Monday, November 12, 2012
Guess the Plot
The Buried Life
1. Zombie mummy cats chase zombie mummy mice in Tutankhamen's tomb after an earthquake releases a spell from a sealed vase. Plus, a hapless archaeologist.
2. A new cereal killer is on the loose, but Detective Martinez lacks the proof he needs to arrest prime suspect Count Chocula. Then he discovers ... the Buried Life.
3. Molly the mole is worried. There were enough predators out there even before all the humans became zombies. Because zombies are slow, they've taken to digging up prey. So Molly is building an army of moles to bash the zombie heads and make Earth safe for mole-kind.
4. Ezra McCabre awakens in a closed coffin. Follow his reflections over the course of several hours as he wonders whether he's the victim of a practical joke or something much worse.
5. It's love at first sight when Republican Veep candidate Mike and Democrat rookie Senator Michael lock eyes across the debate room. But once in office and Michael could be the key swing vote to prevent Mike bombing Lenyaland - home of Michael's beloved Noni - how much can stay buried?
6. When the rich and famous are getting murdered in an underground city, it's up to laundress and amateur sleuth Jane Lin to infiltrate their ranks and expose a killer before the city is ripped apart. Also, a useless police inspector.
7. Wisping out in the ether, the cremated souls of wretches demand retribution for not being buried alive. But what goodly souls exist to resurrect them before wielding the shovel?
Dear Evil Editor,
When Inspector Liesl Malone investigates the murder of a historian, the only thing more difficult to unravel than the crime is the red tape. Not that she's surprised; only a few dozen men and women in her city are allowed to study the past. [I don't get the connection between few people being allowed to study the past and Liesl's lack of surprise that there's a lot of red tape. Doesn't it sound like something's missing from this conversation:
Captain: You've caught a murder case.
Liesl: Who's the victim?
Captain: Some historian.
Liesl: Shit. I'm gonna be drowning in red tape.
Captain: Why's that?
Liesl: Because only a few dozen men and women in this city are allowed to study the past.]
[Maybe the opening should be: When one of the few historians in the underground city Recoletta is found murdered, the investigation rightly falls to Inspector Liesl Malone. So she is surprised when the ruling Council immediately throws her off the case. (If that's what happens next.)]
But she is surprised when Recoletta’s ruling Council throws her off the case. When the Council attempts to pacify the city with a military curfew. [I don't think "pacify" is the word you want. It suggests the people are demanding a military curfew and the Council is placating them. You could try "curb" or "suppress" if you can follow up with "protests" or "rebellion." Otherwise I'd just say: When the Council imposes a military curfew.] When the rich and powerful keep dying. [This when, when, when annoys me. How about this:
When one of the few historians in the underground city Recoletta is found murdered, the investigation rightly falls to Inspector Liesl Malone. So she is surprised when the ruling Council immediately throws her off the case and imposes a military curfew.
As more rich and powerful people are murdered, Malone must choose between her duty to obey the Council and her responsibility to catch a killer. (If that's what her choice is.)]
Malone must choose between her duty to obey the Council and her responsibility to catch a murderer. She finds an unlikely ally in Jane Lin, a laundress who stumbles upon the body of a wealthy client. Jane is close to the elites and their secrets, and she’s alarmed enough by the plot she discovers [I knew she discovered a body; she also discovered the plot? Wouldn't it be better if Liesl discovered the plot? So far she hasn't done anything.] to volunteer to be Malone’s conduit to the inner circle. [Now the laundress is going under cover? Is the laundress the main character? I feel like the laundress is James Bond and Liesl is M.] Malone and Jane must stop the killer and unearth the Council’s deadly secrets
[Liesl: We must stop the killer and unearth the Council’s deadly secrets.
The Laundress: Okay, what's our plan?
Liesl: You stop the killer and unearth the Council’s deadly secrets while I monitor the situation.]
before politics and murder rip Recoletta apart.
THE BURIED LIFE is a mystery novel with speculative fiction elements complete at 92,000 words. I am working on a sequel.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Note to Evil Editor: The title refers to the setting (an underground city) and the secret discovery driving the murders (an ancient, buried library). [If the entire book is set underground, a buried library doesn't seem out-of-place. Is it buried under the buried city?] [Out of curiosity, what's on the surface?]
Note that I refer to your character as The Laundress, rather then Jane. I base this decision on such successful titles as The Artist, The Negotiator, The Client, The Rainmaker, and The Lorax. The Laundress will be the title of the movie after the screenwriters remove Liesl from the plot, so you may as well save them the trouble.
Now that we've shortened the first part, you may have room to hint at how this library is driving murders. And to make it sound like Liesl is somewhat useful.
Recoletta sounds like Rigoletto, Verdi's opera about a hunchbacked jester's love affair with a laundress. Coincidence?