Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Guess the Plot
Wrestling the Tiger
1. Lindy Flair loses her job and decides to fight back. But first she has to learn how to navigate around the Tailored Interactive Guidance on Employment Rights (TIGER) website. Three months later she gives up and applies at Burger King.
2. Zookeeper Imogen Poe is secretly in love with Large Mammal expert Rodney Grepp. But their midnight trysts are cut short one evening when Imogen loses her flashlight and ends up in the wrong enclosure.
3. Red sand covers the moonscape where Leann hunts in silence and secret, searching for the forbidden earthquick lime. Will she find it and save the planet? Or will a treacherous villain beat her to it?
4. Anna's emotions manifest themselves as destructive forces. Only by mastering the martial arts movement known as "wrestling the tiger" can she quell the raging power within her.
5. Bored with life on the professional golf circuit, Tiger Woods gains 100 pounds, arranges his hair in a topknot, and dons a mawashi. But will the other sumos ever accept him?
6. Roderigo is a lover, not a fighter. But when la Lucha Libre comes to town, he has to make a choice: He'll lose the heart of his beloved unless he puts on the mask and faces el Tigre, the fiercest fighter on the circuit.
Genre: Science Fiction
Title: Wrestling the Tiger
This title is taken from the name of a movement in a traditional Chinese martial arts form, and it connotates fighting for self-control.
Dear Evil One:
Anna can kill people without even trying.
An illiterate escaped slave, she knows nothing about the Qiseng beyond whispers of their mysterious powers. [Neither do we. Yet you mention them without saying who they are, and then drop them.] However, when she is threatened with recapture, her fear and anger manifest in unseen physical forces that destroy everyone around her, attackers and friends alike. [Why didn't she feel fear and anger before she escaped, or, if she did, why didn't she kill her captors without even trying?] [Has Professor Xavier heard about Anna? Because if Magneto gets to her first, there's gonna be trouble.]
Anna is rescued [If she's rescued, one assumes she was in danger. So why didn't her rescuers and her attackers get killed? Who rescues her? Who had enslaved her? Are they chasing her?] and brought to a Qiseng monastery where she must learn, quickly, how to control the emotions that create the raging power within her. [At which point she can finally join the X-Men and call herself Mindblower.] Unfortunately for her, control does not come easily. [And she kills everyone in the monastery?] As she is caught up in ancient traditions she doesn't understand, Anna soon discovers that the cruelly strict discipline of the Qiseng may be a more terrible form of slavery than that which she had escaped.
WRESTLING THE TIGER is a martial-arts science fiction novel [It should be Wrestling the Crouching Tiger.] of approximately 85,000 words. The story is strongly character-driven, and it explores through a combination of martial-arts action and introspective character development the personal, spiritual, and societal implications of deadly power linked to strong emotions.
This is my first novel. I have been published online in the Jackhammer e-zine, and while I was pursuing my degree in English I wrote a regular column for my college's underground magazine. I am a martial artist and an officer in the Marine Corps Reserve. [Marine? Excuse me while I go back and replace all my abusive comments with useful ones. Well done, sir.]
I look forward to providing a full copy of the manuscript for your review, on paper or in any electronic form you prefer, at your request. I appreciate your time and consideration.
It's not clear enough to me. Martial arts/Qiseng leads me to wonder what someone named Anna is doing here. What's the time and place, and how did Anna become a slave? Her strong emotions manifest themselves in killing friends and enemies, yet whoever captured her and made her a slave wasn't killed? The Qiseng aren't killed despite their cruel discipline? Who is killed by Anna? Who uses martial arts skills against whom, and why? What are the mysterious powers of the Qiseng? I'm asking too many questions, and so will the person to whom you send this letter. Try to answer some of them.
I'm not crazy about the first sentence, but if you keep it, start something like: Anna kills people without trying; her feelings of fear and anger manifest in unseen physical forces that destroy everyone around her, attackers and friends alike.
Then get into her story, and don't bring up the Qiseng until you're ready to talk about them.