Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Face-Lift 1444

Guess the Plot

Write this Down

1. Your guide to remembering everything.

2. Light Yagami's son gets hold of a lesser demon's evil book. Every time he writes someone's name in it, that person falls down on their face. He uses this to run a gambling ring on high school foot races where he makes people trip in order to fix the game.

3. Maggie has written in her journal for as long as she could write. One day, her little brother ripped out a few pages and she found that what was removed from the journal never happened. Should she repair the past or write in what she wants to happen?

4. Don Juan's fancifully embellished exploits across Europe as dictated to an unnamed scribe who adds his own sardonic commentary. The experimental narrative in triplicate has cross-dressing, fights, bad poetry, sensual dancing, chases, parkour, baroque art, a love potion mix-up, and a cat with more than nine lives. Oh, and a host of bitter women hunting their unfaithful lover down.

5. Lucas was rejected by Lydia 15 years ago, but he's still holding out hope she'll see the error of her ways. Of course he doesn't want her thinking he's still obsessed with her, so to prove he isn't, he writes her letters all the time. You know, instead of texting her all the time. She'll come around.

6. Handwriting expert Amelia Johnson is regularly called as a witness in courtrooms across the country. One look at a defendant's handwriting and she can pronounce guilt or innocence. She's never been wrong, but she's now facing her toughest case. A defendant who has no hands.

Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,

Lydia is finally a working musician–playing guitar on tour for a country diva dripping with rhinestones. [Dolly Parton.] But life on the road is lonely, and she’s in need of a friend. [From what I've heard, Dolly would gladly be her friend if Lydia just told her how lonely she is.] Lucas meant to be a starving artist [A pretty low bar, as life aspirations go.] and ended up a finance bro. [As most of the people who come to this blog are starving artists, and thus have never heard the term "finance bro," here's a video that explains the term.] In high school, they were inseparable friends. Lydia’s tour stop in New York has Luke hoping for a second chance to act on his old crush. But Lydia doesn’t date friends, not since she lost her high school ex, Matthew. And Luke,  as much as he hates to admit it, still begrudges coming in second to Matt all those years ago. [How does he know he didn't come in fourth, to Mark, Luke, and John?] [I can't tell if Matt died, or they broke up.]

Lucas promises to write Lydia letters while she’s on the road –less loneliness for her, proof he’s definitely over that crush for him. [If you're regularly writing letters to an ex-crush, I'd call that proof you're definitely not over her.] Letters turn to texts and calls and reawaken creativity they thought was gone. She has a notebook full of new songs to show an admiring record producer. He’s finally writing the next chapters of his fantasy epic. [Fantasy epic? Run, Lydia, run.] But Lucas’[s] feelings grow stronger with each letter, and Lydia’s will to stick to the rules is waning. She feels the way the air shimmers when they’re together, but saw her parents’ friends to lovers marriage end in empty beer bottles and a move to Florida. [Empty beer bottles signify only that people like beer. However, willingly moving to Florida is a major red flag.] Lucas is weighing his options too - confess his feelings or learn to live with [risk] a future where the girl he loves chooses someone else yet again. [This time, she chooses George Strait.] When they disagree on the answers, [Wait, what are the questions?

Lydia's question: If we become more than friends, will we end up in Florida? 

Luke: No.

Lydia: Yes.

Luke's question: Should I confess how I feel about you?

Luke: I should.

Lydia: Please don't.]  

15 years of history mean knowing all the wrong buttons to push. 

Once friendship turns to romance, there’s no guarantee you get to keep either.

WRITE THIS DOWN is an 89K word contemporary, epistolary rom-com [This is a comedy? I had it pegged as depressing literary fiction.] in the vein of Tessa Bailey’s Hook, Line, and Sinker or Talia Hibbert’s Get a Life Chloe Brown.

Like Lucas, I am an unrepentant trumpet player. [No self-respecting finance bro has touched a trumpet since his junior year of high school.] I’m also the friend constantly trying to sell tickets to a community theater musical. [You think you're their friend; when they see you coming they duck into an alley, thinking, If I have to sit through one more amateur production of Cats I'll slit my throat.] For work, [PROFESSIONAL BIO] [I'd rather you show some light humor in the plot summary than in your bio.]

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best regards,


If I'm describing a relationship becoming closer, I'd say it progresses from texts to letters, not letters to texts. Of course, I never do either, so take that with a grain of salt. I'm thinking phone calls would relieve loneliness more than texts or letters.

Confess his feelings or risk a future where the girl he loves chooses someone else yet again. This makes it sound like these two options are opposite sides of the same coin. Actually, confessing and not confessing could both lead to a future with Lydia . . . or without Lydia. Maybe he'll get lucky and she'll confess her feelings to him.


Anonymous said...

Something to keep in mind is in the query to keep the name as Lucas or keep it as Luke. For a moment I thought you were talking about two different guys.

Anonymous said...

Hey author, congratulations on finishing your book.

The starving artist line doesn't work for me, mostly because if that's what he really wanted he could easily have it. He could even have done failed/bad art (ergo starving) on the side without starving as a finance bro, if that's what he really wanted.

Writing physical letters to someone on the road is very strange. Is he writing to her reserved hotels and timing sending them in hopes that the mail gets them there within the block of time she's at those addresses? (I've had a letter that should have taken 3 days take 3 weeks to be delivered.) Is she leaving forwarding addresses at each location for anything coming in late?

There's nothing up front implying creativity is gone for Lydia--she's working as a musician. Maybe the communication boosts her creativity?

The only "rule" mentioned is Lydia not dating friends because of her ex. Are there others? Then you mention she doesn't want a relationship because of what happened with her parents, which confuses my understanding of her motivations. What's her real reason(s)? Some combination of the two? Something else?

How much of this takes place while Lydia's on tour and how much when she's in the same location as Lucas/Luke? Is Lydia seeing someone else on the side (as in, is there potential competition right now, because otherwise the part about learning to live with doesn't have much impact)?

The "disagree on answers" bit doesn't seem to belong to the "history means knowing the wrong buttons" bit. If they agreed on the answers would that change their knowing of wrong buttons?

Hope this helps
Good Luck