Friday, December 03, 2010
Guess the Plot
The Torturer's Daughter
1. The guys are always excited when they see the whips and leather at Laurie's house--until her 6'8" dad comes out, handcuffs in hand. Will Laurie ever get a date her dad doesn't put to death in the torture chamber?
2. When Allie, the Royal Torturer's daughter, disappears from her prep school, there's only one man the King can turn to: Cocks Magnum, Private Eye.
3. Willwithers is no ordinary high school. Drug-free and gang-free, it boasts perfectly-behaved students and the highest test scores in the state. Sure, the school's methods are controversial. Among other things, it employs a torturer. And 10th grader Kenedy Kipling, pretty but dateless, can tell you it sucks to be . . . The Torturer's Daughter.
4. When her BFF Heather phones one night, Becca assumes it's to talk about the cute new boy at school. But no, it's to complain to Becca that her mother has just tortured Heather's parents to death. Who knew having a mother who's an infamous torturer would bring so much friction into her friendships?
5. Alva Hood is tired of being an outcast. It's not her fault her dad tortures fellow citizens for a living. And she hates her nickname - The Iron Maiden. Can Alva reinvent herself as an image consultant to social lepers, and prove that she's more than just . . . The Torturer's Daughter?
6. All the other girls study embroidery, but Camilla must learn to use instruments of torture. Her mother died after birthing just one child so it's her fate to learn the family business: torturing the enemies of her uncle, the King. Unless . . . she can join forces with that cute guy in Dungeon #9, murder Uncle Harry, and take the crown.
Dear Evil Editor,
When her best friend Heather calls in the middle of the night, Becca assumes it's the usual drama. Wrong. Heather's parents have been arrested as dissidents - and Becca's mother, the regime's most infamous torturer, has already executed them for their crimes against the state. [Hi Becca. Your mother just tortured my parents to death. Oh, and do you understand the math homework?]
To stop Heather from getting herself killed trying to prove her parents' innocence, Becca hunts for proof of their guilt. [Brilliant. Your mother offs your friend's parents, so to smooth things over you try to prove her parents were treasonous subversives.] But she finds more than she bargained for - she discovers evidence that the government is scripting dissident confessions in order to keep the population in constant fear, and her mother is at the center of it all.
Becca doesn't know what to believe anymore, or who to trust. Can she reconcile the mom she's always known with the cold-blooded killer she learns more about every day? [Wait a minute, Mom, you're telling me you're Borgo, the Disemboweler?] [I should have suspected you were an infamous torturer. I mean, other kids get grounded; I get the rack.] Is the cute new boy at school spying for the secret police, or does he have an agenda all his own? [Or--and this may seem far-fetched--did his family just move into the school district?] What is Heather's grief turning her into? [Either delete that question or answer it, preferably the former.] And how can Becca continue to live silently in a world where lives are sacrificed every day to feed propaganda and lies? [I don't know what is meant by "to feed propaganda and lies." Do you mean to feed the people propaganda and lies? To feed the propaganda machine?] [Not sure I'd call the lives "sacrificed" if the people are just being murdered; usually a life is sacrificed for a good cause. It seems that what's happening is that lives are being taken to terrorize the people.]
When Becca risks her life to save a dissident, she learns that her mom isn't the only one with secrets... and the plot she uncovers will threaten the lives of the people she loves most. For Becca, it's no longer just a choice between risking execution and ignoring the regime's crimes; she has to decide whose life to save and whose to sacrifice. [Whoa, you guys are planning to kill all the torturers? That's my mom you're talking about. She didn't even enjoy torturing innocent people! She wore her iPod with the Vienna Boys Choir turned up full just so she wouldn't hear the screaming!]
THE TORTURER'S DAUGHTER is a dystopian young adult novel. It is complete at 63,000 words.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
This reads pretty well, though it could use a few tweaks. Make sure you mention that the book should appeal to all those readers who liked The Hunger Games but thought it wasn't bleak enough.
I think you need to make it clear whether Becca knows her mother is a torturer. If she doesn't, maybe sentence 3 could read: Heather says her parents have been arrested as dissidents--and claims that the torturer who executed them was Becca's mother!
If Becca knows her mom's a torturer, but thinks she tortures only people who deserve it, I assume there's a mother/daughter scene in which the rebellious teen screams, "Why is it that every time I make a new friend you have to go and torture her parents? You're killing my social life."