Guess the Plot
Song of the Nile
1. 1901. Elizabeth travels with her family to Egypt for her health. While in Giza she meets dashing archeologist Lionel Campbell, saving him from a deadly cobra. Will he return her affection--or is he a hopeless mummy's boy?
2. Doomed to a life of servitude, Merys goes down to Nile riverbank for some peace. There the Egyptian Crocodile god hears her singing and falls in love with her. Will these two profess their love for each other, or will they forever live in . . . denial?
3. Pollution has transformed the papyrus-rustling Nile into a sludgy toxic fart. Environmental guerilla Gaya Greene assembles a band of eco-warriors to put an end to the culprits. Can Gaya's compost and nightsoil bomb destroy the polluters, and restore the . . . Song of the Nile?
4. After Louise leaves him, Gerry spends the whole night drinking and sobbing and writing the best song ever, good enough to revive his career in Nashville and make him a star. But when he wakes up he can remember only a tiny bit. When a hypno-therapist fails to fix his memory and get the song back, Gerry turns to prophetic mummy in a tomb halfway up the Nile.
5. 1360 BC. Merit and Teti are singers at the Temple of Amun, pretty, and in love with young Prince Thutmose. But when Prince Thutmose is found dead, can they overcome their differences to help Prince Amenhotep find his brother's killer?
6. What a despondent banker really needs after bringing down the world economy is a new life full of hope and the love of a beautiful songstress. That's why Nigel chose the Nile cruise. Little did he know the boat would sink, the other passengers would turn against him, and he'd end up fleeing across the Sahara Desert in a desperate attempt to stow away on a Libyan barge going anywhere.
I am seeking a publisher for “Song of the Nile,” a fast-paced story of forbidden love between the ancient Egyptian Crocodile God and a beautiful human woman. This novel is a romance with paranormal elements, complete at X words. [If I've said it once I've said it . . . once: don't give your word count in Roman numerals.]
Merys knows she will never marry. Though her father is a wealthy scribe, Merys' stepmother insists that Merys should remain unwed in order to care for her parents in their old age, [Her parents, meaning her father and mother? Where is her mother?] and the dowries should be saved for her more attractive half-sisters. [In the previous paragraph you describe Merys as a beautiful human woman. Now you make her sound like the ugly duckling.] [Also, how many dowries does Merys have?] Merys is resigned to living under her stepmother's dictates, but finds some small measure of solace when she can escape to the Nile's riverbank. On the quiet beach by the river she cares for an old abandoned temple of the Crocodile God Sobek, and sings the songs of praise to him that her mother taught her. Merys has never thought of another life until one day a handsome strange[r] catches her singing by the riverbank. ["Catches" makes it sound like a crime. I'd go with "hears."]
The stranger, Bek, is truly Sobek in human guise, [I already had that figured out. If your name is Sobek and you want to hide your identity, you can come up with a better name than Bek. That's like Thor changing his name to Hor or Uranus changing his name to Anus.] [Also, unless you're an unreliable narrator, no need to say "truly." We trust you.] and from the first moment he hears
Merys' beautiful voice he cannot resist his own strong feelings for the human girl. Unfortunately, love between a Great One and a human is strictly forbidden, and yet Merys means too much to him for Sobek to use her as a concubine. Sobek tries to hide his true self and resist his feelings, [You just said he couldn't resist his feelings.] while Merys fights her own blossoming hope that perhaps Bek wants more than mere friendship, that perhaps she can have more than a life of drudgery and servitude under her stepmother.
But when enemy raiders attack Merys' village, she is mortally injured. Sobek must now attempt to convince the ruler of the gods to save Merys, even if it means he must give her up for all time. [That makes it sound like saving her is the cause of having to give her up. I don't see that they're connected. And it's not like Bek has a difficult choice. No good comes from not saving Merys.] Or is there still some way to persuade the gods to allow Sobek and Merys to live together in the home of the Great Gods for all time?
Thank you for taking the time to consider my work.
One could get the impression that Bek's attitude is, If I can't have her, she might as well die. I assume that's not correct, as it makes for a lousy hero. Bek wants Merys. The obstacle is that it's forbidden love. How they plan to overcome this obstacle seems like the plot's focus. If the injury affects the plan, show how. Otherwise we don't need the injury. I'm not sure we need the evil stepmother, either. Certainly we don't need so much about Merys's life before she meets Bek.
Sobek also may not be the perfect hero of a romance novel if he normally uses women as concubines unless they mean a lot to him.
Little-known fact I learned while researching the critique: Sobek was so popular in Arsinoe that the town was known as Crocodilopolis.