TITLE: GHOST RIVER
GENRE: Paranormal Mystery
When Veronica loses her boyfriend, career, and condo in one record-breaking bad month, she agrees to house-sit her uncle’s seemingly tranquil home on the water while she recuperates. But when ghosts appear in her bedroom, a body floats in with the tide and a friend is accused of murder, Veronica must use clues from the ghosts to track down the real killer, before the killer finds her first.
On the Suck-O-Meter Scale of Life, my month had been hovering around a 9.2, and I was about to score a perfect 10.
I was okay about losing my boyfriend, because let’s face it, as nice as he was, there was never any “zing” with Ben. Nice guy, no zing. It would have been better if he told me he wanted out instead of me walking in on him playing doctor with that slutty student nurse, but looking back, I think he did us both a favor. Now I kinda feel bad about stuffing mashed potatoes in the tailpipe of his expensive “I have a small p**** so I’m overcompensating” Beemer ragtop. Not bad enough to admit I did it, but wondering if he was worth wasting good mashed potatoes on.
Losing my job-- now that hurt. I loved my job, lived for my job, even moved for my job. And then I was dumped, like a CEO starter wife. With this economy there was no way I could find another job that good, or even a crappy one for that matter, and without a job, there was no way I could pay my rent. So it was no wonder when my Uncle Fred called to ask if I wanted to house-sit his weekend home rent-free, I jumped on it. Free, as they say, is a very good price. Looking back, I should have asked a few more questions, like where the house is and what it is.
Logline: First line is good. Second is confusing. Is her friend with her at the house? Why would she think the killer is after her? Why wouldn't she just call the police?ReplyDelete
I just wanted to point out a "Beemer" is slang for a BMW motorcycle. I think you're looking for "Bimmer".ReplyDelete
Hey David, I'm wondering if that's geographical. Here (West Coast USA) Beemer is slang for both BMW cars and bikes. "Bimmer" sounds like British slang to me, maybe because I've never heard the term before. It's always been Beemers here. Even my mother calls them Beemers!ReplyDelete
Anyway, thanks, and thanks for reading!
I've been around a lot of car nerds my whole life, and I've been yelled at a few times over this very subject. I double checked the BMW Car Club of America, and they've got a neat little article on the difference.Delete
My guess, though, since most people call it "Beamer" if you use the other version, they might think you spelled it wrong : )
There is not much of a set-up yet to evaluate what the mystery might be. I think I wanted to know more about her bad month by how she lost her job and what it was. That might tell me something about her. She undercuts her trustworthiness by saying she wasn't upset about Ben - then spends a paragraph showing how upset she was about Ben. Her actions make me think of that Fatal Attraction woman and I am not sure an unbalanced and vindictive narrator is someone I would want to spend much time with.ReplyDelete
Thanks, David~ I never hit on that, and we're car freaks and in the biz. However, I did waffle on the spelling (Beamer vs. Beemer), and I've got to remember to never let our male BFF read my intro, as it is NOT about his expensive Beamer ragtop and overcompensation problems!ReplyDelete
I'll definitely look for the article, but I am concerned that because Beamer/Beemer has become the generic slang for both bikes and cars, no one but a purist would know what a Bimmer is, not even our BMW-owning friends and family.
Thanks, though. Amazing what one learns on here! And I am picky about my cars- one Top Ten novelist has her MC opening the "back door" of a Mustang Coupe and every time I read that I want to scream!
PS~ Just did some quick googling and Bimmer was the original term but yes, it's morphed to Beamer/Beemer for all but the hard core purists (both spellings are out there). Also has to do with BMW owners grinning as they drive their nice cars, you know, Beaming in their Beamers!
The "Bimmer" thing is true, I've been corrected of it myself from a car junkie, but it's akin to correcting someone for saying Trekkie vs. Trekker as a Star Trek fan. Trekker is correct but the general pop pretty much says Trekkie.ReplyDelete
I think the logline might need some shaping up, but I liked the excerpt, including the BMW line :)
Thanks, Stephsco! And I had no idea about the big Trekkie/Trekker controversy!Thank goodness I didn't misuse that or I'd have a gang of Romulans at my doorstep!:)ReplyDelete
I liked the logline setup pretty well, but I'm having the same problem with this one that I'm having with a lot of the entries: she has to ___ the killer before the killer ____s her! It's vague. I don't know why the killer's even after her or why it's all up to her and so on...ReplyDelete
I do really like the voice in the narrative, though. I liked the sarcastic character. What didn't jive for me was calling Ben a nice guy, twice, when he was a cheat and a loser. If that was more sarcasm, it comes at the wrong place--I didn't know her well enough yet to recognize that she's probably lying about the nice guy part.
I'm a disappointed that there's no action here... I'd like to see her in one of her bad moments, then dejected, get the call from her uncle. Or start her already at the beach house. I'm not fond of the long back story. But maybe this kind of opening is specific to the genre--I'm critiquing blind, here, with no real mystery experience to fall back on.
Sounds like an interesting read what with ghosts providing the clues - and the idea of being alone in some strange house is full of possibilities. I would like to know more. I would like to know what her job was and how she lost it. I think less focus on Ben - unless he becomes important - would be wise. Her fixation on him makes her seem rather needy and patehtic instead of the strong, put-upon woman that would be fun to go on a story with. As it is, what I am left with from the opening 250 is a woman who is seething that her bf cheated on her - and that might get old fast.ReplyDelete
I agree with others about the logline confusion. Nevertheless I'd like to read more.ReplyDelete
We used to comment about the drivers of any expensive sportscar "sorry about your little willie". Thought we were terribly clever...
Logline: First sentence is a good setup of the story. Second sentence is too long, but it's also what makes me want to read the story.ReplyDelete
I like the writing with the touch of humor, but save the bf part for later. Start with action...like driving up in front of the house. Great premise for a story.
Log line works for me.ReplyDelete
The writing reminds me of Janet Evanovich's, One for the Money. I think that's a good thing!
I loved the voice and the humor in this!ReplyDelete
My two cents on the BMW debate: maybe you want to go with the model instead of the make. I drive a BMW but do not refer to it as a Beemer/beamer/bimmer. I call it the X5. It seems to me that most people refer to the model. :)
Love your title and from the excerpt love your voice. Personally, if you can figure out the type of car she means when she talks about it who give two-shoes what its corrct nickname is. Any story can be pickied apart. I prefer the "relax and enjoy" approach. I'll forgive a slight misnomer to have my attention caught and rivited so quickly. A definite read.ReplyDelete
The log line was a little confusing and can be easily cleared up.ReplyDelete
Loved the voice. I was swept away from the first lines.
Love the ghoss being involved in solving a mystery. Could not care less about what you call the car. Sounds like fun. A little less of the BF and more about her so she doesn't sound so bitter. Fun coming!ReplyDelete
Thank you to everyone for reading and for your comments! I really appreciate them!ReplyDelete
Okay, so we don't care about the car thing (the chances that hard core purists will be reading my stuff is pretty slim), and the boyfriend may be too much. He does come into play because we need Veronica to hate men when that sexy rogue (as opposed to "rouge") shows up.
I never thought about the nice yet cheating part, but I have found out in life that nice people do cheat, and as Veronica's BFF says, it was the most interesting thing Ben's ever done. Still, something to think about. And Veronica doesn't whine on and on about him, stuffing her face with ice cream and chocolate, I promise. We're just using the cheating rat bastard for the set-up!
And yes, the logline. Sigh...
Ths summary shows a lot of promise, but the sample, while funny and flip in places, is a bit stiff as set-ups go. The book needs to start with scene not two quick paragraphs that establish all the crap that's happened to her. One could argue that the sample writing here is just a continuation of the logline summary.ReplyDelete
Danielle~ Thank you for your time and expertise. You've given me a lot to think about!ReplyDelete
I enjoyed this and it immediately made me feel as though I knew the character. I know we're supposed to begin in the action but if you can get a reader to like and know your character this quickly I think that's invaluable. Because once I'm invested in your character I'll keep reading.ReplyDelete
As for the Beemer thing, we call them beemers in the UK and I immediately understood. But I don't think it will bother readers either way as long as they get that she's talking about a car. And I think it's pretty clear.
Thank you, Franziska! I really appreciate that!ReplyDelete
It's funny, because my only worry about the car had been the exhaust- do they have single or dual, so would it be "tailpipe" or "tailpipes"?
They have both, depending on the model. And if it's like my car, you can get a fake tailpipe to make it LOOK like you have dual exhaust, and perhaps a bigger willie?:)
I love the voice in the excerpt. I agree the logline is a little vague and I could careless about the spelling of the car...but then I really don't care whether the Mustang coupe has a back door. I think with some line edits, taking out some of the repetitive parts, this could be good. I want to read more of this voice.ReplyDelete