Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Face-Lift 980

Guess the Plot

Hollywood Endings

1. Detective Krinsky is called to the Chateau Marmont to investigate the murder of a paparazzo. The LAPD chief of detectives tells him the murder is not as important as the victim’s collection of photos of the most famous Hollywood derrières. Krinsky must solve the murder, and recover the photos sought by three different groups that will kill for them.

2. Courtney isn't looking for fame and fortune when she heads for Hollywood, just a chance to make the world a better place. Then she meets hunky model-turned-actor Justin. Will publicity tours, red carpet premieres, paparazzi, tabloids, Justins' crazed jealous ex, and hobnobbing with jet-set celebs change Courtney? And is there more to Justin than his perfectly chiseled body, piercing blue eyes and adorable dimples? Based on 1000 true stories.

3. Monsters emerge from a UFO. Strategic use of a fire hose can save mankind, or at least teen psychic Chas Cramer and his girlfriend Wendy. Cross-country chase scenes. Also, a massive explosion, an angel choir and bright lights, helicopters, bazookas, massive icky sticky goop, etc.

4. Ghostwriter Tom Evans can turn any stupid monster movie into a blockbuster by rewriting its final scenes, but he yearns for an Oscar. He retreats to Wyoming to write like a modern-day Thoreau, but his insightful meditations are disrupted by wolves, grizzly bears, gun-freaks with basement distilleries, nudists, forest fires, and that seductive witch -- Roxanne.

5. Hitler, Napoleon, and Attila race chariots towards a row of exploding shopping carts where clones of zombie Marilyn Monroe line dance. More things explode. A sensitive monologue about the cost of explosions on the environment ensues. And things explode some more.

6. Each time Ludlow ditches a girlfriend, the event is more spectacular and heart-breaking than the time before, so when Dakota Jones suggests Ludlow stop writing feeble screenplays and make a documentary about his own love life it all seems brilliant -- until Tiffany finds out what the camera was for and decides to murder him.

Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,

When Midwesterner Courtney Robbins moves to California, she isn’t looking for love, fame, or fortune. She’s determined to finish law school [Imagine her surprise when she discovers the Happy Ending Bar has nothing to do with the California Bar Association.] and do her part to save the world by handling the legal matters of a local women’s shelter. [It's where women go after working on a Michael Bay film.] After a chance encounter with Hollywood’s next big thing, Justin Erikson, leaves Courtney reeling, [Is reeling good or bad?] she is forced to reevaluate her plans. [Someone else can save the world; as Justin Erickson's girlfriend, I have a shot at being on Dancing with the Stars.] When Courtney is with Justin, a hunky model-turned-actor, the sexual chemistry is undeniable, but the couple seems to have little else in common. [No need to state the obvious.]

As Justin’s career continues to thrive, thrusting him into the spotlight more than ever, Courtney assumes the relationship is doomed and focuses on enjoying the ride while it lasts. In between Courtney’s classes and Justin’s filming schedule and publicity tours, Justin shares the perks of his lifestyle with Courtney, whisking her away to Vegas, escorting her down the red carpet at movie premieres, and flying her to the set of his newest hit movie where she meets other celebs. [Between classes in law school you may have time to grab a doughnut. Flights to Vegas and movie sets sound more like between-semesters activities.]

As the passion between Justin and Courtney flourishes, they must overcome typical relationship obstacles, like the disapproval of Courtney’s parents and the antics of Justin’s starlet ex-girlfriend, [Overcoming the antics of a starlet ex-girlfriend is a typical relationship obstacle?] in addition to the challenges unique to Hollywood’s select few, such as the ever-present paparazzi and Justin’s controlling publicist. Justin struggles to shelter Courtney from the paparazzi and to ward off the crazed scheming of his jealous ex, but his own reputation continues to haunt him. [What reputation?] Meanwhile, Courtney begins to appreciate that there is more to Justin than his perfectly chiseled body, piercing blue eyes and adorable dimples, and finally accepts her true feelings for him.

As a couple, Courtney and Justin feel complete and unstoppable, but their two worlds continue to clash. When a tabloid rumor instigated by Justin’s ex-girlfriend threatens both Justin and Courtney’s careers, they must decide what price they are willing to pay to stay together.

Complete at 97,000 words, Hollywood Endings is a sexy romance-glitz novel sure to entertain anyone who has ever fantasized about the Hollywood high life or a romantic tryst with a famous heartthrob.

The full manuscript is available at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.


This mostly sets up the situation while listing a few general things that happen. The tried and true plot of a romance would have Courtney and Justin being in love but kept apart by various misunderstandings and obstacles. These two seem to be together and simply contending with their problems. We need to see that Courtney is desperately in love but the relationship is doomed. Then we can get behind her as she fights for true love.

Focus on Courtney. Set up the situation in paragraph 1. Then get to the main obstacle, which seems to be the crazed scheming of the jealous ex, and especially the tabloid rumor she's responsible for. What's the rumor, how does it threaten Courtney's happily ever after, and what does Courtney plan to do about it?

As it is, Courtney has the life "anyone who has ever fantasized about the Hollywood high life or a romantic tryst with a famous heartthrob" wants, and we can't tell if she's happy with it or wishes she were working at a shelter. If you don't show us how miserable she is about something, we won't cheer her on to happiness. We'll just hate her for complaining about the minor irritations that come with having it all.

In short, less about the Hollywood lifestyle, and more about Courtney's hopes and dreams.


AlaskaRavenclaw said...

You're telling us a lot about Courtney's and Justin's relationship. Really a lot. Much of what you're telling us seems contradictory. The relationship is doomed, the passion is unstoppable. Okay. But why should we care?

I've been spending way too much time in doctors' offices lately, and the reading material there (back issues of People) is providing me with what I fear might be the answer: I should care because it's about celebrities.

Courtney sounds like she might be a more interesting person than Justin. Focus on her.

Anonymous said...

What EE said.

As described here, it seems the law school thing has tiny significance compared to the romance, and she's surely going to drop out or flunk out. Not sure your audience will really appreciate that configuration of priorities. Brilliant women with passion for their careers do not blow off law school in order to screw around in Las Vegas with male playthings. And men who love and respect those women do not interfere with their training by jetting them off on purposeless vacations. Maybe your intended audience is women who haven't figured that out, have no clue what law school is like, and won't care about this conflict. Maybe not. Or maybe that's not how things go in the book. Maybe it's an old-fashioned story about finding a rich dude to marry so you can be a housewife with lots of servants and a big house. I don't know.

none said...

Why does she have to move to California to go to law school/help a women's centre? I mean, I get she has to go to California cos that's where Justin is, but what reason does the story give?

It would be more interesting if she were in a different part of the country, Justin's career was just starting, and they had difficulty seeing each other. As it is, the obstacles to the HEA seem petty or illusory.


Wilkins MacQueen said...

When a tabloid rumor instigated by Justin’s ex-girlfriend threatens both Justin and Courtney’s careers, they must decide what price they are willing to pay to stay together.

I thought Courtney was in law school, if so, a little early for career ruination isn't it?

Fabio gets a new squeeze.Ick factor.

Biggest problem, no one believes the tabs no matter who starts the rumour.

The query is not enticing.

Totally with EE, AlaskaRC, Anon and BuffySqu.

Make me care about her. Right now I think she's got screwed up priorities, easily turned by glitz.

Reach in deeper to her character. She walks I hope.

150 said...

Right now I see C's possible futures as either marrying a movie star or taking her dream job. Which is to say, if the romance falls through, she's still got a good thing going. I'm a natural contrarian and part of me hopes she dumps the pretty-boy to follow her dreams, but I know this is a romance, so that's not how it'll end. I guess what I'm saying is that failing to get the guy should be a BAD thing, but the query makes it sound like he's the one obstacle to getting her education and helping people.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comments... I'm definitely revising the query. In the book, she picks the career over the guy, but then of course ends up getting both in the end anyway since it is a romance, but I clearly need to rework the query so she doesn't seem so pathetic. Thanks for the input!
- Author