Wednesday, February 11, 2009

9 Secret Agent

TITLE: Stream Pirate

GENRE: Fantasy

Every introduction was the same.

"Welcome to Radial Stream, Your Excellencies. I am King Tombolo Fan. May I present my daughter, Alluvial Fan."

Translation:

"Thank you for taking time out of your precious schedule to come gold-digging in a kingdom you would never ordinarily set foot in. My, your son is fatter than the portrait you sent of him. I'm king here, so put any thoughts of pomposity out of your overly-powdered-wigged head, and don't you dare forget that my daughter will one day be in my position."

At least that's what I heard my father say. Made the day more interesting.

Today's introduction took place on the dock in Daol Port reserved for the royal family. The hustling and bustling of the busy capital provided a nice hum against the half-mumbled speech of intent from the Duke of Branderbee's son. He was a very nervous-looking fellow, half a foot shorter than me and at least forty pounds heavier. Apparently he had heard the version of my father's introduction that I had, because as he spoke his eyes never left his shoes and his cheeks grew redder. The world's future lay on shoulders like these. How reassuring.

"Sir, I-I-thanks, thank you, thank you for the chance to meet with Your Highnesses. I have been looking up-forward, forward to this meeting with the princess, whom I have heard so much about."

Tom's lips remained in a welcoming smile beneath his gray beard, though I could tell he had reached the same conclusion as I – it was over.

29 comments:

  1. I liked this. Especially the voice. This sounds like the kind of princess who is no nonsense and kind of snarky.

    The only issue I had with it was at the end, when you referred to her father as Tom. She calls her father by his first name? It also took me a second to realize that "Tom" referred to King Tombolo.

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  2. I was thrown by the reference to "Tom," too, though I assume this is the sort of no-nonsense princess who doesn't call her father Daddy. :-)

    I liked this and would keep reading -- I especially liked the "At least that's what I heard my father say" paragraph, and the way you suggest that the nervous-looking fellow heard that version, too. (I did spend one moment wondering if this is a world where one ~can~ hear other people's thoughts, but I'm guessing this wasn't meant literally. And in any case the reader will find out later, I'm sure.)

    The one thing I'd suggest is "so put any thoughts of pomposity out of your overly-powdered-wigged head" is the weak part of an otherwise amusing bit of dialogue. Not that I have any suggestions instead, of course. But it's so good otherwise that you might want to come up with something else.

    Good luck with your novel!

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  3. I thought this was well written and funny. I even liked the part about the overly-powered-wigged head. it made me laugh.

    I would read on to see where the story goes.

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  4. Alluvial Fan? What a name! It's not what I'd call a good name for a princess, and an alluvial fan is the dirt dumped by a river as it meets a wide body of water, a.k.a, a delta. But maybe with a book named "Stream Pirate" it fits.

    I'm assuming, since this is labeled as fantasy, that it will be more than a win a bride with a neat quest plot so I'm not certain why you'd start at this point because it gives no real sense of where the novel is going.

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  5. Interesting concept!
    I'm a bit curious about the last sentence though. Does Alluvial call he father by an abbreviation of his first name?

    I would read on.

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  6. Any story that starts with characters named Tombolo and Alluvial Fan deserves to have readers continue on! And so far you haven't disappointed, with a good voice for the princess that makes me want to spend time with her.

    There's a danger of being too snarky, but you've not approached that limit.

    While there's not a strong plot hook here, your amusing writing and voice assures that this reader would continue for at least several more pages thinking, "Hey, this could be fun!"

    My one suggestion is to identify the narrator immediately. Upon first reading, I was a bit lost on who was speaking when doing the translation.

    Please tell me her mother is named Delta.

    Good luck!

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  7. I'm interested. Your writing is very entertaining, but I do agree that calling her dad Tom was confusing. I like this princess - she's witty and sharp. It will be fun to see how the interactions between Alluvial and her father.

    Nice work.

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  8. This sounds like it will be a lot of fun. I like Alluvial, her "how reassuring" is very snarky.

    I have no idea where this is going, but I'm ready to plunge in.

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  9. I would read on. Great voice, love the snark, and interesting characters. The mention of Tom took me right out of the reading - I hope you think of ways to fix this (my father, His royal Highness, Dad...) so that your reader knows who you're talking about.

    Good job!

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  10. This cracked me up. Loved the names. Just when the opening speech required a bit of translating -- it was translated! LOL. I'd keep going.

    First I thought the visitors were there to actually pan for gold in the stream. (I can be slow.) Then I decided they were there to wed the princess.

    I might still be wrong, but I'm curious to know who could succeed in impressing this cynical princess.

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  11. I thought this was really good - clever and funny. I'm not a fantasy fan, but this hooked me.

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  12. I groaned when I read the first three lines. Dull. Pompous. But then I read the translation. I love the voice and I'm so hooked.

    Good luck! You've just been added to my favorites list.

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  13. I liked this. The voice was engaging and entertaining, and it hooked me. I would definitely read on.

    Today's introduction took place on the dock in Daol Port reserved for the royal family.
    --I think it would flow more naturally if you worded it 'Today's introduction took place on the dock reserved for the royal family in Daol Port.'

    That's the only thing I found to point out. I love their names, I love the narrator, and I'm hooked. Great job! =)

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  14. Hi, I'm the author :)

    Thanks everyone! You're all so encouraging! So, so much.

    And Miss Swan: That sentence has given me such trouble. You're brilliant!

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  15. I love this! The only thing that threw me was calling her father "Tom." I had to backtrack to see who that was.

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  16. Why thank you! ^_^

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  17. Love the voice, but "Alluvial Fan" almost made me stop reading. I suppose "rich dirt" has a certain irony as a name for a princess, but it did seem a little on the nose.

    I'm glad I kept reading, because this is a lot of fun. Consider me hooked. :)

    Cheers.

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  18. I think it's funny and engaging. I wish you lots of luck. I would comment further but I think I'm a little late. Good luck.

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  19. I was a little distracted, because I was sort of thinking that the intro in the beginning sounds a little casual for a welcome from King to King.

    And while I sort of like this, I had this feeling like I could hear somebody talking just around the corner. Might need a line or two towards the beginning to give readers a clear mental image of the setup.

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  20. I REALLY like the voice of your MC here—fun and sarcastic! I would, though, find a way to show us that this is in her POV earlier on. Maybe:

    "Welcome to Radial Stream, Your Excellencies. I am King Tombolo Fan. May I present my daughter, Alluvial Fan."
    In my mind, that would translate as:
    "Thank you for taking time out of your precious schedule to come gold-digging in a kingdom you would never ordinarily set foot in. My, your son is fatter than the portrait you sent of him. I'm king here, so put any thoughts of pomposity out of your overly-powdered-wigged head, and don't you dare forget that my daughter will one day be in my position."
    At least that makes my father’s words more entertaining, in my opinion, and the day more interesting.


    Also, heighten the tension here a bit, maybe by including a bit in the “translation” about why these two nobles are in Tom’s kingdom.

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  21. I like the voice but was a bit confused near the end with the mention of "Tom"... I could of course be too tired to focus well. ;) Still, enjoyed it and would probably read on.

    Good luck,

    ~Merc

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  22. Liked it. Was hooked. My only concern?

    I'm a little worried about that narrator. She has a reason to be harsh to be sure but a little glimpse of compassion for the poor boy who was probably dragged their by his parent would have been nice.

    Otherwise she might be too cold for me.

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  23. Oops. Sorry for the "there" typo in comment!

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  24. I liked the biting humor in the narrator’s voice – it convinced me right away that this was someone I would want to spend 300 pages with. I have two small nitpicks. First, this had a historical feel for me (perhaps it was the powdered wigs), which made the comment about “gold-digging” seem anachronistic and out of place. Second, I was confused about why the *world’s* future would have lain on the Duke’s son’s shoulders if he was “interviewing” to become king of an obscure kingdom that people “would never ordinarily set foot in.” Otherwise, I think you’re off to a great start!

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  25. I love the voice! Definitely hooked. I normally wouldn't pick up a fantasy book, but I'd read this for the voice alone.

    One thing the jumped out at me (and brace yourself becauase this is random) but the name of the city kept reminding me of something and I couldn't remember what...and I finally figured it out. The name of the city in the Disney movie Cars is Radiator Springs, which is eerily reminscent of Radial Stream. Probably never would have noticed if my son hadn't forced me to watch that movie about 8,000 times, but something to consider unless the city name is somehow meaningful.

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  26. I like it and would read on. I was also a little thrown by Tom but I caught on.

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  27. Okay, not sure if I have more than 5 in my top five, but, LOVE IT!
    How's this, in my top 2!
    Can't wait to have this on my book shelf!

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  28. Really great writing, but lines like "How reassuring" and "it was over" seem pretty harsh when the boy is set up to look so harmlessly pathetic that we feel sympathy for him. "heard the same introduction that I had" gives me the idea that he is also extremely perceptive and sensitive, both good traits. I guess what I'm saying in short is- make the boy more comically pompous and oblivious, or the girl a bit more sympathetic. :)

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