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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Search for Knowledge



Today we have one of our very own contributors offering up her first page. This is a sequel and she wants to know whether it pulls the reader in without them feeling too lost? Her goal is to have this book stand alone without having to read the first book to understand what's going on. My comments will be in purple and I hope you will add yours. And thank you Charity!



A month had passed since the mage performed the unbinding spell and put an end to the Draguman threat. In that short time, life on Sendek had changed forever. Fear of the new mage had replaced the gratitude, and it was only a matter of time before the petty arguments turned to something more volatile. That seems like a lot to happen in a short time. And who's the mage in question, I wonder?
"Your Highness, we have to do something before the bar fights turn into a civil war." Landry sat across from his cousin and several other Royalist officers. He looked around the table at the relatively young men. Too many of the older and wiser ones had been lost in the failed military counter-assault against the Draguman.
"Why don't  the mage (mages?) just stop using their magic? They didn't use it before the Draguman threat, so why can't they just return to normal?" One of the new officers looked around the table.
Landry sighed. It was an innocent enough question, but it was an indicator of the lack of understanding in the general public.
"There are a few who would probably prefer to do just that. However, there are many more who've felt a great power. Once you've felt the energy of the planet flowing through your veins it's hard to give up."
Several men stared at Landry, others studied the wood grain in the table. The silence grew heavier by the moment until someone finally spoke the thought running through every head.


"That will make the mage element very dangerous. How do we protect ourselves against something we don't understand?" That's a very good question! And I think you did an excellent job of telling us briefly about something that had happened and presenting the current threat. You can easily fill in more details as you go. I'm also interested in finding out what will happen next between these men and the mages. How will this be resolved?

How about you guys? What do you think?And as of last night I still had a spot open for Friday if anyone is interested.



7 comments:

Patchi said...

I like it. I didn't feel like I had missed much, just a curiosity for the back story events.

The only snag I encountered was in the second paragraph. I think you should introduce Landry before he speaks. My suggestion would be to invert the 2nd paragraph like this:

Landry sat across from his cousin [the king?] and several other Royalist officers. He looked around the table at the relatively young men. Too many of the older and wiser ones had been lost in the failed military counter-assault against the Draguman.

"Your Highness, we have to do something before the bar fights turn into a civil war[, he said.]

Charity Bradford said...

Thanks Patchi, I like your suggestion for rearranging.

I'm staring at the page now trying to figure out the way to put king close to cousin without making them sound like two people. No! I must not edit/revise yet. I must keep writing to get the whole story down!

LOL, I've learned that I actually like revisions better than the writing process. How strange!

Francene Stanley said...

I'd prefer to see the early paragraphs from Landry's pov. He's only mentioned four paras down. Before that, we see the scene through a narrator.

Charity Bradford said...

Ooo, good point! I've noted that and that will all come later with revisions. My first drafts tend to go in and out of POV sometimes. I'm trying to pay more attention to it though from the beginning so it won't require as much work later.

thanks!

Huntress said...

I hesitate to opine since I know how the first book ends. Hard to give an objective viewpoint unless the reader is clueless about the plot.

Having said that :) IMO, you begin with too much backstory and not enough action. If the reader doesn't know Landry how can they bond with him enough to care?

Pick a scene that pits Landry in action, training, using his skills, whatever. Then throw in a character trait so I can identify with him. Never mind the back story. Show us the some drama.

As examples, check out the first page of the second or third book in a series of a favorite author. I like Jim Butcher or Charlaine Harris. No backstory. No 'here is what happened on an earlier episode of fill-in-the-blank'.

Charity Bradford said...

Great point! I think that added with the earlier comment to get in his head will help a lot. I hate beginnings so much! It takes me at least 110 tries before I find the right place. ;)

Thanks everyone!

Lauren said...

The first paragraph tells us what the narrator thinks we should know. Instead, intersperse the information through the page and let us see the distrust and growing anger through the conversation.