Friday, December 11, 2009
Guess the Plot
The Crystal Blade
1. For generations the warlike Karshai clan have pillaged and plundered their neighbors, armed with their dazzling crystal weapons. Until one day their rival clan invents steel . . .
2. By day she's Sally Jones, secretary of Ned Doorong, the CEO of Heinous Industries, a cartel selling heroin to fund the environment-destroying condo towers it builds for billionaires on artificial islands in the tropics. By night, she's Crystal Blade, the superhero who will bring this evil to an end -- if only she can get over her dyslexia and learn to trust Anton Wright, the dashing superspy from MI6.
3. When Tina fended off the annoyance of cousin Jerry by chucking Uncle Abner's crystal blade at him, it hit the wall and broke. Now she's cursed to sing everything she wants to say. Can she turn this curse into a blessing by launching a career in opera?
4. Zakthar has fought evil Lord Amgitt's army for years using the traditional weapons of the Arkfardel Guard; a natural bristle toothbrush, a pair of tongs and his mother's recipe for baked beans. Disillusioned with his lack of success, he seeks a manlier weapon. And scantily clad chicks.
5. During the 2008 presidential election campaign, a 14-year-old African American boy turns white, proving that he is either a savior or an evil sorcerer who was long ago banished by the Crystal Blade. Followers of both spill into Texas and war ensues.
6. Long has the elven smith Singlodion laboured in the forges of Belegthrond to bring forth the Crystal Blade of the longsword Thaumiriel. When it becomes the shortsword Thaumiriel, and then the dagger Thaumiriel, Singlodion returns to the forges of Belegthrond, to explore the possibility of maybe using something besides glass next time.
Dear Evil Editor:
When an African-American teen starts magically turning white, he's thrust into a war that will destroy our world unless he kills himself [in my alternate history novel, The Michael Jackson Story].
THE CRYSTAL BLADE is a hip-hop infused fantasy adventure inspired by Alice in Wonderland and Finnegans Wake. [Think "Jabberwocky," being rapped by 50 Cent.] Set in Texas during the 2008 presidential campaign, the 120,000-word novel centers on Howie Gryphon — savior of an enchanted world or a demon forced to be human.
Howie is 14 and fed up with hearing how he's "acting white" — then he starts turning white and gaining powers. [What kind of powers? Name the superhero whose powers most resemble Howie's.] The deeply religious teen believes a demon has awoken inside him. With his soul and his sanity at risk, he realizes he can only stop the creature by killing himself. But fighting brings greater peril. [Drop that sentence. Not clear who's fighting whom or what it brings greater peril than.]
Howie's power draws rival factions vying for The Crystal Blade. That weapon banished a wicked sorcerer; Howie's transformation means he is either that tyrant or a prophesied savior. As minions of those adversaries clash, Howie's ordeal leads their war to our world. [I'm tired of my minions never clashing with the minions of my adversaries. If you people wanna be my minions, I wanna see some clashing.]
THE CRYSTAL BLADE combines fantasy literature, fairy tales, and James Joyce's masterpiece in a unique story about diversity. Exploring themes as sweeping as the history of math and the nature of magic, the book examines the changing American Dream, from classism in the black community to Christianity's fundamentalist-progressive schism. [And I thought Finnegans Wake was impenetrable.]
Fun without being farce, smart without being preachy, it answers a key question of modern society: What is morality in a world of diverse ideals? [You're supposed to be telling us what happens in your book, not reviewing it.]
This is the first book in THE RISEN KINGDOM series. I am a former journalist and current substitute teacher focused on his first novel. Thank you for your time.
Finnegans Wake doesn't get read in numbers that would justify a publisher putting out something inspired by it. Thus I recommend claiming your book was inspired by another author who made up lots of words, but was more accessible: Dr. Suess.
I want more about whose war is being brought to our world. Are the minions of those who think Howie's a savior and those who think he's a sorcerer both from somewhere other than Earth? Do they look like people? Does their war involve fighting with weapons in Texas? Do McCain and Obama take different sides in the war?
Put less time into setting up the situation and telling us the themes, and more into the actual plot.