Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Guess the Plot
1. The Big Chill meets Friday the 13th, as Josh and his friends gather at the funeral of the latest victim of the sledgehammer serial killer, who always kills the firstborn child of his previous victim.
2. Abandoned as infants and raised by a disgraced proctologist, these psychic albino Siamese twin brothers have only each other--until a question of seniority tears them apart.
3. In exchange for the fame and fortune of bestselling novels, two starving artists promise their firstborn child to the devil. Thus is brought into being . . . the Evil Editor.
4. A man bores his wife to death with a dismal endless monologue. Only their eldest son realizes it was truly murder and not an accident. But can he prove it?
5. Birth rates among college educated women skyrocket when the government starts a new student loan forgiveness program, wherein healthy infants are accepted in lieu of cash repayment.
6. Grisham meets Ali Baba, as this dude drops dead and his quadruplets argue over which of them gets the inheritance.
FIRSTBORN is a 95,000-word horror thriller of the "co-ed splatter flick" variety. In it, eight college friends must survive the fall-out from their parents' reckless youth.
After the gruesome murder of a friend, Josh Parker and his fellow college students retreat to his parent's lake house to regroup. The close-knit troop plan to drink, weep, and reminisce--an Irish wake without the body, so to speak. After all, the funeral hadn't been closed-casket by choice.
Even out of the comfortable college town, however, Josh finds that he can't put the murder out of his mind. [If your goal is to put the murder out of your mind, drinking, weeping and reminiscing at an Irish wake, so to speak, is an odd way to go about it.] Who kills someone by beating them to death with a sledge hammer? [Someone too stupid to realize a regular hammer will do the job just as well, and will be a lot easier to swing.] What kind of rage breeds that kind of intent? ["Intent?" I'd go with "savagery," "brutality," or "cruelty."] He pesters the lead detective on the case and discovers that his friend wasn't the only victim of a sledge hammer bludgeoning in the past year. In fact, she was the fourth,
[Josh: She was killed by a sledgehammer? Bet you don't see that too often.
Detective: You'd be surprised. I've worked four sledge hammer cases this year alone.
Josh: Don't you find that odd?
Detective: Nah. There've been half a dozen wrench killings in the same period. Not to mention several knives, lead pipes, and a candlestick.
Josh: A candlestick?
Detective: In the conservatory. I booked Colonel Mustard for that one.]
and the third was her father, [You'd think if his friend's father was recently bludgeoned to death with a sledge hammer, Josh would already know about it.] a long-forgotten chum from his own father's glory days.
The body count rises as Josh's friends and their fathers fall under the murderer's sledge. [If the killer's next victim is always the previous victim's father or firstborn, seems like the cops would have no trouble figuring out where he'll strike next.] A nameless shape [A nameless shape? Who's the killer, The Blob?] stalks them with juggernaut intensity until Josh's own father reveals an impossible identity [suggests an impossible suspect?] --a victim of accidentally lethal hazing whose pregnant fiancé miscarried from the grief and shock of her lover's death. Unfortunately, the knowledge is more curse than cure. How do you kill what's already dead? [Whoa, you're saying the killer is . . . a ZOMBIE?!! Why didn't you say so in the first place? Serial-killer-with-a-sledgehammer books are a dime a dozen. Zombie-serial-killer-with-a-sledgehammer books are the next wave. We've got to get this book published before Anne Rice comes out with Interview with the Zombie:
"You weren't always a zombie, were you?" the boy began.
"Nnngh," answered the zombie. "Ozza tayfie yeeromun wencame zombie, enthyeers senteenitywun."]
Thank you for your time and consideration.
I don't think comparing it to "co-ed spatter flicks" is helpful. You may be hoping they'll make a co-ed spatter flick from it some day, but for now you want people to think it has literary value. Cutting the first paragraph off at "thriller" might do the trick.