Monday, September 30, 2013

Face-Lift 1157

Guess the Plot

The Eternity Wars

1. Jerry always knew marriage could be tough, but this?

2. Blah blah blah blah gods blah blah blah blah prophecy blah blah blah blah blah blah chosen one blah blah blah blah blah save the world blah blah blah blah blah too late?

3. With agnosticism on the rise, God and the Devil come up with a new scheme to win believers: The Eternity Wars, a reality TV show starring the Big Man, the Big Bad, and your immortal soul.

4. Father Time is tired of Mother Nature ignoring his husbandly needs. Feeling neglected, he files for divorce. Mother Nature's reaction? Global warming. Can these wounded souls reconcile before humanity gets fried?

5. The Nibauh Galaxy establishes intergalactic communication with three other galaxies but intergalactic transportation is impossible. Nibauhsians hate the other galaxies' environmental policies and declare war on them. Because Nibauh can’t attack them, they instead destroy the intergalactic communications systems. Now they can’t negotiate peace so the war lasts forever.

6. Thanks to The Cure To Aging™, soldiers in the Eternity Army never grow old. This would eliminate the need to recruit new soldiers, if not for the annoying fact that soldiers in other armies keep killing them.

Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,

Adriel XIV has just agreed to spend her life as a soldier in exchange for fifty years of youth and a purpose. Several hundred years ago The Cure To Aging was invented—and the world quickly destroyed itself trying to get it. [From whom? The inventor? Why wasn't it being made available? What's the point of inventing a cure for aging if you're willing to let the world be destroyed in order to keep anyone from getting it?] Now, only the Council of Thirteen possesses the cure, and the Eternity Army that they temporarily gift it to. [Terrible sentence. This makes it sound like the council possesses the Cure and the Army. I assume you mean only the Council and their army possess the Cure.] [Also, shouldn't that be the Council of XIII?] [If someone in the Council of XIII gets murdered, Does Adriel XIV become Adriel XIII? If so, does she then get access to The Cure To Aging?]

Raised in the worst slum in the remnants of America, Adriel has striven for her place in the army for years. [I see Adriel has abandoned her Roman numeral. Or was that her last name? If it's her last name, you should change it to ZIV so it doesn't get confused with the Roman numeral for 14.] Despite the brutal training techniques, she would be perfectly content in the system if it weren’t for Dailen, an attractive and mysterious fellow recruit who reveals to Adriel the Council’s role in a trauma of her past. [What trauma?] [And more importantly, why doesn't Dailen have a Roman numeral?]

Further complicating [burdening] her conscience are the dubious missions that Adriel and her fellow soldiers are sent on. [What's dubious about them?] As she battles the nation’s “Traitors” she begins to discover just how corrupt the Council’s methods have become. [For example?]

As their romance moves forward Dailen admits that he is in fact a Traitor—and a very old one at that. Dailen managed to get ahold of The Cure To Ageing [If you're going to capitalize all the words as if this is the brand name of a drug, you should spell Aging/Ageing the same way each time.] [Also, shouldn't it be The Cure For Aging? Or Of Aging? It would probably have a better name, like EverYoung or Age Away, and there'd be TV ads that say: Do you want to spend your golden years in a retirement home, surrounded by geezers and crones? No? Then try YOOTH, and never grow old. You might even outlive the Eternity Wars! Not recommended for those with terminal diseases. Consult your physician if an erection lasts more than forty years.] in the original wars several hundred years ago. He has been biding his time ever since, waiting to insert himself in the army and overthrow a repressive, dangerous government that has reigned far longer than nature intended. [The reason it's reigned far longer than nature intended is because this guy's been biding his time for several hundred years. If the government is repressive and dangerous, what's he been waiting for?]

It is nearly time to take The Cure and Adriel must decide whether she shall use it to protect the Council—or to usurp them. [If she's discovered how corrupt the Council is, why is this a difficult decision? Is there an advantage to protecting the Council?]

THE ETERNITY WARS is a young adult novel completed at 80,000 words.

Thank you for your consideration,


I don't see how taking the Cure gives her any more power to protect or usurp the Council than she already has. Does the Cure do anything besides keep you young? The Council also have the Cure, so I don't see that it gives Adriel any advantage over them.

Is Adriel XIV years old? If that's the meaning, then Dailen would probably be CCCLXXXVIII, in which case I can see why he just goes by Dailen.

Too much vagueness. The trauma and the missions and the corruption would help us understand the characters' motivation if we had any idea what they were.

The big climax appears to be Adriel deciding what to do. Does she try to oust the Council? Does that go smoothly or are there major obstacles?


Veronica Rundell said...

Hi author,
I'm having a bit of trouble understanding the query.
How old is Adriel? Is she a teen? Because having "striven for her place" for years makes it sound as if she's older, and again trading her service for "youth and a purpose" sounds like something an older person might do.

See, a starving young girl/woman would join the fight for 3 squares and a safe place to sleep. Eternal youth is kinda not on the radar when you're trying to survive, so the stakes seem off, for me, in that regard.

Also, I kinda get an Ick Factor over young girl + battle-hardened semi-immortal. You're gonna need to show me this ain't pervy. Again, age of YA protag might set my reservations aside.

What is the deal with Ageless? They only give it to some of the recruits? How many missions must one survive in order to be deemed worthy?

No offense, but if I'd been waiting a couple hundred years to overthrow my oppressors I seriously doubt I'm gonna pin my coup to an untried teen female. It seems...foolhardy. What else does Adrial have going for her that makes her THE ONE?

I'm not all in, but I could be. Revise this w/logical descriptive statements. Get rid of the perv-factor. Also, the false choice ending is weak stakes. Fix that. Nobody wants a heroine who joins the dark side. And nobody believes she'd seriously consider it. So, tell us how she doesn't want to take The Cure and what happens when she doesn't. I smell oppression...

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

My first thought was that Adriel XIV was a planet. That aside:

1st paragraph: Conflict is established as Everybody Wants teh Youth Potion.

2nd paragraph: Several plot-lines appear. 1) Slum kid fightin' for a chance. 2)Girl meets boy. 3) Kid comes face to face with the Big Lie.

3rd paragraph: Being a soldier ain't pretty.

4th paragraph: 1. Girl finds out boy is actually older than Edward Cullen. 2. Boy is launching world's slowest revolution.

5th paragraph. Girl must make a (presumably terrible?) choice.

You see, this is going off in too many different directions. In all the plot points I've just listed, there doesn't seem to be a unifying element. Is the rest of the plot just a vehicle for a romance? If so, follow the romance thread. Is it all about Edward-- er, Dailen? If so, follow him all the way through. Is it about Adriel Quatorze's terrible choice? If so, then focus on that and make it clear to us exactly what the Terrible Choice is. (As it stands, it is not clear.)

In other words, reduce the novel to a single sentence under 20 words in length, and build the query around that.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

Veronica-- several hundred years. An equivalent might be if the Brits were, at this moment, trying to overthrow Henry VIII.

They could be twittering about it.

OMG am so sick of #HenryVIII #wifekiller.

khazar-khum said...

A query like this raises more questions than it can possibly answer, given its limited space.

What is the old trauma? What does he see in her that makes him sure he can team with her successfully? Has he tried others, but failed? Is he still alive because he uses other people for his plots? And so on.

So you have to answer enough questions that the ones remaining will make me want to read the book instead of tossing the query.

Mister Furkles said...

Hi Author,

This really does not apply to the query. But have you addressed the effect of very long life in the novel. If a soldier is paid 20,000 per annum and saves just 1% (200/yr) invested to earn just 5%/yr, then after 100 years his investment income is 25,000 per annum. After 150 years it’s over 300,000 per annum. At 300 years, the investment income is 500 million per year. Does this army of yours consist of a million young healthy Warren Buffitts? Long before 300 years, they can buy the entire universe, fire the ruling council, and have enough left for a multiverse block party.

The novel must address this somehow. Vampire writes know old vampires are rich but don’t accumulate too much or they attract unwanted attention. Science fiction writers have also addressed the problems of excessive wealth for the long lived. But yours are still employed as ordinary soldiers. What gives? Why would anybody work for somebody else, and at low wages, after becoming one of the extremely wealthy?

Veronica Rundell said...

Alaska---"boy is launching world's slowest revolution" indubitably.

I'm hoping Adrial is at least *close* to age of consent. The whole XIV thing is creeping me out. Read an urban fantasy this summer cough-Iced-cough where two immortal males were "appreciating" the 14 y/o female protag's, ahem, assets.
Double Ick with a side of barf.

Love KMM, but that really felt wholly out-of-bounds.

Note to author: nix pedo-vibe, stat!

Anonymous said...

Hey everyone thanks so much for all of the feedback! I definitely have a lot to work on and I'm going to post the revised draft soon, would love further comments on that. As for the pedo question, she's 19. :) But perhaps I'll rethink the age difference thing all together.

Veronica Rundell said...

Hi author,
19's cool. I guess I was thinking she was either 14, or really older--as per my first comments.

Love to see a revision.