Monday, June 07, 2010
Guess the Plot
1. Adultery? So last year. Drugs? Are you kidding? Illegitimate kids? Been there, done that. Starvation diet to stay thin? Don't make me laugh. Vote Republican? What--are you some kind of immoral beast or something?
2. In a world where a pantheon of gods kidnap soon-to-be-followers from the streets, Markus Mark attempts to prove he is the holiest of the holy by obeying every law ordained by every god known to man, elf, sylph, or otherling.
3. Very impressive and intense events occur that illustrate the point of the story. The point is all about Elitist Morals and how bad they are. In the end, the reader will be disgusted with the Elitists and their bad Morals. The innocent victims may or may not be saved, but anyway you'll get the point. Elitists have bad Morals or no Morals.
4. All the little mushrooms in the forest like to clump together in haphazard harmony except for one clan--the Morchella, who have created their own enclave girt with pine branches . . . or has Big Agri-Business infiltrated even this sylvan paradise?
5. In the 41st century a World War breaks out between humans and Elytes. Elytes are vampires, but note that vampires is spelled with an "i" rather than a "y." On the other hand, Elytes is spelled with a "y" instead of an "i" so you probably all hate me anyway.
6. Cassie is the new girl at a school where the entire population of students and teachers is divided into two groups: those who are elitists and couldn't give a care about what's right and wrong; and those who have actual morals and know right from wrong. Which side will Cassie choose, knowing that once she does, she's stuck there for her entire elementary school life?
It's over two thousand years in the future and the world has been torn into another world war. [World War MCDLXXVIII. When will humanity ever learn? When will we stop the senseless numbering of wars in Roman numerals, forcing everyone to spend several minutes trying to translate the numbers into the international language, American?] [I'm not familiar with the expression to be torn into a war. Torn apart by a war or plunged/descended into a war are more common.] Except this one is between the two dominant species on the planet-- [sharks and cockroaches.] vampires and humans. The humans are fighting for their lives against one species of vampires called Elytes. [They actually have nothing against the Elytes except for the pretentious way they spell "Elytes." They'd have surrendered long ago, but they're afraid if they do, the Elytes will force them to call themselves Humyns.] The Elytes are fighting because they only consider humans as animals. [Didn't you ever take zoology? Humans are animals. We only consider ourselves superior to other animals because we dine on them.] [When vampires enter a World War with humans, don't they risk destroying their food supply? If they wipe us out, whose blood will they drink, given that in 2000 years chimpanzees will be extinct?] [The Elytes must have a better reason to fight than that they consider humans as animals. We consider horses animals, but we don't fight them.]
Riley Zvei is a vampire, but not an Elyte. [She'll drain the occasional human of his blood, but it's not for political reasons, it's because she's thirsty.] She is what is known as a Moralle vampire. [When you start spelling moral with an extra le, you're more Elitist than the Elytes.] She along with her twin brother, Sean, work for the humans on the largest front of the war as spies. The humans pay them to spy on the Elytes who pay them to just fight in the war. Now, though, after meeting a mysterious, mute Moralle by the name of Simon, Riley begins to wonder if she's actually playing for the right team. [She's playing for both teams.] [If you're so loyal to your cause that meeting a mute is enough to make you switch sides, your heart was never in it.]
After an argument with the human general, General-- [I would say "the human known as 'General.'"] [Did General always go by General, or did he used to go by Colonel?] he won't tell anyone his name-- over battle tactics, Riley decides to switch sides and convert to being an Elyte. [Her first act is to change her name to Rylë.] Her brother is appalled, General is dead, Simon still loves her, and Riley is an Elyte. What more can go wrong? [It's not clear that any of this is "wrong." Now that Riley's an Elyte, General being dead is a good thing. And what woman wouldn't want to be in a relationship where she gets to do all the talking?]
Does Riley get information from the mute by playing charades?
How does she know Simon is a mute and not a mime?
Elytes were claimed to be a species of vampire. To convert to being an Elyte, wouldn't Riley have to change her species?
I assume you know a query letter needs word count, genre, some kind of closing.
Just because we're human doesn't mean we think humans are the good guys. Apparently Riley believes humans are the bad guys, and as she's the main character, we may think she's on to something. Thus we need to know what makes her switch sides. You don't join the other team just because you met a mysterious mute or because you disagree with your side's battle tactics. What's the real reason?
Switching sides isn't necessarily healthy when you've been a spy. When you go to the Elytes and say "I've been spying on you for the humans all this time, but now I wanna work with you. So . . . what's our plan?" you can't expect to be welcomed into the fold.
And what difference does it make which side Riley is on in a World War? If she's the key to victory you need to explain why.