Guess the Plot
Me Against the World
1. When a black market deal goes bad, Perry Barker tries to run for his life. But no one can escape the over 5000 members of the nefarious American Pawnbrokers Association.
2. My husband is cheating, the kids are delinquents, and I'm getting laid off next week. Plus, I'm turning 40 and can't fit into my size 10 pants. I dare you to say you won't represent my book.
3. Mom channels the spirit of Sarah Bernhardt. Dad invents things. Rocky crawled into the pantry last week and covered himself with flour and red food coloring. Ten-year-old Dusti Rhoades (her real name!!!) secretly plans to win the Kidtastic Writing Contest and tells you all about her life in... Me Against The World.
4. I shot my old man to save my little sis from the drunk bastard. Now they'll probably throw me in juvie. No way I'm letting that happen, not when I can just pack up my pjs and my Gameboy and blend into the cutthroat streets of Bed-Stuy.
5. My parents suck and school sux and I totally wish I had never been born. All my clothes are sooo last year!!!! Like, should I just get a tattoo saying "I'm lame" on my forehead? And my car. My car!!!! It's brown!!! It is like soooo embarrassing. My parents must really hate me buying such a piece of sh*t like that.
6. Jason Poe Jr has accidentally unleashed a curse that turns nature itself against him. It's him against the world... he attacks at midnight.
7. The planet Earth has shrunk down to human size and now it's looking for a fight. It's up to Big Brad Little to give Earth an ass-whupping so severe it'll go back to big and quiet. But can he administer the beating before the oxygen runs out?
Dear [Agent Name]
Tony will do anything to protect his little sister Leslie—shooting their father included. When the drunk bastard attempts to choke Leslie to death, that’s just what Tony does. [Luckily Tony's father keeps his loaded gun on a table in the same room where he's choking Leslie, so Tony doesn't have to go get it, which would take way longer than it would take a man to strangle a girl.]
Sirens sound in the distance, which means the police are on their way. If Tony doesn’t do something, the police find two orphan minors and report the incident to Child Protective Services. Tony will most likely end up in a juvenile facility and Leslie in a foster home. But CPS has to find them first. And [no one is better at hide and seek than Tony and Leslie.] CPS be damned. Tony will not let the government split them up.
Hiding out and blending in with others seems to be the only way to avoid separation. The question is where. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many places to go with no money—except the streets. However, running the streets of cutthroat northeast Bed-Stuy is just asking for trouble—trouble they certainly don’t need.
Tony has not one, but two lives to think about. He doesn’t have much time to decide. CPS is coming. And they won’t leave empty-handed. [Actually, it's the cops who are coming, and they're gonna find a bloody corpse and start looking for a shooter, so it'll be a while before CPS is coming. My guess is the kids would be taken to CPS.]
Me Against the World is YA fiction, complete at 78,000 words. [Shouldn't it be Us Against the World? Surely Leslie is going to be useful in the quest for survival.]
Thank you for your time and consideration.
This could be pretty funny if you put it in first person present and tell it like a film noir:
I walk into the kitchen in my pjs hoping my kid sister Leslie hasn't finished off the Froot Loops. And there's the old man, trying to choke Les to death. Lucky I'm packing heat. I pull out my 44 and blast the drunk bastard to kingdom come.
Sirens. Shit, already? Gotta move fast or they'll throw me into juvie for saving Leslie's life, and I'll never see her again. But where can we go? Maybe the brutal, merciless streets of northeast Bed-Stuy? Nah, that's just asking for trouble. But we got no moolah. Wait, I've got my gat. We can rob a Chucky Cheese.
The trouble with my version is the same as the trouble with yours. It could all take place on page one of the book. You need to tell us a story, not just describe the situation the main character is in when the story begins. So instead of just deleting the parts I colored red, condense the setup into one short paragraph, something like:
After Tony shoots his father to stop the drunk bastard from choking Tony's sister Leslie to death, he realizes Child Protective Services will soon swoop in and separate the siblings. No way he's letting that happen, not when he and Les can just blend into the streets. But how long can an eight-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl survive in cutthroat northeast Bed-Stuy?
That leaves room to tell us about the plot: what they plan to do, who stands in their way, what big decision they face, what will happen if they choose badly . . .