Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Face-Lift 1163

Guess the Plot

Metamorphosis of the Meek

1. 16-year-old Rhynn awakens with super powers! Well, not that super. She's faster and more flexible than she used to be. Can she use her powers to buy her way off this miserable planet?

2. Shy, fat, nerdy Jeremy was always friendzoned by girls he liked. He was ready to crawl off and die--until a desperately hungry vampire bit him. Now he's read all those PUA books, he's got a fedora, and he's gonna take the bar scene chicks by storm.

3. Bob was looking forward to the day the meek inherited the Earth. But two days before Armageddon he gets elected US president thanks to write-in votes, becoming the most powerful man on Earth. Man, nothing's going right.

4. The Metamorphosis potion was supposed to give the spineless a complete makeover. Apparently it works in both directions, as Ed discovers when he turns into a jellyfish.

5.The Milquetoasts Anonymous meeting was late getting started, as no one present had the courage to call the meeting to order. Finally one brave soul stood up, took a deep breath, and said, Hi, I'm George and I'm a milquetoast . . . but I'm taking the last doughnut! Unless anyone else wants it."

6. Selica's boss constantly takes advantage of her. One day she decides she's had enough and kills the lecherous bastard. I hope that's where the book ends instead of with Selica getting in trouble, because the guy had it coming.

Original Version

Dear Evil Editor:

On the planet of Xorra, sixteen-year-old Rhynn rots in prison. She is waiting to die. Rhynn’s always been a scrawny twit who lives in a crater and illegally sells shoddy antigravity boots to pay rent. [The only reason to live in a crater is to avoid paying rent.] [She's 16 years old and she's always lived in a crater selling antigravity boots?] And when the lethal dose of asteroid dust is shoved down her throat, Rhynn figures that’s all she’ll ever be. [I can't tell if the lethal dose is shoved down her throat in prison or before she was imprisoned. I assume rotting in prison comes after living in a crater, so perhaps they should be in that order in the query.]

Until something goes awry, and Rhynn jolts awake in the criminal’s graveyard- a swamp filled with carnivorous plants- to find she’s light as air and super flexible. And when she runs? She’s like a shooting star stuck on land. [She's a combination of the Flash and Mr. Fantastic and . . . I can't think of a superhero who's as light as air. Possibly because I can't think of how being light as air would be useful in the fight against crime. You could ride the wind like a leaf but if the wind shifts unexpectedly you could get blown into a raging forest fire. Maybe she should be lighter than air, allowing her to hover over criminals like the helium-filled Underdog balloon in the Macy's parade. Then when she wants to drop onto the criminal she punctures her foot with a pin and shoots downward.]

Rhynn manages to slip away, with an insane idea. [Sell asteroid dust as "the weight-loss drug that makes you light as air." A week later she's a millionaire.] A steely-furred beast has been roaming the planet, [How big is this planet?] ripping apart buildings and killing anyone who gets in its way. With her new powers, Rhynn decides she’s got a shot at slaying the monster, and nabbing the reward that comes with it. [I'm light as air and flexible; I should be able to take down a beast that can rip apart buildings.]

With the money, Rhynn could get off Xorra and travel the galaxy. She’ll feast on planetary delicacies. She’ll visit stars to take silly tourist photos, [Photo tip: when taking pictures on a star, use the .00000000000000000000000000001 shutter speed to minimize overexposure.] and do whatever she wants, whenever she wants.

She might be mauled to death. [There's always a catch.] If her true identity leaks, she will be hunted as a criminal. But it’s worth the risk, until the same powers that could save her make her a target. Turns out someone would kill to keep the beast running wild. And he wants her out of the way.

METAMORPHOSIS OF THE MEEK is a young adult superhero story set in space, complete at 65,000 words. I’m querying you because...Thank you for your time and consideration.



Most superheroes are in it to help humanity. Are we going to get behind a career criminal who accidentally acquires super powers and uses them to finance a vacation?

I would organize it something like this:

Sixteen-year-old Rhynn is having a bad week. First she was arrested for selling shoddy antigravity boots, then she was tossed into prison without a trial, and now a guard has shoved a lethal dose of asteroid dust down her throat.

By all rights she should be dead. Instead, she wakes up in the criminals' graveyard to find she’s light as air and super flexible. And when she runs? She’s like a shooting star stuck on land. This could be her ticket off of Xorra, especially if she can use her new powers to destroy the steely-haired beast that's been terrorizing the planet. The reward's enough to get her halfway across the galaxy.

But there's a catch. (Isn't there always?) Turns out someone wants to keep the beast running wild. And he wants Rhynn out of the way.

That leaves enough room for you to insert some information you think is vital, like why we should care whether Rhynn gets off Xorra.


AA said...

I also am having trouble with the concept that R. would be able to destroy the beast simply because she is faster and lighter. Wouldn't superior weaponry be preferable?

If the lethal dose is calculated for the average weight criminal, an underweight 16-year-old wouldn't survive it. Is every crime, no matter how minor, punishable by death? What, exactly, did she do?

150 said...

...huh. I'd read pages, especially if you take EE's advice, but the writing better be stellar.

khazar-khum said...

The name Xorra sounds familiar. Hmm. So does Rhynn. Is this a reworking?

Anyway, why do superheroes always have to fight crime? Why not use their amazing abilities to develop cancer-killers? Explore places regular people can't go, like those vast crystal caves in Mexico or into a volcano? Why is it always crime?

Whazzat? Oh. Warden sez my net time is up. Curse you, caped crusader!

NP said...

It's my query up there. I just wanted to thank everyone for responding, and for EE for the (hilarious and spot on) critique. I'll work on the things you suggested, for sure.


SB said...

It seems like there's too much going on here to me. (Why the space setting for a superhero story?) But mostly, I don't see any reason to care about the character, and like others have said, her powers don't really seem like they'd help her kill a beast. And personally, I'd want some explanation of how meteor dust meant to kill her magically gives her multiple superpowers. (And I'm no scientist, but it seems like being light as air would counteract the speed. Things need to be able to push past air to go fast, and it's hard to do that with no weight behind them.) I might suggest narrowing it down to just one superpower, since too many starts to be a little Mary-Sue-ish.