Watching. Waiting. Ripping Off Other Writers.

AnnetteChristie 001Approximately 117 years ago, I was a young woman living in Toronto trying to make it as an actor. Every day I would wake up and wait for one of my three agents (acting/background/promo) to call with some potential work. Even when I got a call, it was often for an audition, which meant more waiting.

<—-me at 23. 117 year ago.

Last summer I finished my first manuscript. Writing those query letters felt like preparing for an audition. Waiting for the responses–in many cases no response–was a little slice of torture with a hurt feelings cherry on top. But I pulled up my literate socks, mapped out a new book, and wrote manuscript #2.

And now I’m back to waiting.

Setting my expectations nice and low, keeping my hope alive but in check, it’s time to start outlining manuscript #3. I’m wondering if I should consider using one of these cheap knock-offs I wrote a few years ago when I was trying to come up with a foolproof method of having a successful writing career. What do you think? Which of these synopses should I choose?

Sophie Kinsella-style 

Penelope Pontypandy is the legal assistant to one of London’s top barristers. Unfortunately, quirky and flighty Penelope has made one too many errors at work. If she makes one more, she’ll be sacked! Enter Braydon Manettiere: the handsome and hard-jawed founder of Manettiere Enterprises. When he mistakes Penelope for his barrister, she’s too flustered to correct him and fears for her job if she doesn’t play the part! Through the course of many uproarious misunderstandings and happy accidents, Penelope and Braydon fall in love. As they fight Pharmacat, a large and evil pharmaceutical company, Penelope learns she’s got the chops to make it as a lawyer while Braydon discovers that his huge mistake is also the hugest favour…for his heart.

John Grisham-style

Braydon Manettiere is an associate for a large law firm in the south. When his assistant, Penelope Pontypandy, discovers the firm has been covering up the shocking and environmentally detrimental actions of Pharmacat, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the nation, Braydon cannot bring himself to fall in line, even though his is failure to do so could cost the firm–and Pharmacat–billions. With his job and his LIFE in danger, Braydon flees the firm to quietly join a pro-bono firm in the sticks. Never knowing whether to truly trust Penelope, Braydon navigates the waters of fighting The Man and saving the planet as a lone legal wolf in the land of country bumpkins.

George R.R. Martin-style

In the kingdom of Pontypandy, Penelope is next in line for the throne. With her secret herd of unicorn foals, she is prepared for whatever foes may strike…Up north, Braydon, bastard son to the last true king of Pontypandy, prepares to strike. He has amassed an army of walking undead abominable snowmen called Coal Eyes and none are safe once autumn gives in to the grasp of winter. Farther south, the indigenous people who call themselves Pharmakatz, scalp trespassers and make dark magic out of the brains of their enemies. Once they align themselves with Penelope’s sister, the sorceress Luminera, the minds of everyone in Pontypandy are at risk. To the east, Braydon’s half-brother Daniel Manettiere, and self-proclaimed rightful heir to the throne, is gathering volunteer soldiers; men who are still loyal to the last true king. Rather than take prisoners or lives in battle, Daniel accepts new volunteers, each one swearing their loyalty to him through a sacred and symbolic unicorn blood ritual. Meanwhile, in the west amoebas are evolving at a startling rate, forming their own militia to battle Penelope, hoarder of the herd of unicorns. (Note: This is a synopsis for book one of a series of thirty-seven, entitled Game of Unicorns.) 

Danielle Steel-style

She raised her twins alone, abandoned by the only man Penelope Pontypandy ever let herself love. To make ends meet, she began a small PR firm, which soon grew to be a Fortune 500 company. Now, with millions to spare and her twins leaving for ivy league schools, Penelope finds herself turning to an unlikely source for comfort. Braydon, the only son of a woodworker, has ambitions beyond his means. He may be rough around the edges, but if those edges could be smoothed by the right woman, the soul of a poet would shine through. He begins working in the mailroom of one of the most successful PR firms in the country, not knowing his destiny lies in the thighs of the heartbroken CEO.

YA Fantasy Novel-style (rather than commit to just one author’s style, I’m going to throw a bunch in the salad spinner and see what comes out)

Penelope Pontypandy has always kept to herself. Forced to live with her callous aunt and uncle after the tragic and mysterious death of her parents, and bullied in school for being different, she has always kept people at a distance…until she meets Braydon Manettiere. Their eyes lock during a pep rally and, in that moment, she experiences what feels like an electric jolt coursing through her veins. As she feels this current, she sees Braydon’s eyes go from hazel to the colour of honeycomb. Separately, Penelope and Braydon have felt like outcasts, but together, they create a magical electricity that attracts the attention of the town’s resident billionaire, Maxwell Pharmacat. The nefarious villain has plans to wipe out the utilities of the entire nation, forcing citizens to give in to his monopoly on power…a monopoly Penelope and Braydon can now fight, using their unique combined electrical power–and the power of love–in the town’s very first real life game of Monopoly: where no one collects $200 and passing “Go” can mean the lights go out…forever.

…On second thought, I might just continue developing my own voice and save these little numbers as Plan D.

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