Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Guess the Plot
The Song the Trees Sang
1. Just give us some waterrrrr and some yellow sunshine.
A breeze now and then and we’ll be just fine.
Hope that ol’ loggerrrrr don’t fire up his saw,
Don’t wanna be a kiosk, or a bench in a mawlllll.
2. Riding their Pony, Magic, in the forest, two girls suddenly find themselves in a new world, where animals talk and trees sing songs. Hmm, this is sounding a little . . . Maybe I better have my mommy tell you about my book.
3. Once upon a time it was: 'Why do birds suddenly appear, every time you draw near?' Now it's all battle hymns. Why are the trees on the warpath? Is it because its . . . Pruning time?
4. It was insidious. As annoying as an advertising jingle, it stuck in everyone's head until it seemed the entire land of Millipund would go mad. Only Raina, the blind and deaf daughter of the woodcutter, can save the others from . . . The Song the Trees Sang.
5. While bivouacking in the Redwood Forest, Sergeant Buck of the Marines hears a strange song from the trees. Is it an alien siren? Or just a homeless dude camping in the canopy of the redwoods?
6. Ellen's sister, Annie, is autistic. When a real-estate developer starts to clear the neighboring farm, Annie begins singing a weird, haunting tune. Is she singing . . . the songs of the trees?
The Song the Trees Sang
When ten-year-old Jaice and her older sister Joscelyn go for an ordinary ride on their pony, Magic, they are surprised to discover a river they don’t remember running through the forest near their home. Magic won’t turn back, though, and carries them across the river – to a new world where animals talk and trees sing songs with hidden messages. Almost as soon as they arrive, all three are captured by centaurs. [You call this an ordinary ride on their pony? What happens on their remarkable rides?]
Magic, they discover, has brought them here to retriever her filly. [What's Magic's filly doing in this new world? Was she horsenapped? How does Magic know this world exists, when the river wasn't even there last time they went for a ride?] But while Magic can go back and forth across the river, no-one else can – including her baby. And this country seems to be under a curse: Magic’s filly is the only female of any species born in many years. Magic’s half-brother, Adonai, and a lioness are fighting for control, [Lioness vs. Pony: part 7 of our twelve-part series, Nature's Greatest Combatants.] and both believe that Magic – since her baby was a female - must know the secret of breaking the curse. She doesn’t . [You'd think the centaurs would be the ones challenging the lioness, instead of a pony. Are the centaurs minions of the pony? If so, those are some wimpy pathetic centaurs.] [Centaurs are like horses, except they can shoot guns.] [I think it would be amazing if some year there was an unannounced centaur in the Kentucky Derby.] [I'd like to see a centaur-unicorn race. On the one hand, the centaur would want to win the race, but on the other hand, he might not want a unicorn coming up behind him.]
Jaice and Joscelyn are imprisoned on an island, [Is the island in the river?] and in the process of escaping, Jaice discovers that she can cross the river both ways. [You already said no one except Magic could could go back and forth across the river. I quote: "No-one."] She’s always resented being in the shadow of her smarter, prettier sister, but now that she has to leave Joscelyn behind and try to save both of them, she’s scared and not sure she’s up to the challenge. Jaice meets Grae, a boy who has previously appeared in her dreams along with a dapple-grey stallion. [Oh thank goodness, a boy has shown up. Now everything'll be all right.] Grae doesn’t know how or why he got here, and doesn’t much like girls, but they realize they need each other to survive and get home again.
After finding the stallion who joins them in helping Adonai defeat the lioness, and discovering the cause of the curse, Jaice has one more challenge: getting her sister, Grae, and Magic’s foal back to their own world. She learns that she has her own special magic and that if the others will trust her – as she is learning to trust herself – she can bring everyone safely home.
I’ve had three short stories published in children’s readers, but most of my writing has been for adults: hundreds of magazine articles and fourteen non-fiction books. [Yes, but we want to know whether this book is for children or adults.]
You're telling us too much of the plot. It feels more like an outline than a cohesive description of your story. Come up with a topic sentence for each paragraph and build on it with a logical progression of ideas, cause and effect, etc. This jumps from idea to idea to much.
Is the song the trees sing important? I wasn't crazy about the title, and the query hasn't convinced me to change my mind.