Friday, May 14, 2010
Guess the Plot
Beyond the Dreams
1. For generations the women of Tili Aramir's family have been dreamweavers, holding the kingdom together through their all-powerful magic. But what Tili really wants to do is dance...
2. Mazie would have preferred Peter Pan kidnap her than face "Growing Up". When she's kidnaped by Pan (not Peter) she begins to think even reality might be better than monotonous pipe music and running from half-goats.
3. Kimberly is going to be Miss America. She is ONLY Miss Wisconsin right now. As she drives to the Miss America Pageant HQ, she gets into an accident and loses an ear. Surely Miss America can't be one-eared . . . or can she?
4. Axia never dreamed she would one day have her freedom. She thought she'd spend her whole life doing the one thing she knew: fighting to the death. Can this killing machine find love and acceptance outside the gladiator ring?
5. Tara is haunted by dreams of battles between supernatural beings. But when she tries to wake herself up, she becomes caught in a never ending lucid dream war between the giant moth people and the fish with hands.
6. Since he was little, Jojo wanted it all: the big salary, the big house, the big car and the Barbie wife. Now at 40, he finally has it . . . or does he? When the pay cuts come through, the car gets repossessed and his wife runs off with his boss, Jojo needs more than dreams, he needs revenge!
Dear Evil Editor,
I am seeking your representation for BEYOND THE DREAMS, a completed science-fiction novel of 55,000 words.
Life or death, it’s all part of the show. [If you're gonna start with a one-sentence hook, it's usually better to make it the first sentence of the query. In this case, I'd just drop it, as the next sentence says the same thing, but with specificity.]
In a world where death is entertainment, Axia is meant to die for the pleasure of others. A genetically and physically enhanced gladiator, she has been trained since birth to survive as many fights as possible. [Aren't all gladiators motivated to survive as many fights as possible?] [Also, how do you train someone who was just born to survive fights?] When her master, Malit, betrays her, sending her to an arranged death, the needles and blades implanted in her limbs barely save her. [What's gained by arranging the death of your meal ticket?]
In the wake of the emotional betrayal, several new abilities atypical to her race surface, stemming from dormant genes no one knew she had.
Axia is now illegal in the arena ["Illegal" makes it sound like Axia is a criminal act or a performance-enhancing drug rather than a person. She's barred/banned from the arena.] and could cause Malit’s death as well as her own if discovered. [If discovered doing what? Fighting in the arena? Why would Malit risk death by sending a banned gladiator into the arena? Besides, wouldn't she be recognized?] Malit doesn't know who tampered with Axia's genes and only has one solution; one she never even dreamed was possible: he will set her free. [What is this the only solution to? Can't he just make her his bodyguard or mistress or laundress?]
Away from the arena and from calculated death, Axia learns about the world. Love and acceptance help her deal with emotions she had been taught to repress.
But her freedom is short-lived. Her creator comes after her, wanting to revive the illegal project to which she is the key; and in the outside world, she is fair game. [I'd rather be fair game in the outside world than literal game in the gladiator ring.]
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
It seems to me that Axia's creator and his project are the main plot, but they're barely mentioned. You could condense most of your summary to: On a world where death is entertainment, Axia has survived the gladiator arena and been granted her freedom. That leaves lots of room to tell us about the real plot.
If it's legal to genetically and physically enhance gladiators, why is Axia banned? It's like making steroids legal in the Olympics, and then blackballing anyone who uses them.
It could be argued that fighting, not death, is the entertainment. Otherwise, why spend so much time training people to survive? Just kill 'em.
Didn't her creator know she had these dormant genes? I ask only because you said no one knew.
If Axia's the key to her creator's project, how did Malit get her?
Are deaths in the arena really "arranged" and "calculated"? This makes me think they're rigged, but it would be hard to get a gladiator to throw a fight in which the loser dies.