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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Lullaby

This is our second submission for first page second chapter, YA fiction. My comments are in purple.

 
The Giants (like...like real Giants? Like Hagrid?) sat at the round meeting table, their focus set on Temp. He sat ram-rod straight in his chair. His hands pressed flat against the wood, long spidery fingers spread. Periodically, one of them twitched. Sweat flattened his dark hair to his forehead and they watched his eyes move behind his eyelids.
Long minutes passed and his body stilled. His eyelids peeled back and he stared at nothing, the bags under his eyes seemed to have grown in size since he had shut his eyes. He started to speak, his voice raspy and hoarse, “He is not to be trusted.”
There was a pause, no one moved. “What do you mean?” Tela almost squealed, (I would think she'd yell in disbelief or denial, rather than squeal like a pig - but I'd rather skip the dialogue tag altogether here and let her action - the sudden frantic rocking - show us how she feels) she started frantically rocking the sleeping baby in her arms, “He’s just a baby. My baby. What could he possibly do? Tell me!” Her voice became shrill.
Temp regarded her, not blinking. Sometimes, with the way he sat so still, her brother reminded her of a corpse. Cold and unforgiving. It had never bothered her, he was the way he was. Now with those lifeless grey eyes turned on her, and her son, she had to resist the urge to shiver. Creepy!
Your baby isn’t supposed to be alive,” he reminded her, his voice creaking like old stairs. The accusation rang out clearly.
 Her tone became defensive, “Are you trying to say it’s my fault? Because it isn’t, and you know it, Temp. You, out of all of us, would know best what happened. But you don’t.. So how do you expect me to? He just… was there. I didn’t do anything.”
Temp’s eyes calculated (I like the use of this word, calculated. It gives insight into Temp -r whoever he he) the truth behind her words. The whole table sat in silence, eyes flickering from Temp to Tela to the baby. “Tilo,” Temp whispered into the silence.
Tela drew the baby closer to her chest, “What did you say?” Her eyes squinted in suspension at his meaning.
Temp drew in a long breath then let it out in a sigh, “Tilo. You’ve been trying to think of a name for him. Tilo is his name. The children were calling him that.”
Tela considered his words, “What children?” Tilo. A good name. Perfect for a Giant boy.
Temp considered, “There were many of them. The purple-eyed brother and sister. The dark haired twins. The boy haunted by the spirit. The flame obsessed one. Already bringing horrors to humanity at such a young age.” Ooh! Interesting. Are you sure this isn't YA fantasy? Anyway, definitely find this intriguing with the mention of the Giants - or is that their name? - right off and the way Temp becomes someone else, knows things apparently, and then this last reference to siblings with purple eyes. This sounds like a strange and interesting place. The only other thing is I might lose some of the dialogue tags (I crossed out the ones I thought could go). I think the whole bit would read better with them. But again, that's just my opinion. Let's hope we get some others...

Anyone? Anyone?

1 comment:

David Jace said...

I love the characterizations in this. The conflicts are very powerful. I can never resist such an intriguing list of young people with unusual abilities!