Friday, June 18, 2010
Guess the Plot
Born to Die
1. The most cynical retelling of the life of Christ ever.
2. Rock legend Jimmy Owen has led a remarkable life full of money, power and intense drug fueled orgies . But here we look only at his unremarkable birth and untimely death from a bowel obstruction.
3. Sentenced to die in a concentration camp run by magicians, 16-year old Nayla escapes and joins an underground group seeking a plan to defeat the oppressors. When Nayla suggests attacking them with guns, she lifts the spirits of the citizenry and changes the course of history.
4. I want to live/I want to fly/But all I am is/Born to die. The cliched poem left in a pink notebook on the bus intrigues struggling singer Barry. Setting it to music, he soon has a hot record. But can he find the original writer--and will she be who--or what--he hopes?
5. Min Ki, the last mortal, searches for a storied fountain that will grant eternal life and let her live with her tribe of immortals forever. But her plans are complicated when she meets and falls in love with Xie, a young man on a quest to become mortal.
6. Phillip was born with a curse on his head: everyone around him dies horribly. When the government finds out, they stuff him in a uniform and send him overseas to be captured by enemy troops. Hilarity ensues.
Dear Evil Editor,
Nayla Ebriony [Anagram: brainy alien] is a sixteen-year-old Yeeod [Anagram: yodelayheehoo], born without magical powers, and sent to the concentration camps where the powerless are worked to death. [When they were deciding what to call anagrams, shouldn't they have come up with a word that actually had an anagram?] [Is it worth the cost of keeping a girl alive for sixteen years if your plan is to then work her to death?]
Her hair is shaved off and the brand of the powerless Yeeods is burned into her scalp. [Shouldn't they brand her somewhere it'll be visible after her hair grows back? If she somehow manages to escape, the only way to find her is to shave everyone's head.] Determined to save herself from forever losing her identity and sanity, Nayla manages to escape after being drugged, beaten and forced to work in the coal mines. [A sixteen-year-old girl wouldn't last a day in a coal mine. For one thing, there's no cell phone reception down there.] Presumed dead by her captors,
[Concentration camp guard: Lois Smith?
Concentration camp guard: Jane Martin?
Concentration camp guard: Nayla Ebriony? . . . Nayla Ebriony? . . . Hmm, must be dead. Mary Jones?]
Nayla has a choice: run or turn back and bite the hand that hit her. [Creating a new idiom out of an old one doesn't work. Go with the tried and true: "Settle the score." Or (thank you Thesaurus.com): "Pluck the crow" or "Pickle the rod."]
Choosing the tougher path, Nayla joins the Liberators, an underground society preparing for war against the government. She earns respect in the male dominated rebel clan, when she presents a plan that they believe will topple the magicians' regime. Pitting stolen assault rifles and hand grenades against the power of magic, [A male-dominated army needs a sixteen-year-old girl to suggest using guns and grenades to win a war?] Nayla and the rebels declare war on the place they once called home. [Proper etiquette requires that even an underground rebel group taking on evil slavers actually declare war before engaging in battle.] Nayla knows this might turn into a suicide mission, but as she lifts the spirits and the sympathy of regular magical citizens, even the magicians start to fear the uprising that will change the course of history. [Until they remember that they're magicians and turn everyone except themselves into daisies.]
BORN TO DIE is a fast-paced, 90,000 word YA Urban Fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and your consideration.
Why don't the magicians just kill the Yeeods and use magic to create coal? Powerful magicians must have something better to do than run concentration camps.
Try reducing everything before Nayla joins the Liberators to two sentences, leaving more room for Nayla's plan and how things go in the war. Something like: Drugged, beaten and forced to work in the coal mines, 16-year old Nayla Ebriony escapes the evil magicians who rule Yaya IV. She joins the Liberators and pickles the rod.