12.20.2006

HH Com 232 (228)

Water has the power to slake thirst, quench fire and nourish -- or destroy -- life. And one unconventional young woman possesses this power...

Creating and controlling water comes as naturally to Kila O’Conner as wielding a sword. But why she is the only one in her humble village with these special talents is a mystery, even to her.

your hook starts here:
A stranger’s arrival triggers events that unveil Kila’s true identity. She is the daughter of a warrior Queen and King of another world, the Sky Lands, where four unique races create and control fire, water, earth, and air using flowers and herbs. Sixteen years ago, the Skeleton King swept through the Sky Lands on conquest, murdering her parents and many others, and forcing
Kila into exile.

Now the Skeleton King has returned, and not only wants the Sky Lands, but Kila’s death: She is the only one bold enough to defy him. Kila must avenge her parents and defend the Sky Lands. But assurances of friendship veil true feelings of deceit. Can Kila survive to unite her people and defeat the enemy?


This is unfocused. Is she living in Sky Lands? If she is why do you call her parents "queen and king of another world". If she's NOT in sky lands why does she give a fig about what happens to a place she doesn't know. Nameless faceless evil is boring; so is unexplained altruism. Give her some stakes in the game. Why does the Skeleton King want to kill her?

You've got events but I've got no idea what this story is about.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Um, this is being done for children right now, called Avatar. They have four races of people, each with their own powers. Earth Benders, Fire Benders, Water Benders, Air Benders. Some of these nations are at war, and they all fear Fire Benders...only the Avatar can control all four, and he's a child who's just learning his skills.

Krista said...

I wrote something very similar for my first novel.

I was 15.

My point: this sounds very, very basic. The four elements/species/types of magic, the lost princess, saving another world, yadla yadla, it's all cliché and no work.

You're really going to have to work on your world to make it seem deep and real, and your main character needs a damn good reason to give a blip about doing this world saving thing.

Maybe your plot is good, but work on the world and the characters' motivations. It should help.

HawkOwl said...

The first paragraph was awful. For the rest, the setting has potential. The "discovering she's descended from royalty" is hackneyed. Surely you can think of a better lead into your story.

batgirl said...

Unless this is written very very well, Kila will look like a classic Mary Sue (idealised self-insert authorial character). The author might want to check out this test:
http://ponylandpress.nfshost.com/ms-test.html

Anonymous said...

How did she discover she can use flowers and herbs to control water?

When you say she's the only one who can do it and doesn't know why, it sounds like this is an inborn talent, something she just does without really thinking. But then we find out she needs props? Was she one day standing by the lake and thought, "I bet if I gather these specific flowers and add some herbs, maybe I can..." and she just happened to have picked the "water-controlling" flowers and herbs?

I just don't get why someone in a world where nobody has powers would spend time getting the right flower/herb combo to control water, when they have no reason to think they can do it. I know most of us as kids have the fantasy we can do magic at some point, but how many of us start experimenting with any of the thousands of flowers and/or herbs?

thraesja said...

Why did the Skeleton King force Kila into exile as (I assume) a babe, only to want her dead when she grows up? Wouldn't it have been easier for him to kill an infant after murdering her parents? If she escaped or was rescued, say that.

I liked the idea of various races controlling the different elements. I haven't seen the Avatar series mentioned, so it seemed fresh to me. You will want to have a look at it, to make sure your story is different.

Where is Kila now? Why can she wield a sword? Why does the Skeleton King want the Sky Lands? Why does no one know where Kila came from? Why does no one know about the Sky Lands (and their mode of magic) if they were only overrun 16 years ago? Why does Kila have to avenge people she doesn't remember to save a land she doesn't know?

You probably can't answer all of these questions in the hook, but you need to answer some of them, and make me believe that the rest are answered adequately in the book.

I'm not keen on the name Skeleton King. I had flashbacks to He-Man cartoons, which I'm sure is not what you intended.

Assurances of friendship veil true feelings of deceit
Deceit is not a feeling. People can be deceitful, but they can not feel deceitful. Then there's the feelings of deceit being true, which just befuddled my mind. I don't like this line anyway, as it is very vague.

I think you have something here. Take the advice the others gave and try again.

Anonymous said...

If the Skeleton King killed everyone in power in the Sky Lands, why the heck does he need to go back years later to take over? Usually, when you kill the rulers of a country, don't you keep the country anyway?

I'd leave out the bit about controlling the elements with plants. Who cares in a hook? aside from that, it doesn't really play to me...i've got a poinsettia, so i'm gonna make a tornado. right.

Rei said...

Very cliche.