Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Guess the Plot
93 Degrees North
1. Gary Stale dreamt of traveling to the arctic and standing at the very top of the earth. After his retirement, his dream turns into reality and he makes a chilling discovery--A hovering spaceship that is the source of the northern lights.
2. On earth, there exists a portal that crosses into another dimension--A portal that rests at 93 degrees north. When an exploration team crosses over and gets lost, can they survive "Dark Earth" long enough to make it home?
3. What does 93 Degrees North mean? Absolutely nothing. But when a minion is tasked with making a humorous plot to go along with this bland title will he give up and walk away or persevere and submit a weak entry?
4. On a research vessel in the North Atlantic, Stu Nash discovers a magnetic anomaly: the ship's GPS reads "93 degrees north." Have they sailed into a realm of supernatural dangers - sirens, krakens, monsters and an inhuman otherworldly creature that feeds on human death? Or is the damn GPS malfunctioning as usual?
5. First thing Wizard Ferkle does is ruin the compass and get lost. Second thing is drive through a time warp and blow the tires. Third, the map goes up in smoke. Now it's up to Tommy to save them by battling a horde of angry Druids and an evil princess and finding the way home to Glasgow.
6. Robert Fredrick Albert Cook has a beef with history. Admiral Peary discredited his ancestor's journey to the North Pole, and Bob wants to set the record straight. Unfortunately, he's lost, his GPS is giving him an impossible latitude, and he's just spotted what looks like a massive toy factory made of candy canes.
I am seeking representation for my horror novel "93 Degrees North" (101,000 words).
Stu Nash isn't even supposed to be aboard the research ship Waylander; his friend Tony Morland was supposed to run their experimental equipment, while Stu monitored the results from their Edinburgh base station. But, when Tony breaks his leg, Stu has to take his place [because the electricity that powers the experimental equipment is produced by pedaling a stationary bike really fast] - and so it's Stu who discovers a weird magnetic anomaly, a strange waveform somewhere in the North Atlantic.
Depressed by his accident, Tony strikes up an acquaintance with Germanic historian Joanna Kretzschmar. [When you're in Edinburgh monitoring experimental scientific equipment, is it normal to have German historians hanging around the facility?] Joanna is with him when Stu's report comes through, and she sees the waveform - and recognizes it; she's seen it before, on a mediaeval Norse manuscript [, the sheet music to Eric the Red's megahit, "King Harald Wartooth Goes to Valhalla"].
It's a mystery that needs investigating, and Tony and Stu arrange for the ship to follow the line of the mysterious waveform, into the Arctic Circle. But things start to go wrong; there's a shadowy figure haunting Joanna, and as the ship follows the signal, its communication and navigation systems begin to break down. And then the crew of the ship start to see ghosts, too.
As Joanna struggles with her ghosts, she comes to understand what's happening; the waveform is a lure, put in place by a monstrous, inhuman creature; a white hunger that lives outside the real world. [She just "comes to understand" this? Was her train of thought something like this:
1. A research vessel has discovered a strange waveform.
2. That's the same waveform I once saw in a mediaeval Norse manuscript.]
3. It's a monstrous inhuman creature from another world! We're all gonna die!]
And, as the Waylander follows the lure, it's drawn out of the real world itself, into a realm of supernatural dangers - sirens, krakens, monsters of the deeps. The ship's crew are being picked off, one by one, while the white hunger feeds on their deaths.
Tony and Stu's equipment is the only link left between the Waylander and the real world - and Tony is obsessed, now, with finding what lies at the end of the waveform's path. Can Joanna break through his obsession and get him to turn the ship back towards safety - or will the white hunger feed on the lives of everyone aboard? [If I'm part of the crew that's getting picked off one by one, I'm not waiting around to see if Joanna can get through to Tony. The ship is turning back, and if Tony doesn't like it, he's going overboard.]
I'm a computer scientist and linguistician with an abiding interest in the mythology of the Norse sagas. Although I've been an avid reader and amateur writer for many years, this is my first attempt at finding professional representation.
Thank you for your time and consideration - I look forward to hearing from you.
Author's note; not part of query: (The ship's haywire GPS reads "93 degrees north" at one point, hence the title. But I'm sure you gathered that.)
Wasn't this an X-Files?
If your ship is no longer in the real world, can you really get to safety just by turning around?
Is it just a coincidence that the one person in the world who would recognize a waveform from a medieval Norse manuscript happens to be present when that waveform is transmitted to a scientific facility in Edinburgh?
Are waveforms so distinctive you never forget one? Even if they're all unique, it's like a cop seeing a fingerprint and remembering it from a case he had years ago. Or it would be, if Joanna was a physicist instead of a historian.
What do the crew think is responsible for the deaths? Is there talk of mutiny? I mean, from the Arctic Circle to 90 degrees north is 1650 miles, and research ships aren't speedboats. How long before someone says, "Hey, cap'n, turn the fuckin' boat around."?
The query reads okay, it's just a matter of deciding whether any of the questions it inspires need to be answered or avoided.