Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May Secret Agent #19

TITLE: The Last Artican
GENRE: YA Fantasy

It was winter that I feared the most. The cold wind that brought white powder down upon the ground and the eerie quiet that muffled any sound around me. It left my senses dull and lacking. Winter was the only place safe anymore.

“Tabor, are you sure your magic intends to lead us deep into these mountains?” Delah, my guardian was a Fury. Never changing. Never growing older, but bound to protect those they served with their lives. She was always second guessing my feelings, and I suppose she had every right to. I was still young and hadn’t developed my powers yet. “It seems a strange place to find the origins of your birth.”

“You found me in these mountains when I was a baby, now my magic is drawing me back. This is a perfect place to search for answers.” I pressed on through the thick snow, hoping that I was right. The feeling in my chest, the burn that my magic produced was becoming stronger the further we pushed north. We had to be going the right way.

The peak of Mount Erined loomed over head. Its jagged rocks and barren slopes seemed dead to me. The wind whipped around me, howling through the cliffs like screams of agony. It took all that I had to ignore the thoughts of my mothers dying breath that kept me away from this forsaken place for so long. I wouldn’t let her die for nothing.


  1. I like where you're going with this. One little thing...I was confused when the first and last sentence of the first paragraph contradicted each other.

  2. *I was still young and hadn’t developed my powers yet.* Tells me he has no powers so maybe *fully developed*

  3. I also was confused with -- 'It was winter that I feared the most.' and 'Winter was the only place safe anymore.'

    Consider having a dialogue tag for clarity and flow with this line -- “Tabor, are you sure your magic intends to lead us deep into these mountains?” Delah, my guardian was a Fury.

    Maybe like this? -- “Tabor, are you sure your magic intends to lead us deep into these mountains?” Delah, my guardian asked
    She was a Fury, never changing . . .

    I like this as it has the slower build up you see a lot in high fantasy. I would definitely read on.

    Thanks for sharing and good luck.

  4. I had to stop and reread the first paragraph when the final line contradicted the opening line -- since he fears winter 'the most' but 'Winter was the only place safe any more.' I like where the story is starting -- with the MC on a physical journey as well as a journey of the heart.

    The dialogue felt a little stiff and 'tell-ish'. Even if there's formal tone to the relationship between Tabor and his Fury, I'd expect their conversation to reflect the strong tie between them.

    I noted a couple typos: further/farther over head/overhead

    Best wishes!

  5. I agree with the others about the contradiction in the first paragraph. I also can't figure out what feeling safe has to do with finding the place of her birth.

    Your character could ask her companion how close they are to the place she found her instead. The dialogue comes off as backstory. Work it in so their conversation feels natural.

    How does she know how (or if) her mother died? She was a baby when she was found.

    You do have a gift with words. There are some fabulous world building elements here. I suggest reading your work out loud. It helps point out where the rhythm isn't working.

  6. I also like the formal High Fantasy feel this opening has, but I think you could consider leaving out the first paragraph (which is contradictory and a little passive) and opening with the final one, which is more active and then going into the second and third paragraphs. I think that's a really good suggestion in the comment above about having the Fury show MC where she was found as a baby.

  7. I really like the mood and world you're developing, and I get cold reading your opening paragraphs, but I am confused. Tabor is afraid of winter, but it's the only safe place? Tabor needs Fury because he doesn't have developed powers but his power is gaining strength as they travel north? Also, his mother is dead?

    I think that once you've clarified these inconsistencies, you'll have a strong opening. Keep pushing yourself!

  8. Thanks everyone for your comments. I have some great ideas. :)