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Magic Undone (YA fantasy romance)


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#1 slbynum3

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 12:15 PM

This is the beginning of my newest novel. I'd like to know if it captures your attention and if you would read more. Any advice is appreciated!

 

 

Shaielle squeezed to the front of the gathering. She just wanted one glimpse of the prince from her past. He was so close…and yet so far out of her reach.

 

It was impossible to forget what she was since many of her accessories reminded her. Like the thin headscarf wrapped around her face so only her hazel eyes showed. And the two knives tucked away in her purple pantaloons, the cool steel of them pressing against her hips.

 

Because of what she was, the boy she had feelings for seemed to be a world away, even though he was about to pass right by her face.

 

A lively musical tune blared from the horns of musicians and they twirled and swayed down the cobblestone road. Behind them came ladies in knee-length skirts and midriff-bearing tops of rainbow colors, dancing to the music. Next came a group of male singers, their strong, baritone voices joining with the melody of the trumpets as they sang a song of what the Pact Day parade was about.

 

It was the celebration of the Quint Pact, when the continent was split into five different countries over a thousand years ago. Five Sultans were chosen to rule over each country, thus ending the worse of the Mancer War. And Casland, the country in the middle of the others, always had the largest jubilee of all.

 

Shai found herself tapping her foot to the festive song, craning her neck to see further down the procession. On both sides of the parade, people lined the street, cheering and clapping. Children danced together and caught the goodies that were thrown at them from those in the parade. A multitude of perfumes and sweet-smelling foods permeated the air, and it was like paradise to Shai’s nose. The happiness all around her was contagious, making her smile and wave to the performers.


Query for MAGIC UNDONE - Click here

First 250 words of MAGIC UNDONE - Click here


#2 sarahaspen

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 11:46 PM

Shaielle squeezed to the front of the gathering. She just wanted one glimpse of the prince from her past. My suggestion is to show the reader he is from her past instead of telling us. She might strain for a glimpse of his familiar features, those eyes that used to light up when he smiled, and wonder how time might have changed his appearance, for example. He was so close…and yet so far out of her reach. Can you show this as a sort of longing feeling in how she reacts? Does her throat tighten or her stomach fill with a hollow ache?

 

It was impossible to forget what she was since many of her accessories reminded her. This line doesn't seem to flow well from the above paragraph. I'm struggling to figure out how who she is relates to the prince being out of her reach. Like the thin headscarf wrapped around her face so only her hazel eyes showed. And the two knives tucked away in her purple pantaloons, the cool steel of them pressing against her hips. Even in third POV, you can deepen the perspective by mentioning only the things the character would see and comment on, which would not include their own eye color. Here, I think you might leave off the first line, which is a little telly, and show us how her accessories remind her. Maybe something along the lines of: She peered through the opening of her thin headscarf. No one saw her face, or the deadly knives tucked in her pantaloons, their steel weight cool against her hips. In the crowd she could hide what she was, but she could never for a moment forget.

 

Because of what she was, the boy she had feelings for seemed to be a world away, even though he was about to pass right by her face. Again, I wouldn't come right out and say that she has feelings for him, but show it in the way she thinks about him and how she reacts so the reader feels those feelings with her.

 

A lively musical tune blared from the horns of musicians and they twirled and swayed down the cobblestone road. Behind them came ladies in knee-length skirts and midriff-bearing tops of rainbow colors, dancing to the music. Next came a group of male singers, their strong, baritone voices joining with the melody of the trumpets as they sang a song about of what the Pact Day parade was about.

 

It was the celebration of the Quint Pact, when the continent was split into five different countries over a thousand years ago. Five Sultans were chosen to rule over each country, thus ending the worse of the Mancer War. And Casland, the country in the middle of the others, always had the largest jubilee of all.

 

Shai found herself tapping her foot to the festive song, craning her neck to see further down the procession. On both sides of the parade, people lined the street, cheering and clapping. Children danced together and caught the goodies that were thrown at them from those in the parade. A multitude of perfumes and sweet-smelling foods permeated the air, and it was like paradise to Shai’s nose. The happiness all around her was contagious, making her smile and wave to the performers. The happiness in this paragraph seems a little at odds with the longing of the previous ones. You might, instead, use the festivity as a contrast to Shai's sadder thoughts and emotions. Also, I'm curious why she hasn't thought about how long it will be before she sees the prince. Does she know whether he will come in the middle or at the end of the parade?

 

I like the idea of this as an opening. It introduces a strong conflict in an interesting setting, and I think with a little work on the emotional aspects it could make a nice start to your story.






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