Monday, May 23, 2011
Guess the Plot
1. Anonymous, snarky commenter on a writing blog by day, at night Susan Semple turns into the caped avenger known as . . . Da Minion!
2. An ancient war rages in rural Kentucky. On one side: a steel mill. On the other side: the last remaining descendants of Noah, who still have dominion over animals.
3. Carlos is king of the jungle gym. At least he was until Sarah usurped his throne. Now he will do anything to win back his rightful place as the ruler of the playground.
4. Getting kidnapped by aliens is the best thing that ever happened to struggling trout farmer Gordon Bent, as it leads to his rise from experiment subject to Supreme Emperor of the New Galactic Order.
5. Canada,1867. The problem: what to call the country. The Kingdom of Canada? The Yankees would freak out. The Constitutional Monarchy of ... too long... Join in the fun as a couple of dozen bearded white guys come up with a title everybody can live with.
6. When the owners of the popular S&M nightclub Dominion extend the basement, they inadvertently open a portal to Hell. The demons stream in to inflict the usual torture, but how will they react when they realize the patrons like it?
Dear Evil Editor,
Nova McDonough’s father has always been a mystery. Despite their estrangement, when sixteen-year-old Nova relocates to small town Kentucky to live with her father, the McDonough family secrets bubble to the surface one by one. [The first sentence is vague. Drop it and start with the second sentence. Except drop "Despite their estrangement" and call him her estranged father.]
Nova learns she has a remarkable gift with animals, a secret six local families share. [Does that mean six families know Nova's secret, or six families also have gifts with animals?] [Lots of people have gifts with animals. Dog trainers, Tarzan, snake handlers, Aquaman, Birdmen of Alcatraz . . . Assuming Nova's gift goes beyond theirs, maybe you could give an example of what she can do.] She learns there’s a temple in the forest symbolizing the core of their power over which an ancient war rages. [I can't tell if the war is raging over the temple or their power.] [Where, exactly, is this war raging?] On one side are those like her, descendants of Biblical Noah, [Thanks for specifying that it's Biblical Noah, so we wouldn't think it was descendants of Yannick Noah.] who yet wield dominion over animals. On the other side is the seemingly innocuous local corporation, Providence Steel. Choosing one side means protecting her mystical birthright, while choosing to protect the innocents on the other could make Nova a target. [Is the seemingly innocuous steel mill the innocents? What do they need protection from? Animals?] [Here's my guess at the plot. The birds and fish complain to the descendants of Noah that the steel mill is polluting the lake. So the Noahns summon an army of wolves and mountain lions for a battle of biblical proportions. The steel mill quickly converts the sheet metal department to sword manufacture. Now if only the Noahns had a fire-breathing dragon who could melt swords, it would be a perfect metaphor for the arms race. Tell me there's a dragon.]
As events unfold, Nova finds the struggle to fit in at her new school is the least of her worries. [It must be, as it hasn't even been mentioned yet.] Instead, she must juggle her growing fondness for local boy Robert Blevins, a practitioner of dominion [What is dominion? A religion? A sport?] who already has a beautiful girlfriend, uncover her father’s mysterious past, and contend with the other Sons of Noah, who have the deadly dragon, Leviathan, at their disposal. [Yes!]
Even when newcomer Brody Clark enters the mix, shamelessly flirting and offering to even the odds, in the end there is blood. [I'm not sure what happens when Brody Clark enters the mix in the book, but if he wasn't worth mentioning until now, he shouldn't enter the mix in the query.]
DOMINION is a Young Adult Fantasy about Christian teens. It is complete at 74,000 words and is potentially the first book in a trilogy.
Considering how long Noah lived, and assuming he passed along his genes, his current descendants are probably his grandchildren.
Why didn't Nova already know she had a remarkable gift with animals?
Do the Noahns' animals always attacks in pairs?
If this is being submitted as a Christian book, you might want to make it more obvious that the Noahns are the good guys. Preferably by telling us what the bad guys are doing that's bad.
In other words, we need to know what this raging war is all about. Big-armed steelworkers taking on people who can order wild boars to attack sounds exciting, but we need to know what they're fighting about. Why would a local steel mill be on one side of a war that's described as "ancient"?
I suppose the fact that sporting events are often described in military terms should preclude me from complaining that six families versus a seemingly innocuous corporation isn't exactly a raging war.