Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Guess the Plot
The Seven Gates
1. Antique book dealer Jack Crusoe rescues a woman's shoe from the mud and she invites him up to her hilltop castle to see THE SEVEN GATES, a book she found in a niche in the dungeon. Is the book a previously unknown masterpiece? A supernatural message? Or just a ruse to lure Jack into her dangerous lair?
2. Gate seven gives you power over magic. Gate six gives you power over time. Gate five gives you power over women. And so on. Can Bram Lockheart, a chartered accountant from Sussex, beat the odds?
3. Each of the seven gates in the valley opens into a different world, a world whose inhabitants have wondrous powers. Sechra may sample a world once and stay or return. Will she find a world she wants to live in forever, or will she come to realize, There's no place like home?
4. There are six gates into the world's largest beauty/nail/tanning salon and one into Hell. Can game show contestant Mark Potash avoid choosing the wrong gate? Or is this game rigged? Also, an elderly aunt with a sentient mollusk living in her brain.
5. Outside the city of Kashka-Du are seven gates. Only one leads to the city; the rest go to mazes guarded by hellbeasts. Crysalla and her friends must reach the Temple and seize the throne. Can they negotiate the gates . . . and live?
6. When Ginral returns from berry picking to discover her entire village has been wiped out, the shy 12-yr.-old girl is faced with a difficult choice -- stay in the village or seek the aid of a powerful being who can only be reached by passing through The Seven Gates -- a dangerous pilgrimage from which few have returned.
Sechra isn’t responsible for saving the world; she just has to choose her world and her place in it. That is difficult and dangerous enough.
Sechra helps with her aunt Rena’s farm work with all her strength and about half her mind. She hopes desperately to be accepted by her aunt’s family and by her neighbors, the farmers and tradesmen of Dunlin village, in spite having inherited her absent father’s foreign looks and her dead mother’s discontent. And she dreams of a different world, a place of quests and perils and enchantments where she will be wise and strong and brave and fully at home. When the enchanted valley first opens to her, she thinks her dreams have come true.
Seven gates open from the valley into other worlds. Their inhabitants have powers such as Sechra has only dreamed of, and are willing to teach them to Sechra...with very mixed motives. Sechra’s dreams never warned her that in the enchanted lands she would have no courage or skill beyond what she has learned in Dunlin. [If the inhabitants are willing to teach their powers to Sechra, how can you say she would have no skill beyond what she had in Dunlin? She would have super swimming skills like Aquaman, or archery skills like Green Arrow.] Nor had they shown her that each [world's] gift comes at a terrible price. [For instance, in the world where she has X-Ray vision, all the boys are ugly under their clothes.]
Magister has gained endless life and mastery over his own will and the wills of others, but he has paid for it with his memories, his name, everything that made him human. [Give me mastery over the wills of others, especially the Olsen twins, and I'll happily give up my memories and name.] The Watcher has chosen the ability to see, hear and understand across great distances of space and time, and lost the power to intervene in any of the situations he sees. [It's just like watching TV. Hey, they should call me the Watcher.] The Weavers have learned to shape the fate of their world to their own intricate and lovely pattern, but they have lost the ability to see the individual lives and deaths that the pattern requires. [Whatever that means.]
Sechra can pass through each gate once and decide whether its world’s gift is worth the price. [Does someone tell her what the gifts and prices are, or does she have to figure all that out?] If she refuses the gift and manages to return safely to her own world, [Do they try to stop her?] the gate to the world she left will close behind her forever.
As Sechra passes and returns her eyes are opened and her own world grows richer and more painful. She has to face the tangled love, grief and resentment that bind her to Rena; her mother’s legacy of discontent; and, finally, the shadows in her own soul.
The Seven Gates, complete at 50,000 words, follows Sechra’s struggles and learnings in Dunlin and the worlds beyond the gates as she chooses the gift that is truly hers and the price she is willing to pay.
Thank you for taking time to read and consider this query.
Shorter would be better. For the query, not the book. Drop the second sentence of the first long paragraph, and just say She dreams of a different . . . Then drop the paragraph in which you give specific examples of how gifts backfire. The first and third ones are vague and the second one doesn't matter, since I assume the Watcher couldn't intervene in situations across space and time to begin with.
We need to know Sechra's age and the age range of those you expect to read the book.
How many of the gates does she go through? If it's all seven, 50,000 words seems pretty short. Assuming a few thousand words spent on Dunlin, that means you devote maybe 5000 words to each new world. Which means she walks through the gate, and it goes,
Stranger: Stay with us and you will have super strength and the ability to fly and heat vision.
Stranger: Don't you wanna hear about the Kryptonite?
and she's off to Gate #2. Does she have adventures in each world? Are there dangers involved in returning? I'd want to know about that.