TITLE: The Death ClockGENRE: Literary fiction
Everyone is born with the ingrained knowledge of when they'll die, but not everyone tells the truth about their death-date. Kit's ex, Jonathan, dies without warning her. He leaves her a watch, but she's too grief-flattened to give much thought to its odd inscription. However, as Jonathan's tight political family closes around her and more close friends die, Kit realises he's left her a clue to a closely-guarded government secret: death is not as predictable as it seems.
Very, very interesting. I was toying with a similar idea myself, so I was a bit taken aback when I read your logline! Happy to know that this idea is getting played with! I think it's strong, filled with conflict, and it's a good way to take on the reality of mortality.ReplyDelete
Love the idea! Sounds similar t the adjustment bureau. Is someone a senator? Can you move the government secret up? It seems to be the crux.ReplyDelete
You got quite an interesting premise here. In order to tighten your logline, I'd suggest to cut out the part about Jonathan's family closing around Kit--I don't think it adds anything. I'd also suggest to watch how many times you use the word 'close.' Perhaps you could use other words as alternatives. Good luck!ReplyDelete
There are some pieces of this that I think work exquisitely: the framing sentence asks all kinds of wonderful questions, and immediately sets the tone of the piece. But then I have questions: Jonathan dies without warning Kit about what? She should already have her own ingrained knowledge of when she will die, yes? So was she simply expecting him to have told her that HE was about to die? To me, the power of the piece hangs on that fact.ReplyDelete
The watch seems like a major plot point, but you don't give it enough weight to make us focus on it. I'd either put the focus of the mystery on the family or the watch, and omit the other--you'll know far better than I which is most important. Though I agree with Ingrid that the family seems less vital, just based on your wording.
Really interesting premise. Best of luck!
I'm intrigued! :) I don't have a problem with it as it is, but it might not hurt to take a look at some of the other suggestions here simply because nothing is perfect. :)ReplyDelete
I love this premise. I think the logline could use a little tightening. If I may, I'd suggest something like this:ReplyDelete
Everyone is born with the ingrained knowledge of when they'll die, but not everyone tells the truth about their death-date, which Kit learns when her ex, Jonathan, dies without warning her. As more of her close friends die, Kit realises the watch he's left her is not just a memento, but a clue to a closely-guarded government secret: death is not as predictable as it seems.
I have played around with this one a bit. Great premise. I have left it in, but I'm not sure about the phrase 'tight political family. Hope this helps. I'd love to read your book :)ReplyDelete
Everyone is born with the ingrained knowledge of the date of their death, but Kit's ex, Jonathan, dies without warning her. He leaves her a watch with an odd inscription, yet it's only when Jonathan's tight political family closes around her and more close friends die, that Kit realises he's left her a clue to a closely-guarded government secret. Death is not as predictable as it seems.
I remember that earlier you responded to comments that this sounded more like sci-fi than literary fiction. To me, it still sounds like sci-fi--how is death predictable except, for ex. in terminal illness? The LF label is the one thing that throws me. The premise itself sounds really interesting.ReplyDelete
Hmm...reconsideration: maybe sci-fi is wrong. More like upmarket suspense. :)Delete
I really like Shannon Schuren's re-write. I think it lays out the stakes a bit more precisely than the original.ReplyDelete
Wow, thank you all so much! Great suggestions and encouragement too. Shannon, I'll riff off your rewrite for the final version - love that you have the distance necessary to see what's really important in a brief pitch.ReplyDelete
Georgia, I can understand your hesitance with the genre. I went with LF because it matches both my style and my emphasis on characters over plot. Because it's not SF - the knowledge of death is the only difference from the real world - I've had some difficulty classifying it. Speculative fic, maybe?
Unless you think you're the next George Orwell or Philip K. Dick (and heck, you might be!), I wouldn't fling around the word literary anywhere near a story that has science fiction elements... Say either Speculative Fiction, Soft Sci-Fi or Light Sci-Fi.ReplyDelete