Friday, April 09, 2010
Guess the Plot
Soldier, Sage and Vagabond
1. Partners Izzy Schlepworth, Herman Schwein, and Fred Bronowsky tire of their law firm's name, so they change it--and start attracting some unusual clients, like the small, chubby man with goat's feet who owns a mysterious import business and pays them in ancient Roman coinage.
2. The nation of Mosar is on the verge of falling to the powerful Kjallan empire. Praying to their gods, Soldier, Sage, and Vagabond, hasn't helped. But Janto has a plan involving a homicidal ferret that just might save his country.
3. Blackmailed into dealing sage, the hottest hallucinogen on the market, Lenna looks for a way to escape her dangerous life. But will handsome Lieutenant Madison marry a vagabond?
4. When a nomad accidentally breaks a fortuneteller’s crystal ball, she casts a spell on him that makes him an infantryman by day and a savory herb by night. He races to find the cure while a few friendly locals help him avoid being killed in battle or stuffed into a turkey.
5. 1863. Jesse Samuels deserts from the Union army and makes his way back to Quincy, posing as a vagrant. Will the lovely Miss Ada Parker help him--or turn him in for a reward?
6. A single heroic soul is split into three and grows in three separate people, who have talents which if combined may thwart a seemingly unstoppable evil sorcerer. But can a powerful wizard be defeated by the alliance of a mere . . . soldier, sage and vagabond?
Janto, Crown Prince of the seafaring nation of Mosar, knows he's a disappointment to his people. Bookish and obsessed with languages, he doesn't fit the profile of a charismatic leader. It doesn't help that every time he sets foot on a ship, he becomes violently ill. Or that his choice of soulsharer--his magical link to the spirit world--is a ferret, which grants him the disreputable shroud-magic of spies.
But Mosar, under attack by the powerful Kjallan Empire, is about to fall, and an unconventional leader may be just what the country needs.
Janto, desperate to prove himself, is trying to rescue a fellow soldier [Why is the crown prince acting as a soldier? Shouldn't he be ordering his generals around or negotiating a complete surrender?] when a Kjallan arrow buries itself in his shoulder. [Try saying "soldier's shoulder" three times fast.] The Kjallans capture him. Unaware he's the prince, they send him as a slave to Kjall. There he must outwit a jealous overseer [Jealous of Janto?] determined to ruin him and a Kjallan spy who knows he's hiding something. [This empire seems to pay inordinate attention to individual slaves.] [Can't he just use his shroud-magic of spies to escape? The whole point of choosing the ferret as his soulsharer was to get the shroud-magic, and fat lot of good it does him. He's a slave.] But not everyone is an enemy. Janto finds aid, friendship, and ultimately love from a Kjallan princess who, he discovers, is as much a slave as he is. [The only difference being that she doesn't have to work in the mines and she doesn't get whipped on a regular basis and she sleeps in the palace and has a dozen handmaidens at her beck and call.] As he learns more about Kjall, he begins to see a way he can save his country. Only with his unconventional strengths--his inside knowledge, his language obsession, and his homicidal ferret soulsharer--can he pull it off.
"Soldier, Sage, and Vagabond" is a fantasy novel with romance elements, complete at 115,000 words. I'm a member of RWA, the Greater Seattle RWA chapter, and the Online Writing Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Thanks much (I think),
[Note: The Soldier, Sage, and Vagabond are the three moons in this fantasy world, and also the three gods the people worship. The phrase "Soldier, Sage, and Vagabond" is part of a farewell blessing.] [It also describes the crown prince, was the title of last week's episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent, is the names of three of this world's astrological signs, and was the number one song on Mosar's Hot 100 for eight straight weeks.]
It's a weird world in which a prince is a soldier, a princess is a slave, and a slave's life is so attractive that the slave driver envies him. This must be the Bizarro World.
Based on your RWA connection, I'm wondering if this is mainly a romance, in which case you might give the romantic angle more of the focus. For instance, you could open by saying: When Janto, the crown prince of Mosar, is captured by the Kjallan empire and installed as a slave in the Kjallan palace, he has no idea he'll fall in love with the Kjallan princess, or that she will fall in love with his ferret.