Friday, April 10, 2009
Guess the Plot
Strands of Silver
1. #1-8: the time Timmy ate two boxes of Cheeze-Its for dinner.
#9-71: the time Timmy cried for five hours when the power crashed his computer.
#72-298: the time Timmy claimed the living room to translate The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy into Klingon.
2. Jewel thief Moira Silverhair has planned one final heist, but she's had nothing but bad luck all her life, so why should this go any differently? The good news is, they don't throw twelve-year-old girls in the slammer.
3. When Meredith Blunt, coiffeuse extraordinaire, comes up with the ultimate way to drive the gray away, what she doesn't know is that her latest client is Medusa in mortal guise. Will her hairdressing hubris be squashed by the gods?
4. Not much of a birthday present, Billy thinks, until he opens the shabby old book called Pirates and Castaways, and finds himself magically marooned, condemned to guard Silver Jake's treasure . . . until some other boy opens the book.
5. Christmastime, gentle snow falls, merry Santas, bludgeoned girls whose hair falls over their crushed skulls like strands of silver . . . it's just another day for Rudolph.
6. Her father's gone and told the king she can spin straw into gold . . . but the kingdom went off the gold standard years ago. Can Lia save her life and make the king happy with . . . Strands of Silver?
Dear Evil Editor:
Moira Silverhair never thought she would make a living hanging upside down breaking into a third story window to steal a few jewels, but a girl has to eat. [Wouldn't it be easier to break into a first-story kitchen and steal some food?] Despite her best efforts to lead a quiet life of larceny and con-games, [How can you say that someone trying to lead a life of larceny never thought she would make a living stealing jewels (as stated in sentence 1)?] old enemies seem to like nothing more than killing her friends, beating her black and blue and otherwise complicating her life. Strands of Silver, a fantasy complete at 95,000 words is available for your immediate review.
Berrin, god of luck, must have rolled ones when Moira was born. Mother and baby sister dead of black lung fever, father long missing after abandoning her, aunt and uncle murdered by their business partner, alone on the streets of a bustling port town--all before her Trirenia, the celebration of her thirteenth birthday. Every would-be friend and teacher soon enough betrays her or ends up dead. Is Moira a lodestone for bad luck or has the deck been stacked against her? [It sounds like Berrin must have rolled ones when Moira's mother, sister, aunt and uncle, and dead friends were born; they're the most unlucky ones.]
Seven years on the streets teach Moira survival skills and interesting ways to earn some silver, but Berrin seems to enjoy watching her lose every important stake. One final heist to insure there is money to survive the winter manages to entwine Moira in the intrigues of the Ducal court, the Bishop of the United Church, rich merchants and the shadowy Family. Wanting nothing more than to be left alone, she discovers many of the figures behind the Duchies [Duchy's?] current problems are people who harmed her before and her best hope for survival lies in seeking revenge by foiling their current plots.
Strands of Silver is a stand alone novel even though I have plotted out two potential sequels. I am also currently half way through writing an urban fantasy set in my native San Diego, where I currently practice law.
I'd be glad to send you my complete manuscript for your review. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
I'm guessing Moira's seven years on the streets came after she was twelve and she's now nineteen? Is this YA? If she's nineteen, we don't need much information about her childhood in the query.
After listing some of Moira's bad luck in paragraph 1, you go on to list more of her bad luck in paragraph 2. I'd rather you dumped the second paragraph and got to the plot. Tell us something about the duchy's current problems, the court intrigues, her enemies' current plots, etc., so we know what's at stake. What's the connection between her heist and the church/court/Family?
Is Berrin a character in the book? If not, we don't need her in the query. (I say "her" rather than "him" because Googling "Berrin" and clicking on "images" brings up lots of photos of women, indicating it's a woman's name. On the other hand you might have said "goddess" if it's a woman. Not that it matters.)