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Beyond The Horizon - YA Fantasy - 1st 250 words of novel


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#1 Kjcloutier19

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 02:54 AM

Hey guys - This is the opening to my novel and I thought I'd see what everyone thought.  Any feedback is welcome! TIA
 
 
            “It’s a sea monster. Nothing more.”

            “No, Liam.” Emery stared at the horizon, at the never-ending void of blue that was the sea and the sky. The glare of the morning sun nearly blinded her, but she refused to blink. There, in the void of blue, a tiny black pinprick. “It’s a ship.”

            Her twin brother snorted. “Yeah, right. I wager ten Garden hours it’s just a sea monster.”

            Emery gazed at the blotch, barely breathing. The branch of the redwood tree she had climbed upon groaned under her bare feet. A salty breeze rustled the needles around her head, scratching her face and tangling in her hair. The waves thrashed and roared against the rocky cliff beneath her, spitting salty water at her feet. 

           She noticed none of it. 

           She stared at the blotch and stepped further onto the branch, heedless of the hundred-foot drop into the ocean below. As she stared, the black smudge grew in size, taking the impossible shape. 

            “You owe me ten Garden hours,” she said.

            On the branch beneath her, Liam sucked in a breath, and for the first time she could remember, he didn’t have a comeback. 

           Seconds or minutes or hours passed and details emerged on the ship: the three tall masts, and the rolled-up sails, the giant wooden hull, and the multiple decks. She could even see the wheel. 

          “It’s beautiful,” she whispered, even as cold fear seeped into her chest. 

 


#2 JoQwerty

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 01:42 AM

While I like your opening concept, the imagery and emotions are a bit muddled.

 

Though you tell us Emery is standing on a branch one hundred feet above the ocean, it sounds as if spray from the incoming waves touches her feet. As the latter would indicate hurricane conditions, it is probably not what you meant.

 

Emery seems to have far better eyesight than Liam, which is odd if they are twins. Furthermore, mentioning they are twins is background information that is not needed at this point in the story.

 

At the end you tell us "...cold fear seeped into her chest..." without giving us any hint as to why. And if the ship represents some danger, why does she she stay and watch instead of running away to warn her family or her village?



#3 SnowFox23

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 02:03 AM

It’s a sea monster. Nothing more.”

            “No, Liam.” Emery stared at the horizon, at the never-ending void of blue that was the sea and the sky. The glare of the morning sun nearly blinded her, but she refused to blink. There, in the void of blue, a tiny black pinprick. “It’s a ship.”

            Her twin brother snorted. “Yeah, right. I wager ten Garden hours it’s just a sea monster.”

            Emery gazed at the blotch, barely breathing. The branch of the redwood tree she had climbed upon groaned under her bare feet. A salty breeze rustled the needles around her head, scratching her face and tangling in her hair. really good. gives a nice sense of placement. The waves thrashed and roared against the rocky cliff beneath her, spitting salty water at her feet. also nice.

           She noticed none of it. 

           She stared at the blotch and stepped further onto the branch, heedless of the hundred-foot drop into the ocean below. As she stared, the black smudge grew in size, taking the impossible shape. 

            “You owe me ten Garden hours,” she said.

            On the branch beneath her, Liam sucked in a breath, and for the first time she could remember, he didn’t have a comeback. nice characterisation.

           Seconds or minutes or hours passed eh, I would change that. it's a bit aimless. maybe just say that they watched it come into view and details emerged on the ship: the three tall masts, and the rolled-up sails, the giant wooden hull, and the multiple decks. She could even see the wheel. 

          “It’s beautiful,” she whispered, even as cold fear seeped into her chest. 

 

I like this. It's good a nice sense of setting, and I'm wondering why the hell they aren't afraid of sea monsters but are afraid of a ship.

I would keep reading, so you have done your job well :)



#4 Emily804

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 09:49 PM

I like it! Are they stranded on an island? Is that why they are waiting for the ship to reach them?


Query Compatibility YA sci-fi: http://agentquerycon...lity-ya-sci-fi/


#5 lnloft

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Posted Yesterday, 10:36 PM

 

Hey guys - This is the opening to my novel and I thought I'd see what everyone thought.  Any feedback is welcome! TIA
 
 
            “It’s a sea monster. Nothing more.”

            “No, Liam.” Emery stared at the horizon, at the never-ending void of blue that was the sea and the sky. The glare of the morning sun nearly blinded her, but she refused to blink. There, in the void of blue I think this is an intentional repetition of the phrase, but the repetition of "void of blue" doesn't do it for me., a tiny black pinprick. “It’s a ship.”

            Her twin brother It feels a little heavy-handed to refer to him as her "twin brother". I think just "twin" would do fine, considering we can extrapolate if he's male and her twin then he's also her brother. snorted. “Yeah, right. I wager ten Garden hours it’s just a sea monster.”

            Emery gazed at the blotch, barely breathing Really getting into the nitpicks here, but it can kinda read like the blotch is the thing that's barely breathing. The branch of the redwood tree she had climbed upon groaned under her bare feet. A salty breeze rustled the needles around her head, scratching her face and tangling in her hair. The waves thrashed and roared against the rocky cliff beneath her, spitting salty water at her feet. 

           She noticed none of it. Nice placement of the sentence on its own line.

           She stared at the blotch Can you come up with a different word than "blotch"? There's nice tension overall in the opening, but "blotch" isn't a very tense word and stepped further onto the branch, heedless of the hundred-foot drop into the ocean below. As she stared, the black smudge grew in size, taking the impossible shape. 

            “You owe me ten Garden hours,” she said.

            On the branch beneath her, Liam sucked in a breath, and for the first time she could remember, he didn’t have a comeback. 

           Seconds or minutes or hours passed  Yeah, also not really a fan of this phrase and details emerged on the ship: the three tall masts, and the rolled-up sails, the giant wooden hull, and the multiple decks. She could even see the wheel. 

          “It’s beautiful,” she whispered, even as cold fear seeped into her chest. 

 

Overall, this is nice. As I sort of noted, there's also ready a good mood and tension building, right from the get-go. My comments are pretty much nitpicks, the sort of things where I think this can get better, but if they weren't changed, and this was the opening page to a book I picked up, they wouldn't be enough to make me put the book down. Nice job.


Nothing to reciprocate on right now; I'm off in the query trenches.





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