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Untitled Fantasy


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#1 lnloft

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 07:37 PM

I just dove back into querying on my MS, and in between checking my email every five minutes to see if I've gotten a response, I'm futzing around with a new project. Only about 16000 words in, need to figure out where exactly the plot is going, but... in the meantime, I thought I'd post the opening. Any thoughts are appreciated. :smile:

 

            The judge emeritus had scheduled his death for nine in the morning.

            So Kaya Rai arrived half an hour early to bring him back to life.

            She pulled her car up to the estate’s gate, an ornate barrier of black metalwork about ten feet high. As Kaya cranked down the window, the nearer guard, dressed in a tight-fitted blue, eyed her uncertainly.

            Kaya leaned out the window. “Morning. I have an appointment.” She raised one hand to brush hair out of her face, while the other rested on the steering wheel.

            The guard might have been new, or at least Kaya hadn’t seen him before. He glanced over his shoulder, to the other, older guard who waited on the far side of the gate. The older guard had been around for Kaya’s previous visit, and he gave a solitary nod, acknowledging her credentials.

            They opened the gate just enough for Kaya to pass through. “Head up to the front door,” the grizzled guard told her. “They’re waiting for you.”

            I should think so. Kaya offered him a meaningless smile and started the ride up the long driveway.

            Judge Horace Longleaf lived on a twenty-three acre estate on the edge of the city, with the manor house about a quarter-mile up the driveway. Stately beeches lined the path, dark leaves dancing overhead, dappling their smooth, gray bark. The house was built in the old Jevenite fashion, brick faced with white moldings, smooth columns holding up the roof above a wide front porch. It was the sort of place where horse stable, carriage house, and carport could all live side by side.

            Kaya loved rich people, mostly because they would part with whatever she asked them to.

 

(So it's a little over 250. Sue me. I wanted to finish the thought.)

 

Also, just curious if anyone gets a vibe of a certain time period from it. I have a certain vision in my head of where this society is, and I want to get it clear early. I won't say what yet so that people can offer unbiased opinions.

 

Thanks!


Please note I'm also posting on behalf of people who can't sign up, so if I provide a link in the main body of the post, make sure to reciprocate on that thread.

 

I've got 250 words I'd love your feedback on: Untitled fantasy project


#2 michaelblaine

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 03:33 PM

Here are some humble suggestions. I definitely like your idea, and your second sentence (about bringing the man back to life) provides a nice hook.

 

1. You may want to consider compiling your sentences in a way where the language doesn't feel so choppy. 

2. Some of your imagery comes off a bit confusing to me. Sometimes (not always), it's best to use simple descriptions instead of trying to invent phrases to detail exactly what you see in your mind.

3. My idea of the time period is somewhere in the 70's or 80's - judging by how the guard was dressed and how she had to crank down her car window.

4. Your beginning sentences are equally as elusive as your last sentence. People like to be "on edge", but you may want to consider providing just a bit more information to the reader. Otherwise, you'll find yourself 80 pages in without a clear vision of what's happening.

5. I want to apologize in advance for painting your first 250 words in red. Take my advise for what it's worth - I've spent thousands of hours over the past ten years writing and I'm still unagented and unpublished. I wish you the best and hope your luck proves to be better than mine!

 

            The judge emeritus had scheduled his death for nine in the morning, so Kaya Rai arrived half an hour early to bring him back to life. She pulled her car up to the estate’s gate: an ornate barrier of black metalwork about ten feet high. (In this sentence, you may want to briefly describe the car. If she cranked down the window, it is difficult to assume whether it is a newer, basic model, or if it is old enough to have been manufactured before electric windows) As Kaya cranked down the window, the nearer guard, dressed in a tight-fitted blue (blue suit? pants? skirt?), eyed her uncertainly. (Although I'm not altogether against the use of adverbs, you may want to consider using adjectives to describe how he eyed her. Something like, "scrutinized her through squinted eyes)

            Kaya leaned out of the window. “Morning. I have an appointment.” She raised one hand to brush hair out of her face, while the other rested on the steering wheel. (if she's already leaning out of the window, it would be hard for her to use her hands to brush her hair from her face and rest the other on the steering wheel. Because the sentence does not enhance the story line, I would personally omit it)

            The guard might have been Perhaps the guard was new, or at least Kaya hadn’t seen him before. He glanced over his shoulder to the other, older guard who waited waiting on the far side of the gate. The older guard had He'd  to been around for Kaya’s previous visit, and he gave a solitary nod acknowledging to acknowledge her credentials. They (Did it take both of the guards to open the gate just enough to allow one car to pass through? Make sure that's the image you want to give the reader)  opened the gate just enough for Kaya's vehicle to pass through. (I included the word "vehicle" because my first thought was that she walked through the gate)

           “Head up to the front door,” the grizzled guard told her. (Which guard is the "grizzled guard"?) “They’re waiting for you.”

            I should think so. (Is this Kay thinking? If so, you may want to say so) Kaya thought. She offered him a meaningless smile and started the ride up the long driveway.

            Judge Horace Longleaf lived on a twenty-three acre estate on the edge of the city, with the manor house about a quarter-mile up the driveway. Stately beeches lined the path, their dark leaves dancing overhead, dappling their smooth, gray bark (Maybe it's just me, but I can't envision the leaves of a tree dappling its bark - unless the leaves were plastered to the bark itself. You may want to rethink this imagery). The house was built in the old Jevenite (Is Jevenite a word you invented? If so, are you world building, or creating an alternate reality?) fashion: brick faced with white moldings (This is confusing to me - I'm struggling to imagine brick faced with white moldings), smooth columns holding up the roof supporting the overhang above a wide front porch. It was the sort of place where horse stable, carriage house, and carport could all live side by side. (This last sentence feels awkward to me. You may want to consider reworking it to explain why it is so expansive and stately)

            Kaya loved rich people, mostly because they would part with whatever she asked them to.

 

 



#3 lnloft

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 06:22 PM

Thanks for the feedback, michaelblaine. No hard feelings on the red: this is still an early draft, so I expect it to need work. :smile:  Even just on the small things that don't stick out to me, like I should note it's the shadows of the leaves dappling the bark, not the leaves themselves. That would probably make a lot more sense. :tongue:


Please note I'm also posting on behalf of people who can't sign up, so if I provide a link in the main body of the post, make sure to reciprocate on that thread.

 

I've got 250 words I'd love your feedback on: Untitled fantasy project





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