Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Guess the Plot
City of Monsters
1. Once it was a town of polite theatergoers, considerate restaurant patrons, attentive drivers and literate schoolchildren. Then the cell phone was invented and it became a . . . City of Monsters.
2. To Pastor Jeremiah, the big city represents all the wickedness and depravity of modern life. People flock to his thundering sermons, but he is not content with simply allowing small-towners to congratulate themselves on their virtue and so he resolves to redeem the . . . City of Monsters.
3. Monstro City: where four million monsters reside, wishing their human ruling family were all dead. When Prince Thomas learns his family faces eviction from the castle--and certain death--he sets out in his swamp monster disguise to collect back taxes from a dragon. Can he keep the royal family solvent? Also, a socially challenged zombie.
4. Exorcist Lynn Bourne moves to Hollywood to set up shop. It's sensible to offer her services in a place so inviting to unnatural behavior. But during one of her spirit cleansing séances, she becomes host to an ancient demon who impels her to start a career as a reality tv producer.
5. The trip to Mars was too long and totally horrid, but now that Nannette is back in New York, she wishes she was still on the red planet. Something went wrong on Earth: everyone looks and acts like Godzilla. Or maybe it's just that fashion and attitudes have changed. Whatever. She refuses to lumber around in a green reptile outfit, no matter how stylish.
6. Charlotte works in The City, London's financial district. Her co-workers seem unusually ruthless, but Charlotte suspects nothing particular- until Alicia in Investments forgets to tuck her tail in one Monday morning. Time for Charlotte to get out her union suit, wear her underpants on top and kick some monster-butt.
Dear Evil Editor,
In CITY OF MONSTERS, humans are the endangered species. [This leads the reader to assume City of Monsters is the title of the book. Which explains why all the fake plots are for City of Monsters. I'd put the book's title there; the series title can come below, exactly where you have it.]
Prince Thomas is frustrated at his over-protected life and his irrelevant education about long-dead monarchs. After all, when Thomas turns eighteen in three years, he will become the titular ruler of Monstro City’s four million monsters. Determined to learn more about the world beyond his protective walls, Thomas escapes his giant ant-built castle and enrolls at Monstro Central School. [The middle sentence interrupts the logical flow of ideas. I would arrange this info in two sentences: Prince Thomas, future ruler of Monstro City’s four million monsters, is frustrated at his over-protected life and his irrelevant education about long-dead monarchs. Determined to learn more about the world beyond the castle walls, he slips away and enrolls at Monstro Central School.]
Disguised as a swamp monster called PT, Thomas is threatened by mafia goblin students at his first class. He is also befriended by the outcast Dead Gang: a motherly mummy, rebellious vampire, socially-challenged zombie, joker giant spider and sarcastic goblin princess. Sweating beneath his costume, Thomas knows if the monsters discover his identity, he will spin on a kebab stick before he can scream for his ogre bodyguard. [Too many monsters. Condense to: Disguised as a swamp monster called PT, Thomas is befriended by the outcast Dead Gang: a motherly mummy, rebellious vampire, socially-challenged zombie . . . you get the idea. Of course, if these monsters knew his true identity, he'd be spinning on a kebab stick.]
Thomas learns his family faces imminent bankruptcy and eviction, meaning certain death. He formulates a desperate plan: crossing the Mythic Quarter to demand back-taxes from Kalthazar the dragon. First, he must convince the Dead Gang to aid rather than devour him, [He needs them to help him collect taxes, but he can't tell them who he is?] and survive a double period of Biology! [This last joke falls flat.]
DRAGONIUM is a 42,000 word modern fantasy for young adults and the first book of the CITY OF MONSTERS series.
An award-winning fiction and non-fiction writer, I have written over 2,000 articles for 50 plus magazines and newspapers, contributed to a dozen anthologies and appeared several times on Australian national TV. Before I became a children's author, I wrote for surf magazines in over 30 countries, including the major three in the US. Dubbed ‘surfing’s literary giant,’ I was paid to roam the world with the likes of nine-times world surfing champion, Kelly Slater (mainly because I couldn’t afford my own air tickets). [As impressive as all that is, one paragraph about you is plenty, and the next one is more relevant to what you're selling.]
In the last four years, I have had four children’s novels published in Australia, including Erasmus James and the Galactic Zapp Machine (Ibis Publishing) and Stinky Squad (Barrel Books). Every year, I tour over 100 schools with my popular author show. The rights for all my books are available for all territories outside Australia.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
It's not clear why the monsters would kill Thomas if they knew his identity. Work that in somewhere.
Why would four million monsters accept someone they want dead as their ruler?
This sounds like the kind of fare middle graders would love. What makes it YA?
The main plot seems to be collecting the taxes. Possibly we don't need to mention the school at all. Just say Thomas leaves the castle in his disguise and is befriended by the Dead Gang. When he decides he must cross the Mythic Quarter, he'll need help, so he calls upon his new friends. This would leave more space to explain why an endangered species is ruling the city, and how they're able to do so when they can't leave the castle.