Saturday, October 25, 2014

NoQS Minion 8: THE TROLL DIARIES, MG Fantasy

Genre: Upper MG Fantasy
Word Count: 51,000

My Main Character's Most Fearsome Obstacle: 
River's most fearsome obstacle? Basically the entire forest, because everything in it is trying to kill, eat, maim, or generally annoy him... except for the mushrooms. He has to survive a vengeful troll cousin who would like him dead, fanged fairies that want him turned to stone, hungry goblins that love troll-on-a-stick, and giant Venus Firefly traps that will eat anyone and everything they can get their toothy petals around. And then there’s the massive sleeping dragon that could destroy them all.

Twelve-year-old River is a veggie-loving troll whom some have even dared to call… symmetrical. He spends his days dodging rabid forest gnomes, avoiding the deadly sunlight (because really, who wants to turn to stone?), and trying not to disappoint his father, the mighty bone-bread-loving Troll King.

When fairies threaten the troll border, River is entrusted with a dangerous spy mission, finally giving him the chance to make his father proud. Too bad he gets caught in a fairy trap. By a fairy girl. Instead of a slow death, she gives River the painful truth at the point of a sparkly dagger: he isn’t a troll. He’s a fairy. Unfortunately, that places him at the top of his family’s dinner menu (and he thought being a misfit was bad).

River finds unexpected acceptance in the fairy kingdom, along with a heritage of magic. Still, part of him longs for home, and he searches out the fairies’ secrets, becoming the spy his father always wanted. When he discovers the source of their wealth and magic—a dragon hidden deep beneath the kingdom—he faces a difficult decision: betray his new friends in order to help his family and please his father, or turn his back on the only family he’s ever known and keep from everyone his knowledge of the fiery beast that could obliterate them.  

First 250:

I always knew mushrooms would be the death of me.
I can’t resist them and my cousin Rot knows it. Juicy blackberries, wild onions, or any other tempting forest delicacy, I can pass up. Mushrooms? No way.

And the worst part? I didn’t even taste them before Rot and his cronies waylaid me. Not a lick.
I mean, yes, it’s bad that I’m hanging-upside down from a tree, but I can get over that. What I can’t get over are the fungi scattered on the ground beneath me, their perfect white skins marred by the scuffle only moments ago.

Looking back, maybe I was too obvious in my search for a meal. Trolls don’t exactly forage from the forest floor, so I was probably asking for trouble. Yes, trolls; nasty, ugly creatures that live in caves, guard bridges, and grind bones to make bread. Well, it’s what the other trolls do when they’re not torturing me. 

I’m kidding.

Sort of.           

Even the trees are laughing at me, the scratchy, rubbing bark echoing the grumbling laughter of my captors below. A strong gust gives me a boost and I start swinging. I stretch my bound hands up to the vine holding my feet. If I can just… reach…


If I was big like other trolls, this slender tree wouldn’t even be able to hold me. But I’m not. I guess you could call me the black sheep of the family. Maybe not a sheep though, since my family eats those…

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