Monday, November 03, 2014

Face-Lift 1232



Guess the Plot

The Splintered Empire

1. Prince Kischae's plan to marry the daughter of Pixali's king hits a stumbling block when he finds her leading an army against his kingdom. But hey, many a great romance has gotten off to a rocky start.

2. A sweeping, galactic, epic adventure, with three Separatist groups destroying the Federation's hold on the galaxy, with varying degrees of success.

3. Emperor Hiram's biggest mistake was walking barefoot through the woods. He returns to the palace with three enormous, painful splinters in his toes. At first, he's willing to go to any length to have the splinters removed. Then he comes to accept them as parts of himself, going so far as to disown his children and name the splinters heirs to his empire.

4. Big John Holcomb built his fortune by logging the wild redwoods. Now his son and grandsons fight over whether or not to selectively log, plantation farm redwoods, or nail themselves to the big trees to stop humanity's destruction of . . . the splintered empire.

5. The split of the Roman Empire into eastern and western halves is efficient in many ways, but not for twin brothers Antonius and Duilius, whose home is bisected by the border between east and west, and whose arguments over which half of the empire they live in are historic.



Original Version

Dear Evil Editor and Minions,

Prince Kischae spent his childhood as a hostage in the neighboring kingdom of Pixali. Years later, after removing his rivals to his home country’s throne, he invades Pixali intending to conquer the kingdom and wed the bastard daughter of the king. [Pixali reminds me of pixies or Pixy Stix, or Pixar, or the emails I keep getting from women who want me to click on a link to their pics. Come up with a name that a king wouldn't be embarrassed to admit he rules.]

Unfortunately, his assassins attack him next—they were bought off by a very-much-alive rival. [Somewhere on the list of Things I would do if I ever became an Evil Overlord must be: If I order my henchmen to remove my rivals, I will insist that they bring me my rivals' heads, which I will then count to make sure they're all there before having them cremated. Along with my henchmen.] His generals start plotting against him. And, the bastard daughter of the king has the temerity to be leading the resistance army. [When other kingdoms and your own assassins and your own generals and your soulmate all want you dead, it's time to cut bait.]

Can Prince Kischae win the throne, the war, and the girl? Or will he have to choose between [among] them?

The Splintered Empire is a stand alone fantasy adventure query complete at 132 words. I may be working on this book for NaNoWriMo.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

8 comments:

InkAndPixelClub said...

This is leaving me with a reaction of "meh" right now. You have most of the query basics in here, but you're missing any evidence of why I should care. Does Kischae deserve to have the throne? Why does he want it? Why is he set on marrying the king's bastard daughter? Marrying bastards is not usually a great way to lay claim to the throne.

This has the potential to be exciting and fun, but until I get a sense of who Kischae is and why I should want to see him succeed, it's just a string of events.

IMHO said...

Overall, good query! I have only two comments.

First, is the bastard daughter of a king much of a prize? Would she have any rights to the throne? Or is there another reason Kischae wants to marry her?

The second sentence was a tad confusing, as it doesn't say he's actually regained his home country's throne, just that he's removed his rivals. So it confused me that he'd be invading Pixali, instead of taking action to regain his throne (you know, now that his rivals are gone).

"Unfortunately, his assassins attack him next" If they are his assassins, they would be expected to attack him. Vs. "his hired assassins" or "the assassins working for him".

Good luck!

khazarkhum said...

IMHO, if history is any guide, the king's bastard daughters will get you his support both militarily and financially, but exclude her from the throne. It's a good way for a small realm to ally itself with a more powerful one.

Pixali sounds like one of those happy pills they advertise on TV, with the caveat it may cause blindness, hair growth in embarrassing places, or brain death.

SB said...

Personally, I'd like some clarification that the king whose bastard daughter the MC is trying to marry is not the same king who is his own father (being that he's the country's prince ... or something, that was a bit unclear to me).

K Hutton said...

A query should make me root for the main character, but right now I'm rooting for the bastard daughter to win the revolution and get rid of this creepy prince guy who has decided he has the right to marry her. (If she's leading an army against him, I'm pretty sure she didn't say yes to the marriage proposal.)

If we're really supposed to root for this love subplot, you should probably show that the attraction is mutual--and preferably in a way that doesn't undercut her abilities as a rebel army commmander. If we're not supposed to root for the love subplot, great! But then I think you chose the wrong MC.

Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Hmm, temporarily lifting the self-imposed NaNoWriMo internet ban (Actually, working on line edit for WIP, but the rules are the same. If I finish, I'll be working on this).

Thanks for the guess the plots (makes notes for future novels)

Is Paxali (Paxili?) better then Pixali or should I go looking farther afield?

Between accounting for body doubles and magic, verifying the personally witnessed "accidental" death(s) was assumed accomplished :P

The prince doesn't have the home throne yet. He's planning on getting support with the war and bumping off the king near the end (yeah, ruthless, but the king's not good (in any sense of the word) so...).

I'm not good at romance so I'm not sure how far that will make it in (personal challenge for this book). He thinks she needs rescuing, will be a tie to the old regime (for stability), and he's had a crush on her since they were little (partly because he thinks she'd be a good leader, & cares about the populace. Unfortunately for him, he's severely underestimated how good). She's been playing possum, was planning on overthrowing the government herself (why she had military support in place during the invasion and could lead the army) Current plans are for her to figure out he'd be a decent king (and a unified kingdom would be a plus) I probably need more than that, but I'll need to write it to figure it out.

I left myself room to add details so....

Better or worse:

Prince Kischae spent his childhood as a hostage in the neighboring kingdom of Paxali where he witnessed even worse oppression than back home. Years later, after removing his rivals to his home country’s throne, he invades Paxali intending to conquer the kingdom and wed the bastard daughter of their king.

Unfortunately, assassins attack him next—his hirelings were bought off by a very-much-alive rival. His generals learn of his planned government reforms and start plotting against him. And, the bastard daughter of the king has the temerity to be leading the resistance army. (How is he supposed to rescue her now?)

Can Prince Kischae win the throne, the war, and the girl? Or will he have to choose among them?

SB said...

Considering Paxil is an anti-depression drug, you probably want to keep looking. I'd suggest taking out the X.

Questions from the query:

If he spent his childhood there, how did he know what it was like back home to compare? He'd have to have been old enough to both understand and remember how bad it was, which wouldn't leave a whole lot of years of his childhood left, so spending his childhood in the neighboring kingdom sounds off. Unless he doesn't realize it was worse than back home until he gets back home, in which case you might want to reword that part so the order is clear.

When you say he removed the rivals to his home country's throne, does this mean he became king and took over? If so, say something to that effect.

Is it really important for the query for us to know she's a bastard?

In the second paragraph it talks about rescuing the daughter as if we already knew, but the first paragraph only says that he wants to conquer the kingdom and marry her, which sort of implies he plans to do it by force (since one doesn't usually invade and overthrow a woman's kingdom and then hope to win her heart).

Anonymous said...

Author here.

I'm going to set this aside until the book is written.

Thanks for the comments.