Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Guess the Plot
Devil's Oil Painting
1. Taking a break from his demanding job of tempting mankind, Satan relaxes with a new hobby: capsizing oil tankers and using the ocean as his canvas.
2. When Petunia's art teacher vanishes, she discovers he sold his soul to Satan 700 years ago for the ability to paint . . . and now he wants Petunia to trade her soul for his so he can get back to his studio.
3. Despite having his own gallery in the best part of Manhattan, Satan's work isn't selling. He hires Jane Dumont to help with this marketing crisis, unaware she is an angel in disguise on a secret mission to inspire him to redeem himself.
4. Wannabe artist Nigel was never as talented as his brother Simon. In desperation he cuts a deal with Satan, selling his soul in return for the ability to paint with the Devil's own oils. He begins work on a picture he knows will be a masterpiece, not realizing that he is about to unleash Armageddon.
5. "The Cavalcade of Death" is a horrific painting from 1567 that depicts a world overrun by Hell. Some think it's evil incarnate. Only security guard Michael Angeles knows the truth: he's the angel sent to keep it from breaking out of its frame and wreaking havoc on the world. And he's getting bored.
6. When an online auction site offers for sale a poorly-executed landscape by failed art student Adolf Hitler, European countries with anti-Nazi laws threaten to shut the site down. Meanwhile, the Devil's Oil Painting goes for $1.32. Reserve not met.
7. The new company offers to paint houses for a song-- with a new oil paint that's guaranteed to last for eternity. But it turns out houses painted with Devil's Oil glow in the Netherworld, guiding demons up from the depths. Once they get into the woodwork, they're worse than termites. You might as well just move.
Dear Evil Editor,
Petunia's best friend is her paint brushes. [Either "friend" should be plural or "brushes" should be singular.] She loves them every day. [I don't wanna say that sounds obscene, but it at least sounds kinda weird.] But it is not enough for a career. [What is not enough for a career?] Before she knows it, she's a broke realist artist, living on raman noodles and faded dreams. [Finally something concrete. Dump the first three sentences and begin: Artist Petunia Dali is living on ramen noodles and faded dreams when . . . ] Then a brilliant mid-career artist walks into her life, complete with luxurious life-style (he has a cook and a house cleaner and his canvases are the finest lead-primed linen...).
She falls hard for this dream teacher, George, yet he remains aloof. He shows her how to create great images, helps her to gain his discipline. She prospers, buys a car, gets famous. [Do we really need to know she buys a car?] But, she never understands him and never feels that he is really there.
Then, one day George vanishes. [Now she really feels he isn't there.] He doesn't appear at his major historical landscape retrospective. Petunia finds a note from him on her easel: "Try to rescue me, or I can never return."
She searches his studio, and finds a clue to who he really is. And it's not pretty. It's not artistic. [What does that mean?] But he is her teacher, and she must save him.
George, really Giotto di Bondone, offered his soul to the devil in return for the ability to paint, and now, seven hundred years later, the devil has claimed his prize. George trained Petunia so that she could give her soul for his, and he could return to his studio. [Nice guy. What makes him think the devil, after waiting 700 years for his soul, will take Petunia's instead? He could probably get Petunia's just by offering her the ability to paint.] When Petunia finds George immobile in a vat of blue paint in the devil's house [I realize the devil's house would probably not be decorated in Martha Stewart-approved fashion, but vats can be real space eaters. Is this the only vat of paint in the devil's house? If you're the devil, and you have a vat of paint in your house, wouldn't you go with red?] with the devil grinning at her, she finds herself in a quandary: help the teacher or stay alive.
She chooses both.
"Devil's Oil Painting," is 60,000 words and complete.
Thanks for your time.
Petunia? Really? Has anyone else noticed that once a name is attached to a cartoon pig, it quickly goes out of favor?
How does Petunia find the devil's house?
If the teacher wants to turn Petunia over to the devil, he doesn't deserve to be rescued. Does she know that was his plan? Because I'm not taking on the devil to rescue someone who wanted to turn me over to the devil.
I'm not sure what "mid-career" artist means, but if the guy's been painting 700 years and the devil is ready to take him, he sounds more like an end-of-career artist.
Perhaps after eliminating the vagueness in the first couple paragraphs, you'll have room to tell us how Petunia plans to get the best of the devil.
Shouldn't the title begin with "The"?