Friday, November 23, 2012

SURE-FIRE PLOT After selling dozens of copies of his popular self-published novel, Elmhurst Community Theatre Carl Perrin decided to follow up that success with another book, a tale of sex and intrigue in the nation’s capitol. He worked out a plot outline so he could promote the book with literary agents before he began the actual writing.

In the book a retired general is the head of a federal agency, the FBI, the CIA or something. The married general has a fling with a married woman, who is twenty years younger than he. There is a second woman, also married, who seems to have her eye on the guy. Woman #1 sends her rival an anonymous email warning her to keep her hands off her general.

Woman #2 is friendly with an FBI agent, who once sent her a topless picture of himself, just as a joke. (Yeah, sure.) Anyway the agent checks #2’s computer and identifies #1 and the general. (Are you still with me?) But the agent also finds that #2 has been exchanging flirty emails with another general, who is also married. She likes to collect generals or something.

General #1 resigns his position. General #2 was in line for a promotion, but that is put on hold until the thing gets straightened out.

Perrin thought that with a plot like this, the book would be sure to become a best seller. He submitted his outline to dozens of literary agents. They all turned him down. Every one of them felt that the plot was too outlandish. “The plot has to be credible to catch the reader’s interest,” one of them wrote. “No one would believe that stuff like this could go on at the highest level of the U. S. government.”

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