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message 1: by Ra-Ra (Laura) (last edited Aug 05, 2009 08:30AM) (new)

Ra-Ra (Laura) | 6 comments So, this is the beginning of the first chapter in the novel I'm writing. I have more, but it's just the first draft and will probably change completely sometime soon. So, without further ado, here we go with the unnamed first chapter of my unnamed novel!

Persephone bit her lip to prevent herself from screaming as a terrible pain shot up her right arm and spread throughout her body. She felt as if every cell she posessed was being stabbed by needles. The pain was worse in her right hand, which clutched a small leather-bound book for dear life. She was standing near the east wall of an extensive library that existed on the top floor of a rich, retired Wizard's house.

Suddenly, a young man came flying at Persephone. He landed beside her, snatched the book away, and proceeded to destroy it with his knife. Immediately, the pain was relieved. The man, heedless of the exquisite binding, slashed at the cover, and tore the pages from the ancient binding. He disregarded the beautiful hand-inked text. The fact that this was the last copy of the book in existence did not seem to bother him, either. He made little noise as the book was demolished. Persehpone could do nothing but stare open-mouthed.

"What are you doing?!" she shrieked, forgetting that if she were caught in the house, she would not only lose her apprenticeship with one of the most accomplished Wizards in Greval, but she would also be jailed for trespassing and destruction of property.

The man simply put a finger to his lips, then went back to his destructive task. Persephone felt like crying; her master had given her the task of finding and retrieving this book without being detected. That test would determine whether or not she could become a Wizard. Now that the book she sought was destroyed, her chances of becoming anything but a barmaid or a servant were slim.

The thought of working with Men and Women was the worst part of it. Surely, she had met several very nice Women over her years in the West Capitol of Greval. This did not make up for the ideas that had been pounded into her all of the years that she had been raised at the Wizard Childrens' Home: Wizards were the supreme race, above all others; Men and Women were next; then came all other races, including Witches and Warlocks, Elves, Dwarves, Vampires, Goblins, and Faeries. To be treated like a common Woman for the rest of her life would be terrible.

After a few minutes of watching her future be ripped to shreds, Persephone composed herself and decided out why the man was there, destroying this precious tome.

"Excuse me, Sir, why did you do that?" Persephone asked politely, tapping him on the shoulder. The fact that her future had been completely destroyed hadn't quite hit her yet. Besides, Persephone had always been a polite girl who respected her elders and was obedient. The man ignored her, which was irked Persephone a bit but, determined to be polite, she tapped him on the shoulder again, harder. When she was ignored again, Persephone whacked his shoulder. Politeness can only go so far.

"Ow! Damn," he muttered, then seemed to remember who he was with. "Excuse me, Miss," he said, giving a small bow.

"Now that I finally have you attention," Persephone began curtly, "I have a few questions for you. First off: does it concern you at all that you just destroyed any hope I had of becoming a Wizard?" She didn't allow him time to answer, however. "Now all I'm good for is waiting tables in some smelly tavern, or a seamstress' shop, or maybe cleaning the Wizards' rooms! Yes, that would be grand, watching all of my peers become Wizards while I'm stuck being treated like a common Woman forever! I have--" Her tirade was cut off when the man clamped a hand over her mouth.

"Excuse me, Miss Apprentice, but you must watch your volume. Remember we are not welcome here," he said quietly, slowly removing his hand. "Also remember: that book would have killed you, had you held on to it much longer, for it was cursed."

Persephone knew he was right, but she was too busy wondering about this mysterious stranger to be embarassed. "Who are you?" she asked, styding his face carefully. Black hair, grown a little longer than was fashionable. Brown eyes that seemed to have a tint of red, but Persephone convinced herself she was imagining that. She had definitely never met him before. He also a had a slight accent; it sounded as if he was from Stellard, a country to the South-West.

"Who are you?" she asked again, unconsciously reaching a hand toward his face. He smiled and shook his head.

"Just like your mother," the man mumbled, then realized his mistake. Persephone's hand pulled back.

"What was that? You knew my mother?" she asked sharply.

"Nothing--they're coming!" he said quickly, meaning the family downstairs. Actually, they were all asleep in their beds, and the man knew it, but Persephone didn't. He was very grateful for his heightened senses just then.

Persephone reluctantly climbed out the window through which she had entered, disappearing into the night.

"So we meet again, Persephone," the man, Eros, said. He left the library, keeping the window open. Maybe it would teach the Wizard to lock his windows.


So...what do you think?

message 2: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) I love this whole idea. And I'm really looking forward to reading more. Please, please, please continue.

And you had a very great hook. The description of the pain really captivated my attention. It made me curious as to what was going on.

A few things to consider:

#1) Less telling. More showing. Especially in the beginning. Especially in describing your world.

#2) Pick one person to be the point of view and stick with it.

message 3: by Ra-Ra (Laura) (last edited Aug 05, 2009 08:28AM) (new)

Ra-Ra (Laura) | 6 comments Thank you so much, Rita! I really appreciate the feedback. I'll definitely keep those things in mind as I write.

I often tell rather than show, as you said. I'm going to keep working on that. :)

message 4: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) In a first draft, it is much easier to tell than to show. At least that's the way it is for me. I kinda use my first draft as a brain dump, putting the plot down on paper.

When I revise, I go back and flush everything out. It's much easier to show in revisions than it is when you first write.

So keep up the good work! Just remember that there is plenty of time to polish later!

message 5: by Ra-Ra (Laura) (new)

Ra-Ra (Laura) | 6 comments Thank you for the great advice. :) I'm probably going to write another draft tonight. I'm really excited! *happy dance* Last night I outlined most of the story, so hopefully it will be easier for me to slow down and show what I mean, rather than feeling like I have to tell it all at once.

message 6: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) LOL. I suppose this is why people shake their heads at me when I start talking about my stories.

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