Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Guess the Plot
Spirit of a Phoenix
1. Every 500 years a warrior is born with the spirit of the phoenix to fight the Demon-Lord Saunguniutes. The only problem is this time she was born the middle daughter of a Quaker family in rural Nebraska. Hannah is a pacifist office manager for a small IT company, what does she know of killing demons?
2. According to legend the phoenix burns itself and its nest every 500 to 1,000 years. Is it any wonder Phoenix Dorrington becomes a pyro technique expert? Hiring herself out to Rent-A-Roadie she has a ball for five years blowing fire above the seventy-five dollar seats until one night it gets real. Now she can only hope the people caught in her exuberance changed into something better than they were.
3. The elf Haleva is an outcast because she has no magic. Turns out her parents took her magic at birth. Just took it. When her mother dies, Haleva suddenly gets her magic back, like a phoenix coming back to life. Not that she was dead, but you get the idea.
4. On his fourteenth birthday, Jent discovers his soul contains the spirit of a phoenix. He then acts like a complete tool to his family and friends and gets sent to magic academy. Also flying goatfish.
5. Tame the spirit of a phoenix and your wish will be granted. Lamden desperately wants his mother to get well. When the phoenix demands a human sacrifice, Lamden kills his evil stepfather Ardok. But Ardok wasn't human, and that's just the beginning of the phoenix's game.
6. Tiffany is a cheerleader at a Phoenix, Arizona High School. As a senior, she feels it is her duty to set an example and inspire the underclassmen. She's sick of twee little pep-rallies, so she calls her great grand-dad, Albert Firebird, to help her stir things up. Hilarity ensues.
Dear Mr. Editor,
I am seeking representation for my young adult fantasy novel, SPIRIT OF A PHOENIX, complete at 70,000 words.
Rangers are those that protect the Wilderland and keep it safe for all the races to travel and live—they are revered and admired by all. [Especially the one who works alone (unless you count his trusted sidekick, Tonto.] In Haleva’s eyes, there is no greater honor than to be counted among their ranks. Even though she is among the most privileged of Eledhrin Elves, the path to becoming a ranger isn’t an easy one. She lacks the most basic magic gifts that are present in the youngest of her race, and because of that she is an outcast in her world, and her parents refuse to let her follow her dreams.
Haleva’s world is turned upside down when she discovers the real reason she has no magic—her parents took it from her at birth. Angry and feeling alone, ["Betrayed" would be better than "alone." Being an outcast, she was probably already feeling alone.] she joins a ranger group and runs away, [not necessarily in that order] throwing herself into achieving her dream of passing the training and earning a ranger’s badge.
What gives her confidence is a newfound love, the turning of enemies into allies, and the trust displayed by her fellow rangers. What nearly destroys her is her mother’s death, [Is this the same mother who made her an outcast and wouldn't let her follow her dream?] and the irony that the death returns her magic gifts to her. [At which point she quits the rangers and becomes a crime-fighting superhero.] Like the symbol of her family, the phoenix, Haleva must change and grow in order to survive. [I guess that's okay, though I think of a phoenix as a symbol of starting anew. For change and grow, maybe you could make the family symbol Alien.]
I look forward to hearing from you, and any suggestions you may have for improvement. [Improvement of the book or the query?] Thank you for your time.
Sincerley, [Not the best last impression.]
Haven't seen the book, of course, but it sounds more like middle grade than young adult.
Did her parents take her magic because they wanted it for themselves? Or because they thought it would build character to have to get by without magic?
This is the last of the 2006 queries that Evil Editor didn't fully critique because they were originally sent to Miss Snark the Literary Agent, and why should I put any more time into them than she would have? Henceforth all queries will be current.