Aug 26, 2010

Query- The Tale of Lizzie Brogan and The Moon Goddess (first revision)

Click here to read the original query.

Genre question: The Tale of Lizzie Brogan and The Moon Goddess, completed at 85,000 words is about a late bloomer who finally grows up with a little help from a ghost.
The Tale of Lizzie Brogan and The Moon Goddess, completed at 85,000 words, is humorous, light paranormal, about a late bloomer who finally grows up with a little help from a ghost.

While tending her family's five little row houses in Brooklyn, Lizzie meets the ghost of her Aunt Annie May, a bawdy, talented Broadway performer, whose portal to this life is a tramp steamer and an old wooden trunk from the Belasco Theatre.

Aunt Annie tells Lizzie she is a direct descendent of the Moon Goddess and must use the Celtic Sacred Book of Spells to remove a family curse and help clear the way for the true magic of love.

I read about you on Chuck Sambuchino's Blog; A Guide To Literary Agents, and I believe my work meets your criteria. Pasted to the bottom of this e-mail are the first ten pages of the book. Thank you for your consideration and time.


Later that evening after Joe leaves for his evening shift, I am reclining on the loveseat basking in the glow of great sex, when I hear her cough. "Aw, can't you find another portal, like in the Port Authority? I can put your trunk in a locker and lose the key. You'll be known as the Ghost of Arrivals and Departures."

"Watch your mouth. You're supposed to set things straight and all you've managed to do so far, is play patty-cakes with the Latin and get drunk with the harlot."

I cannot believe I am arguing with a ghost. What the hell, Joe is working and I haven't anything better to do.

"Of course you have something better to do."

"You read my mind?"

"I can't always. Some things I am not allowed to see or know."

"Can other people see you?"

"I tell you true, they cannot."

"So if Joe were in the room, he wouldn't be able to see you?"

"This is so." She takes another long drag on the empty cigarette holder and smiles. "Though I've been here 'enuf time to know the shenanigans what goes on in this room."

"Are you sure no one can see or hear you?"

"I have visited with your mum over the years."

"Not my father?"

She sits on the top of my kitchen counter. "No, your da thinks it’s a ball of malarkey. You can no see, if you don't believe."

"I'm thinking you're not telling me the real reason you came and I'd love to smudge you out of my life."

"You're an ungrateful sod."

I ignore her and ask, "You follow me when I go out?"

"There are different levels of afterlife. Sorry to say, I am bound to small areas where the trunk resides. I have enjoyed watching the children play in the park and I like the hardware lady. Since Spain, I've been with Esther. Your mum worried you might find me too early."

"Joe is coming back tomorrow."
"I can't watch when you are playing with the boy or when you are tending your lotions and such in the bath." She drops off the counter.

"You can't watch me when I … you know?"

"No, and if I were able, I would not."


Dominique said...

Well, you've certainly got concision on your side in this draft. I think you could even use some of this space you've cleared up to say a bit more about the conflicts of the plot. But this draft is a significant improvement.

Florence said...

Thanks, Dominique.

I have the feeling I might have edited too much out. But I think at this point, if I add something back, I won't end up with a confusion of thoughts.

Mesmerix said...

Florence, this is better. You've found your single conflict and pared down. The problem is that I think you've done too much, but that's OK! You can always go back and add more.

1) Genre. I think you call it "humorous paranormal romance." You've described the "true magic of love" as your main plot, so I'm thinking romance qualifies at this point. Also, drop the "completed" and put the title in all caps. My example: "THE TALE OF LIZZIE BROGAN AND THE MOON GODDESS is an 85,000 word humorous, paranomal romance about a late bloomer who finally grows up with a little help from her dead aunt."

2) Lizzie. I need a couple sentences to characterize Lizzie and make her more interesting. What is unique about her personality? Funny? What makes her have that pizzazz necessary for a main character? Add those in, 1-2 sentences.

3) Conflict Cliches. Cut the bit about the spellbook and hone right in on lifting a family curse. This conflict has been done before, but you can tell it in a new way! What makes the family curse different? How does love play into this? Does Lizzie have to do anything unsavory in order to get rid of this curse? Anything that will add extra spice to the conflict. Really, all conflicts have been done before (MacGuffins, love stories, hero journey, adventure quest) it's all about how you tell the story.

4) The last paragraph, "work meets your criteria" needs changed. You better hope your work meets the agent's criteria, or you shouldn't even be contacting them. How about, "my work will interest you" or something more specific to that agent. Also, only include the first five pages unless their instructions stipulate otherwise.

Keep going! This is much better and I'm looking forward to reading the next revision!

Florence said...

Mesmerix: Once more I will copy all of these comments and use them to get a better handle on the story.

Lizzie is a NYC valley girl, air head, lives for fashion, travel and loves to "fool around" in spite of the loyal boyfriend waiting for her...

She lives for status and has had affairs with artists, one world reknown chef and more ... what makes her doing the bit about the curse funnier is that she must relinquish the "material" possessions in her life.

Okay, enough explaining ... I will get to reducing all of that into a few sentences.

Again, my thanks for the critique.