Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Guess the Plot
The Adventures of Benjamin Skyhammer
1. Benjamin Skyhammer has an extraordinary name, but a very ordinary life. Until, that is, his mother dies and his paternity is finally revealed in her will. His father? Thor. And so the adventures begin. Also, dirigibles.
2. Ten-year-old Benjamin finds out his long-lost biological father, the Norse God Thor, wants to reconnect with him. How's Ben going to have time for hockey and basketball when his dad wants him to spend all his free time flying around the troposphere with a hammer, creating thunder?
3. Benjamin Skyhammer has long been searching for a relic that will give him magical powers. One day an earthquake reveals such a relic, but before Ben can use it, a mysterious sorcerer threatens to ruin everything. Can Ben get his magical powers before it's too late? And will he learn the shocking truth about the very nature of the world itself?
4. Benjamin is the youngest of ten Skyhammer princes. He has no princess, no administrative role, and a tiny budget. His only sidekick, a juggler named Nick, suggests they try show business. They join a traveling circus and soon discover the reason those tricks seem so magical is because Ringmaster Oberon and his employees are actual wizards and witches on a mission to kidnap the dreadful Ice Queen and deliver her to Hades.
5. As the ship sinks, a boy rows a tiny boat filled with sandwiches and cats to a nearby desert island. This is Ben Johnson, fifth grader -- aka, Benjamin Skyhammer, superhero. His adventures began when the dastardly Baxter twins stole his lucky hat and they will not end until he gets it back. Meanwhile his troubles include icebergs, tarantulas, cranky waiters, flying monkeys, and a stepsister he does not like.
6. Bob Roberts has a boring life. So when his wife divorces him, he moves to a new state and starts a new life; that of Benjamin Skyhammer, rich adventurer. At first, he actually pulls it off, but can he keep it up as the lies start piling up?
Dear Evil Editor,
Outcast and bitter because he is one of two humans on Pingala born without magic powers, Benjamin Skyhammer hunts for a Relic that will give him not only magic but also the acceptance of society he desperately craves.
One day an earthquake reveals a Relic [Amazing stroke of luck. Does the earthquake shake Benjamin's house, dislodging the relic from the top shelf of a bookcase? Or does the ground open up right in front of Ben, and he spots the relic at the bottom of a crevasse?] which gives instructions for a special ceremony. Performing the ceremony at the next solar eclipse will bestow magic powers on Skyhammer and give humans the ability to perform magic anywhere on the planet. [I was under the impression Benjamin and one other unnamed person were the only humans who didn't have magical powers. If humans can do magic only in Baltimore, it doesn't seem Ben would be a social outcast as long as he doesn't insist on living in Baltimore.] [I'm talking about Baltimore, Pingala.] Skyhammer believes his dreams have finally come true.
But then a mysterious sorcerer threatens to sabotage the ceremony and implicates Skyhammer as the saboteur. Now humans believe that Skyhammer plans to destroy the ceremony and they want him dead. [Was it Ben who found the relic? How do all these other humans know about it? I've gone from imagining Ben performing a ceremony in his basement to thinking this ceremony is bigger than the Royal Wedding.]
Skyhammer must find out the truth about the ceremony and the sorcerer before his chance to get magic power is gone. His search will take him across the strange and dangerous lands of Pingala [Pingala is a planet, right? Because if the window for performing the ceremony is as small as it seems, searching a planet for something as vague as the truth about a ceremony is going to take way too long.] and ultimately reveal the shocking truth of the very nature of his world itself.
THE ADVENTURES OF BENJAMIN SKYHAMMER is a young adult fantasy novel, complete at 72,000 words.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
For some inexplicable reason, I find myself more interested in who the other human with no magical powers is than I am in the adventures of Benjamin Skyhammer. Possibly because there's nothing in here about his adventures. Does the other magic-less human have adventures too?
We need to know Benjamin's age so we can complain that the book is too childish or too mature for your intended audience.
An example or two of his adventures, revealing whether they're more like Jack and the Beanstalk or the rape of the Sabine women, would also help us determine the audience. From what's here, I'm thinking this is for middle grade.
It would also be nice to know how many humans are on Pangala, why they're there, and who else is there.
If you just say Born without magic powers, Ben is an outcast among the humans on Pangala, I won't be distracted by the mysterious other human without magic powers, who never gets mentioned again.