Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Guess the Plot
1. Rock star Spike McGee takes his grandma to the Amazon jungle, only to be kidnapped by "Visionaries" who are high as kites. Meanwhile the authorities seem bewildered so Granny paddles upriver with her Smith & Wesson and Miguel, vowing to find those rat bastards or die trying.
2. Life as a vampire was never easy, but now that his arch-enemy has acquired an ample supply of silver bullets, Hugo Valle never gets a moment of rest. Which makes it ever so difficult to be as seductive and vain as the other vampires on Broadway. Still, he tries.
3. It is a dark day in Black Gulch when rival gangs of outlaws simultaneously hold up the stage coach from Tombstone. But thanks to handsome gambler Sam Birks and his man Jeeves, Miss Kitty and her Can-Can troupe escape the melee by fleeing into the wilderness.
4. Gay Republican Cody Carlisle lands a job--and a secret relationship--with White House adviser Kirk Rayne. Now Cody wants to break off the affair, but rumor has it Kirk murdered the last boyfriend who broke up with him. Can Cody get out without . . . Dodging Bullets?
5. When she married Bud, Maddy had no idea how caffeine affected him. Their safari honeymoon is ruined when she serves him Kenyan roast and he goes on a rampage with the elephant gun. Plus, a handsome rescue helicopter pilot.
6. Sarah Simpson is a plucky seamstress who is succeeding by selling her retro bullet-bras to Hollywood’s pointy-boobed elite. But she constantly unravels in front of Buck McClure, hunky action star. Will their love be a perfect fit? Or will they be seam-ripped apart?
Dear Evil Editor:
Cody Carlisle is gay, Republican, and addicted to power. [What is it that would appeal to a gay guy about a political party that has gay guy death panels as part of its platform?] His friendship with his old mentor, now the President of the United States, has landed him a position on the staff of top White House adviser, Kirk Rayne.
The perfect job to support his habit, right? Nope. As the new guy, Cody's stuck reporting to Joey Ratansky--a man less ethical and more paranoid than Richard Nixon. [Cody and Joey sound more like the names of the Jonas Brothers than guys working in the White House.] So rather than scoring political victories and shrinking the government, Cody is busy foiling Ratansky's never-ending schemes to get him fired.
Cody has two choices: match Ratansky's deceit or lose his job. [What about telling his friend and mentor the president about Ratansky's dirty tricks?] When a hot tub incident exposes Kirk Rayne's attraction to him, [Another gay Republican? Is this science fiction?] [Where is this hot tub? Were they both in it when the "incident" occurred?]
[Hot Tub Incident:
Kirk: Mind if I join you in the hot tub?
Cody: You're naked.
Kirk: Yes, meet Captain Kirk.]
Cody ignores his inner ethicist and uses a secret affair with Rayne to supplant Ratansky.
[Rayne: Sorry Ratansky, I'm gonna have to let you go.
Rayne: You're not the type of guy I want handling my staff.]
Although the relationship helps Cody climb into the president's inner circle, [Can't you come up with a better nickname for it than "inner circle"? The Urban Dictionary suggests Rusty Sheriff's Badge.] dating an old man gets ... well, old, and Cody resolves to end it.
As he considers how to break up with Rayne and still maintain his influence, Cody learns that Rayne may have murdered an ex-boyfriend. On the day the ex dumped him. [I'd change the period after "boyfriend" to an ellipsis or dash.] Fearing that ending the affair could make him Rayne's next victim, Cody must solve the murder to escape the relationship.
I conceived of Dodging Bullets: The Perilous Journey of a White House Pol--complete at 70,000 words--while finishing my PhD in political science at Rutgers University. During my graduate studies, I also taught in the Rutgers writing program.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Cody's goal is to dump Kirk but continue working for him? I don't see Kirk going for that, whether he's a murderer or not, so why bother solving the murder?
And you'd better explain how Cody thinks he can solve a murder that no one else was able to solve.
If the main plot is Cody gets involved with his boss in order to advance his career and later wants out but fears for his life, I don't see the need for Ratansky to even be in the query. He's a subplot, and he's delaying your getting to the murder. By the time you get to the murder, I've settled into believing the book is about politics and scandal. Maybe you need to open with a statement like: Cody Carlisle never thought his dream job in the White House would land him in the middle of a murder investigation. A clue about where the story goes. Right now it feels like the murder comes up in the last chapter.