Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Guess the Plot
Daze and Knights
1. Whoa, like, you mean other people see dragons when they eat, uh, brownies, too? Whoa. Whoa. Whoa man. Whoa. Dudes, let's write a book about that dragon, Florgbottom, and a knight and their cool adventures and see can we make some bread! Then we can buy more... uh... stuff.
2. Dr. Ebonicus Right, famed physician to King Arthur’s Court, has stumbled upon an early medical notion: Repeatedly being struck in the head by a lance can cause permanent confusion and memory loss. Can he restore the Knights of the Round Table to their former mental prowess before Jethob the dragon returns for his annual village-fry?
3. When Sir Poppinfresh, the comic relief knight at the Long Beach Renaissance Festival, is killed jousting, homicide detective Zack Martinez knows two things: the breakaway lance wasn't; and he'd better bring a turkey leg home to his wife.
4. When Jessica awakens to find herself on the wrong end of a medieval knight's sword, she thinks it's one of her daydreams. But no, she's stuck in Crazy Medieval Land, where she must try to find a way home while avoiding Lord Pervy's wandering hands.
5. Petty thief Junius Ninian falls through an accidental rift in space-time and lands in a world with knights riding armored horses and wielding laser swords. Can he handle the transition from boozing and thieving to battling dragons and saving damsels or will he simply be dazed all Knight?
6. Athletic prodigy Geoffrey is a favorite to win the jousting event. The morning of the tournament his muscles give out and his vision is blurry and spotted. Has a jealous contender poisoned him? His dreams of glory dashed, Geoffrey is torn between seeking revenge or finding greatness while trapped in a failing body.
Dear Evil Editor,
I am seeking representation for my YA novel Daze and Knights.
Sixteen-year-old Jessica Jacobs is a super spy, a famous actress, and a princess.
Okay, not really, but she likes to daydream she’s all of those things and more. So when she wakes up with a medieval knight pointing his sword at her throat, Jessica thinks it’s just another daydream. Until she realizes that, 1- dude is actually causing her neck to bleed, 2- her dress is so hideous she never would have daydreamed herself into it, and 3- Zac Efron is nowhere in sight. [If you're gonna number items on a list, it looks better to
1. Put the numbers on the left side.
2. Follow the numbers with periods rather than hyphens.
However, in this case, I don't think you need the list format: Until she realizes that the dude is causing her neck to bleed, and that she never would have daydreamed herself into such a hideous dress. I left Zac Efron off the list because she's 16 and he's almost 24 and by the time this gets published she'll still be 16 but he'll be 26. Eww. Go with Justin Bieber if you must have a third item, though I think it's better without.]
After pondering her sanity at length (while being hauled into a town called Hampshire), Jessica is left with only one option: ride out her time in crazy medieval land until she can figure out a way home. Unfortunately, riding it out means working for the Count’s slutty daughter and doing her best to avoid Lord Pervy’s wandering hands. It sucks being the peon instead of the princess.
Enter Lord Alric, AKA: knight-in-freaking-hot-armor. [Another lord? Why isn't he Sir Alric?] It would be easy to let him protect her, but Jessica refuses to be a damsel-in-distress. She convinces him to teach her to swordfight, and amidst her inner pleas for him to take his shirt off, she falls for his selflessness and playful smile. Could time have brought them together? And if so, why are there so many things conspiring to keep them apart? Like Lord Alric’s parents who betroth him to another. Or Lord Pervy who decides that if he can’t have Jessica, then no one will. [I prefer Why are so many people conspiring...]
Then Jessica uncovers a plot to take over Hampshire and kill Lord Alric in the process. Saving the day is so much easier in her daydreams. Is Jessica willing to risk her life to protect her new home and the man she loves before her time runs out? [When does her time run out? When Pervy kills her? When she is thrust back into her own world?] [I don't think you need this paragraph. It ups the stakes, but I was happier when the stakes were getting home/true love.] [If you drop this paragraph, you could tack "Happily ever after was so much easier in her daydreams." onto the previous paragraph if you want to end the plot summary on a lighter note.] [Also, if you drop this paragraph, you can drop "(while being hauled into a town called Hampshire)."]
Daze and Knights is an 87,000-word YA novel about an average girl finding the courage to face the kind of adventures she always imagined. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Excellent tone/voice. Sounds like a winner.
I personally would go with "an average girl facing the kind of adventure she always imagined." I tend to think of "finding the courage" as a selling point for YA when we're talking about, say, fighting peer pressure. When applied to medieval adventure, it seems a bit heavy.
You might consider capitalizing Crazy Medieval Land. I realize there's no such place in the book, but it's a little funnier that way in the query.