Saturday, December 08, 2012

Evil Editor Classics

Guess the Plot

Reality Bites

1. After seventeen years in the psych ward, Oscar is finally released. Two days later he's back, begging them to admit him.

2. A psychic FBI agent's latest case involves hunting down a vampire who specializes in draining the blood of psychics.

3. Gala Peterson thought it sounded like fun: joining the cast of a new reality show, to be filmed in the remote Pacific islands where pirates and cannibals had once ruled. But the last challenge for the tribes is a deadly one--eat or be eaten.

4. After a traumatic car accident, Joe discovers he can no longer view the world continuously. Instead, he sees life in separate 30-second pieces. Can a compassionate therapist help him put his life back into a narrative?

5. Vampire puberty sucks bad enough, but when it's Chance's time to turn into a full-fledged vampire, he's drafted for the wildly popular reality television show Fang Time.

6. Space diva Reality Jones has too many assistants, too many lovers, and too many years left on her contract. With the help of a promising young cloning scientist, Reality is going to chuck it all and head for the isolated paradise planet of Yarnow.

Original Version

Dear Agent/Editor

Vlad the Impaler died centuries ago, but his cruelty lives on in a series of bizarre murders in Cleveland, Ohio where six people have been staked and bled dry. [It's a reverse vampire; it stakes its victims.] The only thing they have in common? Psychic abilities. [Sorry, but sensing that you're about to die, when you're locked in a room with a bloodthirsty vampire, does not make you psychic.]

Psychic FBI agent, Robin Lesange, [Is there anybody in this novel who isn't psychic?] is used to seeing to bloodspattered crime scenes play through her mind, but what's happening in Cleveland defies even her jaded experience. [For one thing, the blood spatters have all been licked.] For the first time, her clairvoyance shows her things that, not only shouldn't happen, but shouldn't exist either. [The second comma in that sentence, for instance, or the second word "to" in the previous sentence.]

Like vampires. [Them too.]

Nor is Robin the only one after the killer. Ambrose D'Avignon, a handsome, [psychic,] so-called 'vampire', [Having already said "so-called," no need to also use quotation marks--or even apostrophes.] claims the killer is a genetic mistake, a vampire that failed to evolve from drinking blood to feeding on human energy and must be destroyed. [Vampires who feed on human energy, apparently, don't need to be destroyed; all they do is turn people into couch potatoes.] He has been sent [by whom?] to make sure the killer quietly disappears, and isn't about to let Robin get in his way--though that doesn't keep him from trying to seduce her.

Ignoring Ambrose's advances, Robin continues her investigation expecting to find a more conventional answer than what her psychic skills have revealed. [Six victims with their blood completely drained, her psychic sense screaming, "IT'S A #$%&$# VAMPIRE, IDIOT," and she wants another answer? Like what? Someone's trying to make the world's biggest Bloody Mary in his hot tub, and misunderstood the recipe?] But when the killer starts to stalk her as his next victim [Saw that coming a mile away.] just as Ambrose draws her deeper into his mythic reality, Robin has to face the fact that monsters do exist, and it's up to her to stop them...even if it means becoming one herself.

Complete at 80,000 words, REALITY BITES is a paranormal thriller with a strong romantic subplot. Per your guidelines, please find enclosed a synopsis and the first three chapters.

I have always enjoyed STORIES by X and wrote REALITY BITES with that readership [Myself.] in mind. Knowing you represent X, I thought you might find my manuscript of interest. [Actually, if I'm looking for a book that will be enjoyed by readers of X, and I happen to represent X, I think I'll start by checking in with X to see what she's working on. But you can be Plan Y.] Thank you for your time and consideration.



Apparently there are so many psychics in Cleveland, even a vampire that drinks only the blood of psychics can get along just fine.

A bit long. Could be shortened by eliminating the paragraph about the mysterious Mr. X. And making "Like vampires." the last sentence in the previous paragraph.

Selected Comments

Kendall said...Yipes, people-with-weird-powers who don't believe in other weird stuff...totally illogical, pulls me out of the story. Unless it's very tongue in cheek, IMHO it doesn't even work well in comics, to say nothing of books.

Brenda Bradshaw said...[Actually, if I'm looking for a book that will be enjoyed by readers of X, and I happen to represent X, I think I'll start by checking in with X to see what she's working on. But you can be Plan Y.]

I find this incredibly interesting. We've been told to read your favorite books, your favorite authors, ones who write similar stories with similar tones and see who their agent/editors are because they are who you should be targetting. This is the stuff they obviously like. But what EE said above makes me wonder about that. I don't want to write something, send it to someone who I think, based on their clients, will like it too, and then them turn and ask their current author if they have anything going on before considering me.

Evil Editor said...Q & A 22.

JTC said...Brenda, I think we are told to read what and who we like so we can get a feel for the way it is written and an example of a successful style. But, we must each develop our own style based on a successful formula. This includes being as original as possible. It is very tough. Which is why so few are successful. Someone once said (I think it was me), "Don't think. Write."

Brenda Bradshaw said...JTC - Got it, and totally agree. After EE posted about it, my tired brain woke up and said, "Duh".

No one should attempt to BE someone else and that's not what I was trying to say (or imply!). But I think a writer should know if their work leans more toward a Lisa Gardner audience than Janet Evanovich.

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