Okay, I'd been resisting this, because... reasons, I guess? But last night I got a personalized rejection from an agent, and while it was a bit of a mixed bag (I was told I had tense issues in the first sentence and should make sure to do another line edit, and I still for the life of me can't figure out what she was talking about (also no longer the first sentence of what you'll find below)), it did get me thinking about some of the other stuff on the start of my manuscript. So, I tweaked a few things, and now I'm posting the very start of my story. It's science fantasy, in case you couldn't gather from my topic title, set in a society where people can travel between worlds with the use of special ships. Not that this is really important context for what you're going to read, but I just thought I'd say it. Anyway, I'm looking for any feedback, really, but I guess especially voice, clarity, and general vibe. So, yes. Thanks in advance.
Update in #8.
It wasn’t the first lock Lara needed to pick, or even the hundred and first. The door was made of hard granite, carved straight into the rock face at the end of the cave. Crouched before it, tongue peeking out from between her lips, Lara focused on her tools and the little hole of the lock. Locks, most people didn’t understand, weren’t actually barriers: they were puzzles, and the point of a puzzle was that it could be solved. If it couldn’t, then it wasn’t really a lock anymore, it was just a big fat wall in the way of progress. Sometimes it took a lot of time and sideways thinking to get it open, but it could always be done. Unfortunately, some people just didn’t have the patience to see it that way. “I could blow it up,” Ross offered after about five minutes of waiting. Lara exhaled heavily and pressed her forehead against the smooth, cold stone. “No.” She didn’t turn, but she heard the rustle of cloth as Ross readjusted his seat. “Just a suggestion. Might speed things up a bit.” “We’re not blowing it up,” Lara insisted. “We don’t know the structure inside. Don’t want to cause the whole thing to collapse. If we can’t get in here, we’ll find another door.” “I don’t think there is one,” said Ross. “And I’m tired of waiting.” Lara fiddled with the thin metal rod she had inserted into the slot. “Then don’t waste my time with inane suggestions, how about?” Ross was silent for a moment, but only a moment. Lara knew another comment was coming. “Blowing it up would be more fun,” he muttered.