Three Broads and a Fraud
THREE BROADS AND A FRAUD is an 85,000-word comedy about three audacious sexagenarians whose wild imaginations create havoc when they venture on vacation to a remote African island.
Dotty’s meets a stranger who seduces her mind with pristine beaches and majestic mountains to holiday there. She persuades her two friends, who’ve never left the shores of England, to accompany her. While discussing their holiday, they encounter retired Major Milestone, who sends Dotty’s hormones tangoing: his interest is to glean surreptitiously their itinerary. He knows the stranger and guesses his ulterior motive. The onus is on him to provide his clandestine protection.
From the outset of their travels, nothing is a promised. Dotty is nervous and expresses her concern. She guarantees her friends a foolproof escape plan. They trust her judiciousness until she steers their only means of transport down a chasm before they leap to safety. Their next attempt finds them in an opium parlour, which lands them in a notorious jail: Dotty mistook it for a perfume factory. Meanwhile, Milestone’s frustrations explode as the women are about to blow his covert military operation and risk the lives of his personnel. He surprises them and explains his modus operandi for his protection. To their horror, they learn the stranger Dotty trusted, is head of the island’s opium cartel and his intention was to use them as hostages against the military’s destruction of is crop. Embarrassed, she must devise a secret plan to capture Milestone’s heart after her reckless stupidity. With her record of harebrained ideas, her friends are doubtful.
OK. Deep breath, author. I think that you're panicking a bit trying to cram your story into a short query and that's leading to some awkward phrasing and odd word choices. You need to relax a bit and let the story tell itself -- don't try to force it.
What does that mean in concrete terms? Take the phrase "his interest is to glean surreptitiously their itinerary." That could be simply stated as "all he wants is to find out their itinerary."
I love the age group for your "broads" and the story seems, plotwise, like it could be a really fun romp. I also love your title. My concern is that if the writing in the story mirrors what's in your query (and the synopsis, which I'll post tomorrow), even if we get your proposal pieces in good shape the first pages won't pass muster with an agent. Please be sure you take a long, hard, objective look at your manuscript and be sure it's edited to a tee before you submit it.
I padded this version with a few details from the synopsis to help demonstrate some of the humor. My rewrite helps clear up the grammar issues, but it feels long and synops-y to me, even though it still fits on a page and runs about 311 words. Other suggestions?
Three audacious sexagenarians with wild imaginations create havoc on a remote African island when they mistakenly get caught in an opium war in my 85,000-word comedy, THREE BROADS AND A FRAUD.
A chance encounter with a silver-tongued tour operator has incorrigible Dotty Crowdy dreaming of majestic mountains and pristine beaches. Now all she has to do is convince her two best friends to leave staid Britannia behind and join her on an island adventure off the coast of Africa.
The promised holiday turns south quickly: their luxury touring vehicle is a war-torn rust bucket, their fresh supplies consist of a goat and a crate of live chickens, and it's monsoon season. When a mix-up convinces Dotty and her blue-haired friends they've been kidnapped and will be forced into making sleazy pornographic movies, Dotty devises a foolproof escape plan. The only one escaping, though, is their tour bus, which takes an unmanned swan dive off a cliff.
Their luck holds true when later they find themselves escorted to jail after Dotty mistakes an opium parlour for a perfume factory. Major Milestone, a British patriot who has Dotty's hormones doing the tango, bails the ladies out, but after a few bottles of celebratory champagne, the flighty women are once again seeing conspiracies and questioning the major's motives.
That is, until Dotty learns Milestone is heading up a covert military operation to close down an opium cartel led by the mysterious stranger that encouraged her to visit the island in the first place. Seems the plan was to use her and her friends as hostages should the military move to destroy the crop now in full bloom. A smitten Dotty devises one last harebrained scheme to help Milestone capture the drug baron while she concentrates on capturing the major's heart.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to sending you the completed manuscript.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Three Broads and a Fraud