Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Guess the Plot
1. It's 2079, and the English language has been taken over by a band of rogue suffixes. Armed only with a bootlegged copy of Strunk & White, 5th grade Language Arts teacher Henrietta Fowler must go back in time to the early 20th century and kill Warren G. Harding, the man who coined the word "normalcy" and started it all.
2. As Rasbaum's new illustrated dictionary unfurls, he invents new words, based on novel combinations of Latin and whimsy -- but his crush, Georgette the editor, is not amused.
3. First "Pastitude", then "Presentocity" ... now, at last, the amazeriffic conclusion to the "Silly Neologisms" trilogy!
4. This uniquing referencely book will teachicize and instructify all studentites in the artisticism of constructivizing originalized vocabularity from suffixions applicationed not quite correctfully.
5. Zavier Williams discovers that the hot new video game called Futurality is actually a mind-control weapon developed by the government to help an alien race take over the world. Can Zavier and his cab-driver girlfriend save humanity?
6. Sent to explore the 22nd century, experts in medicine, military strategy, and international finance find a world dominated by crocodiles, rodents, and giant beetles. The "trade" mission quickly becomes a desperate search to find out what went wrong -- before it's too late to change.
7. Frank River is the host of "Futurality", a game show where people try to predict fashion trends. But he has a secret identity: he's really Francisco Rivera, the Mexican wrestler known as "El Lobo". Will he be unmasked?
8. In 20 B.C., flying cars, moon colonies and time travel tours are all the rage. When Dylan Sten tries to fix his bad credit with investment funds in the past, he finds that even though the present can't be altered it can be pushed forward.
My novel, Futurality, is a YA science fiction novel of 82,104 words. The protagonist, Zavier Williams, is a sarcastic orphan who has survived for years by hacking and stealing enough to make rent on a tiny apartment in the Philadelphia Underground District. The District is a housing development for people too poor to buy air purifiers and live aboveground. [Hard to believe unpurified air underground is better than unpurified air above ground. Where does the underground air come from?] Despite his expertise in hacking, Zavier bites off more than he can chew when he steals the code for a new videogame called Futurality, and tries to sell the game on the black market – his buyer turns out to be an NSA agent with orders to arrest him. To get away he jumps from a building [A building on the surface? So his home is underground because the surface air is too dangerous to breathe, but he does his hacking aboveground?] and is unexpectedly rescued by Jayde, a beautiful black hovercab driver and former pilot.
The two of them escape, and soon learn that Futurality is no game; it is a government developed mind control weapon with mysterious extraterrestrial origins. Zavier and Jayde are forced to go on a planet-hopping adventure [Can anybody book a planet-hopping adventure?] to stop Futurality from being unleashed, and to prevent the invasion of an alien race called Seekers. [I don't see why preventing a video game from being unleashed on Earth requires an exploration of Uranus.] As the two unlikely heroes learn more about Futurality and its creators, Zavier discovers a latent link between himself and the code – a hidden psychic power that allow him to see and touch emotion. His mastery of this power, as well his resourcefulness, and love for Jayde will determine his unexpected destiny as the boy who holds the humanity’s fate in the palm of his hand.
The style and subject matter of Futurality make it marketable to young adults. The plot can be thought of as a combination of Star Wars and Snow Crash. [Other possible combinations would be High Noon and Ender's Game or Spartacus and The Da Vinci Code.] The protagonist’s age of eighteen, and his circumstance of being on his own will appeal to high schoolers, and be familiar to young adults. [His occupation of criminal hacker will appeal to the ever-growing identity thief demographic.] The emphasis on video games in the story will draw in young adult and middle grade videogamers, which is a large demographic. [Unless you're writing to someone who has no idea what she's doing, there's no need to explain to whom your YA science fiction book will appeal.]
I have had two articles published in The Sun, a newspaper of Moorestown, New Jersey. I am currently a junior at the University of the Arts. My major is Communication with concentrations in professional writing and screenwriting.
If you are interested, I have a complete manuscript and a six-page synopsis of Futurality you can receive by email or find in PDF form at my website, ___________ (this is a self promotion website, and is used in no way for self-publication).
Thank-you for your time and consideration,
Is it just a coincidence that the one person who has this latent link with the game's code is the one person who happened to steal the code?
I don't see the usefulness of seeing and touching emotions. I wouldn't want to think that the key to defeating an alien invasion is the ability to see emotions, and Zavier, who has never had this ability, suddenly develops it.
Maybe it's just me, but I would find it more intriguing if the brilliant kid managed to thwart an alien takeover with just his resourcefulness. When he starts planet hopping and turns out to be the chosen one with fantastical abilities, I start to lose interest. It's like when Superman defeats his enemies and I think, well, yeah, if I had super strangth and x-ray vision and heat vision and telescopic vision and super speed and invulnerability and could fly, I could defeat criminals too. In fact, considering how powerful Superman is, it's embarrassing how long it takes him to defeat most of his enemies. If I were Superman, my comic book adventures would be over on page 1.
I'd leave out the sentence about the air purifiers. In fact, I'd leave out the planet hopping and the emotion touching. We don't need to know Zavier has super powers and the means to go to other planets, just that Jayde and Zavier use their ingenuity to thwart the conspiracy.
What talents does Jayde have that are useful in saving humanity? Why does she help Zavier escape?
Nothing after the plot paragraphs is going to improve your chances of getting a request for the manuscript.