Monday, May 13, 2013


I'm joining the It's all in the voice blog hop. Here is the first page of my science fiction romance THE LEGACY OF THE EYE, currently at the querying stage. (Thanks for the comments, revisions are in blue)

Chapter 1--Proposal

The front entrance of the Academy of Demia loomed beyond a hundred feet sea of gravel, less than a hundred feet away. Just the thought of exiting walking through those gates for the first time churned Catrine's empty stomach. Her eyes adjusted to the brightness outside the main school building. She should have worn a hat.

The heavy pine door slammed shut behind Catrine and she turned toward David. After sixteen years at the Academy, her best friend looked ready to conquer the galaxy.

"Relax," he said.

How? Like all children on the planet, Catrine had not left the school since her enrollment at the age of two. Everything familiar was behind them and their future hinged on how well they could argue for the Tutor Program.

"Maybe we should go over your speech one more time," she said.

David's smile dimmed. "Five times today isn’t enough?""We went over it five times just today."

"Four. And you're still forgetting to mention that the tutors will be traveling to their pupil's home planet. That's a big point in the proposal."

"Do you want to give the speech?" 

She bit the inside of her lower lip. Her inside twisted in knots. "No."

"Then stop fretting. If the council hadn't liked our idea, they wouldn't have requested an audience."

"They probably read the proposal once. How much do you think they grasped? You've read it a dozen times and you still forget some of the details. I should have made you write it."

David's smile returned, brighter than ever. "Then it wouldn't have been perfect."

"Or written at all." But Catrine could not keep the corners of her mouth from twitching.


  1. Good luck with the querying. It sounds good from your first page. Keep us posted if you get some good news.

  2. Never having read sci-fi, I don't feel very qualified to offer a comment, but I do want you to know that the piece made me curious about what was coming for these two...looks like excitement!

  3. Catrine's voice is compelling in a subtle way. She's nervous and I share her worry by the end of the 250 words.

    Two quick things- I assume she's older than the 16 years she's been at the academy, but I can't determine how old.

    Secondly, reading the first few paragraphs, I assumed she was standing outside the school grounds, looking to go in. Obviously, I figured that out later, but you may want to anchor the reader earlier.

    Nice opening!

  4. An intriguing start. I definitely want to know more about the tutors and their roles. A few points...At the beginning it threw me a bit that it said a "sea of gravel", but it was less than 100 ft. away. Just doesn't seem like a sea-size distance. Also I was a bit confused about where Catrine was. I had assumed she was walking toward the Academy, but wondered why her eyes were adjusting if she was already outside. In the second paragraph it's clear that she was walking out of a building. Maybe move that up closer to the beginning.

    Nice cues at her nervousness and foreshadowing of what the characters will face.

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  6. Ok, let's try this again. Technical difficulties. LOL.

    Interesting voice. I feel your protag's nervousness! Also, I felt the dialogue was fairly natural and the pacing good. A few quick things:

    I agree with Janel on the "sea of gravel" comment as well as the building comment. I was confused by her positioning. I'd say "walking out those gates, away from everything she had evern known churned...". That clears things up a bit.

    Also, this sentence seems out of place as you have it now. A little clarification like:

    "But soon she would, and her future hinged on how well they could argue for the Tutor Program."

    I hope this helps! Overall I really enjoyed this piece. Nicely done. :)

  7. Interesting premise so far.

    I agree with others that the positioning threw me off. I thought she was going into the school grounds rather than leaving.

    Also consider changing up her reaction : her stomach tied in knots. We already know her stomach is churning & you got the nerves across well, maybe use a different nervous reaction like sweat on the brow, hair twirling, etc.

    Otherwise, good job! :)

  8. This piece is very well written and is compelling in a gentle way. I really like how you show how nervous they feel with the dialogue, and the voice is strong. I only have one add, if you were to make the dialogue a bit shorter in even one place, like: "Five times isn't enough?" instead of a full sentence. Just a thought. Great work!

  9. The "sea of gravel" had me thinking this may be something akin to a Steampunk version of Sci-Fi. Their home world might look like a classic red brick Victorian era British elite private school (which the Brits call a public school in some cases?), but their planet also has mastered interplanetary travel.

  10. Loved how active this all was. It kept the pacing nice and tight. I understand why your visuals feel a bit out of focus. It feels like you are seeing your landscape from two different perspectives--one is omniscient, like you're looking down from above, seeing from a distance behind your MC, thus the sea of gravel she has already crossed. The other is the MC's perspective, the 100 feet to go. Perhaps this helps? :D Overall well done.

  11. You've got a strong voice between the two characters. I'm a little surprised that David isn't annoyed by her nit-picking, but he seems immune to it, that tells us a lot. Pacing is good.

    Initially, I thought they were approaching a building, but then it seemed like they were exiting a building, so you'll want make that clear. If neither of them hadn't left the school since the age of two (or so) I imagine they'd be nervous and apprehensive just to see the world outside of the school, but they milieu doesn't seem to concern them.

    Sounds like a great story start, I just need more world building (obviously you can't do that in the first 250) but I'll want to see it. Nice work.

  12. Hi! Popping in. :D One quick note - "fretting" doesn't sound very teen. Good luck!!!