Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Query 29: Redux

Three Broads and a Fraud

When three glamour grannies become dupes of an unscrupulous opium dealer who organises Dotty and her cronies a holiday to a paradisiacal African island, they don’t realise his purpose is to use them as pawns in a drug war.

Fortune smiles upon them when Major Milestone, who makes Dotty’s hormones do the tango, hears of their holiday – he knows the dealer’s plan. The onus is on him to provide them clandestine protection during his covert military operation to destroy the opium fields in full bloom. Incorrigible Dotty suspects something is amiss. While snooping, she wrongly assumes they’re Milestone’s hostages for his devious deeds. She plans a harebrained escape, which loses their only means of transport down a chasm. Then Dotty insists on a visit to opium parlour she thinks is a perfume factory, and they land in a notorious jail. Furious, Milestone negotiates their release with orders to move them to his headquarters under the beady eye of his bossy housekeeper. Undeterred, Dotty breaks into the boat shed to steal a boat. Her two friends cop out; drowning at sea isn’t on their agenda. Milestone returns to face the women and explain that Dotty’s encounter is a drug dealer whose motive was to use them as human shields against the military to abort their operation. Mortified by her stupidity, now Dotty has to hatch a plan to win Milestone’s heart.

THREE BROADS AND A FRAUD is an 85,000-word commercial comedy of wild imaginations causing havoc like ticking time bombs.

Comments

I like the idea of your hooky first paragraph. And "glamour grannies" is quite good for setting the tone. I think you can tighten it a bit, though, as the first and second halves of the sentence say the same thing: dupes don't know what's going on.

After that, though, the middle section becomes a rather long list of things that happen. Part of what makes it feel that way are the word choices. Instead of making this feel like a fun and breezy plot, the query sort of bogs down.

For example: The onus is on him to provide them clandestine protection during his covert military operation to destroy the opium fields in full bloom.

Try: It's up to him to protect these lively gals without compromising his covert mission to destroy the opium fields.

And instead of taking the "this happens then that happens" approach, play with giving us a few details of things that go wrong in snippets rather than full sentences, and use some of the leftover space to give us some idea of the emotional humor.

Maybe start with something like, "Things go amiss when Dotty gets it in her head that Milestone is holding them hostage," then tell us about losing their only means of transport, getting nabbed in an opium parlour she mistakes for a perfume factory, and her plan to swipe a boat (does she even know how to drive a boat?). An exasperated Milestone is cleaning up behind every harebrained action and when he at last comes clean with her about why they're there, Dotty's next wild scheme is a plan to win his heart.

Is Dotty really mortified by her stupidity? She doesn't seem to be the kind who would be.

The mixed metaphor in "commercial comedy of wild imaginations causing havoc like ticking time bombs" doesn't really work. I'd just stick a period after "comedy."

5 comments:

fairyhedgehog said...

This is definitely coming on!

lexcade said...

Much improved over the first attempt.

The lighthearted tone is certainly there, something that's sometimes hard to do in queries, but it is just bogged down in detail. The second part feels like a synopsis, and I already have enough of an idea of what's happening to figure out the rest of the book. Shortening the second paragraph will help quite a bit.

mickip said...

fairyhedgehog and lexcade thanks for your comments. This flipping query was playing on my mind a lot last night.......

Sarah Laurenson said...

Love the title.

This isn't really my cup of tea, but using both your words and Phoenix's, this is what I came up with.


Three glamour grannies become dupes of an unscrupulous opium dealer who organises Dotty and her cronies a holiday to a paradisiacal African island. Major Milestone, who makes Dotty’s hormones do the tango, hears of their holiday. He also knows the dealer’s plan – to use them as pawns in a drug war. It's up to him to protect these lively gals without compromising his covert mission to destroy the opium fields.

Dotty gets it in her head that Milestone is holding them hostage. She plans their escape, which loses their only means of transport down a chasm. It also lands them in a notorious jail. Seems the perfume factory Dotty insisted on visiting is really an opium parlor.

An exasperated Milestone is cleaning up behind every harebrained action. He negotiates their release and moves them to his headquarters under the beady eye of his bossy housekeeper. When he at last comes clean with Dotty about why they're there, her next wild scheme is a plan to win his heart.

Matt said...

You should mention somewhere that they think they've been kidnapped to star in a porno. In comedies, humor comes ahead of plot (within reason).