Friday, May 06, 2011
Guess the Plot
1. Victoria is a typical village girl, cheerful and hardworking. But when her temper flares, so does everything around her. After setting two would-be attackers ablaze, Victoria flees into the forest, pursued by a mob of witch hunters. Saved by a handsome wizard named Zeke, Victoria finds that love, more than magic, helps tame her unruly powers.
2. The Kingdom is in danger. Only Beatrice, wielder of the sword Feldspar, can vanquish the evil. Problem is Beatrice is a hot-headed teenager and Feldspar is too flimsy to even cut bread! Can Beatrice calm down while at the same time using metallurgy to add carbon alloys to her blade?
3. A series of murders in small business offices terrorizes greater Biloxi. The FBI comes in to help local police profile the killer. But nobody looks twice at the quiet, efficient young lady from the temp agency, who types 108 words a minute and throws a mean stiletto.
4. Abelle, Apprentice Swordsmith to Royal Master Klegion, needs to find the blood needed to turn the Master's latest chunk of steel into a magic weapon. But the apothecary is all out of dragon blood, there are no elves for sale at the slave auction, and he isn't going to sacrifice himself. Maybe it's time the Apprentice became the Master.
5. Tammy Perkins's nickname was bestowed on her at the age of one, when she threw her first tantrum over some baby bling. Fifteen years later, she seems to have met the one person who won't cave to her histrionics. But will the cute new boy reveal a set of fangs?
6. Unity has remained a recluse because her temper is so bad she's liable to kill anyone who annoys her. Which is bad news for the daughter she has, about nine months after loneliness brings her out of isolation. Terrified of harming her daughter, she abandons her and takes a less-stressful job trying to prevent war between two rival kingdoms.
Unity has a deadly temper. Literally. Her anger will irreversibly stop the heart of the person she is angry with. [Which explains why she's never fouled out of a basketball game.]
Heart Stoppers are identified at their magical Unlocking ceremony and summarily executed; [Coincidentally, it's been years since any Heart Stoppers actually showed up for their Unlocking ceremony.] Unity only survived because her father was the Mage officiating at the ceremony, and hid her curse.
Unity grows up a recluse, learning skills to control her temper, but fails to remove the curse.
[Top 5 Most Dangerous Jobs in the World
5. Coal Miner
1. Anger management instructor for teen-aged Heart Stoppers]
Loneliness eventually forces her out of isolation following her father’s death, and she lives in a small village, married to [a] humble [mute] man. Her prodigious magical ability brings her to the attention of the Crown, [What is she using her magical ability to do?] and she is offered her father’s old job.
Unity faces the greatest challenge to her calm: a strong-willed infant. Terrified of harming her daughter, she flees and accepts the job, where she impresses with her innovative spells to defend the kingdom.
Unity’s temper kills a visiting foreign prince, but she manages to cover her involvement.
Longing to be a recluse again, Unity feels responsible for the escalating aggression between the prince’s kingdom and her own. [She is responsible, if the escalation began with the killing of the visiting prince.] Her skills are needed to keep the land safe from magical attack, so she resolves to leave once she has found and trained a successor.
The only suitable candidate identified after many years of searching [Many years? A person with powerful magic ought to be able to use it to flush out other people with magic. An ad in CraigsList would have gotten a dozen candidates.] [If I resolve to leave town after training a successor, and I can't even find one after a couple years, I'm gone, and screw the kingdom.] is her own estranged daughter, Rory. Furious at being abandoned, Rory rebels against all of Unity’s attempts to train her, baiting her constantly. [And she's still alive?] Rory only stays because her best friend, Jeremy, the illegitimate son of the murdered prince, is determined to uncover the killer using the latest magical devices they can “borrow” from Unity’s laboratory.
Told from both Unity’s and Rory’s points of view, TEMPER is a 70000 word [70,000-word] YA fantasy.
This seems a bit long. Those one-sentence plot paragraphs are eating up a lot of space. I know you don't want us to think Unity would have a child out of wedlock, but do we really need the humble husband in the query? We can do without Jeremy as well.
As I understand it (from the previous New Beginning post and comments), the heart-stopping death ray emanates as a spherical wave that begins in Unity's forehead. Thus it would kill anyone in the room or the area. Does the wave know to kill Joe but not Ed when they're standing next to each other and Joe made Unity angry? If not, was Unity alone with the visiting prince when he was killed? I would expect a visiting dignitary to have an entourage of bodyguards, and to be reluctant to be alone with the rival kingdom's mage. Even if the wave can discern who made Unity angry, wouldn't others nearby feel the wave? Thus realizing a Heart Stopper was there?
How is the prince's death explained to the prince's kingdom? "He just dropped dead for no reason while he was alone arguing with our mage, who isn't a Heart Stopper."?
What is it that's being "unlocked"? The Heart Stopping ability? Why don't they just leave it locked?
To shorten this, try combining the first two paragraphs. Follow that with a paragraph about Unity's new position as mage. Then reduce the last three plot paragraphs to something like: When Unity’s temper kills a visiting foreign prince, she resolves to relinquish her position once she has found and trained a successor. But the only suitable candidate proves to be her own estranged daughter, Rory, who doesn't know Unity is a Heart Stopper, and constantly rebels against Unity’s attempts to train her.