Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Guess the Plot
Girl in the Dark
1. She's a girl. She's in the dark. Also, some rats, a baseball bat, and a flashlight with failing batteries.
2. After dying, seventeen-year-old Julie finds herself in a Dark world where she must stop a Darkness in its quest to claim the earth as its own. But can she focus on her task when there's a hunky stranger hanging with her? Did I mention it was Dark?
3. When the severed head of iconic 'scream queen' Devilicious is found stuffed in a cooler inside a burning car, homicide Detective Zack Martinez knows two things: One, she didn't drive herself, and two, that horror film scream-a-thon at the Egyptian won't be the same without her as hostess.
4. Sophia works in Brussels as a high class ‘night escort’. She goes to the most exclusive parties with Europe’s most powerful men. She is privy to many nations’ secrets. Others want those secrets and they are after Sophia. She hides during the day and ventures out only at night. Can Sophia’s ‘friends’ catch the stalkers before she is caught?
5. Shanna is an ordinary teenager, worrying about college acceptance letters and a date for the prom, but when a freak accident unlocks her hidden clairvoyance, her life takes an unexpected turn. Suddenly, Shanna knows things she shouldn’t know, and her idealistic family life is anything but what it seems.
6. Jason, a young Catholic priest in fin-de-siecle New Orleans, sees the Girl in the darkened rectory hallway every night. After a steamy candle-lit bath, Jason discovers a message from the Girl on his fogged mirror. It warns of doomsday -- and asks Jason to help save the world.
Dear Evil Editor,
Julie's last thought before she closes her eyes is that dying isn't too hard, but dying alone sucks. [Her first thought after she opens her eyes is that sex isn't bad, but sex alone is even better.]
The world looks different on the other side - here, she can see the Darkness, an evil force that thrives on bloodshed. It's out to claim the earth as its own, [Anyone can claim the earth; it's getting earthlings to accept your claim that's the tricky part.] and must be stopped at all costs. The collectors are devoted to doing just that, and see something in Julie worth saving. But her new life comes with a price: she must either succeed as a collector, or die. Again. For real, this time. But even with great gifts - the ability to stop time, a regenerating and ever-young body, and a weapon powerful enough to slice the devil in two - Julie knows she's going to be a big fat fail as a collector. Because Julie knows all about stacked heels. The best spring lip color. How to tell the real Prada from a knock-off. [Knowing those things isn't what's going to cause her to fail. If we must know Julie has great fashion sense, tell us when you introduce her. Otherwise, save it for the book.]
She has no idea how to be a hero.
[Actually, it's pretty easy.
1. Stop time.
2. Take your weapon and slice the bad guys in two.
3. Go home and restart time.]
Julie's uncoordinated. Unpretty. Not even particularly brave. She might be immortal, but she's no hero. And her mentor, the girl who's supposed to be showing her the ropes, seems like she's more interested in throwing Julie to the wolves. She has Julie wondering[:] if the collectors are supposed to be the good guys, then why do they seem so bad? [In what way do they seem bad?] And then there's the blue-eyed stranger, [Isn't everyone in this place a stranger?] the only kind thing in this new Dark world. Will she live long enough to reveal the secret he carries about Julie's past? [Does that sentence say what you think it says? How can she reveal the secret he carries? To whom would she reveal it?]
Julie's got to get this right. This is her last chance. Last chance at redemption for a seventeen year-old that died alone on some forgotten stretch of road. It's her last chance at something resembling life. Maybe even love. [Love with a blue-eyed stranger.]
She just has to be that girl. That superhero girl.
Girl in the Dark is a YA urban fantasy, 80,000 words.
An occasional non-sentence is fine for effect. But. You have at least ten sentences with no verb. Annoying. Irritating. To me. I start wondering if the whole book is like that. Choppy. Like this. Is there anything wrong with:
Sure, Julie knows all about stacked heels, the best spring lip color, and how to tell the real Prada from a knock-off.
But she has no idea how to be a hero.
She must succeed as a collector, or die--for real this time.
Why are the collectors called the collectors? What do they collect? Should "collectors" be capitalized?
We know very little about the story. Julie dies on a highway, and finds herself being mentored as a collector, someone devoted to stopping some "Darkness" that thrives on bloodshed. And there's a stranger. What little we know is vague.
The Darkness wants to claim the earth as its own? What does that mean? What specific things has the Darkness done in this attempt to claim the earth? Has it killed three people? Has it caused a World War? Is it a visible entity or just a nebulous idea?
Her mentor seems to be throwing her to the wolves? What did her mentor do? We want specifics about the plot.