Monday, September 07, 2009
Guess the Plot
Those Who Favour Fire
1. When dancer Bob Jeffreys meets Babs, he falls madly in love. Literally. So when she decides the musician next door is actually much more suave and debonair, Bob starts burning things, expressing his anguish through performance art. That's how he meets his firebug girlfriend, Persephone. Hilarity ensues.
2. Primitive humans are divided into those who favour fire, and those scared of this powerful, glow-in-the-dark discovery. As Gurk convinces newcomer Brika that fire means warmth, defense, and less vomiting after meals of raw meat, Rrrrts, the jealous head of the rival clan polishes his club...
3. Violet the werewolf is having a bad day. Her brother has taken her best friend hostage, her sister's dead, ghosts are planning to slaughter her pack, and worst of all . . . hell, I don't even wanna talk about the fire.
4. Superhero Iceman single-handedly saves the world from global warming, but in so doing begins a new ice age. Can Pyro undo his mistake without turning the earth into a crispy wasteland?
5. Three charred bodies turn up at the city morgue with stakes through their hearts. But, if the bodies really were vampires spontaneously combusting, there should only be ash remaining. Homicide detective Zack Martinez is on the case . . . as soon as he returns from his second honeymoon in Transylvania.
6. When Urg and Moggo try toasting their wildebeest over flames, the rest of the clan flee in terror, only to be promptly eaten by leopards. And so it goes, time and again: Urg and Moggo survive uncannily while their fire-fearing relatives perish. What can it mean? Erk wonders. Plus, a glacier.
The only thing worse than finding a body outside the front door are the people who left it there. [The subject of the sentence is "thing." Singular. The verb is "are." Plural. Not a good way to get things started.] [You're contrasting an action (finding a body) with a thing (people). It's like saying The only thing worse than mowing the lawn is Brussels sprouts. Better to say The only thing worse than mowing the lawn is eating Brussels sprouts. Now you have symmetry, congruity, harmony, Peace on Earth.] [Also, I can think of many other things that are worse than finding a dead body outside the front door. Being a dead body outside the front door, for starters. Or a paper cut.] The warning is clear: the revenants have found Violet’s Pack again. They have to run or be slaughtered. Unlike a decade ago, there will be no survivors. [If the revenants want to slaughter Violet's Pack, leaving no survivors, why provide a warning? Why not swoop in and slaughter them before they have a chance to run?]
Violet’s budding friendship with Ava, the dead man’s sister, is already complicated by Ava’s crush on her. But lying about being a werewolf is nothing compared to lying about burying Ava’s brother in an unmarked grave. [Ah, I see we've learned our symmetry lesson. Lesson 2: when contrasting two actions, try to provide the reader with some idea, however infinitesimal, of what in God's name you're talking about.]
When her father gives himself over to the revenants to buy time, Violet’s ready to do anything to get him back. [Why don't the revenants slaughter him?] Her own bargain with the revenants ends with her sister's death and her brother Nick revealing his true allegiances. [Which are...?] Then Nick presents his own hostage: Ava. [And now, folks, I'd like to present . . . Ava! She's my hostage.] [Make it clear why Nick has a hostage.] Violet refuses to choose between the human who now knows the truth about her and the family she’s sworn to protect. She’s determined to save both--even if it means turning against those closest to her. [Who are those closest to her?]
THOSE WHO FAVOUR FIRE is a 60,000-word young adult urban fantasy. Thank you for your time and consideration.
If this is YA we need to know Violet's age.
How can Violet bargain with those who would slaughter her Pack, leaving no survivors? Can she trust the revenants to keep their side of the bargain?
In paragraph 1 it says They have to run or be slaughtered. Do they run? If not, do they get slaughtered?
But lying about being a werewolf is nothing compared to lying about burying Ava’s brother in an unmarked grave. Can you interpret this for us? Ava's brother is the dead guy who was left outside Violet's door. Who lied about burying him in an unmarked grave? Why is this worse than lying about being a werewolf?
This may be clear to you, but it's not clear to us. Pretty much none of it is clear. Start over. Just tell us what happens. Who does what, and why? Why are the revenants out to slaughter the Pack?
Is it even remotely reasonable that a werewolf named Violet would not change her name to Vilayna?