Friday, January 15, 2016

Face-Lift 1296

Guess the Plot

Wild Dreams Torment

1. Anytime Adele has a bad day, she dreams the exact opposite in her sleep. But today she won a lottery, so she's binge-drinking coffee to stay awake.

2. Warned by a man he met on a plane that just crashed that a monster is hunting him, Louis assumes it was  a dream. But later a creature crashes through Louis's dorm window, and comes at him. He thinks fast, putting the Beatles' "Get Back" on the stereo. It works, but now he's worried the monster will devour every other student at his school.

3. Fred has a boring life, a boring job, a boring wife, boring kids, and boring vacations. He likes it that way. But, his younger, much-less-boring self is using his dreams to reach across time and change all that. Also, literary fiction.

4. If all goes well, gorgeous brown poodle Wild Dreams Torment will earn enough points to take the championship at today's show. But Torment would much rather go for a romp around the park, crashing through exhibits, jumping over trophies, and leading the other dogs in a day of mayhem. Also, a nonplussed pussycat.

5. Jock Burner (that's his name) finds the last words of missing goth teen Victoria Rothea in their shared secret poetry collection. Can he find what happened to her in time for their public reading, or will he die the next victim of super villain Morphepnosis. Also, gold leaf.

6. When bisexual actor Nutzy Whelkin lands the lead roll in an erotic film about lucid dreaming, he thinks his gigolo days are through. However, the director neglected to inform him that the succubus is real, the incubus is also real, and it's a snuff film.

7. For three teenagers, a band road trip during the zombie apocalypse sounds better than sticking around Chicago with a vicious gang war raging between werewolves and vampires. But they soon learn you can't leave your problems behind . . . if you bring them with you. Also, a crystal ball.

Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,

Fifteen-year-old Louis Thorne is set for [on his way to] New York's prestigious Blackwood Academy until [when] his flight ends in a fiery wreck. But he wakes up back aboard and next to Joel, a stranger who claims to have saved the plane by bending fate. Before vanishing, Joel warns [claims] an unearthly beast is hunting Louis.

Louis figures he had a weird nightmare. Yet more intense dreams of Joel mess with his head. He can't study when his dorm room melts like a DalĂ­ painting and black stuff oozes out his laptop. His scholarship is on the line, so he ignores the hallucinations. [The Academy has a strict rule: hallucinate, and you're outta here.] Only the eldritch creature that crashes through his window is definitely real. [Change "only" to "but."] After blasting music ["Don't Come Around Here No More"] to drive the beast back, Louis runs for help and right into Joel.

Finding Joel brutalized, Louis learns his ring isn't just a keepsake. It belongs to Joel, causing [and allows] Louis to see the beast and [while causing] the blind beast to mistake him for its enemy. With the creature immune to his [Joel's] power and both weak to iron, Joel's useless against it. Not Louis. It'll take all his wits [it's up to Louis] to trap and kill the monster [it]. Failure means the beast will devour his friends and everyone else in the academy. [Hard to believe a beast small enough to fit through a dorm room window can devour an entire school's worth of students.]

But Louis doesn't know Joel's true intentions and how inhuman he really is. [Neither do we. Tell us, or get rid of the sentence.]

Complete at 62,000 words, WILD DREAMS TORMENT is a young adult horror novel with series potential.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


A guy who can bend fate and cause hallucinations sounds cool; I'm not as crazy about an invisible monster that devours people. Monsters scare little kids. A monster that scares young adults needs a name. Like Predator, Kraken, Godzilla, Slimer... This Monster Name Generator might help.

So the reason the monster is hunting Louis is because it thinks Louis is Joel because Louis is wearing Joel's ring. How and when did Louis get the ring? If Joel arranged for Louis to have the ring, why did he choose Louis instead of Rambo? Does Louis have any powers other than his wits?

The title doesn't grab me. Other possibilities: Nightmare on Elm Street 8, The Ring 3, Louis and Joel's Big Adventure, The Last Fatebender.


InkAndPixelClub said...

The fact that there's a guy who can stop planes from crashing at will seems more interesting than the fact that there's a monster chasing a guy because it thinks he's a different guy.

This could be fun, but the setup is too complicated. I don't know why Louis starts having hallucinations, how they connect to Joel, how Joel is connected to the monster, or how Louis got the ring. Pare this down to something easier to follow and you'll have room to tell us how Louis will fight the monster, why it might work and why it might not.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing Louis happened to be in the wrong place at the right time and so Joel decided to slip a ring on his finger and use him as an alternate target. If there's more to it than that, tell us.

I don't know the cause of the hallucinations which means I doubt the fate-bending. The fate-bending doesn't seen important enough to the later plot to mention and there's no way to prove that it actually happened as opposed to Joel knowing about Louis hallucinating a crash and claiming to do something he didn't.

I don't see why Louis doesn't just give Joel back his ring or throw it in the sewer and clear out of what looks like a private war between two entities that have nothing to do with him. Also, if the monster thinks Louis is Joel, how did Joel get beat up? And why is the monster going to eat people at the academy? Is there some problem that getting rid of both Joel and the ring wouldn't solve? Does the ring actually belong to Joel?

Work on making sure your pronoun antecedents are clear. The third paragraph has potential for confusion

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the feedback! Looks like I explained the wrong things and made things way too complicated. I'll rewrite the query to answer/avoid raising your questions.

Just for fun, I'll answer the questions here.

Louis finds the ring in the Sonoran desert a few weeks before he flies to New York. It's his dead brother's ring. His brother vanished in the desert three months ago and was declared dead due to circumstantial evidence. I thought it might raise too many questions so I cut the info about his brother. (Actually, Joel made a replica to influence Louis/confuse the beast but Louis finds that out at the end.)

The last sentence is stupidly vague which is my fault. Joel intends for Louis to die in his place. He presents himself as a good guy (and human) to manipulate Louis. He's the actual villain which Louis realizes after he figuring out his lies.

Also the beast takes out the dorm window, most of the wall, and a tree when it crashes in. I thought it slowed down the query to list everything so I went with window. I'll change it to wall. (It does have a name too, not as cool as Predator unfortunately, but I didn't want the query to have a lot of names. Looks like I was wrong.)

I totally suck at titles. The Last Fatebender sounds much better honestly.

InkAndPixelClub: Thanks for reading! I see how unclear it is. Joel causes the hallucinations because Louis ignores him. He's trying to spur Louis to action while Louis think he's imaginary. Joel and the monster are enemies and they're trying to kill each other. I'll make sure to make this clear in the next draft.

Anonymous said...

The best advice I've had for titles:

1) Get an 8.5"x11" college-ruled piece of lined paper.
2) Write a potential title on every single line front and back. Take a few days if you want, although the titles can be more interesting if you're forced to do it in a short span of time.
3) Don't look at the list for a week
4) Pick the best title.
5) If there aren't any good ones, repeat.

Wilkins MacQueen said...

I'd start the first 'graph with the mc contemplating the ring on his finger as he faces death going down on the plane. There's lots of screaming on the way down if you've ever lived through a very close call and survived.

Noel isn't a name I'd pick for the bender.

Poof it was dream - bubble gum and candy corn came to mind.

I question the seriousness here. Setting the enthusiasm aside, the story seems to leap and lurch here to there.

If there is a dark side here you've buried it rather well.

The dark side is an asset. Why aren't you using it to advantage?

Good luck. Let's see the rewrite. Mac