Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October Secret Agent #43

TITLE: The Glass Gargoyle of the Last Elven King
GENRE: Fantasy

I’d been chasing my bounty for the last two hours in the pouring rain, only to be told that he’d holed up in my pub. Now granted, I don’t own the Shimmering Dewdrop but I've spent plenty of time and cash I couldn’t afford there. It wasn’t shimmering, nor a dew drop for that matter. But it was my turf, and that son of a hag was holed up there. It was enough to make any self-respecting woman highly annoyed.
Noise from the pub smacked me in the head the moment I turned down the lane. That was never a good sign. Only one thing could count for that- a full pub brawl. Just what I didn’t need. Although if it wasn’t too bad maybe I could sneak in, grab my quarry, and get out before anyone noticed.

I’d just nudged open the wooden door when a chair flew over my head and shattered against the door frame. The debris also scattered on the retired fighters piled next to the door, but they were in no condition to notice.

Damn it. The one night I actually needed to get something done at the Shimmering Dewdrop that didn’t involve me sleeping it off in the back room and they were having a party.

I was having enough difficulty adjusting to the idea of having to bounty hunt for a living; I shouldn’t have to wade through bodies on the floor to get it done. Sadly, the natives were not only restless, they were homicidal.

19 comments:

Melissa Cutler said...

An engaging story opening. I especially love the hook at the end. This author did a great job and I can't wait to read more.

PVS said...

Strong voice to boot! My only criticism is the shimmering/dew drop comment. I know very few bars that look like their namesake. ;)

Janet Tait said...

I like the voice - very consistent and pleasant to read. Intriguing start and nice hook.

Tere Kirkland said...

Great voice and excellent action in intro. I'd read on.

Karen Akins said...

Good voice. Intriguing premise. I'd definitely read on.

Tammy said...

Really interesting. I'm hooked. ;-)

GSMarlene said...

Not bad! I'd read more.

I would consider shortening up the first paragraph a bit.

Jean said...

Oh fine, get me interested and then stop. I would definitely like to read more.

tarak said...

Definitely hooked. I loved the voice of the MC. Had a hard time coming up with anything constructive. Maybe have a reaction to nearly getting smashed with a chair? Other than that, I've got nothing. Good job!

katherineamabel said...

This is great, especially since I assumed the speaker was a man, so that surprise instantly built a strong, vivid character for me.

7a00361c-fac9-11e0-ba7f-000bcdcb471e said...

Very entertaining opening. Would love to read more.

Kelly said...

I agree with PVS on the shimmering/dew drop sentence. It interrupted the flow for me. Other than that, this is a great opening. I would definitely want to read more.

Filigree said...

The voice is actually putting me off this story, but that's more a personal thing. (A recent overdose of urban fantasy has left me a bit allergic to overcompensating heroines who hit first and think later.)

One civilizing phrase makes me wonder more about this bounty hunter: 'I was having enough difficulty adjusting to the idea of having to bounty hunt for a living.'

That could be great opening line, and it could enrich the tough-girl snark ahead.

Tara said...

I liked the voice a lot, but a couple of things gave me pause.

In the second paragraph, the noise makes her think that a brawl is happening. So then when she opens the door and the chair flies, it's not a surprise, and her thought that "they were having a party" isn't as funny to me because you already tipped us off. So I'd suggest dropping the first reference to the brawl.

Also, in that sentence ("Only one thing could count for that..."), I think that you mean to say "account" rather than "count"?

I also agree with those who suggest dropping the "It wasn't shimmering..." sentence, which slows things down. And since that would bring the fourth sentence even closer to the beginning, you might want to rephrase to avoid using "holed up" twice in the same paragraph.

I'm nitpicking because I really like the voice and the setup here--it sounds like a really fun read! Good luck.

Lisa Kessler said...

I love the voice and this last line...

Sadly, the natives were not only restless, they were homicidal.

Made me want to read more. :)

Lisa

A. K. Fotinos-Hoyer said...

I also really enjoyed the voice of this passage :) I think that the first two paragraphs can be cleaned up a bit though. In particular, the second sentence bothered me (even though I liked what you were trying to do, haha) because I don't know what owning a place and spending time and money there have to do with one another - so the "granted" sounded off. Otherwise, I also agree with the comments about the Shimmering Dewdrop and the pub brawl. I also really enjoyed your last sentence and would definitely keep reading!

Thank you for sharing your work and best of luck!

Barbara said...

I'm not a big fan of openings where the MC chats with the reader, so I am not your audience. I would have preferred to know who she was after and why. Or even why she had turned to bounty hunting. She can still be snarky, but it seems the hunt, which you started with, is totally overlooked, and all we have here is a woman with a snarky voice who, in 250 words, did nothing but open a bar door. Give us some plot, please.

And a small nit - She had been chasing her bounty - bounty is the reward she will get for capturing her prey and turning him in, rather than the prey itself.

Secret Agent said...

Aside from the protagonist being female, this feels straight out of The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, bar brawl and all. And while I appreciate the narrator’s wryness, right now her wit feels a little too forced. I don’t feel this is quite hitting the tone it’s going for, and as such doesn’t draw me in.

Anonymous said...

The author here-
Thank you to everyone who made a comment- it always helps to have new eyes on things; even when not everyone likes the same thing (which would actually create a very boring world :)).