Monday, February 04, 2008
Guess the Plot
Gift of the Phoenix
1. Another tie -- and it's not even his color. Mike Cranston's ingratitude, and rash decision to regift, unleashes the fiery wrath of a mythological creature with frightening powers.
2. Three men--a warrior, a wizard and a peasant--are thrown together on a mission that could save the world. They must work together to protect the magical Phoenix from the cunning one out to steal its immortality: the evil and fearsome mastermind known as . . . the Cunning One.
3. Jeff's mom celebrates his 10th birthday by throwing a costume party with her rowdy friends and relatives. It is a riot: broken furniture, live garage band, drunken parade, and spontaneous combustion of an old Volvo. Next morning as Jeff eats Cheerios on the back porch, a magnificent bird emerges from the blackened car. Adventure ensues.
4. Samantha always wanted to own an exotic bird. When a mysterious admirer sends a live phoenix to Sam’s office, she’s torn between delight and concern. She sends a text message immediately to the number on the card. But when the bird spontaneously bursts into flame and a holographic image of the pizza delivery kid appears, she immediately clicks the unsend button on her cell phone. After that she spends a year in therapy . . . and that’s what this book is really about.
5. As the strange giant egg Mink Xappa found under the mango tree incubates in a basket of feathers, Wizard Suavo Parker fears his broom might not make it across the entire ocean. He's using the ancient map, but will he actually reach the fabled island where phoenixes breed? Or will he soon be fish food? Plus, pirates!
6. Temporarily broke and without transportation, Fred accepts the gift of a 1976 Ford Phoenix. Over the following weeks a pattern emerges: the car runs beautifully in the morning but it breaks down every night, successively stranding Fred at the homes of customers, relatives, and his high school sweetheart. Hilarity ensues, until Fred wonders why he ever accepted the . . . Gift of the Phoenix.
Dear Mr. Agent:
In a place where magic is rare and often lies hidden in the deep recesses of the earth, a great power will threaten the world - and few will know of it.
Three strangers are thrust together by a common enemy - the Cunning One - who seeks to steal the immortality and magic of the Phoenix. [Heroes would laugh at a villain called the Cunning One:
Cunning One: Step aside or die, subcreatures.
Heroes: Who the hell are you?
Cunning One: I am known as . . . the Cunning One!
Heroes (rolling on floor): Ha! Ha ha! Hahahahahha!
So would readers. Call her the Archimage.] But uniting will not be easy for these men. Nicolai, a peasant with a powerful secret, seeks only to protect the woman he loves from danger. [Is she in danger from the Cunning One? If so, why? If not, why is Nicky even involved?] Marcellus, warrior prince, rebels against magic and insists only military strength will defeat their enemy. [Wrong. Cunning almost always trumps military might. Rankings of conflict tactics, from least effective to most:
10. Donning colorful uniforms, assembling in a phalanx, and marching directly toward the enemy.
9. Handing over the Sudetenland in return for a promise of peace.
8. Getting involved in a land war in Asia.
7. Recruiting ruthless criminals to fight for you.
5. Overwhelming military strength.
3. Blowing up enemy's planet with Death Star.
2. Recruiting army of unkillable ghosts and offering them closure.
1. Attacking the enemy's solitary, trivial, inaccessible weak spot.]
Corren, the true heir, is a powerful wizard whose ambitions threaten to ruin them all.
Their quest leads them deep into hidden worlds of magic [Are you sure this is "a place where magic is rare"? We've already encountered the magic of the Phoenix, a powerful wizard, and now hidden worlds of magic.] as they seek to find out what they must do to protect the Phoenix. Once they learn the Cunning One is Corren's powerful sage Aradia, [Presumably Aradia doesn't want it known that she's the villain, so she uses the alias, the Cunning One. Yet the heroes learn she's Aradia almost immediately. Maybe she should have worn a disguise, too.] they fear they are destined to fight a battle they cannot win. But fight they will. They learn the key lies in protecting the Gateway leading to the Phoenix and draw on every magical and military resource to defend it. Meanwhile, Corren understands the thirst for power that drives Aradia, [(the Cunning One)] and fears the same corruptive desires lurk in his own heart.
Struggling to overcome Aradia's betrayal and the strife that still exists between them, they suffer an astouding failure. Aradia shatters through the Gateway [That was easy. What, exactly, did "every magical and military resource" consist of?] and the Three hastily pursue her into the hidden Realm of the Phoenix. There they must unite, or be destroyed. [They weren't united when they were defending the Gateway? What were they doing, arguing about whether to kill the Cunning One with a sword, a pitchfork or a magic wand? ]
GIFT OF THE PHOENIX is a multiple-viewpoint epic fantasy, which takes us deep into the heart of a wondrous world and the three men destined to defend it. I wrote this novel as a stand-alone, but left plenty of room for a sequel which is already loosely planned. [I don't think "already" goes well with "loosely planned." It's not like it normally takes years to loosely plan something. In fact, in the time it took me to type that last sentence I loosely planned a novel about undersea creatures taking over Jamaica. Yes, already.] I have a Bachelor's Degree in Writing from X College, where I also served as Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning literary magazine, X.
I would love to send you part or all of the completed manuscript. Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.
It would be easier to protect the Phoenix if the warrior prince called on his army of soldiers and the wizard called on his army of lions and wolves. Instead, they have a peasant. What can one peasant do when faced with . . . the Cunning One?
Isn't the Phoenix's magic powerful enough to protect itself? If not, why does the Cunning One want it? Doesn't the Cunning One have powerful magic of her own? She must, or the wizard wouldn't have thought his team was destined to fight a battle they couldn't win.