Monday, November 02, 2009
Guess the Plot
Shadows and Dust
1. All through his childhood, Simon Jones felt a stark, unreasoning dread at the thought of the locked door at the end of the corridor. Now, he stands before it, the key in his hand - but what will he find, when he goes through into the disused attic?
2. Granny's house had been boarded up for years--then Granny appears from the dusty house, 100% zombified. It's pretty hard to fight a zombie that feeds you cookies before eating your brains.
3. After teleporting into a distant empire and being captured as a slave, Kale dreams of leading the other slaves in revolt, and then returning to his own kingdom to destroy its rulers. Can one slave pull it off, or will his dreams be rendered . . . shadows and dust?
4. Jeanette McCray has had an effect on her family for the last fifty years, unnoticed until her distant cousin Iris shows up. The spirited girl soon notices that she's losing ambition, no longer wants to go to cosmetic college. Like all around Jeanette, Iris finds her dreams are turning to . . . shadows and dust.
5. Carefree surfer Melody is totally psyched to learn that she's inherited her grandma's old house - especially when Grandma leaves her a note saying the contents of the house are magical! Sweet! But then she's totally bummed when she gets there and the house is empty. Or is it?
6. Spring cleaning is Ernestina Wriggley's favorite event: attacking a year's accumulation of grime cleanses her soul as well as her house. This year, the dirt fights back with every slight, sin and broken inhibition Ernestina has shed over the past 50 years.
Since the age of ten, Kale has trained as a Guardian, one of the men and women who rule over the Seven Kingdoms while protecting the world from the demonic Valren. Though many of the other novices disdain him for his peasant birth, Prince Astlonn befriends him. Kale grows dissatisfied with their lessons, which center more on keeping the peasantry down than on the magic and swordplay he anticipated. [I think if you're gonna give your main character a vegetable name, you should carry the green theme through with all your people and places:
Since the age of ten, Kale has trained as a Guardian, one of the men and women who rule over Romaine while protecting the world from the demonic Arugula. Though many of the other novices disdain Kale for his peasant birth, Prince Radicchio befriends him.]
Near the end of his training, Kale finds writings by former High Guardians, hidden in a magically sealed room. He shares his shocking discovery with Astlonn--the Valren aren't real. The Guardians use the imaginary demons as a threat to cement their power. Before Kale can use his new knowledge, [Use it for what?] Astlonn betrays and attacks him. Kale casts a desperate spell that saves him, but it also teleports him into the distant Azal [Iceberg] Empire. There, without the sacred drink that powers magic, [Green Goddess salad dressing] he's taken [collard] as a slave.
His determination to destroy the Guardians does not falter, but he soon discovers that [slaves aren't granted leaves of absence for such missions, and that] the Azal Empire has its own problems. [For one thing, the cole slaw supply is dangerously low. Also,] The slaves' plight is worse than that of the Kingdoms' peasants; he cannot ignore their need. [Especially now that he's one of them.] As Kale sets in motion a plan to free the slaves, [The slaves have been slaves for decades and haven't come up with anything, but the new guy has a foolproof plan in an hour and a half?] he learns that more is at stake. Astlonn has become High Guardian, and his plans to [turn all the cabbage to sauerkraut and] unite the world under his rule start in Azal. [There's only one hope: Lettuce pray.] [Ba dum ching.]
SHADOWS AND DUST is complete at 88,000 words. Thank you for your time.
Kale teleports in from a distant land and becomes a slave, but gets updates on what Astlonn is up to? These slaves have a pretty good communication network. How much time passes while Kale is a slave?
It seems like if you have been trained in casting spells you could find one that thwarts an attacker without teleporting you to a distant empire. Or that once there you would use another spell to teleport out before your last sacred drink wears off and you get enslaved.
I was kidding about using all the veggies, but now that I think about it, it's a little more interesting that way.