Monday, July 15, 2013
Guess the Plot
The Death of Ava Stanton
1. When Ava Stanton unfollows Evil Editor on Twitter, she learns why he isn't known simply as Grouchy Editor.
2. Ava Stanton asks President Lincoln to free all indentured vampires. The vampires don't want to be freed. They like their hours, their pensions and the blood they suck from witless citizens. They drain Ava's vital fluids, but Ava persists, even after death. It's time to call in the werewolves.
3. Finding a body of a young woman in a government secret underground facility raises lots of questions. How did a shy freshman from Hawaii get there? Why is everyone who came in contact with the body missing? And most importantly, even though she's been stashed in the morgue, is she really dead?
4. Ava Stanton is having visions of the future, visions in which she dies. When one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse enrolls at Ava's high school, she finally has someone who can help her. But there's one thing she didn't count on. She didn't count on falling in love with him.
5. The message is chilling: "I am going to kill Ava Stanton." But who left it in the mail slot of "Friendly Florist"? Which Ava Stanton? In what city? Or--is it a suicide note? Also, a handsome truck driver.
6. When physics student Ava Stanton joins Professor Nimble in an unplanned time jump to 1984, she sets in motion a chain of events ensuring that her parents never meet. Ava is never born, and the professor never travels through time. But he still remembers her, in his dreams. Can Ava communicate from the spirit realm and inspire the professor to save her from herself?
Dear Evil Editor:
THE DEATH OF AVA STANTON is a YA gothic romance, complete at 65,000 words.
Ava Stanton is falling in love and it might kill her.
It’s been three day [days] since Ava Stanton started turning into a freak. Three days since the visions of the gray world and her death, started. She can feel the sword of the white[-]eyed man sliding into her chest. Hear the boy, with words flowing over his skin, screaming her name. She just has to pretend to not be crazy and fade into the background at her new school. [It was all sounding like this dramatic saga in a mythic world, And then you added "at her new school."]
Ava succeeds in hiding the visions, until Eli, the boy from her dreams, shows up. The images are growing stronger [Actually feeling a sword sliding into her chest wasn't strong enough?] and she is losing control. As she dives deeper into the mystery of the visions, lies of her family, and Eli’s connection, the truth unfolds. [Diving deeper into a mystery doesn't sound like the action of someone losing control.] She can see the future and the true form of immortals. Immortals like the white[-]eyed fallen angels, destined to kill her, and Eli, a Horseman of the Apocalypse. [When you said Eli showed up, did you mean he was the new kid at school or that he rode in on a fiery-red horse?]
She is falling in love with War and running out of time. The gray world is coming, along with her death and only Eli can help her. [But first he calls in his buddies, Conquest, Famine and Death, because when you're trying to convince a high school girl that she isn't crazy, you want as much help as you can get.] The words etched in his skin connect their fates. [What language was used when the words were etched in his skin?] She must change the future to save herself. [Of course if she saves herself, you'll have to come up with a new title.]
Thank you for you time and consideration.
Get rid of "Ava Stanton is falling in love and it might kill her."
The following paragraph is okay as an opening, but the other plot paragraphs are vague. You might consider scrapping the whole thing and starting something like: As if attending a new school weren't horrifying enough for 16-year-old Ava Stanton, now she's having visions of her death at the hands of fallen angels. Just when she thinks she's losing her mind, she meets Eli, a boy who claims to be one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Suddenly Ava's mental state doesn't seem so bad.
Those last two sentences probably shouldn't be used unless you rewrite this as a comedy. Which I recommend. Otherwise just tell us what happens in plain English. And get more of what makes this appealing to a YA audience into the query. It seems like the story could as easily be about an adult as a teen.
"Gothic romance" made me think 19th century. Feeling like a freak at her new school made me think contemporary. Including when it takes place and Ava's age will help.
You'd think a Horseman of the Apocalypse would have better things to do than disguise himself as a teenager so he can hook up with a high school girl.
Is the romance between Ava and Eli or Ava and War? Are we mainly concerned with Ava's future, or the future of the world? Does War want to change the future?