Jul 9, 2009


Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the first revision.

Jamie Kidd, a thirty-something writer, thinks life is sweet until he wakes to discover that his business partner and secret lover has left town after emptying the company bank account which leaves him heartbroken, penniless, and somewhat suicidal. Jamie opts for a new life and escapes to the infamous South Beach where he finds fleeting success and celebrity as a nightlife columnist for SOUTH BEACH STAR where his star burns brightly but eventually falls from the sky.

Without looking back, Jamie Kidd leaves the small Virginia town that he called home for the past six years. Heartbroken and drowning in despair, Jamie can barely face himself, much less his family or friends who know nothing of his hidden relationship. Packing in the middle of the night for a new life, Jamie drives until he lands in Miami. Feeling out of place in the tropical paradise known as South Beach, Jamie discovers a town where beauty and wealth outclass talent and skill. After a chance meeting with the gregarious editor of SOUTH BEACH STAR, a trendy tabloid staffed with a motley crew of competitive social-climbers, Jamie lands a job as editorial assistant. As promised writing assignments never material, Jamie turns an invitation to a VIP party into an opportunity. His coverage of the celebrity party proves Jamie’s talent and secures him the position as the STAR’s weekly nightlife columnist and toast of the town.

South Beach opens its arms and doors to Jamie, who, like an actor taking on a new role, throws himself into his fabulous new lifestyle covering the infamous celebrity-studded party scene where he nightly mingles with beautiful shallow fashionistas, famous models, and wealthy jet-setters. Not accustomed to being fabulous or a party boy, Jamie transforms himself into the nightlife aficionado named “Kidd” with bleached hair, designer fashions, celebrity friends and invitations to every party in town. His coveted lifestyle, in reality, is an out-of-control roller-coaster ride of late-night-parties and photo-ops, fueled by his gradual addiction to crystal meth. Like many before him, Jamie loses control and finds himself jobless, lonely, and in a situation far worse than the one he had left in Virginia. With the gutter looming ahead, his former lover arrives unexpectedly, offering Jamie a job as a writer in New York but he eventually returns to South Beach.

As a South Beach nightlife columnist, I covered the waterfront (low tide and high) from 1995 to 2006. I moved to Miami from Virginia, where I was the editor of a statewide arts & entertainment publication. For over ten years, I covered South Beach nightlife for several publications including the weekly tabloids The Wire and Sunpost. I’ve also been a contributing writer for publications such as V Magazine, ZED Magazine, Miamigo, Ocean Drive, Genre, Fashion Times, Miami Metro, Where Magazine, LRM, Where Guestbook, Public Magazine, Ego Trip, and the Miami Herald. SOUTH BEACH STAR is approximately 65,000 words.


gj said...

I can see some potential here, for exactly the celebrity-obsessed market you seem to be addressing, so you know your story and your readership.

But there's still gotta be a recognizable plot. All I've got is: depressed guy gets his dreams handed to him, and then loses them, also without any effort or responsibility.

Story is about struggle. We don't care about the folks who have undeserved good luck showered on them. We care about the struggle itself, about working to deserve our happy ending (or struggling valiantly even if there's an unhappy ending).

Show the protagonist working toward some goal, and an antagonist (please, please, please: do not use the protagonist as his own antagonist unless you're writing lit-fic, and even there, it's problematic) doing things that make the protagonist's goal less likely. Even if, ultimately, the protagonist has to overcome his own shortcomings, give him a personification of those shortcomings to act as the external antagonist and as a metaphor for his internal issues.

Lori Folkman said...

I really admire your fortitude Star! I think you are doing a great job revising. I hope you are not getting sick of me!

In the first paragraph, that very last part, I would leave off (star falling from the sky). It is worded nicely, but I would squeeze it in later on. When you tack it on in your intro, it brings us to the conclusion of the query, so then we really don't need to keep reading.

The second paragraph is mostly an extended version of the first paragraph, so I would get rid of it.

Stick with the timeline of your story and don't backtrack or fast forward.

Your bio reads great now.
I think your story sounds cool and has many unique elements. Best of luck!