Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Guess the Plot
Hungry Coyote's Gambit
1. Coming down from the mountains and into what the people call a town is a risky business... but it’s a risk this hungry coyote’s gotta take.
2. Tired of chasing the uncatchable roadrunner and enduring mishaps that ought to have killed him a hundred times over, Wile E reviews his tactics and settles for easier prey: naïve Route 66 tourists.
3. Ever since Priscilla opened her diner, she’s had her doubts about the name. Selling eggs and sausage to truckers at one in the morning is tricky business, but she never expected her place to become the new hot spot for roadrunners. And who sent her the huge Acme brand anvil?
4. A Chicago business tycoon believes his days of struggling for existence are behind him--until he catches a glimpse of his old rival running down a back alley. This time, he swears, things will be different. This time he OWNS the Acme company!
5. All his life, Lloyd Coyote's felt someone's stacking the cards against him. Then he finds the contract between his dad and a Native American shaman, selling Lloyd's successes for 100 bucks and a keg. Now, Lloyd is off to find Raven and Badger. Can he trick them into giving his successes back?
6. Nezahualcoyotl is tired of people pronouncing his name wrong, so before he sets out to take his land back from Emperor Tezozomoc, he changes his name to Hungry Coyote. Now, win or lose, at least historians will get his name right.
Dear Evil Editor,
In Hungry Coyote's Gambit, a young prince, determined to take back the city stolen from him by the conquering emperor, endures ten years of lies and deception that lead him from the high courts of his enemies through the caves of his exile.
The prince is real. ["This prince actually lived" would make it clear what you mean.] [Also, I don't think "catch" is the right word. Maybe "kicker." Or just say, "Amazingly, this prince actually lived."]
Nezahualcoyotl, an Acolhua prince of Texcoco, hides up a tree and watches his father be [as his father is] assassinated by so-called allies. Before fleeing to a safe city, he risks his life trying to find a way to honor his father's last command--take back the throne. [It seems to me that if you've reached the point of fleeing to another city, you don't make a quick stop to try and take back a throne. You get out, regroup, gather a massive army, and then return to take the throne.] In exile, he develops his reputation as a gambler and a playboy, content to idle away his hours, [Drop that last phrase.] as a cover for his campaign to recover his beloved city. But the death of the conquering emperor Tezozomoc forces Nezahualcoyotl [These names are brutal. Maybe everyone should call him Nez. I feel certain these guys went by Tez and Nez.] to take drastic action by plotting against the heir, Maxtla. The prince-in-exile brings together diverse city-states in order to destroy outside tyranny, and in the end, personally cuts Maxtla's heart out on the sacrificial altar. [I'd drop this last sentence, despite the cool heart-cutting-out; the paragraph is hard enough to follow without bringing in diverse city-states and outside tyranny.]
Over the 157,00 words [Either there's supposed to be another 0, in which case this is awfully long, or that comma is supposed to be a decimal point, in which case it's awfully short.] in Hungry Coyote's Gambit, Nezahualcoyotl comes alive as a riveting blend of playboy, statesman, and warrior, all wrapped up in a poet's insight. [How about "blessed with a poet's insight?"] This sensibility has led modern historians to call him the only human in pre-colonial Mexica (Aztec), [ Is that supposed to be "Mexico?"] [You'd think modern historians would be more politically correct than to claim everyone else was subhuman.] making him an excellent ambassador to spread understanding about the long fallen empire that once stretched throughout Central America.
Thank you for your time,
It's not clear whether this is a novel whose main character actually lived, or a history book. If it's fiction, say so. Tell us what year this takes place. Those names are a major stumbling block, so you'd better make sure everything else is crystal clear. Or update it to a novel about Nez, the alcoholic CEO of Texaco.
I don't see why the death of Tezozomoc forces Nezahualcoyotl to take drastic action. Can't he wait and see if Max turns out to be a nice guy before literally cutting his heart out?
The first sentence is vague, and the rest of the query doesn't clear it up. Is it his own deception he endures, or someone else's? If he fled to a safe city, what are these "caves of his exile"?