Monday, October 29, 2007

Face-Lift 443

Guess the Plot

Crucibles and Cauldrons

1. Fish-Face Nelson is desperate for respect but he can't stage a school shootout because he's afraid of guns. So he puts on his cape , takes his wand in hand, opens a tattered copy of THE FACELESS FIEND'S POTION BOOK, which he found under a moss in the forest, and starts cooking.

2. In a world of sorcery, two sisters morph into a dragon and a champion fencer and take on the Inquisition. But can two young girls prevent the Church's influence from being spread across the world by forbidden magic?

3. Octavia Tizano needs only one more ingredient for her Unquenchable Love Potion: ear of twit. This would be easy if she could just travel by night and pilfer one, but it has to be a gift. And what kind of person would give away his ear?

4. Jane Euclid enjoys her cloak and dagger spy girl life as a witch in Memphis, Tennessee, until strange things stop happening. Then young witches start turning up dead. What's going on? Jane teams up with ace homicide detective Zack Martinez to find out.

5. Love for the Harry Potter stories inspired the theme of Tammy and Jen's Internet laundromat cafe theater in Boston. They knew they'd get lots of HP fans as customers. But they didn't expect quite so many to fly in on broomsticks.

6. Rory Shaw, teenage alchemist's apprentice, was annoyed. First it was the talking knife, then the crucible ran off with the spoon and the cauldron was so grieved and jealous, it wouldn't stop crying. Desperate for peace, Rory threw the old pot in the moat. Oops! It was actually a thrice-cursed pirate: Viggo the Terrible. Now he's human again, very unhappy and covered with goo.

Original Version

Dear [agent];

11-year old Marta wants to fly, but she gets what she wanted in the worst possible way. Her sister, 16-year old Rosa wants a quiet life, but she gets the opposite when forced to rescue her family from the Inquisition.

The sisters live high in the mountains, when a mysterious inquisitor arrives and turns out to be their uncle running from the inquisition. [How is he mysterious? Why don't they know he's their uncle immediately?] He is shot in front of their family, but not before he casts strange magic on Rosa.

Desperate to know if their uncle told anyone the secret he knew, the Inquisitor General throws their whole family in prison. Rosa barely manages to escape by drawing on a mysterious physical prowess that she never had before and discovers her uncle embedded his mind into her psyche, [Or vice versa.] allowing her to access his skills as a champion fencer. [She escapes from prison using fencing skills? Does she have a weapon? If you're locked in a cell, what good are fencing skills?] She also learns the secret he discovered; [How does she find out?] the Inquisitor General is using a forbidden magic called Mentalism to spread the Church's influence across the world. [Hey, it's better than what the real Inquisitions did.]

Knowing Rosa possesses the secret, [How does he know? Can't anyone keep a secret?] the Inquisitor General uses Mentalism to switch Marta's mind with a dragon's. He erases her memories and alters her mind to be loyal to him. However, the bonds of loyalty shatter when Marta confronts her sister. She flees and struggles to regain her memory.

Using what little witchcraft Rosa [she] learned from her mother, she [Rosa] discovers the dragon is her sister and tracks it across the land. Finally reunited, they confront [You just used "confront" two sentences ago. I'd change the other one to "sees."] the Inquisitor General. It seems an easy task to a dragon and a champion fencer, [What does?] but the General can control minds. [Marta's uncle was shot. This would seem to imply that there are guns, and that proficiency with a sword is as useful as it was for this guy.]

I am seeking representation for Crucible and Cauldron (95,000 words), a complete fantasy novel set in a world of alchemy and witchcraft. This is my first novel, but I have extensive experience in technical writing. SASE enclosed.



I'm not sure why the uncle's magic is described as "strange," and Marta's physical prowess is described as "mysterious." In a world of alchemy and witchcraft, why would anything seem strange or mysterious?

The Inquisitor General knows Rosa knows his secret. Presumably this is bad for him. If so, shouldn't he take action against her instead of putting Marta's mind into a dragon?

If you need a loyal dragon, why switch the mind of an 11-year-old who hates you with a dragon, when you can switch the mind of someone who's already loyal to you, and just leave the kid in prison?

If the IG has the ability to erase people's memories, and he doesn't want Marta's family to know his secret, instead of throwing them in prison he should just erase all their memories.

In fact, the ability to control people's minds is such a useful tool, you have to be careful that there's an explanantion for why the IG doesn't use Mentalism for everything he does.

When Marta's mind is switched with the dragon's, does Marta's body go around trying to breathe fire on everything?


Anonymous said...

Perils and magic and heroic actions are supposed to match. Religious violence is real now and was always real in the past. I don't know why you'd want change the actual danger of your whole family being killed for some trivial 'heresy' to the fantasy danger of having your mind switched with a dragon's. You call it the Inquisition, so are you using the historic Catholic church? Like your protagonist is in peril because Catholicism spread during the Renaissance because gun-weilding Cardinal Whoever was changing the minds of non-Catholics [and heretical Catholics] with the minds of dragons? Or did you make up your own evil religion? So she's going to borrow the mind of her uncle and fence her way out of danger? That just seems to be really messy plotting.

none said...

Is Marta still a dragon at the end of the book?

Amanda said...

This sounds like oodles of fun!! Even though its for kids I'd love to read it myself. My husband says I'm basically just a big ol' kid at heart and he's totally right too

I love how its two sisters helping each other! Girl power!

I also loved the part where the girl is transformed into a dragon

I soooo want to read this!!

Good luck!!!!!!!

Robin S. said...

I love that sword scene in Indiana Jones. That and Harrison Ford is a hottie in that hat of his.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, if you're going to mix guns & knives it's important to remember that sword fight scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark because your audience will immediately think of it. And also they'll know the scene in Pirates 1 where Jack Sparrow shoots Barbossa and visa versa. Knife does not ordinarily beat gun. Sword-fighting skills wouldn't have saved Anne Frank, for instance. And they weren't enough for Joan of Arc, either.