Friday, October 15, 2010
Guess the Plot
The Devil You Know
1. You must choose to spend the rest of your life on an island with one of the following: Matthew McConaughey or Ed "Prison" King.
2. A new "Devil" mystery/fantasy/romance/memoir/thriller series. To be followed by: The Devil Made Me Do It, The Devil You Say!, Devil in a Blue Dress and You Devil You. With titles like these, who needs a plot?
3. Angel sees dead people. She thought they were ghosts, but it turns out what she's been seeing are demons, and they force her to choose eternal damnation or insanity. Are the living conditions better in hell or an asylum?
4. They say the devil you know is better than the one you don't. But after dating Ba'alzriel for six long years with no end in sight, Aramythia is ready to look for a new squeeze. After all, there are plenty to choose from in Hell.
5. When Hannah first meets her new college roommate, Giselle strikes her as a little odd. Nice enough, but a trifle . . . off. And that's before Hannah notices the horns, the tail, and the smoking cloven hoofprints that Giselle leaves on the carpet.
6. Executed serial killer Ed Parker Hull, awaiting his afterlife fate, finds both Satan and Adramelech vying for his soul. One he's never heard of, the other has a pretty bad reputation. Is it better to sign on with . . . The Devil You Know?
Dear Evil Editor,
Angel Dawson sees dead people. [It's sort of a sixth sense. Spoiler alert: she's dead.] The problem is she doesn’t see them well. [She sees them like she's looking at them through her windshield and she didn't scrape off the ice.] “Blessed” with just enough of the sight that ghosts think she can help them [Help them what?] —and get really ticked off when she can’t—Angie has to spend [spends] every second with her ghostly partner Zeke, who amplifies her meager abilities and keeps the not-so-departed from taking their frustrations out on her. [Not clear what you mean by her meager abilities. Her ability to see dead people? If he amplifies this ability, why doesn't she see them well?] Usually, anyway.
As if that isn’t claustrophobic enough, Angie’s mom puts the “over” in overprotective, going as far as restricting her access to friends and taking her out of school to work full time as a spectral liaison with the local police department. [So Mom knows Angie sees dead people. Does Mom know about Zeke?] It’s not at all the sort of life Angie wants, and she’s desperate for a change. [Why does Mom force her to work for the police?]
Be careful what you ask for.
Angie’s mom dies and Zeke confesses that her whole life has been a lie. He’s not a ghost—he’s a demon. And Angie is a demonseer. [Is that a person who sees demons or a seer who's a demon or a seer who knows what demons are planning to do or . . . ?] [It sounds like Zeke's life is the one that was a lie. He knew he was a demon. Angie didn't know she was a demonseer, and if you think you're telling the truth, as I told the judge during my perjury trial, it's not exactly a lie.] As bleak as her prospects were before they’re worse now; she can either deal with the demons stalking her, and be corrupted, or she can refuse and be driven insane. ["Deal with" seems to mean "work with." Cooperate. I'd say "work with," as "deal with" has other possible meanings.]
She immediately knows which she'll choose. Being crazy was never in her life plan but when the alternative is eternal damnation, life in an asylum starts to look [looks] pretty good. But then she helps the police with one last case and brings herself to the attention of a particularly nasty demon. He wants to deal. [I get the impression "deal" has a special meaning in the demon world. If so, I would leave it (and demonseer) out of the query unless you explain what they mean.]
And he’s not taking “No” for an answer.
Written for the young adult market, “The Devil You Know” is complete at 75,000 words and may appeal to fans of Richelle Mead and PC and Kristin Cast. Sample pages are included below and the full manuscript is available upon request.
Thank you for your time,
How does Angie know she'll go insane if she doesn't deal?
Sending your daughter off to work for the police as a spectral liaison is being more protective than sending her to school? Either the job is safer than it sounds or the school is a war zone.
The first paragraph isn't setting up the situation clearly enough. She sees dead people. The dead people want what from her? Maybe you should skip all that and start:
16-year-old Angel Dawson is a demonseer, a person who can see and communicate with demons. She'd like to be attending high school with the other kids, but the police need her as a full time "spectral liaison."
This gets you to the crucial deal/insanity decision and the nasty demon more quickly, allowing you plenty of room to tell us what happens.