Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Guess the Plot
The Virgins of Kraa
1. Every year, the island of Kraa sacrifices one virgin to the great volcano. Right sick of this, this year the girls of Kraa have taken action, leaving poor, humiliated Henry the only virgin of the proper age. Hilarity ensues.
2. Wealthy yet innocent mogul Kraa has discovered one thing he doesn't own: a harem. He orders 40 virgins for his harem, and decrees they all must remain virgin, at cost of death. Boy, is he going to be surprised when he finds out what a harem is for.
3. Siddi is pregnant despite her chastity vow, and the priestesses think it's a miracle so they want to sacrifice the child to the goddess Kraa. Meanwhile a secret society wants the baby as their organization's figurehead. And Sid's parents want to murder her. It's a hard life being one of . . . The Virgins of Kraa.
4. The people of Kraa choose a perfect male for the noble honor of sacrifice to the gods, as has been done for time uncounted. Then waifish earther, Kami Sole, crashes on the eve of the selection tournament. Now the virgins struggle to find one reason to hop into the fire.
5. The dragon of Kraa had a discerning palate: he ate only virgins. Therefore Kraa’s rules of sexual propriety changed. Peghter was ten. Given a choice between an arranged marriage or the shame of the town’s concubine, he instead gathers heroes to defeat the dragon once and for all.
6. Emperor Kraa has not produced an heir, despite a harem of young women who are determined to be the mother of the next emperor. Follow their antics as they try to undermine each other and turn the emperor away from his beloved general and force him to perform.
Dear Evil Editor,
I would like to offer my novel, The Virgins of Kraa, for your mockery.
Just because she was born on the goddess Kraa’s feast day, fifteen year old Siddi is expected to shave her head, don the white robes and serve in Kraa’s temple for five years. Forget it! Siddi soon finds ways to break her vows – especially the ‘chastity’ one – and enjoy herself while supposedly ministering to the poor in the teeming slums. [Is this book for teens? Usually if the MC is 15, the book is meant for kids a year or two younger than that. Whether parents want their 13-year-olds reading a book in which the 15-year-old MC is enjoying herself by breaking her chastity vows I will leave to those minions who actually have 13-year-old kids. Would the book be unfavorably altered if girls born on Kraa's feast day began their temple service at age 17?]
Pregnant, she flees from the temple, [I was under the impression she was breaking her vow to serve in the temple by hanging out in the slums.] knowing that her actions would bring shame on the family [This could suggest that she's hiding her pregnancy from her family, yet later she's fleeing her family. Do they know or not?] - and shamed families can only regain their honour by killing the child who shamed them. [That rule sucks. Especially if your friends' parents feel no shame even if their kids are mass murderers, while your parents feel shame if you wear clothes that don't match.] Siddi takes refuge in the slums and ekes out a living waiting for the birth of her child.
Arka, her only confidante from the temple, warns her that the priestesses believe her pregnancy to be a miracle, and a blood sacrifice of the baby will transform the goddess Kraa from a minor deity to the top of the pantheon, in accordance with prophesy. [Life would be so much better if we could just get Kraa to the top of the pantheon.] [I wonder if in ancient Greece there were followers of Pan, the god of goatherds, who sacrificed babies in hopes of elevating Pan above Zeus in the pantheon.] [Actually, for all we know, Zeus was originally the god of sandals, and only became top dog because sandal wearers sacrificed a lot of babies.]
Fleeing both Kraa’s followers and her outraged family, Siddi and the newborn are taken in by a secret underground society, the Naturalists. [As "naturalist" is a term that describes a large number of people in our world, maybe your small group in your world should have a different name. For instance, "Ferirama." I got that one using this fake word generator.] Their aim is to discredit the gods and build a society based on rational thought rather than superstition. But they need a figurehead to give their movement momentum – and who better than a baby targeted for sacrifice?
With a mad priestess believing herself to be the physical embodiment of Kraa now after the baby, and the king declaring the Naturalists a threat to the realm, Siddi really doesn’t need more attention being drawn to her baby and flees the Naturalists. She and Arka need to infiltrate the temple, discredit the goddess and make it appear that the temple itself is the threat to the monarchy.
Told in alternating viewpoints between Siddi and Arka, The Virgins of Kraa is complete at 80 000 words.
Pregnant, she flees from the temple.
Fleeing both Kraa’s followers and her outraged family...
Siddi ... flees the Naturalists.
That's a lot of fleeing. I would focus less on the fleeing and more on the one sentence that hints at Siddi doing something, namely: She and Arka need to infiltrate the temple, discredit the goddess and make it appear that the temple itself is the threat to the monarchy. We want to see the main character taking action to solve her problems, not fleeing every threat that comes her way.
I don't think we need all three groups (family, priestesses, naturalists) in the query. Possibly we can get by with just the priestesses. A paragraph introducing Siddi and stating that the priestesses want to sacrifice her unborn child is enough setup. That leaves plenty of room to tell us how she plans to save herself and her baby, what goes wrong, etc.
In my opinion, this society would have a law that if you get a girl with shaved head and white robes pregnant, you suffer a horrible amputation.