This is my first week as a 30-year-old. I feel no different. lol Maybe it will kick in 6 months from now.
Last week on a whim, I entered The Crystal Bearer
into Miss Snark's First Victim's July Secret Agent Contest
. It only involves the first 250 of your manuscript. It had been in my head to incorporate Ghuli's watchmen more in the first 250, and I even thought about starting with them instead of Ghuli. Commentors have liked the fun glimpse of Ghuli so far, but they've confirmed my thoughts and want to see more of the watchmen to know who they are, so I have actually added them into the first 250. I don't know how popular scene cuts are in the first 250, but maybe it's effective?
Here is the old 250:
If things went how Ghuli desired, she would swing through the air in the next few minutes. Otherwise, she would have to explain to her watchmen why breaking her arms and legs was a good use of her time. She sat on a high, steady, blue willow tree branch deep in the forest, tying a cluster of its switches together as the sun heated her skin.
She only had a few minutes left before Cyan found her, so she clutched the ridged bark as she stood, then pressed her long, brown feet down against the branch. She stretched her arms out in front of her, the tied switches dangling just an inch below. Ghuli held her breath, stepped down onto them with her right foot, closed her eyes, and stepped with her left. She fell through the air for two seconds before the switches jerked tight beneath her feet, eliciting screams and laughter from her as she moved through the veil of blue switches. She swung upwards until she stared up at the wraps bound around her feet, the hem of her un-dyed woolen skirt sucked against her shins. Then, she fell back through the same switches, grasping her makeshift swing as it scooped her up in the other direction. Her black curls shielded her eyes and mouth as her body lay suspended in the air for another long second before she swung forward again.
After minutes of swinging, she locked eyes with her First Lieutenant Watchman as she fell forward.
The new 250:
If things went how Ghuli desired, she would swing through the air in the next few minutes. Otherwise, she would have to explain to her watchmen why breaking her arms and legs was a good use of her time. She sat on a high, steady, blue willow tree branch deep in the forest, tying a cluster of its switches together, glancing down at the ground every now and then.
Cyan would find her soon, so she clutched the bark as she stood. Though the ground seemed even farther below her now, she stretched her arms out in front of her, the makeshift swing dangling at her toes. Ghuli stepped onto the swing with one foot, closed her eyes, and stepped with the other. Her breath caught as she fell through the air.
“I don’t hear her anymore,” Cyan murmured. He stood at the opening of the Forest of Weeping Willows, staring down the black sand path of the Eastern Road.
His Second Lieutenant, Laris, joined him. “She may have wandered a little.”
“She was supposed to stay on the road,” Cyan said, aggravation creeping into his voice.
“You know the Princess, my brother.”
Cyan huffed and walked into the forest, leaving the road for the western trees. He did know Ghuli all too well. With the Island Continent so far west, Ghuli liked to sit among the trees as the setting sun warmed the forest. He probably would have enjoyed the sunset himself, if Ghuli had obeyed him for once.