Monday, March 08, 2010
Guess the Plot
Junior Prom or Death
1. Brought up before the Spanish Inquisition for heresy, Ramon is offered a terrible choice.
2. When your aunt tells you your choices are the Junior Prom with Nate Willenburger or death, it's a tough call. And it's even tougher when your aunt is Medusa.
3. Death most certainly. In this recession what seventeen year old boy has money to spring for a limo, a corsage and the Red Lobster dinner that his date will only shuffle around on her plate?
4. The first volume of Patrick Henry's autobiography, from birth to graduation.
5. Samantha Powers has a problem. The Junior Prom and her sweet-sixteen birthday are only three days away and Zack doesn’t know she exists. If she doesn’t get a date with him she’ll just die. For the reals. She inherited a centuries old family curse that will kill her if she doesn’t get kissed by her 16th birthday. OMG.
6. Two days before the prom a fairy shrinks Kayla to the size of an insect. Can she make the two-block journey to Fairfax Fred to get the fairy's spell reversed, without being crushed or eaten by a predator? Also, a talking garden gnome.
Dear Evil Editor:
Sixteen-year-old Kayla Hartley's biggest worry is that her prom gown makes her waist look thick – that is, until her dufus kid brother Dustin manages to tick-off a kleptomaniac fairy.
The fairy casts a spell on Kayla and Dustin, reducing them to the size of a katydid. Now Kayla's problems seem larger than life. A garden gnome tells them the only way to reverse the spell is to seek an audience with Fairfax Fred, a mangy male tomcat. The good news: Kayla feeds Fred when he comes into their yard. And the bad news? Dustin thinks it's fun to squirt cats – Fred in particular – with a water pistol.
Fred lives in an abandoned field two city blocks from Kayla's house. When you're no bigger than a matchstick, two blocks is a long way, especially when there are predators out there waiting for dinner. The quest will take them more than a day. It's Wednesday, the Junior Prom is on Friday night, and Kayla refuses to stand up her hot date, Brad Jeffers. [Based on my calculations, I can't see the quest taking more than 12 hours, but even if it does, they have two days before the prom, so what's the problem? There'd be more tension if it were Thursday instead of Wednesday.]
Junior Prom Or Death is an Upper MG Fantasy, complete at 56,000 words. I have sold a short story to XXXX, which was published in an anthology entitled XXXX. [It's always a feather in your cap when they name the anthology after your story.] Thanks for your consideration.
This sounds good to me. It's like Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, except instead of there being a scientifically plausible reason for the shrinking kids, there's a fairy. And there's a gnome and a talking? cat. Which makes me think it's for younger kids than upper-middle grade. What's the grade range for upper-middle grade vs. lower-middle grade?
You don't need to tell us the fairy is a kleptomaniac unless you show what it has to do with the plot. Otherwise we get distracted, wondering what it has to do with the plot.
As Fred is known to wander the neighborhood seeking food, it seems there's a good chance the kids will spend a whole day getting to the field only to find him gone--possibly to their house.