Guess the Plot
1. Lazrael was born as the angel of indigo. Now if only it could figure out if it is an angel to a plant or a color. A shady individual is willing to tell, for a price.
2. In a world where the angels are violet, one angel, Aerael, is born indigo. Mocked and shunned by the other angels, Aerael feels useless . . . until the day God announces he has a mission that can be accomplished only by an . . . Indigo Angel.
3. Sean was born with a genetic disorder. His parents consider him an "indigo child," one with special abilities. Unfortunately, the other kids at Sean's new high school consider him a punching bag.
4. Tara Weir has a secret identity: Indigo Angel. As part of R.A.I.N.B.O.W., she travels the world to seek out injustice and help those in need. She uses her amazing power over water to drown enemies or eliminate threats. However, she's fallen in love with Red Angel, the fire master, who's already involved with Green Angel, who controls plants. Will Indigo Angel drown Green Angel to get her man?
5. Indigo Angel is the latest designer drug to hit the streets. You can get high with no side effects, no addictions, and no bad bad trips--except the one that lands you in a random hell: Christian, Bhuddist, Egyptian, Sumatran, Greek, Aztec, EE's slushpile, etc, etc, etc.
6. Danny makes it to finals auditioning for the position of lead singer of his favorite band, Indigo Angel. Then he starts hearing rumors about what happened to the previous lead, rumors involving human sacrifice to Lovecraftian horrors. But, hey, they seem tame compared to his current job working graveyard at Walmart.
7. Not quite blue, not quite purple, the Indigo Angel is the one that the procrastinators and un-deciders pray to when they can't make a decision . . . then fail to receive any clear message or guidance. Which suits them perfectly.
Dear Evil Editor,
INDIGO ANGEL (99,999 words) [Round that off. Preferably to 75,000.] is a contemporary novel with deep, well-developed characters reminiscent of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars with a supernatural element, similar to Gayle Forman’s If I Stay, and an edgy search for self, similar to that in Chuck Palahniuk’s stories [not to mention subtle humor not unlike that found in Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries, the short chapters of a James Patterson thriller, and a dash of the world building seen in Frank Herbert's Dune]. My characters question the world around them and their place in it; struggle with identity, hate, and pain; [endure a miscellaneous hodgepodge of this and that;] and learn to live with the emotional consequences of their situations. [Scrap this paragraph. The only specifics in it are authors and titles of books you've read. We're interested in the book you've written. Your title, genre and length can be put after the plot, along with name dropping of authors you stole your ideas from.]
After Sean Foster, the protagonist of my story, is abandoned at birth under mysterious circumstances, [What's mysterious about them?] he grows up to be socially awkward. Sean is strong, sexy, and cool but he’s also shy and naïve – [Lists of adjectives are boring and vague. Get to the story.] and completely unaware that the wealthy family he’s living with adopted him. Sean is raised as a twin to his sister Sara, who loves him and attempts to guide him through his difficult childhood and teenage years fighting cystic fibrosis.
Sean’s treatment eventually allows him to stop homeschooling and join Sara at her high school. Sean is overjoyed, but he’s sexually assaulted by girls at school and beaten by their boyfriends. As Sean’s health declines [Due to CF or beatings?] he meets Jen, a survivor of physical abuse who lost her brother to cancer. [Are we still in high school?] Beautiful and strong, she sees in Sean the courage she saw in her brother. As they fall in love, Jen shows Sean how to be brave and live life to the fullest.
A short time later, another series of events leaves Sean emotionally broken, doubting himself and questioning his future. Will Sean rely on the love of friends and family to come back from the brink of death, [Whoa. You didn't say he was on the brink of death. Is that from CF or from the "series of events"?] discover the secret of his lineage, and complete his journey to learn how to love himself? And, even with the help of his brainy sister, rebel girlfriend, and jack-of-all-trades best friend – will it be enough? [Well, we slipped into specificity for a few sentences, but now we're back to generality. And that's the end of the plot? Let's gather the good stuff and see what we have:
Guided by his sister Sara through a difficult childhood and adolescence fighting cystic fibrosis, Sean Foster is finally able to stop homeschooling and join Sara at her high school. It doesn't go well, as he's sexually assaulted by the girls and beaten by their boyfriends.
His health declining, Sean meets Jen, a survivor of physical abuse who lost her brother to cancer. She sees in Sean the courage she saw in her brother. As they fall in love, Jen shows Sean how to be brave and live life to the fullest.
That's about it. Those are fairly short paragraphs, so you could add another piece of information to each. For instance, does Sean leave the school or are the bullies punished? Can you provide an example of what Jen does to show Sean how to live life fully?
That still leaves room for a third paragraph which could provide specifics about this series of events that leaves Sean broken, what options he has to recover from the emotional beating he's taken, the pros and cons of each option.]
I am a veteran of the United States Air Force with a degree in Cinema from San Francisco State University (emphasis in screenwriting), [That's the same field I was in, Cinema, but my emphasis was on spending time I was supposed to be in classrooms at the local movie theater. If I'd known I could get a degree for that, I'd have gone to SF State.] and a degree in early childhood development. I have published humorous nonfiction articles online, and I’ve had 40,000+ views for my fan fiction. I’m also a cancer survivor (in remission). When I first contracted cancer, I fell in to a deep depression and started to read about cystic fibrosis patients – the inspiration behind my book. [The New Age treatment for deep depression: reading about people who've got it worse than you.]
The patients I read about all seemed to be young, strong courageous people who had it so much worse than me. [than I] They were beautiful, but destined to die in their twenties and thirties. I wanted to write the fairy tale version of their story, about someone who got everything he dreamed of and impacted many people’s lives before crossing over into the light. [So in the book Sean gets everything he dreamed of? That isn't the impression I had.] Ironically, now that I’m in remission, I’m also living the fairy tale.
Thank you for your consideration,
"I wanted to write the fairy tale version of their story, about someone who got everything he dreamed of and impacted many people’s lives before crossing over into the light." Assuming this book is that story, maybe we need to rework the query. P1: Who is Sean and what is it he dreams of doing (discovering the secret of his lineage, and learning how to love himself)? P2: What's his plan for attaining these goals? What happens to prevent him from carrying out this plan (a series of events)? P3: What crossroad does he reach where he must make a decision that leads to success or failure? Whose lives did he impact along the way?
Possibly the query should start when Sean, who has struggled with CF all his life and been bullied in high school, meets Jen. That would give you more room to tell us specifically about the journey that is the main plot.
Your education and writing credits aren't relevant to this project. Your medical history would be more relevant if you gave Sean cancer and if you started reading about cancer survivors when you were diagnosed, but at least you've managed to connect his CF to your own situation.
...Sean gets everything he dreamed of? That isn't the impression I had.
Well, maybe he had nightmares.
By the way, what does “sexually assaulted by girls” mean? Did they come onto him physically with kisses and sticky fingers OR did they do gross, hurtful things to his nether regions?
When you revise, please limit the vague modifiers.
I'm assuming your protagonist is Sean? If so you have a problem.
He's abandoned, unaware, raised, bullied, etc.--things happen to him. Does he take any action or just emotionally react to things?
You can have a quiet, internal sort of book, but if that's what this is, you need to tell us more about how those internal thoughts and feelings develop, and what kind of impact they start having on his external world.
Thank you so much for your feed back. I will definitely work on revising. I'm so glad oi happened upon this site. I've sent out over a hundred emails with no positive responses.
Your suggestions make a lot of sense. Although the round 99k down to 75k might take a bit of work. After my most recent read through i have it down to 98k.
and to answer the question-
"By the way, what does “sexually assaulted by girls” mean? Did they come onto him physically with kisses and sticky fingers OR did they do gross, hurtful things to his nether regions?"
Is starts out as the first thing then one particularly evil girl does the second thing.
“abandoned at birth under mysterious circumstances...” This reminds me of Dave Lister. Was he in a cardboard box with ouroboros printed on it?
Yeah, there's just not enough about the book here. I read the synopsis and you put a lot of stuff into that. Here, there's scant and vague info about your story and too much about your influences and your personal life. The query is to sell your story.
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