Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Guess the Plot
Stairway to Hell
1. Evangeline is banished to hell for something she didn't do, as God screws up for the first time ever. There, she is nominated to become the next Satan. Hey, it's better than working at Starbucks.
2. There's a long, dark stairway descending to Hell, and a bright, quick escalator ascending to Heaven. Now a venerable and ravishingly handsome editor is ready to face his eternal reward. But for some reason, these stairs aren't moving.
3. Every day for thirty years Bob Henshaw has climbed the stairs to his desk at McMurty and Sons. Every day, that is, through last Friday, when they laid him off. It's Monday, Bob's climbing the stairs, and he has an AK47.
4. Peter Miff, once a prominent real-estate developer, decides to undertake mankind's greatest project: an escalator to the moon. He soon goes broke, his investors back out and he has three months to complete the project or lose everything. Think Moby Dick but with stairs instead of a whale.
5. Ringo is a frustrated drummer. Labeled “derivative” after attempts to produce his songs “Stairway to Heaven” and “Highway to Hell,” he meets two blokes (John & Paul) who promise stardom. But when they fail to get Spanish guitarist Jorge to change his name and join them, obscurity ensues.
6. The time was long overdue. The fans increasingly demanded it. The producers insisted it could not be done. But one garage band insists on heading the wrong way, on playing the ultimate sequel, on braving the . . . Stairway To Hell.
Dear Evil Editor,
Banished from Heaven after her teammate broke a couple rules too many, an ex-stellar angel has had to resign herself to living in Satan's world. [Whattaya mean, her teammate? Are we talking about the Los Angeles Angels? Because I don't think the baseball rules specifically prohibit stuff that would warrant a one-way trip to hell.] She hates it there, [As I understand it, that's pretty much the idea behind hell.] but that doesn't mean she wants to die. [I thought being dead was one of the prerequisites for getting in.] Unfortunately for her, it looks like she won't have much of a say in that.
When fourteen-year-old Evangeline Faure learns that she has only three years until the curse set on all Hell-based angels kills her, [She's currently alive.] she decides to live life at the fullest. [She's currently alive.] That includes admitting that what she feels for a certain war commander isn't just platonic friendship, accepting that the war against Heaven is justified, and dealing with the fact that she has been lied to her whole life. [She's currently alive.] Uh, death. [She's dead? I missed it! You've been talking about her as if she's alive. Has she been dead the whole time?]
But she only understands the true meaning of life and death when her cherished commander is murdered, and suddenly everyone expects her to avenge him. Evangeline has never killed before, unless you count picking four-leaf clovers – which the demons in Hell apparently don't. [I don't see what this clover sentence is adding. No one considers picking clover killing.] So it comes as a surprise to her when she is nominated to become the next Satan, and an even bigger one when the friend who got her into this mess comes back [Comes back to hell? Has he been here before?] and tries to claim the title for himself. Then, as though her life wasn't complicated enough as it was, [She's alive.] the murderer comes after her.
Her life... starts now. [She wasn't alive?] [What does Her life... starts now. mean?]
STAIRWAY TO HELL is a 70,000-word young adult fantasy novel and the first book of a planned series, though it can stand alone.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you,
It's not clear enough to me. I'd leave out the war commander. Tell us exactly what happened to get Eva banished to hell. Then skip to getting nominated as the next Satan. What are her goals, what's standing between her and her goals, and what does she plan to do about it?
What is hell like? Are those in hell alive? What's the incentive to murder someone if you're both in hell? Give us a taste of the setting.