Monday, January 28, 2013

Bouncer Post #106

Genre: Suspense/thriller
Word Count: 62,000
In a small mill-town in Washington, tragedy has brought together a group of the locals and romance and friendships blossom. But one man's vendetta may bring them all down.

The deaths of Kay's husband Ricky and brother Tyler has brought home sister Randie from New York City, her dream residence. When Al and Mary, one of Ricky's best friends and his wife, hatch a plan to match up Randie and Joe, Joe rushes to ask Randie out, fearing they've left her feeling awkward and uncomfortable after putting them on the spot. Though Joe enjoys his time and bonding with Randie, he stays guarded after having previously been left by his long-time fiance.

Jared Johnson is the son of the owner of the mill. On a dark day in October Jared, high on coke and irritable, recklessly pulled a lever, unintentionally killing Ricky and his brother-in-law Tyler. His guilty conscience and father issues have caused Jared to be nothing but a hassle to every one around him, especially his sister Stacy, and Joe, who was there when the accident happened. Jared's father and lawyer decide that if there is a possibility of Jared being charged, it would look better to put him to work in the trenches. As Stacy steps in to fill Jared's shoes, Tyler's finance Penny is offered a job. Blaming everyone else but himself, Jared enlists his counterpart and girlfriend, Kris, to help him “take care of the problem.” His plan botched, he decides on a plan B: getting into Penny's good graces, to take care of it himself, but is Penny the only local girl he's got his sights set on? When Randie is attacked at the diner, Joe vows to find her assailant. During the explosive ending we finally find out if Jared shows his true colors and whether or not Joe gets his man.

First 250:
Joe knocks on the door and waits until Mary opens it up and let's him in.
"You guys weren't answering your phone." Mary gives Joe a 'you have no idea' look, she shuts the door behind him and walks back to the kitchen. As Joe looks around the room he sees Al passed out on the couch, dark black circles around his eyes smeared down to his cheek, his mouth is open and the corner is smeared with the green that has colored his lips. His right arm is dangling over the side of the couch, a hint of the green lip color smudged on the back of his hand while a pile of Sweet Tarts lay on the floor, just out of reach. Two sacks of candy lay on the floor on either side of the coffee table, crushed empty juice boxes on top of it, and cobwebs are hanging from everything attached to the ceiling and its corners possible. There are two little boys sitting at the table nursing their chocolate milks, a little sugar to take the edge off, their heads resting in their right hands. After the entire scene is taken in Joe looks over at Mary. "Halloween."  She responds to his questioning look with a roll of her eyes. A 'glad it's not me' exhale of air and shake of his head is Joe's only response.
"I've got the coffee on and I'm getting scrambled eggs and toast together for the boys if you'd like some."


  1. I'm going to tell you a hard thing. Your query is what I've seen the query shark call "character soup." I counted at least 10 different names. There is no way anybody can keep track of them all.

    Generally, there are only a very few point-of-view characters, and each should own at least a scene. Your 250 opens with a long description, and while poetic, does not move the story forward.

    I suggest you do some reading - On Writing, by Stephen King, is my personal favorite. Good luck.

  2. You have a good writing style, but your query reads more like a synopsis. You've given us a lot of names and step-by-step detailing of the plot line. Start with the MC and his/her stakes. Is Joe the MC here? Then go with what he wants, what's stopping him from getting it, and what'll happen (his friend could die, like her brother/ the villian could escape, etc.) Give us just what's necessary to hook us to read the book. Most of the other characters could be mentioned by their relationship to the MC, or not mentioned at all unless they're absolutely pertinent to the main plot line.
    I hate writing queries myself. It's torture

  3. Heather and Suja have already given some excellent advice. Now is a great time to read up on the craft (I hate that word, but in this case is accurate). Your story has potential, so now you need to revise, revise, revise. My suggestion, make a list of topics you want to learn more about, such as developing characters, creating settings, opening scenes, building tension into scenes, etc... Than take one of those topics, read all about it (Writers Digest and The Writer magazines have very helpful articles). Then take a few chapters of your book to practice these techniques. It is a slow process, but we have all done it. I'd also like to recommend Bird by Bird by Annie Lamott.

    Best of luck.