Friday, July 08, 2022

Face-Lift 1427

Guess the Plot

Reign of Jaeger

1. With John and George dead, and Paul and Ringo diminished, the time has come at last for the . . . Reign of Jaeger.

2. Jaeger's kingdom was taken over before he ascended the throne. He's been living in exile in a small village ever since. He does plan on ousting the invaders. After the harvest, the barn raising, the baking tournament, the . . .

3. Jaeger backstabbed, assassinated, and bribed his way to the throne. War on the border? Starving citizens? Revolt? He's got his hands full making sure he looks his best for audiences and no one else is trying his methods. Oh, and the local rat catcher.

4. When humanity left the planet Volnura, they left behind their robots. Now Jaeger, the robots' head honcho, is on a quest to lead his fellow mechanical people to the spirit world, where all knowledge is stored. For knowledge is power.

5. May 25 to June 7, 1981, French Open. Mixed Doubles. That was it.

6. Jaeger dies without an heir the night before he's supposed to ascend to the throne. Rather than admit the fact and plunge the already war-ravaged country back into chaos, several upper level ministers decide to fake his life and reign. They've got the trickster god on their side, sort of. But if any of the others find out, another civil war will be the least of their problems.

7. Historians call him the worst king of Bohemia, but I've written a book about him because who wants to read a book about a good king? Unfortunately, I don't know much about him, but you can assume there was corruption and torture and starvation. Those are the only specifics I have for the query. More in the book.

Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,


JAEGER is steel. [Cool. Is he a Battlebot? I used to love that show. My favorite battle was the one where a guy attached a rake to his battlebot so . . . well you can watch it here.] A remnant of Mann, the ancients who once gripped Volnura, bending even nature to their will. But city-sized craters and poisoned lands speak of their brutal exodus, and Jaeger's mechanized people litter their ruins. Oblivious and abandoned, Jaeger unites with another droyde, [Short for androyde.] NOVA, and the two vow to discover the truth behind their existence, by way of the scholar or the sword. [This sounds like the plot of the next Star Wars movie, in which the rebels and the Empire have wiped each other out and R2D2 and C3PO are the only characters left, so they change their names and seek their origin story. If you tell me they eventually reign over the universe, I'm on board.] [I'm not that clear on what Mann is. Some ancient race or civilization on the planet Volnura? And you call it Mann? Did you think putting an extra "n" on Man would fool us? I mean, it's still pronounced the same as Man. People who buy the audio book will think it's Man. Change it. Or get rid of it and just go with Volnura. Is Volnura a planet? A country on future Earth?] [Did the ancients give all their robots names, or did the robots come from the factory already named?]


After losing a convoy to the benyne marauders, [who are, apparently, anything but benign,] Jaeger reunites with his seaside gang after fighting for his freedom in the 'Pit'. [It's called the Battlebox.] [Are the marauders and the gang all mechanized? Are there humans in this book?] He convinces the ringleaders with false tales of a spell that will lead the [them] [Or him or her, depending on which pronouns you favor.] to the 'Atlas', the map to Mannic riches they seek in the mountains. After they free Nova in a breakout, [Free Nova from what?/whom?] the two turn from expendable hired swords to magical wayfinders. But the Atlas, a derelict Mannic spire, will not lead to riches. It will give them the answers to humanity's catastrophe. [Aha! Humanity! So there are or used to be humans in this place.] And Jaeger has to hide that for as long as possible. 

[Jaeger: You know that thing I said was a map leading to riches? It's actually a derelict spire, not leading to riches. 
Ringleader: Before we destroy you, what the hell is a derelict spire?]

[Who started this new trend of titling each paragraph in a query?]

But the expedition takes on an unwelcome guest. To death and decay, Kyatt has pledged his worship. Tasked with bringing riches to Jord, Daughter of the Night, he partners with IAJINN to usurp the gang. [Kyatt, Jord, and Iajinn are all unwelcome guests . . .  in the query.] When Kyatt's prying ears hear of an imminent expedition to Mannic riches, plans quickly change. Jaeger and Nova are given a warning: When the mutiny happens, make sure you're on the right side.


Mann has left dark footprints within Volnuran history, and time has kept them secret. A spirit world awaits, where all of humanity's knowledge has been stored. [You don't need a spirit world to store all of humanity's knowledge. You can store it in one iPhone.] And its creator is keen to tell Jaeger who is returning. [If only the creator of this book were keen to tell us who is returning.]

REIGN OF JAEGER is a genre-bending science fantasy novel sitting at 83,000 words. It has a story similar to ETERNITY ROAD by Jack McDevitt, and HORIZON ZERO DAWN. I am fully committed to making a career out of storytelling, and I've made great efforts to fulfil this dream. I work part-time as a freelance editor, working on other manuscripts for a fee on Fiverr. I also did ghost-writing for some time at The Urban Writers.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration, and I hope to hear back from you soon.

Kind regards,


Would Data and C3PO win a doubles tennis match against Nova and Jaeger?

It's not clear why someone says no mother could spawn such a curse. Jaeger's your hero. Plenty of mothers have spawned curses worse than Jaeger.

The tone and vocabulary seem a bit heavy. Is the whole book written in this tone? It might be better to lighten up.

Is this your plot? 

Humanity reached the stars, set up shop on Volnura, and proceeded to ruin the place. They then took off, leaving behind all their mechanical people, and some marauders and gangs, who may be human or mechanical. Two of these mechanical droydes, Jaeger and Nova, go on a quest to learn about their origins and the history of Volnura. Even though they know nothing about their history, they somehow know that the answers they seek are contained in something called a derelict Mannic spire. They trick some gang members into helping them find the derelict spire by telling them it contains a treasure map. Even though treasure is of no use on this dead planet, the gang members go along, planning to kill Jaeger and Nova once the spire is found. What they don't know is that humanity is on their way back to rescue their beloved robots. 

You need something about halfway between your version and mine.

A standard plan of attack is to address these questions:

1. Who's your main character, what does he want, and what's his plan to get it?

2. What obstacles does he face in his quest to reach his goal (choose the main one)? What's his plan to overcome this obstacle?

3. What will happen if he fails? What will happen if he succeeds? What big decision must he make that will determine whether he succeeds?

#3 is a problem here. You haven't convinced me to care whether a robot finds out where he came from. Is Jaeger the leader of all the mechanized people? Is he hoping to lead his droydes into a new age of sentience and human-like civilization? Is he trying to reach the spirit world where all robots become human?