Friday, August 06, 2010
Guess the Plot
Heir to the Sun
1. After a lifetime of surfing (and not a single day of work), Jay's totally bummed to learn that he's next in line to drive the big ol' ball of flaming gas. Clearly there's only one thing to do: con a homeless guy into taking the job.
2. When he learns that the sun's last will and testament leaves him the entire solar system, Larry's thrilled--until he finds out the sun won't die for another five billion years. Now Larry's looking for a way to speed up the process.
3. Alan sighed as his village was vaporized under the flaming star. Aunt Agatha always said she would get him for spilling tea on her furs; now, as the edges of the will in his hand crinkle, he has to admit that he never saw this coming.
4. When his dad dies, Alph Baumer is left sole proprietor of the local newspaper, started by his great, great, grandfather. Alph moves the Sun online, but when his office gets swarmed by picketers protesting the demise of folded newspaper hats, will he cave and go back to print?
5. Alluria, more beautiful than the sun, is a priestess whose chastity must be defended at all costs by the warrior Caol’nir. Turns out the only actual threat to her chastity is Caol’nir, who desperately wants to get into her pants. Also, the usual elves, faeries and kings you find in books with characters with names like Caol’nir.
6. Jasef was raised in orbit on Helios station by his father, Dr. Akagi, pioneer of solar-energy generation via space-based collectors. Now grown and very wealthy, he wants to go to Earth and marry his fiancée, a girl he's only ever seen online. Only one problem: he never learned to walk.
I am seeking representation for my fantasy novel, Heir to the Sun: A Chronicle of Parthalan, complete at approximately 115,000 words. Currently, there are three more Chronicles of Parthalan featuring the same characters, with the sequel nearly complete and the following two in progress.
The land of Parthalan was born when I was in middle school, and my mother refused to buy me a music box that featured a princess with long red hair. [I could have killed her. It was a lousy eight bucks.] I was distraught as only an eighth grader can be, [and so I created the fictional prison planet known as Parthalan, where inconsiderate tightwad mothers are brutally tortured to death over and over;] and since I could not own my treasure, I created a story about the princess. I named her Latera, and ended up self-publishing her story in a novel called Rise of the Deva’shi. The book was well received, [garnering dazzling reviews from my father, my BFF Darlene, and Publishers Weekly,] and I decided to continue writing about these faeries and elves that heretofore had only existed in my mind [and in my novel]. [Anyway, by the time I was in tenth grade my series had grown to six books and had brought a million dollars into the family coffers, allowing my parents to retire. And still my mom wouldn't let me have the frigging music box.] [But enough about me.]
Heir to the Sun takes place in Parthalan, a land of faeries and magic, and neighboring Tingu, which is ruled by elves. [Is everyone in the book an elf or faery, or are there people?] It follows two individuals, Caol’nir and Asherah, [As this land has elves and fairies and who knows what else, I'd identify what each character is, rather than call them individuals.] who have markedly different existences yet have a common goal: to rid Parthalan of corrupt King Lotharian. Parthalan has been ruled by Lotharian for three thousand years, [What's the standard retirement age in this place? No way would I work the same job for more than even two thousand years.] but the king has grown bored in his long reign, and feels that power is the only thing he wants. He seeks to conquer the entire realm, [Right now I'm bored, but if I had more faeries and elves to rule over I could stand to be king another three thousand years.] and to that end has struck a bargain with Ehkron, [Anagram: Honker. I mention this because I think you should call him Honker. Seriously, he could be the comic relief. He's always blowing his nose, making a honking noise.] ruler of the demons he once triumphed over, in order to raise a half-demon, half-fae army loyal only to him. [Can you really trust an army of demons you once defeated to be loyal only to you?
Lotharian: Let's let bygones be bygones. We'll make a deal, You order your army of demons to be loyal only to me. After we conquer the neighboring lands I'll be the leader of the entire realm.
Honker: And what do I get out of this? Honk!
Lotharian: Let's not get ahead of ourselves. We'll discuss that after we win.
Honker: Deal. I'll go fill my boys in on my . . . er, your plan.]
Caol’nir is a warrior sworn to defend his king from harm, as well as defend the chastity of the temple priestesses. Despite the vow he has sworn to keep her chaste, [No need to repeat the terms of his vow.] Caol’nir falls deeply in love with Alluria, an orphan priestess from the east. [No man can resist a woman named Alluria.] When Alluria suspects that her temple is no longer the haven it once was, Caol’nir betrays both his king and his oath to ensure her safety. [He betrays which oath? The one to keep her chaste? How does that ensure her safety?]
Asherah was enslaved by the king’s foul plot and doomed to a life bearing demon whelps, [which can get really old in a place where people live more than three thousand years.] yet she managed to escape and flee to the elf king for aid. Now, as Asherah leads her band of freed slaves and elfin warriors back to Parthalan and free her kind, will she prevail? [That's a lousy last sentence, and not just because it isn't a sentence.]
Thank you, for both your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
After you publish a dozen books in the Chronicles of Parthalan series and are so famous you get to do a solo panel at the World Fantasy Convention, I guarantee one of your fans will ask you how you came up with your world. That's the time and place to tell your story about the music box and how miserable your mother made your childhood.
The names are somewhat bothersome. You have two main characters, one with a Hebrew name and one whose name was formed by randomly choosing Scrabble tiles. Your king may be a lothario or lotharian, but who would give their kid that name? I don't mind Alluria because it rolls off the tongue, but it is suggestive, sort of like naming a male character Hunky. At least I managed to talk you into Honker.
Caol’nir may be a main character, but Alluria and the king are getting as much or more query space. Asherah gets two sentences of plot, but at least she does something worthy of a main character. I think the query would be better if it focused on Asherah and left Caol’nir out entirely. Slave-girl escapes and recruits army to take down corrupt king. It's Spartacus with demons.
It's not clear why you continue to set all your writings in this world you thought up when you were in eighth grade. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the world, but continuously pumping out 115,000-word books about the same characters is a lot of work. Better to wait and see if Book 1 sells before putting forth the effort. (And while you're waiting, write something completely different, possibly with a human being in it.)
Who is the heir to the sun (whatever that means)?