Friday, June 25, 2010
Guess the Plot
Joshua and the Fantastic Forest
1. After the Dreary Desert, the Crappy City and the Pathetic Polar Region, things are finally looking up for ten-year-old Joshua.
2. Eleven-year-old Joshua lives in the desert, not a tree in sight. But across the river is something he has only heard of, a forest. It's the answer to his prayers, plenty of wood for arrows, bows and even battering rams. But Moloch, god of fire, has his own plans for that wood. In a clash between the fire god and a hard-headed monotheist, only one will survive.
3. Eight year old Joshua Cohen is thrilled when his parents move to the Mojave Desert, home of the exotic Joshua trees. When he wanders into the lush juniper forest, he meets a strange guide who seems to be one of the trees. Also, a coyote who tells bad jokes.
4. Twelve-year-old Joshua is thrilled to discover a peaceful community of talking animals in the forest. When a power-hungry fox secretly transforms thousands of animals into his allies to rule the forest, Joshua raises his own army and builds an arsenal of weapons. Unfortunately, when he leads his troops in bloody war against the evil animal horde, he is struck down. Hey, at least he tried.
5. Nine-year-old Joshua Has been warned time and again not to go into the forest alone. Which of course makes it irresistible. What he finds is a trail of candy that leads to a house filled with video games and unhealthy snack foods. What could possibly go wrong?
6. After his amateur theatre group's hit production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, director Stitch Jones turns playwright. Egos inflate over who gets the lead until no one, including Stitch, can see the Fantastic Forest for the trees--until thirteen-year-old Joshua arrives, halo and all.
Dear Evil Editor,
Twelve-year old Joshua Cooper finds out a walk in the woods can change his life – or end it.
Bored as the new kid in town, he is desperate for adventure. He finds it in the forest when he befriends talking animals transformed accidentally from DNA of the same highly-evolved animals that lived millions of years ago and died out. [They're called dinosaurs. Sure, Hitchcock could have called his movie The Evil Flying Creatures Who Swoop out of the Sky and Attack Humans, but he decided the more subtle The Birds would be preferable--a decision that probably cost fifty million in box office receipts, but that's not the point.] He shares his magical world with two unlikely friends he rescues, [Rescues from what?] and they vow to protect the secret of their forest friends.
When a power-hungry fox secretly transforms thousands of animals with his prehistoric DNA into his allies to rule the forest, Joshua must find a way to save his captured friends [He just rescued them one sentence ago and they've already been captured? If someone I rescued was that careless, I'd just say, Screw you, and worry about my own safety.] and stop the fox. He rallies his comrades to raise their own army and build an arsenal of weapons to defend themselves in the battle of their lives.
When Joshua leads his friends in bloody war against the evil animal hoard [horde] he is struck down near death, and it is up to his friends to save him. [Usually when you reach the climax of the book, it's the main character doing the rescuing, not getting rescued.]
I am seeking your representation for my manuscript, JOSHUA AND THE FANTASTIC FOREST, a 52,000-word middle grade adventure.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
When the kids were building an arsenal of weapons I assumed we were talking about slingshots and pea shooters. Then it turns into bloody war, near-death, battle of their lives. Do the kids have machine guns and artillery? They must, if they're going to defeat thousands of animals, unless we're talking about chipmunks and bunnies.
The title leads me to believe I should read the book to my five-year-old. That the situation devolves into bloody war leads me to believe I should wait till he's six. Maybe it should be something like Joshua and the Animal War.
Aren't you worried that kids will pull for the animals instead of Joshua in this war?