Saturday, October 12, 2013

Prep Work Round 3 #2

TITLE:  TWIST OF FATE (formerly Pandia Does Pompeii)
GENRE: NA Historical Fantasy
LOGLINE: After destroying a mortal’s destiny, modern goddess Pandia is sentenced by Zeus to community service in Pompeii where a well-placed knee lands her in the local amphitheater’s center ring, a swarthy gladiator by her side.  To escape Pompeii, Pandia will have to show Zeus she’s learned her lesson, but helping mortals is harder than she thought, and Mt. Vesuvius is rumbling.
FIRST 250: 
If I hadn’t gone to a party with Aphrodite, I wouldn’t have flirted with Julius Caesar or pissed off Cleopatra.  Cleo wouldn’t have complained to Hera, my step-mother.   And I wouldn’t be in deep shit. 
“Pandia. Daughter.” Zeus’ voice echoed in the Great Hall, halting the conversation around us.  Gods were a chatty group. The abrupt silence gave the place a shivery feel, reminiscent of a morgue.
“Do you know why I’ve called you before me today?” he asked.
“Umm, no.” I toed the pattern on a marble tile under my sandal and avoided his eyes.  When in doubt, pretend you don’t know what in Hades he’s talking about.
“You’ve done it again.” He sighed like a planet crushed his shoulders. “When will you realize you can’t travel through time and indulge yourself with whomever you please?”
I peeked at him through my lashes.  No sparkle in his eyes or big grin to indicate teasing. 
“I was bored.” My words rushed out. “There’s nothing to do here except watch sprites bathe in the fountains and trolls challenge each other to duels.  Aphrodite and I want to have fun.”
“You’re twenty.  A goddess.  You should do what the other young goddesses do: perfect your vocation.”
“My vocation is asinine.” I scowled at him.  “Goddess of Light. What in Hades does it mean?  Apollo has the sun and lightening wrapped up.  The stars belong to Astraeus.  What’s left for me? Nothing. I’m not even Goddess of the Light Bulb.”


  1. I think you can take out "After destroying a mortal’s destiny, " because it's vague and doesn't add much to the logline. I love your opening. The voice is great and I liked Pandia a lot.

  2. Thanks, Patchi! You're everywhere!

    I think you told me this last time *hangs head*. Would people wonder why Pandia was sentenced to community service if I didn't give a reason? Or should I spell it out with something like: "After flirting with Julius Caesar and pissing off Cleopatra, modern goddess . . ." ? Or does this muddy the pitch?

  3. The first 250 are, as always, great.

    I agree with Patchi to cut the first words in the logline.They're too ho.hum and only serve to confuse.No, I don't think you need to give a reason why she's sentenced to community service but I would underline that it's community service to humans.

  4. I agree with Elizabeth - no need to mention the exact reason for it but the fact that it is community service to human beings is important. So, you could cut the first few words of the logline.

    The opening of the first 250 I like and think is a good idea but could be tighter. For example, if you want it to read more like a chain of events - structure it more like this:

    "If I hadn’t gone to a party with Aphrodite, I wouldn’t have flirted with Julius Caesar, which wouldn't have pissed off Cleopatra, and wouldn't have prompted her to complain to my step-mother Hera. Then, I wouldn’t be in deep shit."

    I really like the banter between Pandia and Zeus however, I couldn't picture Zeus since there is no description of him or any of the characters. First, I thought he was just a disembodied voice as he is depicted often in myths. Then, you mention not meeting his eyes. If he is there physically please describe him.

    The only visual I really have is Pandia's sandals and her lashes. I think people will already have some idea of what they think gods and goddesses look like so you should either confirm or deny that. You could even do something general when you talk about the gods talking in the Great Hall - even a passing mention to "The only noise that broke the tomb-like silence was the sound of my friends shifting in their robes." Not perfect but something like that could give even the slightest visual cue.

    Love the premise - excited to see where it goes! Great job!