Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Drop the Needle: HIGH EMOTION #4

TITLE: Girl Under Glass
GENRE: Romantic Sci-fi

BACKGROUND: The opening of this book, Rachel Pryne encounters an injured, alien soldier in her yard.

I glanced down at his right leg. Mud and blood caked his fatigues from the knee down. The storm had thundered and blustered all night, and I didn’t envy this man being caught in it.

“"You'’re not trusting,"” he said.

“"You can'’t say that."” I hated how he assessed me, correctly, within minutes of walking into my yard. “"You don'’t know me.”"

“"Your gun and dogs say it loud and clear."” His voice held no emotion.

His reserve irritated me. My eyes narrowed. "“I have reason enough.”"

"“Oh?"” His brow furrowed, but he steadied his demeanor again. “"You don'’t know me. I request help, and you threaten my life. I'’ve done nothing to warrant this uncivil behavior.”" His aloof manner marked him
an Ohnenran more surely than did his appearance.

“"You'’re Ohnenrai."” The label twisted from my lips like a curse.

Jack and Audie rumbled their agreement.

He drew a slow breath. "“You'’d shoot me because I'’m not Terran? Because I was born on another planet?"”

Put that way it sounded unreasonable, even to my ears, but I didn'’t move. I wouldn'’t concede the point, not to one of Earth’'s conquerors.

"“I can'’t undo my birth, can I?”"

I raised the gun to point at his head. "“I can."”

Now his chin lifted. He folded his arms and gazed down at me.

The dogs, baring and gnashing their teeth, advanced on him.

The man eyed my protectors. “"Varet!"” The word boomed from him even as his expression remained unchanged.

I started at his power and the dogs ceased their threats. I looked at the outsider with newfound respect. I didn'’t know Strangers raised their voices. I'’d heard that even in battle, with death snapping their
souls from their bodies, they remained ice cold. Maybe that'’s not true.


  1. I really like the premise. Her distrust comes through well, but I'd love to have some more visual clues that show her reaction to him. You give us some physical presence, but perhaps use loaded words, like a "intimidating" jaw, or "defined" arms, especially if you intend to establish tension right from the beginning.

  2. "His reserve irritated me."- Show me what that feels like.

    I don't understand this phrase- "I started at his power."

    You have created some good tension that overall seems very real and sets up a good story. I just think it needs some slight tweaking.

  3. Nitpick: change to "His aloof manner marked him more surely than his appearance." to avoid saying the word Ohnenran/Ohnenrai twice in a row. Other than that, I definatly want to read more.

    P.S. I love your title!

  4. I thought the soldier's emotion (or lack of) came across well. I didn't really feel your MC's. She seems as unemotional as him, for the most part. When she says "I have reason enough," I do get a sense of anger, but I'm getting it because of the words she says. I'm not feeling it. I'm not feeling scared for this man, and I should be.

    Perhaps give us a bit more than dialogue. Show us what she's doing with the gun, how she's holding it. Is she trying hard to restrain herself from shooting him? Maybe give us some internal thoughts that tell us how she feels and why. Does she have mixed emotions about this guy, or does she hate him because he's not Terran like he suggests?

    Also you seem to have extra quotation marks everywhere. And I loved the "I can," line after he says he can't undo his birth.

  5. Thanks for your feedback, everyone. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. (Barbara, I have no idea what the deal is with the quotes. Maybe Blogger and Gmail don't play well together. *shrug*)