Friday, February 17, 2012

Face-Lift 993

Guess the Plot

The Soul Game

1. All the cool kids are at Robin's big house party, where new kid Damian is going to play with his band, Demonfyre. But when the music ends and the games start, why does everyone suddenly feel...lighter? Also, a totes jelly weeabo.

2. It's the 70's, and the show is so "mod" that it's "groovy." It's...Soul Game! But Charley the Zombie, who could never get anything right, made the mistake of airing it opposite this "hip" new show called Soooooul Train.

3. Two demons in hell have a game they play when they're bored which randomly determines which souls go 'up' and which ones go 'Down.' Until Satan and God discover their little game. Then all hell breaks loose.

4. The world has run out of souls. All people without souls are treated like slaves. Their only hope of becoming full people is to compete in the Soul Games for the soul of the deceased. Ginger has lost the games twice already, if she doesn’t win this time she will never get a soul.

5. For seventy-nine years Martha went to church, prayed, and tried not to cuss. Now that she's dead, She has found God--chuckling in front of a monster TV that has only one program; The Soul Game. Bitter at discovering that we are all just entertainment, she decides to pull his plug and give him a piece of her mind.

6. A demon is sent to Earth with a list of souls to corrupt. At the same time an angel is sent to Earth with the exact same list!

Original Version

Young demon Keira is sent up to Earth with a list of seven souls and a simple mission: to corrupt them. It's the career break she's been waiting for, so whether it means instigating bar room fights or worming her way into a target's life, she's determined to succeed. After all, there'll be Hell to pay if she doesn't.

The arrival of Nathan, an angel, makes things a bit trickier, especially when it turns out that he's after the exact same souls as she is. Keira needs to be clever to avoid getting sent back to the Pit, but no demon worth her horns is going to let some feather-brained do-gooder get the better of her.

However, just when she's getting the hang of it all, a young boy, the most important soul on the list, goes missing, and angel and demon have to work together to find him. Working against Nathan was bad enough. Working with him might just finish her, especially when he's not just trying to stop her - he's trying to save her. It's enough to make her priorities waver, a dangerous prospect when her demonic supervisors are still breathing down the back of her neck.

Besides, demons are beyond redemption.


THE SOUL GAME, an 85,000 word Young Adult Paranormal novel, is my d├ębut. The synopsis and full or partial manuscript is available on request. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Why, this is . . . delightful. Well done.

I'm stuck with little to do other than pick nits.

Paragraph 1:
s1: Delete "to."
s2: Either dump your examples, leaving: It's the career break she's been waiting for, and she's determined to succeed. Or replace your examples with better ones. I don't see how Keira instigating a barroom (one word) fight corrupts anyone's soul. Maybe seducing a faithful husband or serving ham salad at a bar mitzvah. Funny examples are probably best; they don't need to be examples from the book.

Paragraph 2:
s1: Delete ", especially," "that," "exact," and "as."

Paragraph 3:
s1: Delete "However,". I'd change "have to" to "must." Is there a reason angel and demon must work together to find the boy (that you can include without needing three more sentences)? Is it just, Let's split up; we can cover more ground that way? That won't work, because whoever finds him isn't gonna inform the other one. But searching together isn't much more efficient than searching alone. Unless the boy was kidnapped by a creature that can't be killed by just an angel or just a demon.

s4: Delete "still" and "the back of."

No need to declare it's your debut, and no need for the accent in debut if you do declare it.


AlaskaRavenclaw said...

Screwtape Letters x 7

none said...

The 'Hell to pay' reference made me feel very negative towards this query. It's such a cliche.

Jo-Ann said...

Sounds like fun! I like the idea of demons as MCs, and I dont think it's been done since Screwtape Letters.

EE, have you been forgetting to take your grumpy pills, or have you just run out of blue ink?

Anonymous said...

It does sound like fun.

Querier said...

Wow. Thank you. And nitpick all you like, EE, I'm kind of new to this querying business.

@BuffySquirrel: I know, 'hell to pay' is a bit cliched, I just wanted a quick way of conveying that Keira will be in serious trouble if she doesn't get the whole list.

Rashad Pharaon said...

My question was: why these particular seven souls, and why is that boy the most important of them all. The query did the job of keeping me wondering... if I was an agent I'd definitely ask for a partial ms in hopes of learning more. But maybe a couple of words about the seven souls would be nice, unless they were the unfortunate winners of some lottery in hell.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

Yah, it has...

Bartimaeus, Bartimaeus, rock me Bartimaeus...

But there are no new ideas, and if there are they're bat@#$% crazy ones... so the question really is how well is it done this time.

Evil Editor said...

I know, 'hell to pay' is a bit cliched, I just wanted a quick way of conveying that Keira will be in serious trouble if she doesn't get the whole list.

It's only a cliche because writers so often use it whenever anyone is worried about getting in trouble. In this case, when the character is a demon, using the cliche is turning it back to its literal meaning. I consider it clever. Not genius clever, but a lot more clever than just saying After all, Keira will be in serious trouble if she doesn't.

Obviously you don't want to throw in when hell freezes over and to hell in a handbasket; too clever is worse than not clever.

The query has good voice--amusing phrases like the career break she's been waiting for, Hell to pay, worth her horns, and referring to an angel as a do-gooder. Assuming this is indicative of the book's voice, it's an effective query.

Wilkins MacQueen said...

Energetic and quirky. Well constructed. I'd read your story. Refreshing.

none said...

It was clever the first time I saw it used that way. Maybe I've just seen it too often. *shrugs*

Maureen said...

Ooh I really enjoyed reading this query. It was just the right length, and really well structured. I particularly liked the little "Right?" at the end, as that reflects (I hope) Keira's internal voice and her doubts.

I'm totally banking on the chemistry between the two characters -- the Angel trying constantly to show her redemption and save her, and she being pissed off, essentially.

Best of luck with this! I'm sure you'll find someone great!