Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Guess the Plot
1. The magic box left by the dwarf in gratitude for a night of revelry plays the same annoying tune whenever you open it. Little does Donald know, that tune is the key to Wizard Langebert's cupboard, which must be opened before snow falls, or Princess Lovely will perish.
2. When violence breaks out on the streets, Sarah seeks refuge in a music store--and in the arms of its hunky owner, Jack. When Jack claims to be the son of Apollo, the Greek god of music, will Sarah swoon? Or has she heard that song before?
3. Pixies move into the space under the porch of a family of Kentucky hillbillies and enchant the surly son so he starts singing all the time. He hates it until his uncle gives him a guitar, and soon everyone calls him The Bard. For the first time he thinks he might have a future outside prison.
4. Nothing much happens. Gus Nickelby can't figure the meaning of life or get laid, and the damn radio won't turn off.
5. A rare form of synaesthesia is sweeping the country, causing teenagers to hear colors as music. Is it a blessing? A curse? Or a nefarious plot for world domination by a disgruntled high school band teacher?
6. Some people hear voices — but newly elected President, Floyd D.P. Ratzenkugel, hears the Bee Gees. Night and day. Day and night. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. When terrorists nuke Arizona, pray to God the military don't call during "Jive Talkin'".
Dear Evil Editor:
What if you were fated to fall in love with a Greek god? [Are we talking Aphrodite or Hephaestus?]
What if he was fated to lose everyone who fell for him? [Next week's writing exercise, for those who want to get a head start: Using a randomly chosen fake plot from this blog, write an entire query letter in which every sentence is a question.]
Sarah Parrish isn’t one for fantasies—the result of an overbearing mother and a sheltered upbringing. But when she’s the only one who can see a swordsman slaying people on the streets of Baltimore, Sarah wonders if she’s fallen into one. [One what? Oh, fantasy. That was 35 words ago, and not even in this sentence. Rearranging: Sarah Parrish isn’t one for fantasies—the result of an overbearing mother and a sheltered upbringing—but she wonders if she’s fallen into one when she sees . . . ] [Actually, you might want to dump the overbearing mother and sheltered upbringing. Let's get to the good stuff.] Fearing for her life and her sanity, she seeks refuge in a local music store—and finds it in the owner’s arms. [A business owner embracing a stranger who just entered his store is about as likely as sword fighting on Baltimore's streets.]
Jack is everything Sarah’s mother ever warned her about—and everything she didn’t. [That's true of everybody in the world.] He has a frightening past, a razor-sharp tongue, and enough rage to make Sarah wonder if her mother’s been right all along: men are not to be trusted. [Anyone who works in retail is going to have fits of rage, but what does that have to do with whether men can be trusted?] [Also, if you just met a guy and already you've witnessed him exploding with rage a few times, what are you hanging around for?] But Jack isn’t an ordinary man at all. He’s a god of music, with enough talent to send Sarah into the kind of fantasies only Apollo himself could inspire—or… Apollo’s son.
Jack abandoned his birthright years ago, when the gods sent a swordsman to kill his human wife. He’s lived in bitter exile among humans ever since, hiding from his fate, waiting for the opportunity to take revenge. [Revenge on all the gods?] Seeking refuge in him might be the biggest mistake of Sarah’s life. [She still needs refuge?] When the swordsman strikes closer to home, [He killed Jack's wife; how much closer to home can you get?] and her mother and best friend disappear, Sarah starts to think the gods are conspiring against them all. [Maybe the Greek gods wouldn't have lost their clout if they weren't still using swords to settle their differences.]
ALWAYS MUSIC is an urban fantasy, complete at 120,000 words. The first few pages have been pasted below. I would be delighted to send you a partial or full manuscript at your request.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
I assume Apollo didn't name his son Jack, so my question is, why didn't Jack choose a more god-like name? For instance, Springsteen.
I don't see how the opportunity for revenge is going to pop up while Jack is working in a music store. And what kind of revenge can a god of music take on gods of more macho stuff, like war and Greco-Roman wrestling?
You're the kind of person who "isn't one for fantasies." The guy you're attracted to claims to be a Greek god. And you buy it?
Is there a swordsman slaying people on the streets of Baltimore? Why can't anyone except Sarah see him? Can they see his victims?
What is the birthright Jack abandoned? His homeland? His powers? Does he know he's fated to lose everyone who falls for him? Does that mean through death?
Can you clear up a few of these issues or prevent them from coming up?