Pages

Monday, July 25, 2011

GUTGAA Week 4- First 200 Words

We're in the home stretch of Deana's Blog-extravaganza! Head over there now to enter her contest for a critique on part of your novel. Details here. Below is my entry. Good luck to everyone!


A. N Villasante
BookEnd
YA Fantasy

  

I: The Farm

Chapter 1

     It’s early, before dawn but at the bakery everyone’s been up for hours. I stand where I always stand, down the alley in back, opposite her window and out of sight. I want to see her before she can see me, before I go in and buy the morning bread and a cinnamon knot for Story. Story got another tooth last night and needs something to gnaw on while I finish whittling her teething ring. But the bakery isn’t open yet and I need to see Jane first, get over her loveliness before talking to her. I don’t want to sound like a stunt-brained QR, or worse, like a little kid. 
     Right on time, Jane pushes the window out on its hinge and rests her chin on her hands. She always looks up, never down to where I am. I think maybe she’s looking at the last of the night stars as they fade, but she could just as easily be looking at the early morning clouds, judging the weather.

     Jane is smart. She knows things about the stars and the 
weather and the world that I don’t know. Though she’s the baker’s daughter now, before she came to BookEnd she was something else.
 

17 comments:

  1. Good opening. I'd add a line about who Story is. And didn't understand the part about stunt-brained QR but maybe I'm just not hip enough;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. @jamie
    thanks for chiming in. I don't want to give too much away, yet and, no you don't get what a QR is because I've made it up. But it's important tot he story. In the main character's world - Fin - a QR and 'stunt-brained' is common parlance. Hopefully you'll want to read on and discover more!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh...this is so good. I don't care what a QR is -- I'll find out, I know. But the fact that he has to get over Jane's loveliness before he can face her is brillianwant. And he's kind, for getting Story something to gnaw on.

    I can teel that this is a different world, with a compelling "real" character. What a wonderful start. I so want to read this!

    ReplyDelete
  4. err, "brilliant" not brillianwant -- although, that's not a bad made-up word.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @ Amy - thanks for the positive feedback - I think I'll have to work 'brillianwant' into my WIP somehow. It's an awesome made up word!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think you gave good info, so no worries about that. You NEED to pay attention to your punctuation. the very first sentence, 'It’s early, before dawn but at the bakery everyone’s been up for hours,' is made 1,000x more awkward without the comma before the 'but.' Hate to say it, but that will make it or break it for an agent.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You hook me with your voice and descriptions, Magpie. And you've definitely compelled me to read on with the sentence "Though she’s the baker’s daughter now, before she came to BookEnd she was something else."

    ReplyDelete
  8. @amber - I know! I suck at grammar and punctuation. My only excuse is that I went to art school ;) But I know that's NOT an excuse, so thanks for pointing it out.

    @michelle - thanks for the comments, I hope it hooks!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I really loved the voice! I think it's great that he has to see Jane and get over her loveliness before he can talk to her. I do think a quick introduction as to who Story is would be a nice addition, other than that, I don't have any other suggestions.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love the immediate romantic element of this. I remember from your query what QR's are, so I was willing to go along for the ride. It was a soft lovey opening--I was hooked.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is a great start! I would change the first sentence to just, "It’s before dawn but at the bakery everyone’s been up for hours."

    I loved the small world building detail of him having to whittle the teething ring. It tells me a lot with a little.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oooo, great last line! Totally makes me want to read on. Really love it.

    A couple of punctuation inserts in the first paragraph:

    It’s early, before dawn (comma) but at the bakery everyone’s been up for hours. I stand where I always stand,(remove comma, put colon) down the alley in back, opposite her window and out of sight. I want to see her before she can see me, before I go in and buy the morning bread and a cinnamon knot for Story. Story got another tooth last night and needs something to gnaw on while I finish whittling her teething ring. But the bakery isn’t open yet (comma) and I need to see Jane first, get over her loveliness before talking to her. I don’t want to sound like a stunt-brained QR, or worse, like a little kid.

    Great hook!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I really like this, except ditto Amber on the comma in the first sentence. The rest is awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  14. The last sentence definitely hooks me. Great start!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great start. I'm wanting to read on. Congrats on being a finalist. Good luck!!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...