Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Guess the Plot
Castle of Fears
1. When Jack and Sandra built their sand castle, they didn't expect to be shrunk and locked inside it! Now, they await the high tide...
2. Stephen the Unsure doesn't know why anyone would build a castle made of ears. But, after searching for a fortnight, he begins to suspect he may have misunderstood His Highness’ instructions.
3. Ellie thought it would be good clean fun when she rented the bouncy castle for her daughter's Halloween party. When she discovers that all twelve children have died of fright, she wonders how she'll explain to their parents.
4. King Arthur orders his knights to write novels at the round table. Then, he forces them to exchange their works, and (horrors!) read them.
5. Horfrost is a neurotic squire doing his best to become a knight of the realm, but his wacky phobias keep getting in the way.
6. Fourteen-year-old Tony Quigley's nemesis Marcus is being held captive by an evil magician. Can Tony use his soccer skills to rescue Marcus from the magician's castle?
Dear Mr. Evil:
I’m seeking representation for my 70,000 word middle-grade fantasy, THE CASTLE OF FEARS. Fourteen year-old Tony Quigley can’t do magic. He can’t wield a sword or a spear, and the only animal he befriends is a slimy nuisance. [It's a talking slug with attitude.] [Coming soon as a Happy Meal prize.] When he becomes trapped in a magical world, escaping the jungle and eluding mythical creatures is the easy part. A battle is beginning, and Tony joins the forces fighting an evil magician, even though he knows that his skills -- playing soccer and starting fights with Marcus, his nemesis at school -- are useless.
But Tony learns that Marcus is being held captive by the magician, [Are all of Tony's friends trapped in this magical world, or just Marcus?] and none of Tony’s powerful friends have the time or the desire to rescue him. [If the "powerful friends" don't know Marcus is a jerk, why have they no desire to rescue him?] Despite his dislike of his classmate, Tony is unwilling to let Marcus suffer, so he fights his way into an enchanted castle to free him. [In short, freeing Marcus is Tony's GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!!!!!] But when Tony also becomes trapped, his courage, sense of self, and even his soccer skills are all that can save them. [Nothing strikes fear into the heart of an evil wizard like a kid who knows how to dribble.]
Similar in theme to the works of Madeleine L’Engle and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, this story shows that the greatest powers are not in kings, magic, and weapons, but in the ability of ordinary people to do the extraordinary. [Personally, I'll take the magic and weapons, but that's just me.]
The Castle of Fears is written as a stand-alone novel, but could also be the first book in a series. [For instance, in the second book Tony can take on an army of orcs using only his dodgeball skills.] I am a member of the SCBWI. Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.
Dear Mr. Evil:
Fourteen year-old Tony Quigley can’t do magic and can't wield a sword or a spear. But when Tony falls through a portal into a strange new world, he doesn't need magic and weapons; traversing the jungle and eluding its mythical creatures is the easy part.
A battle is brewing, and Tony joins the forces fighting an evil magician, even though he knows that his skills--playing soccer and starting fights with Marcus, his nemesis at school--are useless. When Tony learns that Marcus is being held captive by the magician, and none of Tony's new comrades has any interest in a rescue attempt, he's unwilling to let Marcus suffer. Not too much, anyway.
Despite his dislike of his classmate, Tony fights his way into an enchanted castle to free him. But Tony also becomes trapped. Now his courage, sense of self-- and maybe even his soccer skills--are all that can save them.
I’m seeking representation for my 70,000 word middle-grade fantasy, The Castle of Fears. The story teaches that the greatest power lies not with kings, magic, and weapons, but with the ability of ordinary people to do the extraordinary. The book is written as a stand-alone novel, but could also be the first book in a series. I am a member of the SCBWI. Thank you for your time.