Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Guess the Plot
The Paper Gods
1. The slaves known as the Paper Gods will be freed only when the evil Prince of the underground world of Submundi is dead. Prophesies describe the Prince's demise as death by Poetry. That's where high school student Poetry Wu comes in.
2. The Rock Gods and the Scissors Gods are engaged in a battle that threatens to destroy the Earth -- unless Mitch Mickley can summon the fabled Paper Gods and even up the game.
3. The Golden Gods, pagan idols from ancient times, had been melted down and the wealth redistributed. The Iron Gods were long gone – only the rusted-out carcasses remained, strewn about the confines of junk yards around the country. Now Paper Gods rule the Earth, befuddling the masses with their origami disguises. But Casey, a new-age orphan who recently discovered her druidic heritage, has a plan . . . and a book of matches.
4. When Trudy and Bud sit down to make Halloween monsters at Uncle Reginald's castle, they have no idea the crayons are charmed--until the monsters start demanding "candy," and breaking furniture. Can Trudy's paper Medusa save the sofa and vanquish these diabolical green vampire-dinosaur-kitten things before Uncle Reggie gets home?
5. Zack Runciman publishes the Daily News. Across town, his twin brother and rival Jack publishes the Daily Herald. When a drop in subscriptions makes it clear that there is market enough for only one paper, a circulation war erupts. How far is Zack willing to go to win?
6. Huff'n'Puff the dragon didn't find the Paper Gods much of a challenge, and the Stick Gods barely held out any longer. But he's a little concerned about the Brick Gods--how's he going to burn their house down?
Dear Evil Editor,
When a knife-wielding stalker reveals that Poetry Wu is prophecized [--cied] to free his people from magical slavery, Poetry has doubts. [That "his" sounds like it refers to Poetry, as we don't know yet whether Poetry is male or female (we assume from the name that it's a gay guy).] But her knack for weaseling her way out of problems is no match for her supernatural stalker. Though the last thing she wants to do is set him free, she winds up agreeing to murder the ruler of a shadowy land to help his cause. [That "his" sounds like it refers to the ruler of the shadowy land rather than the stalker.]
Poetry searches for a way to convince him she's no destined one. Instead, she stumbles into the world of Submundi, where she draws the attention of the Prince she is to kill.
[Prince: Well, hello there. Who are you?
Poetry: I'm Poetry.
Prince: I can see that, but what's your name?]
The forces of this eerie underland creep into her ordinary life. Soon she has to contend with missing memories and friends under mind control just to hand in her homework. [Apparently she has stumbled back out of Submundi. Why hasn't she ever stumbled into Submundi before?]
All Poetry wants to do is impress her artsy new classmates, get home for dinner on time, and make her stalker leave her alone. [Consider putting this sentence up front. As it is, we can't tell this is set in modern times on Earth until you mention homework. I thought we were in Isengard; turns out it's Schenectady.] But Poetry's involvement in Submundi goes back further than she realizes. When she discovers the terrible sacrifice she made to escape Submundi long ago, [Years ago? Or eons ago?] she must take on the Prince to make it right. [To make it right is vague. What are the stakes?]
The Paper Gods is a YA fantasy novel of 100,000 words. It is the first book in a planned trilogy, but can stand alone. [So the numerous fake plot writers who submitted rock, paper scissors plots were on to something, and The Rock Gods and The Scissors Gods are the next two books?]
Thank you for your time and consideration.
[Author's note, not part of query: The stalker and his fellow supernatural slaves are beings known as Paper Gods, hence the title The Paper Gods.]
Once we realize this is set in the modern world we are forced to question Poetry's agreeing to commit a murder. Why does she agree to this? Is she threatened? If the slaves believe she will free them, any threat to harm her would seem empty.
What constitutes being a slave? Usually slaves aren't permitted to roam into distant lands wielding knives and stalking girls. What are the Prionce's powers that allow him to enslave supernatural beings?
Who names their kid Poetry? I suppose it's better than Nonfiction. Does she have a twin brother named Prose?