Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Guess the Plot
1. The woes of Skippy the toy poodle, who must share his humans and his sofa with the laziest, most idiotic, and annoying being on earth -- Antoine, the calico cat. Also, an invasion of mice.
2. Hedgely inherits a farm in Ohio from Uncle Dave. Sounds good, but it turns out to be the former site of an Indian village, now haunted by 483 angry ghosts.
3. The lives, loves, and seething hatreds of the people of Burden, North Dakota are explored in this rather rambling epic.
4. Forty-year-old Sally Heart finds her life enriched when she opens her home and her heart to the dying mother she never knew. Hard-partying Todd Singer learns the value of life and love when his latest one-night stand shows up at his office to say she may or may not have HIV, but she is definitely pregnant. Lisa Digger finally gives in to her son's relentless begging for a puppy, and when he soon loses interest she finds she just might be a dog person after all. Bullshit ... total bullshit.
5. No burden is he to bear. He ain't heavy. He's my broth-- . . . Unnghh. Unnnnngggghhhh, Jesus Christ, he's heavy. Let's leave him here.
6. Ryder learns that the king she has served for sixteen years wasn't the rightful heir. So she sets out to raise an army and take him down. If she fails, all her recruits will be severely punished or killed. Can she live with that . . . Burden?
Ryder is both the daughter of the king's seneschal and a powerful mage. Waiting for her are any [any?] easy job as King Marek's bodyguard and a comfortable castle life. But when she discovers that Marek stole the throne from his cousin, the rightful heir Caerus, she realizes that she should be fighting Marek, not serving him.
[Caerus: Hey, where's my throne?
Marek: I stole it. Which, as you know, makes me king.
Ryder publicly denounces Marek and vows justice. She sets out to find Caerus and raise a secret army to take on Marek's soldiers. [Wouldn't it be easier to raise a secret army if she didn't publicly denounce Marek and vow justice?
Marek: Where's my mage?
Adviser: She's down in the public square, denouncing you and vowing justice.
Marek: Chain her to the wall in the dungeon.]
[I like guessing at a book's dialogue. How'm I doing?]
But Caerus hasn't been seen in sixteen years and Ryder faces a widespread distrust of all things magical- like her. And with each new recruit, there is one more person who will be severely punished if Ryder fails.
[Ryder: I'm recruiting soldiers to dethrone the king.
Farmer: How many have you got so far?
Ryder: You'd be the first.
Farmer: Come back when you have 40,000. We'll talk.]
Too many good people will die for her cause, no matter the outcome. With so much loss necessary for her to win, she isn't so sure she can truly achieve victory. [How will things change if she achieves victory? How does her father, the king's seneschal feel about this? And why is Blogger telling me I spelled "seneschal" wrong?] As for Ryder herself, what could happen is clear: succeed, or die. Or both. [It seems to me that a powerful mage should be able to avoid death even if her mission fails. What are her powers? Can she become invisible? Turn into a bird? Transport to another kingdom? Or is her magic all illusions? I suppose if David Copperfield were chained in a dungeon that wasn't built by him and his staff, he'd have trouble escaping.]
BURDEN is my debut novel and is a 145,000 word fantasy. Thank you for your time and consideration.
If Ryder is a teenager, declare this YA.
Maybe Marek usurped the throne because Caerus was corrupt and evil. Maybe the kingdom is better off with Marek. If you tell us how bad things are, we'll better understand Ryder's motivation. I'd rather think her cause is to rescue her people from oppression than merely to see that the true heir gets what's his.
It took sixteen years for anyone to discover that Marek isn't the rightful heir? Or is Ryder the only one who didn't know this? Seems like the identity of the rightful heir would have been known to everyone. Why are they all putting up with a usurper?