Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Guess the Plot
Her Dress is Darkness
1. Nudist Shelly Wellter is too demure to sunbathe, so she moonbathes at night. But her sweet shyness is no match for Bull Grumby's ardor - and his flashlight.
2. Physicist Moira Wartby is determined to make a splash at the company picnic. But the dress she fashions from a Black Hole does more than draw people to her.
3. Lynn hopes her Vampire romance novel, 'Her Dress is Darkness', is a bestseller. It has to be, because she poured her soul into it . . . literally.
4. To Walter, Lydia is sunlight, cloaked in a shroud of darkness. But when a strange black frog bites Lydia, Walter discovers an evil lurking beneath the shroud. Also, a dragon.
5. She likes to say she's in mourning for her life, but Bianca's black gown is neither a fashion statement nor an homage to Chekhov. It's pure Evil in wearable form. Unless Trevor Weiss can get her to take that dress off, Bianca could lose her soul with one swish of her taffeta ruffles.
6. In the cutthroat world of fashion design, Ellen DeLong has always been second rate. That is, until she makes a deal with Satan and gains the magical Shears of Endor.
Her Dress is Darkness:
(95,000 words, dark, literary fantasy with epic overtones)
To eleven-year-old Walter, Lydia is sunlight in a dark place: a lone, caring presence in the face of his unstable mother and missing father. Together, they explore the innocent woods of their quiet valley and make up stories about a huge, brown blade left in a hidden copse. [No need to attach an adjective to every noun. The more you use them the less powerful they are.]
When a strange, black frog bites Lydia in the wood, [Bites her in the wood? What is she, a marionette?] Walter discovers an evil lurking beneath the shroud of the old Priory, an evil rooted in magic and Making, buried in his forgotten bloodline. [How does her getting bitten by a frog lead to him discovering an evil at the Priory?] Secrets conspire to return him to a lost world, [Return, meaning he's been there before?] a world belonging to a terrible Queen of ancient lore, a world where innocence is devoured. In the land of Temeres, nothing is as it seems. [Of course, we don't know how things seem, so it doesn't help to tell us we're wrong.] Dead gods stir in the Groves of the Deep, preparing for a return to the world of light, [Define "dead." Apparently it doesn't mean what I thought it did. Will the gods return as zombies?] while an eleven-year-old boy, a wooden knight, a glass dragon, and an ancient warrior strive to protect what remains of purity. Lydia has been taken, her soul trapped within the Queen's far tower. But nothing—not the Pale Queen, nor her hunger, not her Darklings or her beast and the Drum of its Heart, not even her cursed, immortal knight [All right already. Nothing.] —will keep Walter from fulfilling his promise.
He will find her. And he will bring her back. [I doubt it. He's eleven. The Darklings will stop him.]
How come Groves of the Deep is capitalized, but not the world of light? How come Making but not magic? Darklings but not beast? Queen? Priory? Drum of its Heart? Seemingly random capitalizing could get annoying if it's book-wide.
This reads more like an ominous prologue than a query letter. Try telling the story in everyday prose, rather than poetry. If that doesn't work we can go for a combination of the two, but this version, while it has tone, isn't telling me clearly what happens in the book.