12.21.2006

HH Com 283 (281)

His name struck awe and fear across two continents. His ruthless troops conquered two-thirds of the known world and hauled most of the wealth of Europe and Asia back to his Mongolian mountain stronghold. When Genghis Khan died in the middle of a campaign, his sons buried him with his entire fortune in a remote valley, then slaughtered the burial party to insure the secrecy of the site.

Neither his body nor a trace of his riches has ever been found.

Until now.

In "Genghis", my 100,000 word historical novel, a Thirteenth-Century workman in the Khan's burial party pilfers a gold coin from the treasure. He manages to survive the massacre of his co-workers, and passes the coin, along with a cryptic clue to the burial site's location, down through twenty-seven generations of nomadic herders. Along the way the coin is cut in two.

Now the workman's descendant, Tova, a green-eyed Mongolian physician, has half of the coin. She's the first woman to possess it. Alex, a Native-American geologist, has been given the other half by an old guy in a nursing home, along with the story and the clue. Tova and Alex both want the treasure, and both think they can find it. Though neither knows of the other's existence, they are about to discover that they need each other if they are to succeed, or even survive.


See the problem here is you forgot the sons. You know damn good and well the oldest one told his younger brothers to go look for four leaf clovers and when the kids did..Eldest dug up the treasure and retired to Florida to write crime novels. Another winter on the steppes?? feh.


This is a cliche ridden buried treasure story the way you present it here. If it's not, you'll want to try again.

13 comments:

cm allison said...

But it interested me. If I was browsing bookstores and came across it might well take it home. Sounds like the sort of "curl up on the couch with some wine and chocolates and don't disturb me" novel I love come dreary winter days......
(Dang I miss my Dick Francis Christmas books!)

Anonymous said...

I liked this. To make it stronger, you might want to focuse on what the characters actually do rather than all the history, though. And who are the bad guys? As is, it sounds like the two MCs are the only one involved. SOMEONE must be trying to hinder them.

RT

Hypergraphia said...

I like buried treasure stories myself. I think clues and riddles can be fun to solve, but also tricky to write. I think you have a solid idea. Go with it.

Anonymous said...

What kept the intervening 26 generations from deciding they deserved to dig up the treasure? Why does that no longer apply to Tova and Alex? Is it just because Tova is a woman?

Brady Westwater said...

Native Americans are likley descended from the ancestors of the Mongols. You might use that as part of the story.

Anonymous said...

I'm not trying to second guess a professional, but this sounded like an exciting story to me. If this were on the back cover of a book, and the first few pages of writing weren't sucky, I'd absolutely buy it.

Michelle Moran said...

If your book is as well written as this, I would take it home. Really a great premise and something no one has done before (to my knowledge). Sounds extremely interesting!

Ski said...

I've been known to laugh old jokes because the teller does it so well.

I liked this too, can I get in on the adventure? Good Luck to you.

Rgds............Ski

Inkwolf said...

From a book like this, I would expect to be brilliantly immersed in the culture and geography of Mongolia. Adventure books in exotic locales attract me, especially since I can't afford to travel myself. But if the protagonists pretty much only hang out with each other and stick to the roads and apartments and fictional settings, it's no fun.

I don't know about your treasure story--could be good or tedious for all I know--but I hope you've done your geographical research, or better yet, have significant experience with the country yourself. Let me really experience Mongolia, and I'll forgive minor weaknesses of plot or writing.

Good luck with the book!

Virginia Miss said...

This interested me, however I have no idea what period it's set in. You call it a historical, and mention 27 generations after the 13th century, but I can't work that out.

The first part of the hook really set up the situation nicely, but this fizzled out because you don't tell us how/why they're in danger (who the bad guys are -- I'm starting to notice the missing elements in Miss Snark's formula:) ). A bit more sense of the protags would help, too.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

First, let me point out that no less than Donald Maass, the top New York agent at the time, sneered at treasure tales or novels searching for a lost manuscipt. Please, no mas. Been done beyond cliche. Oh wait. He was doing that only eighteen months before Da Vinci Code was published. And so, Ms. Snark, notwithstanding her good heart, may have a blind spot here. Judging from the other responses, others agree with me. Lost treasure is always, always going to draw an eager crowd, but only if it's grounded on facts. There's your weak point. Why make it up? If you do that, more than likely you'll strangle your tale with cliche. That's what Ms. Snark believes you've likely done. The best fiction is 90 percent truth. Follow the advice of the other poster. If the tale is true, then research everything you can about any earlier attempts to locate the trove. It should be full of interesting characters, situations, and settings. Many of these you can fugue into a modern tale. Once you have your research, take yourself to Mongolia and march your fictional characters through the tale, taking thorough notes on settings, local characters, etc. You may find your story growing more rich and complex. If you're really lucky, you may come up with a new theory on the treasure's location. You may even find it. Either way, you'll have a story a lot of us would love to read. Good luck. Remember it gets cold on the steppes.

Anonymous said...

I love a good treasure hunt story myself, but I know too much about Khan to know that his treasure was spent long ago. I think one of the things that bothers me about modern day treasure hunt stories is that they feel the need to shoot for a bigger prize each time (what was that movie with the map on the back of The Declaration of Independence?) There are treasures out there that have never been uncovered, most of them from the wooden ship days when they'd get caught in storms. I'd shoot a little lower and go for one of those. If the hoops they have to jump through to find it are cool enough (and I think you seem to have a nice touch with that), it would make for a better story than the mountian that's filled with treasure enough to buy the world.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Genghis chan never hauled any treasures from Europe. 20,000 of his troops did defeat A russian and Kipchuk army, byt that's it. The one that conquered Russia and Eastern Europe was his grand son