Friday, July 22, 2011
Guess the Plot
Duty and Death
1. When Lillianne's father tells her she's to marry the Duke of Gloucester's son, she can't believe he's serious. No man could be more wrong for her. A daughter's duty? Ha! She'd rather die. Better yet, the royal oaf must die.
2. Customs official Temika Wright is used to people trying to sneak something past her with a bland "nothing to declare." But an odd-smelling suitcase arouses her suspicions. What's the duty on a corpse?
3. Raised to be a cold-blooded assassin, the daughter of a tyrant has been tasked with marrying and then killing her father's enemy. But she falls for the guy. Is duty to her country (and her deranged father) reason enough to kill the man she loves?
4. Steve Billings isn't afraid of combat-- quite the opposite. But he has a deathly susceptibility to heatstroke. When his unit is due to ship out to Iraq, Steve is faced with a conundrum. No one is asking; should he tell?
5. Matthew plays pro poker, Mandy cross-dresses and Boutie never learned the multiplication table. And their Customs and Border Protection office now has to share space with the IRS. Wackiness ensues.
6. St. Peter's longing for a vacation - after all, he's the only one in heaven with no time for harp-strumming. When a soul arrives with exactly 50.0000% qualifications for Heaven and the same for Hell, St. Pete jumps at the chance to take her on a road trip around the cosmos until she tips the balance one way or the other.
Skydra is a killer. [That sounds like the name Sea World would give to one of their killer whales.] The daughter of a deranged tyrant, she is supposed to be the delicate weapon her father has molded her to be. [A wordy way of saying she's been molded into a weapon.] A conscience isn’t something he counted on, nor does he suspect she has the ability to hear her family’s thoughts. [Has she always had this power? Because I can't imagine a six-year-old kid realizing she can hear people's thoughts and not telling anyone.] Moments of split consciousness allow her access to the thoughts of others and have made her a silent observer to the atrocities of her father – including her own mother’s death. This gift now shows her that the man she is supposed to marry and kill is in no way worthy of that fate. As she begins to know his mind, she finds her task more and more difficult. Soon she is unsure if she will be able to fulfill her father’s demands, and duty to her country, by killing the man she is growing to love.
DUTY & DEATH, my YA romantic fantasy novel, is complete at 87,000-words.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Not that I think you should rewrite the book, but wouldn't the conflict be more agonizing if Skydra couldn't hear people's thoughts? The fact that she knows, rather than suspects, that her target is a good guy and her father is a deranged wife killer makes her decision somewhat easier.
Why is marrying her target part of the plan? They've gotten to know each other, so I assume there's been an opportunity to kill him before the wedding day.
The last two sentences of the plot paragraph say the same thing. And what they say is already implied by the sentence that precedes them. Thus I suggest dropping them and adding two or three sentences about how Skydra plans to resolve her dilemma. You might also work in who the target is and why Daddy wants him dead. And use paragraphing for the plot.
Why specifically say Skydra can hear her family's thoughts, when she can hear anyone's thoughts?
Does she have any family besides her father?
If the "Death" in the title is the same death that's her duty, the title is sort of redundant. Usually a title in the Blank and Blank format has two different items surrounding the "and." For instance, War and Peace, Love and Death, Dumb and Dumber. Skydra's choice is Love and Duty or Duty and Conscience.