Wednesday, April 27, 2011

First 50 Words #8

TITLE: In Her Blood
GENRE: YA fantasy

Liliana laid her hand across her newborn daughter's bare chest. "She's calientita, but not as warm as her father. Does that mean--she's human?â"

"No se, mi nina. Maybe yes. I would watch her temper to be safe."


Brisana knew her mother was dying.


  1. I had a hard time understanding the situation. There's a newborn baby, a mother, and someone named Brisana. Is Brisana the baby? The baby is hot but not as warm as her father. I think there needs to be some kind of explanation of what you're introducing.

  2. I am also really confused. I like that you start with a the baby human? With the quick change, I'm thrown off. Maybe cut it or put the info in somewhere else...but that's my opinion. Good Luck : )

  3. I found the jump confusing. It might make sense if there were more before it. Who's speaking? Seems like Liliana in the first paragraph, but not sure who after that (I think "mi nina" is "my daughter," so maybe her mother? Still need some clarification). The before-the-jump section doesn't feel like a complete scene, yet -- what are the stakes of the baby being human or not human? You don't have to spell it out this early on, but it would be good to give hints, maybe some foreshadowing.

  4. I think, perhaps, the opening is too short. We don't get enough info to place us firmly somewhere. I do get that this woman has just had a baby that may be an alien or a cross between human and alien, but there's no sense of where they are. Earth? Another planet? modern times? The future?

    And then, because this is just 50 words, we get only a bare minimum of the next section, and still aren't able to place where we are or what's going on.

    I'd suggest not hopping into the second section so quickly, and giving us a bit more of the first section, but I could be way off base because I really don't have much to go on.

  5. Hot blooded... I'm thinking dragon or elf maybe? :-) Or maybe not. I'm curious.
    I like the use of a few Spanish words, lends flavor and reality to a fantasy opening. I think it's much smarter to use a real language for your characters than make up a whole new one, by the way!
    I agree with the previous comment that your opening could be longer. I know we see so much about being concise and getting straight into the story, but I think you've gone the other way. Give us a few more details. :-)

  6. I liked this up until the last sentence. As others have mentioned, it's a little jarring and we have to guess who Brisana is. If she is the newborn baby, would it be possible to name her in that first sentence? Overall, I found it interesting and would read on to find out what the baby might be besides human.

    (Oh, and I also liked the use of Spanish in the beginning.)

  7. Sorry this is so late but I wanted to thank everyone for their input - it's very helpful! Thanks so much :)