3rd SR Crapometer #10

Dear Ms. Snark,

I'm a loyal reader of your blog, (and yet you missed the Miss Snark part--hmm) and I'm currently looking for representation for Karmic Relief, a 100,000 word paranormal romantic comedy.

Suzanne Santini is offered the opportunity of a lifetime-- the chance to help design a state of the art metaphysical school and meditation center dedicated to the memory of her mentor--but it comes with a catch. She has to work with a developer who has let her know (very awkward sentence there) on many occasions that he thinks she's a kook and her gifts are nothing more than a bunch of mumbo jumbo. (so why is he designing this building then?)

Dan Goldberg doesn't believe in anything he can't see and touch—especially not the ghost that hovers over his desk and changes his designs for the Lily Fitzgerald Center for Metaphysical Studies as he sleeps. Working with Suzanne is stirring up more than lust (Suzanne is a ghost?). It's also stirring up clues that Lily's death might not have been an accident. (who the fuck is Lily? oh wait. Lily is the ghost. )

I am a member of RWA, a Golden Heart Finalist, and the Industry Liaison for the RWA Mystery and Suspense chapter. I'e had a romantic short story published in Woman's World magazine as well as an essay on writing in Crumbs in the Keyboard.

I have enclosed sample pages of Karmic relief per the instructions on your web site. I look forward to hearing from you.


"You want me to do what?" Suzanne Santini wondered if her business partner had finally gone off the deep end. Getting married could do that to a woman.
Lacy Wallis rolled her eyes heavenward. "Come on, Suz. It’s not like I’m asking you to commit a crime. Dad needs your help to get this project off the ground. It’s his way of saying goodbye to Mom so he can move on to his new life with Caroline. And it would be good for you, too. You loved my mother, and she taught you everything she knew. No one else could bring this dream to fruition like you can.”
“Oh, great. Bring on the guilt trip. Of course I loved her. Everyone who knew her did. But I don't think I could work with that tight-assed Goldberg, even for your mother.” Suzanne crossed herself, then shook her head. “I can’t do it.” (She's Catholic?)
Lacy pushed herself up from the floor and paced across the office to the window overlooking Elm Street. “Do you remember when Mom used to talk about wanting to start a school for people like you? People who wanted to learn the old ways, to commune with nature, listen to the inner voice, to learn to read the Tarot and runes? Dad remembered, and he’s going to make that school a reality. But without you, it will have substance but no soul. It will have a fancy facade, but it won’t have heart.”
“I feel like we should be playing a duet. ‘Heart and Soul... she sang, then broke into a fit of giggles. “Sorry.”
“Laugh all you want, just say yes.” Lacy turned away from the window and leveled a glare in her direction. “You know you want to. You’re dying to do this. Are you going to let a mere man scare you away”
“There you go. Pulling out the big guns. Now all you need is the double-dog-dare-you.”
Lacy grinned. “I double dog dare you. Better yet, I'll make you a bet.”
Suzanne held up two fingers in the form of a cross. “Oh no you don't. You promised. You swore, no more bets. Ever. About anything. The last one nearly did us both in.”
Lacy put her hands on her hips. “Either agree or I’ll make a bet. I swear.”
Suzanne gave up. There was no reasoning with Lacy when she had a burr under her saddle. “Fine, I’ll do it. But if that man says one word, tries to take over or buck my authority in any way, I have the right to make mincemeat out of him.
Lacy grinned. “Mince away. It’ll do Dan Goldberg good to be taken down a peg or two.”
Gabe Wallis walked into the office. “Should I warn Dan that my lovely wife and her partner are conspiring against him?” He wrapped an arm around Lacy and reeled her in for a kiss.
When she came up for air, Lacy said, “No, it will be more fun to surprise him.”
Suzanne wasn’t so sure about that. Dan hated surprises.
She smiled at the thought. Maybe this would be fun, after all.

blah blah blah

you've already set all this up in the query letter. We KNOW she works on the project. We know Dan doesn't like it. Why not open with something we don't know and make it fun, zippy and enticing.

I have serious doubts about the presence of a plot here too.
I'd stop reading here and say no.


rbradley said...

Hi Miss Snark,
If we aren't among the chosen does that mean we won't be read?

Anonymous said...

Did you forget to strip the formatting out of your query? I note there's a lack of apostrophes and quotation marks, and I'm assuming that's due to Miss Snark deleting the funky symbols that came through her email. Pity; it makes this hard to read.

As for substance, I'm afraid it all seemed like an "As you know, Bob," conversation to me - the two characters telling each other things they should already know but which the writer really wants the reader to know.

Your dialogue does seem good, in that I can imagine people speaking exactly like this, and the writing is solid and has a good flow to it.

Good luck with it; I think this could be a great story - it has plenty of room for conflict - but it does need a bit more work still (or at least this beginning does).

Anonymous said...

"You want me to do what?"

Um--shouldn't the next line be about the what, rather than reasons why the MC should do it?

I wanted to know what the what is, because I've seen this scene a LOT, and the writer is not doing anything different with it.

That said--try a new hook, 'cause I'm putting the book back on the rack. That reply to her question didn't grab me.

("You want me to what?"

"Juggle. I've got a juggling gig set up for you!"

"I don't know how to juggle! What the hell are you thinking?"

"You've got an hour to learn, c'mon!")