Monday, May 02, 2011
Guess the Plot
Another Lonely Day
1. Cassia just needed to get away from her dreary job as a waitress. Away from her nagging mother. Away from her boring fiance, John. But how do you break out of a Groundhog Day loop when there's no one around to treat differently?
2. Three car crashes, five kids on a slide that falls over, a plane crashing on takeoff. But no one dies. For Biff Galooley, it's another lonely day. It's rough being Death's understudy.
3. This memoir of an Irish lighthouse keeper includes recipes for fish, reports of stormy weather, various yearnings, efforts to secure a copy of Wuthering Heights, sketches of gulls, notes on the seaside cultivation of potatoes, inventions to aid the extermination of rodents, incomprehensible missives from his superiors in Dublin and his efforts to diplomatically respond to them, poetry written to charm a certain lass in Limerick, musings on philosophy, etc.
4. The laments & confessions of Brother Vincent, formerly a rock star guitarist, now part of a French monastery. For sixteen years he's been living in a shed, growing turnips, wishing he knew some French, wondering whatever happened to dear Loretta. Meanwhile, Loretta has been very busy and is now racing across France, desperate to hide the satchel of jewels she swiped from Todd Jones and his band of cat burglars.
5. First Anne's boyfriend dumps her for another woman. Then she falls for Joe, despite his tattoos. But Joe is untamable, so she bounces to another relationship and another, and another, ruining every one of them. Will she ever find a stable and passionate relationship? Yes! And when she does, will she run away from it? Actually, yes, she will. Christ.
6. When scientists accidentally release an anthropomorphic plague, Dave's world dissolves into chaos as the days of the week become sentient - and realize they are irrevocably alone. Armed with just an unfinished psychology degree and an encyclopedic knowledge of comic books, can Dave convince the days that loneliness is not so bad before time collapses in on itself?
Dear Evil Editor,
Anne Donnelly’s happily ever after is shattered when her boyfriend leaves her for another woman. When a new job takes her to Key West, she falls for Joe, a complicated, tattooed musician who awakens a passion in Anne she never knew existed. [A passion for guys who hire tattoo artists to paint their skin. One thing I've always wondered about: is it the mere fact that a guy has tattoos that's attractive, or do they have to be cool tattoos? If the latter, shouldn't it be the person who drew the tattoo you're attracted to, rather than the person who acted as the canvas? I guess it's the same with any art form. If I love Christina Aguilera's singing, but I'm pretty sure I could never get Christina Aguilera in the sack, I might try for a relationship with someone who also loves Christina Aguilera's singing. The difference is that if you love some guy's tattoos, I'm pretty sure you'd have no trouble getting the tattoo artist in the sack.] As if to drive her completely crazy, he weaves in and out of her world while she bounces from relationship to relationship, trying to reconcile her maddening addiction to him and her desire for stability. [Is it her addiction to him or her bouncing from relationship to relationship that shows her desire for stability?]
When presented with nice, successful men, Anne manages to ruin it each time. [When presented with them? That sounds odd.] She wonders if she’s cut out for happily ever after. Worse still, she becomes more entwined with Joe after learning of his tragic childhood.
[Joe: My childhood was rough. I never felt loved. My shrink says that's why I'm addicted to sex.
Anne: Come here, baby, let me comfort you.]
So what if he’s untamable? Though she knows it's not good for her, being with him is maddeningly tempting. Maybe a faithful, reliable man isn’t what she deserves after all.
When Joe leaves without knowing when – or if – he’ll ever be back, [He's made it to Hollywood Week on American Idol.] Anne finally moves on, and finds a man who is both passionate and devoted. But just when her life starts to even out, Joe dies. To deal with her grief, she does the only thing that makes sense at the time, and runs away. While in her grandfather’s home town, she finds her extended family. A journey that started out simply an escape helps her to truly appreciate the life she’s built. [How much time has passed? I didn't get the impression she'd built a life with this new guy. Her life was just starting to even out when she ran away.] Upon her return to Key West, she will learn if the man she now knows she wants and deserves is waiting for her, or if she’s managed to lose him too. [He's gone. Otherwise the title would be, Lonely No More. Always guard against carelessly giving away the ending in the title.]
Another Lonely Day is a 70,000 word contemporary romance novel (help! - would love suggestions here). [If you're asking for a better way to describe the book, that was fine. A hyphen between "70,000" and "word" and possibly deleting "novel," but this is not a problem area.] A full manuscript is available upon request.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Anne ruins it with nice, successful men, she maybe doesn't deserve a faithful, reliable man, she finally finds a passionate, devoted man . . . These are all general adjectives. Which are boring. The reason she falls for Joe is because he's a complicated tattooed musician. See how much more interesting specific adjectives are? It's certainly possible for a musician to be as nice and successful as an accountant, so maybe if we had more specifics about the guys she ruins it with. Is she ruining it because they're successful and reliable? Or because they lack passion? Or just because she's obsessed with Joe?
I think this needs to focus on what changes Anne. Dump the first boyfriend. Anne moves to Key West for a new job, bounces from relationship to relationship, but the only passion she feels is for Joe's tattoos. Then Joe leaves and Anne builds a life with a nice successful reliable faithful passionate devoted man. What normally happens at this point is that Joe rolls back into town and Anne is torn, but in your book Joe dies . . . and Anne is torn. In any case, by reducing the setup to three or four sentences, you have more room to tell us what happens in Mayberry that turns Anne around. Does she see how passion and stability can go together? Does Gramps take her aside and say, "The guy is dead. Get over it."?