Wednesday, February 25, 2015

First Five Sentences #24

TITLE: The War of the Worlds and Fairies
GENRE: Fantasy

On midsummer’s eve I stood on the central toadstool, gripping the bumpy surface with my toes. The moist air from the humus below clung to my bare skin, the warm mugginess attacking the elaborate curls I had styled for the occasion. One ringlet after another went flat and slid down my neck or cheek, breaking my concentration.

Fairies can cross over at other seasons, but because of the crucial nature of the crossing the most reliable time is chosen—when the boundaries between the two realms are thinnest. And so in Faerie, for the last time, I stood in the midst of a fairy ring.


  1. I love fairies. And I love your first sentence. I visualized her toes gripping the toadstool. With the second sentence you are repeating about the heat. Moist air and warm mugginess. And mugginess is warm so warm doesn't need to be there.
    The mugginess attacked the elaborate curls I had styled for the occasion. One ringlet after another...

    I would read on. I want to know where she's going, will she be something else, maybe taller in the next realm. I know where she is and can imagine her tiny self standing in the middle of mushrooms. Great visual.

  2. Well, it grounds me in a scene and I can see everything happening; it definitely says "fantasy" to me. I do agree with Alice that parts are overwritten with just a little too much extraneous or repetitious detail, and I felt like the exposition in the second paragraph broke a bit too much from the current scene. I'd like to see those details worked in a little more fluidly.

  3. Yes, NAILED IT on that first paragraph. And, I guess I'm with everyone else on the 2nd. We are so beautifully *in* this moment with her in the first, and then the 2nd pulls us out. I think you could convey the same info to the reader, however, if you just worded it a little different. Something more thinking-to-herself rather than explaining to us. Like, "I knew fairies could cross over at other seasons, but because of the crucial nature of this particular crossing, I had picked this exact moment when the boundaries between the two realms were thinnest..."

    Also, I'm sort of hoping this is a working title and not the one you're going to go with in the end. I almost didn't read this because the title seemed so blah. I was delightfully surprised that the opening was so fantastic, but I would still try to come up with a more intriguing title.

    Good stuff! Keep going with this!

  4. I'm with everyone else - loved the first para, but was pulled out by the second. I'd like to see more detail of her environment and actions before you begin the exposition.
    I'm really interested to see where she goes next and her experiences in the next realm - will it be the human one, or a different one altogether? Intriguing!

  5. I, too, really like the first paragraph, but it seems a tiny bit overwritten. Too much attention to the muggy air imo. But as soon as you begin the second paragraph, you're telling us what's going on and why. It just seems very abrupt to me. I understand the need to connect midsummer and the most opportune time, but you might want to work on that and find a better way to tie them in. More naturally. I'm definitely getting a great visual here and wondering what is going to happen next!

  6. I do like this beginning. And, I agree with A.K. about a better title. Everyone else gave good feedback on your second paragraph. I thought your transition from first to second could be less abrupt. Just a hint from the second one would do. Nice job!

  7. The first paragraph takes the reader into a fantasy world but the second creates distance. Action and dialogue beats telling.

  8. Lovely description and setting/details on the first paragraph. The second paragraph lost that same 'magic,' and sounded more informative; I'd rather be shown what is being told.
    Definitely worth reading on.... :)