Thursday, May 18, 2006

Face-Lift 25

Guess the Plot

The Innocence of Evil

1. A deranged editor sinks to blogging, as a defense against charges of corruption and misuse of a colon.

2. Little Lucifer had always been an ideal child . . . until the day Dubya moved in down the block. "Dubya." Even the name sounded sinister.

3. Little Timmy turns to cannibalism and ritual murder. Can the love of Barney save him?

4. Young Joseph Stalin is a boy full of big dreams, until his heart is broken, setting him on the path to world domination.

5. Only Macy Sanders knows that inmate Trey Mitchell doesn't deserve lethal injection. He's innocent. But Macy's fiancé knows nothing of Trey. Or of Macy's past.

6. When Satan is framed for breaking a soul contract, only deceased lawyer Johnny Cochran can get him off.


Original Version

Dear Literary Agent,

What if you had the power to free an innocent man from death row, but you believed that man to be evil? [More importantly, what if you had the power to free an innocent man from death row, but you believed that man to be Evil Editor? I hope you would do the right thing.] In one hundred and ninety-two days, New Mexico State Prison inmate Trey Mitchell will be lethally injected. His one shot at avoiding the Big Jab lies with Macy Sanders, his best friend and the only person to share his secret--she was there the day two undercover officers were shot and killed. But Macy has disappeared.

Trey joins forces with his lawyer to find her, but when they do, [When they do? What, is Trey out on bail? They're getting pretty slack with convicted murderers. I mean, if it was Massachusetts, okay, but New Mexico?] Macy runs. After all that's happened, [What has happened?] she won't risk being discovered if it means Trey could get out. [And she's his best friend?] Especially now, when she's three weeks away from getting married and her fiancé knows nothing of Trey, [Ah, now it all makes sense.] or her past. [Her past when she was Trey's moll.]

As Trey counts down his final days, and Macy leaves everything for a life on the run, [Does she run to Georgia? This is the reverse of that Runaway Bride who ran from Georgia to New Mexico, right?] [The wedding's in three weeks. If she's planning to disappear for 192 days, her fiancé eventually is going to get wise that something's up.] they both discover the truth about themselves, and each other, is far different than what they thought. [He thought she was his best friend, and she thought he was evil. Now he wants her dead, and she suddenly has the hots for him again.] [We must know why Trey is evil if we're to have any sympathy for Macy's decision to keep quiet.]

My suspense novel, THE INNOCENCE OF EVIL, is complete at 74,000 words. My experience with a friend in prison for murder [Aha! So this is autobiographical. So, tell the Evil Minions, did you save the innocent guy, or did you let him get executed, just to keep your fiancé from finding out you once knew a guy who was wrongly jailed?] lends conviction and depth to the novel's emotional content, and my degree in political economy strengthens the legal elements. [Actually, Evil Editor was wondering about the legal elements, specifically, considering how slowly the wheels of justice turn on a death row case, wouldn't Trey's lawyer have looked Macy up several years ago, before the first trial, instead of after Trey's been convicted on his second appeal?] I've published short fiction in various literary magazines, which you can find links to on my website: (Removed for current purposes)

If the premise of "The Innocence of Evil" appeals to you, I would be happy to send you the completed manuscript. I've enclosed a short synopsis, a sample chapter, and a SASE Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Revised Version

Dear Literary Agent,

In one hundred and ninety-two days, New Mexico State Prison inmate Trey Mitchell will be lethally injected. His one shot at avoiding the Big Jab lies with Macy Sanders, the only person who knows he's innocent--she was there the day two undercover officers were shot and killed. But Macy has disappeared.

When Trey's lawyer manages to locate Macy, Macy runs. She won't risk being discovered if it means Trey could get out. Not when she's three weeks from getting married, and her fiancé knows nothing of her sordid past with Trey. And not when she knows that the only reason Trey went unpunished for brutally hacking ten children to death with a hatchet four years earlier was because of a legal technicality.

My suspense novel, THE INNOCENCE OF EVIL, is complete at 74,000 words. I've published short fiction in various literary magazines, including Santa Fe Review, True Detective, and Death Row Cons and the Women Who Love Them.

My own experience with a friend imprisoned for murder lends conviction and depth to The Innocence of Evil's emotional content. If the premise of the novel appeals to you, I would be happy to send along the completed manuscript. I've enclosed a short synopsis, a sample chapter, and a SASE Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,


Notes

The first paragraph leads one to assume Macy has disappeared because she knows that the actual guilty party will do anything to keep her from talking. To then discover the truth, that she's willing to let an innocent man fry, just to keep her future husband from learning she knew the guy way back when, makes her a less-than-sympathetic heroine. If she is the heroine. Or is she the villain? The only acceptable explanation we get for her silence is that she believes the innocent Trey is evil. You must tell us why she is convinced of this, or the whole premise falls apart, and we find her shallow and self-serving. We probably will, anyway, after you tell us, but at least take a shot.

7 comments:

December Quinn said...

If Macy thinks Trey is evil, why doesn't she just say that in court? Why doesn't she just plead the 5th or say she doesn't remember, or whatever? Why run and hide from a lawyer? Is the lawyer an evil murderer, too?

I think it sounds interesting, but only if there's a better reason for Macy to run.

Anonymous said...

EE, ahem; I am from South Carolina. That runaway bride is from Georgia. Just wanted to clarify...lol!

Evil Editor said...

Thank you, eagle eye. Change instituted.

Eagle Eyed Minion said...

You're quite welcome, EE.

Jessica said...

Wait, Macy thinks he's guilty? But then why would she be afraid that if Trey and his lawyer find her, Trey will get out ("After all that's happened, she won't risk being discovered if it means Trey could get out.")? Doens't that make it sound like she knows he's innocent? But then, why is she afraid of him? Or were her and Trey dating at one time, and she's such a horrible person she doesn't want her fiance to know she had an ex-boyfriend? I don't know . . .

pedantic anticipator said...

So is the critique queue an actual queue or more of a bin into which you reach for fodder?

A Reader said...

To cut through the queue clutter, couldn't you privately Email those people who need less work instead of doing a full work-up? If they didn't give an email maybe you could put up a list and they could Email it to you.

Then you could focus on the real terminal cases.