Monday, September 13, 2010
Guess the Plot
1. When occlusions get old they're forced to retire and go live in the "old shadow's home," to be looked after by the occlusions of sexy nurses. Tavila is an old retired gypsy shadow that holds seances for passed-on shadows, and constantly reminds the retired shadows, "don't go into the light."
2. After you die, what becomes of your shadow? Enter the world of Blakemore Cthoth, Keeper of the Shadow-Souls. It's a gloomy domain--until the day Blakemore falls for Sunny, a naive cheerleader.
3. When someone dies, it severs the mysterious link between them and their shadow. The treacherous shadowhunter YooKoo has made it his mission to hunt down these retired shadows and give them a fate worse than death. Enter burger flipper Chris, who has made it his mission to thwart YooKoo at every turn--until Chris's own shadow gets kidnapped!
4. When people die, their shadows have to go somewhere; that's where Fier's Shady Rest Home comes in. When Ken Carmichael mistakes it for somewhere to send his aged mother-in-law, chaos ensues.
5. Michael Benson used to be one of the best in the business. He could follow someone anywhere and not be seen. Now he's retired. But when his old partner asks for help taking down the mobsters chasing his son, Michael wonders if h'es capable of shadowing anyone while driving his electric scooter.
6. There's only one thing Wendell Hume hates about being a retired CIA agent: active or not you can’t talk about what you know. When events start to remind him of an old case, and no one will investigate it, its up to him and 4 of his friends who are also retired operatives to stop a terrorist attack.
Dear Evil Editor,
Chris Ayala talks to shadows. Thanks to an unlucky incident involving a black cat, Chris can hear shadows talking back. [Is black cat what they call it now? In my day we called it purple haze, yellow sunshine, pink panther and golden dragon.] Elow, the retired shadow of a dead girl, lives in hiding amongst the tombstones of Oak Creek Cemetery, where she first met Chris [who was there scoring some orange cupcakes]. Elow’s days are focused upon not being seen and not becoming mistaken for a ghost. Her nights are spent evading YooKoo, the treacherous, winged shadow hunter, whose sole intention is capturing and dooming all retired shadows to a fate much worse than the deaths their humans have undergone, the deaths which sever the mysterious link between people and their shadows. [YooKoo may be treacherous, but if does his shadow hunting at night, he's also an idiot. Everyone knows shadows are hard to see when it's dark.]
Because Elow is Chris’s favorite conversationalist, the recent High School graduate becomes bent upon thwarting YooKoo’s plans whenever he’s not dishing out burgers and fries at his summer job. [So that's why YooKoo hunts at night: he has a day job at McDonalds.] [If I walked into McDonalds and the guy behind the counter had wings, I think I'd head for Burger King.] In the curious world of retired shadows, however, one victory leads to the kidnapping of Chris’s own shadow; one that shouldn’t be accessible to the enemy while Chris is still alive. [When you're working a summer job at McDonalds, are you really alive?]
RETIRED SHADOWS is a middle grade fantasy complete at just over 23,000 words. It spotlights multicultural characters, [A normal kid, a shadow, and a winged creature. That's as multicultural as it gets.] the paranormal, and the beauty of the Southern United States. [Where the fast food joints have golden arches!]
YooKoo sounds like a character in a 1st grade book. A treacherous hunter would want a name that strikes fear into his victims. A name like Euku.
23,000 words is a skinny book. The kind of kid who prefers his books skinny is probably the kind who also doesn't want the plot interrupted with descriptions of the beautiful South.
Why is Yewk so obsessed with torturing shadows? Are shadows dangerous? Did a shadow kill his father? Is he a serial shadow killer? We need character motivation.
If Elow is Chris's favorite conversationalist, I assume he spends a lot of his free time in the Oak Creek cemetery. What's that all about? When his parents ask him where he's going every night after dinner, does he say he's going down to the cemetery to hang out?
If there's a retired shadow for every dead person, it doesn't seem like Elow would have to devote her nights to hiding from Yuke, when he has millions of other potential victims. Is he specifically after her?
Does Chris talk to shadows of living people? Because I can see how that would lead to some embarrassing situations.
Perhaps you could work in what happened with the black cat by opening: Ever since that black cat crossed his path 13 times, Chris Ayala has been able to chat with shadows.