Monday, April 06, 2009
Guess the Plot
1. He missed 9 years of his son Timmy's life, so when Jack Wiggins gets out of prison he vows to go straight, taking a job working for Bud's Tree-N-Grass. But a deadly secret lurks below that turf!! Now Jack will need all his gangster skills to save Timmy from . . . Mole Man!!!
2. When she gets released, career shoplifter Sally Mayfield decides to put her skills to a new use -- retail security consultant. But can she resist the urge to pocket a few loose lipsticks?
3. A gang of talking rats that live in the sewers of old London befriend a young pickpocket and bring him baubles in exchange for stories about the wide world. When he gets hauled away to the orphanage the rats embark on a dangerous journey across town to rescue him.
4. Guy Stall should be facing the death penalty, but thanks to an incompetent prosecutor, his murder charges are dropped and he is released on probation. Now it’s up to Assistant DA Caroline Simmons to uncover new evidence that can reopen the case and ensure justice is served . . . before Guy strikes again.
5. Stacey's on probation for drunk driving and Takara's on probation for talking to a demon. Their worlds collide when Stacey reads a book about Takara in this anime series told backwards.
6. College has ups and downs. Last semester, she was the party queen. Now Chrissy-Ann must get an A in every class, or be expelled.
Can true goodness exist outside fantasy? Can it even exist there? [You're a day late if this is your all-questions query exercise.]
Stacey Chambers wishes her life could resemble the lives of the heroes in her favorite stories. Unfortunately the path to goodness always seems to elude her. When this introspective under-grad is shamed with legal troubles, she escapes in Probation: The First Saga of OniRue, [She escapes? Clarify.] a new anime series shown in reverse-chronological order. [The entire series is in reverse chronological order? So technically, this is the last Saga of OniRue.] [Is the first line of the book "The End"?] [What do you mean, "shown" in reverse order? Is this a book or a film?] [I think you should completely reverse the order of the sentences in the query.] [This is gonna annoy those people who always read the end of the book first, when they find out you've given away the beginning.]
In Probation, Takara is probated from her demon-hunting clan for showing gratitude towards Nanashi, a half demon who saves her life. [Could you define "probated"?] Niceties to demons [and half-demons, apparently] are punished by probation and exile, regardless of circumstance.
But no punishment can dissuade Takara from using her training to rescue the land of OniRue from the evil demon king. She travels to his castle with Nanashi and the monk Makoto, [Change their names to ShaNaNa and Tomato, and you have a winner.] both of whom fall in love with Takara and work to convince her that the other is unworthy of her love. [When your only suitors are a half-demon and a monk, it's time to consider lesbianism.] When Takara learns Makoto is right and that Nanashi has been working for the demon king all along, she knows the penalty for Nanashi’s deception must be death. [She knows this because it already happened back in chapter 1, thanks to everything being in reverse chronological order.]
Instead of being the real-world equivalent of a monk [which is . . . a monk,] or a demon huntress, Stacey is a convicted drunk driver, and on top of that, a liar. Her dad was killed by a drunk driver, and her mom would disown Stacey if she knew about the arrest, so Stacey hides it from her. She also keeps it from her boyfriend Mike, who expects perfection from her despite his own disregard for rules and laws.
When Stacey fails and both Mike and her mom find out about her arrest, she hides from their anger in new episodes of Probation. [Hey! What happened to Tomato and ShaNaNa?] [What do all these people have to do with the land of ObiWan?] But when she learns her cousin has been having an affair with Mike, she knows hiding is no longer an option and that comfort will only come after imposing the ultimate penalty. [Which is killing them all?]
Probation: The First Saga of OniRue is my first novel and is complete at 99,000 words. It’s half commercial fiction and half fantasy, with the chapters alternating between Stacey’s story and the reverse-flowing episodes of Probation. Though it stands alone it is the first in a planned series, the second of which is in development.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
So the only connection between Stacey and Takara is that Stacey read about Takara in a book? That's not good enough. This is two books.
I think you need to make it clear why the fantasy book is backwards. Backwards is confusing enough, but mixed in with a frontwards book . . . I enjoyed Memento, but it took some effort to follow it, and if after every scene they'd edited in a scene from The Dark Knight, my head would have exploded.
I was going to suggest focusing on one story line or the other, but I suppose it'll go badly if an agent is expecting a story of redemption and every other chapter is about demons and castles, told in reverse chronological order. Why not make it two books? They'd both be short, but as you're planning sequels, you should have enough material to expand each of them.
Terms like "in development," "new episodes," "shown" and "new anime series" make me think TV show. And since anime is Japanese animation, that's what most will think. But I don't get the impression this is illustrated or in screenplay format. Is this supposed to be made into an animated series? The part about Stacey doesn't strike me as anime. Not that I know anything about anime.
What do those questions at the beginning have to do with anything?