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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Out of Magic

Today we have a first page from our own CD Coffelt, founder of UB, excellent CP, and cool person all around. Okay. I may be a little biased. Anyway. Here's the first page of Out of Magic, prequel to Wilder Mage, a tale I thoroughly enjoyed and happily own.


Wow. That sounded sort of fangirlish.

Moving on. First page...

Every kid dreams of escaping their parents and living on their own. I was no exception. In fact, I’d tried so many times that they’d given up on words and orders. Handcuffs are so much more reliable anyway.
My childhood ended the day I spoke to the whirlwind. And it answered.
Dust devils, born of the sun and updrafts. They’re harmless and very common in fair weather when the conditions are just right.
That day, one came calling.
The afternoon was dead calm, sunny. It was spring and the barn swallows swooped and dove around the house and fields looking for primo nesting sites. I was seventeen and waiting to meet up with Lindsay and my cruising squad. Bouncing a ball on my tennis racket without dropping it seemed a good way to kill time.
The slightly grubby ball had teeth marks from the neighbor’s German Shepard. My parents hated pets. Called them unnecessary and wasteful.
But anytime I could get away with it, I was loving that dog. He had a tail that could sweep me off my feet and a toothy smile. Sometimes I shared my sandwiches with him and he allowed me to rub his belly.
Today the dog was off somewhere trailing something, so I took his ball and started bouncing it off an old ill-used tennis racket.
One, two, three, four…I lost count after forty-five. The ball hit the rim and I chased it down, sighed, and began again.
One, two, three…I adjusted to the bounce and lost track of the count again.
The faint smell of lilacs drifted to me, a flawless scent so perfect, not too cloying, or overpowering. The perfect aroma for spring. Like watermelon in the summer and oranges in the winter.

I don't really have anything to say except that I saw this when it was a first or second draft, and boy has CD taken the task of revision to heart. Love to hear what you think. I'll add my comments later.


Liza said...

Let me start by saying I really like this. Great voice, description, and I'm really in the scene. My comments are picky more than anything. Remember to make sure every word matters. This page is so good, you don't want anything to slow it down, so I'd get rid of any extras. For example, the sentence about handcuffs is awesome! But you temper the awesomeness by using "so much, and "anyway." How about "Handcuffs are more reliable?" Then your sentence hits the reader hard. (They rub their hands together and say, "Cool. Third sentence and its already getting juicy.") Delete "slightly" by the grubby tennis ball. It's grubby, period, who cares how much? For the lilacs, skip the "not so perfect, not too cloying." Does it matter what they are not? No, it matters what they are! "The faint smell of lilacs drifted to me, the perfect aroma for spring. Like..." My only other comment has to do with juggling the tennis ball. Again, this is an wonderful visual...but it goes on a bit long. I'd suggest one volley, one drop, and then move on. The reader will get the picture.

Forgive me if my comments sound picky...but that's because this is so good, and with little tweaks could be over-the-top amazing. I am so intrigued and would love to know how this continues.

Patchi said...

The fact that I went to Amazon to buy the prequel before I finished reading should tell you enough.

I agree with Liza on the handcuffs sentence. However, the only thing I would change about the lilacs is remove the "so perfect" from the flawless scent. I do like the rest of the description.

mshatch said...

Completely agree with Patchi and I'd change that last paragraph like so:

The faint smell of lilacs drifted to me, the perfect aroma for spring.