Wednesday, September 07, 2011
Guess the plot
Martin Mason and the Man in the Crystal Prison
1. Not at all based on Harry Potter. Not in the slightest. Honest.
2. J.K. Rowling's lovechild by Evil Editor pens a scathing tell-all in the tradition of Mommy Dearest.
3. In the prison is the iron-fisted tyrant Samuel Wade, who just happens to be Martin Mason's father. Martin has the ability to turn invisible, but should he use this power to break his father out, or should he hang out in the women's locker room at the local gym? Or should he just stare at a blank wall?
4. Martin Mason, middle aged Irishman, tumbles into a rabbit hole on his way home from a pub in Limerick and discovers he's actually a wizard with a very important mission in life: guard the wee evil elf in the crystal prison on Fiona's key ring and don't let him out until the ransom has been negotiated with Glimmerella. But Martin accidentally lets the elf go. Hilarity ensues.
5. Martin Mason, teen-aged musical prodigy, learns that his music teacher/mentor has been unjustly incarcerated in the Crystal Prison and sets out to free him by smuggling in a high-F# tuning fork with which to shatter the walls.
6. Mild-mannered accounting clerk Martin Mason is troubled by a recurring dream of a man confined in a prison with crystal windows and bars. He takes an hallucinogenic herb to deepen his dream state, and finds himself in a crystal prison where he dreams of a mild-mannered accounting clerk.
Dear Evil Editor,
Thirteen-year-old Martin Mason spends his evenings staring at a blank wall in his school’s basement. [A fascinating character about whom I would like to read an entire novel.
Man, I still can't get enough of staring at this blank wall. It's like a giant canvas for my imagination. Hey, I never noticed this, but the wall isn't quite white. More of an off-white. Egg shell, maybe.
I wonder if they'd mind if I brought in a poster to hang on the wall. Just to break up the monotony. Nothing gaudy, of course, maybe a photograph of Tolkien or a still life of a fruit bowl with no apples, just Kiwi fruit and limes and prunes. Not that the wall is that monotonous. It is slightly brighter in the middle and darker in the corners. Though that could be a trick of the lighting.
Someone should paint a mural on this wall. A mural of characters from Dr. Suess and Looney Toons. I wonder if the Cat in the Hat would have as much trouble catching the Roadrunner as Wile E. Coyote does. The Cat's pretty smart, and the Roadrunner isn't necessarily smart, he just survives because the coyote keeps buying his contraptions from Acme, which makes crap. How does that place stay in business?
Whoa, what's that spot? Was that little spot there yesterday? I couldn't have missed that, could I? It looks like someone came in and drew a little dot with a Sharpie. Someone . . . lefthanded. Who walks with a limp. But why? Wait . . . IT'S MOVING!!! What the-- Oh. It's a spider. Shit, I'm losing it. Hey, I never thought about it, but I wonder . . . what's behind this wall?] Behind this wall lies a device designed to free tyrant Samuel Wade from an impenetrable prison. [Whattaya mean, "tyrant"? Are we talking Stalin or the Vice Principal?] [Is this supposedly impenetrable prison the crystal prison of the title? Gimme a sledge hammer and stand back.] Though Martin doesn’t know about this device, he does know three teachers who used to work behind that wall have mysteriously disappeared. Well, that, and he’s the prime suspect. [Why?]
To solve these disappearances and clear his name, Martin must first master his mind’s rare ability to manipulate its surroundings. Turning invisible was great for playing pranks at his old school back home. But sneaking around unseen at night tends to arouse suspicion at a school where Martin’s talent isn’t so unique. [If he's unseen, and others have the same ability, why is he the one they suspect?]
Martin must then decide who deserves his trust in this secret, seemingly idyllic world of self-driving cars and death-defying medical technology. His best bet is the teacher who supposedly saved him from life as some government lab rat by dragging him to this school in the first place. But Martin suspects him in the disappearances. [If Martin suspects him, then why is he the best bet?] There’s also the school Director. But he suspects Martin. [Why?] As for the police, they weren’t much help during Samuel Wade’s iron-fisted rule five years ago. [Rule of the school? Usually impenetrable prisons are reserved for the worst criminals. What did Wade do?]
What’s really getting to Martin, though, is the discovery that Wade is his biological father. [Aha! It's Star Wars. Martin is Luke, Wade is Vader, and the blank wall is the Force.] Despite Martin’s affection for the adoptive parents who raised him, he feels drawn to his own flesh and blood. If Martin is to stop Wade’s return, [If he doesn't know about the device designed to free Wade, and Wade is in an impenetrable prison, why does he think he needs to stop Wade's return?] solving the mystery of the blank wall won’t be enough; he must also resist his father’s temptations. [Wouldn't it be more accurate to refer to the mystery of the missing teachers than the mystery of the blank wall?]
MARTIN MASON AND THE MAN IN THE CRYSTAL PRISON is an upper middle
grade fantasy, complete at 73,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Martin is trying to stop Wade's return? Meaning if the device is used to free Wade, he will regain his power?
What is Martin trying to do, mentally create a door in the wall? There must be some way into that room besides manipulating matter.
Once you get to Martin must master his mind's ability etc. you lose the main plot thread. Dump the pranks and self-driving cars and focus on what Martin plans to do once he masters his ability. Instead of listing those who don't deserve his trust, tell us whom he does trust to help him, assuming there is someone. What, specifically, is the danger, and what can Martin do about it?