Monday, December 17, 2012

Hangover Round 1 Entry #50

Title:  The Legend of Tairn Gire
Genre:  Middle Grade Fantasy

When the partnership between a mysterious sorcerer and evil spirit threatens to destroy Tairn Gire, Prince Agmund must fight for his kingdom or lose everything.

Prince Agmund burst through the iron gate, tripped over a tree’s massive root, then fought off a limb attacking from the side, all to get to a simple round stone outside the castle gardens—the only company he wanted.
               “Different day, similar scenario,” the thirteen-year-old mumbled when he caught his breath.
The air stung his face and hands as he struggled against the wind. He slowed when he reached the spot, and dropping on the ground, gathered his knees to his chest.
Some magical life, he thought, and he watched as bud tipped branches bobbed in agreement.
Unlike him, nature was starting over in Majorca, a coastal town where thundering waves colliding on shore was as common as the grating laugh of woodland Capercaillie Grouse. Rock strewn beaches gave way to fields and forests, and a few lonely summits separated them from the next town over. A chilly gust tousled Agmund’s brown curls, and he closed his eyes and tried to remember. Smiling, he touched the stone, but the damp coldness was a painful reminder. Someone coughed and he was back.
“Yer Highness, Balthasar is lookin’ for yeh,” said a young maidservant sent to find him.
His lesson … he forgot, but he was in such a hurry he hadn’t even eaten his breakfast.
“Thank you,” said Agmund, “tell him I’ll be there shortly.”
“Aye, Yer Highness.”                                                         
He was late. This wasn’t the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last, but his father was joining them this morning.


  1. The logline is interesting but I think that first page has too much detail. I'd rather be learning more about the MC than reading about the countryside. Maybe cut out some of the description and move into the story a little faster. :)

  2. I do like the logline, but I had to read the first sentence several times and it still didn't grab me. Too much happening when I didn't know the mc yet and still didn't understand the stone or how it could be good company.
    It felt a little disjointed - I think we need one scene, clearly defined and see the mc thinking, reacting so we get to know him. We learn so much when the servant appears - I'd start closer to that point. His internal thoughts don't make sense because we really don't know what he's refering to (magical life, similar scenario). But your writing is clean and enticing, just need a little more focus.

  3. I agree with the other comments. It is disjointed but only because there's too much happening. We need to know why he's interested in the stone and why he's magical.

    I'm guessing he is a bumbling prince with magical powers which is a good premise but I get the feeling you're freaking about working those 250 words and packing it in - been there, done that. You've got an energetic voice so get editors and picky critiquers (ha!) off your shoulder and go for it.

  4. Thanks everyone! Your comments are more than helpful :)

  5. Your logline is good, but you might try sharpening it with 'active' words. Partnership is passive, alliance is better, but if they 'ally' there's action which immediately sits you forward to watch.
    On your first page, zoom the lense- focus on his motivation. He NEEDS to get out of the castle "bursting through the gate" "Stumbling" to get away, but then his comment seems Ho-hum, 'I'm out of the castle'. You've got me hooked because he's escaping, but then you let me go by making his need to escape seem not so urgent. If it matters to him, make it matter to me as the reader.

    Good beginning but I'd like a little tighter focus and keep the tension your start going forward.

  6. I like the overall premise of this, but would like to see more of a hook in the logline (who is Agmund, and why is the reader going to care what happens to him and his kingdom.)
    The opening give a good sense of place, but perhaps with too much description in one paragraph. Try breaking the setting details up and sprinkle them throughout the text. The hook of him trying to remember something would be more visible, if it wasn't hidden in the description part.
    I get a clear sense of what Agmund doesn't want in the first 250 words, but not what he wants/needs.

  7. I'm sorry, but the first paragraph was just plain confusing, then the dialogue in the second paragraph is way too overdone/adult to be a thirteen-year-old speaking. Then you try and 'tell' me the air stung his face and hands? How does air sting? "Show" him pushing his hair back and wiping his eyes because the sand in the wind is stinging them.

    Then you throw in 'some magical life' out of nowhere. This has no meaning or relevance to the reader.

    If this really is for middle grade, then my advise would be to go back and simplify so a middle grade reader can understand it. They aren't interested in lots of lovely descriptions, they want to get to the story and the action - fast.

    And this is a very personal observation - but I found Agmund very jarring mentally as I read. It's hard to become attached to someone when the name doesn't flow through your mind.

  8. Like others, I really enjoyed the logline. With the first 500 though, I felt sort of thrown into the story at the wrong place. If you can find a different place to start your story--one where there's enough conflict (internal or external) to keep the reader interested, while at the same time making readers care about the character--I think it will greatly improve your story. Good luck!

  9. Thank you Candyce, Helle, SMKrafty, Elizabeth, GSmarlene, and A.G. for all your kind and invaluable feedback. I rewrote the first 250 again and it's starting to flow much better. If you ever need any help, I'll do my best :)

  10. Interesting logline, but I'd like it better if there were a few more specifics to draw me in. I like this overall as an opening scene, but there are several clunky bits that need smoothing.

    I like 'Prince Agmund burst through the iron gate' - which sounds heroic - being immediately undercut to comic effect by him tripping over the tree - but the rest of the sentence could be finessed. Perhaps something like: 'Prince Agmund burst through the iron gate, tripped over a massive tree root and fell sprawling on the ground. And all to get to the simple round stone outside the castle gardens — the only company he wanted.'

    If you're going for close 3rd POV, you need to lose descriptors like 'the thirteen-year-old' (work his age in elsewhere more subtly) and 'A chilly gust tousled Agmund’s brown curls' (he's not thinking about what colour his own hair is, he knows that).

    “Different day, similar scenario,” also sounded off to me, but I thought 'Some magical life' was good, it makes me want to know how magic will be involved in the story and I don't mind waiting a bit to find out. Small nitpick: Majorca is an island in the Mediterranean, so that threw me a bit, perhaps choose a different name for your fictional town.

    Good luck, hope this helps a bit.

    1. Thanks Girl Friday. Ahh! Majorca is an island? I like this name, but you might be right. I am still struggling with the first line and wanted something that showed he was the typical teen-caught between emerging adulthood but still considered a kid. This is why I had him crashing into the gate but then tripping and getting his sleeve caught on a branch. Falling on the ground my be simpler though, so I will play with it a bit.