HH Com 273 (270)

Responsible for a tragic mistake costing many lives, Reynard quickly transforms from cocky young man to level headed leader. Years later, chosen as the Prior's successor, he faces another crisis of faith. A piece of blasphemous technology exposes a group of twisted fanatics lurking at the edges of the galaxy. Following their trail, he is horrified to find they have infiltrated every aspect of society, including the theocracy he serves so faithfully.

With the discovery pulling his entire Order into the underground conflict that has been building for centuries, Reynard's beliefs are tested at every turn as the Priory splinters around him. Some refuse to see the truth, continuing their mission to guard the pilgrim paths as if nothing has changed. Many join Reynard and the new Prioress, helping to uncover the vast deception. As the conflict explodes into open war, one member faces the violence head on and her courage crumbles to madness.

With hope for peace dwindling, an unexpected ally appears. Sam and the crew of the Fair Horizon carry an ancient journal. The secrets it holds will rock the foundations of the Priory's faith and renew their path to the divine. Now they only hope it will give them the strength to unite the people and protect them from the dark tide of evil spreading across the galaxy.

Start with simple declarative sentences. "An unexpected ally appears when hope for peace is dwindling"; "Reynard becomes a level headed leader after a tragic mistake costs lives".

Then figure out the antagonist. Then the stakes. Sam and Fair Horizan arriving in the nick of time is deus ex machina and not something I'm real fond of. Han Solo arrives to save the day in Star Wars but we knew him long before that.


Jennifer said...

yup. i can see where i went wrong here.

the deus ex machima that seems to be there actually occurs about halfway into the story and isn't as sudden or abrupt (or miraculous) as it seems.

damn. back to the drawing board.

thanks for taking the time!

Kit Whitfield said...

What's 'blasphemous technology'? I can't think of a faith in the real world that has much of a position on technology per se, so what's different about this one?

How does Reynard get to a leadership position after accidentally killing lots of people? Such mistakes don't usually win followers and influence people.

Who's the new Prioress? Who are the 'many' who join them?

I think you could improve this a lot if you made all your sentences more active:

Reynard's beliefs are tested at every turn. The Priory is splintering around him, split between loyalists who deny the truth and revolutionaries who realise the magnitude of the lies - including the new Prioress So-and-So. It begins as schism. It ends in open war.

Well, not exactly that, because I'm tired and I don't really know what I'm talking about plot-wise, but you see what I mean? Go for punchy. You've got plenty happening to be punchy about.

Anonymous said...

I love the growing conspiracy at the ends of the Galaxy (kind of a Foundation Trillogy in reverse), but I'm with MS, I want to see the mastermind of the movement in the hook.

By the way, I'll get Snarked for doing the same thing, there is a mastermind antagonist in mine, but I don't come out and mention him in the hook.

Madeline F said...

I like the idea, though! Religion in space isn't done enough. Like others say, more of a sniff of the bad guys's MO would be nice, though. Templars in space versus mind-eating magic would kick serious ass. :)

Jennifer said...

thanks for the comments everyone!
this is more helpful than i even thought it would be.

hmm. the blasphemous technology is based on this religion's philosophy of maintaining balance between nature and tech. therefor any 'nanotech' or metal, or circuitry in this case, embedded in a creature is 'blasphemous'. trying to sum that up to make it clearer is going to be a trick!

i'll try to make my villains more present,too. i can see where that's lacking here.

Kit Whitfield said...

Try just stating it baldly:

Since the foundation of the Theocracy, the Faith has commanded that a balance be kept between nature and technology. When Reynard stumbles on a piece of nanotechnology, he knows it violates the sacred laws - but he doesn't know it will reveal a secret that will splinter his world.

Or something like that. A good technique when you're working out something sticky is to say out loud what you're trying to put across in writing, then just write down what you said. It's often much more to the point.