Saturday, October 29, 2011

CT First Page #1

TITLE: Hunter & Hunted
GENRE: YA Paranormal Romance

The coastline blurred past as I raced over the hard-packed sand littered with sharp rocks. Up ahead, a niche formed between two craggy limestone cliffs caught my eye. I veered for it and glanced behind me as I ran. The limestone scraped against the thin t-shirt on my back as I squeezed myself into the tight space. Spray from the ocean rained down over me, drenched my shirt and turned my long, dark hair into a scraggly mess.
My parents sprinted by and sand flew up in their wake. Once they neared the water’s edge, they slowed and stalked toward their prey like two jungle cats with black leather armor in place of fur. My mother’s katana, with its long, curved blade, glinted in the sun. As I crouched in relative safety with sour fear eating at my stomach, my father didn’t even have his sword at the ready. My father’s claymore was still sheathed down the length of his back, nearly as tall as him.  I tightened my grip on my own weapon, a simple silver dagger. My palms were slick with sweat, and the gritty salt and sand rubbed my skin raw.

My mother caught my eye and made a quick movement with her hand, indicating that she wanted me to follow. I hesitated before I rose from my spot between the rocks. I trailed behind my parents, and sweat beaded my brow when I thought about the battle ahead.


  1. I really enjoyed this. The first paragraph could use a little trimming so you can bring the reader closer to the action. The second paragraph blew me away. I think you've really got something here. Also, I like the title. Good job!

  2. Nice! I would read more to find out what happens. At first; however, I thought they were animals, until you brought out the swords. Why would the mother bring her daughter into the battle? I would think she would indicate with her hand to stay in hiding. Protect her child. That's just me. Loved the action. Good luck!

  3. Great action opening. Catches you up in the story right away. I would think maybe the parents are teach the daughter, since she's there and has her own weapon.

  4. Very exciting read! I think you could simplify this in a few places for the sake of clarity and how much a new reader can absorb at once while staying grounded in your story.

    Until the very end, I thought the girl was running away from her parents, who seem to stop near her as she's hiding and draw their swords, etc. I'd clarify right from the start that they're all on the same side, and why the parents have stopped. What do they see that makes them draw swords, slowdown, and be catlike?

    You could say "snagged" instead of "scraped" her shirt.

    As this is paranormal, the reader needs a taste of the fantastical element within this 250.

    Lots of great sensory detail from the MC's POV.

    Nice work!!

  5. Ah-oh, behind Kathryn again. She's good. Great action sequence, but like Robyn, I thought the parents were animals at first, and like Kathryn it seemed they were chasing their child. If not, why is she hiding? Perhaps a little internal dialog. I couldn't face the battle ahead, and my parents weren't going to like it, before she veers into the niche. Then later: What do they expect from a _-year-old who knows (whatever paranormal element is scaring her)? This way we feel more sympathy for the MC's hiding.

    Where you said "My father's claymore" make it "His claymore".

    Reword other parts shorter to make room for the dialog. Glancing behind me, I veered for it.

    The t-shirt is on your MC's front too, right? So: Limestone scraped my back through my thin t-shirt as I squeezed inward.

    Near the water's edge they slowed ...

    More trimming like: Mom caught my eye and waved me onward.

    You have extra words like formed you can also lose to move the battle forward.

    I would definitely read on.