Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Guess the Plot
The Amnesia Door
1.Dr. Barnes' Psychology grad students call the door to his lab the Amnesia Door after his research into the disorder. But when students begin to die during experiments, panic sets in. Also, a blind Chinese exchange student.
2. Follow me through the amazing Amnesia Door and you'll remember noth-- What was I talking about? Who are you? Who am I?
3. There's something sinister going on behind door 212 at Willowbrook Convalescent Hospital. No one who goes in is ever the same. When Gracie goes in but never returns, her roommate Molly Parker knows what she has to do: rally the knitting club and their scooters to find the truth. Also, a pair of clever therapy Poodles.
4. Belle's new English teacher teaches more than English; she teaches witchcraft. But the door to Ms. Wendt's room erases the students' memories when they leave, so there's no danger . . . except from Belle's new science teacher, who has his own designs on Ms. Wendt's powers. Also, alchemy.
5. When George trades his newly-won washer-dryer for a chance at what's behind Door #3, he immediately forgets why he did it. He also forgets his name and address, his wife, his career as a physics professor, and how to put on his pants. Hilarity ensues.
6. Jane Doe wishes she knew where she lost her mind, but all she can remember is a door. A plain old door with hinges and a knob. Dr. Shelby treats this like every other case of middle-aged-reality-avoidance--skeptically--until he finds himself standing next to a plain old door, wondering where he was going and what his name is.
Dear Evil Editor,
Fifteen-year-old Belle is perfectly normal and perfectly bored with her normal life—until she meets her new English teacher. Ms. Wendt is a witch. Even stranger than the fact that Ms. Wendt supplements her lessons with magic
[Ms. Wendt: Today, students, to assist with our discussion of Othello, I've brought the author, William Shakespeare, to life. But before we open the floor to your questions, watch as I saw Mr. Shakespeare in half.
Shakespeare: WTF?! Hey lady, there's been a mistake. I think you want Francis Bacon.]
is the fact that her classroom is located behind a blue door that erases her students' memories of magic when they leave. As Belle and her friends Robert and Esperanza try to find ways to thwart the door and remember their magical teacher outside of class, [Surely they at least remember their teacher?
Who you got for English this year?
I . . . doesn't remember. Who you've gotten?
I ain't gots not idea.]
they discover that Ms. Wendt is a prisoner of her own classroom, trapped behind the blue door that ensures no one will remember her or help her escape. [Lucky for Ms. Wendt her classroom has a restaurant and a bathroom with a shower.] Belle's new science teacher hints that there may be a way save Ms. Wendt, [If they don't remember Ms. Wendt outside of the classroom, how can they discuss her with their science teacher?] but as Belle and her friends learn about alchemy, [Are they learning about alchemy in science class or in Ms. Wendt's class?] they begin to question whether their new teacher wants to save Ms. Wendt or use her magic for his own purposes. Either way, the first step for Belle to save her teacher is to remember her.
THE AMNESIA DOOR is a 64k word YA contemporary fantasy aimed at teens. [That sounded redundant, until I remembered that most YA nowadays is aimed at adults.] I think you might like it because (personalized info about an agent/editor here).
I am currently a working writer and a high school English teacher. I am a member of SCBWI and a SCBWI critique group. Thank you for your time and consideration.
I'm not sure how they figured out that the door was the key, but if they did, it seems obvious they should try the window. They could try writing themselves notes while in class, but I suppose if a kid found a note in his pocket saying Ms. Wendt is a witch, he wouldn't catch on.
I'm thinking this sounds more like middle grade. Older kids tend to forget everything that happens in the classroom even without a magical blue door.
This seems like a good story, but tricky. It seems there can be discussions of magic or Ms. Wendt only when the students are in English class. When they're in English class, are they aware that they weren't aware of Ms. Wendt's existence before they walked in? When they come into English Tuesday, do they remember Monday's magic, and if so, are they aware that they didn't remember Monday's magic until they walked in? Make sure that you follow all the rules you set up. Even middle grade kids will spot contradictions.