Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Face-Lift 1069

Guess the Plot

A Rose by any Other Name

1. The genus Rosa has been the reigning queen of flowers for centuries. But now plant taxonomists are battling to have the common Tea Rose reclassified as a noxious weed. With the help of her gardening association, Rosalie Jenalds must stop these "scientists" before they make cultivation of her favorite plant illegal.

2. Rose Smith is used to getting beaten up on account of his name. Deciding on a moniker with more guts to it, he finds that "Osama Bin Assange" has some unexpected consequences.

3. Disgraced baseball great Pete Rose changes his name, grows a beard, and works his way back into the game playing for a Triple-A farm team.

4. Rose Pederewski, wanted for check fraud in 28 states under 39 different aliases, suddenly finds herself the chief suspect in a nasty murder. How can she clear her names of the crime she didn't commit?

5. 32 year-old Jennie Rogers lied about her age to land a part on TV's "The Rose", a vampire musical dramedy aimed at teens. When hunky production assistant Gabriel Lopez threatens to expose her ruse to the director, Jennie has to decide whether to sleep with him or kill him.

6. Emma comes home for her ten-year reunion, hoping to reconnect with her best friend, Rose. But she didn't count on Rose being a zombie queen who has turned all Emma's closest relations into flesh-eating undead who want Emma as their next snack.

Original Version

Evil Editor,

Emmaline Fay left town to escape her best friend Rose Briar's shadow. That and she fell in love with Rose's man, Jason Prince. Now it's ten-year-reunion time and Emma is still stuck in her shell. She's coming home to reconnect with Rose and help her win Jason back. Too bad Jason's pining for a certain wallflower and a decade old prophecy is going to turn Rose's beauty rest into an undead awakening.

Within days, Emma and Jason must track down the creepy school janitor who predicted Rose's departure from the living and devise a solution to kill their closest relations-- before they start looking for snacks beyond small town Charming. Their only hang-ups? [Obstacles?] Being in love with each other and suffering the mother-of-all-guilt-trips, while justifying the need to kill for survival. This geeky chem engineer and once upon a time All-Star jock are desperately trying to avoid becoming loyal subjects in Zombie Beauty's court. But their attempts to put this flesh feasting princess to sleep may end the romance before it takes off.

A Rose By Any Other Name is a retelling of the fairy tale classic Sleeping Beauty [in that it involves a beauty who does some sleeping,] and is complete at 31,000 words.

I'm an avid reader, romance enthusiast, and reviewer for The Season and IndieBooksRUs sites. Zombies frighten me beyond reason, [Zombies want you to fear them. It's the one thing they have going for them. If more people knew zombies can easily be defeated with flamethrowers or Chinese finger traps, the fear would be gone.] but I love fairy tales and couldn't resist the opportunity of this submission call.

 [Data trapped in Chinese finger trap on Star Trek TNG.] 


Presumably this was a submission call for zombie novellas inspired by the titles of fairy tales?

I think you need to make the chronology clear. Emma shows up in her home town and discovers...what? That everyone's a zombie and Rose is their queen? That her closest relations are zombies and Rose is predicted to become one on reunion night? That no one is a zombie but there's a prophecy saying tonight's the night? You say, "Within days" the situation is X. I'm interested in what happened in those days.

Why do they need to find the janitor? Does he hold the key to dezombification?

Face-Lift 195 was for a book titled My Big Sucky Undead High School Reunion. Sadly, it turned out to be vampires instead of zombies, but it was a better title than A Rose by any Other Name. You need a title like Emma and the Flesh-eating Zombie Princess. It is a comedy, right?

Change it from a reunion to senior prom. Emma moved away after junior year, but Jason invited her to the prom. Now it's YA. Double the length, get rid of any obvious Sleeping Beauty references, and I think you've got something.


Anonymous said...

I didn't follow this at all, e.g., What happened to Rose? In paragraph one, Emma's coming to reconnect with Rose, and in the first line of paragraph two, we learn that Rose has departed from the living. How'd that happen?

And why would Emma and Jason want to kill their closest relations?

The story beats may be present, but the voice is so campy I could very well have missed the references.

Anonymous said...

What EE said. Could be a lot of fun but that is the wrong title and their near-30 age is not a plus.

150 said...

I'm curious about the call for submissions, actually. I've seen zombie romance, zombie fairy tales, and romantic fairy-tale retellings, but not all three.

Assuming the length is fine and there's a good reason to make your players so old, I agree that a) the names are twee and b) the plot description is terribly hard to follow. Remove the voice, describe what happens in clear direct sentences, then put the voice back in. And do change the title.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

While the writing style is good and moves right along, I felt a little lost. At first I thought "ah, women's fiction"-- then I got to the undead part and thought we were in vampireland. "Small town Charming" confused me as I wasn't sure if Charming was the name of the town, the name of a prince, or the quality, "charming", capitalized.

But the real problem is the 31k.

EE doesn't like us to talk about length --sensitive subject I guess-- but 31k is way too short for anything except the younger range of middle grade. For an adult novel, it's about 50k words too short. Is this a novela?

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

Whups, I mean novella.

(Lo cofundia con una telenovela.)

khazar-khum said...

When you mention a prophecy, you'd better explain it.

Anonymous said...

Some digital imprints of legit publishing houses (eg Harlequin) are fine with novellas.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

Anonymous, then all we are left wondering is whether the writer in fact intended to write a novella.

Landra said...

Yes, to answer the question I did intend to write an Novella. Submission call was for a novella.

Thank you everyone for your feedback. I appreciate it.

PLaF said...

Rats. I was hoping for GTP #4