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Long Live The Queen - Discussion and critique request

I'd love input from other writers.

By Hope MartinPublished 9 months ago 7 min read

So I have started a story that I do intend to publish after I republish my book Memoirs. But I find during writing it I have hit a wall, and I'd like critique or ideas from fellow creative people.

The plot and story are as follows:

The King has gone mad. Or so people think. Infidelity from his first wife, the love of his wife made his mind snap. He has killed 6 wives in the last 8 years. The country is withering away. It hasn't rained since the day he murdered his first wife. The people are hungry, poor, and sick. All manner of creatures that aren't human have been hunted down and made nearly extinct, except those that have been dragged to the castle to be a part of the King's twisted menagerie of creatures he keeps prisoner.

A noble of the country had married a half-elf, on who was gifted with premonitions. She had a vision that one day, their young daughter would be chosen by the king to be his wife. So she and her husband work hard to teach her as she grows up how to be a leader. They instill kindness, and generosity in her. They teach her important things like how to deal with taxes, and apply solutions to issues. They teach her everything an heir would learn to lead the people. They try to keep her away from the king, not allowing her to attend any summons there may be, including balls the king throws to find his new torture victim he calls a wife.

Unfortunately, the king notices, and on her 20th birthday, she is mandated to make an appearance when he has to throw the ball. He does take notice, and marries her that night. Following a series of events, Iris decides the night that the King chooses her, she's going to kill him before he kills her. But she can't just kill him outright - it would make the country vulnerable to attack from other countries. Not to mention, treason is treason, regardless if the king is hated or not.

So she starts to gain allies. She discovers that the king may actually be possessed by a demon. A demon that the king's great-grandfather had locked in the depths of the earth beneath the castle, trapped in a blessed box. The demon had taken advantage of the king's broken heart the moment he caught his wife with another man, and took hold of him. Iris must decide if the man under the monster is worth saving. In the meantime, the king starts a war with a neighboring country and tells Iris if she can win the war, her life is safe. The problem is the only military in the country left is a small force that protects the palace. The military is non-existent, and the people were in no shape to fight with their starvation and poverty.

Iris has a lot on her plate - surviving her husband who tortures her at night and figuring out how to defeat him within the walls of the palace, building an army, protecting the people from war, and raising the hope and morale of the people. In an effort to gain favor in the people, Iris come up with a plan for food, and helping the crops come back, by drawing out magic users that had once gone into hiding. She begins to reform the military, and uses money from the palace treasury to start funding the creation of weapons. She's hoping that in circulating the money that the king has hoarded from the people through taxes, people will begin to have hope. She also raises the temple, and tries to help the main priest restore faith in those who have lost it. She also has a sorceress ally that is trapped in the palace garden, who heals her when the king has his way with Iris. Also, yes there are very strong suggestions and themes of rape in my story - which is why it'll probably be rated R.

She is attacked, and convinces the king to allow her to use the were-people he has in cages as her personal guard force, and she uses their hatred for the king as a cause for them to join her, confiding in them her plan. She begins delegating tasks to them to help her build-up her reputation among the people and other creatures who may still be in hiding.

So far, I've gotten that far. I am having issues coming up with details though. It's set in a more modern but medieval kind of setting. They have plumbing, but they don't have things like 'guns' or machinery that is advanced or sophisticated. Weapons are still smithed by hand. Magic is a rare thing and it has structure, no one is all-powerful there are rules they have to follow.

Some key points to the plot in summary are:

  1. She has managed to enlist the help of previous veteran officers of the military to help her rebuild since the military is not something that she was taught.
  2. She has created a food charity through the church, using magic users to summon or create food using their gifts. Once it began to progress, she hired a noblewoman who had been known for keeping track of programs such as this before the king went mad to keep it going and progressing.
  3. She has also included a plan using magic users who can either create water, or who can control the weather to help farmers bring life back to crops.
  4. Set free a group of were-wolves, were-foxes, were-bears, and a were-dragon after using the fact that the guards were unable to protect as a reason to use them as her personal guard.
  5. sent the were-fox on a mission to find other were-creatures, start gathering a secret force of were-creatures who may have survived, and set the path for having a more civilized role in society after Iris slays the demon.
  6. secretly sent a messenger to the country that the king is trying to start a war with on her behalf, to explain the country's situation and beg for patience.
  7. Sent funds to every artisan in town to begin making armor and weapons of all sorts, using the opportunity to send a small flood of income into the city.
  8. Has discovered the old military training barracks have been run down and in ruins and has made plans for carpenters and masons to fix the place, and purchase materials.

I'm having a hard time coming up with further ideas. How does someone restore a broken country that has no resources, and has been set in poverty for years? What else should she do to build the army? What could I add into the story to make it interesting?

And how should she be able to defeat the demon? I'm having trouble articulating what kind of ending this story should have. Should she kill the demon? Or lock it away somehow? Should the king die in the process?

A major plot twist I am toying with is Iris, who is a quarter elf, who has magical descendants and has the ability to purify/cleanse darkness. The king has figured this out. Should she be strong enough to banish the demon? And what if corruption could sway her and turn it into something bad? Instead of purifying, it's the power to corrupt if she become corrupted. I'm certainly putting her through her paces in terms of being tested. What do you guys think? Please feel free to throw everything you've got at me in the comments!!!

My 5-year-old daughter is competing in Nationals at the All American Miss Pageant in Orlando Fl, during Thanksgiving Week this year. It is being hosted with National American Miss. We are trying to raise money for hotel costs, her casual modeling outfit, her formal gown, and to submit her portfolio in a Photogenic. All money I make off of Vocal will be going straight to her Pageant. If you are inspired by my “amazing” writing (haha!) to donate to Aylaina-Sky's pageant, please tip this story! Every dollar helps!

Mines the pink one!

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About the Creator

Hope Martin

I am a published author of a book called Memoirs of the In-Between. I am doing a rewrite of it, as it needed some polishing. I am a mom, a cook, a homesteader, and a second-generation shaman.

Find me on Medium also!


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