Monday, September 20, 2010
Guess the Plot
The Green Tower
1. Professional assassin Lianne heads off on vacation, only to have the airship she's on crash. Her investigation leads to a megalomaniac in a green tower who wants to destroy the energy infrastructure of the empire. Looks like her next job will be a freebie; no one ruins her vacation. Also, exploding appliances.
2. A lonely stretch of Michigan highway. A moonless night. A teenager's Ford breaks down. She's uses her cell phone to summon help. Soon flashing yellow lights appear in the darkness. Will all be well, or will she become the next victim of... The Green Tower?
3. Savvy campaign manager Sasha Stevens prides herself on her ability to whip any idiot into a polished political candidate. Until she's approached by stubborn - yet sexy - environmental activist Landon Davis, who wants her to turn him into the next senator of Texas. Can she heat up his image without melting the polar ice caps of her heart?
4. Manny watches every day while people enter and leave the big green glass skyscraper across the street. With no emblem or name anywhere on the building, he's sure it contains an alien breeding farm. He has to get someone to believe him before it's too late. But how can he get these idiot doctors and nurses to listen?
5. Robinette was supposed to be the next Rapunzel. Unfortunately her hair, lovely as it is, simply refuses to grow past the middle of her back. Lucky for Rob she's got a green thumb and a couple potted plants... Also, fertilizer.
6. Belinda is a liberated princess--at least, mentally. As she tries to scheme her way out of her dragon-guarded tower, she realizes she can change the world from where she is. Goodbye, crackling fires and sputtering torches, hello solar panels and fluorescent lighting! This tower's going green!
7.The fae folk of Navga'ron draw their strength and magic from the Green Tower built in the olden times by the ancient Roth. Now the descendants of Roth seek to destroy the tower to retake the magic. The fae folk must find their queen, who was sent into protective exile as an infant. Sure enough, she's in an American high school.
Dear Mighty Evil Editor,
Lianne Stracker, professional assassin, needs a holiday. [That's the good thing about being self-employed. You can get away whenever you need to.] But when the airship she’s on crashes near a small mountain town, its engines the victim of magical sabotage, she turns her pleasure cruise into a working vacation.
Her investigations into the causes of the crash [Is everyone who survived the crash conducting their own investigation, or just Lianne?] lead her to an ancient green tower that appears to be the source of the malfunctions, and on to uncover a plot masterminded by a dissident retired researcher. He is intent on destroying her homeland’s energy infrastructure, convinced the entire political system is corrupt and that violence is the only way to force societal change. [She seems to know a lot about this guy's motivation.] [Frankly, I don't care why my TV and microwave don't work, just get the frigging power back on.]
Killing people without payment is generally frowned upon as unprofessional, [That's why you never see the term "professional serial killer."] and besides, perhaps this dissident has a point; Lianne knows first-hand that the Empire she lives in is far from squeaky clean. [For instance, it seems to be crawling with professional assassins.] But with generators failing all over, airfields reduced to ashes and daily appliances exploding [I assume daily appliances are the ones you use every day, as opposed to the food processor and George Foreman grill, which you use twice and then store away in that cabinet no one ever opens.] [You could move "daily" after "exploding," but then you have to worry that people will think there's a blender that explodes every day. Thus I recommend deleting "daily."] in puddles of corrosive ooze, Lianne sees little choice but to write herself a commission for this man. Not only is the killing of innocents and general breakdown of society bad for business, but no one’s getting away with ruining her vacation. [You've devoted the whole query to setting up Lianne's situation, with nothing about the obstacles to carrying out her plan. Surely she doesn't just go shoot the guy.]
THE GREEN TOWER is a fantasy/steampunk novel complete at 100,000 words.
Thank you for your consideration,
I can do without the part about the dissident possibly being right.
I suppose that unlike most people, a professional assassin might not be so rattled after experiencing an airship crash that she's emotionally unable to launch her own personal investigation. But most assassins probably aren't qualified to determine the source of energy malfunctions. Assuming it all makes sense in the book, you could open: Lianne Stracker, molecular physicist and professional assassin, needs a holiday.
Or you can leave the first paragraph alone but eliminate the part about her investigation, and your second paragraph might read:
When she learns the crash was caused by a dissident researcher intent on destroying her homeland’s energy infrastructure, Lianne sees little choice but to write herself a commission for this man. Not only is the general breakdown of society bad for business, but no one gets away with ruining her vacation.
Now you can put together a third paragraph that moves the plot forward a bit. Lianne Googles her quarry's name, finds he lives in an ancient green tower, and heads there to finish him off. But getting across the empire is no easy task, with engines failing, airfields in ashes, and electric toothbrushes spinning counterclockwise. And if she does reach the tower, can she be sure her rifle will even work?