Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Face-Lift 885

Guess the Plot


1. Belleville is the nicest town in the state. Perfect weather, friendly people, no crime. Or so outsiders think. But that's because no outsider has ever stayed around Belleville until sundown . . . and lived to tell about it.

2. After 500 years, the slow rotation of the planet Ficksia is finally taking Lurhon City - and the last slice of land on the lit hemisphere - into the dark zone. If Ariadne and her ragtag team of werecats can't reverse the planet's spin by engineering a supervolcano explosion, it'll be sundown for everyone... forever.

3. Only daytime is experienced by the people of Helianthus, for at sundown they must return to their pods and be frozen again. When Arden breaks the rules and sees night, he discovers the evil secret the Controllers have been keeping from the populace. Has Arden seen his last . . . Sundown?

4. On tour with the Sundown Music Festival, guitarist Louise Stelland wears a ring to show she's not available. Gotta keep all the groupies and fans from bugging her. But then hunky rock star Jared Pearson shows up, and suddenly Louise can't lose her ring fast enough.

5. When Jeri and Patrice head for the Sundown Dude Ranch for their summer vacation, they're both secretly hoping to land a sexy cowboy. Turns out Sundown Dude Ranch is located on Brokeback Mountain, if you get my drift. Hilarity ensues.

6. Mankind ended the devastating vampire war long ago by stopping the rotation of the Earth and living on the bright side. But now the vampires have found a way to start the world spinning and humans who have never seen a vampire will have to face their first . . . Sundown.

Original Version

On tour with the Sundown Music Festival, guitarist Louise Stelland plans to be Mistress Cool and rock the nation. Nobody will care that twenty-six year old Mistress Cool still carries her boyfriend's ring five years after his death. [Whattaya mean "carries"? Does she wear it?] They won't bug her to go on awkward blind dates, either. Mistress Cool will be left the hell alone. [Rock guitarists don't get left alone just because they're wearing rings. She could wear a nun's habit and a chastity belt and guys would be all over her.]

But on Day 1 of [the] tour, famous rock star Jared Pearson shows up and throws Louise completely off her game. Whenever he's around, Mistress Cool is nowhere in sight. Her attempts to avoid him keep failing. And she's starting to like his company a little too much.

Suddenly, she's fiddling with her ex's gold ring and wondering if it's time to put the thing away.

Which is so NOT cool. [Why?]

Complete at 105,000 words, SUNDOWN is a contemporary romance novel.


I don't understand Louise's conflict. She's had time to get over the death of her ex-boyfriend. Was her ex also a rock star, electrocuted by his Stratocaster? Is she afraid a romance will cost her this gig? We need to see why she's fighting against a relationship.

Saying "Nobody will care that she still carries her boyfriend's ring" will probably be interpreted to mean guys will hit on her despite the ring, when I think you want to convey the opposite idea. What you want to say (I think) is that nobody will know that the engagement ring she's wearing was given to her by a man who died five years ago.

It's just not clear enough. Louise has landed a plum gig, but she hates life on the road, with guys always hitting on her, so she wears an engagement ring, hoping that will deter them. Then she meets Jared and suddenly wishes she didn't have that ring on, because she wouldn't mind getting hit on by him. Too late, he's already seen the ring, and he's the one rock star she's ever met who respects the ring's symbolic meaning.

That's the plot I would expect to find in a contemporary romance. He's not interested because she's engaged, she finally admits she isn't engaged, he doesn't believe her, thinking she just wants to get him in the sack, she eventually convinces him, he's mad because she wasn't up front with him, they avoid each other, they're miserable, they realize they can't live without each other. I'm not sure it's your plot; if it is, say it clearly and simply.

This is short enough that you can add some more information without going over a page.

Leave out the dead boyfriend. It doesn't matter in the query where the ring came from.

While the word "cool" can convey lack of interest, I would expect someone calling herself "Mistress Cool" to be mysterious and hip rather than cold.


vkw said...

It sounds like part of your MC's stage persona is be off limits to the cleavage staring scoundrels of the music world. Kind of like when the Jonas brothers advertised their purity rings.

If that's so say that - part of her Rock-N-Roll persona is to keep up the appearance of "too cool, for you." If she is really this famous wouldn't part of persona be "wears her dead boyfriend's engagement ring" Awwwww, how sweet?

I could be wrong but . . is this all that happens? Really? No love triangle, no kidnapping, murder, mayhem, mystery, plot twist?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a story with potential to be good, but the pitch is so sketchy. And it is focused on the ring. You have plenty of space to say more about the characters & their dilemma, so please do.

St0n3henge said...

There is no dilemma here, and therefore no story. Young up-and-coming rock star is so emo she wears dead boyfriend's ring. Five years later she meets hunky famous rock star who likes her. And they all live happily ever after.

That's what would happen in real life.

I'd vamp it up with a curse. She thinks she's cursed because all her boyfriends die. If she falls in love with him she thinks he'll die too. Something like that.

Or, some fortune teller says if she falls in love again she'll die, so the ring is sort of a charm.

Anyway, there needs to be a better reason for the ring. Right now it seems that all the rocks stars and groupies are such gentlemen they just leave her alone. And why not get involved in a relationship?

Ink and Pixel Club said...

The ring's source could be important if Louise wants to avoid any possible romantic entanglements because she still carries a torch for her dead boyfriend or because his death was so painful for her that she decided that she would never be that close to anyone ever again. However, the query doesn't suggest that there's any reason that we should care about where the ring came from. If Louise only keeps it around to ward off unwanted advances, she may as well have got it out of a Cracker Jack box (assuming they still exist).

Xenith said...

So is the idea that this guy is ruining her carefully cultivated "cool" public persona? And this matters because...?

There must be something else going on for that length?

Joe G said...

I think the ring's source is important because it implies that she's still in love with the dead ex, which is why it would not be cool to fall in love again. That's a mainly internal conflict though.

105 thousand words? That's long!