Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Face-Lift 607

Guess the Plot

Call Me Wonder Rose

1. I am Rosa floribunda, and I am invincible. I've survived infestations, invasions, perversions and depredations. I've been cut, frozen, chopped, burned, drowned and severed. I've watched my children die while I live on. You can shove me in the dirt, force-feed me concoctions, but you can't destroy me. Call me wonder rose.

2. It sure was a shock to learn that my younger brothers are all superheroes, each with a unique ability that's been kept secret from me all my life, and I'm the only member of the Rose family who's normal. Of course, when a supervillain comes to town, it's sure to be big sis who has to save the day, as usual. The name's Dylan Rose, but you can . . . Call me Wonder Rose.

3. Wonder Bread built healthy bodies in even more ways than people thought. During WWII, a daring bio-modification program based on experimental bread-molds turned me into a superheroine whose battle against fascism outdid even Captain America. They called me . . . Wonder Rose.

4. In the little town of Meadowville, GA, nothing brings out cutthroat ruthlessness like the Horticultural Society's Annual Garden Show. But now I'm wondering if I've gone too far--my genetically spliced roses are displaying signs of sentience and an interest in superheroics. The newspapers . . . call me Wonder Rose.

5. The name's Rose Baumgarten. I recently resigned from Joe's Bar and Grill to begin a new career as a pimp-bashing superhero. Too bad that means I have about a thousand instant enemies who all need to be manhandled and crushed to pulp beneath my sharp red stilettos, enemies who . . . Call Me Wonder Rose.

6. When my grandmother leaves me an old trunk, I discover the diary and letters of my great-great-grandmother, an exotic dancer. I change my name from Summer Dawn and take up fan dancing. Call Me Wonder Rose.

Original Version

Dear Evil Editor:

I am currently seeking representation for my young adult fantasy novel "Call Me Wonder Rose," complete at 65,000 words.

Sixteen-year-old Dylan Rose has always felt like the family outcast. And it's not all in her head.

When she inherits her late grandfather's journal, which chronicles his ability to shrink in size and stretch his limbs to the size of a football field, [May 3: As I lie dying in my hospital bed I finally realize that the ability to punch a criminal from a hundred yards away is not so effective when the criminal is 110 yards away, with a high-powered rifle.] Dylan believes the journal must be fiction. But it turns out [that her grandfather was once known as (choose one):

a. Plastic Man

b. The Elongated Man

c. Mr. Fantastic

Amazing how even lame superhero powers get recycled/stolen.] every word is true. Dylan discovered the Rose family secret: She belongs to a family of super heroes.

Cool, right? Sure. If you had powers. But unfortunately for Dylan, she doesn't. The hero gene is only passed down to males, and her three younger brother's have kept their unique powers hidden from her for over a decade. [No way five-year-old boys could resist using their super powers in their sister's presence. In fact, no way they could resist using their super powers on their sister.]

While Dylan copes with the fact that her own flesh and blood kept this massive secret from her, [You had these powers all along and you didn't use them to help me destroy my rivals and win the heart of Biff Carpenter? Bastards!] the crime rate in the small Midwestern town sky rockets. The Rose brothers are convinced the culprit is using super powers to commit the crimes.

But whoever is committing the crimes has plans for something bigger than a little bank robbery.

And it involves the Rose family outcast. [How do they know this?]

Dylan's more valuable to the super family business than originally perceived. [How so?] It's this discovery that makes her the hottest ticket in town, [What does that mean?] and places Dylan smack-dab in the middle of a dangerous old rivalry. [Possibly what you're hinting at is that the supervillain was sent up the river by grandpa and now he's going to exact his revenge by kidnapping Dylan to get the super brothers to help him destroy the statue of grandpa in the town square. Or not. It's a pretty vague way to end the query.]

My short stories have appeared in The Bell Tower and The Scruffy Dog Review. This is my first novel. I would be happy to send a partial at your request.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Even if you don't want to reveal the details on how Dylan is useful in defeating the supervillain, I don't see why you can't be more specific about how she's involved.


Anonymous said...

Maybe it's just me, but every 16 year old I ever knew was pretty much focused on sex drugs cars and rock n roll. This sounds more like 12 year old middle grade stuff unless the girl can magically text her way into the boys' locker room or something.

writtenwyrdd said...

I like a lot about this, but it feels like a problem that 1) she's not clued in to the family's genetically-linked trait when she could pass it on some day; and 2) the family has apparently actually succeeded in keeping Dylan in the dark. (EE your comments about that are hilarious.)

Lisa Aldin said...

EE - Thanks for the feedback! I was laughing. How silly of me to be so vague, I know. I've since revised this sucker and added more details.

BTW - Who's your favorite super hero? I'm guessing it's not Plastic Man...=)


Anonymous said...

I collect superhero books, so I'd pick this up sight-unseen. Need a beta?

If you post the revised query in the comments, we'll take another look at it. You might want to wait until a few more people weigh in, though.

Xiexie said...

Can we see the revised one?

Also, Mr. Fantastic ForTheWin.

Chelsea Pitcher said...

I like the idea of the protagonist being odd because she DOESN'T have powers. And I know/knew lots of 16 year olds who care/d about more than sex drugs cars and rock. :)

Robin B. said...

[May 3: As I lie dying in my hospital bed I finally realize that the ability to punch a criminal from a hundred yards away is not so effective when the criminal is 110 yards away, with a high-powered rifle.] I'm still laughing at this old-movie voice narration thing.

Anyway, I like the idea of the reverse thing as well - that the non-super hero sibling is gonna be the one who save the day.

pacatrue said...

Well, there's Sky High, of course, a movie about a kid going to Super Hero school without any powers. Until he gets powers....

Xiexie said...

Yeah Sky High lost me once he got powers.

Mother (Re)produces. said...

Maybe her grandad was known as "Elastigirl." Maybe that's the problem.

batgirl said...

This looks like fun - 16 is an age when you're finding out who you are and what you can do, and separating yourself from your family, the sort of uncertainty that would be magnified when your family is extraordinary. Also, superheroes are very much in the mainstream of fiction, so it's a good time for that metaphor.

talpianna said...

Pet peeve: Dylan is a male name--in fact, it's originally the name of a Welsh sea deity.