Monday, January 25, 2010
Guess the Plot
1. Exiled from her village, Quill happens upon Fox, injured and lying in a ditch. They make a pact: Quill will Nurse Fox back to health and Fox will teach Quill to survive in the demon-filled forest. When they discover the demons' dastardly plans, which may include burning down the village, they must decide whether to issue a warning or to relax and enjoy the carnage.
2. Toni "Foxfire" Harris is the youngest pilot ever to be awarded her wings for SHEPARD - a super-secret branch of the Air Force. When the aliens attack, will her skill keep her in the air long enough to save the planet? And why do those alien boys have to be so gosh darn CUTE?
3. Alan is writing like a madman. Why? He's had a novel handed to him on a silver platter- in a dream, to be exact. After months of typing till his fingers bleed, lest he forget a plot twist, he has another dream: Joyce Carol Oates suing his ass for plagiarism.
4. When Jared and Jason's father is killed by a mysterious explosion at the Foxfire Lab, they know there's more involved than a simple gas leak. Can they find the culprit--or will they unleash a zombie apocalypse?
5. International superspy Jack Halligan is betrayed by his own side and framed for a crime he didn't commit. To clear his name, and prevent nuclear war, his one chance is to seduce the glamourous femme fatale known by the codename Foxfire. Given the circumstances, Jack will have to wait till next week to come out of the closet.
6. A black-ops unit investigating sudden radio silence from a nuclear command bunker discover a team of high school nerds have disabled America's nuclear arsenal. Is it a political statement, or just a way to impress girls?
Dear Mr. Evil Editor
Nineteen year old orphan, Fox, lives alone in the forest, struggling day to day against hunger, isolation and the elements. [It's rough growing up an orphan, but when you reach the age of nineteen, it's time to consider leaving the forest and checking out civilization.]
Oh, and the Demons.
However it’s not the man-eating demons, but a fall, which puts Fox in jeopardy. He’d always thought he’d be devoured by the demons, not that he’d die because he didn’t watch his footing… like his father.
When her irresponsibility causes the death of a child, fifteen year old Quill is ousted from her village, sent to live alone in the forest amongst the demons. It’s not even the death sentence that angers Quill, but the knowledge that the village thought they’d be better off without her, despite her remarkable tracking skills. It’s those skills, however, which turn her condemnation into hope when she discovers Fox injured and trapped in a ditch. [All the important information from the first three paragraphs (there's a demon-filled forest and Fox is injured) is contained in this paragraph, so why not start the query with this paragraph?]
Surely they can’t trust each other; after all, it’s abandonment which brought them together in the first place. But a deal is made: Quill will help Fox recuperate if Fox teaches Quill the way to survive amidst the forest and the demons.
Their trust in each other grows until a demon attack reveals a shocking secret about the nature of the demons, their land and its residents [--a secret so shocking that to reveal it here might cause cardiopulmonary arrest in the reader].
Now Fox and Quill have to make a decision: do they stay complacent and suppress the secret, dooming their abandoners to death? [It would be most refreshing if that were their decision. I recommend rewriting the ending to make it so.] Or do they risk their lives in an attempt to expose the truth?
Foxfire is an 85,000 word fantasy novel. I have a BA in English with an emphasis in creative writing from the University of Minnesota and this is my first novel.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
It may seem obvious to you (and to Evil Editor) that your main characters are a fox and a porcupine, but I suspect some readers will need this spelled out for them.
What's the secret?
How does exposing the truth risk their lives? The demons are already their enemies, and if the villagers would kill them for coming in with a warning, they can always find some other way to warn them. A letter nailed to a tree in the village square at 3 AM, for instance. Is there some reason Fox can't enter the village? I didn't get the impression he was an outcast, just an orphan.