Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Guess the Plot
1. Whenever some pipsqueak race discovers radio communication, Zack's job is to exterminate them. Otherwise in a few million years the Nargons' TV reception will go straight to hell. Zack backs his truck into orbit over the little blue planet and thinks, Nother world, nother dollar as he releases the gas.
2. Kidnapped during the night by an old man, Annie Watkins is taken to a world where leaves are the size of minivans. Her greatest fear is that the old man has brought her here to do the raking. Or that a bird the size of a building will think she's a worm. It's just a nother day in . . . Nother World.
3. Theft of the letter 'a' has crippled the land of Literaria. With Wordmn, Cptin Book and quwomn out of commission, it's up to the mysterious superhero known as Bibliophile to save the day.
4. The Zap! Splat! computer game is actually a test of speed and cunning designed to identify the team of hotshots who will guard the InterGalaxic ship from hostile aliens. The winners are all in fifth grade so General Benson sends along their geeky teacher, unaware he is actually a spy from Planet Xi93j, where everyone's last name is Nother.
5. Socialite Marilyn Rose Hathaway becomes homeless and reduced to only a fraction of her income when her husband is arrested and convicted of securities fraud. With nowhere to go she just takes off. Her car breaks down in the Appalachians, complete strangers take her in and she falls in love with the rustic sanctity of a whole . . . Nother World.
6. English major Bob Nother realizes his work of literary genius -- Meditations on a Drippy Faucet -- is too good to ever sell. He pens an idiotic screenplay for revenge, starring himself as a mad dentist who takes over the world using a ham radio and trained vultures. Incredibly, Disney picks it up and brings Bob to Hollywood, where he becomes the toast of the town.
Annie Watkins is melancholy on the eve of her thirteenth birthday. The impending phone call from her estranged father has her so upset that she wants to disappear for a day. Her mom is no help in the matter, with her constantly cheery demeanor. [Nothing is more annoying than someone who's constantly cheery. We can only comfort ourselves in the knowledge that such people, deep inside, are miserable.] Little does Annie know, that one simple wish to vanish will come true in a terrifying way. In the middle of the night she's kidnapped by an old man and taken to a strange world that shouldn't exist. [Leave out the mom sentence, creating better transition between the surrounding sentences.]
Kendee Woode doesn't mean to cause her trouble, but the human girl holds the key that will lead him to a magical charm. It must be found to keep the Faeries safe from the Fyre King and keep the two worlds separated. [Faeries again? That's three times in three days. Projecting the frequency of Fairie stories in our small sampling over the entire field of fantasy writers, I estimate that the average agent will get about 7000 Faerie stories this week. It's the perfect time to submit that vampire novel no one wanted last week.] Kendee is devastated by his own daughter's disappearance and a horrible betrayal, but he tries earnestly to help Annie adjust to her surroundings regardless of his own trepidations. [She has the key, he has her. Get the magical charm and send her packing. Helping her adjust to Nother World is a waste of valuable time.] In a world where the hawks are as big as buildings [, sharks are the size of cities,] and the leaves are the size of mini-vans, she fears she'll never survive.
At the same time, Kanne Woode unwillingly takes Annie's place among the humans. Creating chaos while she fumbles along feeling like a giant, her ignorance leads her to Sheriff Walker and his jail. With plenty of time on her hands to think, she realizes that maybe she was a fool and the Fyre King doesn't love her at all; why would he ask her to betray her family and poison her King?
[Fyre King: I love you, Kanne; as soon as you betray your family and assassinate your king I shall destroy the Faerie world and--
Kanne: You love me?!!]
After the final battle in Nother World, [Who's battled whom? I don't remember anything about a war.] Annie meets the only Winde Faerie that exists. The only trouble with that is, she died in the battle and that's how they meet. [Whattaya mean, that's how they meet? The Winde Faerie died in the battle, and Annie met her after the battle? Apparently being dead in Nother World is a lot like being alive.] She faces a choice with big consequences; her life as she knew it, or the lives of her new friends. Kendee treated her like she was a daughter to him, minus that whole kidnapping thing. [Okay, okay, I'm a kidnapper. It's not like I'm a serial killer.] It's a feeling she wanted to have with her own father, given the chance.
'Nother World' is the first of an upper middle grade fantasy series of four novels. It has a completed word count of 54,000. I have also completed the next two in the series. [I call them Yet Nother World and Even Nother World, and I'll soon begin work on Christ, Not Nother World.]
I'm not crazy about "Nother World" as the name of this place.
I don't have a clear grasp of the exchange. If a human went to the Faerie world, I would expect her to feel like a giant (as in Gulliver in Lilliput), and if a Faerie went to the human world I would expect her to feel like a bug. Instead it's the other way around. Which means Annie shrinks to Faerie size and Kanne grows to human size when they trade worlds, right? Or do they just inhabit each other's bodies?
What happened with the key and the lucky charm? Does Kendee get the charm? Getting the charm is the main point, and you drop it like a burning snake.
There's too much information that's not important to the main plot, which is: Annie is kidnapped and learns she holds the key to saving the Faerie race. What does she have to do? Why does she have the key? What are the obstacles? Don't tell me she just turns over the "key" and Kendee does all the work. Annie's your star. Focus the camera on her.
If Kanne and the Wind Faerie have nothing to do with saving Faerie, we don't need them. If they do, make it clear how.