Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Face-Lift 1169

Guess the Plot

The Guardian

1. Whip-cracking archaeologists may think they can steal the Sacred Stones of Szarbathia, but they're no match for... The Guardian.

2. When an alliance of alien races that has been at war with one militaristic race for decades realize they're losing, they turn to Jason, captain of The Guardian. Can Jason's knowledge of Earth's military history help lead the outclassed Entente to victory?

3. Sheldon thought his luck was bad when he found an infant abandoned on his bus. When the demons come in the night, it's clear his life has dropped into the toilet. Now on the run, Sheldon must employ all his commercial driving skills to keep the baby, and himself, from certain death.

4. It’s the 3rd biggest daily in the U.K. Oil tycoon Freddy Philips buys it and is turning it into a celebrity tabloid. Several investigative reporters conspire to dig up dirt on Freddy and force him to sell. But Freddy's secret international illegal arms syndicate replete with professional assassins will protect Freddy at any cost.

5. Voldy intends to uphold the sacred pact that his people have with the Masters. No evil will befall them while under his care. He will detect, deter, defend and destroy all threats, even if the Masters do not always understand why. And now, late at night, with strange People nearby. He will defend the Masters to his death...or until they put him away in his doggy crate. Don't they understand that those costumed children are a threat?

6. Internal audits have confirmed Ed Snowden's allegations: illegal wire taps at the prestigious newspaper have compromised the anonymity of Molly McGrath's famed informant--The Socialite. Molly runs deep cover at London's club scene to protect The Socialite from incalculable social harm...being disinvited from Prince Harry's 28th birthday bash.

Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,

Jason [No last name?], Captain of the Guardian, has dedicated his ship to protecting colonies at the edge of human space from pirates and bandits. He leads from the front lines, gets his crew the best equipment available, and ensures the Guardian has the firepower of a warship. But when humanity is attacked by the first alien species they encounter, the Careons, Jason finds himself completely outmatched. [It's the Enterprise vs. the Borg, but this time the Borg have decided they don't want to assimilate us.]

After a brash stunt that destroyed a Careon ship, Jason attracts the attention of the Entente, an alliance of alien races that has been at war with the Careons for two decades. Their ships are powerful, and their technology more advanced than anything humanity has ever seen. But the members of the alliance have no history of warfare, and they’re losing. [If their lack of tactical knowledge is such a big disadvantage, how have they lasted two decades?] [Possibly because it takes two decades at near-light speed just to get to the battlefield.]

What the Entente lacks, the humans have in abundance. Centuries of fighting each other have taught them the strategies and tactics needed to change the outcome of this war. [It took humans about 20 centuries to learn that dressing your armies in brightly colored uniforms, lining them up in a phalanx, and marching them toward people with spears or arrows or guns wasn't the best strategy. Yet we who have just encountered our first alien species have already figured out how to defeat their vastly superior firepower?] Unfortunately, since being attacked, the Entente has become xenophobic. They view humanity as another violent race that could be just as dangerous as the Careons. [It's not xenophobia if they're right.]

Jason and his crew must bridge the gap between humanity and this alliance, and use humanity’s terrible past to save them all from Careon dominance. [Step 1: Prove to the Entente that a vastly superior military can be defeated: show them the film 300.]

I am seeking representation for The Guardian, a 110,000 word science fiction novel.

Thank you for your time, and consideration.



Sounds like a good story if it focuses on Jason. He disappears in the 3rd paragraph. If you stress that it's Jason's knowledge of military history, rather than humanity's, that can save us all, it might help.

Is it just Jason who takes on the job of leading the Entente to victory, or is it all of humanity? If the latter, our generals and diplomats would squeeze Jason, who's captain of one outclassed ship, out of the picture. If the former, hey, how much can one guy do to end a two-decade-long war?

Perhaps examples of what the Entente have been doing wrong would help us see how we inferior humans who have no experience battling alien races can come up with a way to defeat the seemingly invincible Careons.


J.M. said...

It does sound as though Jason is some sort of renegade. (If he's the one who has dedicated his ship to mission X then he's not taking orders?) Might help to get a better view of the parties in this conflict. Is Jason also in conflict with a calcified human military establishment that doesn't completely support his mission?

Also, are the pirates and bandits humans?

I do like the conflict. I hope you use that massy 110,000 words to explore matters like what drove the Entente to such scientific achievements if they were never particularly warlike. I wonder at ships being built by folks with no prior experience of war having such strong hulls or other defenses that they can sustain attacks by the aggressive Careons. (Built to withstand meteor showers?)

Unknown said...

Hi author,
Perhaps you could help me figure out the stakes.

See, Jason defends outposts. He's a hero--defeating the Goliath-like Careons.

But, then he goes mercenary? Why? Did the Careons come back and obliterate some colonists? Why would he consider joining/training/leading the Entente? He already has a dangerous job, and an important one. So I cannot fathom why he would jump into a war which has no impact on humanity...

Is he a gloryhound? Please don't tell me it's for "the greater good" because that's too thin to risk so many.

Honestly you haven't convinced me that the Careons need defeating. Perhaps we humans were encroaching on a Careon burial ground and were in the wrong....and that tipped off this confrontation. I certainly don't want some egomaniac driving the crazy train to Warsville. I've had plenty of that in real life after all.

So, I think you need to work more on Jason's character and his motivation. Let us know why he makes the warmonger choice. And what he stands to lose if he doesn't. For all I know, Careon dominance means 40 acres and a mule, a chicken in every pot, and sunshine and rainbows everyday.

Note: avoid general sweeping statements in your revision.

Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

The Careons shouldn't be a problem. You're only allowed one Careon.

Anonymous said...

heh heh heh heh heh

St0n3henge said...

If the alliance doesn't do warfare, where did they get the technology? War is where it comes from. To quote Harry Lime: "Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

This comes across as wordy to me, and that's slowing down the action. It's more of an explanation of everybody's relationship to each other. Have you ever heard somebody talk about their sister's pastor's cousin's wedding? I just want to know what happens.