Thursday, May 28, 2009
Guess the Plot
A Long Way Home
1. When Timmy was scolded and sent to his room for teasing the cat, he was very cross. Then he found space aliens hiding under the bed and said -- take me to your leader! After wandering through the shrubbery eating roots berries and insects for a week, the aliens finally admit they got lost three light years ago and have no idea how to get home.
2. Brothers Jason, Jacob and Jared find their missing father's 63' convertible in their Grandfather's barn. Will they restore it and go on a road trip to find their father, or let Grandpa sell it to cover the cost of Grandma's cancer treatment?
3. Leonard had expected side effects when he created a rift in the space-time continuum. He didn't think they'd occur in the middle of his younger brother's birthday party. Can he get seven children, two dogs, a parrot and himself back through 16 centuries, 42 dimensions and an ice-cream stand?
4. After being sucked through a portal into an alternate dimension, Billy is befriended by an elf and a friendly dragon. The Goblin King, believing Billy to be the heir to the Wizard Throne, sets off to kill the young orphan. Will Billy survive the journey home?
5. Someone is murdering the cryogenically frozen passengers on a spaceship to another planet and only one teenaged kid can save the mission. But is it worth stopping a murderer if it means revealing a secret so terrible that to even hint at its terribleness would be . . . terrible?
6. Sure, it's only a few blocks to the store, but getting home can be a very long journey indeed when those blocks are in the City of Giants, where each block is a hundred miles long. Also, sentient traffic lights.
Dear Evil Editor,
317 year old Amy has spent 300 years asleep in cryostatis. [Cryostatis: the state of being in cryostasis.] Elder has spent all of his seventeen years on board a generation space ship bound for a new planet. Born to become the leader of the space ship, Elder has no idea there is a group of people cryogenically frozen in a hidden level of the ship. When Amy wakes up fifty years early, [I'm grouchy when I wake up fifteen minutes early. I'm steering clear of Amy for a few years.] she teams with Elder to discover who unplugged her—because whoever it was is now unplugging the others, and they’re not surviving their unbidden early wake-up call. Amy’s desperate search to find a home on the ship she’s trapped on is matched only by her search to stop the murderer before he unplugs her parents. [Comparing her need, desire, compulsion would be okay; comparing her searches isn't that informative. It's like saying her search to find her keys is matched only by her search for her missing sock.] The murderer, however, has a plan: use his strategic killing to make Elder, who is next in line to rule the ship, discover a terrible secret. [Now we're getting somewhere. The crux of Elder's conflict becomes clear at last as the terrible secret is revealed.] Now Amy and Elder must decide: is it better to tell the truth or let everyone else live in happy ignorance? [I missed it! I was so busy typing my blue words I missed the secret. What was it? Did anyone else hear it, or were you too busy reading the blue words?]
Building on the fear of isolation and containment in Jeanne DuPrau’s CITY OF EMBER and the psychology and philosophy in Mary Pearson’s THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX, my novel, A LONG WAY HOME, is a YA science fiction light on science but strong [on fiction.] in character development.
I am currently a high school world literature teacher and an active member of SCBWI, having been published in and working as the copy editor of the state SCBWI magazine. Additionally, I run a blog on writing for MG and YA audiences which receives between 100 and 150 hits a day. [Running a blog has yet to acquire the résumé-enhancing respectability it truly deserves.]
I am prepared to submit the entire manuscript upon your request. Thank you for your time and consideration with this project.
One doesn't usually think of a ship as having a leader or a ruler. Is "captain" outmoded?
The bigger the secret, the more important it is to reveal it in the query.
I don't see the point of whoever is behind this mission keeping the cryogenically frozen people secret from the future captain or from anyone else. Getting these people to the new planet is the mission, right?
What is meant by Amy's "desperate search to find a home on the ship"?
Are there suspects? Or is it assumed the murderer is a 330-year-old stowaway?
Why doesn't the murderer just tell Elder the terrible secret instead of killing people to make Elder discover the secret?