Friday, August 10, 2007
Guess the Plot
A Certain Kind of Girl
1. She loves kittens and walks on the beach. She dances in the rain. She has been known to sleep on the muddy ground behind the freak show tent at a carnival, just so she can watch the sun rise from a Ferris wheel. She's wanted on four counts of arson. She consumes a live ferret at every meal. You know the type.
2. She can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let you forget you're a man . . . unless you mess with her golf clubs. Then, she'll crack your head open with said frying pan.
3. She's manipulative, clingy, and jealous of anyone who even looks at her guy. Everyone can see that she's an insane psycho. Oh, and she's killed hundreds of men over the years, but it's not as bad as it sounds, since she's immortal.
4. She's the kind who would stick a huge bag of pot in your underwear drawer and call the sheriff to tell him you're a drug dealer. When you're arrested, she means to call and let the sheriff know it was a practical joke, but somehow she never gets around to it.
5. She's sexy and she knows it and she's the kind of girl who wouldn't be caught dead at a football game but who will happily move in on the quarterback just to annoy her roommate who has a crush on him. Also, she's sleeping her way through law school.
6. She's tall and tan and young and lovely and when she passes, each one she passes goes, "Ah." Also, when she walks she's like a samba that swings so cool and sways so gentle, and when she passes, each one she passes goes, "Ooh."
Meg Carter sees her first fairy when she's twelve. [Insert joke here.] By the time she gets to college, the supernatural doesn't seem that important anymore. Sure, she talks to dryads and bribes gremlins so they don't steal her date's keys, but there are other things to think about, like friends, [boys,] classes, [boys,] and the horrible girls her brother Fred brings home on vacation. The hidden world just isn't that big a deal. [Also, you tend not to run into as many gremlins when you're in college as you did when you were a kid.]
Except that now there's a weird parasite out in the woods. It's magical, it's scary, and it eats people. Meg knows, because a dryad warns her—but dryads don't talk anything like humans do. [Not sure what the point is there.] Meg and her friends aren't even sure what this thing looks like. As they try and fail to track it down, Fred gets involved with his worst girlfriend yet. [I Googled "dryad," and I gotta say, the image results are interesting. Apparently there are bad dryads, and there are the kind of dryads you want to just stare at for hours. However, I tend to think that no matter what kind of dryad it is, if it tells me there's a magical parasite that eats people in the woods, I'm gonna find an excuse to stay out of the woods. Why is Meg trying to track it down?]
Eva's manipulative, clingy, and jealous of anything [Are you sure we're not talking about Eva Longoria?] that takes Fred's attention off of her. Everyone can see that she's a psycho—except for Fred. But Meg doesn't have a lot of luck convincing him of that. [No guy likes to be told his girlfriend is a parasite.] Besides, he's always had bad taste in women, and he's always gotten over it. [If you get over something, you don't have it anymore.] Meg figures Eva will go away eventually. She certainly doesn't connect her to the parasite in the woods.
Then Fred disappears.
When Meg goes to look for him, she discovers Eva's real nature: immortal, insane, and extremely powerful. [How do you discover that someone is immortal?] Like mortal men have done for hundreds of years, Fred's gone to her world. Like them, he'll die there, horribly, when Eva finds a reason to doubt his love. And she always finds a reason.
A Certain Kind of Girl is a 93,000 word urban fantasy novel. Much of it takes place at Brown University, which I attended for four years. [I'm not clear on the setting. Fred brings home horrible girls on vacation. Including Eva? Where is home? Are the woods at home or at Brown? Do Meg and Fred both attend Brown?] I currently work as an editor at O'Reilly Media. [Can you get Evil Editor on The O'Reilly Factor? I have a few things I need to say to that guy.] "Higher Education," a short story which involves some of the characters from A Certain Kind of Girl, will be published October 1st, 2007 in Spacesuits and Sixguns.
Is there anything supernatural about Meg? Does everyone have the ability to see fairies and gremlins?
Parasites are better off keeping their hosts alive, not eating them. Sharks and zombies eat people. Which leads me to ask if people are the parasite's host.
You make it sound like Fred is doomed. Does Meg make an attempt to rescue him?
As they try and fail to track it down would be better stated As they try to track it down--and fail--.
I think I'd leave the parasite out of the query. Drop the second paragraph and start the third one: When Fred gets involved with his worst girlfriend yet, manipulative, clingy Eva, who's jealous of . . . This would leave more room to tell us what Meg does when Fred disappears.