Book Jacket

 

rank 2110
word count 57723
date submitted 01.10.2008
date updated 27.01.2012
genres: Fiction, Romance, Comedy
classification: moderate
complete

Royal Flush

Scott Bartlett

Royal Flush is now available on Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/dp/0981286704

 

Royal Flush asks the question, can a man who throws his dates in a dungeon succeed romantically?

A recipient of the H. R. (Bill) Percy Prize, Royal Flush is a novel about a man known only as the King, and as his Kingdom careens toward catastrophe, he cruises seedy taverns looking for likely maidens. He is particularly bad at this.

His incompetence and his weakness for beautiful women drag him deeper and deeper into trouble. He is portrayed as a cross dresser by the Kingdom Crier, the Kingdom's most popular tabloid. Shortly after, he must defend his castle against a siege with only his royal fiddler, while attempting to steal his royal fiddler's girlfriend. And when the siege lifts, he must play the warmongering Traveling Linguists' Guild against King Cedric, a visiting monarch--the stakes are love, death and dethronement.

 
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tags

battle, club, comedy, diamonds, ethic, fiction, fun, heart, humor, humour, incompetent, irony, laugh, love, medieval, moral, morality, rejection, roma...

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62 comments

 

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maitreyi wrote 1792 days ago

what a find! I wasn't expecting to love this but i do! i can see why it's on so many shelves and it's gong straight on mine. sadly no helpful comments, just admiration. brilliantly written and very funny. so literate. no typos. you might consider making chapter one into two chapters but other than that all i can say is well done! fantastic.

maitreyi
BLOGSPOT

mn73 wrote 1785 days ago

The title alone had this on my watchlist, and now I have come to read it I am loving it. The King is a delightful character, and his witty banter with all and sundry is highly readable. Had me smiling and laughing throughout, from the wonderful glassblower scene onwards. I would have been intruiged to see the glassblower try to make the heart that would shatter in one person's hands though (just one of many lovely ideas on offer here). Shelved with pleasure.

Kolro wrote 1644 days ago

This is a bloody fantastic barking mad story that I love like a child. You've created a bizarre, yet highly enjoyable, world- a decrepit kingdom lacking in pretty much everything. The King is great. I love characters who have enormous amounts of power but get treated like crap (the Prime Minister in my book's exactly the same). There were so many great jokes in this that I wish I could copy and paste into here but this site won't let you. Darn it to heck.

Excellent work. Shelved.

J. Hamler wrote 1641 days ago

Holy Christ! This first chapter was epic. In both length and farcical brilliance. Seriously, I'm overwhelmed. There's just too much. A plethora of jokes and one liners and general absurdity. You should be writing comedy for television. This could be an episode of Black Adder. I'm fucking trembling from laughing so hard. And I hardly ever laugh out loud when I'm reading something. Dare I say it: This is comedic perfection. If only the King WERE gay. If only I were gay... I'd marry him on the spot. Brilliant!

Ilyria_Moon wrote 1566 days ago

Hilarious. Perfection. Love it. Backed.

Eddexx wrote 116 days ago

Bang! Bang! A no-nonsense opener that rolls delightfully off the page and doesn't stop. The style has shades of Hans Christian Anderson and Roald Dahl and I was drawn along into the story and enjoyed the 'surreal' approach to the narrative written in such a free-flowing take-it-or-leave it way. The words come tumbling off the page unlike some works which seem to be written as a penance. Three cheers for the Glassblower and the King! Fantastic. I'm Backing it and giving it 5 stars and I'm sure it will sell well.
Well done Scott
Ed Marriott - 'Sucker Punch'

patio wrote 695 days ago

You named a character Mud. You funny. What next? Landslide perhaps

Tom Balderston wrote 1256 days ago

Not the first king to lose his seat. Good plot line.
Tom Balderston
The Wonder of Terra

Marija F.Sullivan wrote 1465 days ago

Amazing opening chapters. Witty, humorous, fun! Backed with pleasure and best wishes,
M (Weekend Chimney Sweep)

Ilyria_Moon wrote 1566 days ago

Hilarious. Perfection. Love it. Backed.

J. Hamler wrote 1641 days ago

Holy Christ! This first chapter was epic. In both length and farcical brilliance. Seriously, I'm overwhelmed. There's just too much. A plethora of jokes and one liners and general absurdity. You should be writing comedy for television. This could be an episode of Black Adder. I'm fucking trembling from laughing so hard. And I hardly ever laugh out loud when I'm reading something. Dare I say it: This is comedic perfection. If only the King WERE gay. If only I were gay... I'd marry him on the spot. Brilliant!

Kolro wrote 1644 days ago

This is a bloody fantastic barking mad story that I love like a child. You've created a bizarre, yet highly enjoyable, world- a decrepit kingdom lacking in pretty much everything. The King is great. I love characters who have enormous amounts of power but get treated like crap (the Prime Minister in my book's exactly the same). There were so many great jokes in this that I wish I could copy and paste into here but this site won't let you. Darn it to heck.

Excellent work. Shelved.

Ian Mayfield wrote 1746 days ago

I had trouble getting into this, but did read the whole thing and I'm glad I persevered. At first I found the King to be SO unpleasant a character that it was difficult for me to care, even about his frequent comeuppances. I also wasn't convinced by the glassblower's extreme fear, especially since it quickly becomes clear that absolutely no-one in the Kingdom respects their monarch, even though he does keep having them imprisoned and executed.

There's something very Blackadderish about the King, although unlike Mr Atkinson's creation - and as Blackadder might say - he has the cunning of a blancmange and the panache of a lobotomised capon. Frederick suffices as a slightly smarter and considerably less repulsive Baldrick.

There are, for me at least, few laugh-out-loud moments - the humour is more subtle. I was tickled by the King's attempt to chat up Georgianna, which is so inept that he manages to insult her in the worst possible way with his first utterance.

The tribe led by Swan is a fascinating creation, and I also enjoyed the Leonardoesque Sir Forsythe.

You also have possibly the best book cover on the site. My compliments to the artist.

Shelved.

Paolito wrote 1754 days ago

Royal Flush...

And that's what this is...makes one flush with pleasure, when one isn't laughing, that is.

Other people have mentioned nits, and no doubt there are, but I didn't notice any. I love your bumbler King; I really do. My only suggestion is to make your chapters shorter.

Shelved enthusiastically and without a qualm.

Cheers,
Sheryl (In All The Wrong Places)

Emerald wrote 1757 days ago

Dear Scott Bartlett,
(author of ‘Royal Flush’),
Your comments on ‘Miranda’ enlightened me; these also reminded me of my English class school teacher with ‘Wren and Martin’ in his left hand and a cane in his right hand (I am from India and English is not my mother tongue) who used to meticulously correct every wrong sentence. Unfortunately, nowadays such lone voice of a teacher is not heeded by some new authors.

I have put your book ‘Royal Flush’ in my ‘Watch list’ and already read the first chapter. Will you kindly spare just 30 minutes to read the first 7 very short chapters only (out of total 36 chapters in ‘Third world War’) and then if only interesting, continue reading or discord my book as worthless. Well, some revolutionary ideas of Angels Party may make most men furious---You be the judge! If you are a lover of poetry, the last two chapters 34 and 35 with the most volcanic poems may delight you, or you may fume: “Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad verses.”---William Shakespeare in ‘Julius Caesar’.

Emerald
Author of ‘Third World War’
Date: 27th June 2009.

Joseph.dm.miller wrote 1760 days ago

Scott,

Here's my thoughts on your first chapter:

I like your opening as a whole, though I think your second sentence has more tension built into it than the first one and might be a better first sentence because of it. So I guess, my question would be is your first line necessary? For me it wasn't, but if you're happy with it, then that is what matters.

I loved "The god's have mercy" line, what a way to introduce a chracter by another character's reaction to them... you give the readers a good feel for how disagreeable the King by this one line. Then, you follow it up with some great descriptions of him in the following paragraphs.

I enjoyed the dialogue between the King and the glassblower.

Interesting use of "flashbacks"... I'd warn against them if at all possible, especially in the first chapter. Some agents/editors will be turned off by it b/c it brings the forward motion of the plot to a halt. You don't want to give them any reason to turn down your work. However, this is your book so take my advice with a grain of salt, after all the "rules" of writing are broken all the time... just make sure you break them for a good reason and for full effect. ;)

Your 15 days earlier section brought a few smiles too my face, especially the goat. ;)

I especially liked the line "The King had become the King by default." A part of me wonders if that might make a good opening line to a book... but only if you're looking for a way to start at the "arguable" beginning. And you'd probably want to have it be a bit firmer (by dropping the had) ;)

Speaking of hads, drop as many as you can... they aren't necessary, except to indicate possession and to introduce and exit flashbacks. Most of the other "hads" can be gotten rid of without affecting the meaning of a sentence.

The mention of microwave dinner was a bit odd b/c up to that point I'd assumed a "medieval" setting.

The introduction of the advisor and his conversation with the King was quite well done, although I did wonder if you spent too long getting to this point. I like a lot of your writing, but it's a bit meandering and so that might turn off some readers... not me, because I don't mind meandering, but not everyone does. ;)

The bard's song was... an interesting touch... but the last line about democracy made me smile. ;)

The bar scene also brought a smile to my lips... especially the blaming of the king for everything that goes wrong b/c of divine right and then you drop the misunderstanding about the marriage... oh the rumors that'll start up ;)

The handicap for polo scene... made me laugh. You really have some gems in this book... ;)

"I'm a pretty rich guy..." another laugh.

The conversations you have been the advisor and King are fun, but sometimes I think you could trim them a bit and keep the story moving forward without sacrificing the humor.

The stable scene... again funny... I'm sensing a pattern. ;) And here's a thought... I wonder if it might help if your first chapter was broken up into smaller chapters. It just goes on and on... and there's been a couple points where I could see a new chapter starting. However, that's just a suggestion.

The Crier editor was interesting... and the crossbow a nice touch.

After that I enjoyed the reaction of the town the the Crier article about the King and the reintroduction of the "woman" the King is in "love" with.

Overall, your story has a lot of humor to it, but it also has a lot of meandering. For me, I enjoyed it, in spite of a few points where things seemed to drag on. This might also have been because of the length of your first chapter. Still, I liked your humor so much I'm willing to give your book a shelf.

Thanks and Best Wishes,
Joseph

John Harold McCoy wrote 1767 days ago

Hi, Scott. Saw you in the forum. Thought I’d check it out. Just a few comments. Nit-picks that I probably shouldn’t even mention.
"The glassblower abruptly noticed the Kings..." - not too fond of that 'abruptly.'
"Because I love her." - I think I'd like to see something like, "The king hesitated a moment before answering, then said, "Because I love..." - Just me, of course.
Ok, I won't nit-pick.
This is funny as hell. Gotta feel sorry for the king. I've only read the first chapter (a long one) but that's enough to recognize superb writing and imagination. I don't know where this book has been hiding. If you can keep up this quality (especially the humor) through all the synopsis suggests then this will, certainly, be a big contender for the desk. I’ll make it short and sweet - BACKED!

kgadette wrote 1768 days ago

Dear Scott,

Reminiscent of the jibes thrown at the monarch in the first movie Shrek, may I say this is "Shrekian" in attitude. And an utter delight.

With a full dungeon, how can the King deal with insolence? Leading one to the logical conclusion: then shouldn't the glassblower stay hid?

Particular delights: the two women who looked at him, oops, just one.
He rules by divine right; hence the weather's his responsibility.
Palace or castle? A conundrum indeed.

Suggest chopping this one first big chapter into more digestible bits. There's a rumor going round that readers can have digestion problems.

Seriously, the jokes are very funny, but at some point, we do long for a plot. It's not always just the journey, however mirthful.

Ribald royalty (perhaps pokes at that old, um, monarch himself, George W. Bush) + the travails of dating in a medieval world. Marvelous. Shelved.

jlkelly wrote 1772 days ago

Ok, I've just spent half an hour re-reading it and making my comments and I'm not done reading the first chapter, so here are the comments that I have for now...I'll finish later.

‘Clenching his teeth...’ At first it sounds like he’s mad/annoyed, but then you read about his chattering teeth. I’m wondering if there’s a different word for ‘clenching’? but nothing comes to mind at the moment.

Ok, when the King proclaims his undying love? And the woman yawns? I almost peed.

‘It occupied the trough of the valley, and..’ take out the comma.

There even lay nearby...’ sounds like a mouthful..but I could be wrong. And you can’t call the castle an ‘it’ in a new paragraph. You’ll have to repeat yourself.

‘..party below sea-level which accounted for..’ I think it needs to be ‘which would account’ in the sentence.

‘...which might explain the ease the invaders enjoyed..’ hm. I don’t know if enjoyed is the right word. ‘...which might explain the ease the invaders relished?’..I don’t know.

Talking about the donkey... ‘forcing the King to enjoy this slightly less conventional mode of transportation’...what if it were ‘forcing the King to enjoy this slightly less glamorous mode of transportation’?

The saddle: ‘It was in this that the King now attempted to sit..’ I think it should be ‘It was in this that the King was attempting to sit’.

‘Until he ‘finally’ flung himself awkwardly onto it’s back..

...microwavable dinner until it crisps...HA!

‘....knocking over academics and causing them...’ take out ‘and’.

‘The beast did stop. The King however didn’t.’ Try, ‘The King however, did not.’ Instead.

‘He continued moving through the air..’ I think it might get cut. It’s too wordy. Funny, but you can keep funny by using less words. ‘He flew through the air, landing bottoms-up in the moat’ or something.

‘...and sometimes mistaken for a woman’ use the word ‘usually mistaken for a woman’. And maybe say ‘and he also possessed’ instead of just ‘He possessed’.

Can I just take this moment to say that the advisor for some reason, reminds me of Sir Hiss in Disney’s version of Robin Hood...But I can picture his lily white smooth hands with long creepy fingers and fingernails that are manicured but just a bit too long? And his thin little moustache doesn’t quite meet up under his nose? And the back of his robes are always dirty because he always wipes his shoes on the back of his leg to keep them shiny?

‘He tried with futility to wring out his garments.’ Change to active voice.

‘He would revoke the statement in five minutes’, is very funny. But written in passive voice. Need to change.

‘The bard was waiting...’ should be, ‘the bard waited...’

‘...that’s not the point, the bard said quickly...’ shouldn’t it be ‘the bard sang quickly’?

‘...having both noted the King’s foul mood and recalled the monarch’s fondness...’ should be ‘recalling’.

‘The King rounded on his advisor...’ the whole paragraph doesn’t quite work. Maybe take out ‘he hissed’ or change the tense of ‘he began to advance..’ I don’t know. I don’t want to be bossy.

‘...the tavern keeper shrugged and went to fetch the King’s drink.’ The King just threatened him. Should he shrug? Shouldn’t he be somewhat afraid?

‘He was good at getting drunk. Of course, he got a lot of practice.’ Make the first sentence funnier. He was ‘brilliant’ at getting drunk. He ‘excelled’ in getting drunk. The second sentence? I’m going to say to you what I tell my son. Do not use ‘got’ unless you are acquiring something. Use ‘had’ or ‘has’ or ‘have’.

‘Following his coronation, the King had announced..’ This subject is very funny, but right in the middle of nowhere. Can you place it somewhere else, or find a way to incorporate it better? Maybe say the local farmers were eyeing him angrily/warily/frustrated....

‘..The King began downing it immediately...’ Watch your tenses. Your bouncing from past, to present, dammit I can’t remember what they’re called. I only know them in French. You know? Watch your passe compose, and your imparfait and your plus que parfait or whatever. I sound brilliant now, don’t I? ‘The King downed it immediately, ignoring the barman...’

‘...It seemed to the King that somebody was always storming...’ weak sentence. ‘The King always had someone storming into the throne room complaining or offering suggestions.’

‘He never had any peace. He sighed.’ How about ‘He sighed heavily, feeling sorry for himself.’?

‘...who had sidled up to the King without his noticing..’ you don’t need ‘without his noticing’.

‘It would have consoled him to know he wouldn’t remember...’ Passive!
I don’t think they used the word ‘gay’ back then.

‘Listen, I’m sorry about spitting my drink all over you..’ Would he apologize? Maybe write, ‘Sorry ‘bout that,’ the King nodded at the dripping bartender. ‘Give us another, then’.

Ok, that's it for now...
JL

Fred Le Grand wrote 1774 days ago

I enjoyed this story.
It is written in a very light-hearted manner which make it easy and plesurable to read.
A Kning in search of a wife, a goat in search of I don't know what. An advisor who seems to lack tact.
All mixed well and stirred to produce an interesting little story.
Best,
Fred

jlkelly wrote 1779 days ago

Ok, I just spent half an hour reading and commenting on chapter one and then my darn server kicked me and it didn't save. Dammit!
And I honestly don't have time to write everything again.
In a few places, you need to watch your tenses.
The sentence where the King and advisor decide to eat and forget Georgianne, you can remove that.
I loved the 'small talk' conversation and then he throws her in jail...loved it!
I love the polo match.
I wish I could remember all my comments. Serves me right for not writing it on a pad of paper first.

I think we are cut of the same cloth. I had the giggles and scared people at the coffee shop.
SHELVED!
JL

just4kix wrote 1781 days ago

Royal Flush
I have found the best way to discover good books on this site is to seek out the writers of erudite comments, which is how I came to read Royal Flush
Your first paragraph immediately draws the reader into the action as we ask the question – why is the glass-blower withdrawing his head?
I enjoyed the subtle low-key humour. The exchanges between the glass-blower and the king reminded me of Blackadder, and I was sorry when the transition was made to three days before.
I have made a few small comments which you may find useful (or not).
‘..soft titter that is…’ At first I thought the king was tittering because he had broken the glass. Perhaps the tinkle of broken glass would be less confusing.
I would insert ‘a’ ‘The shattering of a priceless glass’. Although there is nothing wrong with the way it is written, I did have to read the sentence twice to be sure I had read it correctly.
There is nothing wrong with using ‘import’, but I feel ‘importance’ flows more easily to the general reader.
‘Though the glassblower had never attended, it was common…’ I would add ‘one’ after attended.
You have used seem, followed by seemed in the next paragraph. Perhaps you could say
“The glassblower didn’t appear to notice.’
I like the way you have two distinct voices between the glassblower and the king. The glass-blower’s sarcasm comes over well. It is good tight writing with no extraneous words.
I was a bit worried about the size of the goat. Moat goats I have seen have been of a size that an adult male sitting astride would be able to touch the ground with his feet. I had a problem visualizing the king putting his feet in stirrups. I may be wrong, but if there is a reader who is an expert on goats you are likely to receive a gleefully written letter pointing out your mistake.
I was immersed in the story of peasants and bards when I was suddenly brought back to the present at the mention of a microwave oven. Could you not find a simile more appropriate to the era?
Dulcimer – instead of him tapping it, perhaps it would paint a better picture if you had him adjusting the tone of the strings – something to indicate what type of musical instrument he is about to play.
In the latter part of the chapter I found the writing wasn’t quite as tight.
Instead of:
‘He would revoke the statement in about five minutes.’
Try:
‘He would soon revoke the statement.’
I think the bard’s poetry would be more fun if it rhymed.

There once was a King who owned all he surveyed
He had castle and land and of naught was afraid

But one thing was lacking in this handsome King’s life
The want of a woman to take as his wife

(I know this is rubbish poetry – it’s just and idea)

‘The advisor, in retreating…’
Perhaps this paragraph could be tightened to:
The advisor backed into the throne, and to his horror found himself sprawled in the monarch’s ancestral seat. In near tears of mortification, he was prevented from rising by the bulky form of his liege glaring down at him.

Wouldn’t the King glare down at him, rather than up at him?

Instead of:
“The King spat his drink all over the bartender.”
Try:
“She thinks I’m what!?” spluttered the King, coating the bartender in a light drizzle of spittle.

In general, you have kept very cleverly to the language of the era, but I’m not sure that O.K fits in with ‘do you jest?’ etc.
I found the polo game overly long. Would you consider cutting it down? I write from experience as I am at present cutting down a game of monopoly in my humorous novel.
I have limited time on the internet and was only able to read the first chapter, and as I was rather fond of the glass-blower I was disappointed when he didn’t reappear.
You have a good writing style, and if you could tighten the story in a few places to match the first few paragraphs I think it would make it even better.
Good luck
Just4kix

Bakrobi wrote 1782 days ago

I’m backing this because I really like it… but there’s no ignoring the fact that it seems a bit fishy. It has more than twice as many backings as comments. I’m not accusing you of treachery, I’m just sayin’.

Elaina wrote 1784 days ago

Seriously funny, ha ha! I didn't know what to expect, but I started grinning almost immediately! Nothing wrong with your writing and, in fact, the occasional 'modern' term actually enhances this tale- it is, after all, a farce!!!! The only point I'd make is to shorten your chapters....having said that, the way you work it backwards in chp1 is simply brilliant!

Happy to shelve for a while and I wish you the best forward!

Elaina
Gathering of Rain

mn73 wrote 1785 days ago

The title alone had this on my watchlist, and now I have come to read it I am loving it. The King is a delightful character, and his witty banter with all and sundry is highly readable. Had me smiling and laughing throughout, from the wonderful glassblower scene onwards. I would have been intruiged to see the glassblower try to make the heart that would shatter in one person's hands though (just one of many lovely ideas on offer here). Shelved with pleasure.

Howard Matthews wrote 1787 days ago

To be honest! I've read and still not sure what I think. Probably a good sign... As others have said easy to read but I can't seem to get a picture of the whole piece in my head. Some paras and sections read like good short stories or gags but I always seem to crave a bit more background, description, place and time?

It is certainly very pacy and I think that's a problem I have with other Authonomy pieces. (Has to be balanced against those saying I don't have enough pace..) Mind you I've just forced myself to read Proust where a pacy paragraph is anything that goes on for less than 8 pages.

I wonder how it looks in printed form?

Anyway, this may be exactly what you were aiming at. It's certainly more readable than much of the contents of WH Smiths.

Howard

Ayrich wrote 1789 days ago

Okay, on par with Magic kingdom for sale. Funny.

maitreyi wrote 1792 days ago

what a find! I wasn't expecting to love this but i do! i can see why it's on so many shelves and it's gong straight on mine. sadly no helpful comments, just admiration. brilliantly written and very funny. so literate. no typos. you might consider making chapter one into two chapters but other than that all i can say is well done! fantastic.

maitreyi
BLOGSPOT

AnnabelleP wrote 1793 days ago

Hi there,
What a great title and cover picture! Had me laughing before I'd even started to read.
I like the touches of history in this, it really sets the scene and then the story rolls forward from there.
You have a great cast of characters, funny and well drawn. This really is enjoyable, you have a witty style of writing, confident and assured.
I have no nit-picks, I really can't fault it and I will be reading to the end. SHELVED!
Bests,
AnnabelleP
(Adelaide Short)

blonde-but-black wrote 1793 days ago

This is written so professionally! Reading books like this make mes feel hesitant about uploading my onw stuff lol You're a really good writer!
xoxo

Duane Simolke wrote 1795 days ago

I love the constant use of strong verbs, to create a busy scene with moving imagery. The paragraphs are short and polished, with no errors and no unneeded words; it all moves quickly, tongue firmly in cheek.

The king’s metaphors (3 days before) quickly become hilarious, but then you back up further. I like the nonlinear storytelling. Such narrative experimentation can be annoying or distracting, but you use it to add to the humor and fast pace. And the king’s ride on the goat…funny stuff!

Technically, you don’t need to use an upper case K for the king, unless you use his title as his name or part of it. But it works. The date, and his apology for the woman’s name, is also funny.

>“What’s a four-letter word for incompetent figurehead?’”
Giving the obvious answer would have blunted the humor. Good time for a scene change!

This work is very amusing, with every word carefully chosen!

PATRICK BARRETT wrote 1795 days ago

This is great. We have loads of good comedy on authonomy and you will join the best effortlessly. On my shelf. Patrick Barrett (Shakespeares Cuthbert)

Keefieboy wrote 1856 days ago

Scott, I like this a lot. Very funny. Shelved.

Joe Garner wrote 1975 days ago

Scott!

Love it! 156 Bookshelves?! Make that 157. A Castle/Palace/what have you on the lowest point in the land, colic-ridden horses and their goat substitutes, goats charging through the university and beyond - it's just brilliant!

I am definitely shelving this because it deserves to be published in my opinion. I love your style of writing, it's a real breath of fresh air. It's incredibly funny without trying to be obviously amusing and the story is a hoot. I haven't finished it, and though i certainly will, i don't need to finish to laud it with praise.

Good job sir.

Oli

Scarlett wrote 1977 days ago

Scott, at last I've made it over to you. Royal Flush is smoothly written and an engaging, quirky story. All in all it's a very enjoyable read. I'm short changing you with these comments as I'm horribly behind, so just to say that you're on my shelf. Good luck!

Fenton wrote 1979 days ago

Hi Scott,

Sorry I've taken so long to get to this. I did start it a while ago, but with my reading onsite being done at work, I kept getting interrupted before I could reach a natural stopping point. I still can't reach a natural stopping point, which is why I've decided to comment in installments. So far, I've read up to the bard's performance.

Very easy to read, good humour, and some great absurdities. I love the idea of the castle in the valley. I find myself trying to think what the story and style remind me of, and the nearest I can manage is The Princess Bride - a great book with a very wide age appeal. Which brings me to this question: Were you aiming at a particular age group? I think some agents might see this as YA (but then some agents have trouble signing their own name, so not necessarily an indicator of the market).

The microwave reference was a bit off-putting, and not because it's a modern appliance in a medieval-type story, but because I found myself thinking: I've never overcooked a microwave dinner and had it go crispy. Soggy, yes, tough, yes - the only things I've made crispy in a microwave are pappodams and popcorn. *Then* I thought, hey, isn't a microwave reference out of place in a medieval-type story?

I'll read more because I'm genuinely enjoying this. Have you considered breaking the sections up into smaller authonomised chapters? The length of them is a wee bit daunting.

I'll get this some shelf time later this week or next. Very well done.

Cheers, Paul.

Hannah wrote 1982 days ago

Darn! Wrote you a tonne of comments but computer decided to go awol.
Oh well, a summary! I thought Royal Flush was really good fun and it read effortlessly - the sign of a good writer, though not easy to do! It's quirky and although I don't know you, it seems to contain so much personality that I imagine you are in this. I loved the way you punctuated the scenes, added an original twist.
I thought the only slow part was when you backtracked to the King's castle and then the previous king, but overall enormously enjoyable and the perfect end to a reading day.
Oh yes, I started my original post 11 days later - cos that's how long you've been on my watchlist.
Am going to put you on my rotating shelf because I love things which are a little bit quirky.
Hannah

katekasserman wrote 1987 days ago

Hi Scott! This book is just awfully fun. I read half of it without realizing that I'd zipped through almost 30K words. The writing is sharp, light, and funny, and we zip along merrily, skipping all the boring parts with an off-handed "seven flagons of ale later" and so on!

The King really is strangely likable somehow. I suppose his haplessness and incompetence help -- heh heh, as well as the fact that we never see him actually pull off an execution (even though we hear plenty of TALK about them...and threats that no one much seems to believe, barring perhaps the glassworker). Well, y-e-eah, he did leave those prisoners to starve in the dungeon, and some of them resorted to cannibalism, but let's be reasonable, he had a lot on his mind, and no one's memory is perfect under the best of conditions.

Since it's all about the humor and the charm, there's no reason to be tied too closely to reality, and RF quite cheerfully skips away from these shackles. It must be a very large, or a very sturdy goat that the King is riding -- an epic mutant goat. And we seem to have microwaves, but the most advanced weapon in sight is a crossbow -- anyway, the odd elements are amusing in and of themselves, but they also remind us not to take things too seriously!

There's a lot of invention, and a lot of silliness, and new twists and surprises kept popping up, which is exactly what I'd most hope for from a book like this. So, great work, and I'll be back to read more later when time allows -- and you're up on my rotating shelf space for the moment, and good luck!!

tadhgfan wrote 1993 days ago

First, let me just say that this is very cool that you broke it into 4 parst to go with each suit. I was going to "watchlist" this but my watchlist was full and it was sucha bother to delete one and add yours, OR to go into the next room and add your name to the paper list. SO I JUST POPPED OVER TO HAVE A READ!

This is a very witty and cute story. I enjoy your randomness in the order of things with the commentary in between --"7 flagons of Ale later", "blessed brief ride later" and such. very nice touch! I like you style :)
Your dialogue is good. deliberate. uniquely yours. The characters are wonderful.

i will probably post a review on my thread soon,
Great writing! Just my kind-of read :)
Gina

Hannah wrote 1994 days ago

Hi Scott
Have heard lots of good things about this book so am watchlisting you for a read!
Hannah

Scarlett wrote 1995 days ago

Hi Scott, I'm working through my watchlist and realised I never thanked you (except on my page) for your wonderful critique. I appreciate the trouble you took and Royal Flush is on my list. Love the pitch, by the way, it sounds like rollicking good fun! I look forward to coming back soon.

AmethystGreye wrote 2002 days ago

Too entertaining. I hate you in the very best way.

Have you read 'Bad Prince Charlie'? If you enjoy your own book you should. It leaves the same taste on the tongue. If nothing else you could find the author's agent if he has one? *grin*

Thanks for posting this. I'll come have looks in the future whenever I need a giggle!

Amethyst

Pierre Van Rooyen wrote 2002 days ago

Hi Scott, After reading the first chapter, I have put Royal Flush on my bookshelf. I believe you'll get this published if you can find the right agent. I liked the short paragraphs. The story moves fast and is character driven. Dialogue and direct action. I wouldn't rely solely on Authonomy. I certainly do not. There are plenty literary agents out there on both sides of the pond. I would imagine that this is not your only piece of writing and that you have others up your sleeve. Go well. Regards. Pierre.

Nix wrote 2002 days ago

Hello Scott,
Thank you ssssssooooo much for your best wishes, and I see you still have C&C on your shelf! Did you see the desk activity 2 days ago? I'd love a chat, if you feel like it, my email add. is on my page.
Nicky

David Floyd wrote 2005 days ago

Hey Scott -

I just wanted to stop by and offer an apology for my inaction. Let me explain. I noticed how you were garnering support from friends and family and I had thought to warn you about the criticisms you might receive. I was only aware of what might happen because a similar thing happened last month with a novel called ‘Prester John’. I can see no evidence of that book or its author on the site now – I fear he left in a huff.

But in the end I decided not to say anything because you weren’t doing a single thing wrong.

Anyhow, the real reason I’m stopping by now is that I really don’t want you to get fed up and your charming work disappear like ‘Prester John’. I’ve had some _really_ useful feedback on this site and have been redrafting my work. It is shaping up to be a much stronger manuscript as a result – and I think, with all due respect, that such feedback could help ‘Royal Flush’ be even stronger too.

I noticed the other day the feedback you’d given to Fenton and was very impressed at the thought and effort you’d put in. I see now that you’ve been doing the same for others. By doing that, you’re contributing an awful lot to the site and I know for a fact that Fenton was very grateful. It’s something I know I’m rubbish at (I tend to slip into an uncritical mindset when I’m enjoying something), but Fenton is great at it. He gave me some _awesome_ advice the other day. He’ll take his time, but eventually provide you with useful feedback for your writing.

And ultimately, I think the most important thing to take from this site is the chance to improve your own writing.

Best wishes,

david

P.S. While your old avatar photo had its charm, the new one is _much_ better!

AmethystGreye wrote 2006 days ago

Scott,

Just letting you know Flush is on my shelve for (my own personal) Romance Week and that I'll be coming back by to give a real comment before I take it off.

Take care!
Amethyst

claro wrote 2008 days ago

i'm loving this so much!!

it actually made me smile within the first page. wonderful with a great and remarkably subtle humour about it.

you're very talented and i hope you do well with this. i'll definately be watching it's progress.

K. Howard Bell wrote 2010 days ago

No need to apologize for any brusqueness Scott, such misunderstands occur frequently between frustrated authors caught up in the dreary slush pile :) ! At any rate, I greatly appreciate your indepth comments on Barry, and just wanted to say thanks for going through it so thoroughly. It's very useful to have an authors opinion, but especially considering our books similar love for British humour (yes, I too am a great DNA fan).
Seeing that Spades and Clubs are now uploaded, I'll make sure to have a little look at them in a day or two. Thanks again.

K

Pierre Van Rooyen wrote 2010 days ago

Hi Scott, Have dipped into the opening pages of Royal Flush which is now on my watchlist. Hope to tell you more later. Have fun with your writing, regards, Pierre.

Nix wrote 2010 days ago

Hello Scott,
Finally, I'm back to take a look at Royal Flush.

The tone of this is lovely, very much like Kipling's Just So Stories. I stepped into this other world with ease, then started smiling. 'Perfectly usable hill', the king riding a goat, the letters after his name, being told to wear a dress, and I loved the 70,000 pounds for the king's advert.

It is perfectly written, in fact in the case of some of the dialogue, perhaps too perfectly. For example, in the dialogue the king says, "Ah. Sorry. I'm a bit tipsy." People rarely talk in complete sentence (especially when drunk) so he'd probably say, "Ah, Sorry. Bit tipsy." I felt with that section, (again, it made me laugh) the king behaved clearly drunk, his actions were drunk, but all his words stayed sober.

This story is a romp. It is so full of life, full of colour. It has such a (I found him loveable) wicked, feisty anti hero in the king, and you portray the poor long suffering subjects so well. I think you have the ingredients for a great tale. You write smoothly with a pace you manage to sustain. Also, you have some very original slants, like the jumping timeline, but your characters jump off the page for me.

Thanks again for the time you spent on C & C and backing it. Royal Flush is on my shelf, may it continue onwards and upwards.

Best regards and good luck,
If you are as young as your photo shows, you have a great writing career ahead,
Nicky

Nix wrote 2011 days ago

Hello Scott,
You are totally forgiven! Not sure about my C & C title anyway, any ideas? I should have time to look at Royal Flush today, looking forward to it!
Nicky

Nix wrote 2012 days ago

Scott!
What can I say? I am so grateful. This is the most useful, thorough crit I have ever received on Authonomy. You have thrown up all sorts of points I have never noticed, all of which I will consider and address.
Answers to questions:
Sky is satellite TV. Perhaps I should make that clearer to non Europeans. In a later chapter the installation of Sky is another story.
Half term is British schools' mid term break. Again, I'll make it clearer.
Yes, I address the lampost/fountain issue later. (We had to apologise to the Mayor, and the fountain and square disintegrated in Chapter 8 under snow, and was rebuilt.)
I have put you on my watch list, and will sit down and comment on Royal Flush properly asap.
Thanks again, I am overwhelmed by your backing and comments.
Nicky
(Chickens and Churchbells)

K. Howard Bell wrote 2012 days ago

Goodness, no need for that Scott, and I certainly wasn't intending to cause offense. Unless you've forgotten my previous comment I did actually enjoy Royal Flush myself, and as such I'm sure a good part of those bookshelvings are from regular Authonomy users. Sorry if you were thrown on the back foot by my comment, but it was meant only as a bit of a light-hearted jab. At any rate I wish you luck with Royal Flush.

K. Howard Bell wrote 2012 days ago

Goodness, no need for that Scott, and I certainly wasn't intending to cause offense. Unless you've forgotten my previous comment I did actually enjoy Royal Flush myself, and as such I'm sure a good part of those bookshelvings are from regular Authonomy users. Sorry if you were thrown on the back foot by my comment, but it was meant only as a bit of a light-hearted jab. At any rate I wish you luck with Royal Flush.

K. Howard Bell wrote 2012 days ago

113 bookshelves in 2 weeks! Bloody hell, that must be some family and friends you've got there. Wish mine were that supportive :)

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