Thursday, December 10, 2015

Face-Lift 1290

Guess the Plot

The Azemeon

1. When the world wavers on the brink of Ambigetton ... er, Arbategon ... er, Armageddon, a new hero emerges. She is a wonder of a woman, a powerful Amazamalon ... er, Azumaloom ... er, Azemeon ... she's just really tall.

2. In a world with magic and time travel, the fate of Earth lies in the hands of one teenager, as usual. But this teen has one big advantage, a gem that confers the power to read minds--a gem known as . . . The Azemeon! Or maybe it's the bad guy who has it.

 3. A scientist uploads the brain of Isaac Azimov into new world order robots which then fuse into the Singularity. It sends a clone of Mila Kunis back in time to improve the gene pool. Unfortunately, she ends up in an alternate history line on an island with Lon Chaney.

4. The voices of young spelling bee contestants are stolen by Dyslexia, the goddess of Sedsdog, and thrown into the labyrinth. Young stutterer Jason Petre-Piper must brave the dangers of the prison to save his friends as the Minute-tar slowly fills up the corridors. They must struggle without the aid of language in order to escape the Azemeon or die.

5. After the murder of Maya--the love of his life—total physics nerd Fred Azem creates a new device, the Azemeon, to convert aliens into porcupines. He solicits help from the more than five thousand members of the American Pawnbrokers Association. Still, two problems remain: the aliens have morphed into vampires and are set on sucking all pawnbrokers' blood; while Priscilla, the world's most influential porcupine, is dead set against aliens clogging up pure porcupine blood lines and she hires Borgo to disembowel Fred.

6. The jungle is a scary place, especially if your habitat is a water droplet left out during a total eclipse on the altar of a forgotten temple. At any rate, mutant-virus-infected zombie bacteria grown to the size of chihuahuas terrorize a research student named Moe who just wants to graduate.

Original Version

Someone is changing the past…and not for the better. [That's so vague it could mean anything. Get rid of it.]

There is magic in the world, controlled and concealed by a shadowy government organization known as the M.O.M. [If you're going to name it, use the full name, i.e. Mages of Mars or (more likely) Ministry of Magic.] But young Dephon Johnson [How young?] cannot worry about the severe penalties imposed for the unorthodox use of sorcery, for not only does the survival of his family depend upon it but quite possibly the fate of the Earth as well. [Who decides whether the use of sorcery was orthodox or unorthodox?] [Has anyone else noticed that orthodox religions like Greek, Russian and Eastern Orthodox proudly include the word"orthodox" in their names, but none of the unorthodox religions include the word "unorthodox" in their names? Why is that?]

With his mother’s life hanging in the balance, Dephon must travel back to an earlier time to save her life. But once he arrives there, he finds he is not welcome. A young man, his father, believes Delphon is insane; his mother-to-be fears him as a witch or a demon. [Dad thinks he's insane because he claims to be from the future but has no cool futuristic gizmos as proof. Mom thinks he's a demon because he has futuristic gizmos that seem magical. It's contradictory. Does he or doesn't he have cool futuristic gizmos?] And, worst of all, someone has come back as well to bring a tyrannical government to power decades before its time, thereby igniting a bloody reign of terror that will leave countless dead in its wake. And the names of Delphon’s [This is the second time you've spelled his name with an "l," while the first two times you mentioned him it was spelled without an "l." Change his name to Lloyd. That way if you leave off an "l" you'll have another one for backup.] parents sit at the top of the list of those to be eliminated [Why? Who are his parents?] —an unthinkable catastrophe their son must prevent at all costs…or he will never be born to end the madness. [How does De[l]phon know someone else has come back and what that person's plans are? How does he know who's at the top of the hit-list? Usually if you're planning to knock off a bunch of people, you don't warn them by posting their names.] 

The Azemeon is an 89,000 word young adult novel.

Note from author: The Azemeon is an ancient gem that confers the wearer with the power to read minds.


How can one teen with no friends or allies prevent a reign of terror? If the answer involves the Azemeon, maybe that should be in the query.

Why is D's mother's life hanging in the balance? Has it been hanging in the balance for decades?

I can live with a title that's a word I never heard of, but when I read the whole query and still don't know what the word means, I get annoyed.

Are the parents on the hit list because of who they are or to prevent De[l]phon from being born?

Is it sorcery that allows time travel?

Even if the guy starts his tyrannical government 30 years earlier, and our hero isn't born, can't someone else go back in time and kill the bad guy before he succeeds, in which case De[l]phon is still alive?

Somehow, preventing a tyrannical government from coming to power a few decades earlier doesn't seem like enough if it still comes to power eventually.


InkAndPixelClub said...

Before anything else, proofread. Misspelling the name of your main character multiple times will almost certainly cause an editor or agent to stop reading and start plugging your info into a form rejection letter.

Dump the log line, unless the editor or agent you are querying specifically requests one. If that's the case, you will need one that gets into the specifics of your story.

Dump the first paragraph. It's too vague and doesn't tell us anything important that isn't restated in the next paragraph. The shadowy government organization doesn't seem to actually do anything in the query, so we don't need it. Plus, when I saw that you'd named your shadowy government organization "the MOM," I assumed you were writing a comedy. That doesn't seem to be the case.

Get back to the basics. Delphon isn't a kid with magic powers. His mother's life is in danger. (How?) To save her, he needs to travel back in time, which he does, and do something. (What does he need to do?) But (and I'm making some guesses that may not be correct here), someone else used the spell Delphon cast to follow him into the past. (Who?) Because of this, a tyrannical government could come to power decades before it did in Delphon's original timeline ( it's not clear why this matters or what Delphon could do to stop a regime from coming to power) and Delphon's parents could be killed before he's even born (this seems like a more clear cut issue.) What is Delphon going to do to try and save his parents?

If there was any hint in the query that someone was reading minds or could benefit from the ability to read minds more than the average person, what you have might work. Since there isn't any such hint, the thing that is important a laugh to be the title of your story seems to have no connection whatsoever to your story.

Anonymous said...

I did notice the extra 'l' shows up only when De(l)phon's back in time. Does he add it to his name then for some reason? Even if so, pick a single spelling for the query.

Tyrannical government coming into power DECADES before it originally would confuses me since De(l)phon is young and he goes back to his parents' lifetimes. Unless he was born in his parents' extreme old age, there aren't that many decades available in the interim. Also, I'm not sure what the difference 2 or 3 decades will make for the rest of us. End result is still a tyrannical government and I don't know why a bloody reign of terror would be all that different just because it happened a decade or so earlier. If the TG is supposed to come into power later down the timestream from where De(l)phon starts, that needs to be made clear. As is, I'm not sure why anyone wants the TG in power early, thus necessitating killing people like De(l)phon's parents.

Meanwhile, this is all setup. You need to tell us what the MC is doing about his problem, what's getting in the way, and what his future plans are. And I agree that tying in the title to the story might be helpful.

St0n3henge said...

"End result is still a tyrannical government and I don't know why a bloody reign of terror would be all that different just because it happened a decade or so earlier."
I was feeling this way, too. Of course it threatens Delphon's parents, but it the long run it wouldn't make much difference.

I, also, want to know how he plans to save his parents. If he brings them forward to the future won't he disappear?

Azemeon, whatever it is, is needlessly hard to pronounce, especially for a kids' book. And it does just look like you misspelled Amazon. If it's important to the story, pick a better made-up word.