Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Guess the Plot
1. The true story of the Greek economy and how it ruined everybody's future. Plus a guy named Ulysses uses sex, drugs, and rock n roll to forget his losses and catapult himself into the new decade.
2. A young American stands convicted of murdering her British roommate in Italy. But is she really innocent? Pretty much impossible to tell at this point. Change the channel, wouldja?
3. Hard Nox, a super hero recently out of the closet, has to raise parts of Japan by two feet, use his super breath to cool the nuclear reactors then push Antarctica back to the South Pole. Then he has an 11 o'clock with Evil Editor to discuss flying Mrs. V around the world on her Tweet Tour. Only Hard Nox can keep her on schedule.
4. The School of Hard Nox is open for applications for the 2012 academic year, offering majors in "You Dont Realise How Lucky You Are"; "When I was Your Age..." and "What Kids These Days Need Is A Good War To Knock Some Sense Into Them."
5. Everyone Nox loves dies—her parents, her brother, even her goldfish. She'd love to find true love, but she's terrified of getting close to people . . . until she finally meets a guy with nothing to fear—The Grim Reaper.
6. Thanks to that new PhD, Assistant Professor Vince Ludlow can teach his first art history course with an international field trip. But once they get to Greece, his party-happy undergrads ply him with liquor and leave him on the beach and now he's surrounded by Minotaur dudes with swords who seem to be calling him Odysseus.
7. When made man Paulie O'Shear finds his wife dead in the garage, apparently of suicide by NOx poisoning, he gets sucked into a world of conspiracy, intrigue, and murder. Oh wait. He's a made man. He's already in that world.
8. Phil Evert, biochemist, is studying the impact of transdimensional gates on the environment. Mistaken for a spy on the non-earth side, he escapes with the help of a real spy and discovers invasion plans.
9. Life as a wizard is so difficult. Especially when you're also a rock star, like Vince Spector. Just as he reaches the top of the charts with his band, Hard Nox, along comes Mary Dalton, the most clever, dangerous, and sexy witch-hunter in the modern world.
Dear Evil Editor,
Nox Somner is a human lightning rod for tragedy. Everyone she loves dies—her parents, foster parents, brother, even her goldfish. She is terrified of getting close to people until she meets someone with nothing to fear—The Grim Reaper.
The boy Nox loves is next to die, but Grim will spare Memphis if she helps Grim out of a tiny jam. [That's one ruthless guy if he's threatening to destroy Memphis if Nox won't do him a tiny favor.] A lost bet led to Grim's boatman hiding out as a teenager at Nox’s High School for the past year. [Did the boatman win the bet or lose it?] [What were the terms of this bet?
Grim Reaper: If the Cyclopses beat the Phoenixes, you can have my scythe.
Boatman: And if the Phoenixes win?
Grim Reaper: You have to go to high school in Memphis.]
Now he refuses to return. The stack-up of souls this side of the River Styx is becoming dangerous to the living. [Especially the ones in Memphis.]
To save Memphis, [I've been to Memphis. Trust me, the place is a lost cause.] she must convince the Boatman to go back. He can’t be taken against his will so she tries to bargain with him, but the only thing he wants in exchange for his return is Nox's love. If she won’t offer herself up, she has to kill him. [Maybe he'd take a riverboat. They pull into Memphis all the time. Here's a shot of the Memphis Queen III.
And here's a shot of what the Boatman's been using.
Tell me a riverboat wouldn't make the Boatman's job a lot easier. Nox should offer him a riverboat before she offers herself. I think he'd jump at it.]
Easy as falling off a ladder. She just has to get close enough to let her bad luck strike. But the closer she gets to the Boatman, the harder it becomes to trade this boy who understands her better than anyone else ever will for the one who will never love her back. [Which one is the Boatman? The one who understands her? It would be less confusing if you didn't refer to the Boatman as a boy, as he's merely disguised as a boy. Or, instead of "this boy" and "the one," use their names.] And now it may be too late to change her mind.
HARD NOX is a 77,000-word YA Paranormal set in River Styx, Ohio and my debut novel. A native Ohioan, I grew up not far from River Styx and the setting is largely based on my childhood hometown. [There's an actual place called River Styx? Ah, Wikipedia reveals that it's known for its market and a cemetery. Is it near a river? Because they're missing out on big tourist dollars if they don't have a Boatman taking people across the river. It would be worth diverting the nearest river to River Styx just for the tourism cash if there isn't already a river. The Boatman would rake in big tip money. I can't believe no one's thought of this yet.] Should you wish to read more, I would be delighted to send you sample chapters or a full manuscript.
Thank you for your time,
Your characters are Nox, Memphis and The Boatman? Does the Boatman have a name? Is it Charon? Does anyone in this Ohio community have a normal name?
If she won’t offer herself up, she has to kill him. What good does it do Nox to kill the Boatman? Memph dies if she doesn't get the Boatman to return to his job, right?
The query is okay up until the sentence If she won’t offer herself up, she has to kill him. From that point on it's not clear. Even if it were crystal clear it would just be a further description of the setup. You could tell us what happens. How does Nox (short for Obnoxious) plan to resolve her dilemma? What goes wrong?