Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Face-Lift 1358

Guess the Plot

Outlier Heir

1. In the distant future, an heir of Merlin recruits an heir of King Arthur to search out the Holy Grail and use it as a weapon to defeat the a confederacy of planets. Think Camelot, but in outer space.

2. Harry never wanted to be close to the line of succession. In fact, he did all he could to avoid it. But as people through the line die one by one, he knows it is only a matter of time.

3. Statistically speaking, Falian isn't in line for the throne, what with 58 other people with better claims. Of course, statistically speaking, Falian shouldn't hold the position of Chief Assassin, either.

4. The Outliers are a super-powered folk kicked out of normal human society for being a little too different. Unknown to the rest of the population, they've been breeding, and now . . .  it's payback time.

5. A convenient definition of a outlier heir is an heir which falls more than 1.5 times the interquartile range above the third quartile or below the first quartile. The interquartile range, which breaks the data set into a five number summary is used to determine if an outlier heir is present. Also: palace intrigue, an ancient curse, revived mummies and a talking camel. 

6. Cassandra's salon, Outlier Heir, is where all the fashionistas and it-girls are seen. When the place burns down in a napalm attack, the arson squad discovers no foul play, but the second-top salon in town, Heir Apparent, is happy to take on Cassandra's clients. Can she prove a link between the other salon owner's policeman husband and her own misfortune before the rest of her life goes up in smoke? 

Original Version

Dear Agent X,

The Sol Confederacy doesn’t give a damn about places like Blackwood, Mars, a truth Art Pendragon learned the hard way the day the Feds killed his little sister Morgan. When a trigger-happy crew touches down on his hick town to hunt [looking] for him, Art’s a mite twitchy—until they promise the one thing he’s searching for—revenge. 

According to Merlin and the crew of the Excalibur, the Pendragon bloodline of alchemists can track the separated pieces of the Holy Grail. Years ago, his [Art's or Merlin's?] renegade ancestor created this weapon [What weapon? The Holy Grail?] to give the underground rebellion a chance. While they search, Merlin pushes him [Art] to unlock his [Art's or Merlin's?] abilities, [What abilities?] yet Art’s intense pull towards the lonely ex-soldier [What lonely ex-soldier?] grows more powerful than any alchemy. 

Upon landing in Europa, [Is Europa the moon of Jupiter or Europe or a fictional place like Blackwood, Mars?] Art uncovers a threat that could ruin the rebellion before it has a chance to rise. Morgan is alive and aligned with the Sol Confederacy. [The threat that could ruin the rebellion is Art's little sister is aligned with the Sol Confederacy? Who is she, Wonder Woman? Wait, is she the outlier heir to the throne? I was thinking Art was the outlier heir.] Even though he’s sworn himself to the rebel cause, his sister isn’t lost to the Feds, not yet. However, as their allegiances solidify[,] the divide between them deepens, and the moment Art delivers the Grail to the rebels, he’ll become her enemy, [Swearing himself to the rebel cause didn't make him her enemy, but delivering the Grail will?] destroying his one shot to save the sister he failed to protect.

OUTLIER HEIR is an 85,000[-word] YA space opera with series potential.



Possibly it would be better to say it was Merlin and the Excalibur who touched down, rather than a trigger-happy crew. These are the good guys, right?

I'm no expert on Arthurian lore, but it seems more likely Merlin would be the one with alchemists in his bloodline, not Arthur, and maybe he is, but it's easy to read it as the opposite. 

Why exactly do they need Art? They can't track down the pieces of the Grail without him because he has unique Grail-tracking powers? And possessing the Grail could let them defeat the entire Sol Confederacy, which I assume is all the planets of the solar system except Uranus?

Art: I've devoted my life to destroying you, revenge for killing my sister. 

Sol: We didn't kill your sister. She's right over there.

Art: Oops. Well, I'm gonna destroy you anyway, just for the hell of it.


Anonymous said...

"Even though he’s sworn himself to the rebel cause, his sister isn’t lost to the Feds, not yet."

You do realize this doesn't make sense? You're saying here that him swearing himself to the rebels is connected to his sister becoming lost to the feds. If that is the case, you probably need to explain how since logic would say his sister is lost to the feds because they kidnapped and raised for her years before he even met the rebels.

By ex-soldier, are we talking Arthur/Merlin, or do Lancelot or Guenevere make an appearance at some point? If this affects the main plot in some way, you should say how. If it doesn't, it's taking up space you could use to explain things like what kind of weapon the grail is, what powers Art & Merlin have, what the threat to the rebellion is, &c.

Anonymous said...

Alchemists in space intrigues. Have you considered not using the Arthurian names? The problem is that the story is too well known so it ruins suspense about what will happen. And if you do deviate from the plot people feel cheated. Just a suggestion, but I feel the alchemy in space element would feel more original with original character names.