Friday, January 15, 2010
Guess the Plot
The Edge of Real
1. Assistant Medical Examiner Dr Selena Rodriguez had never seen anything like the body of the winged man in the morgue. Now her house has disappeared, her boss was murdered by a pizza delivery man, and a mysterious woman has ordered her to drive a Corvette to Las Vegas. What else will she find on . . . the Edge of Real?
2. When terrorists claim they've deployed a weapon capable of spreading the Ebola virus across America and beyond, everyone wonders if it's real. But when the army's response is to send three teenagers to deal with the situation, the whole world realizes we've fallen off . . . the Edge of Real.
3. Tired of being turned down when he gets brave enough to ask a girl out on a date, teen genius Corbin Bean decides to make his own perfect woman out of his engineer father’s spare parts in the garage.
4. Convinced that his 30th-story window ledge is the threshold to a fantasy universe, Rick Bumble decides to leave behind his miserable, jobless, girlfriendless life for the chance at otherwordly happiness. This book tells the stories of 29 neighbors glimpsed at high speed as Rick plummets past after stepping over . . . The Edge of Real.
5. Gloria Melano is a thirty-year-old ghost with a wacky family and a pretty good life--until her home is invaded by a ghost-hunting TV show. Now she's busy dodging the medium's surprisingly effective spirit-cleansing tactics. And worse, the show's diehard skeptic is proving to be the man of her dreams.
6. Lima and his best friend Leema have enjoyed countless years of hide and seek living on the Edge of Real. Never mind that Leema is a llama, who enjoys tea and biscuits. Or that Lima has 3 sets of hands. When Sarah Snuff and her dimension-blasting laser open a rift to the real world, can Lima and Leema snuff out Sarah's diabolical plans?
I am seeking representation for my YA Thriller, The Edge of Real, complete at 75,000 words.
As the only teenage operatives in the Army’s classified Paranormal Resistance & International Surveillance Mission (PRISM), intrepid brothers Caleb, Kyle and Eli are pretty good at protecting the world from evil forces capable of controlling political leaders’ minds or infiltrating the military from thousands of miles away. So when word comes down that the Black Castle terrorist cell is active again security levels zing to red in countries across the globe and the Army calls in its most talented young agents to neutralize the threat.
But this time the danger is all too human: a biological weapon capable of spreading the Ebola virus across America and beyond and killing millions. [Get rid of two of the brothers and make the third one Jack Bauer as a teenager. I envision a long-running series.] Now Caleb, Kyle and Eli must team up with the daughter of a missing biologist, and patiently combine their extrasensory skills with her knowledge of dangerous viruses and the scientists that work with them to stop the terrorists. Time is running out [If time is running out, why are they working "patiently"? You wouldn't see Jack Bauer doing anything patiently with millions of lives on the line. He'd be torturing people night and day.] when they finally locate the terrorists but the dangerous device is already on its way to the target, worse yet - the bomb is alive. [I'd drop the last five words. When you say the bomb is on its way to its target, we don't wonder if it's a dud.]
In college I worked for the school newspaper as a reporter, winning two awards for my writing. More recently I wrote a monthly humor column for a local magazine and had a request for an option on one of my teleplays (Academics). [Needless to say, I turned down the request when they refused to grant me total creative control or to let me play the lead. As if this Clooney guy isn't totally washed up. Screw 'em.] Thank you for your time.
The query is okay, but if you made the team three teenage girls, it might appeal more to the only teenagers who actually read books. Also, the Ebola virus is pretty heavy for YA readers. If it were a computer virus that would make all cell phones stop working, teens would be more likely to see it as a doomsday scenario.
It's obvious you came up with PRISM first and then tried to find words that worked and settled for a mediocre "I" and "M." I recommend calling them the Paranormal Encounter Surveillance Team, which is more appropriate for what they do, and for any team of three teen-aged boys.
The whole point of telling us the acronym is PRISM is so the next time you mention it you won't have to write out the whole name. But you never mention them again.
If I ran an organization that dealt with evil forces, and a terrorist group was threatening to do what these guys are threatening, I wouldn't assign the mission to the only members of my group who were teenagers. If the boys fail and humanity is wiped out, I'm gonna have egg on my face.
You say, But this time the danger is all too human. But the danger is a virus. Are you saying the danger is human because the Black Castle cell are humans? Weren't they humans in the past?
If the point of sending the teens to deal with the terrorist cell is because of their paranormal abilities, why aren't they pulled off the mission when it's discovered that the danger isn't paranormal, and replaced with people qualified to handle this threat?