Query Briseis

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Muse_Clio
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Query Briseis

Post by Muse_Clio » May 25th, 2018, 1:32 am

It was Helen’s fault. That’s what they all said. If Helen hadn’t eloped with Paris, Menelaos never would have called upon his brother Agamemnon to fulfill his pledge. If Agamemnon hadn’t been obligated to retrieve his brother’s wayward wife, he never would have sent a thousand ships across the sea. If he had never sent those ships, Troy would still be standing.

At least, that’s what people say. But Briseis knows better. She knows now that Agamemnon would have sent ships eventually; he was just waiting for an excuse. He found one in Helen.

Had Odysseus known that war was coming, he never would have suggested Helen’s suitors swear to defend her. Had he known he would have a wife and newborn son when it did, he’d have found another way to woo her cousin, Penelope. But he hadn’t known and he had suggested the pact, now he is bound by it. He’s stuck on a beach defending the honor of a man who has none, missing his wife and son.

Achilles knew that by coming to Troy he was fated to die young but gain eternal glory. It was a price he expected to pay. He hadn’t expected that he would come to regret it. Fated to be greater than his father, he expected to find eternal glory on the shores of Troy. Instead, he found her.

Briseis is a captive, a 15-year-old princess, stolen and stripped of all titles, lands, goods and respect. All she wants is to go home, but home is not an option. Trampled by the invading Greek Army, her birth city is gone; her father and brothers are dead. Her betrothed died along with his city.

She’s alone in an enemy camp and no one is coming to save her…

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J. T. SHEA
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Re: Query Briseis

Post by J. T. SHEA » May 25th, 2018, 10:53 pm

Interesting, Muse_Clio. I like this. You rightly concentrate on your take on the characters, given the basic story is so well-known.

I see you've posted a different version in the 'Nominate your query for a critique on the blog' section. I'll leave that to Nathan except to say I actually prefer that version. 40,500 words is short for a novel but I have seen several standalone novellas published recently.

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Re: Query Briseis

Post by Muse_Clio » May 25th, 2018, 11:50 pm

JT Shea, can I ask why you prefer the other version? (Just as an FWI, this version has been reworked slightly, posted below.)


NEW:

It was Helen’s fault. That’s what they all said. If Helen hadn’t eloped with Paris, her husband never would have called upon his brother, Agamemnon. If Agamemnon hadn’t been obligated to retrieve his brother’s wayward wife, he never would have sent a thousand ships across the sea to Troy. If he had never sent those ships, Troy would still be standing. At least, that’s what people say.

Had Odysseus known that it would result in war with Troy, he never would have suggested Helen’s suitors swear to defend her and her chosen husband. But Odysseus had suggested the pact, so now, bound by it, he is stuck on a beach defending the honor of a man who has none, missing his wife and son.

Achilles knew that by coming to Troy he was fated to die young. He hadn’t expected that he would come to regret his decision; it was a price he expected to pay to find eternal glory. Instead, he found her.

She, Briseis, is a captive, a 15-year-old princess, stolen and stripped of all titles, lands, goods and respect. All she wants is to go home, but home is not an option. Having been trampled by the invading Greek army, her home has been destroyed. Her father and brothers are dead and her betrothed died along with his city.

And Briseis knows what they say about Helen. And she knows better. She knows now that Agamemnon would have sent ships eventually; he was just waiting for an excuse. He had found one in Helen.

Briseis is alone in an enemy camp, a gift to the most fearsome warrior in the Greek army, and no one is coming to save her…

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J. T. SHEA
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Re: Query Briseis

Post by J. T. SHEA » May 26th, 2018, 9:07 pm

While you described the characters interestingly in the second query, the first query's concentration on just Briseis and Achilles may be more effective, telling us what you intend to emphasize in the Troy story. One addition I might make to the first query is to spell out that it is about the Trojan War, just in case a busy agent misses the point.

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Re: Query Briseis

Post by Muse_Clio » September 10th, 2018, 1:53 pm

It was Helen’s fault. That’s what they all said.

If Helen hadn’t eloped with Paris, her husband never would have called upon his brother, Agamemnon. If Agamemnon hadn’t thus been obligated to retrieve his brother’s wayward wife, he never would have sent a thousand ships across the sea to Troy. If he had never sent those ships, Troy would still be standing.

At least, that’s what people say.

Had Odysseus known that it would result in war with Troy, he never would have suggested Helen’s suitors swear to defend her and her chosen husband. But Odysseus had suggested the pact, so now, bound by it, he is stuck on a beach defending the honor of a man who has none, missing his wife and son.

Trained since birth to be the greatest warrior his world has ever seen, Prince Achilles knew that by coming to Troy he was fated to die young; it was a price he expected to pay to find eternal glory. He hadn’t expected that he would come to regret his decision. Ten years ago, he had left home to find eternal glory on the battlefield; instead, he found her.

She, Briseis, is a 15-year-old princess, stolen and stripped of all titles, lands, goods and respect. She sits, trussed up like a deer for the spit, in a tent on a beach, a war prize, no better than a slave. Her father is dead, her betrothed cut down with his city. All she wants is to go home, but home is not an option, destroyed with her father.

Briseis is alone in an enemy camp, a gift to the most fearsome warrior in the Greek army, and no one is coming to save her…

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