Guess the Plot
I hate putting out a special call for fake plots and then not using half of the ones that come in, so your task will be doubly hard today.
The Last Ghast-Dancer
1. Little Maggie has a special way of saying good-bye to Mr. Fluffy now that he's become a "ghast."
2. After the weird pink monkey men slaughter all the peaceful monks of her temple, young Grffnghgh swears by the slime of her six tentacles that she will have revenge! With a special guest appearance by Cthulhu.
3. Britney takes "Into to the Paranormal", figuring it'll be an easy A. But when the lonely ghost of Isadora Duncan appears, she's thrust into a world where ghosts actively hunt ghasts--and Britney doesn't know which side to take.
4. At Seance High for the Supernatural, Julie wants more than anything to kiss a boy. Problem is, being a spirit, she's ethereal. But when a vampire hunk transfers to the school, his half-dead status means he might consider taking her to the prom. Can she scare off all the other spooks while she strives to possess his heart?
5. Jasinex hires Salitor to be his live-in necromancer. What he doesn't know is that Salitor is a hoarder. Now the castle is overrun with talking books, piles of skulls, and dancing ghosts. Bit how do you kick out someone who can fry you to a crisp?
6. Iryeh's been ghast-dancing for so long, she's sure it's her turn to be sacrificed to the ghasts. Instead the ghasts kill all the other ghast-dancers. Accused of conspiring with the ghasts, she goes into hiding with the only ghast-dancer ever to retire from the ghast-dancer guild and starts her own ghast-dancing business. Will she ever drive away the ghastly ghasts?
7. Robert Smith is a nobody and knows it. He resigns himself to living a nobody’s life – monotonous, mundane and unremarkable until he discovers by accident he can summon ghasts – ghoulish monsters that are distinguished by their immobilizing stench. Robert suddenly realizes that he is resigned to nothing and quickly plots his revenge against all who offended him.
8. Finally resigned to the reality that his position as a mortgage broker is forever gone, Smedly throws himself off a skyscraper. Alas, even suicide didn't work. He turns to dancing at strip joint where the customers all seem to be gay vampires. He was hoping women, or at least men who weren't actually dead, would be attracted. But no matter; the tips are good.
9. Linguistically challenged Amy needs to hire a Ghost Dancer for her Halloween party. But she misspells her craigslist ad and gets something called a "Ghast-Dancer," a creature from another realm who looks exactly like a hawt human guy and seduces every girl in sight -- except Amy, because she's his new keeper. She can't decide whether to enjoy his charms, or pimp him out.
10. Rock star Dez Gregson takes a break to visit Aunt Mimi at her country pile in Yorkshire, where he can't sleep because shadowy things keep going bump in the night. Is the house haunted, or are those space aliens on the stairway? Maybe a bottle o' whiskey and a tryst with the maid will help Dez solve this mystery. Maybe not. He's determined to find out.
Dear Agent Bookpimp,
Every full moon, Iryeh and her fellow swordswomen perform a choreographed battle against twelve desert ghasts, a ritual enforcement of the treaty keeping all spirits out of their city. Iryeh's been ghast-dancing for so long that she's sure this is finally her month to disappear in tribute as the sole symbolic casualty. [Every month another ghast-dancer "disappears"? Can anyone ghast-dance, or are you born a ghast-dancer? Is this a volunteer organization?] But this time, the ghasts don't stick to the ritual; they actually attack. Only Iryeh survives.
When the royal family accuses Iryeh of intentionally letting the spirits win, she runs into the desert to hide with the legendary Mazaret, said to be the only woman who ever survived to retire from the ghast-dancers' guild. Although Mazaret isn't as welcoming (or as noble) as Iryeh had hoped, they take refuge together in a town overrun with spirits, with no ghast-dancers to protect it. Iryeh secretly begins using her dancing skills to chase off the spirits...and regain some of the wealth and admiration she's used to. [I was under the impression ghast-dancing was just a show put on to mollify the ghasts, not that it has the power to drive them away.] But her underground business attracts attention, and a kidnapping attempt leaves Mazaret dead. [She has an underground ghast-dancing business? Do people hire her to chase off ghasts?] After a disastrously failed resurrection, Mazaret's ghost [Is her ghost a ghast? If not, what's the difference between a ghost and a ghast?] alerts Iryeh that terrible conspiracies are brewing--ones that will leave her city in ruins and the spirit realm enslaved. But they [the conspiracies] can't proceed as long as even one ghast-dancer still exists.
All her life, Iryeh has been prepared to die to save her city. Now, if she is to do any good, she must fight alongside friends, strangers, and even her former opponent, the capricious, tantalizing sand-spirit Third--and she must live. [Maybe that name should be rethought. Or do you need it for a comic-relief conversation that goes:
Hi, I'm Iryeh. What's your name?
I meant what's your name?
I said I'm Third.
I heard you. So who's first?
What is first?
No, my second cousin is First.
And I suppose your first cousin is second?
No, he's Fourth. Though he does play second violin.
Fascinating. So . . . what's your name?]
The Last Ghast-Dancer is a YA fantasy, unfinished at about 16,000 words. [Ah, you heeded my plea for queries of books that aren't finished. Don't forget to change the number when the time comes.] My short fiction has appeared in several dozen venues, including [Fair-To-Middling Quarterly and The Journal of Semipro Hopefuls]. Thank you for your time and attention.
If ghast-dancing can drive ghasts away, it's not clear why the ghast-dancers participate in the ritual instead of just keeping the ghasts out.
There's too much here. I recommend dropping Mazaret and reducing the long paragraph to something like:
When the royal family accuses Iryeh of letting the spirits win, she flees into the desert, taking refuge in a town overrun with spirits. Though she uses her dancing skills to chase the spirits off, a new threat rises. Terrible conspiracies are brewing that could leave her city in ruins and the spirit realm enslaved.
Whether his name remains Third or you change it to Thyrd, if he doesn't get mentioned until the plot summary is in its last five words, chances are he isn't needed in the query.