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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Chum Unleashed. Here, sharks! sharky-sharky-sharky!

...built mostly with biological materials and energy, and with little metal. They don't know what plastic is. They do not have hydrocarbons in their subsurface and therefore do not know high-molecular compounds, from petroleum to Monsantoesque goodies. Their key inorganic materials are crystal or stone with crystalline grids.

For example, the biomancers, residents of Cluster 2, are experts of floralore - a biotech combining bio materials and verbal impact like neuro-linguistic programming. They do not treat DNA strands with all the affability of a Viking, like our own scientists in their tinkering with the genome.

Well, yes, I am a "greenie-first-tekkie-second", and I have an environmental project contest diploma to prove it.

So, technically, it's not techno, excuse the alliteration. It is merely the possible future of Earth's own sciences like energy conversion and bionics. But inventing genres like biotech fantasy or "green" fantasy is just so amateurish...

Aside. For instance, in another series I started conceiving this summer, The Transarcane Club, I introduce the synthetic plague, a virus that transforms any plastic or man-made high-molecular compound into off-white booger-like substance very quickly, depending on the size of the object. And I have no doubts about its genre. My volunteer Londoner editor James calls it a kaleidoscope of classic fantasy and modern Americana, whereas I have no doubts about it. It's pure technofantasy... and pulp-fiction-esque shameless pandering to all tastes.

Disclaimer. At the point where you throw up realizing the love line is yet another protector-protegee thing, please abstain from spluttering "Sa… rah F... king… Con… nor!" It's not safe. And before facepalming yourself to bruises, please note they had no choice. Imagine Nolementar senior: "Oh, Agata, I don't want my son to go guide you through the game because it'll look like a Terminator knockoff!"

"Sex sells" clause. There's a bit of smut in this protector-protegee relationship, but in what universe is that a bad thing? Plus, it's all well-covered with allusion, allegory, hyperbole, litotes, and other literary veils, with which writers cover the frocking in their ambition to cater to all tastes. The same tools, by the way, are a surefire way to sounding cheesy, but fromagephobia can't be cured... not even by cynicism. It's the kind of 50-shades-of-grey area, though, where "I'm in love, bite me" justifies everything. Except bad prose.

Imperfection clause. I'm honing my skills every waking hour, in a way or another, so please bear with me. I just want to show I love developing characters even more than writing dialogue. By the way, your imaginary response took me a minute to write and an hour to Polish the tosz - that's Knowitallian for "edit".

Your imaginary response.

'Oh, holy sharks. Fine,' scoffed Jane. Never taking her eyes off her Kindle, she called for another scotch with a twitch of her scented fin. The barkeep sniffed delicately. What was the Query Shark, he wondered? Lady Dior or Chanel's Egoiste?

NB. Three days later, I rewrote the entire Imaginary Response micro-story and posted it on the JetReid blog. Well... I read Tolstoy in unabridged Russian and I learned a lot from him. I find the "rewrite the pants off the story before it's published" lesson particularly precious. I totally dig his four rewrites of War and Peace... if not the graphorrhea disease I picked up from him.

Later yet, this little story transformed into an 18+ animated series project, Gob Guppy the Barkeep and Jane the Lit Shark, some sort of Sponge Bob-themed satire of the literary world. Parental advisory: explicit lyrics!

Relatability clause.

Male relatability: very high. E.g. Rob comes from the Sol Vortex - a high-profile Poster Boy who loves a good deadly brawl and knows weapons. Megahot control freak to whom the funniest thing in the universe is a chick throwing a tantrum. Rated very high because 99.99% of men think they're megahot. The rest are a statistical miracle.

Female relatability: high. E.g. Gatie is an Earthling – a low-maintenance Queen of Nerds who smokes, drinks, and worships books. 6'1" bespectacled curvy Scotchwoman who firmly believes in Prince Charmings because she already broke up with a couple of 'em. Rated high because 75% of women of all sizes think they're curvy. The rest are so assured of their megahotness, they're men.

Reality re: age categorization. In conversations, I just use the 18+ TV format, but there is no reason for teens and young adults to skip it, if they love/are allowed to read a book with

@ - crime and mystery
@ - intrigues and politicking
@ - wars of stars and other games of thrones
@ - sex, violence, and expletives... only moderate. Which rules out politics, I guess.

I Camembert cliches, so more justification. You're Edam right. "Dark Empire" sounds downright cheesy. But it's not dark because they're all Darth Vaders down to the last stable boy. It's literally dark - the KADE planet was cast out of the Sol Vortex after the Last War, and they have very little convertible sunlight.

Motivation is a beach. The bad guys - insidious acquisitive warmongers,  thieves and monsters - are poor unhappy victims. Yeah, underground living on an oceanless planet where every square foot of surface is covered in lightwave conversion units can be less-than-nurturing environment. The good guys - honest hardworking craftsmen, artists and biomancers - are smug rich assholes. They are lucky to be born in the right clusters and they basically stopped following the principles of meritocracy - once the cornerstone of LuAn.

Brief exposé of the series structure and arc.

Christmas in the Woods. The Prequel. On a certain wintry day when the true stories begin, Agata, 10, a bright vivacious prodigy, was lost in the woods of Scotland on Christmas Eve. She returned home in 24 hours, though, wearing only a sundress and sandals, and bearing no sign of frostbite or hypothermia. Perfectly healthy, only sleepy and dazed. She wakes up the next morning, and it turns out she remembers nothing of those 24 hours. She only remembers two other girls, a bit older girls, who were with her... but not their names, or anything else, for that matter. Soon, she starts seeing vivid dreams where seven multicolored suns feature, beautiful and real. Actually, what she was doing during those 24 hours is the picture on the cover of...

...The True Story of the Vortex. The Conception Files - falling in love, attainment, forfeiture. Gatie's first-person POV.

Conception-2013: 1. Rob retells the events of TTSotV-TCF. 2. The Mayan Calendar mission.

Trespass-2015: They win the war for Earth, Gatie dies, Rob returns home. In Epilogue, Gatie finds herself as a child in Naru-anarin.

Posterity-2017: Gatie finds her way to Rob in the Vortex. Rob is alerted because he is watching the Rings, and they suddenly start color-reacting. Epilogue: they get married.

Domination-2019: Rose returns to the Vortex and explains a part of how Gatie became the Creatress, but not everything. Gatie lives happily ever after at first, but then starts noticing the Vortex is far from being an utopia. She goes to KADE and embarks on the 13-SD mission. She is also researching medicine on Earth as she is a Vortexian now and can travel in the honeycomb time structure. Epilogue: Gatie finds out she is pregnant.

Rebirth-2021: Gatie works to save KADE. She embarks on social awareness mission to change the attitude towards KADE and looks for cure for the skin-scale disease. Rob is ambushed in Marill-anarin, so Rose and Lena go look for him. She negotiates with the SDs to return the KADE into the Vortex. Gatie also finds Ursi's family, but finds out Ursi ambushed Rob. She is punished and sent to Cluster 1. The SDs start working on returning KADE. Gatie and Rob die and the work remains undone.  

Series finale: Rob and Gatie are reborn on Earth as Maximilian and Maria Dani in 2015, who are the MCs of a new series, The Gods of K.A.D.E.

Sharkdom. I'd like to share a personal fact with you, Ms. Reid. There are so many references to J. Michael Straczynski herein, because he's one of the exclusive trio that can deem me their number one fan. The other two are Kelsey Grammer and you.

Unlike most of your blogs' target audience, I respect you not for helping me personally. Of course, I can never thank you enough for the enormousness of that help - and for some linguistic enormities I laughed at and learned from, too. I respect you for providing a community service, as you said yourself in a blog entry, in order to help and learn. I do not know if it is a detriment to your money-making time, but if it is, I guess you consider the former more important than the latter. And if you got famous in the process, well, when did a baby shark ever blame a big shark for that?

On flattery, Metatag Hag says: "When you kiss the boot of an influencer, you do not kneel. You jump up. So forget your pride and jump; you ain't no queen and don't have a crown yet to be afraid to lose it. Plus, when you admire someone cooler than you, it is not flattery. It's the truth."

This is why I customized the hell out of this query. It is an "impress Janet with my voice or bust" move. My singing voice is also pleasant but quite less obtrusive, so, with a flourish, let me do a diminuendo with a

Jocular trill. Cough-cough-pick-memememememememe!

It is a non-exclusive query, though. I am querying you first, of course, but I will recycle this query to bait other sharks in the ocean.

Ah. Almost forgot the "I write like Suzanne Collins and my book is the new Divergent" section, with which people usually ice their queries. My chief influences are:

Gerald Durrell - As a child, I loved him so much, I could not put the books down. Even when my mother made me take out pits out of cherries so that she could make preserves for winter, I kept reading. So the pages of my copy of My Family and Other Animals are covered in dark-red stains. Too gory an image? Sorry. That's just traces of long-gone cherries.

As an adult, I want to be a spokesperson for the Jersey Zoo... some day, when I grow up.

Umberto Eco - I want to be him in my next life. Only my own modest prose is lighter, easier to digest, richer in ribald jokes, and not the work of a genius as compared to Eco's.

Silvia Harnau - my late mentor; scholar, teacher, knowledge sharer and inventor of signs; marketing professor, apprentice of Eco and Sebeok, founder of the school of economic semiotics. A true story of her is my exposé titled "The Graveyard Shift. Literary Biopic". 

J. Michael Straczynski, Ayn Rand, Salman Rushdie, Jose Saramago...

...and the classics, of course. Well, 

read more in "Nerds Bully Dummies".

P.P.S. All the above notwithstanding, after months of compulsive editing, I am sure this query could do with an edit or two more. I believe anyone's writing skills must be subjected to infinite honing. I could query you after 50, of course, at the age when Jose Saramago started his #iamwriting trend in Portugal.

He probably told himself, "Hey, enough translations, I have it in me to get a Nobel prize in literature". He got it in 1998. I'm not saying I will, but I told myself that very same phrase at 20. So I'll take my chance... and will never rest until I am worthy of at least sitting at the feet of my top influencers.