Guess the Plot
1. Wayward Collins has no magical abilities, which means he has to stay hidden from all the magicians and wizards and sorcerers vying for control of London. Will a wizard trap Wayward and enlist him to investigate a murder, or will Wayward escape by standing in a chalk circle?
2, Three years ago, before the bad witch pulled a Rip Van Winkle, she bound Eloise's sister in black circles underground. Eloise must find her grimoire in the tangles of the witch's hair, and rescue her sister before the witch wakes up and releases her legions of bat demons.
3. Pappy Chalk founds Chalk's Ocean Airways in 1917 and it operates until it's eventual obsolescence in 2007. Ninety years of adventures with sea plane passenger service between south Florida and the Bahamas are detailed in this true life saga. Chalk's was the oldest continuously operating airline in the world. The passengers included the rich and the famous from the roaring twenties to the high tech twenty-first century.
4. Demons are ready to invade your world and there is only one thing stopping them: Chalk Circles. Every time a teacher drew an "O" on their chalk board, a demon lost his portal. But with the advent of digital technology, fewer chalk "O's" have been obliterating the demon portals. Now a coalition of hipster teachers, led by Dexter Kale Haven (Dexter to his students), is all that stands between Earth and a demon invasion.
5. Every day after school, 14 year old Paisley Plottz takes Grandpa's strange old book into the yard and tries to make magic come alive. She burns her fingers, knocks over the fence, and makes the cat go bald, but nothing exciting really happens--until the day she draws the chalk circle.
6. It started with simple chalk squiggles. Then, they became drawings of children. Who were playing in fields--fields of corn. Circles started to appear. Was it ... aliens?
London, 1867. The city is full of magical communities, all with their own agendas, [each with its own agenda?] all determined to own the streets. Those without magic are expendable, and for Wayward Collins, a man with no magic, no money, and no power, remaining hidden is the only way to be safe. [What about moving to Liverpool? Can't he move to Liverpool?] Magical politics are cutthroat even for magic users—Wayward getting involved would be suicide. He stays hidden, he stays neutral, and he stays alive. [I would drop those last two sentences; they either repeat what's been said or state the obvious.] But a miscalculation one night has tragic consequences, and he is trapped into the service of the wizard Lord Cadogan.
Rich, powerful and well bred, Cadogan is everything Wayward despises, and he immediately starts planning his escape. [Moving to Liverpool would have been easier than escaping from Cadogan will be. Plus once he escapes from Cadogan, he's still gonna have to move to Liverpool because he's right back in the same boat.] [Now that you've dropped a couple sentences from Paragraph 1, you can tack that sentences onto the end. It makes more sense there than here with the following sentence.] For his part, Cadogan sees Wayward as a coward without moral code or good manners—but even cowards can be useful, and when one of Cadogan’s footmen is murdered by magical means, Cadogan drags Wayward along with him into the ensuing investigation. [My footman's been murdered and I need someone to work the investigation with me. Should I use one of my trusted apprentices or . . . this coward with no moral code who slurps his soup?]
Although determined to drag his heels [while being dragged,] out of pure principle, Wayward’s attitude of studied isolation is shaken by unexpected events in the household, and suddenly everything becomes more complicated. [That was all pretty vague. If you don't have room to be specific about the "unexpected events" and "everything," just drop the sentence. ] The dead footman had his own secrets, certain magical factions are suddenly interested in the whole affair, and one particular police inspector [named Lestrade] just won’t leave the matter alone. Dogged by forces magical and mundane, Wayward is unwillingly entangled in the magic and power brewing in the heart of the city. Even if he manages to escape Cadogan, he must play very carefully to ensure he doesn’t end up as a pawn in the magical plots he’s spent his whole life trying to avoid. [Exactly. He's in the same boat. Explain what he's got against Liverpool.] [Also, why is it Liverpudlian instead of Liverpoolian? They do that with Blackpudlian too, but my question is, if they made a movie about a monster who rises from a toxic cesspool, would it be a cesspoolian monster or a cesspudlian monster?]
CHALK CIRCLES is a historical fantasy novel complete at 75,000 words. It is the first of a planned series, but will also work as a standalone novel.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Not badly written, but I'm sure your main character must have a more intriguing goal than to fade back into anonymity. Escaping from Lord Cadogan and going back into hiding is nothing. Maybe the unexpected events in the household that you fail to tell us about should be the crux of the query. Maybe Wayward wants to save London from its current chaotic state. What's he got going for him? Can Cadogan grant him magical powers? If he doesn't get involved in the magical plots he’s spent his whole life trying to avoid, wouldn't we rather read about someone who does?
Lord Cadogan caring about a dead footman is like Darth Vader caring about a dead storm trooper. Explain why he and other factions and Lestrade are so interested in this case.
Enjoy the first film in this double feature; it involves a chalk circle: