Thursday, July 24, 2014

Face-Lift 1211


Guess the Plot

Wyverns of Mass Destruction


1. A disabled American carpet salesman is tricked into leading an air force of dragons against the US military.

2. When the King orders the Dragon Defense Program dismantled and all dragons and dragon-like creatures killed, it's up to Grahm Merrikon to find peacetime applications for his beloved flock of wyverns.

3. US forces rekindle the ire of worldwide Geekdom when they raid an Iraqi warehouse looking for wyverns of mass destruction but find only... dragons.

4. Galankitus has found his perfect weapon: Wyverns of Mass Destruction. But General Lossone can't figure out how to pronounce it. Is it Wivverns, or Whyverns? And if he orders the wrong group into battle, what will Galankitus do to him?

5. Miles Carmichael directs B grade (ok Z grade) movies. His small cult following (emphasis on the cult) frequently volunteer as extras. Unfortunately their shennanigans have gotten him trapped in his latest film while the monsters terrorize Hollywood. Can a ditzy actress rescue him? Without a raise?

6. A Catholic mass is interrupted when giant serpents rampage through the vestibule. Signior Adorno assumed the horsemen would arrive on, you know, horses, but either way, he's gearing up to stop the Apocalypse—with the help of his childhood love and a homeless Shiba Inu.

7. Johnny always knew he’d start the apocalypse. It wasn’t because of the hoard of Wyverns he was raising and equipping with enriched uranium, it was because he was born on the 6th of July 2006. Wait, July is the 7th month, maybe it was the Wyverns.

8. Physicist Boris Fridkin never expected his government's secret nuclear tests to unearth an ancient cache of reptilian eggs. When the irradiated eggs begin to hatch, revealing monstrous creatures from another age, Boris must race to find the finest knightly re-enactor from all the renaissance fairs in the world - the only person capable of stopping the . . . Wyverns of Mass Destruction.

9. The story of a hyperactive dragon with concentration problems, who is seeking a…Hey! Is that a squirrel?

10. Princess Jessica vows to hunt down the fierce Wyverns of Qari. After many adventures, Jessica is faced with the most important decision of her young life -- whether to admit she knew all along that Qari WMDs never existed



Original Version

Michael Boorley thought he was fighting for his country. Tell that to the American soldiers he’s killed.

The last thing Michael’s father said before driving into a semi was ["Aughghghghhhhhhhh!!!] that Michael didn’t deserve to join the Air Force. The resulting accident crippled Michael’s right hand [Manually disabled] and ended his dream of becoming a pilot until twenty years later, when brilliant young scientist Phyllis Harper invites him to join the next generation of combat pilots: a group calling themselves the [Afflicted Airmen? Prosthetic Pilots? Lofty Lefties?] First Wing. He’s pretty skeptical about how she’ll transform a middle-aged carpet salesman into a soldier, but when a beautiful woman invites you on an all-expense-paid trip, you go.

But Phyllis’s vision for the future of air warfare doesn’t involve planes. Instead, she modifies his DNA [This is why, when a beautiful woman invites you on an all-expense-paid trip, you don't go.] and binds his brain to a genetically-engineered dragon. Since the pilots of the First Wing were assembled from a cast of fugitives, drug addicts, and all-out rejects, Michael has no clue why Phyllis recruited him in the first place, [In the kingdom of society's dregs, the carpet salesman is king.] let alone why she assigned him to ride the Wing’s alpha dragon—five hundred pounds of wings, muscle, and a bad attitude.

But when the Wing’s territory is invaded by armed drones and commandos, Michael discovers that shooting down aircraft from the back of a giant reptile is a great way to earn the respect of the Wing’s other pilots. Six weeks later, he’s appointed the Wing’s field commander. [In the kingdom of bilateral upper extremity paralysis, the one-handed man is field commander.] Even his father would be proud of that.

Then he’s captured. He learns the invaders belong to the real Air Force—[Shouldn't he have noticed the insignia on the planes he was shooting down?] and Phyllis is working for a terrorist group dedicated to exposing America’s greatest vulnerability. [Our vulnerability to a dragon air force.] His captors offers [offer] him a deal: spill the Wing’s battle plans or face execution for treason. With hours to go until the Wing is extinguished, Michael’s got to choose between helping [the] country his father would have died for—or risking his life to escape and save the only place where he’s ever felt like a hero. [Won't he feel like a hero if he prevents these terrorists from destroying America with dragons?] [If the Wing is going to be extinguished within hours, why does the US want Michael to reveal their battle plans? It's like sinking a pirate ship and when you capture the one survivor you ask him who he's planning to attack next.]

WYVERNS OF MASS DESTRUCTION is what you'd get if Tom Clancy wrote 'His Majesty's Dragon'. [Novik's dragon air force attacking ships and ground forces in Napoleonic times was nothing compared with your dragon air force defeating modern fighter jets.] It's 200,000 words long and told from seven different points of view.

Thank you for your time and consideration,


Notes

Michael isn't the only one wondering why Phyllis recruited him. What's he got that other potential terrorist dragon pilots don't?

A crippled hand doesn't strike me as so horrendous that I'd be an outcast and would agree to let someone modify my DNA. I think you need to explain how Mike gets talked into this. Whom does he think he's fighting against before he finds out it's the US?

Exposing America’s greatest vulnerability sounds like a good thing to do. Phyllis is doing more than exposing it, she's attacking it. Whatever "it" is. I suppose if America were conquered by a dragon air force tomorrow, Republicans would blast Obama for not seeing it as our greatest vulnerability.

If you can't shorten this by half, can you find a stopping place near the middle and turn the rest into Book 2?

Feedback Request


The author of the book featured in Face-Lift 1210 has posted a revised version in the comments there, and awaits your reaction.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Evil Editor Classics


How Manuscripts Get Recycled, Part II







Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Face-Lift 1210


Guess the Plot

Heartless

1. Tin Woodsman, a cyborg with a dark past, is sent to Oz intergalactic prison to pay for his crimes.

2. Just when the Karkonians and the Malabahians are about to go to war, Laura White, the cruel and ruthless teenaged warrior leading the Karkonians, must contend with her own sister's rebel army. Is destroying your own sister good tactics, or just . . . heartless?

3. Are all men as cruel as the one who just burned Ellie? We're about to find out, because now it's her turn to hurt someone stupid enough to believe in love.

4. When a man is found dead with his chest ripped open and his heart missing, homicide detective Chris Sanchez knows two things: the guy didn’t die from natural causes, and the guy isn’t his AWOL partner Zack Martinez.

5. Curmudgeonly New York editor R. J. Calhoun is gravely ill. Without a heart transplant, he won't live more than a few weeks. Fortunately, his gifted cardiologist is Dr. Tracey Spellman. Unfortunately, Calhoun recently rejected the good Doctor's manuscript.

6. Rupert is a golem. Except for a heart, he has everything any golem could want: a strong body of stone and steel, eternal 'life', and a brain as sharp as a tack—in fact, made of brass tacks. But while Goldberg, Rupert's sorcerer, was off getting him a heart, priests caught Goldberg and burned him to death. Now poor Rupert wanders the Earth searching for a heart.

7. Cynthia's older sister Prue steals and uploads Cynthia's personal diary to the school website. She makes out with Cynthia's boyfriend at her own sweet sixteen and donates Cyn's brand new dress to the Goodwill. Ready for bloody vengeance, Cynthia discovers a voodoo spell which means she can torture Prue in any way she wants on the condition she promises to give her heart away. Trouble is, Cyn doesn't realise that's literal.



Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,

Laura White has been destined to become Karkonia's queen since her childhood, when her older brother renounced his claim to the throne and her older sister betrayed the family by joining a group of rebels aimed at destroying their father's imperialistic reign over the country. [Usually in these stories if you're "destined" for something it's from birth and not dependent on other events. The brother and then the sister were destined to take charge, and look how that turned out. Just because you're next in line doesn't mean it's your destiny. As Prince Charles would attest.] Now, at age seventeen, [Put her age in the first sentence; it doesn't work here.] Laura has been raised to be a cruel and ruthless warrior who will lead the Karkonian Empire to a victory against their neighboring rivals, the Malibahians, [Usually in these stories, when the countries are named Karkonia and Malibahia, the main character is named Lorelle or Liliana, not Laura White.] [Also, once Laura becomes heir to the throne, it's hard to believe she'd be allowed to continue in her role of ruthless warrior. In the first place, she might get killed, and in the second place, the Malibahians won't exactly be quaking in their boots when they hear that Laura White is on the warpath. The Karkonians need to keep Laura in the castle and send Aethelgyth the Disemboweler to handle the ruthless cruelty.] and extend her country's rule from coast to coast, a job that she takes with great pride. [I wouldn't call that a "job." A task or a goal maybe, but you don't take pride in a task or goal until you've completed it.]

 Everything goes according to plan- [Not clear to me what goes according to plan. It sounds like she's well on her way to extending her country's rule from coast to coast, but the rest of the sentence suggests she's barely started.] until Alicia returns with a new and improved rebel army, prepared to usurp the rule of Peter VII. Along with the help of her new and unwanted bodyguard Shane Kage, who is secretly a rebel himself, Laura searches [seeks] to destroy her sister and protect her country at all costs.

Lies come to light, loyalties are tested, war is on the horizon, but Laura's future has never been more unclear. She is faced with the most important decision of her lifetime: whether or not she should remain loyal to her power hungry father, or sacrifice everything she loves for the country that she was born to rule. [What do you mean by "sacrifice everything she loves"? What does she love?] [It seems to me that if the rebels win, and there's still a throne, Laura's sister or brother would sit on it. So if she was born to rule, it's an easy decision. Stick with dad and destroy sis.] [Furthermore, in the previous paragraph she was planning to destroy her sister to protect her country. Now she's apparently considering siding with her sister . . . to protect her country.]

HEARTLESS, at 75,000 words  is a young adult novel about strength, love, and sacrifice set in a medieval-dystopian world.  My first novel was published by a small press company in 2011, [Specifics?] and I am currently pursuing a minor in creative writing at the University of Louisville.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,


Notes

If you want us to believe Laura has an important decision, you have to give us reason to believe that she's not cruel and ruthless, that she sees the rebels' side, that she has some redeeming qualities. Right now I'd rather read Alicia's story than Laura's.

When your sister shows up with a new and improved army, you need more than an unwanted bodyguard to destroy her. The way it's worded, it sounds like it's just the two of them against an army.

Several instances of slightly off word/phrase choice, while they don't interfere with my understanding, would have me worried.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Evil Editor Classics


How Manuscripts Get Recycled, Part I






Sunday, July 20, 2014

Evil Editor Classics


J.K. Rowling






Saturday, July 19, 2014

Evil Editor Classics


The Law




Click strips to enlarge.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Evil Editor Classics


Summer Jobs Evil Editor Sucked At






Thursday, July 17, 2014

Evil Editor Classics


Statues






Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Face-Lift 1209


Guess the Plot

Panacea

1. A chronicle of Colorado's rise to world dominance through it's "Pot to the Military" program.

2. Forest ranger Gil has, through no fault of his own, lost face in his city. In hopes of restoring his good name, he leaves on a quest to find the legendary Panacea, which can cure the miasma that has decimated half the population. 

3. When Rotton Johnny didn't get the breakfast he'd ordered, he slapped his forehead. "I ordered pancakes! You stupid djinn. I'm hungry, not a world savior." Now the world looks up to the man who can't keep a job. And worse, he has to figure out how to employ all the medical and war materiel people he put out of work. And even more tragic, he's still hungry.

4. When trolls accidentally brew the perfect shampoo from a cauldron of distilled farts they are pursued across the galaxy by beauty-crazed nymphettes packing laser pistols. Can Ug explain away his species' momentary teen-style lapse or will trollkind forevermore be enslaved by the trollop-dressed-as-mutton industry? 

5. When billionaire film director Cam Jameson is found bludgeoned to death on the set of his new sci-fi epic Panacea, homicide detective Zack Martinez knows two things. One, that alien weapon looks awfully substantial for something supposedly made out of plastic; and two--wait, did that creepy alien monster dummy just move?

6. Davey Dixon is all about the ladies. He wakes up one morning to discover his penis can talk! Turns out he banged a witch and she cursed him. The only cure is a rare panacea. He now has three days to find it, before his big porn shoot! Oh the irony! 

7. Was it Panacea Bread where Bill's wife told him their soup and sandwich order would be? Who cares! The glowing green rock he found outside his back door this morning is giving him the strength to outrun the men in lab coats insisting he holds the cure.




Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,
               
Gil is a twenty years old [twenty-year-old] forest ranger in the city of Borderwoods, [Why would a city have forest rangers?] his work is to scout the city outskirts and stop the encroaching jungle from invading the city. [It was a rhetorical question, but since you've answered it, those don't sound like duties of a forest ranger.] [Admittedly everything I know about the duties of a forest ranger I learned from watching Yogi Bear cartoons, so there may be duties beyond preventing bears from stealing pic-a-nic baskets.] Most of his earned money is spent on medicine and treatment of his mother, because she, like almost half of the population has a fatal and incurable disease called miasma that is slowly decimating the realm.
           
One day during the training melee in the barracks, [I've never heard of a training melee, but if there is such a thing it wouldn't be staged in the barracks. And it would be conducted by riot police, not forest rangers, who I assume rarely deal with melees.] a noble's son, wanting to show his swordsmanship to his friends, proposes a training duel with Gil, that accepts it. [challenges Gil to a training duel.] [Why would the son of a noble and his friends be in the forest rangers' barracks in the first place?] The noble's spoiled son is easily beaten, and feeling humiliated, attempts to defend his pride by attacking Gil with an [a] true[-]edged sword. Again Gill [Gil] severely beats him this time sending him to the doctors.
            
The next day Gill [Gil] is Judged by a Court Martial and accused of violence against a nobleman, but is found innocent because of the sheer number of eyewitness [eyewitnesses] during the duel. Gil thinks that he is safe but the noble whose son he beat uses his connections and power to isolate him from his friends and mom and soon after, Gil almost dies in a fatal "accident". Facing a powerful enemy, Gil makes arrangements for the future treatment of his mother and decides to abandon Borderwoods. [Our hero.]
             
But as he is leaving the city he encounters a [an] expedition that claims to know where [seeking] the cure to the miasma, the legendary Panacea, can be found. Hoping to find the cure for his mother's disease and prove his worth to the people of the city, Gil joins the expedition in a difficult and dangerous Journey through and beyond the jungle where he will have to learn to believe in himself and his decisions, or let others decide his future and [that] of his family. [I suspect he will make the obvious choice: to let others decide his and his family's future.]
            
PANACEA is an underway fantasy novel more or less 55,000 words long
             
Thank you for your attention.


Notes

The large number of typos, punctuation errors, and incorrectly used words (many of which I didn't bother pointing out) would mean certain rejection, as the same density of errors would be expected in the manuscript.

Also, this is all setup. Condense this into one paragraph and you'll have room to tell us what happens after Gil slinks off in search of the Panacea.

Basically, here's what you've told us: A forest ranger is challenged to a duel by some idiot, wins the duel, and then decides to leave town with his tail between his legs because all of his so-called friends desert him. And the only way to regain his standing in the city is to cure cancer. We want to know what he plans to do, what's stopping him from doing it, what will happen if he fails, and why we should root for him instead of wondering why we're reading about this wuss.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Face-Lift 1208


Guess the Plot

Not Fully Human

1. Okay, okay, not at all human. It's a dog. But those cute expressions and the thoughts I feel certain he's thinking have convinced me he's just like you or me. Like the way he stares at me when I'm eating, as if he's looking into my very soul. He's always there for me when I need a friend, unlike my cheating bastard husband. I mean, which one is really the animal?

2. Sixteen year old Hunter has never truly belonged in her Colorado High School. So when fae prince Jukuluyuh appears to tell her she's really, half-fae, she gets as bored of this goddamned plot as everyone else and shoots his pansy ass.

3. Genetically altered with Neanderthal DNA and kept in a holding center with other human/Neanderthals, Mea escapes and vows to help all Neanderthalia have equality with the humans who buy and sell them.

4. Sharee longs to shed her gills and tail to be able to walk on dry land like a regular girl, but then wouldn't life be dull if she could no longer lure ships onto rocks and watch sailors drown. What to do?

5. Ethiel, a half human, half demon hybrid has stayed too long in the human world and is losing her powers. She planned to return to the netherworld months ago to rest and recharge, but she did the dumbest thing a hybrid could ever do. She fell in love. Now with that foolishness over, she heads home, but when she reaches the gates, all the guards see is a human. She consults the inter-world hag, who tells her love is changing her DNA and if she doesn't gain access to the netherworld soon she will--horrors!--become completely human.

6. It's another day in the life of a cyborg everyone thinks is human. Watch him bathe out of boredom, try to eat, admire human women, sort of smoke a cigarette, and parkour with ease around DUMBO. Until he meets Jeanette. What's love? Do they feel it?



Original Version

Genetically altered with Neanderthal DNA to correct multiple life threatening defects, Mea Gifford is faster, stronger, and has heightened sensory perceptions. [NFW.]

Two years ago, a plague linked to genetic engineering led to violent unrest. To quell the violence, all NFH were made wards in Holding Centers. [As you have yet to mention anything with the initials NFH, I'm forced to visit AcronymFinder.com, where the most likely candidate is Neighbors from Hell. Although, based on the first paragraph, I'm inclined to go with Neanderthal-Female Hybrid.]

Mea and Carrie Mathews, her friend and fellow NFH look after each other at the Ardmore Holding Center  [AHC]. So when Carrie discovers management’s plan to sell Mea on the black market, they escape to Paradise Valley, Texas.

Expecting a short stay, Mea is unprepared to find friends, a budding romance, [But should she tell her new crush that she's a Neanderthal? Or should she risk that he'll find out from someone else? If this is her dilemma, I can suggest a better title: I married a Neanderthal.] and a job she loves [as a wooly mammoth rancher].

Everything is perfect, except Paradise has a missing teen problem, and that is a problem she can’t ignore. [Is Mea a teen?]

Brashly pursuing leads, Mea triggers a deadly game of cat and mouse which results in her capture and torture [Apparently she was the mouse.] when she interrupts the plans of her creator, Dr. Sean Adams and the Assistant Director of the Ardmore Holding Center, Dr. Dianne Meyers to experiment on and sell NFH. [Is there a big market for pet Neanderthals?] [The one place they escape to just happens to be the place from which the mad scientists are kidnapping Neanderthals to sell to . . . those who want Neanderthals?]

Pushed to her limits and with her abilities suppressed, Mea fights not only to free herself and the teens, but to stop Dr. Adams from covering his tracks by killing everyone in Paradise. [All of which would be easier for Mea if they hadn't captured her and suppressed her abilities. Is she imprisoned? How can she fight to do anything?]

NOT FULLY HUMAN, a Young Adult novel set in an alternate universe in a timeframe slightly ahead of our own. The novel is complete at 78,000 words.


Notes

It sounds like Mea could have found a better place to escape to than Paradise, which seems to be where Adams hangs out. Is he there because Paradise is where all the escaped NFHs go? If so, they need a witness protection-type system that sends each escapee to a different remote place, not a valley they can congregate in. Apparently, the speed, strength and sensory perception that Neanderthal DNA gives NFHs also gives them Neanderthal intelligence.

DNA experimentation goes on in our universe and in our time. What is it about this book that requires an alternate universe/time setting?

We need Mea's age and why she chose Paradise to escape to. Also, who buys NFHs on the black market, and why do they want them? As slaves to do the housework? As soldiers to help take over the world?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Evil Editor Classics


Cartoons for Super-Intellectuals






Saturday, July 12, 2014

Evil Editor Classics


COPS!






video

Friday, July 11, 2014

Evil Editor Classics


SexToons II






Thursday, July 10, 2014

Evil Editor Classics

SexToons I






Click strip to enlarge