Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Face-Lift 125

Guess the Plot

Forging the Soul Blade

1. Life in a smithy has advantages for a nineteenth century orphan - principally warmth. But when a temperamental goblin secretly forges the Soul Blade, warmth becomes the least of Jack's problems.

2. Trent of Lockney uses his magical soul blade to take on a troll intent on subjugating all of Ardmore. But can Trent also defeat the troll's ally--the dragon known as . . . Chromax!?

3. The only thing Archibald Hwang lacks to finish his masterpiece is the souls of a thousand kittens--but one precocious nine-year-old stands in his way.

4. Lucifer reflects on his life while waiting at the crossroads to buy the final soul he needs for the weapon with which he can conquer the universe.

5. When souls go missing from the Underworld, Hades sends his apprentice, Artelleus, to investigate. What he discovers is a weapon that could control the realms of life and death--unless he can prevent its emerging from the fire.

6. Antoine Mitchell, heir to the faltering Soul-Glo dynasty, discovers an ancient map in his murdered father's library. Now he must race against time and rival hair-product companies to locate the secret Soul Smithy and to reforge the mythical hair-pick, Soul Blade!

Original Version

Dear Evil Editor:

Sometimes the most common people can become uncommon heros. [Sometimes they can even spell "heroes."] Forging the Soul Blade, my 95,000 word novel, reveals how three common people discover what it takes to be uncommon heros.

Forging the Soul Blade tells the story of how Trent of Lockney and Pender Smithson learn how to be good soldiers and how Steven, a journeyman smith, forges the sword which will become legendary in Trent's hands: the Soul Blade. Trent and Pender journey across Ardmore, [on the Soooouul Train,] learning what it means to selflessly serve the common good. Pender seeks his true calling in life through serving in the army, learning that old memories may hold the key to a new destiny. [You make the book sound like an instruction manual on being a good soldier and making swords. Readers don't want to watch people "learning" so much as "doing." Get to the exciting stuff.] Trent will survive a terrible accidental wounding [Didn't his mother tell him never to run while holding a soul blade?] only to find that his heart now belongs to the woman who saves his life. [With the soul Band-aid.] Steven strives to become a master smith, learning how to sing magic into the metal he forges. Together, they work to outwit Gray Mountain, the troll chief bent on subjugating all the races of Ardmore. The trolls are aided by Chromax, a vast and cunning dragon [Now we're getting somewhere. Trolls. A dragon. Creatures no ordinary sword can touch, but fortunately, Trent of Lockney has . . . The Sooooooouul Blade!] whose name has been whispered fearfully for generations.

I have been writing fantasy stories for around 20 years now. Forging the Soul Blade is my first attempt to publish a novel. It is meant to be the opening chapter in a series. I already have some of the second as yet untitled book [Forging the Soul Axe?] written, as well as some notes that will carry the series forward for several more books. May I send you the manuscript?


Revised Version

Dear Evil Editor:

Sometimes the most common people can become uncommon heroes. Forging the Soul Blade, my 95,000-word fantasy novel, is the story of three men: Trent of Lockney and Pender Smithson, soldiers of Ardmore; and Steven, the journeyman smith who forges the sword that will become legendary in Trent's hands: the Soul Blade. Together, they must defeat Gray Mountain, the troll chief bent on subjugating all the races of Ardmore.

But the trolls have a fearsome ally: Chromax, a cunning dragon whose name has been whispered in terror for generations. As Ardmore's defenses prove no match for Chromax and Gray Mountain's armies, and the trolls threaten to overrun the kingdom, it falls upon Trent, Pender and Steven to outwit the enemy. Can the magic of the Soul Blade succeed where Ardmore's armies cannot?

I have been writing fantasy stories for around 20 years now. Forging the Soul Blade is my first attempt to publish a novel. It is meant as the opening chapter in a series, the second book of which is well underway. May I send you the manuscript?



If there's anything else you want to work in, there's still some room. But make it something more interesting than education.

Maybe Steven should have a last name, so he doesn't feel inferior to Pender. It sounds like Trent of Lockney, and his sidekick Steven.


none said...

I was sure it was #5. Back to school.

Anonymous said...

Somehow, I felt it would be related to the Soul Train. Crazy, I know, but I am a Nut.

EE, I only got two rejections, for my extreamely poorly written query, I know its not much, but I'm bleeding inside. So, my question is, where can a get a Soul Bandage?

Bernita said...

REALLY like the title, Wayland.

Evil Editor said...

Where can a get a Soul Bandage?

They're available only on the Gauza Strip.

Anonymous said...

Does the movie based on the book look like this?


Anonymous said...

Author: sounds cool.

Gauza Strip, here I come! Thands EE, I knew, you wouldn't let a suffering writer down. (Packs the torn banana-leaf luggage. Suddenly, stops.)

Wait a bleeping minute! EE, you tried to... get rid of me? It was all a trick! Well, I got newsflash for you, EE, I won't give up! I'll keep sending my pitiful letters, till I bleed to death! I'll annoy this blog till my eyeballs fall out! I'll... I know what I'll do. I'll send YOU a query!

Okay, maybe I over reacted a bit... EE wouldn't seriously attempt to get rid of a suffering minion. Otherwise, there'd be the radient Mrs E, with a pitchfork, poking at my tree. Say, EE, those Soul Bandages are available for mail order ain't they?

Sorry for doubting you. I'd say, I love you, but the ogre is breathing down my neck. It might misunderstand...

Anonymous said...

I used to live near Ardmore, PA, and am having a desperately hard time not giggling. Car dealerships! Chicken wings! Humorless dentists!

I imagine other folks aren't having the same difficulty, however.

Jenna Black said...

Rachel--I used to go to school in Bryn Mawr, going through Ardmore on the train every day. I had the same reaction. I will never be able to imagine it as an exotic locale. LOL

Anonymous said...

LOL, Jenna and Rachel. I went to Bryn Mawr College, and was trying to figure out if Chromax was hiding out in Suburban Square.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or does the Dragon's name, Chromax, sound like a cleaning detergent?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, 1555. Every time I look at it, I see Climax... Of course, I also found 'constipation' on the blog, so that means I need glasses... and a psychologist. Especially since I think, that Climax would work better.

But, then again, I am a Nut.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or does the Dragon's name, Chromax, sound like a cleaning detergent?

Of course not.

It sounds like a car polish.

Anonymous said...

All these comments are hilarious. I had to change my shorts, I was laughing so hard!

Soul Bandage is a registered trademark of Proctal and Gimble, the makers of Move Your Ass brand laxatives.

The name Chromax was chosen using a pre-established formula. All dragons in this world have names that begin with an element referencing their unique abilities or reputation and ending in -ax. When the book is published, your will learn several other dragon names that follow this pattern. Chromax as a detergent? He laughes at such petty jests, plotting all the while to destroy your miserable lives in clever and excruciating ways.

I got the name for the land of Ardmore accidentally during a layover stop in Shannon, Ireland. Since it was Ireland, I felt divinely inspired.

EE, I thank you humbly for your help in this. With a minor change to reveal Steven's last name (Mastersmith, but not until after he forges the sword), I will be using your revised edition of the query to recruit an agent. When the book sees print, I will add your web address to my author's note to encourage other writer's in their quests for publication.

Anonymous said...

Finally! A bandage for my bleeding soul... Thank you author.

Hold on a sec... Are you sure its not Clinex? Imagine saying 'Beware, the fury of Clinex'? All the people with a flu/cold/allergy will run for cover...

Okay, okay, I'll stop being a pain in the... Author: Write on! And may the power of cli... I mean Chromax be with you.

Dan Lewis said...

Pender is also a place name. It's a Canadian island close to Washington State, as well as a county in North Carolina.

Maybe his name is meant to suggest de-pender-bility.

Anonymous said...

I sent my query to Donald Maass, with the following additions:

1. I added mention of my nearly 11 years in the U.S. Army, to let the agent know that I know something about being a soldier.

2. I added a bit about Steven's last name to the query. It's Mastersmith, but not until he forges the sword.

3. I am still enjoying the comments. Whenever I feel down, I reread them.