Monday, July 02, 2012

Face-Lift 1043


Guess the Plot

Kitty Kitty Bang Bang

1. In this graphic novel, Springfield is invaded by ferocious wildcats and all hope seems lost-- until Elmer Fudd comes to the rescue. Plus, a werecoyote.

2. Bubba Hollowell has a harmless enough hobby; he shoots cats. But now the kitties have acquired a few firearms of their own, and it's payback time.

3. When her favorite cat explodes, Ezzie is devastated. She goes after the culprit, a mad scientist who plans to take over the most brilliant minds of America using nanobots. With nothing but a disembodied cat head in her purse, can Ezzie save the world?

4. Two Russian cats eat mice that ate cheese enchanted by Rasputin - and foment a fauna-driven Revolution against punyhumans. Explosive! With psyanka.

5. Kitty had always been a girly girl, but when the family business is assassinations there is only so far a pink gun with glitter grips can go.

6. In the wild, wild west there's only one rule – whoever has the fastest gun wins. When the sinister Black Bart tries to stake a claim to Miss Kitty's cathouse, he quickly learns that no one out shoots . . . Kitty Kitty Bang Bang.



Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,

Ezzie Abacus is devastated when Zep [Anagram: Pez] the lab cat explodes. After all, Zep was the first experimental robot that Ezzie and her husband, mad scientist Conrad, ever built. But when Ezzie and Conrad collect Zep’s scattered paws and sparking wires, they discover this was no accident—this was sabotage.

Not entirely successful sabotage, though. Zep triggered his own self-destruct command when someone tried to hack into him. Ezzie and Conrad travel to the nearest chapterhouse of the Mad Scientists Local 42 for assistance, only to find the union hall infiltrated by killer robots. First Zep and now the Local 42—as Ezzie and Conrad judo-chop their way through the killer bots, they suspect something bigger than cat-enabled [cat related?] espionage is going on here. [These killer robots are pretty pathetic if they can't take out two puny humans. Have they actually ever killed anyone?]

Their suspicion naturally falls on the head of rival organization VIRAL. Victor von Steele has a knack for robotics and a long-time feud with the Local 42, and happens to be Ezzie’s former mentor and current nemesis. Ezzie and Conrad set out to find von Steele, but are taken aback when he finds them first. VIRAL is not behind the attacks, he claims, but a target of them as well. [A whole paragraph to get the wrong guy?]

While Conrad follows one lead, Ezzie reluctantly teams up with von Steele to pursue another. Together they descend into the Labyrinth, a hidden network of abandoned storage rooms and research facilities beneath New Mexico [aka Area 42]. After a battle with still-active guardian robots, Ezzie finds a fugitive mad scientist who at first seems to be the target she seeks. After a frantic chase from New Mexico to Massachusetts, Ezzie nabs her man—only to find he is not the mastermind, but a bystander who saw too much and now is on the run himself. [Another whole paragraph to get another wrong guy?]

With the information gained from her captive, Ezzie learns the true identity of the mastermind. The reclusive Dr. Lesta, founder of the Local 42, has succumbed to the burdens of his genius and become a truly mad scientist. His plan: to use a nanobot swarm to take over the most brilliant minds of America and use their intellect to further his own ends. [What are his ends?] He threatens the lives of hundreds of fellow scientists—including Conrad, now a prisoner aboard Lesta’s air fortress. Ezzie needs to get aboard that air fortress, rescue her husband, and destroy the nanobots before they can infect their targets. All she has is her old nemesis at her side and a disembodied cat head in her purse. [Is the head still operational? Now that I know it's a disembodied head, I think Ezzie should start calling it Pez.] [Can Ezzie talk to the head?

Ezzie: How the hell are we gonna get into that air fortress?

Pez: Do you have to carry perfume in your purse? I can't breathe in here. And get your thumb off my head. I told you, I don't have any candy.]

But Ezzie is a genius in her own right, and she won’t rest until Conrad is saved and Zep is avenged.

Kitty Kitty Bang Bang is a 90,000-word campy science fiction novel with elements of super-science. [I don't need to know it has elements of super-science, as I don't know nor care what that means.] My credits include story X appearing in the summer issue of small-press magazine, and numerous roleplaying game books, the most recent of which is Book Y by publishing company you might have heard of. Thank you for your time and attention.


Notes

The book sounds like fun. The plot summary is too long for a query. If you need a short synopsis this might do, but your query should have an even shorter synopsis. Something like:


Ezzie Abacus is devastated when Zep the lab cat explodes. After all, Zep was the first experimental robot that Ezzie and her husband, mad scientist Conrad, ever built. But when Ezzie and Conrad collect Zep’s scattered paws and sparking wires, they discover this was no accident—this was sabotage.

Their suspicion naturally falls on robotics expert Victor von Steele, Ezzie’s former mentor and current nemesis; so they're taken aback when he finds them first and claims he too is a victim. Ezzie reluctantly teams up with von Steele. Together they learn that Dr. Lesta, founder of Mad Scientists Local 42, has succumbed to the burdens of his genius and become a truly mad scientist. His plan: release a nanobot swarm on the most brilliant minds of America and use their intellect to start a social networking site for robots.

Lesta threatens the lives of hundreds of fellow scientists—including Conrad, now a prisoner aboard Lesta’s air fortress. Ezzie needs to get aboard that air fortress and destroy the nanobots before they can infect their targets. All she has going for her is the disembodied cat head in her purse. But Ezzie is a genius in her own right, and she won’t rest until Conrad is saved and Zep is avenged.


Not clear why the evil genius set on world domination tried to hack into the first robot Ezzie ever built. Surely there were more sophisticated robots to hack into than this cat.


10 comments:

150 said...

The query is a full paragraph too long, but I'm so happy to see this isn't one of the fakes. Good luck with it.

I wonder if I know you on Twitter.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's just too much coffee on this end or something, but I can't seem to get through this query. Working through your chunky paragraphs delivers disappointment so I keep clicking away from EE's site to check the news. Maybe you can start over and leave all the dead-end subplots and red herrings out.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

Sounds great.

The query's too long, though. I see lots of places you can cut. And if they're in the query, odds are they're in the manuscript as well, and that this is a 90k ms that dreams of being a 75k ms.

So, channel your inner editor. But I do think you're onto something here.

BuffySquirrel said...

The book may be hilariously funny, but that's not coming across from the query. Although I like the cat's head being carried around. EE's given you sound advice on how to shorten the query, but I think you also need to try to bring out the humour more.

There's already a book called Kitty Kitty Bang Bang...not necessarily a problem, but it is rather a distinctive title.

sarahhawthorne said...

I like the idea. But this seems like a project that will live or die on the humor, and I'm a little worried about voice. The science and technology of your world may be wacky, but your plot and your characters are not - at least not as presented here.

In your next draft, I would really focus less on the actual plot and more on character and tone, i.e.

When her favorite cat explodes, Ezzie Abacus is devastated. That was the first cyborg she and and her freshly brainwashed husband built together! Clearly this can only be the work of another mad scientist without the common decency to file his nemesis paperwork - and Ezzie's not going to take this violation of union regs lying down.

But what starts as a normal quest to avenge a fallen lab cat quickly takes on apocalyptic proportions. Someone is targeting the world's mad scientists, attempting to harness their collective brilliance into a weapon. Armed with nothing but a disembodied cat head, Ezzie will have to judo chop her way through killer robots, old rivals, and flying air fortresses to find the truth before she loses her mind - again.


Oh, and Victor von Steele immediately makes me think of Victor von Doom, aka Doctor Doom, the Fantastic Four's nemesis.

Ezzie said...

Thank you very much everyone, and EE! I have not written many queries and this feedback is fantastic.

I mentioned in my email to EE that the title was a placeholder I'm using while I finish the book (right now it's a 45k book dreaming of being 90k, but EE said he was low on queries so I took a stab at it). The title makes me smile, though, so I'm keeping it until I finish and think of a better one. Plus I thought it would make GTPs fun to write.

150: I'm BigMommaScott on Twitter and Medesha Freelancing on Facebook. :)

PLaF said...

I like the idea of the mad scientist as the hero and the campy names - like Get Smart with a disembodied cat head. That cat is gold. I hope it talks while being carried along in the purse.
The query took too long to get to the point, and I'd be afraid the story would take too long to be funny.
You've got Part 1 and Part 3 figured out, now just tighten up Part 2.

150 said...

Well, I didn't have you already, but I've got you now. #follow

Lisa said...

This sounds quirky, and I love quirky. Keep writing this, Ezzie.

It would be sooo cool if the cat head talks. Tell me it does.

As to the query, I think EE nailed it. Too long, a bit rambling, but there are quite a few gems there. I like that you've started writing the query early so you can work on it for some time. Thanks for throwing this out there for us to read.

Rachel6 said...

This had me grinning the whole way through. Although it's long, although it relates subplots, it was well-written for sure.

I enjoyed the mad scientists club idea; it made me think a little of Terry Pratchett's "Igors". Need a beta reader, Ezzie??