12.23.2006

HH Com 369

It's tough to be a princess waiting for true love when your Prince Charming is trying to kill you, your best friend has discovered the secret to the most forbidden of magics, and your fairy godmother neglected to leave you any sensible shoes.

Princess Alysia (Aly to friends) waits, not very patiently, in a distant tower for her true love. When he tries to kill her instead of kiss her, she escapes and makes her way back to her kingdom, Adelai, to reclaim her life. In the meantime, her cousin and best friend, Risse, has discovered how to use magic, a taboo going back to the beginning of civilization. As Risse learns to control magic and, for the first time, understands the allure of power, another sort of magic grips her: love for the prince of a nearby rival country. And in order to keep her magic and marry her prince, she must usurp Aly's rightful place.

"The Frog Princes of Adelai" follows Aly and Risse as they struggle with the choices between good and evil, loyalty and betrayal, good wine and bad shoes. Their choices eventually bring them face-to-face in the middle of a war when what they each decide about how much the
other is worth will determine whether Adelai falls and whether magic lives on or is buried forever.

Why why why does every princess story have to have these crazy ass names?? Alysia of Adelai? Please, give me something normal like Gertrude of Bloomingdales.

You've got the fun start of an idea here but then it devolves into the usual. Why should we care if magic lives on or is buried forever? More focus on the conflict with Risse will help too.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like the idea, and I love the first paragraph, but the second paragraph is really just a repeat of the first, only with more detail. I'd recommend keeping it simple, perhaps with shorter sentences in the following paragraphs to grab attention.

I haven't had my hook snarked yet, so maybe I'm not qualified to give advice, but I think this has potential. Good luck!

BuffySquirrel said...

I blame the critique groups. I named two characters in a Fantasy story Marcus and Laura, and it was like, what, Marcus and Laura? wtf?

Inkwolf said...

"and your fairy godmother neglected to leave you any sensible shoes."

That was the thing that really grabbed me at the beginning. :p But gotta agree with Miss Snark, it loses momentumfast. I'd rather hear about why Prince Charming is trying to kill her, that he hasn't given up, and that her learning to use magic is her only hope of fending off the creep.

Anonymous said...

They should team up and open a school of magic for other disenfranchised women. Plenty of time for romance after establishing a career, 'cause sometimes the Marry-a-Prince Thing doesn't work out--just ask Fergie.

If anyone objects, turn 'em into frogs.

wavybrains said...

I liked this one. I agree--I wanted to know more about the Prince.

littlebirdblue said...

For a lot of people, especially those who read or write fantasy, unusual and exotic names are often a part of worldbuilding. People who don't like fantastical settings might not like the trappings of those worlds. It's a genre thing.

Author--don't forget that your eventual market is not the crapometer. Many people won't think Alysia of Adelai sounds weird at all.

buffysquirrel--I also think Marcus and Laura sound good, too. I hope you didn't change your story.

Virginia Miss said...

I love the first line. Good luck re-working this.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Snark -- the hard-to-pronounce made-up name thing is getting soooo old. Harry Potter didn't need one, did he?

Anonymous said...

The names sounded fine to me. Downright pronounceable by fantasy standards. And yeah, Harry Potter is more normal, but the whole conceit of those books is the ordinary world meets the magical one.

I also didn't have a problem with the "magic being gone forever" without further explanation - I wonder if this is a genre reader thing too. If you're willing to buy into the magic conceit enough to read fantasy novels, aren't you generally willing to buy that it's a good thing, barring extraordinary effort by the author to show otherwise?

BuffySquirrel said...

Thanks, littlebird. And no, I didn't :).

Inkwolf said...

By the way, about normal names and Harry Potter: if you believe that, you can't have read the books, which are full of characters named Rubeus, Filius, Ludo, Pomona, Severus, Bartemius, Celestina, Rosmerta, etc. And those are just the first names...

heidi said...

Risse's conflict sounds interesting, far more so than Aly's. Risse has discovered how to control the forbidden magic (that alone suggests risks) and then she falls in love, but to keep both the magic and the guy she's got the hots for, she must betray her best friend.

What a dilemma, and far more interesting than Aly. I don't care much about Aly as a main character and I don't care about whether or not magic is finally accepted in society or verboten forever.

I do care about Risse between a rock and a hard place.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, everyone, for the comments. Incidentally, Alysia was a name I overheard in a plane a couple of years ago--it belonged to a woman who arrived just before the door closed and was so grateful to have caught the plane she didn't object to the fact that some random guy had taken her window seat and she had to sit in a middle seat.

randomsome1 said...

Thus far in the Crapometer, I've learned to not name any female character something starting with an A or C--especially if I intend to tack on any creative spelling. I've only seen a few hundred of each in here.

Anonymous said...

Is this YA? It doesn't sound like an adult fantasy novel.