Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Guess the Plot
1. A starry-eyed nun's chance encounter in the Vatican turns into much more when she gives birth nine months later to a baby girl.
2. In a world where the demons are all too real, the daughter of the Pope gains the power of Super Prayer.
3. As a child, there had been nothing she wanted more than to be Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, but at fifty, she had to face the bitter reality: she was just Maureen, Pope of Rome.
4. She was a cross-dresser, she was a nun. And now, thanks to the liberalized rules of the New Catholic Church, she's the Pope. And man, does she have some altar boys to get back at.
5. Born and orphaned in a taxi in Belfast in 1967, she was adopted and raised by the taxi's deaf driver. She joined the IRA at twelve. Now 26, she's one of the organization's most violent and vicious leaders. When she discovers she's become pregnant, she faces choices and soul-searching she never expected. She's . . . Maureen Pope.
6. She studied the classics when she was very young. Then when she was five her mother sent her to boarding school for ten years. Now she's back, and someone's gonna pay. For something. They call her . . . Maureen Pope.
Dear Ms. Agentname,
Maureen is a privileged child from birth. Silent and observant, she spends her time reading and studying the classics with her father, Adam. [What do you mean, "silent"? Does she speak? Can she?] When Adam dies [How?] shortly before her sixth birthday, [She was five? I thought she was studying Oedepus Rex and The Aeneid. Now I find out by "classics" you meant The Cat in the Hat and Winnie-the-Pooh.] though, her quiet life suddenly changes. Her once-vibrant mother banishes her to a far-off school, where Maureen spends the majority of her childhood. Maureen returns home nearly ten years later to find her whole world changed, [How?] and soon discovers a sinister pattern of denial, not only of the dead, [Not only of the dead? The dead are in denial? Of what? If this is a zombie book, that's your biggest selling point. Trumpet it. Change the title to I Was a Zombie's Daughter.] but of the living, as well. [Who's denying what?] She must then struggle to lay her father's soul to rest and free his exiled memory.
Maureen Pope is a literary fiction piece. It is 64,000 words. I understand that you are particularly interested in literary fiction; I think that my novel is well-suited to your tastes and hope it fits your agency's needs. Thank you for considering my submission. I look forward to your response. [Too many blah sentences in this paragraph.]
I don't understand "free his exiled memory."
Why isn't her father's soul at rest?
All we have here is that a girl's father dies, she goes away for ten years, and when she returns things have changed. Not enough to go on. I, as an unusually prescient editor, can deduce that Maureen's mother murdered Adam, and his spirit can't rest until Maureen kills her mother, marries her stepfather, and finishes reading the complete works of Euripides, but most agents and editors will want the specifics spelled out in the query. I've pointed out a few places where specifics can be easily added.