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THIS IS NOT A CROWN (Speculative Fantasy)

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#1 slinke13


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Posted 08 August 2017 - 07:56 PM

Hi all,


These are the first 250 words of my novel and I guess I'd like to know if they draw you in or not (and suggestions if they don't!).


I'll reciprocate with a critique :)





As far as beheadings go, that one wasn’t half bad.

This shirt is certainly ruined. Unfortunate. But I’m sure my executioners can lend me a spare, even if it isn’t cashmere. The splinters in my back will be difficult to remove. A tree stump is a rather poor choice for a royal chopping block, if you ask me. I’d have preferred a marble slab. Perhaps one with my crest embroidered onto a silk cushion? Or not, I’m not picky. And it would have been common courtesy to drag me to my death by my arms or legs. Not my hair.

I am, after all, a King.

But if I’ve learned one thing from my lofty throne, it’s that when an axe plummets toward your outstretched neck and your head remains firmly attached to your stately shoulders, keep the complaining to a minimum. Besides, I really can’t blame them for orchestrating such a plebeian beheading devoid of blaring trumpets and unfurling banners.

They don’t know, after all, that I’m a King.

“Did you forget to sharpen the blade?”

Tricking my captors was easy. Before them, trembling against this stump, they see a girl. My dirt encrusted fingernails don’t hold a scepter. The blood on my cheek doesn't ooze purple. My fur lined cloak is back at the castle. They see muddy boots, not dainty shoes, which pinched my toes anyway. No, they won’t discover me. It’s simple: they don’t see a crown, they don’t see a King.

"Try a chisel."


#2 DJ McP


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Posted 08 August 2017 - 09:18 PM

Kudos! You've captured that elusive quality that agent's love--voice. I really like the voice of your narrator. I love your first line. The only thing I would recommend is that maybe have more of the mystery come out between the "king" and his executioners. I don't get the last line about the chisel. I'm sure it makes more sense if we could read what comes next but for the sake of a 250 intro to your work I would stop at "they don't see a king." That makes this excerpt seem more complete.


Again I would like to see more interaction between the king and his executioners which could still maintain the voice but also get out more of the potential conflict.


If you wouldn't mind critiquing my 250 here's a link


A Hole in a Tree

#3 Constantine Singer

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 12:13 PM

This is good.  You've captured me and I already trust you enough that I believe the parts I find confusing or unclear in what you've given me won't remain confusing.


Strong voice.  Great diction.


Well done.

Look for STRANGE DAYS, my debut novel from Putnam/Penguin Teen in bookstores everywhere, December, 2018!

#4 slbynum3


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Posted 02 September 2017 - 06:34 PM

I have to agree with everyone else here...this is great! It pulled me in and made me want to read more. It sounds hilarious, and the title fits it perfectly. I love the voice from the character.


I was just a little confused, because you say the captors see your character as a girl, yet she keeps referring to herself as a king. So is this character male or female? I think you should be clearer with that. If you can, have someone say the person's name. And why would she ooze purple blood? Do they see her as a monster?


Let me know when this gets published, I would love to read it!


And I'd appreciate some feedback on my 250 words, found below!

Query for MAGIC UNDONE - Click here

First 250 words of MAGIC UNDONE - Click here

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