Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Drop the Needle: Death #7

TITLE: Miranda's Fire
GENRE: YA Urban Fantasy

This scene is near the beginning of my novel. Miranda and her friend scope out The Coliseum after receiving a strange message from her mother. They find many Mages dead, including the Mage Council Minister, and even more are missing.

Tammy stood on the outer viewing balcony, her arms wrapped tightly around herself. Tears streamed down her face. Miranda wiped her own tears away and put on as brave a face as she could manage before walking out to stand beside her friend. Her eyes swept The Coliseum, looking for clues as to what could have caused this.

Burn marks like those in The Council's room marred every surface of the great Coliseum. The great stone statues of legendary Mages lay toppled and broken. Gaping mouths of concrete and steel soundlessly cried out in horror. Miranda wanted to give them a voice, to cry or scream. But she held it all in, forced it down. This was a place where Mages were supposed to simulate battle. No more pretending.

Mage's bodies littered the field. But not enough of them. Every living
adult Mage would have been here tonight. The bodies amounted to maybe
a fifth of that number. Where were the rest? Where was her mother? Her
fire magic spiraled inside of her and she fought to keep it below the
surface. Even her infamous temper couldn't drown out the anguish and
fear. Another tear escaped down her face.


  1. Ooh, you've really piqued my interest. I want to read more! Great scene. The only thing I wanted to see more of was Tammy's emotions and how she was dealing with them. You told me very well, but I wanted to feel them a little more. Add more actions, e.g., clench her fists. I think you could really expand on this scene since there's so much intensity to it and so many things going through her mind.

  2. "even her infamous temper couldn't drown out the anguish and fear" - I loved it! Great line.
    My only question is how old are these girls? Is there first reaction really to stand and look around, counting how many are dead, not going for help? Is there anyone they can even ask for help?
    that's the problem with only 250 words. *sigh*
    Still, very well written, I really enjoyed the scene.

  3. I enjoyed this but it could use a housecleaning. Example: “…this was a place to simulate battles. No more pretending…” and “…her eyes swept the Coliseum looking for clues.”

    Eliminate phrases that do not add to the story or tell vs show. Example: “…Miranda wiped her own tears before her friend could see them and walked out to stand next to her…”

    I would create sentences that are more complex especially in the second paragraph. There are too many short sentences and it needs punched up.

  4. I liked the struggle of Miranda's emotions, and I enjoyed your imagery.

    Last paragraph, "Mage's" should be "Mages' bodies".

    Good luck!

  5. Can't decide if I like the camera focus on the girls to the Coliseum to the bodies the way it is, or if I'd prefer it in reverse. I think the problem is I'm lacking what came before to rightfully judge? So I'm going to trust your judgment on it.

    I like fantasy and I like magi. My YA has magi and I even have Rome's Coliseum!

    In the last paragraph, there is a lot of crucial, emotional information that is getting cheated by its briefness. I'd expand that paragraph to at least two, or more.

    I also agree (and wish I'd been able to post it first) that "infamous temper line" is great! Part of why I wanted to see this first in the section. It isn't until this point that I get a sense of who your mc is!

    thank you for posting. i enjoyed it!