Monday, December 17, 2012

Hangover Round 1 Entry #18


At seventeen, Random Knight thought living in a prison compound attacked by flying sea serpents was terrifying, but when she and her fellow raiders confront the Thayne warriors, she must be prepared to fight an unexpected adversary – the embodiment of all that’s evil.     

I'm facing death and just seventeen. Hell's teeth, I so know how to get myself into trouble. AThayne warrior stares me down, his jaw rigid with hate. A dazzling flash of light from the overhead beam bounces off the knife in his leather gloved hand. Bile rises in my throat as I imagine what it'll feel like as he pushes the knife into my body – to lose my life as blood pours out of the tear in my flesh. Where will that shiny, razor sharp blade go?

In my heart?
Across my throat?

He's big – six and half feet at least, each flexing muscle accentuated by the sweat glistening on his huge body. His armor is so highly polished the reflection is blinding. This guy means business. In this crystal clear moment his business is killing.

As I wait for him to attack, an overpowering, acrid smell falls from the sky. Sulphur! 
The Nicor have left their nest. Could this get any worse? Slashed to pieces by a Thayne or torn to shreds by a Nicor. This has all gone so wrong.

The Nicor swoops about overhead, pissing acid over everything below. When the acid hits the ground bubbling and fizzing, a sticky yellow gloop spreads across the dirt. It stinks like nothing else on earth. This is how they get us. If that stuff hits you, you're in deep ca-ca. Last month a guy from our prison shelter was hit by an acid bomb and his body turned to soup. He didn't scream – he didn't have time.                                                                                                                              


  1. I don't have any complaints about the writing - it's definitely vivid and well-done. The only word choice that struck me as odd was "acrid smell FALLS from the sky." Something that smells can fall, but the smell itself doesn't.

    However, while I fell it was well-done, I'm not sure if this is the right place to start your story.

    From reading the first 250 words by themselves, I don't know anything about your protagonist - name, gender, personality, nada. I know she's threatened with death, but I don't yet know why I should care.

    I don't anything about her surroundings. Is she alone? In the midst of a massive battle? Cornered in a dark alley while shopping at a local marketplace?

    I also have no idea why these creatures are attacking her. It could be a battle/war. It could be she's out picking berries in a bad part of the woods. It could be that she's a spy scouting out the area and has been caught. It could be that she's being offered up à la King Kong.

    My long, rambling point is you've given us enough information to be interested but not enough to be invested, nor do we have a solid bearing on the basics of who, what, where, and why.

    As always, this is all just MHO. Please use or disregard as you see fit.

  2. Love the title- and our MC's name,"Random Knight". That right there makes me want to read on!

    And so does the logline and intro.I'm going to respectfully disagree with the above poster and say I love where you started. It gets me into the story and makes me want to know more, such as why you're so good at getting yourself in trouble (usually being 17 explains it all, but this is beyond the usual teenage trauma!) I have faith that you will give me the pertinent details soon; in fact, it seems like you are leading right up to it.

    We all have different opinions, which is what makes the world such an interesting place. So there's my humble opinion, for what it's worth.

    Great start!!!

  3. Yep. I like this a lot.

    I read the above comments, and they're both excellent. I happen to agree with DJ. I was immediately drawn in, and wanted to know more but I wasn't completely lost. The writing was so vivid that I didn't need to know right away what a Thayne warrior is exactly, or a Nicor. You gave me just enough. I felt like the voice was so strong that it would have felt odd to have all the details relayed straight away.

    My only complaint is that the logline only hints at the voice with the Random Warrior part. I'd try to incorporate more it.

  4. Just a couple of nit-picks, but this has great voice. I thought the mc was a boy because the name seemed more like a boy's name.

    I'm not in love with your first sentence. It seems more like you were really eager to get your mc's age out there, than anything else. I'd consider starting with 'Hell's teeth'.

    Perhaps 'This is how they get us' is overkill on the telling, plus it is understood.

  5. [Follow-up note of full disclosure]

    I've been trying to read these entries as a prospective agent might and looking for the "opening page flaws" they often quote as being reasons they stop reading.

    Frankly, I enjoyed this opening and personally would have kept reading, but the comments I made above were to give you some possible reasons (if agents have been rejecting your partials or opening pages) why it might be happening. After all, if they don't get past the first couple of pages due to their checking off "opening no-nos" they never get to see how cool your story is :-)

  6. Many thanks for your comments, guys. I've taken all on board and applied some of them to my manuscript. Thanks also for the positivity. I feel I'm on the right track and it's given me the impetus to keep going. Happy New Year!