Thursday, March 26, 2009
Guess the Plot
1. When the Earth becomes unstable thanks to a virus released into Rawmesh, the virtual world housed in the global communications network , it's up to Jack Frost and his friends to save the day by reversing the north and south poles.
2. Loretta Lopez drives to Wyoming with a sleeping bag, a collection of old sci-fi movies, and her laptop computer. She's determined to finish her screenplay about monsters in the wilderness before winter or go bust. But that's exactly the vow made by five other people who live in her campground! And they all think her movie is crap! Even though theirs totally suck! The bitches! This means war!
3. Spaceman Jack wakes up from his 87-year nap on the Andromeda Module and quickly realizes that: 1] the ship's not zooming through space as scheduled; 2] everyone else is sleeping or dead; 3] the planet outside appears to be covered with enormous jelly ferns; and 4] they're actually carnivorous.
4. Stalking the primeval forest, Rawmesh hunts the small creatures while desperately searching for a mate. Most of his kind lie dead, but the urge to reproduce drives him onward. Can he find another T rex, or is it already too late?
5. Fairies and hobgoblins fighting for control of the local park? Janie doesn't believe Rolf's stories, until the fairies conjure up the mythic warrior Rawmesh. Now freed from decades of imprisonment, Rawmesh rampages through the neighborhood, targetting hobgoblins and pets indiscriminately. Can Janie help Rolf and the fairies put Rawmesh back where he belongs?
6. Tilly cooks for a five-star restaurant, and her specialty is braised mesh. When she discovers that her boyfriend is in the mafia, she rats him out. Her restaurant’s freezer of raw mesh doubles its contents overnight, but she’s strangely not there to cook it. And why does some of the mesh taste funny?'
Dear Evil Editor,
When a coordinated attack against the world's electronic and communication systems threatens to bring civilization to a halt, a group of friends must endure bedlam and violence from all fronts. Rawmesh is an 85,000 word character-driven science fiction novel that is the first in a planned series. I specifically seek your representation as I have a strong appreciation for your work with the ______ as well as the work of several _______ authors.
A militant anti-tech group named Green Forest, successful in designing a computer virus that has torn down global communication networks, [Only computer geeks could pull this off; anti-tech people wouldn't have a clue how to do it, any more than a PETA member would know how to gut a moose.] have now created a way to decimate all electronics [All electronics? No way will the populace get behind any plan that takes away the TV remote control.] by slowly forcing the Earth's magnetic poles to reverse. [Whattaya mean "slowly"? North gradually becomes south? What is it during this gradual change, north east and then east and then southeast? Does the north pole drift down the planet until it gets to Antarctica? Actually, it would be cool if the north pole went through the Sahara Desert on its way south, and suddenly it started snowing. Does Santa Claus now live at the south pole, or does he move down north?] The reversal becomes unstable, creating uncontrollable magnetic fractures that now threaten more than just technology. When Aura and her friends Manolin and Jack Frost are told about the dangers of the fractures by a mysterious Seeker (people who live in both the real and virtual Rawmesh worlds simultaneously), [It would be nice if at least Aura's name had been mentioned earlier; it feels like you expect us to know who she is already. Also, we need to have some idea what the virtual Rawmesh world is.] they leave New York to find Aura's father as well as sanctuary. They become separated and entangled in religious and gang warfare spreading across the country. They meet old and new friends, but also come face to face with the embodiment of evil named Momus, who has re-created the Biblical Sixth Plague with the help of Aura's father. [The sixth plague is boils, right? Is everyone suffering with boils?] The group finds a way to stop the fractures by forcing the poles to reverse completely, however doing so would mean killing the Seekers who have uploaded their minds into Rawmesh. [Also, it would do nothing to get rid of the damn boils.] Despite making the ultimate sacrifice to save humanity, Aura and her friends must continue fighting to survive in a world that has gone insane. [I usually think of the ultimate sacrifice as death. What is their ultimate sacrifice? Wait, is it boils?]
Rawmesh is shaped by my degrees in anthropology and computer science, and my fascination with how our lives and societies are affected by technology. In addition, I have presented peer-reviewed papers concerning virtual realities and cyber-security at several conferences.
I have attached the first three chapters for review, and would be pleased to send you my completed manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.
(P.S. The word and title Rawmesh is a made up word, that partially came from reading Finnegan's Wake. [Did you read the original book or the English translation?] It comes from the computer networking term 'mesh', and the 'raw' reality of this virtual world)
This is the Finnegan's Wake of query letters. Take that however you like.
For starters you need to divide the long plot paragraph into three paragraphs. That way when the reader is reading, he thinks, Okay, just a couple more lines and I get a breather, instead of thinking, Christ, there's no way I can stay awake till the end of this paragraph. Think how you would have felt if Finnegan's Wake were all one paragraph. That's how I felt when I saw your second paragraph.
Why are these specific three friends filled in by the Seeker? Is there something special about Aura?
Why is Aura's father helping the embodiment of evil to give everyone boils?
I'm sure boils must be unpleasant, but if I were the embodiment of evil I'd be embarrassed if boils was the worst thing I could come up with.
What is this Momus creature? It seems like it belongs in a fantasy rather than hard science fiction.
The Seekers are actually alive in the virtual world? At the same time they're alive in the real world? Can they take their wives shopping in the virtual world while they're eating pizza and watching football in the real world? And what are they seeking?
Try getting rid of the religious and gang warfare, Momus and the boils, the old and new friends, and Rawmesh. Focus on the main character, the problem, the solution, and what's preventing the solution. That leaves us with: The Earth is in danger of crumbling thanks to a militant group's diabolical plot to reverse the Earth's magnetic poles. The Seeker comes to Aura and says only she can save the planet, by finding her father, the world's greatest scientist. She finds dad, and together they figure out how to save the day: by reversing the Earth's magnetic poles. Hmm. How about this:
An evil entity known as Momus has brought a plague of boils upon the multitudes . . .