Monday, June 15, 2009

My First Page

I have finished editing my first scene (again) and thought I'd put up the first page for comments, a la "Flogging the Quill." Would you turn the page?

A neat stone farmhouse squatted beside the massive barn, its garden tucked under a thick blanket of snow. No new flakes had fallen since the previous night, so the lion tracks were clearly visible in the lantern light as the farmer showed them to the four Rangers.

“The ‘nightstalker’ came up here." They were standing in front of the barn door, where the beast had paced back and forth. Deep scratches showed on the wood. "Couldn’t get inside. I had it shut up tight.”

Captain Faldur Relaszen bent down to study the prints. He was lean and compactly built, a bit like a cat himself, with gray-green eyes in a smoothly weathered face and an air of competent authority.“These were made by a male. A large one,” he said.

The lion had come out of the woods on the opposite side of the barn, circled it, and then struck up the ridge behind the house, disappearing into the woods again. Faldur didn’t like the fact that the nightstalker had come so close to the house. “You’d best go inside, and keep your doors and shutters bolted,” he said.

The farmer nodded, a worried look on his face, and glanced up at the looming peaks of the Dagger Mountains, which showed as pale smudges against the gentian blueness of the winter evening. “They don’t usually come down until after the new year. Do you think they are


Pam Halter said...

Nice description. I can also feel the crisp, cold air and the farmer's fear. I'd read on. Very nice!

bunnygirl said...

To me, this feels on the cusp of being too wordy, but I'm not a regular reader of this genre and I'm a pretty lean writer myself, so I might be way off base. I've been writing flash fiction for two years now and I may be skewed too far the other direction for all I know. :)

I like the way you set the scene, presented an element of danger and raised questions without hitting the reader over the head with a lot of crazy stuff. It drives me nuts when writers think "start with action" means "start with shouting and explosions." Quiet questions and dangers lurking off-screen are a bigger draw for me because I want to find out more.

I would definitely read on to see where this is going. Keep at it, so Marenya can get out of the cave!

Christine H said...

It probably is still too wordy, Ann. You should see all the stuff I've cut in the first fifty revisions. :-D

I'm definitely going for a more literary feel, though. Not quite as wordy as Tolkein, but... he IS my idol.

And, 100,000 words is a lot of words.

Mitch Wallace said...

This page gripped me right away. I'm a sucker for strange creatures, so you have my complete attention!

And I would have to respectfully disagree with the above poster--I don't think it's too wordy, not in the least. Don't revise this anymore. Let's see page two!

J.J. Bennett said...

In the third paragraph I'd use "with" instead of "and". I think the sentence would follow better. It's just a suggestion...

The second sentence in the first paragraph is long. You may want to make it easier for a reader to understand by making it two sentences.

Looking good... My advice is keep up the good work. I like what you have so far. Making longer sentences shorter helps a reader sometimes understand things better. Have a complete thought then let them move to the next thought you're placing in their mind. That's the best advice I can give you. I hope that helps ;)