Monday, July 22, 2013
Guess the Plot
The Brother's Band
1. On the road with the band. The sex, the drugs, the backstage parties. One wild Gregorian-chanting monk tells all.
2. Lily's always been drawn to troubled musicians. Dylan's a troubled singer in a British band. When Lily quits her job and moves in with Dylan, she discovers he's a coke addict and trades him in for his brother Thomas. The big question: Will the baby be named Dylan Thomas or Thomas Dylan?
3. Impotent athletic-supporter, Sgt. R. Latex knows what he is holding up. His brother from another mother, Pvt. S. Latex, has taken one for the team and future children are seriously in doubt. From the battlefields of war the brothers return to their hometown rubber factory and buoy up their quest for an heir.
4. When Jax Planton, lead singer for the Peruvian Drag Queen Boxers, is found stabbed to death behind the Golden Bird, homicide detective Zack Martinez knows two things. One, "Jax" was really a Jill, and two, man the Golden Bird has really gone downhill since his brother's band played there.
5. Cindy sings blues for brother Fire Robinson’s Blues Band. Their shows are stalked by a sadistic serial killer. Washington Detective Wilson Waters arrests Fire on erroneous evidence. Cindy and singer Earthy Edith find the killer and free Fire from phony charges. Also, a litany of artless alliteration.
6. Jesse forms a band that includes his brother Frank and buddies Cole, Jim, John, and Bob. They don't play music; they prey on banks and trains. All is fun until the Northfield fans boo with Winchesters and Colts.
7. After the Civil War, rebel soldier Virgil Jenkins wants to form a band of marauders to bring mayhem and destruction to the North. He can't get anyone to join him, though, so it ends up being just him.
Travel agent by day and cocktail waitress by night, Lily Mitchell contentedly divides her spare time between her two true loves—classic lit and modern rock. At twenty-six, Lily has realized that despite her normal, uneventful childhood, she’s drawn to troubled musicians and other men in need of fixing. Determined to stop making the same mistakes, Lily initially refuses the advances of Dylan Parker, the mysterious and sexy lead singer of a popular British rock band. But Dylan is smart, hardworking, and humble, and he quickly wins her over, proving that he’s nothing like the cheaters and losers she’s dated before. [Was it the cheating and losing that made the musicians she dated previously "troubled"? If not, what about them needed fixing?]
Lily and Dylan’s relationship moves at whirlwind pace, and Lily has never been happier or more satisfied. Dylan’s passion and enthusiasm for every aspect of life is contagious and Lily finds herself drawn quickly into his world. She travels to his hometown in the U.K. and learns that Dylan’s sister died in a childhood accident, a fact which helps explain the extreme closeness and fierce loyalty between Dylan and his brother / band-mate Thomas.
Lily and Dylan share the perfect love, so perfect that Lily doesn’t notice the initial red flags—the bloodshot eyes, the sudden mood changes, [the nosebleeds, the traces of white powder on his upper lip every time he comes back from the other room,] or the constant energy flowing from Dylan. By the time Lily discovers that Dylan abuses cocaine, she’s already moved in with him and quit working. When Dylan’s addiction leads to abuse, [Abuse of Lily? She dumped the other losers she dated, what's she waiting for this time?] Lily finds comfort in Thomas, the only other person who cares as deeply for Dylan as she does. As Dylan spirals further out of control, however, Lily is forced to question whether Thomas’ behavior is motivated by his loyalty to Dylan or his love of her. [Tell me what behavior you're talking about, and I'll tell you what's motivating it. For instance, if he's screwing Lily, I'd say it's not out of loyalty to Dylan.] Lily’s love for both brothers jeopardizes everything she believes she wants. [She's torn between the abusive drug addict and the nice guy.] But in the end, it is an unexpected pregnancy which threatens to break the bonds between Lily, Dylan, and Thomas. [Is the pregnancy unexpected because they haven't had sex or because it's one of the guys who's pregnant?]
The Brother’s Band delves into the classic literary themes of romantic love, brotherly love, passion and betrayal, [If you successfully show the themes of the book in your plot summary, you don't need to declare them.] incorporating a short quote from a well-known romantic tragedy at the start of each chapter. The Brother’s Band is complete at 84,000 words and the full manuscript is available on request. I appreciate your time and I look forward to hearing from you.
Should the apostrophe be after the "s" in the title? If not, which brother is the one in the title?
This is mostly setup. You can set it up in two sentences:
Lily Mitchell knows from experience that rock stars are all cheaters and losers, so she's reluctant to hook up with Dylan Parker. But the sexy singer wins her over, and they share the perfect love--until Dylan's drug addiction drives him to beating her senseless on a regular basis.
That leaves plenty of room to tell us what happens. Does anything happen?
You could drop the first two paragraphs and start with the third, adding a few details to identify the characters. Here's what I want to know, plot-wise: You already said Dylan abused cocaine, so I assume the next mention of abuse is abuse of Lily. What exactly does he do? What is this "behavior" by Thomas that Lily finds so ambiguous?
For that matter, you could drop everything and start:
Lily Mitchell is pregnant, and the baby's father is a member of British rock band Dylan, Thomas, and the Walers. Unfortunately, she's not sure which member. Is it Dylan, the sexy, abusive drug addict? Is it Thomas, the boring all-around sweet guy? Or is it Ringo, the clueless drummer?
That gets us right to the conflict that's the heart of the book, the part that makes us want to read it.