Thursday, March 10, 2011

Drop the Needle: REVELATION #30

TITLE: Darkblood
GENRE: YA Fantasy

Zaida and Sabin have been through a lot together. She's now before her enemy Cendency, who also happens to be Sabin's father. She's lost everything, including (as she thinks) Sabin, only to find out he's not only still alive, but he's not who she thought he was.

Sabin.

My world went utterly still and silent. Sabin was walking free. My Sabin. The only person I had left to live for. He was alive and walking free. Shock numbed to denial.

"Sabin?" My voice broke. Sabin's endless eyes met mine but this time they were alien, cold. The side of himself he'd never let me see.

"Hello, Zaida."

This was a trick. It had to be a trick. Sabin was on my side, he said he'd rather die than fight alongside his father. I saw Cendency's mouth curve in a small smile as Sabin came to stand on the other side of the throne, his head held high.

"It seems you've made wrong choices in everything." Cendency said softly. "Even in whom to trust."

The room tipped and smudged around me. This wasn't happening. I thought I'd reached the end. I thought nothing mattered anymore. I thought nothing could possibly hit me harder or hurt me deeper. Now, the numbness faded and reality was sinking in.

Sabin was never on my side. He'd led me on, taken me into the heart of Crucis. He lied to me. It's why he never answered what we'd do after the assassinations. Did that mean Kovek wasn't on my side either? Was no one ever really who I thought they were?

9 comments:

  1. I like the emotion you're conveying in your first par. but you can do better--the repetition of "walking free" is proof that you haven't really pumped this paragraph up to what it could be. Dig deeper.

    Didn't like "endless eyes" unless you mean he has an infinite amount of them on his face.

    Again, redundancy with "a trick; a trick"

    To the end...I like the revelation that's going on here--like a splash of cold water on the face that maybe she's been betrayed on all sides--I just think you can portray it better. Don't tell us that the room tipped, keep to the concrete emotions and thoughts she's experiencing. Even things like "I'd reached the end" or "nothing mattered" are pretty abstract thoughts. If you give us the tangible facts you'll provide the substance for us to feel our own emotions for.

    I hope that helps! I love the drama happening here :)

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  2. I like the names you have chosen. Even without explanation and backstory we have strong characters and places, just from the names. I'd love to see a little more detail to what we see, or smell, or physically feel.

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  3. Love this! My suggestions are below. :)


    Sabin.

    My world went still and silent, like a morgue. Sabin--my Sabin--was walking free. He was the only person I had left to live for, and he was alive and walking free. Shock numbed to denial.

    "Sabin?" My voice broke. Sabin's eyes met mine but this time they were alien, cold. It was the side of himself he'd never let me see.

    "Hello, Zaida."

    This was a trick. It had to be; Sabin was on my side, said he'd rather die than fight alongside his father. I saw Cendency's mouth form a small smile as Sabin came to stand on the other side of the throne, his head held high.

    "It seems you've made wrong choices in everything." Cendency said softly. "Even in whom to trust."

    The room smudged around me. I felt like the floor flipped over like a boat and I was left in the water to drown. I thought I'd reached the end. I thought nothing mattered anymore. I thought nothing could possibly hit me harder or hurt me deeper. Now, the numbness faded and reality was sinking in.

    Sabin was never on my side. He'd led me on, taken me into the heart of Crucis. He lied to me. It's why he never answered what we'd do after the assassinations. Did that mean Kovek wasn't on my side either?

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  4. I agree with everything tanyamaikai said. Also, I think there's a touch too much repetition of Sabin's name in the beginning.

    I enjoyed this and I appreciate the depth of the stakes. Zaida's in trouble, deep trouble, and it shows. Take tanyamaikai's advice and amp it up, using concrete ideas without the emotional abstraction, and I think you'll have a winner here.

    I'd keep reading. No question. Nice job!

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  5. I'm intrigued enough that I'd read on, even not knowing what's going on. I think you do a good job at conveying emotion, I really felt her shock here...but I would be wary of overkill. You just need to pull it back a little in places. Less is more. For instance, this paragraph:

    The room tipped and smudged around me. This wasn't happening. I thought I'd reached the end. I thought nothing mattered anymore. I thought nothing could possibly hit me harder or hurt me deeper. Now, the numbness faded and reality was sinking in.

    Honestly, I'd cut it entirely. Its not saying anything that we haven't grasped or can't read between the lines from everything else in the excerpt. Its basically just expounding on her shock, and I'm sure you can find plenty else to say about what's going on in that room. Especially if this is high fantasy, when you almost ALWAYS have to trim and cram to make your word count reasonable, save room where you can.

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  6. I thought the reveal worked. It's hard and immediate and hits her like a brick wall. But I also thought it bordered on melodrama (going a bit overboard on her thoughts and feelings) and that much of what you're saying here doesn't say much.

    Her world went still--yet there's Sabin walking around.

    Shock numbed to denial--but she never denies it's him.

    The side of himself he'd never let me see.--then how did she know he even had that side? How is she recognizing it now. Shouldn't it be a totally new side of him she'd never seen before?

    The last two pargs. are more of the same. Let us know all this stuff through action and dialogue, through what the characters say and do. It'll be a stronger piece.

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  7. "My world went...," "Shock numbed to denial" "the side of himself he'd never...," "now the numbness faded..." are telling - they take me out of experiencing the discovery with the MC. I think you can delete these four sentences and lose absolutely nothing, but gain a lot more tension.

    I can't quite figure out what "endless eyes" would look like.

    The room tipping and smudging doesn't work unless she's drunk or passing out.

    I agree there could be a bit of action worked into the last two paragraphs.

    I'm really interested to know if Sabin has betrayed her or not!

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  8. I think everyone else covered most of what I'd say. I like the emotional detail, but I agree some can be cut, but not the whole paragraph.

    'The side of himself he'd never let me see' - since she's just realized he's betrayed her, it doesn't seem to me she'd have formed this kind of thought yet. It seems more reflective after the fact, not during.

    This is really good, lots of potential! Good luck!

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  9. I agree with Barbara. It went a bit overboard when it came to the realization. I definitely liked the beginning when the MC discovered the lies/distrust. I felt the sense of, "What? No way!" I think you should follow it up with action.

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