Sunday, June 23, 2013

Story That Isn't a Story #2

Last week I told you about a story that hadn't satisfied me because the writing style was too old and it left far too many questions unanswered. The second story did not disappoint as far as writing style, but it still left too many questions unanswered.

Story 2 takes place in a world populated by various mythical creatures, some familiar to this reader, others not so much. On that world is a land populated by centaurs. The centaurs are of two types. The High Ones I see as the nobility of the country. Their strain is older and they have a touch of magic in their blood. But they mix freely with the commoners; the current king has married a commoner, and they have three children. Apparently, the High Ones' magic flows through the generations undiluted, which is just a little boggling to the science side of my mind, but I beat my disbelief into submission. I did the same for the question of if the High Ones are an older strain and magic flows through them undiluted through the generations, where did the commoners come from?

The country is about to be plunged into war. The king must lead his troops, which leaves his wife to take on the responsibility of supervising the protection of the palace. The queen is uncertain, having no background in strategy or warfare. This was something I could get into; a character who had to learn to use skills she didn't necessarily have. I settled in to see how she did at it.

The army marched off to the east. There were some troubling raids on the north edge, which kept the remaining troops busy. Then everything goes wrong, magic kills all the High Ones, the palace is overrun, and the queen barely gets away with a handful of followers to hide from their enemies until they can exact justice.

End of story.

I just about fell off my seat.

I felt somebody had just read me chapter one and then thrown the book away. I had prepared to watch the queen learn and work and become the new leader of her people, but instead, all I got was the circumstances that would put her on that path. She never actually followed the path.

To me, this is like telling the story of Sleeping Beauty, and ending it when SB succumbs to the spell that puts her to sleep. Incomplete!

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