Wednesday, September 9, 2009

8 Secret Agent

TITLE: Sovereign: Rise of the Dragonprince
GENRE: Young Adult Fiction (Fantasy)

He is coming.

Andarinas woke with sweat beaded on his forehead. The vision was intense, gripping him in the midst of his dreams. He felt cramped in his small quarters for the first time. He sat down to write and his quill moved with the weightlessness of one used to recording his observations:

I have seen the signs. A boy and a dragon running in a field. As they ran, the boy grew into a young adult, a year for each stride. They were laughing. The ground was cold and the boy wore no shoes, but he didn’t seem to notice in his joy. The ground beneath the two fell away, but the boy hopped onto the dragon’s back. They flew, and it looked like they could find footing when there was none to be found. In the horizon, they merged into one being.

In an instant, my sight was dark. There was thunder and screaming. I smelled fear before hearing footsteps. Millions of footsteps and absolute chaos. I saw people trampling others, running from a charred chasm. Then, I saw chains. So many chains tied together that it was impossible to see the beginning. But a king was there. I saw a tremor begin in the chains but I did not see them break. That means uncertainty. That means there is much to be done.

Andarinas slammed the book shut, tucked it under his arm, and left his room so suddenly that his door was left swaying.


  1. I really like this one - it pulls me in from line 1!

    small critique: line 3: vision was intense, can cut that, it's obvious. Yet, small detail that didn't detract me. Would def keep on if there was more.

  2. Not quite hooked. Ignoring the usual problem with starting with the character waking up from an intense drea, I had a slight problem with the choppy opening.

    This is a short prologue before you launch into the point of view of the boy?

  3. I'd have to agree with Catherine.

    Good Luck, though!

  4. Not hooked. I feel like this is a lot of telling. It seems like a prologue and I'm not crazy about those in general.

  5. This felt very 'average' to me. There was nothing that stood out. I wondered, if the vision was in the middle of his dream, how did he know it was a vision?

    He felt cramped in his quarters for the first time. Does this mean it was the first time he felt cramped, or the first time he was in his cramped quarters?

    What's the relevance of his vision? Why is he rushing off? Perhaps if we knew, or had a hint, it might be just the thing to draw a reader in.

    Not hooked.

  6. I am not the only agent to have this pet peeve, but I'm not usually thrilled with books beginning with the main character waking up. So I would probably not keep reading.

  7. Intrigued enough to read a little more...

  8. I feel the visions might be conveyed in a better way than in a dream. "The boy hopped onto" seems too casual for the rest. You don't tell the reader what would make it look like they could find footing when there was none. Why are chains tied together, rather than linked?

  9. Not hooked, mainly because the re-count didn't seem too realisic. If mc was diarising his visions, it would need to be more immediate... he need not say 'I saw' all the time or things like 'In an instant' -- just didn't seem to fit how one would write an entry in your journal.

  10. Hmm, I usually don't read fantasy.

    I think I'd rather find out what Andarinas does when he leaves his room rather than read about him recording his vision.

    The writing feels pretty solid though.

  11. Not for me. There wasn't enough about Andarinas to draw me in. I'm a character girl, and I need a character doing something to make me want to read on. Instead, we have a character waking up from an unsettling dream, which is pretty familiar and overused.

  12. Not hooked. The dream thing will deter most readers right away, and there is way too much telling over showing. I'm just not impressed by the device (and it is a device) where the character dreams and then writes it down. There are better ways to go about this.

  13. third sentence would be better for me like this "for the first time, he felt cramped in his small quarters."

    when relating dream, I wouldn't say "it looked like they could find good footing." the imagery of the dream is wonderfully metaphorical, and only loses power if your character interprets it.

    when he does interpret at the end that part works, because it's very vague and forshadows challenge.

    I would replace 'young adult' to 'young man' as he is not an age group that will be reading this book, he is a dragonprince.

    I like the energy and am hooked.

  14. I love dragons and I'm interested in the introduction this opening gives me.

    But I'm not sure if Andarinas is to be the MC or if the boy in his vision is the MC. Either way, I'd want to have something that draws me to the MC and makes me care about what happens to him.

    What is Andarinas' stake in what needs to be done?

    Not hooked, butI think this has a lot of good material.

  15. I'm not ordinarily a fan of fantasy but I do like the writing. The piece has a nice energy. I would read on to see where it is going.

  16. I think with some tightening of the writing and a bit more pulling in of the reader this could be very good. Like you, I've had projects start with waking up- reading on here has shown me the error of my ways! LOL! I would say not hooked....yet- but sure it will happen.

  17. All the advice I've ever read on beginnings says to start with the initiating event. Is Andarinas having this dream the event that begins all the action? If so, then perhaps you could start with him describing it to someone else rather than waking up and writing it down.