Thursday, January 18, 2007

Face-Lift 262


Guess the Plot

Nibbling Nirvana

1. An intern is in deep trouble when she is entrusted with the one-of-a-kind master tapes from original Nirvana songs, and her roommate's guinea pigs chew them to shreds.

2. When Teresa dies, God gives her a chance to escape limbo by doing good deeds. Her ghost befriends a nerd who needs her help getting a girl, but it turns out he did have a girlfriend once--and she's a ghost hunter!

3. Jazz trumpeter Jonesy Day plays his heart out at night at the only job he can get, a joint on the Bayou where he meets a pole dancer, whose stage name is Nirvana. Jonesy is hoping all his lipwork is going to pay off at last.

4. The celestial beings who have achieved enlightenment rethink their position on the sacredness of all life when an infestation of rodents makes living in Nirvana less than heavenly.

5. Detective Jon Louis Bretonne finds 17-year-old Kendall White in a French Quarter back alley, dead. The only clue is the sticky green froth at his mouth that means he'd been nibbling nirvana, the latest drug on the teen scene. Can Jon Louis work his way through hell to find out whose been peddling heaven?

6. In this alternative history novel, Kurt Cobain is forced to run for his life when his buzzed bandmates get a case of cannibalistic munchies after a concert.


Original Version

Dear Mr. Agent,

I'm querying your agency regarding my novel, Nibbling Nirvana, a YA paranormal chick lit of approximately 45k words.

When flaky, materialistic 16-year-old Teresa Jones kicks the bucket by choking on a pork sandwich, God gives her a chance to work her way out of limbo by performing good deeds. She befriends Brandon White, a quiet video game nerd in her school who can actually see and hear her, [It would be hard to do good deeds if people can't see or hear you. Is she non-corporeal, like a wisp of air? In which case she wouldn't be able to push a child out of the way of an oncoming truck? Or is she more like a mute invisible man? In which case when she takes an old lady's hand to help her across the street, the woman will freak out . . . and run in front of an oncoming truck.] and they strike a bargain: he'll help her fulfill her mission, while she'll teach him how to woo her pretty and popular best friend. [Does God know about this arrangement? Because Teresa seems like just the type to let Brandon do all the good deeds, in which case God's going to be pissed.]

However, a clueless ghost hunter (who just so happens to be Brandon's ex) [If Brandon has an ex, it would seem he managed to successfully woo at least one girl. I mean, what video game nerd has an ex? And if he does, why does he need lessons?] will do whatever it takes to make Teresa cross over to the other side. [Which is what?] Suddenly, Brandon's juggling more girls than he can handle, while Teresa's dealing with regret of things left undone. [Mainly, she regrets that she never got to finish that delicious pork sandwich.] And both must face an insurmountable problem: falling in love with each other.

Mr. Agent, I have a Master's degree in English and a Bachelor's degree in English, Creative Writing. I am a principal manuscript editor for a legal publishing company, and also freelance edit and teach self-editing workshops. I am a member of RWA, as well as the chick lit chapter.

I would be delighted to send you Nibbling Nirvana. Please let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your time.

Sincerely,


Notes

Can the ghost hunter see or hear Teresa? Is there an explanation for why Brandon can see her?

Why is Brandon juggling so many girls? What happened to wooing Teresa's popular friend? What is it that has so many girls suddenly interested in this quiet video game nerd?

When Brandon sees Teresa, is she naked? Or does she have on invisible clothes?

Is God an actual character who tells Teresa her mission?

This is fairly brief, so you have room to address a couple of EE's questions and comments.

13 comments:

blogless_troll said...

Maybe if the ghost hunter was Brandon's sister, or nosy next door neighbor... I don't know.

But ever since those Almighty movies, this does sound like the type of thing Morgan Freeman would do.

Rhonda said...

Hi - I'm the author of this query.

You ask some good questions, EE. They're answered in the story and the synopsis, but I should look at addressing those in the query. I'll try to find a way to succinctly drop them in.

1) Can the ghost hunter see or hear Teresa? Is there an explanation for why Brandon can see her?
ANSWER: No, the ghost hunter is a wannabee who really doesn't have the talent or ability to see them, though she does acquire the ability to summon them through darker techniques. Brandon can see the ghost because he has that natural ability (and has since childhood)

2) Why is Brandon juggling so many girls? What happened to wooing Teresa's popular friend? What is it that has so many girls suddenly interested in this quiet video game nerd?
ANSWER: He still woos the best friend, but because he gets a makeover, girls start noticing him. He's juggling his feelings for Teresa, his confused, weakening feelings for the friend, and the ghost hunter's feelings for him.

3) When Brandon sees Teresa, is she naked? Or does she have on invisible clothes?
ANSWER: She has on clothes - she's wearing what she wore when she died.

4) Is God an actual character who tells Teresa her mission?
ANSWER: Yes. He actually has a talking part in here.

Thanks so much!

Rhonda

HawkOwl said...

Ha. I knew it was gonna be the pork sandwich one. That beginning was eerily similar to the one for my 2005 NaNo. Fortunately, this is nothing like it. I feel so much better about my plot knowing that. :)

Theo Katz said...

When Brandon sees Teresa, is she naked? Or does she have on invisible clothes?

I read once some guy who said he dismissed the claims of spiritualism because when ghosts supposedly appear, they're always clothed, and while he might be able to accept immortality of the soul, he could not accept the immortality of fabric.

To him, and to you, EE, I say: shut up, you're spoiling everyone's fun.

Evil Editor said...

Hey, I just wanted to know if I could look forward to the hilarity that would ensue if a nerd was hanging out with a naked girl that no one else could see. Of course I believe in the immortality of fabric (I have jeans that are ten years old already), although if Eva Longoria and I both get to heaven, I'll hope I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

Limbo? According to the last Roman Catholic Pope, there's no such place. (Haha!) Sounds more like Purgatory-a traditional religious concept.

And why would helping nerd woo popular girl be considered a "good deed"? Just setting him up for heartbreak and foolishness. Better to get him a nice, smart girl with a sense of humor and a future.

Ghost hunter? Why? What does she want to do if she finds a ghost? (prove they exist? chase them away?) Maybe Teresa should reveal herself to ghost hunter and help patch things up between Brandon and the ex.

Your writing is fine. I wasn't taken with the plot. fwiw.

Good luck.

HawkOwl said...

If we're gonna be technical, I think limbo in the catholic sense was always reserved for unbaptized babies. A teenager would not go to limbo. But then again, didn't the Romans have a different kind of limbo?

GutterBall said...

...look forward to the hilarity that would ensue if a nerd was hanging out with a naked girl that no one else could see.

Dude. Someone write that. Seriously. If I weren't in the middle of a WiP, I would so tackle it. Woot!

As it is, I'll have to file it away for future exploration.

Rhonda said...

"And why would helping nerd woo popular girl be considered a "good deed"? Just setting him up for heartbreak and foolishness. Better to get him a nice, smart girl with a sense of humor and a future."

Anon - so you don't think that the popular girl can also be nice and smart? Perhaps that's one of the stereotypes I try to write against...lol

EE - your idea about seeing a naked ghost girl is HILARIOUS!

Rhonda, who is NOT catholic

Tattieheid said...

...look forward to the hilarity that would ensue if a nerd was hanging out with a naked girl that no one else could see.

I'm sure that was done about 20/40 years ago but I can't remember the book or author. Room for a new/improved version?

Sounds fun. (for people with a dirty mind.)

Anonymous said...

And the Hawaiians have yet another kind of limbo!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that was done about 20/40 years ago but I can't remember the book or author.

Hmmm... that would be either the 1980s or the 1960s. I think the treatment of the subject might be somewhat different depending.

Crys said...

presumably angels save the day all day long and twice on sundays. nobody sees them except Sylvia Browne and she's a liar, anyway, so who knows.

so that part's not so crazy-implausible, is what i'm saying.