Monday, March 16, 2009
Guess the Plot
Not a Fairy Princess
1. Alfland's hottest pickup bar is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you're going to get. But when the ogre Smanthas takes home a flirtatious--if somewhat... hairy--Fairy Winkle for the night, he discovers that her ball-gown hides a few things he wasn't expecting.
2. After growing up a princess in a magical kingdom, Heather learns from her royal parents that they kidnapped her from an American family long ago--and they're sending her back! How's an average teenager supposed to survive the suburbs now that she's . . . Not a Fairy Princess?
3. Svetlana the Immigrant Tooth Fairy is unhappy with her lot in life. The wages are inadequate, the hours exploitative, and the American Dream is a lie perpetuated by Fat Fairy Capitalists. Descended from Bolshevik peasant fairies, Svetlana determines to foment communist revolution under the bedbug-infested pillows of Harlem.
4. Bruno is a street thug. He cracks skulls for a living, and has taken more than one bullet for the home team. And when the Godfather comes up missing, the Capos know who to call to save him. And believe me, it's . . . Not a Fairy Princess.
5. As little girls are encouraged to dream of becoming astronauts, doctors, and bus drivers, the number of qualified fairy princesses grows smaller each year--until Charlemagne Smythe takes charge and starts outsourcing to mermaids and witches.
6. Tatiana's older sisters have all come into their own, so to speak. They are all exceedingly beautiful, amazingly graceful, and exceptionally magical. Tatiana, on the other hand, can't even turn a teacup into a turtle. And she's starting to worry she's not part of her family. What's a girl to do if it turns out she's . . . Not a Fairy Princess?
Dear Ideal Agent,
When you've grown up in a magic kingdom, the real world is a scary place to come home to. Not a Fairy Princess is a 70,000 word YA fantasy that turns the fantasy conventions of destiny upside down and shakes change out of their pockets.
For twelve of her sixteen years, Princess Tasria's life has been governed by the Prophecy that she would destroy the Dark Queen, ruthless enemy of Evermorna. Now the Dark Queen is dead [Already? She was your most compelling character.] --at the hands of a common soldier--and Tasria's royal parents break the news that the Prophecy was a lie. [Destroy the Dark Queen? No, no, we said you would work at Dairy Queen, ruthless enemy of obese Evermornians.] She is no Chosen One, [I think we should stop capitalizing "Prophecy" and "Chosen One" once it's announced that it was all a sham.] not their daughter, and they are returning her to her real home: the quiet North American suburb they stole her from.
Reunited with her birth mother, who calls her Heather and is worried by her 'wild stories', Tasria tries to learn the ways of her strange home, where machinery takes the place of magic and of servants, and high school hierarchy calls on all the skills she acquired from court intrigues. [For instance she hires a classmate to be her servant, then orders her to put hemlock in the clique leader's Pepsi.] With painful mis-steps, she learns to live for herself and not for a kingdom's destiny. Her mother contacts Heather's estranged father, hoping to rebuild their broken family. Then, on the eve of their reunion, her father disappears, just as little Heather did thirteen years ago. Her mother believes he has deserted them, but Tasria knows the truth. Evermorna is not finished with her. And this time she doesn't need a Prophecy to tell her what needs to be done. [Personally, I'd assume Evermorna was through with me and that Mom was right. What's the clue that reveals the truth to Tasria?] [How about a hint about what needs to be done? Has she realized that Evermorna is the bad guys and the Dark Queen was good?]
Attached are (pages) of Not a Fairy Princess. I have attended (workshop) and my (short story) received an honourable mention in (year's best).
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Not bad. Whether certain questions are bothersome enough to need answers I'm not sure. Namely, If they're not done with Tasria, 1. Why'd they send her back, and 2. Why have they now taken her father instead of re-kidnapping her?
Who are the villains? If it's the Evermorna royals, what bad things have they done besides kidnapping Tasria, and why did they kidnap her in the first place?
If your plot description shows that you've turned the fantasy conventions of destiny upside down and shaken change out of their pockets, there's no need to declare it just in case the reader is too dense to get it. Leave that for the back cover.
Is her father "her estranged father" because he left while she was still living there? Or just because they were separated by the kidnapping?