Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Face-Lift 1003


Guess the Plot

Vampire Sharks versus Zombie Werewolves

1. His brilliant diplomatic coups have all but assured the president of a second term in office when it's learned that vampire sharks and zombie werewolves are about to invade the US. Can he recruit a moody, brooding teenager in time to save the day--and his administration?

2. For centuries the zombie werewolves and the vampire sharks have done nothing but bark and snap at each other from the water boundaries. But when a sorcerer bestows upon everyone the ability to breathe both air and water, war erupts!

3. It’s World War IV and the fight is between the ocean dwelling vampire sharks and the land owning zombie werewolves. Ming is next in a long line of werewolf diplomats sent to become chummy with the sharks.

4. The Jefferson High Sharks and the Lincoln High Zombies are finalists in the state football championships. But during separate closed practice sessions, the Jefferson players cross over and the Lincoln players are infected. Strangely, none of the fans finds the game any more violent than usual.

5. The hottest new video game is Vam-sharks VS. Werezoms and Kioko is about to make her play to become world champion...when she learns the game is actually happening on an alien planet and the losers will be exterminated. Will she throw the match to save the werezoms?

6. The war is all but over; the zombie werewolves don't seem to have a prayer...until they hit upon the expedient of never going in the water.



Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,

In his first term, President Denton has averted two wars and reinstated the space program, leading to America's first working base on the moon. With the November election only six months away, he's all but guaranteed four more years...but there's one problem.

Intelligence reports indicate that America is about to be invaded by vampire sharks and zombie werewolves. [Okay, I can buy zombie werewolves. I'm not sure if they're werewolves who were killed and then came back from the dead, or if they're zombies who prowl the countryside only when the moon is full, but either way I'm totally on board. Vampire sharks, on the other hand? I mean, sharks that aren't vampires want to bite your neck and drink your blood, right? But their mouths are so big that when they do, they bite off your whole head. And then they eat the rest of you. There's nothing left of you to turn into a vampire shark or even a regular vampire.] [Also, if you get attacked by a werewolf, you actually care whether it's a zombie werewolf or not. If it's a regular werewolf, you may become a werewolf, but you can lead a normal life except when the moon is full. If it's a zombie werewolf, it eats your brains, and your life sucks during all moon phases. Conversely, if you get attacked by a shark, you don't care whether it's a vampire shark or not, because it's gonna eat you either way. Even if you claim vampire sharks drink blood but don't eat their prey, regular sharks would smell the blood in the water and come and eat you. Thus I suggest changing the vampire sharks to vampire cows, which are at least somewhat believable.] [One more thing. The title makes it sound like the vampire sharks and zombie werewolves are fighting each other, but now you claim America is being invaded by both of them. So it should be Vampire Sharks and Zombie Werewolves Versus America.] [Can vampire sharks breathe air? If not, it would be hard to invade a country unless they have big fishbowl-shaped headgear full of salt water. And they'd need prosthetic legs.] [Or they could travel in the back of water-filled trucks driven by humans who are willing to betray their species in return for riches the sharks bring them from the Titanic and other shipwrecks.]

If this were any other threat, Denton could deal with it through diplomacy, drone strikes and/or strategic use of the armed forces. But after reading countless books and watching hours upon hours of movies, he knows the only weapon capable of undoing such a ridiculous plot is a seventeen-year-old girl. Denton has three daughters of his own, but July, his oldest, is only fifteen. He'll have to recruit a reluctant champion from among the people; however, such a champion would not likely join if she were recruited by a soldier, police officer, firefighter or government spy -- men who would be ideal if the target was a middle-aged woman. No, only a moody, brooding teen will do the trick. [End this paragraph at "...among the people." The rest is just a joke that isn't important to the plot description.]

Denton's opponent in the upcoming election, Governor Townsend, has a teenage son. A son who just returned from boot camp after a stint in juvenile hall. A [moody, brooding] son named Thad.

Will Denton use Thad -- that dreamy-eyed bastard [delinquent] -- to recruit a teen girl, ensuring his loss in the next election? [Not clear that this ensures his loss. Sure, the opponent's hoodlum kid played a minor role, but the seventeen-year-old girl does all the work. And Denton will claim all the credit.] Will project LOL, SMH work, whereby they dump the zombie werewolves in the ocean and let them and the vampire sharks "eat it out?" [Now I'm starting to wonder if this is even a real book. To dump them in the ocean requires them to capture them, at which point they can just gas or shoot or bomb them. That doesn't get rid of the vampire sharks, but neither does throwing the zombie werewolves in the ocean, assuming the sharks' home field advantage leads to a rout.] Will Denton figure out that he accidentally switched up his recently prescribed anti-psychotic meds with a bottle of anti-worm pills for the family dog? [What does that have to do with anything?]

Vampire Sharks versus Zombie Werewolves is an 82,000 word YA novel (unfortunately for Denton).

Sincerely,


Notes

Is the LOL SMH plan thought up by the seventeen-year-old girl? She seemed to disappear from the query before she was even recruited. This being a YA book she is presumably your main character. She needs a major role in the query and she doesn't even have a name.

If you have enough free time to compose this query, maybe you can find enough to write the book. It could be a winner if you make it a subtle satire on the YA genre.

Of course, the idea that a teen is the only weapon that can save the world may be funnier to readers of this blog than it is to an audience of teens. Maybe you have the wrong target audience.

7 comments:

150 said...

I'm on board with the over-the-top supernatural threat, but at a loss to explain why the protagonist must be seventeen and why fifteen won't cut it.* Is that actually a trope?

It's only that last paragraph that makes this sound like a fake query--by reducing what is presumably the last 62k of the book to a series of pat solutions--so if this is a real thing, that's the paragraph to change. If it's not...well, maybe that should be your NaNoWriMo plan for this year.

*Is it to conceal that July gets together with the opponent's delinquent son? Don't conceal that.

BuffySquirrel said...

It's tempting not to comment on this merely because it may be a hoax. I do however find some aspects of it rather cool as satire or parody. But the query is a tad too long, perchance. Unless it is a hoax. I don't know the correct length for hoax queries.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

I didn't assume it was a hoax, but then I believed they took the word "gullible" out of the dictionary.

If it's real, then: I like the idea of a spoof on the teen-who-saves-the-day, but if it's going to be YA, it still needs to be from the POV of the teen, not some boring old president.

BuffySquirrel said...

The obvious solution is to have the President think he's a teen.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

Or for the Pres to actually be a teen. Maybe in the future, the U.S. has become a hereditary monarchy and so July Denton gets the nod after her dad is eaten by zombie werewolves.

But I'm still hoping this is a real novel.

Whirlochre said...

If it's a parody, the query needs cranking up a notch. If it's for real, it needs paring down.

Maybe if it's a runaway success the moon base can feature in book II.

Plus, I think it's about time the delicate subject of deodorants was covered by the YA genre writership. Let's face it, folks, teens stink.

BuffySquirrel said...

Brilliant! also, the delinquent gets to be first lady.