Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Guess the Plot
1. Times are changing five billion years ago, even if Single-Cell Congress will not come together on a bill that would recognize multicellularity. No matter what President Amoebama proposes, those that want to duplicate themselves always cause a split.
2. Life in the city was more than the buxom farm-raised Collins twins were prepared for when they moved into the building they'd inherited from Uncle Andrew. Noisy pipes, frozen plumbing, traffic . . . then again, visits from the ultra-hunky Major twins next door made it all worth it. Also, a ghost who makes wishes come true.
3. Rhoda buys four old duplexes (or as she insists on calling them, duplices)planning to fix them up and rent them. When an arsonist burns the whole complex to the ground, Rhoda races to find a deadly secret hidden among the charred ruins before she's charged with setting the blaze herself.
4. Duplexes? Duplexii? Duplices? Two gay real estate agents argue over the wording of a want ad; an arcane inscription on an ancient Roman ruin is deciphered; a game of Scrabble ends in murder. Seemingly random events lead to an age-old conspiracy that may change everything we know about the history of Western Civilization. Also, a didactic lexicographer
5. In 2110 no humans breed. In a last ditch effort to preserve humanity, the Earth Alliance embarks on a wholesale cloning operation. Side effect? Every second clone is a homicidal maniac.
6. A veterinarian discovers that for the past decade she's unknowingly been inhabiting the body of a warrior (aka a duplices) every night while sleeping, and fighting off creatures to protect an alternate world. No wonder she's always so tired in the morning.
The youngest of three, working as a veterinarian in the family clinic, Raven had her life drama all figured out. ["Life drama" doesn't sound right. She had her future planned out? Raven's future was set?] With a hateful half-brother and a manipulative stepmother on her heels, her biggest problems were the occasional arguments and the Sunday family lunches. [If that's as much as we're going to get about those two characters, let's drop that sentence from the query.] Till she found out she’d been leading not one, but two distinct lives for the past ten years. [I'd go with "then" rather than "till."]
Every night when she laid [lay] in here [In where?] asleep, the day started anew for her in the Essentia. In this whole new world, energy is the life giving force and balance is key to its existence. [That's pretty vague. What exactly do you mean by "energy"? Balance is the key to energy's existence?] As a shielder, her job is to fight Creatures, whose sole intent is to take hold of the Essentia and its energy supply. [If they've been trying to get this energy supply for ten years, and they still don't have it, and they're still alive, maybe energy isn't the life-giving force everyone thinks it is.] And for that, they’ve gone to war.
Only it [What is "it"?] awakened her into a duplices, one of the seven, each with a set of combined skills to be used on the front lines of the Essentia guard. In the midst of battle, she gains awareness of both her lives and must now face an enemy she once called her own. [Her own what?]
THE DUPLICES is complete at 62,000 words. It’s a young adult novel available at your request. I’m a Brazilian, an English teacher and this is my first novel.
Your attention and consideration are highly appreciated.
The title comes from the main character's abilities in the other world. It's latin for double. [My research (what little research can be done without leaving my chair) indicates that "duplices" is the second-person singular present active subjunctive of duplico. That, alone, is enough to convince me I was right not to ever take a Latin class. Further investigation reveals that duplico is a verb, meaning to double. Of course I will bow to your greater knowledge of Latin (as mine is limited to ipso facto, which I've heard said but don't know what means) and assume duplices can be a noun, which is how you are using it. But even so, I would have to ask why the title is in Latin. You want a title that catches people's interest. Something like Double Jeopardy or I Was a Teenage Warrior Woman--and Didn't Even Know It!]
The plot keeps shifting between past and present tense. Do the whole thing in present.
What exactly are Raven's powers? Tell us.
If she gets wounded in battle, does she wake up with the wound? If so, how does she explain it? If not, how does she know she isn't just dreaming Essentia?
This is all setup. Raven discovers that when she's sleeping in our world, she's fighting Creatures in another. Now what's the story? Does she want to continue? Does she want out of one of her lives? How does she plan to get what she wants? What goes wrong? The energy and balance paragraph isn't telling us anything about what happens.
Don't just tell us who your main character is, make us care about her.