Thursday, May 17, 2018

Face-Lift 1374

Guess the Plot

The Miller's Daughter

1. When her father's millstone breaks, Sera knows their family is doomed. So in exchange for a new millstone, she marries a tall, dark, and very odd stranger. Nothing will go wrong, right? Its not like a fairy tale.

2. After Eza, the miller's daughter, runs away, she meets a man who offers to help her find work. Little does she know her benefactor is the crown prince! But before they even fall in love, Eza is stolen away by another prince who wants to marry her. Will this story end unhappily ever after?

3. Two years after Jack "The Miller" Parker died in an electric chair for a twenty-state killing spree, his daughter Fay recovers from the coma he left her in. When Fay realizes he actually escaped she begins plotting her revenge for her slaughtered pets, nomadic childhood, and lack of birthday presents.

4. Bawdy tale of a fair lass from Canterbury who dispenses STDs in ye Olde London Towne.

5. She had flaxen skin, wheaten hair, eyes the color of rye, tasted of granola, smelled of yeast. I loved kneading her rising rolls and feeling her moist buns. She had yet to be ground down by life, crushed and winnowed to the winds. I couldn't wait for the day I'd finally get to put my loaf in her oven.

Original Version

Eza has a problem, one she is trying to escape. When she stumbles into Rurith, she is scared but determined that no one should know her past. While wandering through the market square, she meets a man who offers to help her find work. However, he fails to mention that he is the crown prince, Thames. They form a fast friendship, despite the secrets between them. [I wasn't sure at first whether Rurith was a person or a place. Also, "stumbles into" makes me wonder if she's drunk. "Stumbles upon" or "happens upon" are better. Also, if it's a place you can stumble upon, with a market square, I tend to think it's a small village, but villages don't have crown princes. Is Thames the crown prince of Rurith? Is Rurith a kingdom? Not sure I buy the crown prince offering to help a stranger find work.]

Then, an emissary from a nearby kingdom arrives at the castle. He explains that he is looking for the Veredian prince's betrothed who has been missing for a few weeks. As he describes the girl, it becomes apparent that he is looking for Eza. The story the emissary tells of how the princess was kidnapped does not make sense. Thames begins to suspect that there is something the emissary is hiding. Worried for Eza's safety, he tries to protect her. Still, she is found and taken away. [Did he try hiding her in the castle? Or is he still refusing to tell her who he is? This emissary can't just barge into the castle, search for Eza, and take her away if she doesn't want to go.] Not sure if they will ever see each other again, the fate for them both [their story] looks like it might be [end] unhappily ever after.

The Miller’s Daughter is complete at 95,000 words. It blends plot twists with the nostalgia of classic fairy tales including Rumpelstiltskin, The Frog Prince, and Sleeping Beauty. [That's pretty long for a fairy tale. What age group are you targeting? If adults, you might want to mention a novel instead of fairy tales. There are dozens of novels in which a royal poses as someone else (King Richard, in Ivanhoe or The Adventures of Robin Hood; Aragorn as Strider in LOTR; the prince in The Prince and the Pauper. I don't think you've described the plot in a way that shows much similarity to any of the stories you mention.] With a strong and stubborn heroine, it plays on the cliché narrative of love in fairy tales as Eza searches to find a true sense of self, the freedom she has always wanted, and a family to call her own.


Maybe you should mention that Eza and Thames fall in love, rather than just say they form a fast friendship.

It's okay to reveal in the query the secret Eza doesn't want anyone to know. Many miller's daughters would jump at the chance to become the Veredian princess. What's the downside?


Anonymous said...

Postage-stamp sized kingdom, I can understand a prince wandering the streets and being friendly, but I agree it might help to list the place as "the kingdom of Rurith" or "the small village of Rurith", or whatever the place officially is

This happens, then that happens, then the other happens and it's all rather vague/generic.

A static recitation of events like these isn't interesting enough for anyone to want to pick this book up more than another book that specifies things like

- what secrets the main character is hiding <-- so we know the level of threat if they're found out

- gives examples of strength/stubbornness <-- all we get is running away, becoming friends with a guy with obvious major secrets, and being taken away/kidnapped. This leaves me with an impression of a wuss who's possibly tstl

- what the prince does to protect her <-- there's a lot of difference between denying all knowledge of her existence and attempting to hide her under his bed

- etc. etc. etc.

Give enough of the plot that you don't need to tell us it references fairy tales because that fact is obvious, ditto the personality of the mc

We have a vague idea the the mc doesn't want to marry prince V, but not why, and we don't know what she does want (am I supposed to assume she and timmy want HEA?). I can assume V's minions become obstacles, but, again, you've given us no clues as to what kind or what your mc plans to do

The concept sounds like it might be fun, but that's not enough by itself.
If you want, we'll take a look at a revised draft and give more opinions. Good luck.

Side note: I've seen Eza more often as a boy's name, but that may be my locality. ymmv

Iamanoldvampirechild said...

When you said ' Then, an emissary from a nearby kingdom arrives at the castle. He explains that he is looking for the Veredian prince's betrothed who has been missing for a few weeks.' I actually thought the emissary was talking to Eza, so it took a couple more reads to understand what was happening.

Those fairy tale references didn't help me. I'd make the query a bit longer. I'd like to know what's so bad about the Prince from V-whereveritwas. I want to feel more anxiety for her.

The first sentence didn't do much for me. I'd just start with something more like 'When Ezra flees to the small village of Rurith, she's careful about who she talks to, and what she says. She's escaped her old life by the skin of her teeth, and if all her friendships from now on are based on lies, that's a sacrifice she's more than willing to make.

While wandering through the market square, a man offers to help her find work. ( what job? I like to know about work so I'd put it in. Also , is Rurith a castle? Because it sort of jumped from the marketplace of Rurith to a castle. Did Ezra get a job in the castle?
Not sure if it was just me reading tiredly but I got so confused

Just need more to know what's going on, for me. Love the idea about the secret identity, I"m a sucker for that, but this query just feels vague at the moment.

St0n3henge said...

Yeah, it's vague.
I can't get a handle on what this kingdom is like.
"The story the emissary tells of how the princess was kidnapped does not make sense." Is that because she ran away?
"Thames begins to suspect that there is something the emissary is hiding." Like what?

I keep reading Eza as Ezra for some reason.