Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July Secret Agent #44


Marcus sat up in bed. Once again, the memory of a sea dragon feasting on his brother Malork’s body filled Marcus’ mind and he had to squeeze his eyes shut, and shake himself to halt the scene. This explained why his test had included a sea dragon.

Wiping the sweat off his face, he lay back down on his pillow. That was when he noticed that the room had a strange blue-ish hue to it. He sat up again and felt something that was not fear, move within his heart. Hanging his head and focusing inward, he waited. It happened once more, but a strong overwhelming peace came also.

Before he knew it, the feeling took him over and he gave himself to that beautiful comforting serenity. As he allowed it to permeate deeper within him, the room lit up. It grew until the tranquil power of its brightness immersed everything.

After a moment of basking, wonder finally overwhelmed all his other feelings. Marcus looked around and saw that the light was coming from his naming stone. As he reached for it, the sapphire pebble rose on its own and moved across the air to land softly in his outstretched palm. As soon as the stone touched his skin, he heard a very clear, yet quiet voice say, “Manwel. You are Manwel, the chosen one of unity.”


  1. I'm intrigued. I'm a sucker for prophecies, and yours is well-written, and the True name part definitely makes me want to know more. I most often associate true names with fairies, but I don't think that's where you were going with this, and that makes me doubly curious :) The one phrase that I'd rethink was that part about the "law of allocation." The word choice was a bit too clinical for me, but as always that's just one opinion, and I really enjoyed everything else.
    Ninja Girl

  2. You hit several important bits right away, introducing the character's sense of responsibility, some physical setting information, and a *lot* of background material.

    Setting up the prophecy and such is good, I'll just want to move through other reveals of character and/or action fairly soon to ground all of this worldbuilding information.

    I ditto Ninja Girl on the 'law of allocation' -- that phrase goes 'clunk' for me.

  3. I don't really understand what's going on. I think it was because of the last sentence of the first paragraph-- there was a sea dragon just so his brother could get eaten? Then he felt something that was NOT fear, but what was it? Then, suddenly, he's the chosen one. Nothing seems to connect to each other.

    Perhaps flesh it out and add more detail to make everything clear right away.

  4. I'm intrigued, but also a little confused. It's always a tricky balance introducing a fantasy world and all its rules without having an outright info-dump. I feel like there's a lot of new things all on the first page, and it might actually serve you better to bring it out more gradually. I wonder if it might work better to begin with the blueish hue, the feeling of peace and the voice, and bring up the sea-monster thing after. Waking from a nightmare/bad memory tends to be overused, and while that doesn't mean it can't work well, it could give your book a fresher feeling if you go right into the voice and the prophecy. Just my impression from the first 250. I'd have to read more to get a better idea. :)

  5. You have me interested in this story. It has all the elements that I enjoy - sea dragons, a chosen hero with a tortured past, and a mysterious stone. However, I think you need to bring more tension to the first paragraph. Marcus sits up in bed, then you tell us what he's dreaming instead of showing us what he's feeling. Where's his horror? Where's his fear? If you can make me feel what Marcus is feeling, then you'll hook me into your story.

  6. I'm definitely interested in your story, but I (like the folks above) need a touch more grounding to stick with it. I'm okay with a little confusion in the beginning as I expect it will all get sorted out soon.

    A suggestion on your opening: perhaps Marcus/Manwel is meditating rather than sleeping? Perhaps he's reflecting on the test or remembering his brother rather than dreaming? It would just add a different flavor to the opening without losing anything you're trying to convey, in my opinion.

    Nice work though! Good luck!

  7. I love the idea of a true name and I can get behind a prophecy if it's done well, though I do usually prefer a person becoming who he is because of his own choices. But I want a bit less exposition and more action to really draw me in here.

  8. What stood out to me was that Marcus doesn't do anything. The things that do happen, happen of their own accord, which makes Marcus a passive hero. There's no conflict or tension, there's no dificulty or obstacle. I'm sure those things are coming up, but I do think you need a bit of that in these 250 words to really grab your reader.