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#1 EditorAdmin


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:33 PM

Guess the Plot

King's Mark

1. 26 generations of royal, first-born sons have had a crown-shaped birthmark over their hearts. When Ardolf is born with an elephant on his left butt-cheek and his twin sister, Aelfhild, has the crown over her heart, the kingdom is divided over who should rule. War ensues.

2. 735 AD. Brother Harald has been tasked with illuminating the Gospel of St Mark for the King. He feels unworthy of the commission--until St Mark himself appears to pose for his portrait.

3. Stone carver Leti is kidnapped by traders who've seen his otter birthmarks. They turn him over to the criminal mastermind known only as The Steward. Escaping, Leti finds his home destroyed and his people killed, and vows to instigate change throughout the land.

4. Katrian is a King's Mark, a man who stands in for King Junius for mundane tasks like fitting clothes. When he stumbles upon an assassination plot led by the Queen, can he save the King without becoming a marked man?

5. Rupprecht Luitpold would have been King of Bavaria but the monarchy was dissolved at the end of WWI. Hitler offers to restore Rupprecht’s crown but he spurns Hitler so The NAZIs seize the Luitpold estate and property. As Rupprecht flees, he spends his last Deutsch Mark on a beer and curses the coin. This is the story of that coin.

6. The last princess of Gorune gave birth to identical triplet sons, each bearing the birthmark that identifies them as king. A mix-up means nobody's sure which was born first. Now the brothers, enjoying their playboy lifestyles must battle to the death, the victor to be King. Why can't they just pull a sword from a stone?

Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,

There is nothing Leti loves better than hunting along the river and practicing his stone carving. [In the game of stone/carving knife/roast turkey, stone beats carving knife.] Until now, his clan’s protection has allowed him to do just that.

But when visiting traders discover the otter-print birthmarks on Leti’s hands, [Otter print.] they kidnap and smuggle him into a hostile city where the King’s Mark is the sign of a traitor. [This guy has the mark of a traitor. Should we kill him, leave him here trying to carve a stone with a knife, or bring him to our home city?] And the Steward doesn’t tolerate traitors. [The Steward? That's the nickname your supervillain has chosen to strike fear into the hearts of his enemies?]

Instead of being executed, Leti is sold to a rebel leader, who plans to use Leti’s existence as a rallying point.

[Trader: We have captured this simple stone carver and brought him to you. He must be executed, for these marks on his hands prove he will one day betray someone, possibly us.

The Steward: I have a better idea. I'll sell him to the leader of the rebellion. What harm can come from that? Besides, I can use the cash.]

Leti escapes [by carving a boulder into a war club], only to find his home destroyed and his clan scattered, killed, or sold into slavery. Instigating change suddenly becomes personal. [Instigating change?

Leti: WTF? I'm gone three weeks and my home is destroyed and my people killed or enslaved?

Old man sitting by the side of the road: Hey, it happens.

Leti: Not any more, it doesn't. It's time someone . . . instigated change!]

Aided by another Marked, a ruthless, charismatic guttersnipe-turned-revolutionary [with beaver prints on his feet], Leti begins to work with the insurgency. [In real life, the ruthless, charismatic revolutionary doesn't aid the rock sculptor. He forces the rock sculptor to aid him.] [Is the insurgency the rebels he escaped from?] Little does he know that the Steward is the least of his worries – another enemy hides in the shadows, [An enemy known as . . . The Custodian!] and the rebellion is playing right into his hands.

KING’S MARK, complete at 90,000 words, is a fast-paced epic fantasy. Additional material is available upon request.

Thank you for your time and consideration,


What are these rebels the Steward sells Leti to rebelling against? Surely not the Steward. You don't sell a Marked to your enemy. Or does the Mark mean he'll be a traitor to whomever has him?

For those minions who inevitably will ask what makes this different from all the other sculptor-vows-revenge-on-evil-overlord stories out there, I have two words: otter prints.

The writing is okay, but maybe you need to clear up some of the points that seem a little off.

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#2 Melissa_Ridley_Elmes


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:53 PM

I shouldn't laugh, because I'm bound to be on the receiving end of this someday - but I seriously almost peed cackling over it.

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