Sunday, December 31, 2017

Feedback Request


The author of the book featured in Face-Lift 1364 would like feedback on the following revision:



After years of wandering in a self-imposed exile, Rowan returns to find his realm is seeking a king. He also finds he has unwittingly earned a reputation, his feats at home and abroad heralding him a brave fighter of great renown. Only he and his closest friends know better, for Rowan’s acts stem from a reckless disregard for his own life, born [borne!] from the grief at his attempt to save his sister’s life and the guilt at his atrocious behavior that sent him into exile. 

As an Elite member of the Sindari warrior clan, Rowan is eligible to take the trials for election. Despite still struggling to come to terms with his guilt, Rowan vows to his father that he will take the trials, for winning the crown is a chance at redemption and to earn the reputation he’s been given. Rowan gathers his Sindari companions, his tutor from the Philomen clan of scholars and healers, and a snarky young thief to guide them across the desert wasteland. The company plunges [race] across the realm to reach the capital in time for the election, facing challenges both anticipated and unexpected:

Bandits intent on increasing their stock for the slave trade 
The deadly flora and fauna of the Deadvault desert
Lizard-like humanoids with an unnatural interest in their party
An unexpected ally
A stranger’s betrayal [No list should include more than three items.]

Before the end, Rowan will face an enemy he has long thought dead, the demon who killed his sister and threatens to take the one person away from him that he shouldn’t even care for - a woman who could cost him the crown before he can earn it. 

The Broken Veil is complete at 123,500 words, told in third person point of view, and set in a fantasy world based loosely on 17th century Europe. This story is a blend of adventure, friendship, humor, and a dash of romance for those who enjoy the works of Kristin Cashore and Melina Marchetta.


Notes


You can condense this into something like the following:

After years of self-imposed exile borne in his failure to save his sister from a demon, Rowan learns that his home realm is seeking a king. As an elite member of the Sindari warrior clan, Rowan is eligible to enter the trials for election. Winning the crown might mean redemption-- but only if he can reach the capital in time for the trials. 

Rowan and his Sindari companions race across the desert wasteland, their journey slowed by encounters with slave-trading bandits, lizard-like humanoids, and dragons. Thanks to an unexpected ally, a woman named Kivrin, who saves Rowan's life, it looks like the troupe might reach their goal . . . until one last obstacle appears: the demon that killed Rowan's sister.

The Broken Veil, complete at 123,500 words, is set in a fantasy world based loosely on 17th century Europe. This story is a blend of adventure, friendship, humor, and a dash of romance for those who enjoy the works of Kristin Cashore and Melina Marchetta.


You can add an additional plot paragraph explaining why Rowan becoming king is a good thing for anyone besides Rowan, i.e. what might happen to the kingdom if someone else wins the election.

As far as I can tell, this book covers only the journey to the capital, a journey I'm not sure even ends in this book. The chances of selling a three-book series that has no satisfying ending to book 1 are slim. You might want to carry this book through to where Rowan reaches the capital, if you haven't already done so. To use your LOTR example, while the ultimate goal isn't accomplished in the first book, a major hurdle is cleared. 

3 comments:

khazarkhum said...

As a general rule, there is no such thing as a kingdom searching for a king. A kingdom that doesn't have that already figured out has what is called a succession crisis, where different factions vie for the throne. This time is often referred to by the quaint moniker 'civil war'.

Rowan could have a claim if, say, his father was disgraced and sent away; through a bastard line; or as a cousin; or through his mother. People would be looking for him.

The situation in LOTR is tenable only because no one in the stewards' family is smart enough to realize that he could seize the throne with little to no opposition.

Mister Furkles said...

I really like EE's version and see no reason to comment on it. As for the selection of the King, in a fantasy it's okay to choose a non-historic method. Something nutty like pulling a sword out of a big rock is perfectly acceptable.

Historically, the peers of the realm may select the next king when no adequate heir is available. They may also consider trial by combat to settle disputes.

However, KK has a good suggestion. Have a civil war erupt afterward. It's a good fantasy plot if you toss in dragons, witches or wizards, and strange powerful beasts.

St0n3h3ng3 said...

This is better than it was.

You can leave out certain things to focus it more. Better leave out the snarky thief because it brings up all sorts of questions you don't have room to answer. And we honestly don't have to know which clan his tutor is from, since we don't know why it matters. Just say "his tutor."

The three list items I would keep: The deadly flora and fauna of the Deadvault desert, Lizard-like humanoids with an unnatural interest in their party, and An unexpected ally. A stranger's betrayal doesn't sound right. Technically you can be betrayed by a stranger, but most people use it to mean the breaking of trust by a friend or colleague.