Dear Miss Snark:
Andrew Cavanaugh's parents give him a strange gift: a framed photo of twenty-four anonymous faces. When one of the faces blinks back at him, Andrew's simple curiosity (simple?? that doesn't begin to cover how much curiosity I'd have if pictures became animate!) leads him to discover sinister, corporate secrets. (yawn) But he's just a naive geek with a college degree. Does he have enough to take on The Studio? He finds that he's got to risk everything just trying to do the right thing. You'd be better off to be very specific about what happens.
TITLE is an 84,000-word manuscript of contemporary, commercial fiction. The manuscript blends Coma with The Firm, but without all the legal shenanigans. My first novel, it was a chance for me to explore whether the end justifies the means when fighting homelessness. Also, it was fun to find a twisted place the reality TV phenomenon might go.
I am a naive geek with a college degree, and have been a technical writer for ten years. I found information about you through your blog. Please let me know if I can send a synopsis, sample chapters, or the finished work to your attention. Also, I have just finished the first draft of my second manuscript, which looks at what Sybil might do at a party held in Amityville. Although it is still in its preliminary stages, I would enjoy discussing that project with you too. Thank you for reading my query. You can lose all this in order to give me more specific info on what this novel is about. I like the Sybil line though..I'd probably ask about that if your writing holds up.
This query isn't true suckage, so I'd read the writing.
"Well, Mr. Henderson, it looks like everything is in order, isn't it?"
The pale man in the lab coat bundled the paperwork with a heavy-duty rubber band, and dropped it on the nearby desk. Scott Henderson ran a hand through his long hair.
"Dude, I can't believe how many frickin' things there were to sign. I was practically blind by the time I was done."
"Yes, yes. But I trust you read everything. You know how important that fine print can be." The man chuckled humorlessly.
"No way, man. It would have taken me a week to read all that."
Henderson idly stroked his goatee and shifted on his metal chair. "Well, no, uh, of course I read them. I'm not stupid."
"Yes, well, let's get started. Okay?"
"Cool. Now all my bills will all be paid after this, right? They promised. I've got enough school loans to choke a horse, you know?"
"Yes, of course. We don't see many college graduates here."
"Nah, I didn't graduate. No way. Came close, but missed it by that much," he said, holding his hand up to show a tiny gap between his thumb and finger.
The only door opened and another man in a lab coat entered, pushing a tray with several thin tubes connected to heavy, fluid-filled bags. Off the end of the tray came a light metallic tinkling, like delicate wind chimes, and it took Scott's attention. He gasped.
"Holy shit, what's all that crap?"
"Nothing to worry about. I assure you. It won't take long. After the first one, it's an easy slide for the rest."
Henderson stood. "Yeah, whatever, but no one said anything about-"
"Mr. Henderson, please sit down."
"Dude, there's got to be ten or twenty of them there. Are those all for me?"
"Mr. Henderson, don't worry. Trust me. You'll be fine. More than fine. Trust me." He smiled an empty, fucked-up smile.
Scott Henderson took a step toward the door.
"I don't think so. I want to go."
The man put a heavy hand on Henderson's shoulder, and Henderson jumped back, swinging his arms wildly.
"Let me go, asshole. We're done here. Don't make me mess you up."
Over his shoulder, to the door, the man said quietly, "I need some assistance."
Almost immediately, the door burst open and four men ran into the room with a bead on Henderson. Like a battering ram, they slammed him against the far wall.
"Fuck you guys! Stop it! I've got my rights!"
Each man grabbed an arm or leg and efficiently picked Henderson up. He arched his back like a hysterical toddler, but the men held him firmly at their assigned appendage.
"No, Mr. Henderson. I've got your rights. They're right here." He calmly patted the bundled paperwork. He walked to the metal chair as the men forced Henderson into it.
"Come on. Please. This isn't what I signed up for."
"Oh, but it is. That fine print can be so important, can't it?"
I'd probably keep reading. If the writing got better, I'd probably look at a partial with a synopsis. I don't get much energy here, and the description, while not awash in adjectives and adverbs (a very good sign) doesn't have much zip.