Thursday, September 19, 2019

Feedback Request

The author of the query most recently featured here would like feedback on the following version, (which is only the plot summary). 

Dear EE,

Mercenary Tali Adilrein foils a kidnapping, but the surviving kidnappers escape with the help of a hidden mage.  So, Tali accepts a job as bodyguard to the girl she rescued.  Her new client, Shimmer, is a "dragon treasure."  She can provide otherwise unobtainable power to those who wield dragon magic--the rare type of magic that aided the kidnappers. [So it's the mage who needs Shimmer, and he hired the kidnappers?]

Further kidnapping attempts, which Tali thwarts, worry officials.  They convince Shimmer she'll be safer at the governor's palace while they search for the kidnappers. [Shouldn't this mage be using his dragon magic to assist the kidnappers in achieving their goal? If he is, does Tali have any magical powers that help her thwart the mage?]

The enemy mage sends out independently acting flames that seek Shimmer [uses a spell to locate Shimmer].  More covert spells exert a subtle form of mind control on people likely to approach her.  [Shimmer's friends (or whoever) would be better than "people likely to approach her."] Those people's unintended machinations result in Shimmer being arrested 
 [Unintended machinations is vague. Either tell us what they do or just say she gets arrested.] [I would expect the mage's spells to result in his capturing Shimmer, not in her being arrested.] and Tali getting fired. [I'm wondering if we need the kidnappers in the query. They screw up every attempt at kidnapping Shimmer, and they don't need Shimmer anyway, as they don't have dragon magic. The mage is the villain.] [Although he doesn't seem that competent either; if the flames located Shimmer, he should just go get her instead of inducing her friends to machinate her into jail.] 

Tali is determined to protect Shimmer, job or no.  She hunts through the city for the mage [She's hunting the mage and the mage is hunting her?] until a local troublemaker warns her there's a price on her head.  [Never believe anything a local troublemaker tells you.] She needs to either leave town or, in effect, submit to arrest herself.  [In effect?] She then discovers Shimmer is missing.

[That's it? You need a better wrap-up than that.]

Your 1st paragraph could be:

Mercenary Tali Adilrein accepts a job as bodyguard to a girl named Shimmer. Shimmer, a "dragon treasure," can provide otherwise unobtainable power to those who wield dragon magic, a rare type of magic that [what does dragon magic do?]

Then you introduce the mage who will do whatever it takes to capture Shimmer so she can enhance his power, allowing him to [What's his goal?]

Finally, Tali gets fired, Shimmer disappears, and Tali vows to find the mage and get Shimmer back. What's her plan? What will happen if she fails?