Guess the Plot
Descendants of the Banished
1. As the great-granddaughter of the only couple ever banished from Atlantis, humiliation burns within Melloria on a daily basis. But when she watches as Atlantis sinks beneath the foaming waves, a new emotion surfaces. “Suck it, bitches!” she cries. Vengeance is so, so sweet.
2. With werewolves, vampires, and zombies taking over everything, and their grandparents all but forgotten, there wasn’t much call for banshees. So, their offspring use scientific demonology to get back in the ... say what? ... Descendants of the Banished? ... Oh, yeah, well ... well ... Descendants of the Banshees would sell lots better.
3. They were banished to an uninhabited island two centuries ago. They had children, and their children had children and so on. Now they number in the hundreds, and seeking revenge they sail with their swords and spears toward the land of their banishers, the United States of America.
4. Keenah and Oog live on the outskirts of the fishing settlement, as their families have for generations. When one of the Fishers rapes Keenah, Oog kills him to rally the others. The Neanderthals are now on the march--and with superior strength, bigger brains, and their oppressor's weapons, it doesn't look good for the Cro-Magnons.
5. Centuries ago, an ancestor of Hemlock was banished from the land. Now Hemlock has been named the supreme ruler. A remarkable comeback, though helped along by Hemlock's confessing to killing the previous supreme ruler. And by the ancient law that states anyone who accuses anyone of murder will be sentenced to death.
6. America's longest-running "reality" series, Big Brother, has survived 40 seasons by constantly upping the ante. This year the contestants will all be children and grandchildren of the most-hated D-List pseudo-celebrities ever to get kicked out in past seasons, plus one unassuming young man who only the producers know is a psychotic serial killer. Hilarity ensues.
Dear Evil Editor,
Being required by law to marry her father's killer was not Princess Briar's idea of a happy ending. Nor is the fact that, without any rock solid evidence, a public accusation of murder would result in her own trial and death sentence. [None of that would be anyone's idea of a happy ending to anything, so no need to tell us that.]
In a land where Spirits can be summoned only by members of the four royal families, the strongest Summoner is called the Protector and becomes the supreme ruler. The unexpected death of the Protector, King Acacia, sets in motion a Summoning Ceremony which determines the new Protector. When Princess Briar attempts to win the ceremony and take her father's place as Protectress, she loses to a stranger no one has seen before and inadvertently invokes a law that requires she marry the new Protector. [Because she's the princess or because she came in second? If she wins, she can marry whomever she wants, but if he wins he is required by law to marry Briar?] [Whaddaya mean, "inadvertently invokes"? I don't see how a law can be inadvertently invoked. Doesn't this law come into play whenever a Protector dies?] [I don't like devoting so much space to the rules of succession. In the land of Gonoria, the death of the supreme ruler is always followed by a ceremony in which the strongest Spirit Summoner wins the throne. When Princess Briar's father dies unexpectedly, she tries to take his place, but is out-summoned by a stranger, a stranger who invokes a long-forgotten law requiring the princess to marry him.
When the stranger confesses that the Spirit that won him the title also killed her father, Briar knows she must bring him to justice. [Him, meaning the stranger, or the spirit that killed her father?] However, in their land, [If you named the land in paragraph 2, you could now refer to it by name.] accusations are not taken lightly, [Confessions, on the other hand, are brushed off like dandruff from the shoulders of a carpet salesman.] and if made prematurely or without enough proof, can backfire on the accuser. If Briar is to live to see Lord Protector Hemlock receive his just due, she must play the part of a blushing bride while gathering evidence of his guilt. Meanwhile, the man that Briar had intended to marry after the ceremony turns his back on her just when she needs an ally the most. [If you're dumped by your fiancee at the last minute so she can marry a complete stranger, you can be forgiven for not wanting to hang out with her. But you've done nothing to earn your way into the query.]
In her quest for retribution against the man who stole her happiness, Briar will go on some perilous journeys, discover some startling truths, and come to realize that things are not always what they seem. [Vague. Either drop the paragraph or specify where she goes and what she discovers/realizes.]
Descendants of the Banished is a 75,000 word Fantasy that crosses elements with genres [Not clear to me what is meant by "elements."] such as suspense, action, mystery, and light romance. It is intended for the YA reader who loves plot twists. [It wasn't obvious to me that this was YA. Maybe this should be put up front.] Thank you for your time and consideration.
***The title comes from the backstory that Hemlock, the main antagonist, is a descendant of a forgotten Baron who was banished two centuries ago.*** [And "Descendants" is plural because someone else is also a descendant of someone who was once banished?]
So if a Spirit kills someone, it's the fault of whoever summoned the Spirit? Spirits don't do anything except follow their Summoners' orders?
So if Briar says, "I don't know if it's true or not, but Hemlock confessed to me that he's responsible for the king's death," she will be sentenced to death because she has no rock-solid evidence?
This is analogous to Queen Elizabeth being found murdered, so Prince Charles is expected to take the throne, but then Camilla announces that Charles confessed to her that he hired a hit man to kill the queen. But because Camilla doesn't have rock-solid evidence that Charles did so, she is sentenced to death. . . . . Now that I think about it, if that all happened it wouldn't even make the Top Ten List of the Most Scandalous Events Involving the British Throne.
Does Hemlock want to be married to Briar? Because it seems like confessing he's behind her father's death is likely to lead to one of them getting a death sentence. And even if it doesn't, it's likely to lead to him not getting a lot of action in the sack. Why does he confess?
Is the fact that centuries ago one of his ancestors was banished considered evidence that Hemlock is behind the king's death? Is that the evidence Briar is after? If so, the title gives it away. If not, why is it important enough to be the title?
There are some intriguing aspects to this, but I'd try rewriting it:
Paragraph 1: The setup: Princess Briar must suffer a forced marriage to the man who killed her father until she can gather evidence to prove his guilt.
P2: The Plot: What evidence exists, how does she go about gathering this evidence, and what threatens to defeat her plan?
P3: The wrap-up: What is Hemlock up to? What will happen to the kingdom and/or to Briar if she fails to bring him down?
Try to limit each paragraph to three sentences.