Thursday, February 28, 2008
Guess the Plot
The Kings of Box River
1. Card shark, William "Box" River, is going for an unprecedented three-peat as national Texas Hold-Em champion. His bombshell competition, Scarlet Vickens, offers a bribe: if he lets her win, he'll get lucky at love and she'll show him a new meaning to the term "all in." But is he willing to fold his hand and give up fame and fortune when he's dealt three kings?
2. The King family have lived and prospered in Box River, Wyoming for eight generations. But now the Russian Mafia has moved in, and they want a piece of the action. A big piece. Can the King family deal will this threat, or will the Otkupshchikovs become the new . . . Kings of Box River?
3. Jules would give his left eye for a drink. Artemis has been his best friend and drinking buddy since they settled in under the Box Creek bridge three years ago. As Artemis degrades into a cancer-induced dementia and ultimately death, will Jules fall deeper into his self-destructive pit, or will a spiritual epiphany set him on a different course?
4. Outside a small snack bar, near where the Alonguin River ducks between the paper mills and becomes "Box River", two old men play chess, as they have for the past seven years. Each day, chancers, crooks and business men stop by and mumble their requests for advice or money. Then, one morning with a cool frost and long shadows, Solomon doesn't show up to finish a game. That's when the violence starts.
5. The McAllisters have dominated the fishing guide trade of Box River for so long even the local Indians can't recall a time when there weren't any McAllisters on the river. But change is coming in the form of the Bassmasters series. Can the McAllisters survive, or is their reign as the Kings of Box River over? Also, an autistic Sioux boy.
6. Box, Oregon, once a bustling community, is a dying town. The mill is closed, and the mine is empty. When a drifter named King comes along, he and Liam Satler struggle to keep their world together in the face of adversity: dried up farmland, Liam's pregnant cousin and delusional father . . . and of course Jeremy, the prehistoric sea monster living in the river.
I hope you will consider representing my 85,000-word novel, The Kings of Box River.
Box, Oregon, isn't on the way to anywhere else. Its mill has long since closed, its mine shafts grow weeds, and all that remains of its once-bustling frontier community is a handful of ranchers and the persistent legend of a prehistoric sea monster named Jeremy who is rumored to live beneath the surface of the local river.
Only seven-year-old Liam Satler, son of the town's innkeepers, [Apparently, all that's left of the bustling community is a handful of ranchers and some innkeepers. Do the ranchers stay at the inn, or is that just for tourists?] knows that the legend is true. Since the day he accidentally spotted Jeremy from his backyard, he's been determined to protect the creature from the dangerous world around it. Watching out for Jeremy is a welcome distraction from the things in his life that he can't control: his teacher's inability to understand why he's bored and distracted in school, [Could it be because no one will believe him when he says there' a prehistoric sea monster named Jeremy in the river?] his father's determination to grow apple trees in the dry soil of their yard, [Has dad given any consideration to, like, watering the apple trees?] [The well's done dried up, you say? Where can pop get water now? Wait, how about . . . Box River?] the alarming fragility of his pregnant cousin Holly. [In what way is she fragile? Is Liam the one alarmed by it?]
When a young drifter who calls himself King arrives at the inn [Is it Elvis? Look, there are two ways to put Box back on the map: discover a prehistoric sea monster, which will then be captured and taken to an aquarium, at which point Box drops off the map again, or have Elvis move in, in which case Box becomes the center of the paparazzi universe until he dies for real this time. Wait, maybe the sea monster should be Elvis, grown to such gargantuan proportions he's mistaken for a sea monster by anyone who sees him. Imagine an elephant seal with Elvis's head.] and inadvertently comes to share Liam's secret, Liam isn't sure if he can trust him. However, with his parents thinking about sending him away to school, and Jeremy becoming increasingly difficult to watch over, Liam needs all the help he can get. As the young boy and adult runaway struggle to keep their world in order, they are pushed into actions that jeopardize themselves, the people they care about, and the vulnerable creature they protect.
I would be happy to send along the full manuscript at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.
What's the threat to Jeremy and why are Liam and King and those they care about in jeopardy? There's no one left in town but a handful of ranchers, who are presumably on their ranches most of the time, so what does Jeremy need protection from? Who's the bad guy? We will care more about this if we know what the danger is.
What I meant was, there's no one left in town but a handful of ranchers, the innkeepers, Jeremy and his cousin, Jeremy's parents and teacher, any other students and teachers at the school, Floyd the barber, and Spongebob.
How can Box not be on the way to anywhere else when it's on a river? Don't they have boats?
Is this a book for adults? When does it take place?
Why am I thinking, "Puff the Magic Dragon"?
You're probably thinking it would make your book ridiculous to have Elvis in it, but I guarantee most people thought it was ridiculous anyway, the minute you mentioned the prehistoric sea monster named Jeremy.