Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Face-Lift 98

Guess the Plot

The Goblin Brothers and the Rogue Gold Mine

1. In Rogue, Alaska, Ellen Curry guards her reputation as she navigates past the ranchers, loggers and mill workers. But when the Goblin brothers show up to mine for gold, Ellen finds herself lured by their charms and sweet talk.

2. Sibling rivalry on the competitive eating circuit is interrupted when two brothers inherit a quirky mine: one day it produces gold, the next silver, the next Play-Doh.

3. Jubjub and Phlek find an abandoned gold mine hidden in the cliffs. Certain that the legendary Rogue that guards it is a myth, they go exploring.

4. As the only goblins at the Academy, Malagach and Gortok don't exactly fit in. So when the brothers find an illegal gold mining operation under the building, they see it as their chance to win everyone's respect.

5. The Goblin Brothers thought they had the market cornered on creepiness until the gold mine they lived in came to life and started to run amuck.

6. When the local gold mine disappears, along with all of the miners, the residents of Boomtown are baffled. Then three goblins named Jack, Scratch and Zeldon arrive, claiming they can solve the mystery.

Original Version

Attn. Evil Editor:

When pirates invade Harborview, the only ones volunteering to save the city are the shortest and most unlikely heroes in the entire kingdom: [The Lollipop Guild.] two white-haired, yellow-eyed, green-skinned goblins. The Goblin Brothers and the Rogue Gold Mine stars Gortok, who has a knack for building creative contraptions, and his brother Malagach, who is always trying to show the world that goblins are important (especially him). [MacGyver and Donald Trump will portray them in the film version.]

As the only goblins at Harborview Academy, Malagach and Gortok fit in like a troll fits into a rabbit hole. When bullies chase the goblins into the bowels of the school one day, they discover a maze of tunnels and caverns, and hear loud clanking noises that lead them to an illegal gold mining operation. A gleam of ambition lights Malagach's eyes; if he and Gortok turn in the culprits and save the school from being robbed, they'll win everyone's respect.

Unfortunately, before they can lead the principal to the mine, an armada of pirate ships sails in, terrorizing the waterfront and barricading the harbor. [Happens every time. Just when things are looking good, an armada shows up.] To make matters worse, the city's guardian wizards have disappeared, leaving Harborview defenseless. Malagach suspects these events are connected, but proving it will require some dangerous detective work. And even if he and his brother succeed, what can two goblins do against shiploads of pirates? [Item #46 on The Top 100 Things I'd Do if I Ever Became an Evil Overlord, which Evil Editor reads annually: If an advisor says to me "My liege, he is but one man. What can one man possibly do?", I will reply "This." and kill the advisor.]

The Goblin Brothers and the Rogue Gold Mine is a completed 60,000-word fantasy novel for kids aged ten to twelve. [Ten to twelve? But Evil Editor wants to read it. (I'm a sucker for creative contraptions.)] Malagach and Gortok previously appeared in my short story, "Just Desserts," in the January, 2004, issue of Beyond Centauri, a science fiction and fantasy magazine for kids. Please let me know if I may submit the complete manuscript. Thank you.



Evil Editor did not feel a revised version was required, and merely changed a few words. I do wonder about the word "rogue" describing the gold mine. It isn't often an adjective, and when it is, as in "rogue elephant," it doesn't seem applicable to a mine. Of course, there's probably an explanation in the book, but the query doesn't make it clear why "hidden" or "secret" wouldn't be better.


Lisa Cohen said...

My sons would definitely read this book. :) So would I.

Anonymous said...

I would guess in this case, "rogue" would mean illegal or unsanctioned, although "contraband" or "illicit" might have a clearer meaning.

Regardless, I think the story's got potential. Definitely a book I would have read as a kid.

Anonymous said...

Hey EE!

Just put a disclaimer at the top of your blog that states:

"Warning, this blog is not for children under the age of 13, adults with heart problems and those suffering from chronic rectolitis (in layman's terms it roughly translates to stick up your ass) and seriatitis (the unfortunate tendency to take oneself too seriously). Only those with a sense of humor may proceed."

Please don't stop your commentary, it is the only reason I read the queries in the first place.

Evil Editor said...

Not to worry, it was a one-time thing. No one was coming here today anyway, as it's a holiday. Plus, the better the query, the harder to mock it.

Anonymous said...

Ha! It's a holiday for you Yanks, but we Canucks celebrated our confederation three days ago. It's just business as usual for us today.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that is so unfair, even if the query is great. Couldn't you at least have said it's too long? That would never fit on one page. Would it? Maybe I should test it out before I say anything else.

Anonymous said...

Glad it's a one-time refrain. You're entitled to a little holiday any time you want, but please don't suggest that we might not appreciate your humor.

Your blog, your humor--doesn't have to please us (but it does!).

An addicted Minion

Sherri said...

Plus, the better the query, the harder to mock it.

I was worried when I didn't get the coffee-snorting jokes on my critique (Stolen Magic), but now I see that's a good thing :)

MLG: my daughter would love this book. I hope you'll keep us posted on your progress.

Evil Editor said...

Couldn't you at least have said it's too long? That would never fit on one page. Would it?

I had no trouble using TNR 12 pt., and leaving 1-inch margins. I allotted 13 lines for date, addresses, signature. Even had a couple lines left over.

Anonymous said...

"Malagach and Gortok fit in like a troll fits into a rabbit hole" -- the author had already put in such a cute analogy that I hardly missed EEs remarks.

Bernita said...


Daisy Bateman said...


Anonymous said...

I've used Gortok as my name for a long time now (created it in 96), where'd you come up with it? :-/