Saturday, March 25, 2017

Face-Lift 1346

Guess the Plot

No Gods Before Us

1. WE are the best. No one is as awesome as WE. SMITE here! SMITE there! Look at OUR big hands of SMITING. 

2. The rambling essays of college students who just discovered sex and drugs.

3. Some have wings, some have fins, some have horns, some give blessings, some cause destruction. A view of the world from the perspective of a fly on the wall. Literally.

4. When a fun trip to the temples of Angor Wat turns deadly, can the Good Book Club from Brigham, Utah keep the faith?

5. Janiris is on a quest. He hates every day he spends on it, for it never ends. When he meets Malora, a witch also on an endless quest, they concoct a plan. To end their quests, they shall dispose of those who gave them the quests:  The gods.

6. When U.S. general Hunter Ellison invented the "Cloak of Invisibility," he never dreamed it would be used by NATO to nuke terrorists all over the world. Actually, he doesn't even remember inventing it because his ex-lover/psychologist cleverly wiped his memory of it, and now all the NATO generals are after Hunter, but if he can just remember how to invent a cloaking device, he can turn invisible and they'll never find him.  

Original Version

I am currently seeking representation for my 89,900-word adult mystery thriller entitled "No Gods Before Us[period]"

Hunter Ellison is a retiring U.S.[ ]General [general]. On the last day on the job, he receives evidence from an old Cold War adversary codenamed Darkstorm that a group of NATO generals is planning a coup. Their goal is to replace civilian governments and use Nuclear [nuclear] weapons to eliminate terrorism. 

[General 1: There are terrorists in this London neighborhood. 

General 2: One nuclear bomb should take care of the problem.

General 1: Agreed.]

From this information, he finds that American Defense [defense] contractors are in on the scheme and have developed an invisibility cloak for the operation. But when he reviews the source material, he discovers its inventor was him! He has no recollection of this and does not know why! [If someone told me I'd invented an invisibility cloak that would somehow make it easier to nuke terrorists, and I had no memory of this, I would assume that they were lying, not that it was a mystery I had to investigate.] His investigation is detected by the conspirators and they try to kill him but he gets away. Meanwhile, a former lover by the name of Rallah Fralish[comma] a Jewish Officer [officer] and Psychologist[comma] [psychologist] intervenes to help. [To help him get away?] [I'm assuming that the former lover, the officer and the psychologist are all Rallah Fralish. If they're two or three people, we need to make that clear.] But secretly she too is in on the plan and so is he! [He, meaning Hunter Ellison? You might want to mention his name more than once in the query.] She has cleverly manipulated him by exacerbating an emotional trauma he experienced by witnessing a murder. One so heinous and personal it caused him hysterical amnesia. 
[She cleverly manipulated him into inventing an invisibility cloak? Or into forgetting that he invented it? If the former, that's ridiculous. If the latter, what's the point? They're willing to nuke the world's terrorists, but not to kill this guy after he's no longer useful to them?] In essence, he has two personalities. He was never supposed to remember who he once was and has to be eliminated. [Why doesn't she intervene to eliminate him instead of to help?] Now fleeing for his life[comma] he is on a journey of self-discovery as he fights with his inner demons to save the world from destruction. [Not the best way to end it. If he has a plan to save the world, give us a hint what he thinks he can do. Like, if he remembers how to invent an invisibility cloak, he could make another one and try to murder all the NATO generals.]


Are his inner demons trying to convince him not to save the world from destruction? 

If I were a retired U.S general who wanted to go on a journey of self-discovery, I would put it off until I'd finished fleeing for my life. But that's me.

Is there anyone in this book who isn't (and never has been) in on the plan to nuke terrorists?

I don't see how this cloak of invisibility is that big a deal. Is it like the Romulan cloaking device, which makes a spaceship invisible, and would allow a plane carrying nuclear bombs to sneak up on terrorists? Or is it like in The Invisible Man, allowing one guy with a nuclear bomb to walk unseen into a terrorist enclave? I think instead of a cloaking device, Hunter should invent a transporter beam. Then he could transport nuclear bombs into terrorist lairs without getting near them.

What Jewish person would give their kid a name that contains the word Allah?

Once you have a clear summary of your story, break it up into paragraphs. Three would be a good number.


Mister Furkles said...

First off, wrestling with inner demons is too cliche for a query. If you include something like that, an agent and editor may assume your novel is full of trite cliches.

Second, NATO doesn't need a cloak of invisibility to nuc the terrorists' camps. They have plenty of missiles for that sort of thing. The problem is to kill the terrorists without harm to the rest of the people around them. (For example, Allepo may have 50,000 ISIS terrorists but as many as two million others.)

It would be more useful if he invented a new kind of neutron bomb that only kills bad people and leaves the rest alive and well. Then things that might go wrong would be killing merely naughty people, like the guys who cheated on their fifth grade algebra tests. It might also leave alive the head terrorist if, like Dr. No, he was really kind to his fluffy white Persian cat.

jcwrites said...

And please stop with the exclamation points.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, ixnay on the exclamation points.

There are two problems here.

One, as others have pointed out, is that nuking terrorists is not a good way to get rid of them. Nuclear bombs have the potential to destroy nearly all life on earth. This is a bit like getting rid of poison ivy by taking cyanide.

Second, how can I say this. Everything about this query suggests that you're a beginning writer. And agents don't want to sign beginning writers. They are happy to sign debut authors, but that's different. It's like the difference between being a beginning musician, and having your first performance at Carnegie Hall.

You know the old joke: "Excuse me, can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?" "Practice."

The same is true of getting published. I see the need for a lot more practice here. And maybe some writing classes.

Anonymous said...

Be way of pointing out one character's nationality and not the others. What's the significance of only mentioning that Rallah is Jewish?

Love the book's title.

St0n3henge said...

Most people nowadays are smart enough to know that amnesia doesn't work that way. This is from the interwebs:
"Hysterical amnesia is of two main types. One involves the failure to recall particular past events or those falling within a particular period of the patient’s life. This is essentially retrograde amnesia but it does not appear to depend upon an actual brain disorder, past or present. In the second type there is failure to register—and, accordingly, later to recollect—current events in the patient’s ongoing life. This is essentially anterograde amnesia and, as an ostensibly psychogenic phenomenon, would appear to be rather rare and almost always encountered in cases in which there has been a preexisting amnesia of organic origin. Rarely, amnesia appears to cover the patient’s entire life, extending even to his own identity and all particulars of his whereabouts and circumstances."
So, basically, you're not going to remember everything about your whole life EXCEPT that one time you invented an invisibility cloak. And even if you did, how would you account for those years being missing?
And yeah, why not just kill the guy? Why risk his memory coming back, as it does in many cases?

I agree with others that the premise needs some work. Nuking terrorists is a good way to kill the good guys, the bad guys, the spotted owl, your progeny and eventually all life on earth. There is no such thing as a "winnable" nuclear war.

Anonymous said...

Forget the nukes. The ability to cause targeted selective amnesia has far more interesting possibilities....

St0n3henge said...

LOL, that's what I was thinking. If you could make people forget even joining a terrorist organization your problem would be solved.
No, sorry. It needs a few tweaks before I'm willing to buy into the premise.

Anonymous said...

The premise here is ridiculous. As others have noted, you can't target terrorists with nuclear weapons. Terrorism doesn't work that way. Nuclear bombs don't work that way.

Evil NATO? Um, ok. I guess you're going for a particular audience here.

Identifying the religion of your love interest, but not your MC, makes no sense. Particularly if you then turn her evil. You need to rethink that. Why does it matter to the story if she's Jewish? A scheming, clever Jew does not add to your story, unless your target audience is medieval Europeans (afraid of NATO).

There's some interesting stuff here. You clearly have a good imagination. You just need to think through the story better. Do you have a friend or writing group you can discuss your ideas with? I find that in trying to explain my story out loud, some things don't even make sense to me. And that shows me what I need to work on.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, being Jewish is not a nationality. Israeli, yes. Jewish, no.

Anonymous said...

Lol at anonymous 12:12. Half my bloodline is Jewish by nationality, none of them Israeli... But maybe I was lied to. ��

Anonymous said...

If you're not actually Jewish you're in no position to make this judgment, sorry.

Anonymous said...

Who knows anymore. Grew up being called a Jew by everyone but the Jews. That is a topic for a different place... probably nowhere I would want to go. But no one on my father's side ever referred to them selves as Israeli, just Jews;if you remove that, then their whole existence becomes questionable. They did not pass for anything else. Well, this ex half breed is signing out. Peace Anon.