Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Guess the Plot
1. Turned down by the Met, The Frick, the Carnegie . . . even the Corcoran, for crying out loud . . . desperate artist Angel does what she must to survive and joins the slave army in the Thomas Kinkaid dungeon.
2. Angel's brain is half computer thanks to an operation that saved her life. Now she feels no emotions--until one day in art class her emotions return. Also, a half-cheetah.
3. All she is supposed to do is paint by numbers in the lines. But Lurael, the newest angel on world-creating duty, wants to do more. When she flexes her creative wings, will she get an okay from the Big Guy, or be clipped forever?
4. 45 years ago, Michael Angelo O'Reilly's mother gave birth to her darling son in front of Michaelangelo's Pieta at the New York Worlds Fair. Today, Mikey's unique shotgun/paintball splatter designs command the highest price, but his reputation will never rival that of Michaelangelo. He is so depressed.
5. All of the students at Little Angels Art School are just that . . . little well-behaved, good-hearted angels. Only little Johnny knows it's because Miss Gabrielle puts Valium in their Kool-Aid. When the Color-Inside-The-Lines art competition is announced, little Johnny knows he has to get rid of Miss Gabrielle. On the other hand, being on Valium feels pretty damn good.
6. John Tigotheles inherits the "paintbrushes" used by his famous artist great-grandfather, each a single feather of intense softness and unidentifiable species. When John tries to paint with the feathers, he produces masterpieces in the same heaven-themed style as his famous ancestor, but he suffers terrible nightmares about tormented children who say only John can save them.
Science fiction draws in readers with worlds that are fantastic and yet plausible. Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game still remains a popular read more than twenty years after its creation. [If, as I suspect, you're sending this to editors who handle science fiction, you're not telling them anything they don't know.] My 60,000 word young adult novel, Angel's Art, takes the science fiction element into a familiar realm for young readers, the classroom.
Angel Morgan is a genius thanks to her half-computerized brain. But the novel operation that saved her life has also deprived her of emotions. That is, until she starts attending pubic school for the first time. [Pubic school? Did you do that on purpose just to make Evil Editor happy? Here we go.] [Pubic school: All Sex education all the time.] [Pubic school: it's where you go when you can't afford privates school.] [Mom: What are you studying in pubic school? Jane: The Vagina Monologues.] [I Googled pubic school. You wouldn't believe how many hits, and most of them accidents.] [On a whim I tried using Google to see if any universities had schools of pubic health. The Yale University School of Public Health website has a page devoted to alumni awards. Two excerpts: "Established by the AYAPH Board of Directors in 2006, this award honors an individual in public health practice or academic pubic health . . ." and "Determination of the final nominee is based on EMAC’s evaluation of candidates on the following criteria: 1. Leadership in the field of health disparities, cultural competency or diversity in pubic health.] [Googling pubic library gets a few hits and led me to this article. Note that this list of New Jersey libraries involved with the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian program includes the Carteret Pubic Library. (Of course, you'd expect a library program named after Bush to be a pubic library. Da dum ching.)] [How does stuff like this stay online? Doesn't anyone ever visit these sites?] Between human-animal chimeras and English-impeded robots, Angel is almost overwhelmed with discovery. Imagine the worlds of J.K. Rowling and Isaac Asimov molded into one. [It's amazing how many Asimov titles sound intriguing when attached to Rowling's stock opening: Harry Potter and the Sensuous Dirty Old Man, Harry Potter and Still More Lecherous Limericks, Harry Potter and Space Garbage.]
Just as Angel is beginning to make friends and possibly feel her emotions again, her parents start talking about moving her to a private cyborg school. [As opposed to a pubic cyborg school. Ba dum ching.] At first, Angel wants no part of it, but soon she begins to develop suspicions that one of the students is somehow being controlled through illegal experimentation. [That word "but" suggests that you're about to say she eventually warms to the idea. Instead you follow it with something that has no obvious connection to the clause preceding the "but."] With her best friends, a human and a half-cheetah, at her side, [Is the other half of the half-cheetah human? Is it a human head on a cheetah body, or a cheetah head on a human body? I would rather have a cheetah body than a cheetah head. But that's me.] Angel is determined to discover what is going on, even if it puts her at risk of being deprogrammed.
I graduated from North Valley University in 2006 with a minor in creative writing. My debut story, Innocent Secrets, recently appeared in True Confessions magazine. I have enclosed a SASE, along with a synopsis and the first two chapters. I look forward to hearing from you.
[The title comes from the fact that Angel's emotions return to her during an art class.]
Let's hope this hasn't already gone out with the spelling error.
It's mostly the situation. It seems to me that the actual plot is dealing with the illegal experimentation. Yet that is given just a brief mention at the very end. Who's experimenting on whom and why does Angel suspect? If you get rid of the first two sentences and the one about Rowling/Asimov, you'll have plenty of room to tell us what happens in your book.