Thursday, October 20, 2011
Guess the Plot
2. World-famous knitter Norma Knicker knows knots: slip knots, French knots, and purl knots. But when she comes across the Zeitnot, will it leave her needles gnarled? Also, a gnu.
3. German scientist Ernst Bloch has invented the perfect acne cream: “Zeitnot” guaranteed to clear up a virgin’s face! But now, neo-Nazis are after him for the formula. Seems they’ve dug up Hitler’s body, and are trying to get rid of the blemishes. Will Zeitnot become Zeitnaz, or can Ernst “Bloch” their acquisition?
4. Someone has killed the CEO of NuMagic and installed a mole in the company. But why? It's just a rinky-dink technology start-up. If Matthew, the other CEO of NuMagic, can't get to the bottom of this before it's too late, he could be the next victim.
5. Retired undercover cop Zeitnot takes up writing crime fiction based on the cases he put away. But a series of murders bearing the signature of the serial killer he put away ten years ago terrorizes the city, and the evidence points to Zeitnot. With the cops chasing him, he has to find the copycat who hacked into his files.
6. Time is running out for Louis Vlabinder. His girlfriend Natalie has long kept a secret. Two of them actually: Bob and Abernathy, her other boyfriends. Infidelity has been fun, but seriously, they're all over 40 now and if one of these cads doesn't find the inspiration to marry her by Christmas, she's going to dump them all and get someone from that matchmaker's catalog of Poles and Russians.
Dear Evil Editor:
I am sending the query for my novel ZEITNOT. The name refers to the fact that the protagonist is always pressed for time while making crucial decisions. [Though only chess enthusiasts and those who look up the word will get it. Is the word used in the book?] The course of events in the novel take place over 15 days.
Matthew, a CEO of NuMagic - a fast growing technology company, hires a private eye to investigate the circumstances of a sudden death [Murder. He was murdered, right? You don't need a private eye if he choked on a piece of ham.] of his partner and close friend. [I assume that's one person. Just call him partner.] At home, Matthew is facing marital issues and sickness of his children. His younger son Joshua is battling a hematological disorder. Older son David [What happened to the plot? I assumed the first sentence of this paragraph was the topic sentence, the one the rest of the paragraph builds on. You've swerved off the road and if you don't hit the brakes quickly you may drive off that cliff up ahead.] has an unusual gift masquerading as autism. Sickness of the children takes its toll on Matthew's wife Janice and strains their marriage. With a help from a doctor, Matthew finds out about David's true gift, which enables him to understand his son and save his marriage. [Screeeech! Aiiiiiieeeeeee!]
Investigation of partner's death uncovers a plot against NuMagic. [A plot to do what?] Matthew learns the identity of the mole. However, the mole himself is just a pawn in a bigger and more sinister game. [What are the stakes in this game?] Matthew is getting close to solving the puzzle. But ignoring David's warning [What warning?] puts him and his son [Which son?] in danger when the ruthless killer strikes again. [Maybe you should have stuck with the family. At least it was clear.]
ZEITNOT is Commercial Fiction and my first novel.
The complete manuscript of 55,000 words is available upon request.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
This is a mystery/thriller. You're devoting as much query space to Matthew's family life as to the main plot. Get rid of Joshua and Janice and the doctor. If David's only contribution to solving the crime is the warning that Matthew ignores, you can drop David too. If David's gift is instrumental in solving the crime, tell us what his gift is.
Focus on the crime:
Matthew Matthews, CEO of NuMagic, hires a private eye to look into the murder of his partner. The investigation reveals that there's a mole in NuMagic, a mole who's part of a sinister plot to bring down the world economy. There's no time to stop the plot . . . unless . . . Matthew calls upon his son David, the mutant superhero known as The Savant.
We need to know the goal of the sinister plot, and what NuMagic does that would make killing their executives and installing a mole useful. What will happen if Matthew fails to solve the "puzzle"?