Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Guess the Plot
The Night Guard
1. The Mayan priests make sure day happens, but who keeps night from going AWOL? When the Lords of Death kidnap night, its Hunahpu, the Night Guard, to the rescue. Can he bring back night before Central America is burned to a crisp?
2. Female orthodontic patients are disappearing after leaving the office of Dr. C. Edmond Kells. It's time to encase himself in acrylic and assume his old identity as the "Night Guard" to solve the case. Or suffer rampant malocclusion in prison.
3. When pop singer Krysty is found dead in her lavish bed, homicide detective Zack Martinez knows two things. One, the girl didn't strangle herself with her microphone, and two, she's not going to be hosting the VideoNet Music Awards on Saturday night. That only leaves hundreds of jealous singers and their management as suspects. Zack must enlist his daughter's playlist to solve this case.
4. Kevin, the night guard at a top secret facility, is shocked to discover an alien is being kept hostage. When the alien telepathically asks Kevin for help, will he be freeing an innocent being, or jeopardizing the future of the human race?
5. You wouldn't think a hospital would need extra guards on duty at night, but when it's a military hospital reanimating soldiers so they can be sent back to the trenches, you don't want anyone stumbling onto the operation. The way 15-year-old maid Daisy Blake does. Oops.
6. Somebody has been stealing the night, and gargoyle Freddy McKay is hired to guard it. He’s paid for work between sunset and sunrise, but most of those hours have been stolen. Can Freddy solve the case before he loses his home in foreclosure?
Dear Evil Editor,
The new maid at the London Military Hospital has three secrets that could get her sent to prison:
She's Irish, automatically suspected of [drinking on the job. Ba dum ching.] spying;
She speaks German, the language of the enemy, [That should get her a promotion from maid to spy or interpreter in the interrogation room. Not a prison sentence.]
And she stole the papers that identify her as Delinda Blake. She's really Delinda's sister, Daisy.
[If she's Daisy, how can there be papers that identify her as Delinda? And if there somehow are papers identifying her as Delinda, and she wants to pass as Delinda, why not leave the papers where they were instead of stealing them? Now when they check the files to see if she's really Delinda, the papers identifying her as Delinda won't be there.]
1916 London promises good wages to young women, with so many men off fighting in France. But after Delinda drowns herself, Daisy finds opportunities are few for a 15-year-old schoolgirl on her own. Mopping up blood and washing bedpans earn her room and board. And, however disgusting, her work makes a difference: A clean, fresh ward is like heaven to wounded men who lived in the stinking filth of the trenches. [You'd think by the time these guys are transported from the trenches to London they wouldn't still be bleeding all over the floor.] Further, she enjoys the patients' teasing, especially the winks from handsome Captain Ferrar of the Night Guard.
But the Night Guard has its own secret, involving the hospital's power plant, where broken men are being restored for Britain's desperate army. A dying young POW reveals the truth to Daisy and gives up another secret as well: A traitor willing to kill is at work in the hospital.
Whom can Daisy tell without giving herself away -- [Telling someone there's a traitor in the hospital doesn't give away that she's Daisy.] or putting her life in danger?
Then Delinda comes back. From the dead. [Zombie, or reanimated? Either way, it's a little late to be telling us it's that kind of book.]
My 90,000-word YA novel THE NIGHT GUARD adds elements of "Frankenstein" [Ah. Reanimated. Should have guessed from the power plant mention.] to the story of a girl struggling to make a life for herself in a city at war.
I am a writer for a national World War I organization and a copy editor at a major metropolitan daily.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
I don't see anything in the first four paragraphs that is both needed and that can't be worked into the fifth paragraph:
1916 London promises good wages to young women, with so many men off fighting in France. But after her sister Delinda drowns herself, Daisy Blake finds opportunities are few for a 15-year-old schoolgirl on her own. Mopping up blood and washing bedpans at the London Military Hospital earn her room and board, and her work makes a difference: a clean, fresh ward is like heaven to wounded men who lived in the stinking filth of the trenches.
Note that I removed handsome Captain Ferrar, as he does nothing. (I assume there's no actual romance between a captain and a fifteen-year-old.)
Now we can get to Frankenstein in paragraph 2, just by changing the word "restored" to "reanimated." You'll have to tell us what the Night Guard is when you mention it, or just say that the hospital has a secret.
Probably it's better to focus the query on one main plot point, which I'm guessing would be what's being done to the soldiers, and let the traitor and the zombie sister subplots wait for the book.