Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Guess the Plot
Thieves of Hearts
1. Two sisters from a noble family happen into Sherwood Forest where they team up with Robin Hood and steal the hearts of two of his Merry Men. Will the girls reveal their background and risk losing their outlaw boyfriends if it means preventing a plot against King Richard?
2. Carl is outraged the former Vice President ordered a younger heart be stolen to replace the mechanical one he is currently using. The quest leads him to the famed Rom Dismemberment clan of Northern Hemocardiostan, somewhere near Turkey. Also, vats of baby blood.
3. June (Gary) McBride (age 73) and May (Mark) Flora (age 75) wrote this year's top selling romantic comedy "Steal my Heart". They are kidnapped by a government think tank who claim the book's popularity is caused by their inclusion of an ancient love spell. Chaos ensues.
4. Darien is a gorgeous young man and part of a crew of four playboys, each devoted to landing a rich and beautiful "cougar" and marrying into money. But when his quarry's beautiful and very single daughter gives him the eye, he feels something he's never felt before--could this be love?
5. For years the fearsome Hawk of London has pillaged and murdered his way to infamy as he takes his revenge on the upper classes who sent his mother to Australia. But when he meets the lovely Lady Cordelia, he decides Australia probably isn't that bad.
6. Metaphor is unheard of in Danny's world. When he and his raggedy band of travelers enter an interdimensional portal, each of them falls in love. Hilarity ensues when a bloodthirsty English teacher tells them all about capturing the heart of their beloved.
Dear Evil Editor,
Morgan and Addison have been raised as perfect medieval gentlewomen...and deadly assassins. After all, their father commands the powerful fraternity of nobles, the Parliament of Owls. [The phrase "after all" suggests that whatever follows will explain whatever came before, namely why the ladies are assassins. So it needs to be obvious what the Parliament of Owls has to do with assassins. It isn't. Using an example to clarify, in which of the following pairs of sentences is "after all" a sensible transition?
1. Maria probably can speak Spanish. After all, she grew up in Barcelona.
2. Maria probably can speak Spanish. After all, she drives a purple Ford.] But when he goes too far during one of his drunken rages, they take their training and run. [Okay, Quiz #2. In which sentence is "but" a sensible conjunction (keeping in mind that "but" suggests a logical relationship between what comes before it and after it; a but b means In spite of the fact that a is true, b is unexpectedly true)?
1. Vanilla is my favorite ice cream flavor, but today I bought chocolate.
2. Vanilla is my favorite ice cream flavor, but I drive a purple Ford.
Note that in sentence 2, the "but" was placed between two statements that are not related. Not unlike saying, Morgan's father commands a fraternity of nobles but she ran away because of his temper.] [Another possible problem here is that readers may think you mean the Parliament of Owls run away, as that is the last collective noun mentioned.] [So, get rid of the transitions in sentences 2 and 3 and change "they" to "Morgan and Addison" in sentence 3 and we're off to paragraph 2.]
The sisters find shelter in Sherwood Forest, and unexpected allies: Robin Hood and his band of outlaws. They come to appreciate a simple life of freedom. More than that, each sister is enjoying the charms of a certain rugged scofflaw. [This makes it sound like they're each enjoying the charms of the same rugged scofflaw. Which would make for a spicier plot, but having read ahead, I know that each has her own rugged scofflaw.] [Also, if they are referred to as "scofflaws" in your book, you may want to rethink, as that term didn't exist until it was coined in 1923.]
Then, during a mission to free one of their own from the Sheriff of Nottingham, the band learns that the Parliament of Owls is planning to strike a devious political blow against the absent king. Only Morgan and Addison have the information and abilities to stop it. If the sisters reveal their pasts, they may lose the men they have come to love--but if they do not, the throne of England could be lost for good. [Only my British minions can say whether they'd be willing to take down the throne of England in order to preserve a romance with someone they've known a few weeks. My guess: yes, in a heartbeat.]
Thieves of Hearts is a young adult novel, complete at 65,000 words, told in alternating voices. The story stands alone but sets up an intended trilogy. The first five pages are below. Thank you for your time.
Sounds like a good story. This plot works fine even if the girls aren't trained assassins. They flee their father's drunken rages, join up with Robin Hood, discover the Owls' plot, and know how to get to the old man, but don't want to reveal how they know. Thus you don't need to call them trained assassins in the query, but if you choose to do so, I think you should reveal how they plan to use their abilities. Are they considering assassinating their father? Or someone else?