Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Guess the Plot
1. Gabriel is not looking forward to this year's Angel Olympics. Michael has won the javelin throw for the past twelve hundred years. Satan offers to replace Michael's platinum javelin with a replica, but in return he wants Gabe to sneak him back into heaven. Will Gabriel lose again, or take the deal?
2. Controversy erupts in Cold Falls when it's discovered that the winner of the annual 5k Race To The Falls is doping. So is the 2nd place winner. And the 3rd, and the 4th. Ultimately, the medal is awarded to Ambrose Bledsoe, who ambled the course with his Bichon Frise, Toodles, in six hours, 43 minutes.
3. Surfer Logan Quinn is on his last leg. Literally. A great white shark ate his other one. One day an Olympic gold medalist lets Logan try on his magical medal, and before you know it Logan regains his form as a champion surfer. Also, an inquisitive dolphin.
4. Lyn never knew his grandfather; the WWII vet died when he was still a young child. He grew up hearing stories of the old man's generally evil, nasty temper. When he finds a box containing his grandfather's war memorabilia, will he discover that Gramps was a hero--or a bastard?
5. Shani's wanted an Olympic gold medal since she was 3. Ice skating ended in hospitalization, as did gymnastics, running, three-day event, fencing, and curling. Confined to a wheelchair, can she finally medal at the Paralympics--or should she just break down and buy a replica from Home Shopping Network?
6. Ginger has trained for the Olympics since she was ten. Endless workouts, laps, lifting, spartan diet--she's done it all. But when she finally reaches the Olympics, will she be able to stay the course in the 4X400--or will that disturbingly handsome Venezuelan cyclist knock her off-stride?
Logan Quinn is living the life he's been trained for, until the day a Great White Shark shreds his dreams by claiming half of his left leg. [He becomes obsessed with hunting down that white shark. I call the book Moby Mako.] Unable to continue his life as an elite surfer, [he becomes a world-class hopscotch athlete.] he’s lost his career, the love of his life, and the last dregs of his dignity. [No need to switch from present tense.] [Wait, the love of his life dumps him because a shark ate his leg, and he's the one with no dignity?] Working at a dead-end job at a Cash-for-Gold, Logan is on his last leg, literally and figuratively.
Little does he know that an old man who wants to sell some of his late wife’s jewelry will change his life forever. George Akina is a former Olympic gold medalist who recognizes the former surf champion and invites Logan to try on his medal, inviting him to imagine greatness. Logan does just that. When the medal disappears into Logan's chest, George tells him the same thing happened to him twenty years prior, and that the medal's magic has kept him alive and healthy for many years past his wife's death. Logan doesn't believe in magic of any kind, but he's forced to admit he's feeling optimistic for the first time in many years. [So optimistic he quits Cash-for-Gold and applies at National Pawn.]
George dies soon after, willing the medal to Logan [George got the medal back? Did he reach into Logan's chest like that bad guy in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom or like that bad woman on Once Upon a Time, except grabbing the medal instead of Logan's heart?] with the caveat that he regain his position as one of the elite surfers in the world, [That's like me willing my estate to Evil Jr. with the caveat that he take up tennis and win Wimbledon.] a task Logan is reluctant to attempt. But, with encouragement and help from a neighbor, George's youngest son and his wife, a slew of old friends, [the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, ], an inquisitive dolphin, and even the ex-wife he still loves but lost, he decides to give it a shot.
Logan begins his climb back up the ladder to success. [Figuratively, but not literally.] He just might make it, despite his obvious handicap and opposition from some of George's offspring. [They want the medal? They don't have a leg to stand on.] That is, unless [the Association of Surfing Professionals rules that using a crutch on his surfboard gives him an unfair competitive advantage.] someone else needs the medal more than he does, especially when that person arrives in the form of George's great-granddaughter [who was forced to quit the LPGA when a wolverine ate her left arm]. [I don't think "especially when" works there. You could start a new sentence: And that person arrives... And include why she needs the medal.
The Medal is an 80,500 word novel. [Your genre is expected; I'd call it magic realism.]
Thank you for your time and consideration,
If George got the medal back and died soon after, perhaps it wasn't the medal that was keeping him alive after all.
Does Logan have an artificial leg?
You'd think if George's great-granddaughter needs the medal more than Logan does, George would have willed it to her.
If you're going to use the "last leg" line, I recommend opening the query with it: Logan Quinn is on his last leg, literally and figuratively.
The inquisitive dolphin is distracting me from the theme/conflict.
I would mention that Logan's a pro surfer before I mention that a shark claimed his leg. Also, "shark" is good enough. Otherwise readers may wonder if Logan took the time to identify the shark as it swam off with his leg. Plus, if you mention "Great White" someone may think the quality of your book is comparable to that of the movie Jaws 4: The Revenge. You definitely don't want that.