Friday, August 04, 2006
Guess the Plot
1. Jumble puzzle makers pass jokes to each other in anagrams. That is, until the new boss Jenny Heart intercepts one of their notes, this one about her smelly feet.
2. A badly-spelled map means trouble for an astronaut trying to find his way home.
3. It was bad enough being on the cusp of teenage-hood and a vampire; now Maria finds out she's Aerth's Door, the gateway between two worlds.
4. The massive front door was the last straw for Homer Aerth when the designers from Curb Appeal altered his mid-century modern ranch house to a Fantasy Tuscan Villa. Would he ever release them from the new wine cellar?
5. Aerth becomes the envy of his Stone Age neighbors when he discovers a way to keep saber-toothed tigers out of his cave; but can he really rest in peace?
6. Aerth's Door is the first book of my heavenly trilogy, Galactic Architecture (to be followed by Omon's Window and Usn's Chimney). It's a tale of a world unhinged.
Dear Ms. Agent,
I am currently seeking representation for my young adult fantasy novel "Aerth's Door".
Maria Zangrilli discovers that desperately attempting to flee for your life is difficult when you're only twelve years old. Despite years of constantly moving from place to place the Vampire hunters who killed her parents have finally found her and Maria is trapped at the hospital with a difficult decision to make: does she escape with the two teenage boys who claim to have been sent to protect her or does she stand her ground and stay by the side of the only family she has left? [You forgot possibility 3: change into a bat and fly away, which has been working fine for the past few years.]
When Maria decides to leave with Reiker and Flax the hunt is on in earnest. The hunters are glad that Maria is just a kid, they will go to any length to capture her alive. During her escape Maria discovers that she is more than just a Vampire brat, she is Aerth's Door, and her blood will strip away the gateway between her world and our own. [Questions raised by that one sentence: 1. What are you talking about? 2. What is Aerth? 3. What is Aerth's Door? 4. What is Maria's world? 5. Is she from somewhere other than Earth? 6. Do you just mean the world of vampires? 7. Is the gateway the same as the Door? 8. Does she have to die to strip away the gateway, or do they just need some of her blood? 9. Why her? 10. Why do the Vampire hunters want to strip away this gateway? 11. Isn't this exactly like when Buffy the Vampire Slayer's sister was the "Key" in season 5? 12. Wouldn't she be too busy to discover this during her escape? 13. Why is "Vampire" capitalized?] Together with her new guardians Maria races for sanctuary and has to decide who is really her friend… and who wants her dead. The reader is kept wondering all the way to the final, nail-biting page. [Not me, I've already guessed that Reiker wants her dead and Flax is really her friend. If you'd spelled the names "Ryker" and "Phlax," it would have been a tougher call.] [Nail-biting page? Does anyone read this blog before they submit anymore? Let the agent decide if the pages bite nails.]
"Aerth's Door" is told in a third-person omniscient voice that is sometimes funny, sometimes serious, and always a little bit dark. [Ah, it's Buffy, season 6.] [For non-Buffy fans, think The X-Files, but with a younger female lead who doesn't spend the first three seasons refusing to believe what's patently obvious.] An older, darker YA, "Aerth's Door" is geared toward the readers of "Eragon" novels rather than the younger YA's such as the "Artemis Fowl" series. [Here we go citing a book nothing like ours, just because it sold well. The second Eragon book, by the way, was named the worst book of 2005 by Entertainment Weekly, which isn't Publishers Weekly, but I still don't think I'd read it or cite it knowing that.] [It seems to me older YA's would prefer to read about a heroine older than 12. Or am I wrong?]
At approximately 60,000 words, "Aerth's Door" is spread across fifteen chapters [You know the writer is trying desperately to fill up the page when he resorts to telling you how many chapters are in the book.] and is perfect to while away a lazy summer afternoon. If you have an interest in this project, please respond and I will happily submit the manuscript to you.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
If you remove the sentence that prompts all the questions, the only question will be Why is the title Aerth's Door? If you don't remove it, I'd recommend dropping the last two paragraphs and using the extra space to explain the door/gateway/world stuff.
A Googling of "Aerth" reveals it's a world in more than one role-playing game, and quite well-known to Dungeons and Dragons players. Unless your book is intentionally set in someone else's Aerth, or Aerth is something other than a world in your book, you might consider changing the name. One possibility: Earth.