Friday, February 21, 2014
Guess the Plot
1. Three rustlers. One lawman. Five Indians. Two hundred cattle. Just another night at the Skeleton Gorge saloon--or so Sweet Sally thought.
2. When you live in Skeleton Gorge, the biggest worry is landslides. So when a mage named Landslide shows up with an army of zombie skeletons and starts causing landslides, it's up to the Skeleton to protect the gorge.
3. When the body of Olympic figure skater Johnny Watson is found out in Skeleton Gorge, homicide detective Zack Martinez knows two things. One, there's no way Watson cut out his own liver; and two, his daughter is going to be clamoring to go ice skating this weekend.
4. Unable to fathom how seemingly sane people leap from Deadly Peak, DJ Shazam hits the trail running. First order of business: learn how to rappel; it's the only safe transit into Skeleton Gorge.
5. Ezekial Young forgot to wear his Mormon undergarments, and he's about to drive his family through a gorge in Utah known to claim travelers' lives. Should he have faith they'll make it, or stop and let his wife drive?
6. Archeologist Dr Kramer discovers hundreds.of human skeletons in a gorge in an isolated mountain range. All beautifully preserved, all featuring some rather pointy incisors. All wanting to feast on fresh human blood to reform their flesh...
7. Motorcycle stuntman Mike “Crazy” Trane fails to jump 47 ½ busses in his last Vegas stunt. Newscasters across the globe label him a has-been. Mike declares he’ll make another jump: Skeleton Gorge, the ravine where all the zombies were tossed at the end of World War Z. Does he have what it takes? The living and the undead can’t wait to find out.
Dear Evil Editor,
In the past decade, many old mythologies and fantasy tropes have been brought back into modern media and re-imagined – witches and wizards, vampires, demons, and monsters of all sorts are all finding places in books and movies. One creature that has of course transitioned along with its mythical brethren is the [skeleton. Sure, kids dress up as skeletons on Halloween, but are there any books in which the main villains are all skeletons? No. Until now. And my skeletons are even more unique because they're in a gorge.] dragon. From Eragon to the Song of Ice and Fire series, dragons are definitely coming with us into the future. But as a huge fan of these creatures and nonhuman point of view books, I noticed something very odd – there are almost no books that feature dragons as main characters. So, I did what any nerdy book-lover would do; I wrote my own story. [Your credentials as a nerd will be called into question if you insist on declaring there are almost no books with dragons as main characters. In any case, if you summarize a plot in which the characters are all dragons, the reader will get the idea, so there's no need to devote a lengthy paragraph to the history of fantasy tropes and the reason your book has no characters readers can identify with.]
During the middle ages, dragons were driven out of the human world and into magically-shielded mountain ranges. One band of these dragons settled near Skeleton Gorge, a fantastic and mysterious canyon-land that turned against them when the mage and necromancer known as Landslide was exiled. With the help of a stranger known only as Skeleton, the dragons defeated the mage and his skeletal army, leaving a safe haven for their descendants. [Is Skeleton a dragon?] [What is a skeletal army? An army of skeletons? Skeletons of dragons?]
Fifteen-year-old Bone-Crest, like the rest of his colony, knows nothing about this centuries-old battle, [A fifteen-year-old dragon living in Skeleton Gorge and knowing nothing about that battle is like a fifteen-year-old human living in Sweden and knowing nothing about the Battle of Ueckermünde.] until he is chosen by a black dragon in a bone helmet to become the next Skeleton. A Skeleton, blessed with an inner magic that allows him or her to connect with the gorge in ways other dragons can't, [Such as?] is charged with protecting Skeleton Gorge and the dragons living alongside it from any future danger. Though the Gorge has remained safe for years, Bone-Crest and his mentor are quickly cast into a search for an heir of Landslide as inexplicable rockslides threaten the colony dragons' lives, [Who makes the decision of whether a rock slide is explicable or not?] reanimated dragon skeletons appear in the gorge's shadows, [Now that's inexplicable.] and Bone-Crest's rival Black-Thrash [Rival for what?] becomes the victim of a curse. [Searching for an heir usually doesn't mean so you can kill him. I'd say they must take him down or face him in battle rather than search for him.] Are two guardians of [from] an ancient line of protectors enough to stop Landslide's apprentice, before he and his army of the undead find the vengeance and conquest even his predecessors couldn't achieve? [Probably. I don't see how, but I'm confident they'll pull off this seemingly impossible task.]
Skeleton Gorge is a 128,000-word young-adult fantasy. Thank you for your time; I greatly look forward to hearing from you!
Not clear why you've chosen the word "Skeleton" for the protector when the enemy is a skeletal army.
It's all setup. In a land where dragons exist and humans don't, a dragon named Bone-Crest is chosen as the "Skeleton"--protector of the dragons in Skeleton Gorge. Then a descendant of an ancient necromancer named Landslide starts wreaking havoc on the land with his army of zombie dragon skeletons. That's about it. Dump the rest and tell us what Bone-Crest's plan is, what happens if it fails, what goes wrong, and what he can possibly do about it.
Landslide is a terrible name unless this is for children. Which maybe it should be, though not at this length. I can't see the YA crowd digging this.