GENRE: YA Fantasy
Something wasn't right with the sea.
Evren scrutinized the batch of red-eyed fish that hung from her long silver wire, their bellies bloated. That morning she had gone down to the edge of Ionoke Island’s best fishing nook, and found more fish washed ashore, limp and pallid.
She gazed out at the glittering sapphire water surrounding the island. The breeze flurried off the sea like invisible threads, tickling her face. White foam lapped at her black boots. Glistening silver and white granite rocks gathered around the corner of the island. Everything looked fine from the outside. The fish told a different story. Their home was in trouble.
“What is she doing to you guys?” Evren bit the bottom of her lip. The Sea Queen wouldn’t curse her own kingdom, would she?
She shivered and gripped the wire so tight that it cut into the middle of her palm. As she watched the blood trickle down her hand, she felt her thoughts spiraling. Why was the sea warming? What would that mean for her? If she couldn’t fish, how was she going to make money? Captains weren’t exactly looking for the navigator who had a death wish stamped to her back.
The murderous invisible pirates - the Naja - were looking for her. Why? She still didn’t know and she had been asking that question for years.
All I need is enough money to fly across the seas and leave this wretched place and the Naja behind.
A strong opening where we are immediately thrown into a problem and see what our protagonist is up against from the get-go. I really loved how connected Evren is to the sea, how she sees that all looks right on the surface, but that the animals tell a different story. I stumbled toward the end of the segment, however, and found myself wondering what the stakes were for her: her livelihood or behind hunted by pirates or her desire to leave? Having Evren have so many questions just leaves with reader confused. For example, I found myself wondering why, if she’d been hunted for years, she still didn’t know why…ReplyDelete
There's a little too much crammed into the opening words. Introducing the protagonist, global warming, a Sea Queen who can do magic, a mysterious death wish on someone's back (a tattoo?), invisible pirates (!)... I'd start with Evren pulling the fish up and realizing something's wrong with the sea, and introduce the Sea Queen at max. Linger a little there so we can start getting pulled into the magic of this world, rather than hitting us with everything all at once.ReplyDelete
You have nice descriptive language, but again, you can streamline some of it, especially here: "She gazed out at the glittering sapphire water surrounding the island. The breeze flurried off the sea like invisible threads, tickling her face. White foam lapped at her black boots. Glistening silver and white granite rocks gathered around the corner of the island." We know the water is blue, the foam is white, and the rocks are gray (since they're granite)--you don't need to specify. We also don't really need to know the color of her boots. Focus on a few key descriptors--maybe the breeze tickling like invisible threads (a nice description) and the foam lapping at her boots.
You can hook us (like a fish) with one disturbing idea--the bloated, red-eyed fish, and an unknown magical queen who might be destroying her own kingdom. Pull us into the world. Have the details appear as the story progresses.
I am not an author or writer just a casual reader. I agree with the above comments for the most part. Their being so many questions and possibly being confused is not a problem for me. Openings seem to always confuse me and this may be a good thing. It all depends on how you resolve the confusion. The contrast between the confusion and the beauty of the solution or resolution adds to the sense of satisfaction to the reader.ReplyDelete
Something being wrong with the sea, and a possible Sea Queen being at fault, is plenty of intrigue to introduce in the first 250 words, so just focusing on that portion: There are a few too many adjectives in the opening paragraphs, as described by others above. I was also surprised for her to express such personal concern for the fish ("what is she doing to you guys") considering she herself is catching them to presumably kill and eat them. "Something wrong with the sea" is an exciting mystery to launch a heroine!ReplyDelete