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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


OK, here goes:
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1947: as Los Angeles reels from the Black Dahlia murder, an Asian boy's mutilated body is found in a back alley of Chinatown. With the thoroughly corrupt LAPD unwilling to devote their already strained resources to crack the case, it seems this grisly crime is destined to remain unsolved.

Tommy Luoo is a young Chinese American college student who dreams of becoming a private detective. His friends call him Dapper due to his penchant for style, and he decides to try his luck and uncover the truth.

But all is not what it seems as Dapper is drawn into a web of deceit and danger at every turn. For the City of Angels hides a dark underworld, where only the most ruthless could hope to succeed. Dapper is undaunted however, and he'll keep on digging for answers, even if it kills him.

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Comments? Suggestions? :)
 

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JTriptych said:
OK, here goes:
------------------------------

1947: as Los Angeles reels from the Black Dahlia murder, an Asian boy's mutilated body is found in a back alley of Chinatown. With the thoroughly corrupt LAPD unwilling to devote their already strained resources to crack the case, it seems this grisly crime is destined to remain unsolved.

Tommy Luoo is a young Chinese American college student who dreams of becoming a private detective. His friends call him Dapper due to his penchant for style, and he decides to try his luck and uncover the truth.

But all is not what it seems as Dapper is drawn into a web of deceit and danger at every turn. For the City of Angels hides a dark underworld, where only the most ruthless could hope to succeed. Dapper is undaunted however, and he'll keep on digging for answers, even if it kills him.

-------------------
Comments? Suggestions? :)
1947: as Los Angeles reels from the Black Dahlia murder, an Asian boy's mutilated body is found in a back alley of Chinatown. With the thoroughly corrupt LAPD unwilling to devote their already strained resources to cracking the case, it seems this grisly crime is destined to remain unsolved.

Tommy Luoo is a young Chinese American college student who dreams of becoming a private detective. His friends call him Dapper due to his penchant for style, and he decides to try his luck at uncovering the truth.

But all is not what it seems as Dapper is drawn into a web of deceit and danger at every turn. For the City of Angels hides a dark underworld, where only the most ruthless could hope to succeed. Dapper is undaunted however, and he'll keep on digging for answers, even if it kills him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
LDB said:

1947: as Los Angeles reels from the Black Dahlia murder, an Asian boy's mutilated body is found in a back alley of Chinatown. With the thoroughly corrupt LAPD unwilling to devote their already strained resources to cracking the case, it seems this grisly crime is destined to remain unsolved.

Tommy Luoo is a young Chinese American college student who dreams of becoming a private detective. His friends call him Dapper due to his penchant for style, and he decides to try his luck at uncovering the truth.

But all is not what it seems as Dapper is drawn into a web of deceit and danger at every turn. For the City of Angels hides a dark underworld, where only the most ruthless could hope to succeed. Dapper is undaunted however, and he'll keep on digging for answers, even if it kills him.
Thank you very much, LDB! ;D
 

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You know, I actually think it's pretty good. I have a few minor suggestions.

The City of Angels has devils on its streets.

It's 1947, and as Los Angeles reels from the Black Dahlia murder, an Asian boy's mutilated body is found in a back alley of Chinatown. With the thoroughly corrupt LAPD unwilling to devote their already strained resources to crack the case, it seems this grisly crime is destined to remain unsolved.

Tommy 'Dapper' Luoo is a young Chinese American college student who dreams of becoming a private detective. With this crime and crimes toward people like him being summarily ignored, Dapper decides to try his luck at things and uncover the truth.

But all is not what it seems and Dapper learns this is no college course as he is drawn into a web of deceit where danger lurks at every turn. The City of Angels hides a dark underworld under its star-dusted sheen, where only the most ruthless succeed. Will it prove too much for Dapper, or will he find the answers...even if it kills him?
 

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I think it's good too. Not a criticism at all but one thing that may be worth a thought.....

This sentence, 'With the thoroughly corrupt LAPD unwilling to devote their already strained resources to crack the case....'.

I like the French way of putting the object / noun first, then describing it. 'Le voiture grand, rouge et magnifique'.
Tranlated as, the big, red, magnificent car...  In other words we have to wait for what is big, red and magnificent.

If you put, 'The LAPD is thoroughly corrupt...' it may just be a little more punchy. Not sure you actually need the word 'crack'??

Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wunder said:
You know, I actually think it's pretty good. I have a few minor suggestions.

The City of Angels has devils on its streets.

It's 1947, and as Los Angeles reels from the Black Dahlia murder, an Asian boy's mutilated body is found in a back alley of Chinatown. With the thoroughly corrupt LAPD unwilling to devote their already strained resources to crack the case, it seems this grisly crime is destined to remain unsolved.

Tommy 'Dapper' Luoo is a young Chinese American college student who dreams of becoming a private detective. With this crime and crimes toward people like him being summarily ignored, Dapper decides to try his luck at things and uncover the truth.

But all is not what it seems and Dapper learns this is no college course as he is drawn into a web of deceit where danger lurks at every turn. The City of Angels hides a dark underworld under its star-dusted sheen, where only the most ruthless succeed. Will it prove too much for Dapper, or will he find the answers...even if it kills him?
Oh nice, thanks!

Jotheboat said:
I think it's good too. Not a criticism at all but one thing that may be worth a thought.....

This sentence, 'With the thoroughly corrupt LAPD unwilling to devote their already strained resources to crack the case....'.

I like the French way of putting the object / noun first, then describing it. 'Le voiture grand, rouge et magnifique'.
Tranlated as, the big, red, magnificent car... In other words we have to wait for what is big, red and magnificent.

If you put, 'The LAPD is thoroughly corrupt...' it may just be a little more punchy. Not sure you actually need the word 'crack'??

Best of luck.
Good suggestion! I've got a lot to work on. Thanks both of you!
 

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JTriptych said:


OK, here goes:
------------------------------

1947: as Los Angeles reels from the Black Dahlia murder, an Asian boy's mutilated body is found in a back alley of Chinatown. With the thoroughly corrupt LAPD unwilling to devote their already strained resources to crack the case, it seems this grisly crime is destined to remain unsolved.

Tommy Luoo is a young Chinese American college student who dreams of becoming a private detective. His friends call him Dapper due to his penchant for style, and he decides to try his luck and uncover the truth.

But all is not what it seems as Dapper is drawn into a web of deceit and danger at every turn. For the City of Angels hides a dark underworld, where only the most ruthless could hope to succeed. Dapper is undaunted however, and he'll keep on digging for answers, even if it kills him.

-------------------
Comments? Suggestions? :)
It's good. A few suggestions. Not all readers will know what the Black Dahlia murder is (I didn't), so a choice few words to explain it would be good. Besides that, the first paragraph is solid.

Tommy Luoo is a young Chinese American college student who dreams of becoming a private detective. His friends call him Dapper due to his penchant for style, and he decides to try his luck and uncover the truth.
^ This feels kind of glib. Like it should have more impact. He's just a college kid dreaming of being a private detective. Can you amp that up somehow? Somehow make it personal. 'Seeing yet another crime go unpunished in Chinatown enrages Luoo and he decides to do what he can to bring the killer to justice.' Yeah, and "trying his luck" seems very glib. Like 'ho-hum, I'll give solving this murder a shot.' And you might want to hold off on using Dapper, so soon. He's just a college kid and you're describing his penchant for style when he should be crazy-angry to want to solve this murder.

And I would prefer some specifics in that last paragraph.

'Luoo has read a lot of detective novels, but when he heads out into LA's dark underworld and starts asking questions, he gets a broken nose for his efforts. He realizes this is no novel and to uncover the truth he'll have to put his life on the line.'
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Gregg Bell said:
It's good. A few suggestions. Not all readers will know what the Black Dahlia murder is (I didn't), so a choice few words to explain it would be good. Besides that, the first paragraph is solid.

^ This feels kind of glib. Like it should have more impact. He's just a college kid dreaming of being a private detective. Can you amp that up somehow? Somehow make it personal. 'Seeing yet another crime go unpunished in Chinatown enrages Luoo and he decides to do what he can to bring the killer to justice.' Yeah, and "trying his luck" seems very glib. Like 'ho-hum, I'll give solving this murder a shot.' And you might want to hold off on using Dapper, so soon. He's just a college kid and you're describing his penchant for style when he should be crazy-angry to want to solve this murder.

And I would prefer some specifics in that last paragraph.

'Luoo has read a lot of detective novels, but when he heads out into LA's dark underworld and starts asking questions, he gets a broken nose for his efforts. He realizes this is no novel and to uncover the truth he'll have to put his life on the line.'
Thanks so much, Gregg- good suggestions. I'll see if I can make it more personal blurb-wise for the protagonist. 8)
 

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I like it. Sounds like a good yarn. The middle para could be tightened up, and maybe inject some more of that hard-boiled language.

Tommy 'Dapper' Luoo is a young Chinese American college student with big dreams of becoming a private detective.

The next sentence should convey his motivations. It could be selfish ambition, or something more noble.
 

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The reader can find out his nickname and the reason it came about when the get to read the book.

As someone has said, not everyone will have heard of the Black Dahlia which dates the story as it is a true crime story that was big news. They won't need to have heard of it in the way I've rewritten the blurb as it gives a reason for the boys death not to be news and less of a priority.

Trying his luck is really glib as, someone said and not an emotional reaction or motivation to investigate a gruesome death.

By adding "Out of his depth, and lacking experience" that should elicit some empathy for the MC rather than as a young man full of his self by "trying his luck"  Unless that is you have depicted him as been full of his self.  Maybe add to that , Out of his depth and lacking experience, but with a dogged determination, or say a stuborn streak

As a suggestion.

1947 Los Angelis: When an Asian boy's mutilated body is found in a back alley of Chinatown, it barely gets a mention in the press. LAPDs notoriously corrupt homicide detectives have enough on their plate as the city is is gripped by the high profile Black Dahlia murder, with  press headlines and the mayor demanding a result.

Tommy Luoo is a young Chinese American college student with an ambition to become a private detective. He becomes incensed that the murder of one of his own community will likely go unsolved through lack of police interest and resources and decides to do his own investigations .

Out of his depth, and lacking experience, but with a stubborn streak, he is drawn into a web of deceit and danger at every turn. The City of Angels hides a dark underworld, where only the most ruthless survive. Undaunted, he'll keep on digging for answers, even if it kills him in his attempt to bring the assassins to justice.
 

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if the dapper detective's gay, say he's gay

don't subtext at me, it's 2020

also... all readers of LA mystery/noir know who the black dahlia is, that guy who said not everyone knows who she is doesn't read the niche

readers do know who she is & just mentioning her sets up a chain of associations... you're linking a sex crime murder/mutilation of a woman to a murder/mutilation of a boy ... the reader is going to think sex crime & imagine a dark story

a dark story demands intense motive, it's OK in cozy for somebody to investigate a crime for some BS reason like they enjoy meddling & always dreamed of snooping into people's lives, it is not OK in noir

dapper guy is risking being cut up into pieces, he's not doing that because he always dreamed of being a detective, there's something deeper, he needs justice for this forgotten victim....figure out what that reason is and share it

stakes, dammit, stakes
 

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I think it's good.

The main issue is the motivation of the MC. Going from dreaming about being a private detective, to keep digging for answers even if it kills him is big leap. I know, noir detectives keep digging and risking their life all the time, but it's not because they want to be PIs, but because they have some personality trait that won't let them back away. They can be stubborn and will not allow people to threaten them to back off, personal revenge, sense of justice, or the like. "I'm risking my life to revenge my partner" is relatable, "I'm risking my life because I dream of being a PI" not so much.

A detail: you could probably save a few words and come to the MC a bit sooner if you dropped one of the the motivstionsd for the LAPD not to act. Corruption is probsbly the more noir of the two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks, everyone! I appreciate all your inputs. This ought to give me enough tips and material to polish this up a bit further.  8)
 
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