Monday, February 06, 2012

Face-Lift 988

Guess the Plot

Kissing Titans

1. Things have been quiet for some time on Mount Olympus. Then Aphrodite writes her tell-all book.

2. They're called the Kissing Titans--a pair of sheer granite cliffs that soar over Nunez Canyon. When Mark Heller decides to free climb them both in one day, a local shaman warns him about dragons that live on the summit.

3. High school student Rhyan's has just landed her first boyfriend. Great, right? Not necessarily. The boyfriend turns out to be one of the Titans from Greek mythology. When he attacks her and leaves her for dead, is it the end of their romance?

4. The other sky and earth gods have paired up, fallen in love and started raising their new families. But Gaia just can't seem to get into Uranus.

5. With a lazy flick of his wrist, Bill Gates sends the bottle of 1869 Chateau Lafitte twirling. When it comes to a stop pointing squarely at Ted Turner, Bill is intrigued. Why the hell not? They're super-rich, super-bored, and that mustache probably tickles.

6. The Bullfrogs' Cheerleaders come up with a desperate plan; flirt with the undefeated Titans! Flak from jealous girlfriends and infighting will surely derail the team! It seems like a perfect plan to cheerleader Debbie--until gorgeous Titan Quarterback Thad makes a few passes of his own.

Original Version

Hi Evil Editor,

It's Rhyan's senior year and she is the new girl. Again. For years she's been friendless and alone in the isolating shadow of her mother's rape and stepfather's sudden death. All that changes when Rhyan lands her first boyfriend who shows Rhyan the beauty of living in the moment. [Specifically, the moment he's ready to hit the sheets with her.]

Rhyan's new life appears too good to be true when her friend reveals he is an immortal on a mission to right an evil wrong. [That could be interpreted to mean his revelation makes her life too good to be true, when you mean the opposite. Perhaps replace "when" with "--until".] She begins to question his sanity - and her own - until she discovers Ares, the decomposing remnant of the Greek god of war, is responsible for the violence that destroyed her family. [Lemme get this straight. When her boyfriend reveals that he is an immortal (presumably one of the Titans who were defeated by the Olympian gods), she questions her own sanity. But when she becomes convinced that her family's recent tragedies were caused by the decomposing remnant of a Greek god, her sanity is no longer in doubt?/Perhaps replace "- until" with ", when".] [Out of curiosity, which Titan is Rhyan's boyfriend? I hope it's not Atlas, because it's really hard to dance with someone who's a lot taller than you.]

Vengeance is no longer a fantasy for Rhyan, it's her fate, and it's so real she can taste it until [I'd put a period after fate and replace "and it's so real she can taste it until" with "But then".] her own boyfriend attacks her leaving her for dead. [Evil Overlord rule to live by #245: I will not attack the heroine and leave her for dead. Instead I will kill her and have her body cremated in my presence.] In the face of heartbreaking betrayal Rhyan must decide if revenge, alone, is worth living for and if she's willing to go through hell to make Ares pay. [What about making her boyfriend pay? Or has she forgiven him? And how does she plan to take down an Olympian god? Is she a normal teenager or does she have latent super powers? Does "go through hell" involve gaining powers? In other words, can you be more specific about her two options?]

KISSING TITANS, my YA urban fantasy, is complete at 84,000 words.

Thank you for your consideration,


The plot you describe is dark; the title is light. So light it's reminding me of the 1964 movie Kissin' Cousins, in which Elvis plays identical cousins (an obvious ripoff of The Patty Duke Show). By the way, if it's not too late, you might consider giving Rhyan an identical cousin. It's always easier to get revenge on someone if you have a twin, and it provides comic relief, badly needed in a book about death, rape, betrayal, abuse and vengeance.

Does the evil wrong her boyfriend wants to right have anything to do with Ares? Because if it does, why would the boyfriend attack and leave for dead someone who wants to take down the same person he wants to take down? One would think he originally hooked up with her so he'd have an ally. How did hooking up with Rhyan aid the boyfriend's mission?


Heather Marsten said...

I am learning so much from your comments on these letters. I think that the heroine needs some sort of superpower to be able to battle in this venue. I love your Evil Overlord rules - wonder if there is also a list of Evil Editor rules. Seems many evil characters could benefit from these rules, such as the villains in James Bond who tell James the plan, but don't just shoot him.

Darn, all good relationships suffer when secrets are revealed like being an immortal. The first paragraph seems so dark. I want to know who the Titan is that is befriending her - and the title suggests she is also a Titan.

Thanks again for your blog. I'm terrified at the prospect of a letter to agents, but your hints and critiques will help me proof mine.

Have a blessed day.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

Oh dear. It had to be #3, didn't it? I last taught high school in 1995. It's obviously changed quite a bit since then. Back then my students had troubles with bullying, poverty, and/or the INS. Clearly today's high school student is much more likely to be troubled by a hawt immortal.

I guess my main question for the writer is "What makes this stand out from the 150 other High School Immortal novels that will cross the agent's desk this week?"

Anonymous said...

Seems like maybe a more detailed description would help. This doesn't distinguish your characters. Also the plot sounds like maybe it is more about brutal sexual violence than most teachers & parents etc are likely to think is really appropriate for a young adult audience.

Khazar-khum said...

Why does the Titan attack her? If she's his GF & potential ally, I would think he'd protect her. It probably makes sense in the book, but here it just seems like a sudden break.

Victor Bondar said...

The book can be titled "no good men". Why does the boyfriend attack her? I can only hope that the book makes more sense than the query.

KJ said...

*Sigh* I guessed it HAD to be #3 as well which is such a shame because 'the bf is actually an immortal' story is so badly played out.

And why is Ares decomposing?