Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Guess the Plot
The Lifewishers of Dragonfly Valley
1. The kids at Dragonfly Valley High have nothing to do but wish for a real life, away from this boring suburb with the queerest name imaginable. Then Mandy wakes up to find she's got a new life all right, complete with dragonfly wings. And her crush Mike is a hungry sparrow.
2. When Burt discovers that he can wish into existence new forms of life that are not easy to domesticate, his creations cause havoc and destruction in Dragonfly Valley. Banished, Burt must decide whether to help the very people who ostracized him.
3. For fifteen years Emily and Bob have struggled to bring their animated fantasy to the big screen. But when distributors turn them down, they're at wit's end, until a mysterious phone call has them plotting ways to make money. But is robbing banks, extortion and murder-for-hire really the best way to finance a kids' morality tale?
4. Pinkawink is happy in the saccharine-sweet magical realm of Dragonfly Valley. As chief of the Lifewishers – a caste of pixies who wish life into every creature – her life is idyllic. But when evil billionaire Gil Bates plunders the valley for his unicorn ranch, Pinkawink must lead the dangerous rescue and revenge mission. Can the Lifewishers cut the sweetness with a dash of…deathwish?
5. When Polly is diagnosed with a terminal illness, her mother seeks the only ones who can cure her, the legendary Lifewishers. But are these faeries as benign as they appear, or does the deal come with a hidden cost?
6. The Lisellan queen's life-wishing power lets her cause death as well as life, with a single word. Fearing this power, Princess Dalia and her fiance, a dragonfly rider, ride a millipede into exile to await the queen's death. But they encounter an army of lizard riders preparing to invade. Should they ride back on dung beetles to warn the queen?
Ash is a dragonfly-rider knight, tasked with protecting both the Lisellan people and those they enslaved in the last war, the Bedun.
When a Bedun war criminal escapes from the Lisellan underground prison and disappears into Bedun territory, rumors spread that the Bedun are preparing for war, led by this unknown stranger. [If the Bedun are enslaved, aren't they being monitored by the Lisellans? Why would the Lisellans need to get their information from rumors? Shouldn't they have first-hand knowledge of war preparations?]
Because Ash's father was Bedun, and his mother was a Lisellan noble, and he's accepted by both cultures, the Lisellan queen decides to use him to make a gesture of goodwill by marrying Ash to her daughter, princess Dalia, along with a public promise of eventual freedom for the Bedun and unification of the two peoples. Dalia shares Ash's desire to unify the two peoples and end the conflict.
But this announcement doesn't pacify the Bedun. Conflict breaks out, and Ash volunteers to lead the effort to end the violence and forge peace, for he wants to keep his engagement with Dalia intact, prove his loyalty to the Lisellan, and protect the Bedun from the bloodbath and sorrow the last war created. [If the Bedun were subjected to a bloodbath in the last war, and they're now enslaved, what makes them think they can win this time? Do they have any weapons? Do they vastly outnumber the Lisellans?]
As conflict swells into war, and the fighting begins to go badly for the Lisellan, Ash is accused of treason. He's jailed, interrogated, tortured, and sentenced to be executed.
Dalia knows he's innocent and breaks him out of prison. [Apparently breaking out of Lisellan prisons is a piece of cake.] They decide to escape into exile until the queen should die, at which point they can return as rulers to bring peace to all. [I'm not sure you've made the queen look bad enough to justify this. She just offered freedom and unification, so Ash and Dalia flee to await her death?] But Dalia has another reason to leave--she's come to fear the queen's secretive power of "life-wishing" that the queen uses to manipulate everyone around her, even to kill with just a word.
They sneak out of the city with the traders, riding on the back of a millipede. [It's slower than a horse, but you don't have to put a millipede down if it breaks a leg.] When they pass the forest border they observe the ruthless Northern Lizard-rider army quietly massing for an invasion. [It takes a lot of discipline for an army to mass quietly.]
Ash realizes that with the Bedun and Lisellan armies at each other's throats, the only way to repel the invaders is for both armies to unite and work together, else everyone he knows will be killed or enslaved.
Lisellan general: Look, I know there's still some hard feelings from the bloodbath and the whole enslavement thing, but we need you to fight alongside us in repelling the lizard riders.
Bedun general: Alongside you?
Lisellan general: Well, not alongside, exactly. You guys charge ahead and we'll bring up the rear.]
But if he returns with this news, he may not be believed by either side. If they go to the Queen he may be executed, and Dalia fears what the queen may do to her too. But if they go to the Bedun--no one knows anything about the identity or character of the escaped prisoner that leads them, except that he hates the Lisellan enough to start a war.
But they have to try.
THE LIFEWISHERS OF DRAGONFLY VALLEY is a 100k word fantasy novel.
Thank you for your consideration,
Possibly it should be made clear whether the dragonflies, millipedes and lizards are huge, or the "people" are tiny.
This is way too much information for a query. Limit yourself to ten sentences in which you introduce your world, introduce your main character(s), describe their problem, and tell us how they plan to deal with it. This is a synopsis, and synopses are boring. You don't want to send something boring until it's actually requested.
Based on the title, the queen isn't the only one with life-wishing power. Is it hereditary, in which case Dalia should have it? Who has it?
If the queen's power allows her to manipulate and kill people with a word, winning a war should be easy. Send her to the front lines and let her work her magic.