Friday, November 30, 2012

(11) Urban Fantasy: The Obsession Begins

TITLE: The Obsession Begins
GENRE: Urban Fantasy

A bride leaps to her death in ancient Egypt to escape the immortal pharaoh obsessed with her, but he tracks her down to modern-day New York. Anne Evans is a downtrodden office assistant with no memory of her past life. When she attracts one of the world's most powerful businessmen, she doesn't know whether to trust him or run.

Threads of smoke curled from under the closed double doors. Screams of terror filled the air and running feet shook the floor.

“This is your only chance,” The Queen of Egypt hissed at the girl standing proudly before her. They stood alone inside a chamber off the harem hall. “The palace is in an uproar. You should be able to slip away unnoticed, but if anyone catches you, I swear by Isis, I will kill you myself.”

The girl bowed gracefully, her ragged appearance at odds with her noble bearing.

"Fool! You must cower and scrape like a slave if the disguise is to work," the queen snapped.

“May the goddess reward you for your kindness, Your Majesty,” the girl replied coolly. Rising, she pulled her filthy shawl closer to hide her comely face and the gold amulet that hung from her neck. It was a wedjat eye to ward off evil – the only piece of jewelry she dared to keep, needed to keep.

The queen’s cat-like eyes glinted. "Now, get out!"

Hatred contorted the queen's delicate features, giving them a feral quality. Perhaps the rumours about the beast and her royal highness were true. Nonetheless, the girl hesitated. The road ahead could well bring death. After everything he had done and all those he had taken from her . . . no, better to leave now and risk her life than return to his bed.


  1. This is pretty cool! I have never read any urban fantasy, but you make me want to! I love your logline, so intriguing, and your 250 words make me want to read more. A really cool idea and very descriptive writing.

  2. The concept and opening situation here are intriguing, and I'd read on. My only concern was that I felt a little disconnected from the main character.

    While the queen was presented vividly, the girl was only briefly touched upon. I also don't understand why you refrain from giving the girl a name. She knows her own name, so not hearing it was just another thing that kept me from fully connecting with the character.

  3. I LOVE the concept here! Also love that you start us off right in the action
    I'm just a little confused as to how she gets from ancient Egypt to modern day. Is it time travel or reincarnation? Maybe a hint in the logline would better ground the reader.

    Also I'm a little confused as to how the Queen is trying to save her BUT will kill her if she doesn't escape.
    Maybe just a minor change to the line"...You must cower and scrape like a slave.." Scrape doesn't make sense to me and I think if you simply just say cower it would still be just as effective.
    Hope this helps & Good Luck!!

  4. I like your hook but I found myself wishing it opened in the modern times rather than with a flashback.

  5. I admit, I saw the "Urban Fantasy: The Obsession Begins" title and was about to keep right on scrolling down because I don't read usually read urban fantasy. But I read the logline and had to read further.

    I absolutely loved this opening! I was a bit confused by the first two sentences but was engrossed with "This is your only chance" to the very end. I want to know what happens.

    My critiques are extremely minor. I don't think you need to refer to The Queen as "The Queen of Egypt." Referring to her as "Her Majesty" or "The Queen" is more likely something the main character would be thinking, and referring to the harem hall (or some other symbol that we associate with Egyptian royalty) would be enough of a clue for readers. I'm definitely curious about what happens next, though. Good luck!

  6. I absolutely love ancient Egypt so your logline had me hooked and then the writing propelled me to keep reading. Well done!

    I'm nitpicking here, but there are a few things I'd tweak for authenticity. The Queen of Egypt sounds formal (and there was really no term for Queen in ancient Egypt--the closest was Great Royal Wife--unless you're looking into more Roman times). Maybe use some other term to make it flow better?

    It would also be helpful to have a name for the main character. And although this is third person, the use of "comely" struck me as odd as the rest of the paragraph is fairly deep POV.

    I'd definitely keep reading!

  7. LOVE that logline! And great first page! You've set up your story beautifully and I am anxious to read more. Maybe put more emphasis on needs in phrase about necklace?

  8. The writing here is good, and I think the story starts in the right place—better to establish this now than jump into the present. I think it could use a time stamp, though, to clarify when and where it’s taking place (even though we can figure out it’s Egypt). I’m left with a lot of questions in this snippet that I hope will be addressed in the coming pages, namely what this woman is afraid of, who “he” is in the last paragraph, what the screams of terror are about and why everyone is running. I also think it might do well to name this woman; the vagueness I find in a lot of prologues just serves to confuse, and we want to connect with characters from the very beginning. Consider if anything would really be lost by giving her a name instead of just calling her “the girl.”

    For the logline, it’s a bit unclear that Anne is a reincarnation, and the wording of the first sentence makes it appear like she’s immortal and didn’t die from the jump. I also wonder if the pharaoh’s sole motivation is simple obsession. That just doesn’t feel good enough for me, not like a specific vendetta or something.

  9. The logline enticed me to continue reading. This presented an interesting paradox for me. I felt distant from the protagonist, yet I want to keep reading. I am wondering if you intentionally wanted to sound aloof? And the sentence, "Perhaps, the rumours about the beast and her royal highness are true,"is packed with intrigue. Nice work and best of luck.

  10. Love that this an Urban Fantasy that takes a turn from the usual fare with the Egyptian element. So much potential!

    I need to identify with the heroine more...give me something to want to cheer for her - the queen feels more real - her emotions are clear and strong...whereas I feel distanced from the girl.

    But I do think I'd keep reading, so nice job!

  11. This is a good start and I love the writing. Like everyone else, I did feel distant from the main character. Maybe if you add more insight to how she's feeling (anxious, scared, etc) we as readers could connect more to her. I mean something major is happening so I would expect "the girl" to maybe have increased respirations, a pounding heart, she might be clutching the necklace so tightly her knuckles pale.

    Overall, good job. I'd keep reading.

  12. Very interestingtime period!

    You might change harem to seraglio, which is the word, I believe, they would have used, just to give it more flavor. (Not positive) And the palace, it seems, is on fire, and your MC is about to flee for her life, but she doesn’t seem at all concerned or worried. Perhaps work some emotion into you MC, which will strengthen her character. She’s kind of bland, as is.