Take any fantasy plot, and try to explain it to the uninitiated with a straight face.
You sound like a crazy person.
I tried to write out the plot of Lodestar, leaving out all side plots, character plots, backstory, and world building — and reduce it to it’s essence. THE MAIN PLOT. How I would explain it to someone who knows nothing about the story, and nothing about fantasy. Here’s my first pass.
So, there’s this Gate.
Behind the Gate, is something Very Bad. VERY, Very Bad.
The only way to open this Gate is with Three Magical Items.
The Crimson Key.
The Blue Shield.
The Blood of the Precursors.
The first two items are fairly straightforward, but the third is the problem. It’s a bloodline, carrying the genetic structure of the Gate’s creators down through the centuries in a few human families.
Bad guys have sought the descendents for a long time. Other bad guys have been killing the descendents for a long time.
Bad Guys A want to control What’s Behind the Gate. Bad Guys B want to make sure that their Nefarious Plans aren’t disrupted by What’s Behind the Gate.
Enter the Heroes.
They’ve been protecting a Little Girl. A Little Girl who is the true scion of the bloodline.
Bad Guys A have managed to capture the Little Girl.
The Heroes have to get the Little Girl back, before Bad Guys A can open the Gate – or before Bad Guys B kill the Little Girl.
Can you hear me trailing off lamely towards the end? Cutting my eyes to the right, and regretting even starting? Let me try again.
There’s a Little Girl, and she’s awesome. And important. The Heroes have to keep her safe or the world blows up. Or something.
Now imagine me explaining this to someone on a subway, or an elevator. Can you see that person quietly reaching for their mace?
I guess it would help if I was wearing pants.
[What? Were you visualizing me with pants? Well, I guess that’s your mistake.]