Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Face-Lift 135


Guess the Plot

In Shining Armor

1. A knight with OCD causes the collapse of the kingdom when he stays at home to re-polish his armor instead of leading his men into battle.

2. Haunted by his wartime experiences, Ben takes a job on a freighter, only to discover that Captain Eve Marcori is being hunted for her mutated genes. Can she escape death on her own, or will she need hunky Ben to ride to her rescue?

3. A desperate housewife runs out of Pledge, drives to the store but runs out of gas on the way, and hikes in the 100 degree heat, worried about the dust at home and its effect on her allergic cat. Is it a mirage she sees or is it a knight in shining armor? Wait, is that a smudge on his visor?

4. When John ripped his tuxedo, he decided it would be amusing to show up at his wedding in shining armor ... John's still single.

5. "Oh Louis, we shouldn't."
"Just get me out of this and hurry. It's getting hot."
She fumbled with his breastplate.
"You know how I wilt when I get hot," he said.
Will Lady Demure be quick enough to save their romance? Or will Lord Morely discover the tryst and end it all?

6. When Brock Riker takes a job as bodyguard for a famous pop diva, it's clear that a standard-issue bulletproof vest isn't going to cut it. Melainie's body armor boutique may have the answer, but can a man really wear that many rhinestones and still respect himself in the morning?


Original Version

Dear Evil Sir,

In Shining Armor is a science fiction novel of 135,000 words.

As soon as his Fleet discharge is official, Doctor Ben Alexander takes a job on a small freighter. Starting immediately and offering time, solitude, and research—his captain heals with incredible, even inhuman, speed—it seems a good escape. If peace is what Ben wants, though, he is on the wrong ship. Violence is a way of life for Captain Eve Marcori, and Ben, haunted by his war-time experiences, struggles to cope with both her actions and the aftermath.

Eve Marcori, discharged Marine, does not want a doctor. [If she wasn't looking for a doctor, how did he end up seeking a job with her? And if part of his reason for wanting the job is research on her healing speed, how does he know about that?]

But Dr. Ben “Tackle Me Now” Alexander [That's his nickname? Doctors usually go by "Doc" or "Bones." Calling someone "Tackle Me Now Alexander" seems a bit strange.] is a veteran in need and damned cute besides, so she hires him. Her adorable ‘doc’ [I see you've taken my advice.] proves more elusive than the pirates she’s spent eight years hunting, though, and Eve has never found time or need to practice romance. [If you don't practice, you don't get to play in the game.] Besides, her few months of civilian life have been a pile of near-deadly ‘accidents’ with a sniper on top. Someone is trying to kill her.

[Ben: I'm looking for a peaceful job that'll help me get over my haunting wartime memories.

Eve: Sorry, we have no need for a doc-- Hey, you're cute. You're hired. Though I should tell you that violence is a way of life on this ship. We're going to be chasing pirates, and someone's trying to kill me.

Ben: I'll take the job on one condition. That I get to perform research on your body, which heals inhumanly fast.

Eve: How did you know that?

Ben: A sniper bullet tore through your shoulder about a minute ago.]

Now that she knows what is going on, who, why, and most importantly where become her focus. Research leads Ben to why—though genetic manipulation has been banned for centuries, Eve is not ‘just’ a mutant. She was designed to be the perfect warrior. Now someone wants the blueprints. Eve is able to deduce who—the geneticist with access to both alien technology and Eve’s genes before her birth. [Why doesn't he already have the blueprint? If he did it to Eve, can't he do it to others?] After a trap baited with children nets Ben, [There are children on the freighter? Or have they landed somewhere?] [Look, Tackle Me Now, children who heal inhumanly fast, on the other side of that oddly placed throw rug. Go get 'em.] Eve is given the where to lure her into a trap baited with her kidnapped doctor.

Surrounded by unknown enemies and unreliable allies, pursued by those who want her DNA and those who would kill to stop that genetic theft, Eve Marcori must use every resource of her enhanced body and mind to keep her genes to herself, her ship and crew intact, and her war-torn doctor sane. [Countries are war-torn; doctors are shell-shocked.] Fortunately charging to the rescue is a skill Eve has spent years honing.

I thank you for your attention, and look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,


Revised Version

Dear Evil Sir,

In Shining Armor is a science fiction novel of 135,000 words.

As soon as his Fleet discharge is official, Doctor Ben Alexander takes a job on a small freighter. Offering peace and solitude, it should be a welcome escape from his haunting wartime memories. But if peace is what Ben wants, he is on the wrong ship.

Violence is a way of life for Captain Eve Marcori. Through genetic manipulation, she was designed to be the perfect warrior. She's spent eight years hunting pirates, and she's now become the target of a murderer. Seems she heals with inhuman speed, and someone wants a DNA sample badly enough to kill her for it.

Eve discovers that her adversary is a geneticist who had access to both alien technology and Eve’s genes before her birth; but before she can act on this information, Ben is kidnapped--and used to bait a trap for Eve. Now Eve knows she must use every resource of her enhanced body and mind to save Ben. Fortunately, charging to the rescue is a skill she has spent a lifetime honing.

I thank you for your attention, and look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,


Notes

There's something to be said for leaving the romantic angle in there, as the "perfect warrior" might be inclined to abandon Ben rather than risk a rescue, but since her life is threatened by the guy holding Ben, she'd probably go after him even if she didn't have the hots for Ben. Now if this were a romance novel, we'd need that angle in the query.

8 comments:

JerseyGirl said...

Is Tackle Me Now a cousin to Tickle Me Elmo? ;-)

Seriously, I'm glad EE dropped that nickname. I don't care for it. Of course, I don't know the intimate details of the story, but that nickname...methinks it's too hilarious for the story.

And after EE cleaned up the query, it sounded more interesting to me.

~Nancy

Zombie Deathfish said...

I'd be far more interested in the DNA manipulation/perfect mutant warrior angle than the romantic angle. The romance sounds a bit shoe-horned in to me. Of course, I'm just a zombie deathfish, so I could be proven wrong.

Novelust said...

Actually, I think the romance angle takes this story out of the 'Seen It' category.

I would be more concerned about the tone - the plot sounds very serious, but the first half of the query is cutesy (I think it's the actual word 'cute' that puts it over the top). I know the genre is mixed, but the query gives me the impression that the book's tone is really mixed.

Daisy said...

Since this is the second time this title has shown up here, I got curious and did a quick search on Amazon. Result: there are at least twelve books with some version of "Shining Armor" in their titles, including a Garfield compilation, which suggests to me that the author might want to start thinking about alternatives.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that EE took out the trap baited with children for hunky doc Ben. Made me think he was a pedophile.

garden minion said...

I would be interested in the romance angle, because it's where Eve is conflicted, perhaps going against her own better judgment. That's a more visceral struggle than the one to... not get killed? But I'm a sucker for the romance angle, so I may be very biased.

Makes me think of Lois McMaster Bujold.

KD said...

yeesh, this is harder than it looks. Cutesy? Ugh. The plot is serious, but humor is integral to my writing, and I was trying to convey that. Clearly I missed my mark. Thanks, EE, I will continue to work at it!

I'll think about the title some more, as well. And cherish the comparison to LMB! Thanks for the opinions, fellow minions. (and if this shows up again and again, forgive me, it didn't look like it went at all.)

Anonymous said...

Is the author male? Just curious because... well, has a male sci-fi writer ever written a novel where the heroine is NOT a genetically engineered perfect warrior? Having a hard time thinking of one...