Monday, December 17, 2007
Guess the Plot
The Dracula Chronicles: The Dragon Awakes
1. The wind brings glad tidings--a child is born unto a minor prince in the little town of Wallachia. And he shall be named Vlad. And he shall be a good man. Then a dragon shall awake and ruin everything. Also, a vampire.
2. Another in the cross-genre series in which the author seeks to reinvigorate the moribund fantasy novel, following her widely-acclaimed "Frankenstein and the Philosopher's Stone," "Zombies of the Round Table" and "The Lion, the Witch and the Weredingo."
3. Dracula was on vacation, working on his memoirs in Newark, the least likely place to have a sleeping dragon. But there was a dragon, under the old Peoples' Express terminal and it smelled Dracula's aura. Was Newark ready for total war between Dracula and Dragona? Would they even notice?
4. It has vampires, it has dragons. As long as both are on the cover, it doesn't need a plot, because every fantasy/paranormal fanboi will buy it anyway. Now if only we could fit werewolves in there somewhere...
5. Dracula gives the fang to a dragon, creating a new creature that drinks blood and throws away the meat, quadrupling the dragon's harvesting of humans. Thanks a bunch, Dracula.
6. Dracula's late-night heavy toga-partying with his werewolf buds pisses off a neighborhood dragon, causing a flame war.
I've recently completed a 90,000 word novel of supernatural suspense that focuses on the early life of Vlad Dracula. [Just the first 400 years.]
[Dracula: The Early Years
I. Dracula breast-feeding
Mrs. Dracula: Hey, you little bastard, just suck it!
II. Dracula in kindergarten
Teacher: Okay, which one of you drained Maria's blood?
III. Dracula in ninth grade
Principal: Okay, which one of you drained Mrs. Wallenstein's blood?]
In this richly drawn portrait of the infamous vampire, The Dracula Chronicles: The Dragon Awakes tells the story of an extraordinary man with the power to change the face of Europe forever. [By making it very pale.]
The story begins in 1431, high in the Carpathian Mountains. A Black Dragon sleeps, as he has done for a hundred years, sated on the blood and pain of the Crusades. Then the winds bring Black Radul tidings of a child – the son of a minor prince in the insignificant country of Wallachia, which borders the Black Sea. Vlad has the power to cast Europe back into another Dark Age, and postpone the Renaissance for centuries. Radul's goal is to tie the boy to him before the other Great Dragons of Europe can manipulate him for their own purposes. [When a gigantic lizard wakes up after a hundred years, I suspect his only immediate goal would involve pigging out on a couple dozen knights.]
When Vlad is singled out for induction into the [Vampire Hall of Fame,] Holy Roman Emperor's powerful and secretive Order of the Dragon, the ceremony gives him strange new powers . . . [while robbing him of the ability to pronounce the letter "w,"] and binds him to Radul, the Black Dragon of the Carpathians, in an unholy servitude that Vlad can neither accept nor escape.
This sumptuous tale travels from the debauched and glittering Nuremburg court of Sigismund, the Holy Roman Emperor, to Adrianople, and the hashish-soaked harem of Murad II, the Grand Sultan of the Ottoman Turks.
The Dracula Chronicles: The Dragon Awakes combines the actual events of the life of Prince Vlad Dragula [That's what Dracula goes by when he dresses in women's clothes.] with the myth of Dracula, to tell the tale of an exceptional man at the center of a whirlwind of magic and evil, seeking to insure that the world remains in the hands of the mortals it was created for, no matter what the price. [Wait a minute, Dracula's the good guy?]
Please let me know if there is anything further I can do to facilitate your consideration. Sample chapters and the full manuscript are available at your request.
It wasn't clear to me whether Radul wanted to use Vlad to postpone the Renaissance or wanted to prevent other Great Dragons from using him to postpone the Renaissance. What are the various dragons' motivations? It must be made clear what Radul wants with Dracula.
Better to let the editor discover that your story is richly drawn and sumptuous than to declare it so yourself.
This reminds me of other books based on the actual events of Dracula's life. Except it has dragons.
Anne Rice wrote The Vampire Chronicles. Unless you're Anne Rice, you might consider a new title.
Charter Members of the Vampire Hall of Fame: Dracula, Angel, Lestat, Armand, The Count, Count Duckula, Count Chocula, Evil Editor's first wife, the IRS.