Friday, July 23, 2010
Guess the Plot
1. It's the same old Prodigal Son story, only this time the hero is gay and seeking acceptance from his black redneck family and it's about as naked a play for Literary Merit as you can make.
2. It says buy 1 tin of sardines, get 111 free. Don't give her any lip about misprints. Even if Ethel has to get her bumbling hitman grandson to whack everyone at Rite-Mart, she is going to redeem this coupon!
3. Holy visions appearing in the sky. Miraculous cures. Global warming eliminated. Turns out, Satan's teenage daughter is going through a rebellious phase. But when her good deeds actually earn her a ticket to the Pearly Gates, can she win the cute angel's heart before Heaven changes its mind?
4. Bane is destined to become a demon. Rayleigh owns the world's only sanctuary-from-demons zone. They meet and fall in love. But can either of them survive in the other's world? Can Bane join his soul mate by finding . . . Redemption?
5. When Harry was 17, his girlfriend fell off a bridge and drowned because he didn't know how to swim and couldn't save her. Now a professional lifeguard, he spends his days soothing his haunted conscience, making sure it never happens to anyone else. But what will happen when his new girlfriend convinces him to try skydiving?
6. Crooked stock trader Perry Jones is being haunted by a word: Redemption. Billboards, magazines, websites, he sees it everywhere, and treats it as a series of disturbing deja vus--until wee critters with red eyes and pitchforks start dogging him, and his Monday morning cappuccino has 'Redemption' written in the foam.
Dear Evil Editor,
Reighlyn Anderson accepts the necessary dangers of loving Bane Thomas, even if with his cursed soul, he can’t promise her eternity. [The main problem with loving this guy is that even if it works out, he'll still be the Bane of her existence. Ba dum ching.]
When Bane Thomas learns of an Armistice Zone, [Once you've told us a character's first and last names, there's no need to use both again.] [Although in this case it does convince us that his name really is Bane Thomas and not Thomas Bane.] an area of land where Demons and The Fallen can do no harm, he knows it’s his one chance to protect his family. [This Zone better be the size of Asia, because there's gonna be six billion people trying to squeeze into it.] [Can you really trust demons to stay out of some arbitrarily designated zone? I'm sure when the idea of the Zone was proposed, the demons wouldn't have agreed unless . . .
Human Negotiator: Look, things aren't working out, we need a special zone where you guys aren't allowed to torment us.
Demon Negotiator: Yeah, right, the minute we agree to this zone, you'll all flock into it, and then who are we supposed to torment, cows?
Human Negotiator: Okay, okay, we'll keep the zone secret. Only I will know where it is.
Demon Negotiator: Fine, where will it be?
Human Negotiator: It'll be the area surrounding my property.]
While pursuing the land, he encounters a problem: Miss Reighlyn Anderson. In hopes of persuading her to sell, [To sell the Armistice Zone? She owns it?] Bane becomes the financial backer to her Crisis Center for Domestic Violence. While working with her he learns two things: selling is not in her vocabulary, and she’s undoubtedly penetrated his emotional wall of defense. [Can you come up with a less-clinical way of saying he's smitten?]
Unaware that her financial backer is also the despised developer after her land, Reighlyn soon realizes she’s falling for Bane, but determines there is something different about him after witnessing things beyond her explanation. [Like what?] Then, after revealing his special abilities during a crisis, [What special abilities? What crisis?] Bane’s compelled [Compelled by whom?] to tell her portions of his secret. [Which is that his soul is cursed? What portion of that does he tell her?] Soon after, Reighlyn struggles with the discovery that Bane’s not only her financial backer, but much more: the developer after her land, and to her surprise, a direct descendant of The Watchers, cursed to become what he despises most: a demon. [If you put this part about becoming a demon up front, this paragraph will be down to: Unaware that her financial backer is also the developer after her land, Reighlyn soon realizes she’s falling for Bane. Soon after, Reighlyn struggles with the discovery that Bane’s not only her financial backer, but the developer after her land. At this point you realize that's a lot of wordy repetition and just delete it.]
They accept the necessary risks to be together, [Odd that I can so easily accept the existence of Watchers and Demons and a demon-free zone, but I find it hard to accept that a woman who discovers that the guy she's fallen for has been hiding the fact that he's the despised developer who's been trying to get her property wouldn't toss him out on his ass.] but Bane fears he’s put her in more danger than he once believed possible when a punished demon arrives. [Are they together on her land, the Armistice Zone? If so, they're safe, right? If not, they're TSTL anyway.] Desperate to prevent his own sentencing, the demon attempts to create a gift for Satan. A gift of pure hate dwelling within Bane; hate so overwhelming he’ll beg to die, thus permitting Satan to capture him into servitude.
[Demon: Desperate to prevent my sentencing, I offer you the gift of a new servant: Bane Thomas.
Satan: Another servant? I got a billion servants already. I got a servant who massages my ass. I got a servant who wipes my ass. I got a servant who waxes my ass. Hell, my ass has more servants than the queen of England. You wanna give me a gift, find me some ice cream that doesn't melt in two seconds in this dump.]
The problem is, the demon plans on using Reighlyn’s death as the currency in which to purchase this gift. [I had a feeling some form of capitalism was the chosen economic system in hell.] Which leaves Bane on a race against time to rescue the one person he never thought could exist: his soul mate.
Redemption is a complete 93,000-word paranormal romance. I’d like to thank you for your time and your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
Redemption is a popular title. Amazon lists over a half dozen books called Redemption. It was also the title of the books in Face-Lifts 690 and 643.
Who are the "family" Bane wants to protect by moving to the Zone? His parents and siblings? They're all descendants of the Watchers, right? Is he trying to protect them from himself? From demon hunters?
Is Bane the only person who knows Rayleigh's land is the Armistice Zone?
There's too much information here. Bane is destined to become a demon. Trying to buy the magical land where demons are benign, he falls in love with the landowner, Rayleigh. She loves him too, but when she sees him flying through the air with a glowing pitchfork she demands an explanation. (Romantic conflict.) He explains that he will become a demon unless he can live on her land. They move in together. (Conflict seemingly resolved.) Just when it looks like they'll live happily ever after, a demon shows up planning to kill Rayleigh to get in good with Satan. (Major obstacle that threatens happiness and expands word count by 20,000.) Focus on the romantic conflict and the obstacles. Leave out what's not essential to that.