Saturday, November 25, 2006
Guess the Plot
1. It's mine! It's mine! It's mine! Sylvan Glen Echo and Green Glade Echo arm wrestle in a duel to the death for the possessions of the late Mountain Echo.
2. The God of Punctuation tells the story of his life and decline to an illiterate shepherd before throwing himself off a tall peak in sheer disgust.
3. 96-year-old village schoolteacher Miss Quadrille is just putting the finishing touches to her 1400-canto Spenserian epic masterpiece when she is throttled with her own typewriter ribbon. Can Miss Amelia Pettipants figure out what the rest of the title was supposed to be?
4. Echo is the size of a mountain. No wonder she's the class bully! Will Echo get the teacher's new shoes, or will there be a wrestling match?
5. A heated argument between Jake and Maggie leads to a night of passion, a betrayal, a car accident, a hitch as an army mercenary for Jake, a career in medicine for Maggie, and a reunion ten years later. Also, a mountain.
6. A bookkeeper, a secretary, a paralegal, and a dental assistant meet at Jack's Bar and Grill every Tuesday night to read their unpublished poetry and cry in their beer, until the remarkable evening a yodeling duo joins the group and changes all their lives forever.
Dear Evil Editor;
Mountain Echo's is a romatic suspence with 70,000 words.
Ten years ago, Maggie Hanson had been eighteen years old and hopelessly in love with her older brother Scott" best friend, Jake Donnegan. She thought her feelings were only one-sided, but a heated argument between them prom night changed all that [Nothing says I love you like a heated argument on prom night.] and they ended up spending a very passionate night together. Three days later, she went to Jake to tell him of all the plans she had made for the future. [Big mistake.] Coldly, he told her not to involve him in her plans. [Men. How do women put up with them?] It was one night and that was all he wanted from her. Fleeing his rejection, she left in her car with tires squeeling and tears running down her face. Resulting in a near fatal car accident, completely changing her life. She never saw Jake again. [Or at least not until the paragraph after next.]
Ten years ago, Jake Donegan, spent the most memorable night of his life in the arms of his best friend, Scott's sister. When Scott found out his sister was planning to throw away her dreams of attenting one of the best colleges in America for a future with Jake on his Horse ranch, he convince Jake to send Maggie away. So he lied to her and told her he felt nothing for her. He had no idea his rejection would end up almost costing Maggie her life. [I'm starting to think you spend more time on this prom night incident in the query letter than you do in the book.] Holding her unconscious body while waiting for help to arrive, he vowed to God that if she lived he would never hurt her again. In order to keep his word he felt he had to leave. As soon as the doctors assured them that Maggie would survive her injuries, Jake and Scott left for the Army. [They simply leave for the army? Had they previously enlisted? If so, how was Maggie going to join Jake on the horse ranch? If not, there is a certain amount of paperwork and other stuff involved in joining the army. And joining the army seems a drastic way to avoid hurting Maggie. He could just hole up on the ranch with his favorite horse until she leaves for college.]
Present day, Scott has been gravely injured, and as mercenaries he and Jake felt it was to dangerous to take Scott to the hospital. [What do you mean "as mercenaries?" Are they in the army? If so, whose army, and stationed where?] The men that were after them would stop at nothing to finish the job, therefore Scott tells Jake to call Maggie. After recovering from her injuries Maggie is now a Physicans Assistant and works for a local ER. She drops everything to help her brother but is scared to death to see Jake again. After a ten year absence Jake and Maggie are thrown back together in an intense struggle to save Scott's life and stay out of danger. Will true love be able to overcome a lifealtering betrayal? Will Jake be able to protect the only woman he has ever loved from the men that want him dead?
You'd be surprised what love can do.
No doubt the minions will rake you over the coals for the spelling, punctuation, and grammar problems (some of which would have been caught by spellchecking), which are bad enough by themselves to earn a rejection.
This is pretty much a synopsis, not a query letter. The only part that isn't summarizing the plot is the first sentence, which, by itself, has enough errors to earn a rejection.
I'm not sure where the title comes from, but amazingly, even it, by itself, is bad enough to earn a rejection.
I'm more interested in who's after Jake and why, than in his relationship with Maggie. They had one night of passion ten years ago as teenagers. Surely they've had other relationships since, satisfying adult relationships, and haven't been pining away for each other. How many women think back to the guy who dumped her after a one-night stand ten years ago, and wonder, How did I let that one get away?