Thursday, April 19, 2007
Guess the Plot
1. Bobby Jensen has been flying under the radar for a long time, but his luck may finally be running out. With just minutes to go before the end of recess, will he be...TAGGED?
2. Homicide detective Joe Friendly was in charge of tagging and bagging the murder victims. When he wakes up on a cold steel gurney, with his own big toe tagged, he vows to never get that drunk again--and to get even with the clown who thought it was funny to lock him in cold storage at the morgue.
3. When Bertha Snodgrass is accidentally tagged by an elephant migration researcher, she realizes it's time to lay off the Dove bars. Richard Simmons can help her shed the pounds . . . but how can she get that orange tag out of her ear?
4. Someone's been "tagging" all the buildings--covering them with graffiti. But is it a petty crime wave, or is it art? Kate Morgan's on the fence, until circumstances force her to make a choice--or forever be tagged as wishy-washy.
5. When a Massachusetts elementary school bans the game of "tag", Eddie Snivers is suddenly faced with the prospect of going through the rest of his life being "it." Later, as a depressed, twenty-six year old loser, Eddie gets a choice from his therapist: Hunt down and kill the kid who tagged him last, or get over it. Eddie opts for the first option.
6. Detective Ng looked at the freaky symbols on the dead man's face and read the John Doe tag on his toe. The Knave of Diamonds was clearly back in business, and only one woman could stop him--Twinky Thompkins, glamorous superspy. Too bad she was frolicking on some beach in Bali with that brainless dunce, Jack Tornado.
Dear Mr. Evil,
Sixteen-year-old Kate Morgan is as baffled as the rest of the Cleary High School student body when gorillas invade their town. Okay, they’re not real gorillas, just life-like renderings painted on the buildings, [When your gorilla paintings on buildings are so life-like people think their town's actually been invaded by gorillas, you're either the world's greatest artist or you live in a town full of idiots.] but still. Why would anyone go to so much trouble? What does it mean? [Clearly it's an advertising promotion for Planet of the Apes: the Next Generation.]
Although Kate would like to solve the mystery of the graffiti, she’s got other problems that require her attention; namely, how to get herself and her best friend, Lan, invited to the party of the century. The school’s resident rich girl is throwing a sweet sixteen bash complete with an MTV camera crew, a live band, and an ultra exclusive guest list which, to Kate’s horror, includes both her dad (working security) and her mom (baking the cake). [According to Miss Manners, the bouncers are never considered part of the guest list.]
She’s also trying to conceal her crush on Eli, a guy she works with at the local coffee shop. Eli’s girlfriend has made it clear that he’s taken, and with her fiery temper and razor-sharp nails, she’s the last person in the world Kate wants to anger. [Eli's girlfriend, apparently, is X-23, clone of Wolverine.]
Both the graffiti and the party spark debate among the students at Cleary. Some think that the graffiti is a crime while others classify it as art. Some want more than anything to be invited to the party while others plan to protest it. [On what grounds?] Kate falls somewhere in the middle of both issues, until she is forced [by X-23] to take a side [or die]. [Based on the earlier claim that she was trying to get herself and Lan invited to the party, I don't see how she's in the middle of that issue.]
Tagged is a completed 45,000-word young adult novel. I would be happy to send a synopsis and sample chapters. Thank you very much for your time.
If the gorilla paintings eventually come to life, that should be mentioned in the query. And if they don't come to life, why the hell not?
The risk you run with the trick opening--okay, they’re not real gorillas--is that if the person reading the query would rather read about gorillas invading a high school than graffiti artists and sweet 16 parties (and who wouldn't?), the rest of the query is a letdown, at least until X-23 shows up.
The query is well-written. The big question is, have you created enough interest in the plot? Do we care who painted the gorillas or whether Kate gets her invitation or whether she snags Eli? I think we need to know more about Kate. Has she ever had a boyfriend? Is she an outcast? An amateur detective? Is she in any danger? Is there a villain?