Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April Secret Agent #3

TITLE: Curse of the Nine-Tailed Fox
GENRE: YA Fantasy

If I’d known from the start that home was a feeling instead of a place, I could’ve saved myself years of suffering. But a wise-ass once said—like the stupid prick knew the secrets of the universe at the ripe old age of nineteen— “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.”

Uh huh. Sure.

As a fox-spirit who spent the first seventeen years of my life hated by the rest of my kind, who grew up in the slums with hunger for a friend and violent street gangs for enemies, I knew firsthand those words were a steaming pile of cow dung. The journey sucked, and from where I stood, the destination wasn’t much better.

I scrabbled along the rooftops of the palace, hurling myself from one red, shingled awning to the next. There was nothing elegant or graceful about the way I skittered across the roof like a demented crab. My black fox ears twitched backwards, listening to the pursuit of thundering footsteps, and my bushy black tail lashed to keep my balance. It wasn’t exactly easy to scale a five-story palace in the heart of winter, with a layer of ice covering everything, snow numbing my face, and nothing but a dirty, tattered, threadbare kimono to keep myself covered.

The snowy courtyard blurred twenty feet below me, and my heart rose into my throat with every jump.

17 comments:

  1. Love the opening paragraph—it sets up the premise for the entire book. The narrator’s voice is clearly defined and snarkily fun. The first sentence of the second paragraph stops the reader cold with too much backstory. I’m assuming we’ll find all this stuff out if we read on. Maybe cut straight to “ As a fox spirit, I knew firsthand….” The narrator mentions: “from where I stood”, so you may want to pull the last sentence in the third paragraph up before the scrambling along the rooftops. It tells us how dangerous the situation is, then we can really be in the moment when the scrambling and hurling begin. Also, are the thundering footsteps below in the courtyard?—clarify perhaps. Really fun. I want to know what happens next!

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    1. HI! Thanks for your feedback. I'll work on incorporating the action / scene sooner and telling the background later.

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  2. Great opening line! I'm very intrigued by this entry and want to know more about the curse suggested from the title. I wanted to know more about why your main character is scaling a roof. That's the only concrit I have :)

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    1. Awh, thank you so much, knowing I managed to hook you from the first line is the best kind of feedback I could hope for!

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  3. I really enjoyed this, nice descriptions and voice from the start. I, too, thought the second paragraph was mostly backstory that could be woven into the story in a less obvious way. I'd definitely keep reading!

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    1. Hi! Thanks for your feedback. I'll look into cutting the second paragraph and getting straight into action. :)

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  4. Very intriguing, a fox-spirit, and one with attitude! I agree that the back-story could be woven in other places, even later. Though, 'The journey sucked ...' sentence could easily go after 'Uh huh. Sure.'

    The very last sentence might also work after '...shingled awning to the next.' in the paragraph above it.

    I am very curious as to why the MC is on the run, and why he/she/it considers this state a final destination.

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    1. Thank you very much for your feedback! I'm glad you liked it. :D And I'll look into incorporating everyone's feedback, especially since it all pertains to the same element of the pages. Thanks again!

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  5. Oh my gosh, I love love love the voice in this. You've set up a nice description of the setting and the character that not only brings her to life but shows the reader her attitude and personality. Excellent job!

    Thanks for entering!

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    1. WOW! Thank you SO MUCH! I'm glad you loved the voice, it's the biggest element I worked on in my most recent round of revisions. Thank you very much for taking the time to read my work! :D

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  6. His voice is super strong, and I've always loved his snark. :) Your descriptions are spot on, and you really do a great job of hooking the reader. Powerful opening, definitely would keep me reading on. :D

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    1. Thank you, K., for addressing the rude comment. I've deleted it, but wanted to let you know that I appreciate your calling it out and standing up for this author.

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    2. Thank you for deleting it Authoress, and thank you so much for having my back, K! <3 I'm glad you liked the opening better, too haha.

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  7. Perhaps cut those first two pargs and start with the third. The third parg is story. Your character is acting in his world. The first two pargs are your mc explaining to me what the situation is. Your character is in a story. Everything he or she does should happen in that world. Instead, you have the mc talking to the reader who shouldn't exist for your mc. What's happening is your mc is talking to people who aren't there. He should only be talking to himself, or other characters in the story.

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    1. Thank you for your feedback. :)

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  8. I don't think the first paragraph is a particularly strong place to start, in fact, I don't even really see how the two sentences connect to each other. It's just a broad statement when I prefer your story to start. I guess I am just not a fan of "if I had only known" openings.

    However, your vivid description of the rooftop in winter was awesome and I could feel myself in the dark and cold. I wanted to shiver lol.

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    1. Hi! Thanks for the feedback, I'll consider what you suggested. I'm glad the descriptions made you feel you were there, though! :D

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