Thursday, June 07, 2007
Guess the Plot
The Nature Room
1. Evalina Flint wanted the latest in green technology for her new home: solar power, wind technology and composting in the kitchen. But squatting over a dirt hole in a shed full of thistles, she wonders whether the bathroom has to be so, uh, primitive.
2. All Derora wanted was to fit in at her boarding school, but then she becomes enemies with Megan, the most popular girl in school. Even worse, she is thrust into the Nature Room, a peaceful planet connected to the school by secret passages. Also, a crippled elf.
3. There's ragweed growing against the wall, the walls are rippling fur--either cat or dog, no one knows which-- a tree is sprouting like an elephant's leg in the corner with wasp and bee hives dangling... The Ninth Circle of Hell has no worse punishment for the allergic than the Nature Room!
4. Twelve-year-old twins Venice and Genoa complain so much of boredom, they are sent to stay with relatives in France. Everything there seems normal, until midnight, when the wallpaper comes to life -- then the girls must run through jungles, fleeing jaguars, gibbons, pythons, and the ghostly Skeleton King. Will they survive till morning?
5. In 3729 AD, the whole world’s surface has become a giant city called Unitropolis. Driven by descriptions of a thing called the “Outdoors” from the “ancient times,” a group of college students search the globe for the legendary Last Tree and the hidden vault that holds it – only to find themselves enmeshed in a conspiracy of global proportions.
6. Todd has never been part of the Crisco crowd, opting for single partner sex . . . but when the hot new swingers club opens up on Pheelmore Avenue, Todd decides an “orgy” is in order. It isn’t until he pays the two hundred bucks and follows the circuitous underground tunnel that he discovers he’s in the orangutan cage of the city zoo.
Dear Evil Editor,
New classmates, new school year, and a different planet. One invading army. A pinch of magic, telepathy, and secrets. [Three sentences, nineteen words, and no verbs.] From two viewpoints, THE NATURE ROOM is a finished 66,000 word YA novel.
Way back before the bible, humans lived on another planet in the city of Eden, until they got kicked off for being too violent. [Humans. They screw up everything they get their hands on.] This upset the balance of nature, and only a few centuries ago was a solution reached: a crippled elf was sent to Earth, where he started a boarding school with some secret passages that magically bridge the gap between worlds and others that spy on the teachers lounge. [After thousands of years of brainstorming, this is the solution they come up with to nature's imbalance?] He implemented a test, ensuring only the smartest and most peaceful students would get in. And he faked his own death once The Schools tradition of rich graduates was established. [Why?]
John is one of the students at The School, and his concerns are normal: Get a date with Megan, stop the kid he's tutoring from mauling his balls, [No way would I continue tutoring a kid who was mauling my balls. You have to draw the line somewhere.] get his history project done, stop his mole-like friend Akamu from insulting his groupmates. [Mole-like? Meaning what?] Then yet another kid passes the test, but this one's right below the age cutoff, [Why would someone below the cutoff be taking the test? And why do we care about this kid?] and now there's a new freshman assigned to his group. [I should never read these queries after drinking an entire bottle of Drambuie.]
All Derora wants is to fit in, for once- and she thinks she's off to a good start when the group she's assigned to be her 'family away from family' is friendly. Then her secrecy is tested, and she's thrust into a duel life almost faster than she can swear. One is normal, the other another world known as The Nature Room, where she finds a Symbiote (other species friend-closer-than-family) named Flip, gets a secret nickname, and makes an enemy of Megan, the most popular girl in The School. [Wait, did you mean the kid he was tutoring was mauling his own balls during the tutoring sessions? That would be only slightly less bothersome.]
Just as Derora's adjusting to her new life, and John's adjusting to her, their world gets barfed on as an invading army takes their whole school captive. Spying through secret passages is fun, getting reeducated isn't- especially when John spits on the invaders flag. Their education turns into a struggle, for their lives, their school, and each other- and they'll be damned if it's one they'll lose. [Suddenly this kooky fantasy has morphed into military science fiction?]
I look forward to hearing from you.
You've got the apostrophe-s to replace "is" figured out, but you need to use an apostrophe to show ownership, as in teachers' lounge, invaders' flag, and School's tradition.
There are numerous phrases in here whose meanings aren't 100% clear:
From two viewpoints
Way back before the bible
tradition of rich graduates
her secrecy is tested.
other species friend-closer-than-family
The humans were kicked out of Eden--banished to Earth?
Because this upsets the balance of nature in Eden, a school is started on Earth from which humans--smart peaceful ones--can transport to Eden and back, thus balancing nature?
If that's correct, it's only because I guessed right. It's not clear enough.
In any case that's just the background. Your plot starts when Derora arrives at the school. Tell the story from her viewpoint. Work in what you absolutely must of the background, but stick with Derora as much as possible. Got it? Now start from scratch.
What's dem lights in de sky? Derora.