Sunday, January 27, 2013

January Test Run #5

TITLE: Shadowcatchers
GENRE: Upper MG Fantasy

Zane slouched in the shade of a stall, casually eating a fig, while he watched his prey move with purpose through the market. The man seemed anxious to keep out of the sunlight that was drenching the market in heat and light, but whether it was to keep cool or to protect his shadow, Zane didn't know. Either way, he'd have to be careful.

Zane finished his fig and double-checked the sketch in his hand, just to be sure. Same fair hair and beard, same gray eyes, same snaggle-toothed smile. It was definitely him. Zane peeled himself off the wall and slipped across the sandy square towards his mark. In the middle of the square, some rogue chickens escaped their cages and squawked out into his path, looking for food. He side-stepped them clumsily and checked to see if his stumble had called attention to him, but no one seemed to have noticed either him or the birds. Just in case, he moved down a few stalls and pretended to study the clay pots on display.

The man he was hunting walked past without even a glance. Zane took a pinch of Silkshade powder from the pouch on his belt and made ready to use it. When the man stopped to buy some sad-looking turnips, Zane slipped up behind him and dropped the powder onto the ground. Deftly, Zane sneaked his foot forward, simultaneously removing a handkerchief from his pocket. Now for the tricky part.


  1. Really digging this opener - would read on to find out what happens. Love the imagery. Haven't heard that word snaggle-tooth in quite a long time so it brought a smile reading it and a fond memory of an ol cartoon.

    Great job. Would definitely read further.

  2. I'm with S.A.--this opening totally caught me. You've got such a unique concept here, and the imagery was great. :)

  3. Fun! What's going to happen with the Silkshade!!! I want to keep reading! best of luck.

  4. Great imagery and strong voice! I could totally picture the scene and would definitely read on to find out what happens! Great job! Good luck!!
    - byrne

  5. Love the use of "slouched", "peeled himself off the wall", "slipped across the sandy square". Just a minor adjustment: I wonder if you could lose the clumsy sidestepping, which doesn't seem very Zane-like at all. He's casual, he's slouching, he's slipping, so a clumsy sidestep is jarring. He could smoothly sidestep and then delay to see if the birds squawking drew the mark's attention, for example.

    Good start - immediate action and conflict, rich setting. :)

  6. Great opening. I like how the descriptions blend with the action.

  7. Good job! I agree with Keely re: clumsy sidestepping. Try using a thesaurus to find the perfect word. One other thing - "casually eating a fig" - I would take it out because it interrupts the flow of your first line and casually eating anything sounds wierd.

  8. Very nice. Imagery is great and I found myself slinking along with Zane. Since this is upper MG, I really wanted to know Zane's age. If I can picture him, I'd be more invested in what was to come. But, I'd read on to see what happens.