TITLE: She Dances in Blood
GENRE: YA Fantasy
In moments like this my blood dances through me, pounding out a rhythm with my heart. There is no better feeling. The night is dark and quiet except for the song of death within me as the two vampires flee from us. The female pulls ahead, leaving the male behind as a sacrifice. He shouts, but she doesn't break her stride. He flings a look over his shoulder at me and grimaces. With a burst of speed, he darts onto a side road, jumps on a dumpster, then vaults onto a roof.
Like a shadow, I follow.
“Ivanka!” my partner, Romero, shouts. “You're not supposed to engage vamps alone!”
A fact I’m fully aware of. But I never let vamps escape. He knows that.
Romero continues to yell as I put on an extra burst of speed and race along the roof. I pull a stake free from my combat belt and lunge forward. My knees drive into the vamp's legs as I plunge the weapon into his back, aiming for his heart. It feels like slamming into a concrete wall, but the force sends the stake ripping through flesh to reach its target.
Paralysis claims the vamp, sending him into torpor, and he collapses beneath me. Together we roll down the roof and fall, the ax strapped to my back throwing me off balance and forcing me to land on all fours on the dirt road.
I rise and look down at the vamp. Why would anyone ever choose to become such a creature?
I love the action here, but more so the fact that you were able to inject some wonderful characterization into it. That’s a hard thing for many writers to do. Right away we see that Ivanka is bold and a little ruthless, but also strong. We also see that she doesn’t like vamps much, which I hope will come back to haunt her. There are great questions raised here and I want to keep reading!ReplyDelete
This is a vivid and exciting scene! It's really fun to jump right into the action. I particularly liked the physicality of the heroine landing off-balance because of the axe--she isn't some super hero who is landing in a perfect three point stance. That will give us a a reason to worry in the future if she goes off after another vampire alone. One thing that stuck out that was a little inconsistent was the statement that Ivanka never lets vamps escape, when the female member of the vampire duo they are pursuing does in fact escape. Also the mechanics of this scene bring up a few questions for me about the speed of the vampires vs the hunters--if the vampires are fleeing, and the male puts on a burst of speed, and then Ivanka starts to follow, and puts on a burst of speed, she must be faster to catch up so quickly. Or if she starts the scene on the roof, why does the vampire run to a rooftop to try to escape her? These are easy fixes, but still questions that came to mind--I am a logic focused reader! Overall this is an opening that would keep me reading!ReplyDelete
Logic-focused feedback is good! It can help me find those small things that are easy to miss sometimes. You're right that this brings up questions about their relative speeds. I'll work on fixing that.Delete
I really enjoyed this. Straight into action and it left me keen to read more. One thing I would perhaps change was that both the vampire and Ivanka seem to be having ‘bursts of speed’ perhaps change one?ReplyDelete
Wow, thanks for catching that. I've read it so many times, even out loud, and have had critique partners look at it, and none of us ever noticed that! Yikes! I appreciate it.Delete
The action in this opening is great! You're good at writing fight scenes. I did want a bit more setting. I know we're outside, but the description of this place is very generic and could be any dark alleyway. It's more interesting if your alleyway is original and it also gives you a chance to world-build a bit. What city are we in?ReplyDelete
Thanks. Setting is my weak spot. I do explain more of where they are generally right after this cuts off. It takes place in Bucharest in Romania which is mentioned on page 9. You think that's okay or should I say it sooner?Delete
This is a great opening. You have characterization of your MC through her action. I do have a lot of questions now but I think that’s a good thing. The one thing that seems odd is the MC’s ability to keep up with the vampire. How she falls from the roof to all fours. If there’s a reason for this maybe you can find a way to add that detail in organically here. Best of luck!ReplyDelete
Thanks. I'll try to explain that more. When you say you wonder how she falls from the roof to all fours, what exactly do you mean?Delete