Elegy of the Leaves

Title: Elegy of the Leaves

Genre: High/Epic Fantasy

Audience: Young Adult

Length: 20k currently, but will total 80-100k.

Logline: When a mysterious girl falls aboard Evan Montresser’s airship during his pilot’s exam, he and his sister, Claire, find themselves tangled in a web of secrets that will take them to the center of their fractured sky-world, and into a war with the Empire.

Plot Summary (with spoilers): In a fractured world where the oceans have become sky and lands are nothing more than floating isles, Evan Montresser is a teenager who dreams of nothing more than becoming a Leaf in the Arcadian Alliance Military, piloting an airship, taking to the skies, and finding his father who abandoned his family to understand why he would do such a thing. His sister, Claire Montresser, a Fullwing in the Alliance, wants nothing more than to keep her brother safely grounded and as far from the military as she can.

With relations between the Alliance and the Empire being a powder keg, ready to envelope the world in war once more, a mysterious winged girl becomes the catalyst of that war when she falls from the sky onto Evan’s airship during his pilot’s certification. With an Empire warship bearing down on Evan and the girl, Evan makes a choice to uphold an Alliance core value to protect those which cannot otherwise protect themselves, and inadvertently thrusts the world into another war by saving the girl.

Evan and Claire are charged with escorting her, as the Alliance believes she’s the key to ending this war with a mysterious power she possesses originating from jewels embedded in her wrists. Evan jumps at the opportunity, realizing his dream of being a Leaf, but this mission complicates Claire’s wishes to protect her brother with her sense of honor and duty to the Alliance. However, fate has other plans for the two Montresser children, and they instead find themselves uncovering a web of secrets about their world that will take them into The Abyss that clouds their world’s core, and into the heart of the Empire who seems intent on destroying what’s left of a world that once was.

It is in this center that Evan and Claire learn the truth about their world, their father’s disappearance, and why the Empire intends to finish destroying this fractured world from the Goddess of Life.

Evan is left with a choice, one that will save the world and restore it to what it once was—not the fractured state it’s in—but at the cost of his life as he knows it. It is only by accepting this fate that he may stop the Empire from their quest for total destruction, but his love for his sister and her desire to keep him safe weighs heavy on his heart.

Evan does as all heroes would do and becomes the new core of his world, leaving his sister and mother, knowing their lives will continue in a thriving world because of his sacrifice, but not before thwarting the Empire’s advance with his sister.

Goals: I aim to explore the cruelty of war, the deep rooted bond between siblings, and the importance of duty to family and country through posing the self sacrifice for the greater good in an emotionally charged and action packed epic adventure in an imaginative and original world.

Thanks to any who take the time to read this and provide their thoughts on how it might be more appealing to agents and the like.

When a hero does something like sacrifice themselves for everyone else, it has to be for one of two reasons:

  1. They just learned to stop putting themselves first and should put others forward instead (Iron Man)
  2. They have always been selfless and consistently show those actions up until the moment they make the sacrifice (Captain America)

This character does not appear to have done either. They do it just because that’s what a hero would do. The issue is that their character hasn’t done anything before this point to indicate that they aspire to be a hero. They aspire to join the military, mostly so they can fly and also find their dad. Neither of those is overly selfish or overly selfless.

For the most part, none of the things set up at the beginning seem to come to anything. There’s a lot of potential plot threads but they don’t amount to anything. It seems like this is a plot to have a character discover they need to become a core to keep a magical world alive and that’s fine, but then you’ll need a plot built around that, not a plot about a girl with the key to the war falling into someone’s lap. Your character already has a motivation to join the army, be engaged in the war, and find his father. And he needs to either be very selfish or very selfless in order to have a meaningful sacrifice in the end. Otherwise he’s mostly just a guy along for the ride and becomes a passive player (luck drops him the thingamagig that kicks the plot as opposed to him actively choosing to seek out something).