Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Guess the Plot
Line of Dissent
1. When Protestantism is outlawed in France, Denis Lefebvre flees and braves Turkish slave ships and Caribbean maritime battles to reach England, eventually winning the earldom of Maundale. But later generations of Lefebvres fight for religious freedom in France.
2. Ethan is a spider/human hybrid who sells his artistic webs. His "friends" are always making fun of him. When humans start attacking Ethan's "friends" with brooms, Ethan could spin a rescue line for them, or just watch them all die. Also, a toddler who eats spiders.
3. Hank loved Sue, who divorced him for Greg, while Hank married Ellen and had an affair with Terri, who split with Don and had a baby with Kim, while Greg found love with Hannah, who was in love with Michael, who was really Celine's daughter in disguise.
4. Tenisha loathed being there, hated the weeping and pained faces, the gnarled bodies and fear-sweat. However, the mounting bills and repo man weren't going anywhere. So, she did all she could for the poor souls in the returns line at Walmart. Also, a guardian angel.
5. Kade joined the revolution too late. Imprisoned for treason, he fights for his only chance at freedom. If he makes it through the Line of Dissent he's a free man. If he doesn't he's dead. Ollie-Ollie-Oxen-free!
6. Inspired by the hard lives of Vietnamese frog farmers in Yemen, Smith undergrad Moon Halstead embarks on a search for her Korean birth mother and the true nature of her sexuality.
Dear Evil Editor,
When Louis XIV revokes the Edict of Nantes and eliminates the free practice of Protestantism in France, [Isn't that saying the same thing twice?] the young and rash Denis Lefebvre, son of the Huguenot Count d’Abreaux, must flee the country. He braves Turkish slave ships, Caribbean maritime battles, and political and religious enemies of the Huguenot cause before he arrives safely in Protestant England, [If passage from France to England involves battles in the Caribbean, I think I'd just become Catholic.] eventually winning the earldom of Maundale [What exactly does one have to do to win the earldom of Maundale?] and establishing a safe haven for fellow refugees. [England being Protestant, I would think the whole country is a safe haven for fellow refugees. What needs to be established is a way to get there without braving Turkish slave ships and Caribbean maritime battles.] But when the scars of Denis's adventures turn him into a brute and his son's flight to safety [Safety from Denis?] turns into a quest for Denis's redemption, the Lefebvre family must re-enter the fight for French religious liberty.
Across the ocean, in colonial Providence, another family of religious dissenters, the Nasons, works hand-in-hand with Roger Williams to establish a land where inhabitants can truly find freedom to practice any faith — an idea previously unheard of in Western civilization. But when Williams sends one of the family back across the Atlantic to attract more settlers, the Nasons suffer at the hands of pirates and politicians — occupations as subtly different then as now — [and] they must fight for survival in a way [for which] colonial life never prepared them. [It's now a sentence, but still unwieldy. Maybe you should end it after "then as now." The rest is vague. If you can't tell us why their survival is at stake, I'd rather you didn't bring it up.]
Line of Dissent follows the Lefebvre and Nason families in an adventure saga spanning three generations, chronicling their struggle amidst the whirlwind of political, familial, religious, military, and — since this is a traditional adventure story, after all — romantic upheaval that eventually developed into freedom of religion in the West. The fast-paced yarn is complete at 84,000 words. [I don't think I'd refer to one book as both a saga spanning three generations and a fast-paced yarn.]
Thanks for your consideration.
In what way are these two families connected? It sounds like two books unless you tell us how they're brought together at some point. It's like opening with a paragraph about Sherlock Holmes, and then starting the next paragraph, Meanwhile, across the ocean in Texas, another crime fighter known as the Lone Ranger...
Three generations times two families equals six sets of main characters, with settings in France, England, the US and the Caribbean. 84,000 words sounds like barely enough to devote to three generations of one family.
It's hard enough to make us want to read a book when you focus the query on one character; true, Denis is the only fictional character named, but I'm not sure he's in more than a fifth of the book.
If a Nason meets a Lefebvre at some point, get us there quickly and tell us what happens with them. If they don't meet, convince us something is holding this together.