Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Guess the Plot
1. His grandfather gave him his name as a child, but little Dire Wolf wants to grow up to be someone important. One day he will be Wolf Who Runs Big Casino, the man to lift his tribe out of poverty.
2. The mercenary known as Dire Wolf has never met a situation he couldn't fight his way out of. Until, that is, he meets a mysterious woman and finds himself forced to try and get seventeen contraband refrigerators into Budapest.
3. Alexander Stewart, the Wolf of Badenoch, terrorizes the Strathspey region of Scotland in the 14th Century in this fact-based work of historical fiction.
4. A youthful shaman contends with monstrous carnivores, manipulative spirits, and a clan of big-game hunters mentored by a witch, in this true-to-life tale of America's first inhabitants.
5. In this collection of short stories, Cliffnote Brown discovers that his uncle Dire Wolf is a werewolf, a werewolf destined to battle Bob the Life Sucking Demon III for dominance over the known universe.
6. Just when glamorous international super spy Jane Bond thinks she can finally relax in the hot springs of Iceland with her crew of Viking henchmen, her undercover gig as a glamorous swimsuit model is wrecked by a demented volcanologist who threatens to blow the island sky high. Jane knows only she and a silent assassin known to the world as Dire Wolf can save Iceland.
My commercial novel, DIRE WOLF, a historical mystery, might appeal to you.
Hamstrung by self-doubt, yet bent on vengeance and rescue, a youthful shaman contends with monstrous carnivores, [Dire wolves.] human duplicity and manipulative spirits as he sets out across an Ice Age wilderness to discover who murdered his extended family and abducted his sister.
Matters become complicated when an unscrupulous band of big-game-hunting traders extend suspect overtures of friendship after ¡happening¢ upon him. Alas, one of them betrays him, and soon thereafter, attempts against his own life begin. With help, he foils and unmasks the culprit, unwinding a thread that leads to another clan of big-game hunters, mentored by a witch and led by a man who had beheaded his own father. But when, out of gratitude for a healing, a former adversary sacrifices his life helping the protagonist rescue his sister from their grasp, he uncovers a web of conspiracy involving even his own kinsmen. And skulking behind all that¢s happened to him are the Spirit-Masters of the Animal Nations, whose desperate scheme to ensure their own survival hinges upon him. For if the great beasts vanish from the earth, they, too, will cease to exist. [I know you preceded all that by saying "Matters become complicated," but if you really want to prepare us, try "Matters become indecipherably convoluted . . . "]
[Characters mentioned in that paragraph ( with estimate of how many there are): Band of traders (8), shaman (1), clan of hunters (12), witch (1), leader of hunters (1), leader's beheaded father (1), former adversary (1), shaman's sister (1), shaman's kinsmen (10), Spirit-Masters (25). Total: 61 characters in six sentences.]
At approximately 135,000-words, Dire Wolf is book one of a trilogy. [Three books, at 135,000 words each, starring a cave man looking for his sister on an ice floe?] Researching the setting proved inspirational, for I¢m fascinated by the intrepid souls who first peopled the Americas. Flavored by its supernatural undercurrent and buttressed by a setting based firmly on cutting-edge scientific theory as well as fact, this Ice Age mystery will appeal to a wide audience. [A 400,000-word Ice Age mystery trilogy will appeal to a wide audience? Based on what?]
May I send you samples, a synopsis or my completed manuscript?
His extended family were murdered, but his kinsmen conspire against him. I would have thought his kinsmen were his extended family.
It sounds nuts, because you're moving too fast through too many plot points. Figure out the main story, which is something like, a guy's family is killed and his sister abducted. He searches through tundras and glaciers over a span of three 135,000-word books until he finally finds her. Turns out she left willingly with hunky Attila the Eskimo, and refuses to go back to her boring life with her over-protective brother, who's now 75 years old, and has lost both his feet to frostbite.
Despite your changing the book's title, it was easily recognizable as the same book submitted as Face-lift 172. I have to say that the third paragraph of that query provides a clearer description of the plot than this query does.
I still don't see why you don't tell us the main character's name. Is it Dire Wolf? Is it a secret? It's much easier to write a clear query if your characters have names. Surely he's not referred to as The Protagonist throughout the books.