fights for justice, Duke becomes seriously ill. Should she ease his suffering by forgiving him, or should she try to get his trial date moved up?
3. When a donor is found for her husband Mark, 51, Sarah is elated- until the next person on the list begs them to let her have the heart for her 13 year old son. Sarah is all set to flatly refuse, but Mark isn't. Can Sarah live with either decision? Can Mark? Can the reader, without barfing?
4. Detective Swanson says the murders were caused by the heart of Ignatius Trematode, which has been beating in a jar at the medical school for 28 years. But Prosecutor Umbridge is skeptical that a heart could poison Mrs. Trematode and cause her boyfriend to jump off a bridge . . . until Umbridge, himself, sleepwalks to the railing of that very same bridge. Then he schedules a trial and seeks the death penalty!
5. Internet scammer Joseph Nwoye falls in love with one of the rich American ladies he's been fleecing. She's sure to discover his deceptions--unless he can cover his lies by actually getting a job as CEO of the Bank of Nigeria. One man finds redemption through the love of a woman.
6. The Spleen had enough malice to commit perjury. The Kidneys were too bashful to take the stand. The Liver (“Lily”) refused to testify, even though she was the key witness. The Spine was nowhere to be seen. Only Large Intestine had the guts to speak out about what happened, at the . . . Trial of the Heart.
Dear Evil Editor,
Emily Hennas has the power to ease a man’s suffering. Yet, that same man is responsible for murdering her family. After her husband, son and daughter are killed by a drunk driver, the egotistical Conway Duke, Emily is left alone to raise her youngest son. [While drunk drivers deserve no sympathy, we generally reserve the term "murder" for those who kill intentionally.] She moves to New York and faces the most difficult decision of her life: keep fighting for the justice her children deserves [deserve], or forgive Conway Duke for causing their deaths. [I don't think we need the first two sentences. They vaguely state what we get with more specificity later on. What we do need is an idea of what kind of justice Emily is seeking. Was there a trial? What punishment has Duke received? Surely he would have been charged with manslaughter.]
Driven by anger and survivor’s guilt, shadowed by the memory of her emotionally abusive husband, Emily engages in a legal fight hindered by an obsession for hoarding, [I don't know how a hoarding obsession hinders a legal fight, and the query is no place to explain it, so leave out the hoarding.] fears for her surviving child, and an overprotective brother. She forges an unlikely friendship with Nicholas Travane, a neighbor who at first embodies the arrogance of her dead husband. She’s attracted to Nick, but lays down unbendable rules for their friendship. Friendship is all it must be. She doesn’t want or need anything more. [Suddenly Nick remembers there's someplace else he needs to be.]
In one explosive moment, the legal battle ignites and changes course. Conway Duke becomes seriously ill, [Is that the explosive moment? Usually becoming seriously ill takes longer than one moment.] and might never face the justice for which Emily fights.
Trial of the Heart is the story of a mother’s love, a woman’s heart, and the obsession for justice. The work of women’s fiction is complete at 87,000 words. Would you be interested in seeing more?
Thank you for your time and consideration.
You mention that Emily's decision is whether to forgive Conway, which has me expecting you to come back to the idea after Conway is seriously ill. Instead it sounds more like she's worried he'll die before she gets justice.
Wouldn't it be harder to get justice once you've moved to another state?
Nicholas isn't needed in this query. Emily has no romantic interest in him, and he has nothing to do with her fight for justice. Focus on Emily and her main conflict.
In one explosive moment, the legal battle ignites and changes course. To me, this is the hook, but it needs some elaboration. What happened?