Monday, October 14, 2013
Guess the Plot
1. Move over, Avalon! Avalyn is here! Now with 10% more mist!
2. Mimi's friends flaked on her, and now she can't get into her favorite nightclub Avalon. She wanders down the street and is welcomed into Avalyn, an "alternative" club. She never knew writhing in chains and leather could be this exciting.
3. For a thousand years the city-state of Avalyn has been a shining beacon of learning, science, music and art in a barren, barbarian world. Now, because some cute teenager claims she's really the secret Fae heir of the place, our "heroes" are going to burn it to the ground.
4. Avalyn was surprised when a knight in shining armor appeared on her doorstep. Two days later there was another. After the tenth bled out on the porch, Avalyn became annoyed. "No you can't live here," she told them as she kicked the tenth to the curb. When Merlin showed up, Avalyn knew she'd have to get Arthur to fix his FB page or Morgause would show up next. And Avalyn hated that bitch!
5. Avalyn is tired of the life of a 13th-century serving girl. She aspires to be more, and once she's been subjected to a 5-year program of secret ritual sacrifice, she will be more! According to the teachings of her Pagan faith, she'll soon be endowed with magnificent powers! Let's see who messes with her then.
6. In an alternate history, Arthur fails to pull Excalibur from the stone in Avalyn and goes on to become a lowly squire to Lancelot. Does he have the strength and fortitude to work his way up to knighthood and later to become king? If he didn't, would this book be worth reading?
Dear Evil Editor,
I believe that my 86,000 word historical fantasy, Avalyn, is the type novel you are looking to represent. The story of Avalyn is set in 13th c. England. [Did her parents name her after Avalon, or were you just looking for something similar to Evelyn? Careful, you don't want anyone to think this is a sequel to Aragon.] [After The Wizard of Oz came out, thousands of parents were naming their children Ez and Iz. But who am I to talk? Evil Jr's and Evilette's real names are Mordyr and Hobbityn.]
Dylan has been in love with Avalyn from the moment he moved to town. The orphaned ward of the church, [Is that Avalyn or Dylan?] used to his methodical, cloistered existence, finds the young serving girl’s free spirit enlivening. [As Dylan can be masculine or feminine, and Avalyn sounds like a place, it's not easy to tell which is the ward and which the serving girl.] Teague [Who's Teague?] has hated Dylan since the day they met. He can’t see why Avalyn would waste any time befriending that bastard. [Teague sounds like a meany; Avalyn should choose Dylan.] He hopes to prove himself in order to gain her affection.
Avalyn ignores the silent battle [rivalry?] between the two young men. She spends her days lost in mundane routine, cooking and cleaning the inn where she is housed, and occasionally entertaining at the manor of the local lord. She finds escape in forest any chance she gets. [If the forest has a name, use it; otherwise, say "the" forest.] There she can dally in faerie daydreams, sing as she pleases, and be subjected to secret ritual sacrifice. [That comes out of nowhere. For starters, "be subjected to" suggests it's against her will, which isn't the case, or it wouldn't belong on this list. Even the less suggestive "participate in" isn't much better, as the term "secret ritual sacrifice" is loaded with negative connotations. It's like if I told you that when I need a lift I frolic in a meadow, dance a jig, and torture a homeless guy. You'll think bad of me, never considering that torturing a homeless guy might actually be a good thing.]
The thought of Celtic sacrifice frightened her as a child, [Celtic sacrifice: trading Pierce and Garnett to the New Jersey Nets.] but as she grew older her father showed her that sacrifice does not mean death. It is the surrender of senses. With each sacrifice she loses one of her senses, but in time [a few days? a few years?] it returns with ferocity. Her father promises that when the sacrifices come full circle, she will be endowed with a power that rivals that of the Faeries of the Celtic Otherworld.
The sacrifices also awaken bodily desires, and she finds herself falling in love with one of the young men. [Which one? Why use five words and be general when you can use one and be specific?] Their love is short lived. One evening, after being stripped of her sense of touch, she causes a fire that claims the life of her father and the man she has fallen in love with. [Eight words where one name would do. I guess I should be happy you told us their names to begin with, rather than calling them the male protagonist Avalyn will accidentally burn to death and the male protagonist Avalyn won't accidentally burn to death.] [Even without the sense of touch, I can usually tell when I've set a house on fire.] Guilt-ridden and alone, [Alone? What about the male protagonist she didn't accidentally burn to death?] Avalyn realizes the real sacrifices that her pagan faith has taken [begotten?]. Will she trudge forth through life and abandon her faith of [in] the ancient ways? [I'd dump that question.] Or can glimpses from the Celtic Otherworld sway her to resume her true calling?
If you are interested, I will gladly send you my completed manuscript.
Thank you for your time,
Perhaps for purposes of the query, if not the book, you need a gentler name for the process of becoming a supergoddess. "The Renewal" sounds good. Secret ritual sacrifice sounds like killing virgins or babies or baby virgin goats.
This could stand to be shorter, and I see no need for both suitors to be in the query. In fact, neither of them plays any role after you introduce them. The super senses aspect is what makes this different, so maybe focus on why she and/or her father wants her to develop powers. What will she do when she becomes Wonder Woman? Is someone trying to stop her?
Can anyone become Wonder Woman by temporarily sacrificing senses? If not, why Avalyn? If so, is the forest crawling with aspiring superheroes?
Sometime last night the number of visits to this blog hit 2,222,222. I can guarantee we won't be here to see 3,333,333, so get those queries and openings in while there's still time.