Thursday, June 09, 2011
Guess the Plot
Finding the Path
1. After a night of drunken forest debauchery, Todd wakes up at noon in a blackberry thicket, naked. Who were those chicks and why did they lead him here? Which way is home? And what happened to his frigging glasses? He can't see a thing without them.
2. 1941 Scotland. Sent to live in the country for safety, fifteen-year-old Mary and her brother Philip are bored and lonely. When the old gardener tells them about a secret pathway near the bridge, they decide to have a look. But will they find a trail--or something more sinister? Also, a ghostly fox.
3. A tribe of rabbits must find a new home when bulldozers arrive to turn their meadow into a parking lot.
4. Hansel and Gretel, aka 'House' and 'Grit,' have been abandoned halfway between Texas and Washington, DC by their crack-head mother. Can they find their way home to dad? Will he even realize they're missing, unless he runs out of beer?
5. Englebert lives in a bewitched forest. He eats roots, berries, and slow-moving varmints, sleeps in the hollow of a tree and dreams about a path that leads to the castle where the evil wizard who turned beautiful Naomi to glass now keeps her locked in a tower. Englebert wants to save the damsel, but he can't actually find that path without the help of a certain uncooperative elf.
6. Flip Miller develops telepathic powers after a nuclear blast and uses them to start a horse training business that doesn't require any whispering. Then the sheriff rides into town and asks Flip to use her powers to find some missing persons--including her grandmother. Can Flip ascertain "Which way did they go?" or do her powers just work on the equine crowd?
Dear Prospective Agent,
Life isn’t easy in the aftermath of a psionic nuke, [My Googling of "psionic nuke" turns up pages of video game-related responses. This leads me to wonder if you learned the term from your obsession with Starcraft II.] and a tiny fraction of the survivors have discovered new mental abilities within themselves even as they band together into small communities to ward off predators. ["Even as" implies that one wouldn't expect the development of new mental abilities from people banding together to ward off predators. I don't see that one has anything to do with the other.] ["Developed" is a tighter way of saying "discovered within themselves."]
Horse trainer Philippa Miller doesn’t whisper to horses; with her telepathic connection, she doesn’t have to. [Is it a telepathic connection just with horses?] But when the sheriff of the territory comes to find out if her gift can help him discover what is happening to the growing number of missing persons [discovering their whereabouts would take priority over discovering what's happening to them.] and her own grandmother vanishes, Flip finds herself up against the challenge of her life. [I would call surviving in the aftermath of a psionic nuke a bigger challenge. Either her gift can help the sheriff or it can't.] And she finds her abilities tested by an evil beyond her worst nightmares [An evil even worse than the aftermath of a psionic nuke?] even as she awakens to the possibility of a love beyond her wildest dreams. [With the sheriff?] [That's the second time you've used "even as" as a connector. It seems to work better here, although we have no idea what you mean by "an evil beyond her worst nightmares."]
FINDING THE PATH is an 81,000 word urban fantasy. I believe it will appeal to readers of Patricia Briggs, Rachel Caine and Faith Hunter. Following the old adage of 'write what you know', I raised and trained horses for many years and my husband [is an evil beyond my worst nightmares.] and children believe I'm telepathic. [Let's find out if you're telepathic. What am I going to say about your query?]
Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.
An evil beyond her worst nightmares/a love beyond her wildest dreams may seem like a clever contrast, but to me it's where the query comes splashing down in a pool of vagueness, even as it reaches its conclusion.
Is there a war going on, or did just one psionic nuke go off, thanks to terrorists or an accident? If it's the latter, can't the survivors go somewhere else instead of banding together to ward off predators? It sounds like the nuke incident occurred in the middle of nowhere. Was this territory an urban setting before the psionic nuke?
As no one else's mental powers are mentioned, and nothing is made of the predators, you might want to open with the focus on Flip:
In the aftermath of a psionic nuke, horse trainer Philippa Miller has developed a telepathic connection with her animals. When Sheriff Chad Massive drops by "Flip's" ranch to ask if her abilities might be useful in finding a string of missing persons, she hesitates--until she learns that her grandmother is the latest to go missing.
Start with something like that, and take us through the search and the evil and the romance even as you bombard us with specific fascinating details.