Thursday, August 30, 2007
Guess the Plot
One Highland Night
1. How many Highland Nights does it take to stuff a Scottish kilt? After an unfortunate wager and six pints of Skullsplitter Ale, Gregor Gilroy is about to find out.
2. Brianna is excited to be spending her vacation at a real haunted castle. But when the ghost of Duncan MacNeil appears in her bedroom, will she be ready to meet all his demands?
3. A spunky lass who couldn't keep her knickers on. A laddie with an eye for the ladies. A secret meeting, a warm night in the Highlands--what were the chances it would lead to . . . alien abduction?
4. Traveling in the Highlands, a physicist is suddenly transported 300 years into the past, and must try to prevent the notorious Earl of Breadalbane from committing the infamous Glencoe Massacre.
5. A prim English maiden, lost in the wilds of Scotland. A handsome Scotsman, who's also a vampire and can't come out in the day. Can they find true love . . . One Highland Night?
6. Due to Planet Askew's eccentric orbit, night usually falls only in the lowlands, while the highlands bask in perpetual sunshine. But once every 30,000 years, there comes . . . One Highland Night. Will Ja'na come out of hibernation to propose to Sti'su?
Dear Evil Editor,
ONE HIGHLAND NIGHT is a time-travel romance in the vein of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and the Highlander series by Karen Marie Moning, among others. [No, I think the Highlander series by Ms. Moning is only by Ms. Moning.] [Also while those series involve time travel and romance, I don't believe they're so similar that a book could be in the same vein with both of them.] [Also, it's not so important to tell us whose books you think yours is like. It's a time travel romance is sufficient.] Complete at 100,000 words, it is set primarily in the Loch Awe [That sounds like the noise I make when I hack up a phlegmball.] area of the Scottish Highlands, 1691-92, and includes the historical backdrop of the infamous Glencoe Massacre.
Physicist Elizabeth Martin travels to the Highlands of Scotland in an attempt to flee the heartache of a broken engagement. Her cheating ex becomes the least of her worries when she ends up trapped over 300 years in the past, [Can you furnish a clue to how she ends up 300 years in the past? (You didn't think you were going to just slip that past us, did you?)] pursued by the politically avaricious Earl of Breadalbane who wants to use her "Sight" to further his consolidation of power. Her only choice is to take refuge with an outlaw clan. [I'd divide this long paragraph into two, right here.] Despite her desire to discover a way back to her own time, she finds herself falling for handsome Alec MacGregor: protector, son of the laird, and the only person who knows her true origins. [How did that conversation go?
Liz: Alec, there's something I need to tell you.
Alec: What's that my darling?
Liz: I'm from a strange world where there are flying machines, where there's a tunnel under the English Channel, where popcorn can be made in a bag, where--
Alec: Hey lads, stoke up the fire, we've got us a witch!]
Together they try to prevent the treacherous massacre at Glencoe—Breadalbane's doing— [Doesn't Liz know that changing history could lead to disastrous future consequences, like Evil Editor's blog not even existing?] but Alec is captured and sentenced to death. She spends one night in his arms on the eve of his execution, [What is this, a conjugal visit? Awfully generous of Breadalbane. (I assume she didn't time travel into his cell, as earlier she was hoping to discover a way back to her own time, which led me to deduce that she didn't have time traveling abilities.)] then secretly surrenders herself to the Earl in exchange for Alec's release. When he learns of her sacrifice and subsequent death at the Earl's hands, [Why would the Earl kill her? I thought he wanted to use her "Sight."] Alec's only choice is to attempt time-travel himself to be reunited with the woman he loves.
ONE HIGHLAND NIGHT is my first novel. I am a member of RWA national, as well as my local chapter and the Celtic Hearts chapter.
The synopsis, partial, or full manuscript are available at your request; I have included the first five pages for your review. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.
It's one thing for a 21st-century physicist to attempt time travel. I'm not sure I'm buying a 1692 Scotsman from an outlaw clan figuring out how to do it.
We need to know how one time travels. If Liz could do it at will, she'd time travel out of the Earl's clutches as soon as he released Alec. In Highlander, time travel is a power of the characters; in Outlander, it's accomplished by walking between certain stones. Do your characters have any idea how it's done?
Speaking of which, when Liz offers herself to the Earl in exchange for Alec, what's to keep the Earl from keeping both of them?
Elizabeth should refer to the Earl as Beetlebrain for comic relief.
I hope Alec's plan isn't to time travel to a day in the 21st century before Liz went back in time, because a guy showing up and claiming he's your lover from the 17th century isn't going to go over too well. We have special places for guys like that.
The writing isn't the problem, it's that the plot is eliciting questions that aren't answered. Answer some of them. If something's too complicated to explain, omit the material that's inspiring the question.