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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Back Story Submission #2

Title: Shadows in Secret
Genre: Historical Fiction
General area of the book the passage is from: First chapter
Why you feel this information is important: Because it explains who Molly is.

I really feel I need more backstory, but I'm too afraid of backstory, so this passage is short!

********

Molly had not lost her steadfast faithfulness to Alura, for which Alura was eternally grateful. She had always been more of a friend to Alura than a ladies maid. After the castle had been overrun and Sasha Leah’s troops had murdered the royal family, Alura was the only one to escape. The servants and field workers had been rounded up and herded off to the slave market. This is when Molly had proved her true friendship. At times, she proved more courageous than Alura. Older than Alura by five years, but still a friend she counted on for everything from advice on royal manners to private matters behind closed doors. At twenty years old, Alura still didn’t know much about being a wife.

Alura tried to remain unshakable, but at times she had crumbled under the burden of suffering. Some degree of protection had surrounded them as long as they marched close by the guard named Terious, but he had not always been there when the vicious soldiers beat upon them. Now, standing in line, Alura heard the whispers and rumors from the other captives. Those left at the end of the day were to be sold to the floating brothel resting in the harbor. How would she protect Mary and Natalie from the horrors awaiting them?

5 comments:

Charity Bradford said...

I'm a little confused by this passage probably because I haven't had time to get into your world. So, take my comments with a grain of salt.

Here are some general thoughts from reading this passage.

Have Alura and Molly been captured? The first paragraph says Alura was the only one to escape. Escape death? Did the invaders take pity on her, or did she manage to get away? If she got away, has she been captured now? Who are Mary and Natalie in the last line? They come out of nowhere for me, but maybe that's not a problem when reading everything that comes before. Also, who is Terious? Is he on her side, or just a better breed of captor? Where are they marching to?

Some of these questions would keep me reading to learn more--that's good! Some of them might have been answered before this passage which is good too. You want me asking some questions, but too many will frustrate a reader.

Next--
Can you show us how Molly is still faithful without telling us all of these things? Maybe have her waiting on Alura, comforting her some way, and then Alura showing how grateful she is that Molly is still with her.

How was Molly more courageous? Show us a scene in 1-2 sentences.

Patchi said...

I'm trying to reconcile this with the scene you submitted to the first page critique here. It seems to me (and I maybe wrong) that this is not back story, but a summary of what happened in between. Is Alura just recapitulating what they went through in previous scenes while she waits in line? If that is the case, then I don't think you need it. But if the first page was from a prologue and this is where Chapter 1 opens, then I would suggest you fill in the bridge between the two with actual scenes where you can show what happens to her. I think this is important story, not back story and should be told in real time.

I hope this helps, but remember I haven't read much of your novel.

Ink in the Book said...

Thank you to both of your comments.

While many of these questions are answered (Charity) in the previous paragraphs, MY questions concern Molly. I am posting the entire passge up to this point. Maybe that would help? I don't know? But many critiques asked who Molly was, and so I added the short passage in hopes of explaining who she is. apparently, it didn't work the way I hoped it would...
******
Alura stood with Molly, Natalie, and Mary in the dwindling line of the captives. Rivulets of sweat trickled down her back and dripped off her forehead blurring her vision. Of the five girls Alura had been put in charge of, two remained. Sarah, a tiny mite of a girl, survived the grueling march to the docks at Ravyn only to be sold to a man with menacing eyes and a greedy lust drooling from his lips. Two other sweet girls slipped away peacefully in their sleep. Mary never cried anymore. She never talked either. Natalie grew faint, but her spirit remained strong. Alura determined in her heart that she would do whatever she could to protect all of her girls.
Molly had not lost her steadfast faithfulness to Alura, for which Alura was eternally grateful. She had always been more of a friend to Alura than a ladies maid. After the castle had been overrun and Sasha Leah’s troops had murdered the royal family, Alura was the only one to escape. The servants and field workers had been rounded up and herded off to the slave market. This is when Molly had proved her true friendship. At times, she proved more courageous than Alura. Older than Alura by five years, but still a friend she counted on for everything from advice on royal manners to private matters behind closed doors. At twenty years old, Alura still didn’t know much about being a wife.
Alura tried to remain unshakable, but at times she had crumbled under the burden of suffering. Some degree of protection had surrounded them as long as they marched close by the guard named Terious, but he had not always been there when the vicious soldiers beat upon them. Now, standing in line, Alura heard the whispers and rumors from the other captives. Those left at the end of the day were to be sold to the floating brothel resting in the harbor. How would she protect Mary and Natalie from the horrors awaiting them?

Charity Bradford said...

Okay, that grounded me better in the scene. Thanks!

I think the best way to show us Alura's relationship with Molly would be to have Molly notice her deep in thought. Show that she intuitively knows what Alura is thinking and that she is there to help. You could do this by having their eyes meet, or Molly squeezing Alura's hand, or something. Then you can have a sentence of Alura thinking how grateful she is that Molly was still with her.

mshatch said...

yup agree with Charity's first comments and also I got confused by all the names, trying to figure out who was who.