Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Guess the Plot
My Soccer Mom's Séance
1. Fourteen-year-old Allyson wants to die--her friends have just discovered that her Mom is a witch. Now everyone wants her to tell their fortunes. But what is she going to do when Josh Dryton, her secret crush, comes for a session?
2. When he was a kid, Don Venolia thought that all moms wore drifty scarves and muttered into crystal balls. Now he's fifteen and his medium mother is just weird - especially when she sets up her tent in the middle of the school soccer field. She says that disaster is coming, but for Don, the real disaster is his mother.
3. Ginger could be using her new-found witchcraft abilities to make 80-yard field goals for the football team; instead she has to rescue her soccer mom from the evil Ghouligans, who've kidnaped her and the other witches.
4. A séance sounds like fun, right? RIGHT? Well, not for Snotgurgle Mcflop. It's bad enough he has a mom who plays soccer, but when his mother decides to take a class on Basic Witchery, what's a troll to do? Eat her, of course!
5. Wannabe-medium Cassandra Birkenstock tries to help her awkward son Simon make the soccer team by summoning the spirit of the sport's most legendary player. Unfortunately, she doesn't realize that Pelé isn't dead yet, and so unwittingly brings forth the similarly-named Hawaiian goddess. Will "Oops, silly me!" be enough to mollify the school board when a volcano erupts in the middle of the playing field?
6. 10 year-old Caitlin is suspicious of her mom’s scrapbooking parties, so she hides in the closet one night and learns that the parties are just a cover for their séances to resurrect Darlene, goddess of mini-vans, relaxed fit jeans and well-defined front butt.
Dear Evil Editor,
Ginger Wynn could have been a cheerleader, but she opted for the football team instead. [Usually when you're a cheerleader, you can have the football team too. It's one of the perks.] Nature has been kind to Ginger---tall and leggy, a gaggle of male admirers, the first female kicker on Westington High's team—and only a ninth grader to boot!
But when she walks in on her yoga-loving, SUV-driving soccer mom [Shouldn't that be football mom?] leading a séance, she discovers that she, Ginger, is a witch—and not a very talented one at that. [Walking in on a séance doesn't prove you're a witch, nor does it suggest how talented at witchcraft you are. ] While her mother is overjoyed that her daughter has, at last, shown herself to be magical, [I missed when this happened. We need to know what happens that shows magical ability when she walks in on the séance.] Ginger is frustrated by lesson upon lesson spent learning to master nature's power.
Then, the witches of Suffolk County are kidnapped by Ghouligans--the evil, but closely-related counterparts to witches— [and] Ginger must marshal her fledgling powers and considerable wit to embark on a rescue mission. Accompanied by the only other witch she knows, a spacey girl scout named Elsie, Ginger dives headlong into a world in which she is not at all equipped to succeed. Yet, her quiet suburban town holds more clues than she dreamed possible. [Clues to what?] As Ginger unearths her ancestry, she discovers what it means to be a witch and the fine line her kind walk between good and evil.
Ginger and Elsie outsmart goblins, dodge power-snatchers, and befriend the local garden gnomes in an effort to rescue their mothers and save their kin from reverting back into Wicked Witches.
My Soccer Mom's Séance is a 70,000 word middle grade fantasy.
It moves too fast from walking in on the séance to lessons in mastering nature's power. The order of events is presumably walking in, mother later confesses she's a witch, and that Ginger has possibly inherited witchcraft abilities, Ginger takes lessons, proves to have ability, but not much. All of that is set-up for the actual plot, the rescue of her mom and the other witches; you could condense it into something like: When ninth-grader Ginger Wynn learned she was a witch, she never dreamed she'd soon need to use her powers to rescue her mom and the other witches of Suffolk County from the evil Ghouligans. This leaves more room for some specifics about the rescue, which seems more important than being on the football team or walking in on the séance.
The last plot paragraph/sentence is a fairly abrupt wrap-up. Something like this might be better:
Then, the witches of Suffolk County are kidnapped by Ghouligans--the evil, but closely-related counterparts to witches— [and] Ginger must marshal her fledgling powers and considerable wit to embark on a rescue mission. Accompanied by the only other witch she knows, a spacey girl scout named Elsie, Ginger unearths her ancestry, discovering what it means to be a witch, and the fine line her kind walk between good and evil. But can the girls outsmart the Ghouligans in time to save their moms from reverting into . . . Wicked Witches?
It does seem that if the Ghouligans are powerful enough to capture all the experienced witches, that two inexperienced witches would be unlikely to triumph over them. Can you throw in a hint of what they have in mind?