Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Guess the Plot
The Secrets of Harworth Castle
1. Surrounded by the snapping jaws of dangerous reptiles, three teens race to safety amid the ruins of a spooky castle. As night falls the castle comes to life as an outpost of 16th-century Wales, complete with knights, ladies . . . and a green-skinned witch.
2. Princess Dream and her winged pony, Sunshine, have always lived in Harworth Castle. But then the King vanishes in the middle of the wizard Gromulus' fireworks display. Can Dream and Sunshine save the day?
3. Harworth Castle, Jr. died as a seven-year-old in 1953. Or did he? Bailey McAllister, third generation investigative journalist, just received a message from him, along with proof he’s alive and an accusation that her grandfather perpetrated the cover-up. With a billion-dollar estate at stake, can Bailey uncover . . . The Secrets of Harworth Castle?
4. Liza has been writing her very first book, a mystery about a haunted castle. When she finds a key to a mysterious door in her attic, it leads right into the castle of her story.
5. American twins are kidnapped while visiting London. They're taken to Wales and imprisoned in Harworth Castle. To escape, they must learn the secrets of the castle--but the castle has other ideas.
6. Harworth Stillwell built a castle using ingenious, groundbreaking architectural innovations never before seen and unlikely ever to be repeated. Too bad Harworth is four years old and the tide is coming in.
THE SECRETS OF HARWORTH CASTLE is an upper middle-grade adventure/fantasy of 50,000 words, set in present time, in a fictitious castle on Cardigan Bay in Wales.
Thirteen-year-old American twins Jillian and Everett Lewis, are kidnapped from their London hotel and dumped into a stone walled cell in an ancient castle. When a mysterious person unbolts the cell door, their escape is thwarted by locked doors and windows, leaving them trapped inside the castle. The kidnappers, Lomax, Squirrel and Lyon, must capture the twins, [What do you mean they must capture the twins? What happens if they don't?] and find a way to get rid of them. [Get rid of them? Why'd they kidnap 'em in the first place?] The children uncover a secret haven, which leads to dark passageways, spy holes, and strange encounters with the mysterious person. [You need a better term for this character than "the mysterious person." Something like the "hooded figure," or the "masked hunchback," or the "humanoid with loose garb and ambiguous voice."] During their search for a way out, they learn the castle's closely held secret of the Celtic cross, [Apparently not that closely held.] but in a moment of carelessness, Everett is recaptured. Jillian must save her brother, triumph over the kidnappers, and discover a secret route out of the castle. [The boy screws up and the girl has to rescue him? This would never have flown in the fifties.]
In the mode of SPY KIDS, Jillian and Everett demonstrate their courage and savvy resourcefulness, resulting in quick-witted, creative solutions to their plight, and to the castle's secrets. [Or puzzles. Secrets don't have solutions.] The castle however, seems to have a mind of its own, begrudgingly releasing one secret at a time, [Begrudgingly? The castle practically gave them the Celtic cross secret. Is the Celtic cross secret a much bigger secret than the other secrets? What is the Celtic cross secret?] and in the process revealing even stranger new ones. To counterbalance their dark confines, THE SECRET OF HARWORTH CASTLE explores the twin's [twins'] relationship by exposing their individual weaknesses [Everett's weakness is that he's male. Jillian's weakness is Everett.] and their need to overcome petty jealousies and indifferences [indifferences?] to work together for the common good.
Sounds like it could be fun, especially if the solutions to the problems are truly creative.
Not clear why the kids were kidnapped and taken to Wales. Why go to London to kidnap kids when you can kidnap them in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, and already be in Wales?
Working together to escape is enough theme to mention. Counterbalancing dark confines, exploring relationships, and exposing weaknesses of thirteen-year-old kids aren't anything kids in this age group care about, and thus I doubt their editors will either.
Generally, I don't like comparing one's book to a movie.