Thursday, August 12, 2010
Guess the Plot
1. Saint Peter trips and scatters a box of newly minted halos, which promptly fall to earth. Now he must retrieve them before the media re-writes modern morality based on "obvious" heavenly approval.
2. After being exposed to uranium, six seniors develop supernatural powers and form a team of angelic heroes. But one of them decides that it's boring being a superhero when there aren't any supervillains around, and goes over to the dark side.
3. Working at Random House has always been Bone Martin's dream, and when he gets a job as a fact checker, he's in heaven. However, he quickly comes down to Earth when he uncovers the unscrupulous shenanigans of a beloved editor—and the editor targets him for elimination.
4. A series of bizarre "accidents" during the opening season of Heaven's Got Talent has detective Zack Martinez investigating the sordid world of blackmail, bribery and murder among beings who have the nerve to call themselves "Angels."
5. Forget wizards and vampires; angels are the next big thing, and Gary's musical can't miss. Unless his parents get divorced and his mom moves in and starts “helping” him with it. And she just did.
6. Zelda is a young gypsy girl moving to the big city to go to college. Her family had always assumed the "gift" had passed her over. But along with her first period comes the ability to see auras. That's when she notices the evil halos around those suit and sunglasses-wearing men who always seem to be following her around.
WOrking Title: Random Halos
Plot - Query:
Random (or Radium) Halos, a Fantasy Young Adult MS, complete at 54,000. [Random or Radium? You don't care what the first word of your title is but it must have six letters and begin with "R"?]
The small town of Elliot Lake will never be the same again. An unexpected thunderstorm brings a group of friends closer than they could ever imagine [as they all take shelter in a phone booth]. Hiding in an old abandoned uranium mine to avoid the storm, [And I thought I was being overly cautious, locking myself in my panic room during thunderstorms.] six [high school] seniors spend the night together. [This paragraph can be condensed into one sentence: Caught in a sudden thunderstorm, six high school seniors from Elliot Lake take shelter in an abandoned uranium mine.]
Over the next few days, each experiences radical changes to one of their senses. At first, they believe only five of them have changed. All but one never considers the possibility of a sixth sense. Their senses develop into stronger supernatural powers. These powers become a necessity when dangerous events begin occurring in Elliot Lake. [This is too general. What are their powers? Strengthened senses or something beyond that? What are the dangerous events? Give examples.] [This could also be condensed to one sentence: Over the next few days, five of them gain supernatural powers, while the sixth morphs into . . . the Kraken!!]
For Zoe, learning to deal with her new superhuman sense is harder than she expected. [I don't see how she could have had any expectations for how hard it is to deal with a new superhuman sense.] At the same time, her heart is fluttering over Kraigan, the new Scottish boy in town. [Change his name to Kraken. Also, make him a Kraken.] The loyalties of friendship are tested [Explain.] and high school’s senior year never seemed so challenging. [That would be believable if one of their classmates were the Kraken.]
Alone each has a raw talent, but together Zoe and her friends can become something powerful. [A team of people with raw talents.] A group of unexpected heroes with a villain among them. [Presumably the villain is the one with the sixth sense? You might want to make more of this in the query rather than toss it in at the end as if it's an afterthought. For instance, if your villain is the Kraken, and you wait this long to mention that the Kraken is in your book, it doesn't feel like you have your priorities straight. Who's the villain, what's his/her power, and what's his/her goal?]
If you have an ensemble cast with all characters having fairly equal parts, then Zoe doesn't deserve to be singled out in the query while the other five seniors get nothing. If Zoe is the main character, focus on her earlier. Zoe and five of her friends take shelter in the mine. Zoe notices she has super taste buds, and tells her friends, only to learn that they all have super senses as well.
It seems odd that a uranium mine would have been abandoned if it still contained enough uranium to have this effect.
I don't like either form of the title.