YA Fantasy First Page

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RoarShark
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YA Fantasy First Page

Post by RoarShark » June 17th, 2011, 11:36 pm

Hi. I am rather new to posting on these forums. I used to come by occasionally a while ago, but never stayed for long. I just finished my second manuscript, which is actually just a rewrite of my original. This rewrite follows a whole new style, and in several places it follows a brand new plot. Anyway this is the first page of this new manuscript. It is a young adult fantasy that follows the life of two men (one happens to be the protagonist, the other the antagonist). Thanks for reading, and thanks for the critiques that may or may not come. It is great appreciated.
-------
Solomn – Part One
“Are you sure this is the assassin?” hissed a low voice. I could not tell where it was coming from. I thought that they must be outside. Creak! I quickly open my eyes and dart them over towards my door. Two men dressed in black stood there hunchbacked as if they were sneaking around. They were dressed in black leather that gave off little reflection of the light from the moons outside. They had several belts on, which happened to be incredibly useless. Both of their faces were shrouded by darkness. I could not tell who they were.
“Of course I sure… otherwise we wouldn’t be here. And besides King Nox pointed him out specifically,” said one of the men. His voice was just as low as the other’s. They crept closer toward the bed that I was supposedly asleep on. My wooden floor squeaked as they walked, I could tell that they reacted towards it in the form of a jump. I lay as still as I possibly could on my rock hard bed. It was only a matter of time before they figured out that I was awake, and fully aware of their presence.
Within an instant I felt their hands grip my wrists and throw me to the ground. I felt my body move without me controlling it. My wooden floor soon was gone, replaced by the earth outside. The dirt and rock covered ground pass under my body without any resistance. I had no control – they were dragging me somewhere. Somewhere I knew I did not want to be. The dirt from the ground danced up and down through the air around me. Rocks and pebbles bounced on and off of me. Scars and bruises began to form. My blood was being spilled across the ground. And just as soon as it started, it stopped.
The fist that clenched around my wrist let go, and I found myself free. Yet at the same time, I had less control now than I did when they were dragging me across the ground. I jarred my eyes open to see the world around me. I had expected light to rush into my eyes, but there was no such occurrence. If anything, one could say darkness rushed into my eyes. I was in a dark room. The room was darker than the blank night sky. Two absent figures loomed above my head staring down at me. ‘Who are they?’ I wondered. I also questioned ‘Why?’
“So the King pointed him out?” asked a quirky sounding man. He was the one who spoke first earlier at my house. He sounded like an idiot. The tones in his voice fluctuated from high to low multiple times in the same word. I almost wanted to laugh as I heard him speak, yet I knew I should not for I knew I would most likely be punished severely if I did.
“Said he knew who it was as soon as he saw him,” said a raspy voiced man. The more he
talked, the more I felt as though I recognized his voice. I had heard it somewhere before. Where had I though? Was it in the market place? Or was it just around town? Suddenly it hit me like a punch, rapid and hard. He was a royal guard for the King. His name was Dagen. From what I remembered about him he was tall and had dark brown hair. He skin was pale and had a light blue tone to it. He looked like an elf, yet he was a human. His ears were at a half point, and his face was slightly squished. He also seemed to always be wearing his armor. Over his armor he always wore something than had the King’s seal on it, a hawk.
“So you are the assassin. Think you can off our royal family eh?” asked the quirky man. I almost did not answer but I had too.
“No, never thought of such an act,” I answered. I knew the way that Dagen acted when interrogating someone. If he did not like the answer, he would punish the prison. I sat still waiting for something violent and painful to happen to me. Yet nothing of the sorts occurred.
“Never?” asked Dagen.
“Never,” I repeated.
“Then why did the King point you out exclusively as the killer of the Queen?” asked the quirky man.
“Stanson enough, I will handle him,” stated Dagen. Even though I could barely see their faces, I knew Stanson’s had looked at Dagen with wide disapproving eyes. I also knew that Dagen’s eyes narrowed as he face drew closer to mine.
“I am not sure why he chose me,” I said slowly.
“Solomn don’t lie! We know it was you. We have other witnesses who can testify!” yelled Dagen. I knew he had to be lying. Any right-minded assassin would not have let any witnesses walk freely. Then again the assassin did allow the king to live, which obviously meant he wasn’t in the right mind.
“I can assure you, I am not lying,” I said calmly. If I became angered, Dagen would surely hurt me. Apparently he decided he did not like me being calm either, because he reached behind his back and pulled out a whip. He then whipped me on the back. I let out a yell in agonizing pain. Ignoring the fact that I was in pain, I closed my eyes again. I refused to answer any more questions. It seemed like days before Dagen finally got tired of whipping me. He just ended up walking out of the room in frustration. I was left to my thoughts in the dark room; nothing but me and darkness.

--------------
Revision #1


“You’re positive this is the assassin?” asked a hushed voice. Where are they? I saw something moving outside my window. The light of the moons shone thru the window. Found them. Two men with hunched back crept through my door. I barely caught a glimpse of them before I clinched my eyelids shut. From what I saw they were dressed in all black. Who are they?
“Of course, we wouldn’t be here otherwise. Besides King Nox pointed him out specifically,” whispered the other man. I heard them moving closer. Time seemed to slow down as they grew closer. My heart skipped beats. Fear rolled thru my mind. They’re going to kill me.
Shit! Within an instant I felt their hands wrap around my wrists as they threw me to the ground dragging me outside in the process. The dirt and rock covered ground passed under my body without any resistance. I had no control – they were dragging me somewhere. Somewhere I knew I did not want to be. The dirt from the ground danced up and down through the air around me. Rocks and pebbles bounced on and off of me. Cuts and bruises began to form. My blood was being spilled across the ground. And just as soon as it started, it stopped.
The fists that clenched around my wrist let go, and I found myself free. I jarred my eyes open to see the world around me. I had expected light to rush into my eyes, but there was no such occurrence. If anything, one could say darkness rushed into my eyes. I was in a dark room. The room was darker than the blank night sky. Two absent figures loomed above my head staring down at me. I was definitely not free.
“So this is him. The one that the King pointed out?” asked a man. He was on the left side looking down onto me. He sounded like an idiot. The tones in his voice fluctuated from high to low multiple times in the same word. I almost wanted to laugh, yet I knew I shouldn’t; I’d be punished severally.
“Apparently so, said he knew who it was at first glance,” said a raspy voiced man. The more he talked, the more I felt as though I recognized his voice. I had heard it somewhere before. Where had I though? Was it in the market place? Or was it just around town? Suddenly it hit me like a punch, rapid and hard. He was a royal guard for the King. His name was Dagen.
From what I remembered about him he was tall and had dark brown hair. He skin was pale and had a light blue tone to it. He looked like an elf, yet he was a human. His ears were at a half point, and his face was slightly squished. He also seemed to always be wearing his armor. Over his armor he always wore something than had the King’s seal on it, a hawk.
“So you are the assassin. Think you can off our royal family eh?” asked the other man.
“No, the thought never passed my mind,” I answered. Dagen was peculiar in the way he interrogated people. If he disliked the answer he was given, he would punish the prisoner. I waited for something of the sorts to happen. Yet it did not come.
“Never?” asked Dagen.
“Never,” I repeated.
“Why did the King point you out as the Queen’s assassin?” asked the other man.
“Stanson enough, I’ll handle this,” stated Dagen.
“Don’t ask me,” I said slowly.
“Solomn don’t lie! We know it was you. There are witnesses!” yelled Dagen. He was lying, he had to be. Any right-minded assassin would not have let any witnesses walk freely. Then again the assassin did allow the king to live, which obviously meant he wasn’t in the right mind.
“I can assure you, I am not lying,” I said calmly. If I became angered, Dagen would surely hurt me. Apparently he decided he did not like me being calm either, because he reached behind his back and pulled out a whip. He then whipped me on the back. I let out a yell in agonizing pain. It seemed like days before Dagen finally got tired of whipping me. He just ended up walking out of the room in frustration. I was left to my thoughts in the dark room; nothing but me and darkness. Why did the king blame me?
Last edited by RoarShark on July 11th, 2011, 1:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

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maybegenius
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Re: YA Fantasy First Page

Post by maybegenius » June 19th, 2011, 9:57 pm

RoarShark wrote:Hi. I am rather new to posting on these forums. I used to come by occasionally a while ago, but never stayed for long. I just finished my second manuscript, which is actually just a rewrite of my original. This rewrite follows a whole new style, and in several places it follows a brand new plot. Anyway this is the first page of this new manuscript. It is a young adult fantasy that follows the life of two men (one happens to be the protagonist, the other the antagonist). Thanks for reading, and thanks for the critiques that may or may not come. It is great appreciated.

Hi, RoarShark. Welcome back to the forum :) I hope you get the help you're looking for!

I'll jump right in to my critique. Right off the bat, I'm a little concerned about your mention of your YA fantasy being about "the life of two men." I assume these are young men, but how old? YA protagonists should generally be between 15-18. If you've gone older than that, you should have a good reason for it. Otherwise, you're likely writing general high fantasy.

I've made notes on your page, and I'll write my overall comments below. I hope they help!


-------
The Final King by Jack Dorst
Solomn – Part One

“Are you sure this is the assassin?” hissed (Careful with saidisms... this isn't really a phrase someone could effectively "hiss." A humanoid voice can whisper or murmur or mumble, but not hiss.) a low voice. I could not tell where it was coming from. I thought that they must be outside. Creak! (I would italicize & remove the exclamation point here) I quickly open my eyes and dart them over towards my door. (Tense shift - this sentence is in present, the others are in past. Also, be wary of the action you're describing. As written, this sounds like his eyeballs physically dart to the door. They don't. His gaze darts.) Two men dressed in black stood there hunchbacked as if they were sneaking around. They were dressed in black leather that gave off little reflection of the light from the moons outside. They had several belts on, which happened to be incredibly useless. (How does he know they're useless...?) Both of their faces were shrouded by darkness. I could not tell who they were.

“Of course I'm sure… otherwise we wouldn’t be here. And besides. King Nox pointed him out specifically,” said one of the men. His voice was just as low as the other’s. (This is phrased a little awkwardly. I'd probably just say, "said the other man, as softly as the first" or something similar.) They crept closer toward the bed that I was supposedly asleep on. My wooden floor squeaked as they walked, I could tell that they reacted towards it in the form of a jump. (How can he tell? Did he actually watch them jump? If he can't see them, he doesn't really know.) I lay as still as I possibly could on my rock-hard bed. It was only a matter of time before they figured out that I was awake, and fully aware of their presence.

Within an instant I felt their hands grip my wrists and throw me to the ground. I felt my body move without me controlling it. (So... he was awake and prepared for them, but they grabbed him anyway, just like they would have had he been asleep? They didn't even realize he was awake, as you said above?) My wooden floor soon was gone, replaced by the earth outside. (This was a little confusing to read. It sounded like his floor had changed into dirt from wood. I had to read it over twice more before I understood what you meant.) The dirt and rock-covered ground passed under my body without any resistance. I had no control – they were dragging me somewhere. (You don't have to tell us this - the readers will be able to tell he's being dragged.) Somewhere I knew I did not want to be. The dirt from the ground danced up and down through the air around me. Rocks and pebbles bounced on and off of me. Scars and bruises began to form. My blood was being spilled across the ground. (I'm not sure how he can tell any of this is happening. It sounds like it's too dark to see, and in the chaos I'm not sure he'd be able to tell the exact extent of his injuries or that he was leaving a trail of blood.) And just as soon as it started, it stopped.

The fist that clenched around my wrist let go, and I found myself free. Yet at the same time, I had less control now than I did when they were dragging me across the ground. (How so?) I jarred my eyes open to see the world around me. (So his eyes were closed that whole time?) I had expected light to rush into my eyes, but there was no such occurrence. If anything, one could say darkness rushed into my eyes. I was in a dark room. The room was darker than the blank night sky. Two absent figures loomed above my head staring down at me. ‘Who are they?’ I wondered. I also questioned ‘Why?’ (When writing in first-person POV, you don't have to tell us the narrator is wondering something. We're always in his head, we know he's the one wondering. You could just say, "Who are they? Why are they doing this?" That said, again I'm not sure how he can tell there are figures above him if the room is so dark. There has to be some light to see by.)

“So the King pointed him out?” asked a quirky-sounding man. (How does one sound quirky?) He was the one who spoke first earlier at my house. He sounded like an idiot. The tones in his voice fluctuated from high to low multiple times in the same word. I almost wanted to laugh as I heard him speak, yet I knew I should not for I knew I would most likely be punished severely if I did. (The description of his voice you have here does more for illustrating what you mean than your mention of "quirky-sounding." I'd cut that description and keep the others.)

“Said he knew who it was as soon as he saw him,” said a raspy-voiced man. The more he talked, the more I felt as though I recognized his voice. I had heard it somewhere before. Where had I though? Was it in the market place? Or was it just around town? Suddenly it hit me like a punch, rapid and hard. He was a royal guard for the King. His name was Dagen. From what I remembered about him, he was tall and had dark brown hair. He skin was pale and had a light blue tone to it. He looked like an elf, yet he was a human. His ears were at a half point, and his face was slightly squished. He also seemed to always be wearing his armor. Over his armor he always wore something than had the King’s seal on it, a hawk.

“So, you are the assassin. Think you can off our royal family, eh?” asked the quirky man. I almost did not answer, but I had to. (Why?)

“No, never thought of such an act,” I answered. I knew the way that Dagen acted when interrogating someone. If he did not like the answer, he would punish the person. I sat still, waiting for something violent and painful to happen to me. Yet nothing of the sorts occurred.

“Never?” asked Dagen.

“Never,” I repeated.

“Then why did the King point you out exclusively as the killer of the Queen?” asked the quirky man.

“Stanson, enough. I will handle him,” stated Dagen. Even though I could barely see their faces, I knew Stanson’s had looked at Dagen with wide disapproving eyes. I also knew that Dagen’s eyes narrowed as he face drew closer to mine. (How does he know this if he can't see it?)

“I am not sure why he chose me,” I said slowly.

“Solomn, (Is this the protagonist's name?) don’t lie! We know it was you. We have other witnesses who can testify!” yelled Dagen. I knew he had to be lying. Any right-minded assassin would not have let any witnesses walk freely. Then again the assassin did allow the king to live, which obviously meant he wasn’t in the right mind. (This is about the first place where I become truly interested and wonder more about the world you're building. This is a good tidbit to include.)

“I can assure you, I am not lying,” I said calmly. If I became angered, Dagen would surely hurt me. Apparently he decided he did not like me being calm either, because he reached behind his back and pulled out a whip. He then whipped me on the back. I let out a yell in agonizing pain. Ignoring the fact that I was in pain, I closed my eyes again. I refused to answer any more questions. It seemed like days before Dagen finally got tired of whipping me. He just ended up walking out of the room in frustration. I was left to my thoughts in the dark room; nothing but me and darkness.
I noticed a few more technical things I didn't comment on in my notes because I wasn't sure where to put them. First: you frequently use saidisms and adverbs along with your said verbs. Most of them you didn't need. The dialogue itself conveyed the tone well enough. I'm not one of those writers who is completely anti-adverb or saidism, because I think they can be useful sometimes, but I didn't find them necessary here.

Second: I mentioned this throughout the piece, but it bears repeating. If your POV character cannot physically sense what's happening, he can't comment on it. He is always limited by his own senses and perceptions. He can think something is happening, or imagine what someone looks like in the dark, but he can't know.

Third: This section is very self-focused. You repeat "I" and "me" and "my" constantly, which makes for very stage-directiony, blow-by-blow prose. ("I felt the ground under me. They were dragging me somewhere. I could hear laughter and it chilled my blood. I saw the man scowl.") You can rework this to vary your sentence structure and give more sense of atmosphere. If you have several sentences in a row with I/me/my in them, try to rework them to remove a few instances.

Now onto general comments: This is a potentially interesting, action-filled set up, but I'm not completely invested yet. I felt like the amount of description and the lack of emotion from the narrator made it less tense. He's just telling us what's happening to him, but not how he feels. Is he scared? Angry? Expectant? Confused? Bring that out more. I feel like I don't know enough about him or this world to worry all that much that he's being kidnapped. I don't know what kind of person he is or anything. I need a little bit more of that to connect and care that he's being whipped for something he may or may not have done.

I'm not getting much of a YA feel for this as written. The protagonist is clearly old enough to be living on his own, but I don't know if that means he's 15 or 30. The prose feels typical of a general high fantasy novel - YA novels generally have some indication in the voice or character that lends itself toward a teen audience specifically. The character already feels very independent and adult. He doesn't mention a parent/guardian/sibling, and he seems to relate to the other men in such a way that it implies he's of similar age. I'd just keep that in mind - what about this story makes it YA, versus regular high fantasy?

Last thing: some of the dialogue felt a little stilted to me. I understand that this is a different world and they have a more elevated/traditional way of speaking, but some of the phrasing and the information they share doesn't feel quite natural to me. In particular, the line, "No, never thought of such an act," is strange to my ear. "No, I'd never do such a thing" or "No, the thought would never cross my mind" sounds more natural.

Okay. I know I completely picked everything apart (sorry about that!), but I wasn't sure how much detail you wanted in your critique. I think the actions themselves are interesting and have potential for a great opening, I just think it needs some tweaking. I loved the detail about the "moons," implying that there's more than one. It gives the reader and immediate indicator that this is not our world. The mystery set up with the Queen's murder and the King fingering the protagonist as the assassin is a good one. Keep at it!
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RoarShark
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Re: YA Fantasy First Page

Post by RoarShark » June 20th, 2011, 4:20 pm

maybegenius wrote: I noticed a few more technical things I didn't comment on in my notes because I wasn't sure where to put them. First: you frequently use saidisms and adverbs along with your said verbs. Most of them you didn't need. The dialogue itself conveyed the tone well enough. I'm not one of those writers who is completely anti-adverb or saidism, because I think they can be useful sometimes, but I didn't find them necessary here.

Second: I mentioned this throughout the piece, but it bears repeating. If your POV character cannot physically sense what's happening, he can't comment on it. He is always limited by his own senses and perceptions. He can think something is happening, or imagine what someone looks like in the dark, but he can't know.

Third: This section is very self-focused. You repeat "I" and "me" and "my" constantly, which makes for very stage-directiony, blow-by-blow prose. ("I felt the ground under me. They were dragging me somewhere. I could hear laughter and it chilled my blood. I saw the man scowl.") You can rework this to vary your sentence structure and give more sense of atmosphere. If you have several sentences in a row with I/me/my in them, try to rework them to remove a few instances.

Now onto general comments: This is a potentially interesting, action-filled set up, but I'm not completely invested yet. I felt like the amount of description and the lack of emotion from the narrator made it less tense. He's just telling us what's happening to him, but not how he feels. Is he scared? Angry? Expectant? Confused? Bring that out more. I feel like I don't know enough about him or this world to worry all that much that he's being kidnapped. I don't know what kind of person he is or anything. I need a little bit more of that to connect and care that he's being whipped for something he may or may not have done.

I'm not getting much of a YA feel for this as written. The protagonist is clearly old enough to be living on his own, but I don't know if that means he's 15 or 30. The prose feels typical of a general high fantasy novel - YA novels generally have some indication in the voice or character that lends itself toward a teen audience specifically. The character already feels very independent and adult. He doesn't mention a parent/guardian/sibling, and he seems to relate to the other men in such a way that it implies he's of similar age. I'd just keep that in mind - what about this story makes it YA, versus regular high fantasy?

Last thing: some of the dialogue felt a little stilted to me. I understand that this is a different world and they have a more elevated/traditional way of speaking, but some of the phrasing and the information they share doesn't feel quite natural to me. In particular, the line, "No, never thought of such an act," is strange to my ear. "No, I'd never do such a thing" or "No, the thought would never cross my mind" sounds more natural.

Okay. I know I completely picked everything apart (sorry about that!), but I wasn't sure how much detail you wanted in your critique. I think the actions themselves are interesting and have potential for a great opening, I just think it needs some tweaking. I loved the detail about the "moons," implying that there's more than one. It gives the reader and immediate indicator that this is not our world. The mystery set up with the Queen's murder and the King fingering the protagonist as the assassin is a good one. Keep at it!
Wow thanks for this. This will help a lot! I just have a few comments.

-When it comes to the saidisms, they probably need to be removed. What most likely will happen is the saidisms will be changed to the narrator saying describing how it sounded like hissing, rather than saying hissed. Would something like that work better?
-The thing about if the POV character cannot not physically sense what's happening is great advise, I never really thought of it that way.
-To be honest I am not sure what genre this is, I called it YA because one of my good friends said this seemed directed towards that age group, even though some of the characters are older than that. The main character is only 18 though, as is the antagonist.

Again thanks for the help, I really appreciate it. I'm going to work on what you said, and post the revisions soon hopefully.

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Re: YA Fantasy First Page

Post by corriegarrett » June 20th, 2011, 5:27 pm

Interesting intro! I think you have some good stuff here, but maybe a little overwriting. One time a friend gave me an edit just by cutting my page to about half the length, to show me that I could get the same image across in less words, and I found it really helpful. So, I tried to do a similar thing here. You have a lot of good elements (possible assassin, thugs, kidnapping, whipping, etc.) but it got a little bogged down.
So, for example, here's a version where I didn't change hardly any of your words, but just took out the pieces that seemed repetitive.
-------
The Final King by Jack Dorst
Solomn – Part One

“Are you sure this is the assassin?” hissed a low voiceoutside my room (or next to my bed, next to the window?. Creak!

I opened my eyes and saw two men dressed in black leather that gave off little reflection of the light from the moons outside. Both of their faces were shrouded by darkness.

“Of course I sure… otherwise we wouldn’t be here. King Nox pointed him out specifically,” said one of the men. His voice was just as low as the other’s. They crept closer toward the bed that I was supposedly asleep on. My wooden floor squeaked as they walked, I could tell it made them jump. I lay as still as I possibly could on my rock hard bed.

Within an instant I felt their hands grip my wrists and they dragged me outside.The dirt and rock covered ground pass under my body without any resistance. I had no control – they were dragging me somewhere I knew I did not want to be. Rocks and pebbles bounced off of me. Cutsand bruises began to form.

And just as soon as it started, it stopped. The fist that clenched my wrist let go, and I found myself free. I jarred my eyes open to see the world around me, and darkness rushed in. The room was darker than the blank night sky. Two figures loomed, staring down at me.

“So the King pointed him out?” one asked. He was the one who spoke first at my house. He sounded like an idiot. The tones in his voice fluctuated from high to low multiple times in the same word.

“Said he knew who it was as soon as he saw him,” said the raspy voiced man. The more he talked, the more I felt as though I recognized his voice. Where had I though? Was it in the market place? Or was it just around town? Suddenly it hit me like a punch, rapid and hard. He was a royal guard for the King. His name was Dagen.

From what I remembered, he was tall with dark brown hair. He skin was pale and had a light blue tone to it. He looked like an elf, yet he was a human. His ears were at a half point, and his face was slightly squished. He always wore his armor. Over his armor he wore something that had the King’s seal on it, a hawk. I love the description of his blue tone skin and ears at a half point.... more of this type description could go a long way. In fantasy, people want to know what kind of interesting world you're bringing them into.

“So you are the assassin. Think you can off our royal family eh?” asked the first man.

“No, never thought of such an act,” I answered. I knew the way that Dagen acted when interrogating someone. If he did not like the answer, he would punish the person. I sat still waiting for something violent and painful to happen to me.

“Never?” asked Dagen.
“Never,” I repeated.
“Then why did the King point you out exclusively as the killer of the Queen?” asked the first man.
“Stanson, enough, I will handle him,” said Dagen.
“I am not sure why he chose me,” I said slowly.
“Solomn, don’t lie! We know it was you. We have other witnesses who can testify!” yelled Dagen. I knew he had to be lying. Any right-minded assassin would not have let any witnesses walk freely. Then again the assassin did allow the king to live, which obviously meant he wasn’t in his right mind.

“I can assure you, I am not lying,” I said. If I became angered, Dagen would surely hurt me. Apparently he didn't t like me being calm either, because he reached behind his back and pulled out a whip.

He whipped me on the back. I let out a yell in agonizing pain. Ignoring the fact that I was in pain, I closed my eyes again. ??If he yells in pain one minute, doesn't seem like he'll be able to ignore it right after.I refused to answer any more questions. It seemed like days before Dagen got tired of whipping me. Finally he walked out of the room in frustration. I was left to my thoughts in the dark room; nothing but me and darkness.[/quote]

****

Anyway, just food for thought. maybegenius has a lot of good advice too.
Basically, I like a lot of your details (multiple moons, blue tone skin, darkness rushing in, the king's crest....) It's just a matter of letting the best, most interesting details shine through.

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Re: YA Fantasy First Page

Post by maybegenius » June 20th, 2011, 6:50 pm

RoarShark wrote:Wow thanks for this. This will help a lot! I just have a few comments.

-When it comes to the saidisms, they probably need to be removed. What most likely will happen is the saidisms will be changed to the narrator saying describing how it sounded like hissing, rather than saying hissed. Would something like that work better?
-The thing about if the POV character cannot not physically sense what's happening is great advise, I never really thought of it that way.
-To be honest I am not sure what genre this is, I called it YA because one of my good friends said this seemed directed towards that age group, even though some of the characters are older than that. The main character is only 18 though, as is the antagonist.

Again thanks for the help, I really appreciate it. I'm going to work on what you said, and post the revisions soon hopefully.
1.) This really depends on how you do it. Personally, I would just cut the saidisms and not bother describing a character's voice unless it's important to the scene. What sort of atmosphere are you trying to convey by having this character "hiss" the words? Are you trying to imply they're not human? Trying to make them seem more villainous? Try to use some characterization besides what their voice sounds like to bring that out. Make their dialogue more cruel, or have them perform an action that clarifies their villain status.

2.) Good, I'm glad it was helpful! That was something I had to work on, as well. Just keep in mind that with limited POV, the character can't be omniscient :)

3.) Does this friend read a lot of fantasy, or no? I've found that many people who aren't regular fantasy readers tend to think of it as "kid's stuff" for some reason. If they do read a lot of fantasy, did they give a reason as to why they thought it seemed directed toward the YA age group? Is it in part a coming-of-age story, or does it play into the teenage experience?

Also, the poster above me makes a great point about overwriting and cutting some of your wordiness down. I totally agree.

Happy to help! Good luck with your revisions :)
aka S.E. Sinkhorn, or Steph

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RoarShark
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Re: YA Fantasy First Page

Post by RoarShark » June 20th, 2011, 11:02 pm

I updated the first post with revisions.

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