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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

#2 First Page

Title: "For Want of a Piglet" or maybe something else LOL
Genre: Hard Fantasy
Word Count: WIP. 40K and counting.


“You couldn’t sleep either?”

At the whisper, I looked up from lacing my boots. My master stepped in, adding his lamp’s light to my candle’s.

“Why must I dress as a boy?” I whispered back. “Ladies ride in dresses when they please.”

New paragraph. Perhaps I was not so buxom, but I doubted I’d fool anyone.

“Patience.” Master Parselev placed his lamp on my work-table worktable and went to checked my packed bags. “They’re gathering at the chapel already. None of us got much sleep, it seems.”

The straw mattress creaked as I stood and the hose legs sagged between my thighs. I ran my fingers around my waist, under my layered cote and surcote, to check the drawstring. “Are these right, Master?” I’d strung the hose and braies together as best I could and as memory was my Blessing I had no lee in failing. Men’s underthings hadn’t been a subject of scrutiny for me, though.

“If it stays up, it’s right. Good. This too.” He slung a heavy felt cloak across my shoulders and pinned it on. Buried me in the hood; my blonde braid, wrapped around my head, would give me away.

“Master,” I asked, still whispering, “  No need for this dialogue tag. this journey will be long, won’t it?” Master Parselev had given me more clothes than I’d ever owned to pack in those bags. All winter woolens, too. “Shouldn’t you go, then?”

Good action and set up. Because it is fantasy, I know world-building means I must learn the language, so to speak. I love/worship-at-the-altar-of fantasy and do not have a problem with learning unfamiliar words. But you might consider dropping one or two of the three at least at the beginning. Keep one, either ‘cote’, ‘surcote’, or ‘braies’ and cut the rest. It will help the reader’s eye move along.

Most of my crits concern small things such as ‘work-table’. It is one word. Edit 'candle's' to 'candle'. And phrases such as ‘went to’. It slows the action. Read the sentence w/o it (and adding the ‘ed’ to check) OR you can edit like this: “Master Parselev placed his lamp on my worktable to check my packed bags.”
I adore fantasy. This sounds intriguing and I would read more. Because, well, I love fantasy. Or did I say that already?

2 comments:

Brooke R. Busse said...

when they please sounds awkward to me. Perhaps cut it. It sounds slightly unnatural.

Charity Bradford said...

I agree with Carol's suggestions. This story sounds really interesting, and not at all like a MG. I've felt bad for that comment on the title, I hope you'll forgive me.

The only other thing that made me pause was this phrase: "and as memory was my Blessing I had no lee in failing". Like Carol though, I expect to take a chapter or two to settle into the language of your time and place.

Thanks for sharing!