Monday, February 20, 2017

6. The Augur of Esteria - Menta's Journey: YA Adventure Fantasy

6.
Title: The Augur of Esteria - Menta's Journey
Age and Genre: YA Adventure Fantasy
Word Count: 95,000

Query:
When the prince Menta is expected to marry suddenly disappears in the middle of the night, she realizes that the quiet world she once knew is drastically changing. With little guidance she sets out on a path to find the ancient race of the Faecha who will provide her with the answers she needs to find Zane. The only catch? No one has seen the Faecha in decades and it’s generally believed they are extinct.

As Menta’s journey continues she discovers that there is much about Esteria that she doesn’t know and with a little help from her dead grandfather, a young dweller boy named Gaius and an island man named Duke, Menta and her trusty warecat – Darius – are thrust into a magical world they never knew was real. They venture further south towards the last rumoured location of the Faecha and discover that their journey isn’t as flawless as they’d hoped. While they seek out Zane – the lost prince – another searches for them.

Morarch and his master Rayeon are ancient sorcerers bent on opening the rift between the mortal world of Esteria and that of the spirits. And they need Menta to do it. With the growing evil in Esteria, they pool their resources to track down Menta and her travelling party before she reaches the Faecha and learns the truth about her powers.
Menta soon learns that she and Zane are connected in more ways than she knew and as Morarch and his plans get closer to completion, she has to find Zane before they find her or it could cost not only her life but all of the peace in Esteria. 

First 250 Words:
The door swung open and two clumsy demons pushed their way through, each hoping they’d be the first to deliver the news. The aging sorcerer didn’t flinch when the heavy wooden door slammed behind them.

“Master,” the first squeaked, the smaller of the two. “We have done as you wished!”

Morarch turned from the tower window, facing the two creatures. His cold black eyes scanned over them. They fell silent. 

“You aren’t lying,” he stated, looking back to the darkening sky. A storm was not far off.

“No, Master,” the second speaking now, “never to you.” The dark blue demon held his burnt fingers from sight; a punishment for previous lies.

The sorcerer limped towards his desk, clutching his gnarled staff tightly for support. Still neither demon spoke. But Morarch didn’t rush them. He lowered himself into his wooden arm chair and rested the staff at his side.

“Well?” He asked when the silence continued.

The two began talking at once, excitedly spewing whatever information they could until Morarch held up his wrinkled hand to silence their incessant chatter.

“Peg?” he asked, motioning to the smaller demon.

She bounced forward, ahead of her comrade, fingers interlacing nervously.

“We’ve found her, Sir,” she squeaked.

Morarch frowned. “A girl?”

Before Peg could answer her brother stepped to her side.

“Living in Brydon, Master,” Dob whispered.

The old sorcerer’s eyes flashed angrily for a moment before he folded his hands and rested his chin on top. “And human.”

Peg drew a sharp breath. “Sir…”

5 comments:

  1. This is posted on behalf of Elsie. My feedback will follow later.

    Query:
    When the prince Menta is expected to marry suddenly disappears in the middle of the night, she realizes that the quiet world she once knew is drastically changing. With little guidance she sets out on a path to find the ancient race of the Faecha who will provide her with the answers she needs to find Zane. (is this the prince? How does she know to search them out to find the answers? ) The only catch? No one has seen the Faecha in decades and it’s generally believed they are extinct.

    As Menta’s journey continues she discovers that there is much about Esteria (is this a place? )that she doesn’t know and with a little help from her dead grandfather, a young dweller boy named Gaius and an island man named Duke, Menta and her trusty warecat – Darius – are thrust into a magical world they never knew was real. They venture further south towards the last rumoured location of the Faecha and discover that their journey isn’t as flawless as they’d hoped. While they seek out Zane – the lost prince – another searches for them.

    Morarch and his master Rayeon are ancient sorcerers bent on opening the rift between the mortal world of Esteria and that of the spirits. And they need Menta to do it. With the growing evil in Esteria, they pool their resources to track down Menta and her travelling party before she reaches the Faecha and learns the truth about her powers.
    Menta soon learns that she and Zane are connected in more ways than she knew and as Morarch and his plans get closer to completion, she has to find Zane before they find her or it could cost not only her life but all of the peace in Esteria.

    The query got a little confusing with the introduction of so many names and I lost track of Menta. Pare the mentions down to only critical names to keep the query focused. I tried to summarize using fewer names.

    Umpteen-year-old Menta’s fiancĂ© is kidnapped from their home of Esteria and she must to find him. The kingdom is at risk of an evil takeover? An ancient race named Faecha may be able to help her. But the ancient people she needs to find may no longer exist. The quest to find them may be long and dangerous but Menta and her friends (or band of warriors or family) must make the journey.

    Meanwhile, evil sorcerers are trying to open the rift between the mortal world of Esteria and the spirit world. They have been plotting the take over and this final move will end life in Esteria and give them control? The evil sorcerers need Menta because her hidden powers will unlock the portal.

    Menta must not let the sorcerers stop her before she reaches the Faecha. If she can learn about her powers, she can rescue Zane and destroy the evil/protect her village?

    Find ways to keep the story simple but still exciting and keep the names limited to really important ones. Best of luck!

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  2. This is posted on behalf of Elsie. My feedback will follow later


    First 250 Words:
    The door swung open and two clumsy demons pushed their way through, each hoping they’d be the first to deliver the news. The aging sorcerer didn’t flinch when the heavy wooden door slammed behind them.

    “Master,” the smaller of the two squeaked. Her slight build trembled as she stood? Give a hint of appearance?)“We have done as you wished!”

    Morarch turned from the tower window, facing the two creatures. His cold black eyes scanned over them. They fell silent. (More words hadn’t been said since he turned – so in lieu of silent , would they have grow still ? What does the room look like?

    “You aren’t lying,” he stated, looking back to the darkening sky. A storm was not far off.(he could see it in the distance? He could feel it? Were there ribbons of lightning?)

    “No, Master,” the second spoke, “never to you.” The dark blue demon held his burnt fingers from sight; a punishment for previous lies. (nice detail)

    The sorcerer limped towards his desk, clutching his gnarled staff tightly for support. (Since you mentioned the limp – add another snippet of detail - where it came from? Emotional reaction?) Still neither demon spoke. But Morarch didn’t rush them. Had he trained them to stay focused? Or did he not rush them because he was weary and it had been a long day? He lowered himself into his wooden arm chair and rested the staff at his side.

    “Well?” He asked when the silence continued. Did his voice echo in the small room? Orwas it lost in the large hall?

    The two began talking at once, excitedly spewing whatever information they could. Morarch held up his wrinkled hand and silenced their incessant chatter.

    “Peg?” he asked, motioning to the smaller demon.

    She bounced forward on the stone floor?, ahead of her comrade, fingers interlacing nervously.
    “We’ve found her, Sir,” she squeaked. Add a physical detail about Peg

    Morarch frowned. (Since he’d old, would this cause deep creases around his lips ? “A girl?”

    Before Peg could answer her brother stepped to her side.

    “Living in Brydon, Master,” Dob whispered.

    The old sorcerer’s eyes flashed angrily for a moment before he folded his hands and rested his chin on top. (why did his eyes flash angrily? Was that not the answer he wanted? “And human.”

    Peg drew a sharp breath. “Sir…”

    Nice detail of the burned fingers and incessant chattering J I made a few comments in the body. The story has an adventurous feel but as the reader, I’m dying to know more about the demon’s appearance, the sorcerer’s room, the reason he seems angry J. Strong start.

    All suggestions/opinions/thoughts are humbly offered. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. All my opinions, please disregard any that don't help.

    Query:
    When the prince Menta is expected to marry suddenly disappears in the middle of the night, she realizes that the quiet world she once knew is drastically changing. (How is it changing? Why does his disappearance make her realize this?) With little guidance she sets out on a path to find the ancient race of the Faecha who will provide her with the answers she needs to find Zane. (Is Zane the prince? How does she know the Faecha can help her?) The only catch? No one has seen the Faecha in decades and it’s generally believed they are extinct. (Well, sounds fun. LET'S GO ON AN ADVENTURE!!!)

    (As Menta’s journey continues she)<Don't need Menta discovers that there is much about Esteria that she doesn’t know and with a little help from her dead grandfather, a young dweller boy named Gaius and an island man named Duke, Menta and her trusty warecat – Darius – are thrust into a magical world they never knew was real. (What a great bunch of characters! And I LOVE WORLDS WE DIDN'T KNOW WERE REAL!)) They venture further south towards the last rumoured location of the Faecha and discover that their journey isn’t as flawless as they’d hoped. (While they seek out Zane – the lost prince – another searches for them.)< Don't think you need this.

    Morarch and his master Rayeon are ancient sorcerers bent on opening the rift between the mortal world of Esteria and that of the spirits.(Why? What will that give them?) And they need Menta to do it. (Why?) With the growing evil in Esteria, they pool their resources to track down Menta and her travelling party before she reaches the Faecha and learns the truth about her powers. (What are her powers?)
    Menta soon learns that she and Zane are connected in more ways than she knew (How?) and as Morarch and his plans get closer to completion, she has to find Zane before they find her or it could cost not only her life but all of the peace in Esteria. (Does she learn about her powers? I really like this. Sounds like a great time! I am dying to see the world.)

    First 250 Words:
    The door swung open and two clumsy demons pushed their way through, each hoping they’d be the first to deliver the news. (What do they look like? Seems to be in their POV?) The aging sorcerer didn’t flinch when the heavy wooden door slammed behind them.

    “Master,” the first squeaked, the smaller of the two. “We have done as you wished!”

    Morarch turned from the tower window, facing the two creatures. His cold black eyes scanned over them. They fell silent.

    “You aren’t lying,” he stated, looking back to the darkening sky. A storm was not far off.

    “No, Master,” the second speaking now, “never to you.” The dark blue demon held his burnt fingers from sight; a punishment for previous lies. (what color is the other demon?)

    The sorcerer limped towards his desk, clutching his gnarled staff tightly for support. Still neither demon spoke. But Morarch didn’t rush them. He lowered himself into his wooden arm chair and rested the staff at his side. (In Morarch's POV?)

    “Well?” He asked when the silence continued. (Where are they? Sights. Sounds. Smells? Is he anxious for their news?)

    The two began talking at once, excitedly spewing whatever information they could until Morarch held up his wrinkled hand to silence their incessant chatter.

    “Peg?” he asked, motioning to the smaller demon. (Motioned how? Give us a clue to his emotions.)

    She bounced forward, ahead of her comrade, fingers interlacing nervously.

    “We’ve found her, Sir,” she squeaked.

    Morarch frowned. “A girl?”

    Before Peg could answer her brother stepped to her side.

    “Living in Brydon, Master,” Dob whispered.

    The old sorcerer’s eyes flashed angrily for a moment before he folded his hands and rested his chin on top. “And human.”

    Peg drew a sharp breath. “Sir…”

    (Ah! What? Very interested in who the girl is. I would like more details, to set the scene and bring it to life in my mind.)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Whenever I give feedback, I’m not telling you what to do with your story or query. I’m only offering suggestions for how I would change it if it were mine. In the end, no one knows their story as well as the writer, and as such, it is up to the writer how to take any suggestions. Good luck, and it was a privilege having all of you on my blog!

    Query:

    When the prince Menta is expected to marry suddenly disappears in the middle of the night, she realizes that the quiet world she once knew is drastically changing. (This doesn’t really get the bang we want, and I think it might be the phrasing. Maybe something like “Menta’s world shatters when her betrothed, a prince of the realm disappears without a trace.”) With little guidance she sets out on a path to find the ancient race of the Faecha who will provide her with the answers she needs to find Zane. (Umm, how?) The only catch? No one has seen the Faecha in decades and it’s generally believed they are extinct.

    As Menta’s journey continues she discovers that there is much about Esteria that she doesn’t know and with a little help from her dead grandfather, a young dweller boy named Gaius and an island man named Duke, Menta and her trusty warecat – Darius – are thrust into a magical world they never knew was real. (this is good in that it is specific, but vague in that it’s too many details without a framework to ground us, consider trimming some so you can focus on what that help is). They venture further south towards the last rumoured location of the Faecha and discover that their journey isn’t as flawless as they’d hoped. While they seek out Zane – the lost prince – another searches for them. (this feels like the conflict in your story, and we should get this sooner.)

    Morarch and his master Rayeon are ancient sorcerers bent on opening the rift between the mortal world of Esteria and that of the spirits. And they need Menta to do it (Why?). With the growing evil in Esteria, they pool their resources to track down Menta and her travelling party before she reaches the Faecha and learns the truth about her powers. (and that truth is? This is a good example of having an opportunity to share something specific about your story that would help to show us how it is different from others)
    Menta soon learns that she and Zane are connected in more ways than she knew (again, how are they connected? and as Morarch and his plans get closer to completion, she has to find Zane before they find her or it could cost not only her life but all of the peace in Esteria.


    ReplyDelete
  5. First 250:

    The door swung open and two clumsy demons pushed their way through, each hoping they’d be the first to deliver the news. The aging sorcerer didn’t flinch when the heavy wooden door slammed behind them. (These two sort of remind me of Pain and Panic from Hercules. I have fond memories of them, so this isn’t a bad thing, but this does make me question the age category. It makes me think this is aimed at MG rather than YA. Which isn’t a bad thing and is more about knowing your market. Just something to keep in mind.)

    “Master,” the first squeaked, the smaller of the two. “We have done as you wished!”

    Morarch turned from the tower window, facing the two creatures. His cold black eyes scanned over them. They fell silent.

    “You aren’t lying,” he stated, looking back to the darkening sky. A storm was not far off.

    “No, Master,” the second speaking now, “never to you.” The dark blue demon held his burnt fingers from sight; a punishment for previous lies. (nice touch)

    The sorcerer limped towards his desk, clutching his gnarled staff tightly for support. Still neither demon spoke. But Morarch didn’t rush them. He lowered himself into his wooden arm chair and rested the staff at his side.

    “Well?” He asked when the silence continued.

    The two began talking at once, excitedly spewing whatever information they could until Morarch held up his wrinkled hand to silence their incessant chatter.

    “Peg?” he asked, motioning to the smaller demon.

    She bounced forward, ahead of her comrade, fingers interlacing nervously.

    “We’ve found her, Sir,” she squeaked.

    Morarch frowned. “A girl?”

    Before Peg could answer her brother stepped to her side.

    “Living in Brydon, Master,” Dob whispered.

    The old sorcerer’s eyes flashed angrily for a moment before he folded his hands and rested his chin on top. “And human.”

    Peg drew a sharp breath. “Sir…”

    (All of this is good writing. My concern is that this kind of casts this villain in a sort of caricature of a villain. Right now, there is nothing to differentiate this villain from any of the Disney bad guys. I only comment because I have a soft spot for villains, and I spend a lot of time figuring mine out and making certain they are each their own person and not a placeholder for the plot. I’m not saying yours is, but with this particular view, I’m already a little worried that I’m going to see more of that to come. Maybe consider changing things around to start with a different scene. Other than that, your writing is great, and I found it entirely readable. Good job!)

    ReplyDelete

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