Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Guess the Plot
1. Fred "Watermelon-head" Weiskopf always wondered why his mother never liked him. On his 18th birthday, his dad took him aside and explained why.
2. Cats have nine lives, but Lindsay isn’t sure how many high school girls are supposed to have. After dying and coming back to life twice before she turned 16, she’s determined that this life will be her last.
3. Twins Andra and Andy stumble into an assassination plot that could mean war, but preventing it won't be easy, especially as Andy's already the victim of an assassination attempt, or at least he will be in twelve hours when he finally dies from the stab wound he just got.
4. Dirk Beefhead is a born-again Christian who's been born yet again, this time in the era of Christ. Now it's time to find out whether people in Biblical times will accept or stone a guy named Dirk Beefhead.
5. Melissa, Amanda, and Avery, the princess triplets from Alahazarc, were swept away at birth to the three corners of the land by the evil minions of the Dragon Prince, who plots to leave the rightful King and Queen grief-stricken heirless. But on their sixteenth birthday, the triplets finally meet. From there it's all a matter of sword fighting, fire breathing reptiles and fending off deceitful ragamuffins. If only the girls could stop making out with their endless string of beaus long enough to keep their heads in the game!
6. After discovering Jesus on the Tammy Faye Baker TV show, Jeff Smith was 'born again' as a Christian. He still drank, smoked, and cheated on his wife. Then one dark and stormy night his car hit a tree. Next thing -- he's reborn as a gnat. Oops. Now he must find a way to build good karma as a bug, or spend infinite lives as an insect. But what good can a gnat do?
7. He remembers growing up on a farm in 17th century Bavaria and coming-of-age in his tribe in 19th century Africa. Now, with the hormone rush of puberty (again) comes the remembrance of reincarnation (again) along with Adam/Agwa/Amanda's overwhelming desire to play with his own tits.
8. Corey has flashbacks of his two previous lives. He clocked-up enough bad karma in each to curse him for the next forty incarnations. With his trusty time machine, he can travel back to visit his previous selves - but can he talk himself out of the evil deeds?
Dear Evil Editor,
I would like you to consider my YA urban fantasy, THRICE-BORN, complete at 70,000 words.
Seventeen years old Andra’s life is full. On top of dealing with the aftermath of drunken sex with the best friend whose advances she’d previously rejected, concealing the growing pain caused by her fractured soul, she also has to make a choice that will determine her standing in Octavian society. [I'd get rid of "concealing the growing pain caused by her fractured soul," as it's too vague.] As a mere Initiate, she is powerless until she makes her Offering and chooses a Discipline: the spiritual Dyaus who sacrifice a piece of their spirit at the risk of madness, or the immoral but powerful Prithvi, who offer blood. [Seventeen-year-old. Hyphens make it one word, and changing "years" to "year" makes it nounish. Sort of like saying auto mechanic Andra... She's seventeen, but she's a seventeen-year-old. But enough about that. Her life is full? That, to me, is a good thing. Who doesn't want to have a life that's full? But you describe a life that sucks. A more accurate opening line would be: Seventeen-year-old Andra is having a bad week. Substitute that and see how much better it reads. Of course, that may not be the tone you're going for, as it sounds a bit casual, if not flippant. But come up with something that suggests her plate is full. Like Seventeen-year-old Andra's plate is full.] [Also, it's unclear what you mean when you say the Prithvi "offer blood."] [Actually, the whole paragraph is pretty unclear.]
Andra’s life takes a dramatic turn when a mercenary Disciple attacks her astral twin, Andy, and stabs him with a cursed dagger. [Sounds like it's Andy's life that's taken a dramatic turn.] If she can’t destroy the spell draining his life, her brother will die in twelve hours. [Is Andy her twin brother? If so, why call him her astral twin?] Complications arise [It sounded pretty complicated already.] as Andra finds out that the Disciple holding the spell is her best friend’s estranged mother, the Prithvi Priestess Alazne. Andra and the rest of her friends battle time, family, and secrets best left buried [No need to mention secrets unless you're going to reveal what they are.] as they risk everything to save Andy, and stumble in the middle of an assassination plot [When you've got a cursed dagger protruding from your gut, it's hard to concern yourself with some other assassination plot that you stumble on.] that could throw their society back into war.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
What's the point of stabbing someone with a cursed dagger that kills him in twelve hours? If you want him dead, a standard everyday dagger will do the job in a lot less than twelve hours. Even a cursed dagger might kill him quickly if you stab him in the right place. Was he stabbed in the foot?
It's not clear what making an Offering means. In fact, it's not clear what the plot is, unless the majority of the book takes place in the twelve hours after Andy gets stabbed.
The first plot paragraph is complicated and unclear. Dump the whole thing; it's a turn-off. Start over. Tell us who Andra is. Then: Andra's twin brother Andy has twelve hours to live, thanks to a spell put on him by the priestess Alazni. How can she save him? Who's trying to prevent her from saving him? How is this connected with the assassination plot/war? Keep it simple.