HH Com 60

When rural southern White Supremacists with money to blow from methamphetamine profits, work with eastern European Neo Nazis to move art looted by Nazis during WWII, Blake Crowley struggles to uproot a former Miss Peachtree from being planted in the middle of the infighting.

As the Moustache foamed, I looked around for affirmation. He removed his blazer and rubbed drops of sweat off his forehead.
Reds enameled nail tapped on his broad shoulder “You have a blood stain on your back,” she said.
His sudsy mouth formed a peculiar smirk. He coughed deeply and splattered blood onto my bar.
Slurpie slurred, “Hey put your hand over your mouth when you cough.”
The Moustache fell off his stool.
I walked around the bar, “Are you alright?” I asked, nudging him with my foot.
Exasperated, Red shouted, “Come on Blake, you can do better than that.”
I faced Red, “Get me the dish gloves, stat.”
Red threw me an unopened pack of gloves. “I’m calling 911,” she said.
Slurpie said stat three times.
With ten latex covered fingers pointed upward, I kneeled over him.
The Moustache needed divine intervention, as he hacked out what looked like a rare piece of sirloin. I glanced up at Slurpie. He nervously blinked back. With less luck than the Little Dutch Boy, I held my finger in the bloodstain.
In my peripheral vision, the sirloin wiggled. I threw up on his pants, jammed his blazer into my face and made for air.

This is a log line (used in movies but not in query letters) and what I think is the first page of a novel.

neo nazis and meth dealers
stolen art

yawn central.

The art of good writing is not throwing in everything but the kitchen sink. The art is making the very simplest of kitchen appliances..the potato peeler...utterly fascinating.

Pare down.


Anonymous said...

"Blake Crowley struggles to uproot a former Miss Peachtree from being planted..."

Oh, dear dog. Such tortured mixed metaphors.

Anonymous said...

I hope Miss Snark doesn't mind me adding my 2 cents to some of these comments. For me, the problem isn't the stolen Nazi art. Okay, that's hardly a new subject. But I think you could still do a darn good story with this. But I want to know how this relates to your POV. I don't know anything about him but that he's named Blake Crowley.

To make something like this work he should be the most interesting character possible for this particular plot. For example, what if POV is the son of a famous Nazi hunter. His father had lost family in the Holocaust and hunted Nazis out of a righteous desire for justice. POV finds his father's old notes and realizes he can make himself rich by tracking down these old looted treasures. Maybe at first he tells himself that he's going to repatriate this stuff, then maybe he'll keep only the stuff left from dead families, then maybe he says that he'll give a piece or two to art museums. He's guilty as hell about this, but at least he's only stealing what was illegitimately taken in the first place.

This is just off the top of my head, but can you see how important it is to make your main character intimately involved in the plot?

Anonymous said...

Last time I checked, 'PeachTree' was an accounting software. That really threw me for a minute.


Anonymous said...

White man as the evil villain yet again. Give me a break.

HawkOwl said...

Wow. That was bad.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but how do you write the hook for the potato peeler?

Anonymous said...

Uh, while you're finding the kitchen sink, could you fix up the punctuation too? The first sentence is convoluted. Consider breaking it up. "Reds" needs an apostrophe in the excerpt. And I found the rhythm of the sentences awkward. That's just my pet peeve, though.

I have no idea what is going on in your excerpt. So many bizarre descriptive names, adjectves, mixed metaphors and icky imagery. Please get rid of "Slurpie slurred." Try reading your text out loud.

You also haven't told me why I should care about Blake or Miss Peachtree. As Kingm mentioned, Blake's motive could be justice, vengence, love, hate, or anything else. For all we know, Blake is a Southern white supremacist (damned if I'll capitalize that) who doesn't want his Peachtree girlfrind soiled (ugh, sorry, it seemed appropriate) when the "subhumans" come to town.

Nancy Beck said...

"As the Moustache foamed"? What the heck does that mean?

I'm sorry author, but I couldn't read anything past that point.

You might want to use the ideas kingm came up with. Good luck.