Friday, December 20, 2013
Guess the Plot
A Crimson Stain
1. GV Black knew his world was coming to an end. The wunderkind of the dental superheroes was aging and ill. A disease was upon him and eventually it would turn him to worm food. If only he could remember the name of the cure; the unspoken, dental "F" word. If he doesn't invoke the cure he will die and his legacy shall always contain . . . A Crimson Stain.
2. Nothing hurts business at a brothel like a crimson stain on the sheets, especially when it's the result of one of the girls having her throat ripped out and her body left in pieces. Now it's up to Wayward Russell to figure out if the place is haunted, and if so, by what.
3. Vivacious duchesse Louise la Fontaine is mad for the gallant dandy Louis la Vaux. But he's the bastard son of the prince, and the King has forbidden him to marry. Can she use her wiles to convince the King to change his mind?
4. When meek housewife Holly finds a stain on the collar of her husband's dress shirt, she immediately recognizes the crimson lipstick of the bimbo next door. Drama, tears, and midlife soul-searching ensue.
5. When DJ Shazam enters his apartment he learns two things. First, he should have stayed in Aruba. Second, the body in his bathtub is going to leave...A Crimson Stain.
6. Crimson McStainian is a professional pimple-popper, leaving calling cards on the faces of bathroom mirrors. Business is booming until Acne McFacecleaner moves into town. His own self-worth threatened, Crimson must either find new meaning in life, or stain the streets with crimson from more than just bad acne.
Dear Evil Editor,
London, 1860. Wayward Russell has spent his entire life running from monsters. Ghosts, demons, werebeasts—he knows about all of them, the creatures hiding in the shadows and watching for their next victim. Every night he draws protective wards around his room, every day he moves on to a new place, [Every day? Moving is a pain if you do it every few years, and a guy who moves every day has long since run out of friends he can ask to help him move.] [If protective wards work, why does he have to move?] constantly looking over his shoulder to try and escape the horrors he knows are there. [If you're trying to set a scene in which monsters exist, you're overdoing it. I'm starting to think the monsters aren't there and Wayward is nuts.]
Then one night he meets Jenny, a young prostitute at Madam’s Cat knocking shop. [Is that where you take your cat to get it knocked up?] There is something haunting Madam Cat’s, and Jenny wants Wayward’s help in getting rid of it. But Wayward has made a career out of never sticking his neck out for anyone, [So why does Jenny go to him for help?] so he sends Jenny away with a bagged exorcism and instructions not to bother him again. Wayward thinks that’s the end of it—until a week later, he’s dragged into Madam Cat’s and told that Jenny’s dead, [What? Jenny was the only character I liked.] her throat ripped out and her body left in pieces. The fiery Madam Cat demands that Wayward fix the mess he’s created, and, shaken by Jenny’s violent death, Wayward reluctantly agrees. [Have you considered having Madam Cat's throat get ripped out and Jenny, who of course has a heart of gold, seeking Wayward's help?]
But his investigation reveals something far more dangerous than the simple haunting he expected. There’s something else in the brothel, something that creaks the floorboards in empty rooms and makes lamps explode, something that tears the girls’ clothes in the night and leaves bloody claw marks on the walls. [Lemme get this straight. Jenny has her throat ripped out and her body left in pieces, but it's only when Wayward hears creaking floorboards and sees torn clothing that he realizes this is far more dangerous than a simple haunting? This list is stuff I would expect if it is a simple haunting.] Something old and wild and vicious that greatly resents being interfered with. Creatures like this are exactly why Wayward never gets involved, but this time he has no choice—Madam Cat won’t let him leave until her house is safe, and she has enough thugs to make his life very unpleasant if things don’t work out to her satisfaction. And Jenny’s ghost has returned, terrorising Wayward every night and insisting he save the other girls from what killed her. [Does she tell him what that was?]
For once in his life, Wayward may end up doing the right thing, but will it cost him the very safety and anonymity he has worked so hard to protect?
A CRIMSON STAIN is historical fantasy of 60,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.
The protective wards and bagged exorcism hint that Wayward has useful knowledge, but you haven't convinced me he's any more qualified to handle this than the thugs are. If he hails from a family of ghostbusters you might mention that when you introduce him. Introducing him as someone who's been living in fear of monsters his whole life leaves us wondering why anyone consults him in such matters. Who is he?
The list of things that prove this isn't a simple haunting needs to be shorter and scarier.
This is mostly setup. One paragraph setting up the situation (Lily-livered Wayward Russell has been charged with investigating strange goings-on and murder in Madam Cat's brothel) would leave more space to tell us what his plan is and what goes wrong when he puts it into action.