Thursday, May 14, 2020

Face-Lift 1400!

Guess the Plot

Don't Let Me Fall

1. Falling happens all the time in dreams. Except now people are dying from it. Can Steven figure out how to wake up in time?

2. "Don't let me fall," Ikenna prays after a lifetime (or more) fighting demons. But if he wants to escape this life, he must first escape the grasp of his self-righteous priest. Growing up in 1969 Brooklyn isn't exactly Easy Street.

3. An emotional look at what goes through the mind of a man who has worked hard and sacrificed love, happiness, and financial security to finally stand at the top of his chosen profession, on a quivering steel cable stretched between two skyscrapers.

4. Alicia books an adventure trip through the Himalayas to get over her ex. Unfortunately, her ex has the same idea. Since neither is willing to cancel, they're stuck working together, getting to see another side of one another, and once again falling in... Nope, not gonna happen.

5. It was a simple request, but the audience reaction as Luigi watched his brother Lorenzo plummet toward the big top sawdust told him that the Flying Credenzas had found the routine that would breathe new life into the family's circus act, though not, unfortunately, into Lorenzo. But just as thrill-hungry crowds peak, Lorenzo comes back... and he's hungry for brains.

6. When his best friend convinces Elgin, who suffers from vertigo, to go rock climbing, the results are predictably hilarious, except for the part where Elgin falls to his death. Actually, that part is pretty funny too.  

Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,

Ikenna of Mantika knows slavery was a choice but fighting demons for the last 200 years wasn’t.

Forced to babysit the Ijinde family and protect it’s [its] members from their spiritual skeletons, Ikenna grows tired of having his freedom tied to someone else’s. When he [his] latest ward and friend is murdered as part of an overzealous High Priest’s plan for reparations, Ikenna decides enough is enough, he need [needs] a way out of this life. But when his search for an escape route leads him into the hands of the self-righteous Priest can Ikenna escape his grasp without endangering the Ijinde bloodline or will he risk everything to be free of his curse? [I have a lot of questions, and you have room to answer some of them in the query.

1. Did Ikenna choose to be a slave or choose not to? What was the other choice?

2. What are spiritual skeletons? Demons?

3. Whose freedom is Ikenna's freedom tied to? The Ijinde family's? If he's "forced" to protect the family, it sounds like he doesn't have freedom.

4. A High Priest has a plan for reparations . . . for descendants of slaves? How does murdering Ikenna's friend aid in this plan?

5. If Ikenna wants out of his role as protector of the Ijinde family, why does he still feel obligated to protect their bloodline? Why is endangering their bloodline a bad thing?

6. What are the terms of his curse?

7. He has the ability to fight demons for 200 years without getting killed, like an immortal superhero, but he can't rid himself of the Ijindes or some Priest?

8. You as if he will he risk everything. What everything? He's unhappy with his current situation, so what does he have that he risks losing?]

Don't Let Me Fall is a 95,000 word standalone adult urban fantasy with potential for expansion into a series. It is my first novel and the bulk of the story takes place in 1989 Brooklyn [Wait, what? This is set in Brooklyn? Maybe you could mention that in the plot summary. I felt like I was reading about the fictional kingdom of Mantika on the Gohr prison planet, Lycus IV.] and I drew heavily from my experience growing up there to come up with the world of this story.[Change that last sentence into two by eliminating one of the "ands". Or eliminate the part about it being your first novel. It's unlikely the reader will care how many unpublished novels you've written, and she knows if your number of published novels is greater than zero, you'd be trumpeting that fact in sentence 1.]

Thank you for your time and consideration.

*The title for this book comes from a prayer Ikenna says regularly in the book.


You don't need to answer all my questions, I'm just saying that the query needs a lot more clarity, and since no one will complain if you take eight or ten sentences to summarize your plot, you can spell out some of this stuff that seems obvious to you but not so much to those who haven't read the book.

Just because you mention the Brooklyn Bridge in the book doesn't mean you've drawn heavily from your experience--although I have no doubt there were plenty of overzealous priests in Brooklyn in 1969.

The most common summary format is three paragraphs:

1. Who's your main character, what's his situation, and what does he want?

2. What's his plan to get it, what are his obstacles, what goes wrong, what's his plan B?

3. What choice must he make that will determine if he succeeds or fails, and what's at stake, i.e. what will happen if he fails?

This format may not work with every book, but it's a good way to organize your thoughts.

Also, those three careless errors in paragraph 2 may convince the reader that the book is riddled with careless errors. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I will second EE on the grammar errors/typos being a big problem and I was also thinking this was a second world fantasy.

Are the High Priest and the self-righteous Priest the same person? It might be better to use his(?) name. Also, you might want to specify what part he plays in the ongoing plot other than maybe getting his hands on Ikenna<- don't know why or what kind of a problem this is

"knowing" is a bit passive for an MC. Maybe something more along the lines of: "For Ikenna, slavery was a choice, fighting demons for the last two hundred years wasn't." or with more specifics: "Ikenna chose slavery [explanation] and has fought demons for the last 200 years [explanation]."

A bit curious as to why 1989 Brooklyn specifically.

Good Luck