Thursday, July 14, 2011
Guess the Plot
The Sin Eaters
1. Environmentalists consider it a sin that endangered species are so rare. Bubba Richards and his redneck friends agree: those critters should at least be medium rare to bring out all the juicy flavors.
2. Every millennium or so the “Sin Count” reaches its limit and God initiates the Apocalypse. The world has already ended and begun again 665 times. Each time the Sin Eaters have failed to defeat the Sin Army. Is the 666th time the charm?
3. A rash of missing person cases strikes Fluvanna County, Virginia at about the same time detective Anna Robertson's new boyfriend stocks his freezer--and hers--with ground beef. Would it be rude, while eating his tacos, to ask him where he shops ?
4. They're called "Devil's food cake" and "Deviled eggs" for a reason: the secret ingredient is the blood of innocent victims. A trail of bodies points Inspector Jarrett toward a secret society of chefs on a culinary journey to sample all foods so decadent they're sinful.
5. Amy Williams is the world's most unusual vampire, but can she get a date? The beauty gene never even sniffed in her direction. Maybe it's time to head to the gym and set sights on brooding rogue cop Drake Heattrew. If he ever finds out she sucks sin out of mortals, he'll book 'er - but by then, Amy might just have reformed this bad boy.
6. When Jason attempts an escape from prison, he is hit by a runaway golf cart. In limbo he meets Satan who offers him a deal; eat seven people who embody the seven deadly sins, or rot with him in hell. Jason’s a vegan. Will he accept the deal or barter for a vegetarian alternative?
Dear Evilest of Editors,
When Archangel Michael drives the getaway-car after Dove accidentally kills her foster brother, Dove knows her life is about to change. [If the death was an accident, why is there a getaway car?] [Also, shouldn't an archangel be able to come up with a better escape plan than driving away in a car?] But how could she have expected she would soon be responsible for saving the world? [I don't see any need for that paragraph. The foster brother killing is never mentioned again, and the rest of it is general.]
Every millennium or so the “Sin Count” reaches its limit and God decides to initiate the Apocalypse. [I'm pretty sure this doesn't happen every thousand years on Earth. You might be able to sell every ten thousand years.] The world has already ended and begun again 665 times. [If we accept the first sentence, that means Apocalypses have been happening for 665,000 years. Which means the Sin Count was reaching its limit before man even existed.] Dove learns she is part of a legendary group called the Sin Eaters, who are reincarnated on the eve of every Armageddon to attempt to save the world from its violent end. They have never yet succeeded. [I have a non-violent solution. Every millennium or so, raise the Sin Count ceiling.]
Dove is brought to a secret encampment deep in the Rocky Mountains where she is reunited with a variety of battle-weary, but hopeful, allies she has known for eternity, as well as an eccentric army of “End-of-Worlders.” But they have a crisis to prepare for: the first stage of the Apocalypse is going to start soon, and when it does an army of sin incarnate is going to storm the earth. [That sentence shouldn't have a "but" at the beginning.] If they don’t defeat it before the seventh stage ends, God will destroy the world. [This "God" character is a real downer. Is this the same God so many people think is hot stuff?]
Not only are they fighting a Sin Army, they also have to deal with the numerous trials God sends their way (famine, earthquakes, rivers of blood, etc.), and an Antichrist. Is it any wonder they have never yet succeeded? [You'd think the Antichrist would send the famine and rivers of blood. Is the Antichrist the good guy?]
But Dove is determined to triumph, and throws herself into training and plotting. She would probably have more success if Michael, her soul-mate, wasn’t so hell-bent on staying away from her; [What is it she's not having success at?] he believes their relationship is one of the reasons the Sin Eaters have continuously failed. [If you've failed at something 665 times and you still don't know what you're doing wrong, blame it on your woman.] But just when the group’s chances are looking up, someone in their number finally gets fed up with God’s antics, and joins ranks with the Antichrist, deciding the world might be better off under different rule. [This person who gets fed up with God's antics should be the main character. Anyone with the guts to show God the error of His ways deserves star billing.]
Dove and the Sin Eaters continue to attempt to vanquish the world of evil, but is it finally time to take the world back from God as well? [It was time during the Roman Empire. What are we waiting for?]
The Sin Eaters is a YA urban fantasy, complete at 75,000 words.
Thank you very much for your time!
We don't need this much information. Dump the first paragraph and the fourth. Rewrite the fifth, getting rid of Michael and focusing on how things are going well, who betrays them to join the Antichrist, and what they plan to do about it.
Possibly I shouldn't bring up the math problems. Possibly readers should accept this as an alternate history of Earth, in which everyone was killed off a thousand years ago, and the population has reached seven billion since then. But it seems when a fantasy is set on Earth, and you ask the reader to accept the existence of Sin Eaters and a Sin Army, that you might want to ground the book in reality as much as possible. It might as well be another planet if nothing is recognizable other than the Rocky Mountains. I can accept that there's an Apocalypse every thousand years on the Gohr prison planet Lycus IV, because I don't know any better.
You'd think Hitler would have pushed the Sin Count to Apocalyptic levels all by himself, but we're still here. Maybe Rupert Murdoch will push it over the top.