Friday, June 05, 2009
Guess the Plot
1. Someone has been urinating in the chili served at the school cafeteria. It's a mystery, until ace detective Jake Bolshoi turns up a gang of kindergarten punks who call themselves . . . the Tinkers.
2. Bobby Simmons always wondered what crazy gadgets old man Tinkers invented in his basement. When a dare compels Bobby to break into the curmudgeon's house, he discovers . . . a meth lab!
3. The rant-radio hosts were right about a certain Teletubby warping the minds of preschoolers; they were just wrong about how. Tinky-Winky wasn't luring tots down the path to gaydom, he was hypnotizing a generation to serve as his army of global conquest. Can 15-year-old Connor break the mind-meld, swear off his handbag and save the world?
4. Despite his years of apprenticeship, young Marco is denied entry to the all powerful Steam Engineers Guild for daring to make changes on existing machines. Naturally, Marco responds by starting his own union. Steampunk hilarity ensues.
5. When Benjamin Hawthorne discovers people who call themselves Tinkers living in RVs behind his house, he investigates. But can he and his twin sister discover what the Tinkers' relationship is to Peter Pan before it's too late?
6. There's nothing the citizens of Spretzen can't take apart, reverse engineer and rebuild. When wealthy Hamilton Stone sets the town a challenge, providing them with CERN blueprints, an ICBM and twelve pounds of weapons-grade plutonium, they have to decide whether to suppress their natural inclinations or to create a machine that will destroy the planet.
Dear Evil Editor,
Ben and his twin sister Emma move to the country and what they find in the woods will question everything they've ever known about their dead mother. ["Question" isn't the word you want. "Lead them to question" works, but it's wordy. Try "refute" or "nullify" or, for something stronger, "nuke."]
In my 55k word urban fantasy YA novel TINKERS, Thirteen-year-old Benjamin Hawthorne hears rumors at his new school about a group of people called Tinkers who live in RV’s in the woods behind his house. They’re thieves, drunks, uneducated, and haven’t taken a shower in weeks. [But they have hearts of gold.] When Ben actually meets a Tinker and he doesn’t fit this stereotype, [He's a smelly drunk thief, but he has a PhD from Harvard.] Ben sets out on a course to uncover the truth about the people in the woods: that they protect a secret race of faeries [Maybe it's the colon, but it sounds like he suspects this fairy tale, and just wants to gather evidence. He meets a guy who isn't a drunken thief, and starts an investigation? Why?] that may have been the inspiration for JM Barrie’s Peter Pan and that the Tinkers themselves may be closer to Ben than just a people living in the woods nearby.
I have recently completed an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. I have had a short story published in Lit by New Writing North in conjunction with Newcastle University. I have also had several works published in Blackberry Winter, an annual chapbook of Rochester College where I earned my BA in English and Professional Writing. This is my first novel.
I have been reading your blog for quite some time now, and thank you for all the advice and laughs you've given your readers so far. Please never stop giving us glimpses into your world. [Why, you ass-kissing, bootlicking, apple-polishing suck-up. If you think you can sweet talk me into publishing you . . . you're right! How's half a million sound? With any luck I'll find a book doctor who can do something with this crap, maybe turn it into a historical romance.]
Upon your request, I am prepared to send the complete manuscript. [Not necessary. I just spoke to a book doctor, and all we need is your title. We're gonna go with Guess the Plot #2.] Thank you for taking the time to consider representing my work.
What truth was Ben hoping to uncover when he started looking into the Tinkers? It seems like the fact that the Tinkers don't fit the stereotype is the truth, and he already uncovered it. Is he trying to uncover why smart upstanding clean citizens live in RVs in the woods behind his house? Tell us that so his investigating makes sense.
Less about you and more about the plot would be nice. For instance, you start by telling us there's a twin sister and a dead mum. Maybe you could mention them again. Does Emma do anything? What's the most important thing Ben believed about his mother that has been disproved? How was it disproved? Is the main story Ben finding out about his mother?
If I'm in a secret race of faeries in the woods and I want to keep it secret, the last thing I want is a bunch of RVs parked around my camp, drawing attention to me.