Monday, December 17, 2012

Hangover Round 1 Entry #47

Genre: YA historical sci-fi

When 18-year-old Anne Marie moves to Paris, she's on the hunt to learn more about her deceased mother. Instead, she time travels and becomes a relative, the French Revolutionary Charlotte Corday, and must decide whether to follow Charlotte’s destiny – murder a radical leader for the good of France – or to change history and create her own path.

I only came into Polaine Bakery for a croissant after dreaming of its buttery flaky deliciousness so unlike anything back home. But after one look at the fruit tarts, crème brulees, and chocolate eclairs, I had to have more. I dug into my wallet to see if I had a few more loose euros. Nothing. Zilch. I grabbed my dad's credit card and clung to it as I prepped myself to order way too many sweets. 

Je veux, I repeated under my breath. That verb always tripped me up, despite Mom teaching me French years ago, but I wanted to sound more Parisian when I ordered.

The door chimed, and the already crowded line pushed forward as a newcomer with olive-colored skin forced his way to the counter. The other customers grumbled. As he slid past me, he stopped, his eyes growing as wide as macaroons.

My gaze skittered to the case of pastries. He probably just wanted to see the tarts, and I stood in the way. Stepping backwards, I bumped into the woman behind me. "Excusez-moi," I whispered. 

She crossed her arms and glared.

The strange guy, with his tousled dark hair, took one step toward me—and my breath caught. His black eyes bore into mine, like he knew me. Goosebumps tickled my arms.

Not caring if the credit card landed in my sketchbook or wedged in my travel diary, I tossed it into the bottom of my bag and made a beeline for the door.


  1. Great writing! This opening really draws me in and I want to keep reading. I think you might even want to expand on each moment a little more since you have such a delightful setting and it sounds like we're about to launch into a chase.

  2. This is a great start that I think can be tightened up eg. I don't think the guy needs to stare at her twice - once is scary enough. You could also cut the woman glaring. Overall the scene is nicely peopled, feels vibrant and who can say no to eclairs and brulees?

  3. The logline makes me think of the story Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly...which is an amazing story and exquisitely well done. So, right of the bat, I'm already comparing it to something incredible. Also, the Revolution story has a bunch of historical content--whether it's accurate or not, I have no idea; I'm not a historian--presented in an interesting and believable way.

    Your first 250 are okay, but I don't understand her sudden fear of and flight from the guy with huge eyes. Seems a bit forced. I think a little tweaking could make it shine. And I'm really hoping you've studied/read about life during the French Revolution because historical fictions need to be accurate (or written in a way to seem accurate) to be believable.

  4. I'm hooked. I really like the opening, and I get a good sense of Anne Marie--from her love of sweets to her dad's credit card, her sketchbook and the way she practices her French before speaking.
    Her reaction to the strange guy seems a bit strong, though, unless he does more than stare at her. Or does she also remember him from somewhere?

  5. I love the voice in your writing and the premise of your novel. I would definitely want to read this, and I can't imagine that you haven't carried out your research and done your homework on the French Revolution.
    I'm not so keen on the title, but I'm already hooked on Anne Marie and the potential story. You've cleverly woven many details about her in your first 250. She's obviously spooked by the guy, but I think you could make the scene a little more threatening.
    This is a great start and I congratulate you on taking on something so difficult to write. This story has much to offer.

  6. i like this but i think we get to the guy too soon, i'd like a bit more about her first. otherwise the reaction seems to forced. otherwise, well done. and i like the log-line too. also, t does sound more like ya-historical with paranormal elements than sci-fi.

  7. I'm enjoying the first scene. You voice stays consistent and sounds realistic so far for upper MG or YA.

    I noted the question above about the early entry of your male character, but I wonder if you might have sped that up for the sake of getting him in during the first 250. (Or was I the only one who stooped to over-trimming in the name of getting enough plot into the first 250 words?)

    Looks like an interesting read. Good luck.