Thursday, February 18, 2010
Guess the Plot
After the Apocalypse
1. It's dark, it smells bad, and it's impossible to get a decent cup of coffee.
2. Having successfully wiped out most of humankind, the devils throw the best party of all time, themed “After the Apocalypse”. Party favors? Charred human remains. Then the last human survivors, riding elephants a la Alexander the Great, crash the party with disastrous precision. Can Moorpunchspikeeg save her party and her devilmates?
3. For centuries the tribes have been dying out, partly because they continue sending their best warriors into battle against killer robots on behalf of purple-haired people that don't even know the tribes exist. It's kind of like if a pocket of French soldiers were still fighting the Napoleonic wars. Against robots.
4. The world should have ended in zombies, kudzu, and cockroaches. Then came Harry Swatski's dreidelmeister6000 -- the 'it' item for Christmas. Now 99.9999% of the population is under the age of seven, fruit-flavored rain and marshmallow men dominate the streets, and Harry just found the last chocolate AK-47.
5. The TV show "After the Apocalypse" pairs clumsy, earnest, Hollywood has-been Axl Hudson with brusque Cherokee poet-turned-survivalist Dana “Singing Blackbird” Davis, and drops them in the middle of nowhere with a camcorder and a Bowie knife. Adventure (and maybe romance) will ensue! Well, that was the plan, anyway...
6. Rictor Steinwick is insane. The last returning MIA from Vietnam, he has been forced to listen the lyrics of the 1976 song “After The Lovin'” by Engelbert Humperdinck, every day all day long. Now, returning to his post at NORAD Rictor has the power to end the world as we know it. But what will he do . . . after the apocalypse?
Dear Evil Editor,
Abandoning someone injured is a death sentence under tribe law, but Naranja still almost doesn't help a plane crash survivor. The injured girl has unnatural purple hair, enough evidence to condemn her as a country person. That's more than enough reason for Naranja Verde, leader of Fourth Tribe, to abandon her, death penalty be damned. Though the countries haven't interfered in tribe affairs for two hundred years, the hungry summers, cold winters, and deaths caused by their 'help' live on in tribe memory. Besides, [Besides what?] the Challenge is soon: an annual event where the oldest and strongest tribe members fight metal monsters for their right to exist- and the right of the country they represent, by proxy. It's the reason war ended. The last thing they need is complications. [If the tribes hate country people, and the countries haven't been interfering with tribes for 200 years, I don't see why tribe members represent countries in these fights with metal monsters. What's in it for them?]
But complications are all they get when the country girl's bones are set and they learn the countries have forgotten the tribes exist. [If the tribes believed that the Challenge results determined whether the countries they represented had the right to exist, didn't it occur to them that the countries would at least send some observers to the Challenge?] When Naranja's tribe sends the girl back to her country, she carries with her the news of five tribes, at least one made up entirely of children living in caves. Worse, [Worse than what?] due to an ancient system and high death rates, tribes don't have kids naturally; the tribes are formed from kidnapped babies, some of them royalty with colorful tattoos. Like Naranja's green 'birthmark.'
This year, Fourth Tribe has to deal with more than the usual wood shortages and wild animals as the countries decide the tribes need to come home. Naranja's only sixteen, and right now she's sure any of the dead- from the former Naranja Prendo to her closest friend Listo- could do better than her. [If the dead can do better at something than you can, you need to find a new trade.] But as she struggles with bears, countries, and the ever-present complaints of her tribe, she is determined only that no more will die.
After the Apocalypse is a complete 70,000 word YA novel. It should appeal to fans of The Hunger Games and The Other Side of the Island. May I send the complete manuscript?
If the countries don't know the tribes exist, who is providing the metal monsters? Does each tribe build a battle-bot for the Challenge? Wouldn't it be more fair and more humane if the metal monsters fought each other instead of the oldest tribe members?
Okay, I'm back. I just spent three hours on YouTube watching Battlebots and Robot Wars videos.
This information isn't well-organized, but as it's mostly setup, it's better to condense it into a three-sentence paragraph than to rework the whole thing. Then, once you've set up the situation, you'll have plenty of room for the plot. The situation appears to be that for 200 years the tribes have been sending their best warriors into battle against killer robots on behalf of the countries. Then they discover the countries know nothing about this.
The plot involves Naranja's goal. Is it to end the Challenge? Is it to maintain the tribal existence rather than returning to the countries? How does she go about achieving her goal, who/what's she up against, what's at stake, what's her plan? The tattoo would make a good finish for the plot summary.
I'm not crazy about referring to the countries as "the countries." Are they actual countries? Do they have names? Do the tribes live inside the countries?