Thursday, May 26, 2016

Face-Lift 1316

Guess the Plot

Some Kind of Eternal

1. Mira is an immortal. She will live forever, as long as she doesn't get killed, contract an illness, or grow old. She travels to the Eternal City in order to escape an age-old curse; otherwise she will die. 

2. A 450-year-old vampire longs to leave Earth and become a god, but to do so he needs a bottle of special blood that is also being sought by Freemasons, Russian billionaires, and a Mayan king's ghost, at least one of whom wants the blood . . . to destroy humanity!

3. When Ninet promised Ramses her eternal love, she didn't mean being mummified alive after he died of the plague. He, unfortunately, did. Now she must escape across the eternally shifting sands with a camel and a cute waterboy (girl). Also, scarabs.

4. New nurse Javad Shah can't understand why Mr. "Bats" Linstall and Mr. "Superman" Chen are tampering with each other's wheelchair brakes and tossing nutrisweet packs at breakfast. As Javad talks to the other residents, he uncovers an old baseball feud that has the entire town in its grip.

5. It's a story as old as the hills, but instead of summarizing the plot I'm just gonna list the characters and their occupations. If you want to know what happens, let me know.

6. Lost in the Okefenokee Swamp, Trent stumbles upon the legendary Fountain of Youth. Now that he has an eternity to do so, he's sure to find his way back to civilization eventually. But can he do so before the alligators get him?

Original Version

Dear Mr. Evil Editor:

Oliver, a 450-year-old vampire, longs to leave Earth and become a god with no need for human blood, while Hugh wishes he could remember his hedonistic past. [You toss out the name Hugh as if we already know who he is. You need to add "Oliver's fellow vampire" or "Oliver's immortal servant," or "really old amnesiac."] Who was the beautiful woman who gave him his ruby necklace over two centuries ago? [If only I could remember who she was so I could finally send her a thank-you card.] [Usually when there are two main characters who are allies, they're working toward the same goal. Becoming a god and remembering who gave him his necklace aren't of the same order of magnitude. It would be like Superman and Batman teaming up because one of them wants to save humanity and the other wants to find his missing sock.]

Together Oliver and Hugh journey deep underground to fight the ghost of a Mayan king, Russian billionaires, ancient vampires, and 33rd degree Freemasons looking for the same bottle of powerful blood. [Putting all that together in a list makes it feel like the book is a comedy. I'd drop the ghost, even if the ghost is the one who wants to destroy humanity. And we don't need to know the freemasons' degree.] [I suspect Oliver and Hugh didn't go underground to fight all these people, as you claim, but because the bottle of blood is there. If so, you can say "racing against" instead of "to fight."]  Each wants the blood for a unique and evil purpose, the worst being the destruction of humanity. [You're only calling that the worst because you're a human.]

Oliver and Hugh vow to find the blood to spare humanity, and transform into gods, [So, Hugh wants to be a god too. Perhaps that should be mentioned earlier instead of telling us he wants to know where he got his necklace.] but saving the lives of the women they love could get in the way. [Who are the women they love? Are they human? If Hugh's necklace woman was  human, it's too late to send her that thank-you card. Why are the women's lives in danger? Are the guys planning to take the women with them when they leave Earth?]

SOME KIND OF ETERNAL is a 73,000-word paranormal novel. The glamorous life of a real German prince I knew a few years ago, [As opposed to a fictional German prince you knew.] Oliver von Anhalt, inspired this book. [Was he a vampire?] The poetry of Lord Byron, Edgar Allan Poe, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, as well as works of gothic literature from Ann Radcliffe to Elizabeth Kostova have greatly influenced me.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

--The title was inspired by a Sisters of Mercy song, Some Kind of Stranger, which makes me imagine a lonely vampire trying to make friends. I am not that attached to the title and don't mind changing it if asked to do so by a future editor (hopefully).-- [Ninety-nine percent of those told your title was inspired by a song will assume the song is "Some Kind of Wonderful," by Grand Funk Railroad.]


We can do without the necklace, as it's importance to Hugh isn't made clear. 

There's space enough in a query to provide more than five sentences of plot. And if you're low on space, feel free to cut the list of your favorite poets. 

Vampires Oliver and Hugh long to leave Earth and transform into gods; to do so they must drink the blood of Lilith, hidden deep underground centuries ago. But they aren't the only ones after the legendary phial of blood. Other vampires, Freemasons and Russian billionaires are racing to find the powerful elixir, all for their own evil purposes.

That's your setup, and leaves plenty of room to tell us what the plan is, what goes wrong, what will happen if the guys fail, how their girlfriends figure in...


davefragments said...

I had an usual thought this morning.
Why don't you make Hugh and Oliver into women and their immorality quest is to become queens of the lesbian vampires that rule the universe.
This isn't a critique but only a suggestion.

Anonymous said...

Specific details are your friend. Things like what the various people can do with this bottle of blood that allows for some many different nefarious purposes. Although, usually when one has a mcguffin, everyone wants it either for the same reason or to keep each other from getting it for the same reason which keeps the story organized.

Evil Editor said...

It does seem amazing that the bottle of blood lets some become gods and others destroy humanity, etc. My guess is you rub the bottle and Dracula comes out and grants you three wishes.

AA said...

I'd suggest what EE suggested, which is to tie this together a bit more. Right now you have Hugh and Oliver both apparently wanting different things. It sounds like they travel underground in order to fight ghosts, other vampires, Russians, and Freemasons like some underground fight club. But that isn't really the reason. They go underground to retrieve a bottle of powerful blood, but in order to get it they have to fight those people.

They also have girlfriends which are barely important enough to include in the story which is how I know you're a man.

Anyway, why should I care that a couple of vampires get to become gods? Well, less people on earth being turned into vampires, I suppose. Seems like there are a lot of vampires left, though.
I'd focus on how they're going to save the world, and if they end up with the blood, it's like a reward for saving the world from the nefarious plans of others.

SB said...

After the first sentence, my best guess was that Hugh was a pagan god with amnesia and somehow the story was going to involve him trading his godhood to the vampire for something that would get his memory back, or something along those lines. Teaming up on a quest to fulfill totally different goals seems a bit random.

I think there are too many things thrown in here without any adequate explanations. It feels hectic and cluttered and I still don't really know what the book's about.

Also, all the mentions of stuff Hugh wishes he could remember bugged me because his memory of what he wanted to remember seemed awfully specific for someone who couldn't remember them.

"They also have girlfriends which are barely important enough to include in the story which is how I know you're a man." <-- Haha, yeah, this too.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

Well, I googled this prince. He seems not to have been born a prince but to have been adopted as an adult, and he is a prince of Germany a country that has no royalty or nobility. And now, wikipedia tells me, he goes around adopting more adult men who pay him $2 million so that they can be princes too. He also sells knighthoods for $50k.

So I'm left wondering whether, now that the internet exists and it's easy to find out Germany doesn't have royal titles, that gambit is still paying off for him.

On the other hand, we all knew that about Germany, right?

Wikipedia also says he was Zsazsa Gabor's eighth or ninth husband, and once ran a brothel.

Now I do have a point here, you'll be relieved to know. I find the only people who ever want to know where I get the ideas for my books are either doing an assignment for school, or making polite conversation. Best to leave this out. At best it's irrelevant and uses up valuable word-count; at worst distracting.

Matt said...

What I want to know is: What's the inciting event? Why are all these groups suddenly going after this ancient bottle of blood at once? Did someone translate the Voynich Manuscript and discover the location? Have the Russians (one of whom is named Alexei — every novel with Russians has one named Alexei) been funding archaeological digs in Central America all this time, and maybe the vampires and Freemasons have been watching and waiting until a big discovery was made?

CavalierdeNuit said...

Thank you everyone for the comments.

Thank you EE for your critique because it is priceless. Last query I submitted I wept for weeks (and that novel is in a drawer where it belongs), but this time around, I'm laughing.

davefragments, I like that idea but want to stay out of the LGBT market. Not really my scene.

To clear things up, I'm not a man. And that comment really made me laugh.

Alaska, the prince I knew was one of Frederic Prinz von Anhalt's man children, Prince Oliver Leopold of Anhalt. Here is a link to who he is--probably will need to translate if you don't read German: And I'll leave that out of the query!

I will take all suggestions, apply them, and resubmit in a month or two. Thanks again.