Monday, September 10, 2012

Entry #6

Name: Wendy Knight
Book Title: Feudlings
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
TAGLINE: Arianna has been hunting Shane since she could throw her first spell. Now she’s falling in love with the nemesis she is prophesied to kill – until Shane tries to kill her first.

1st 250 Words:

 Arianna Delacour thunked her black duffle bag at the foot of her bed, wondering if she should even bother unpacking. This was her 16th boarding school. Sixteen in nine years, but it would have been more if she hadn’t been home schooled until third grade. That was when the Family started sending her out to hunt.
She shoved the thought away, jumping to a safer one. Wrong life. She had to focus on this life now. She was about to start her senior year, and she really wanted to graduate. So, determined that this be her last boarding school, she started unpacking.
“Who are you?” a high pitched voice demanded behind her.
Ari didn’t turn to investigate. “Arianna Delacour. Who are you?”
“This is my room,” the voice said. Ari thought it over, decided there was nothing to respond to, and continued unpacking. “I said, this is my room.” The voice grated on Ari’s ears and made her teeth ache. Sighing, Ari stood up, shoving her long black braid over her shoulder and turned. A much shorter, somewhat round blond girl stood in the doorway with her hand on her hip, green eyes glowering back at her.
“Apparently, it’s also my room. If that’s going to be a problem, you should probably take it up with the headmistress,” Ari’s dark brown eyes clashed with the girl’s green gaze. The girl’s lips tightened as she gave Ari a slow once over. Ari folded her arms and glared back.


  1. I like the opening and the detail of the bag, and Arianna's contemplation as build up. The main character seems troubled and I want to know more. I think you could shorten the tagline and be more concise?
    Something like:

    Hunting Shane since Arianna could throw her first spell, she's now falling in love *(the nemesis she is prophesied to kill) until Shane tries to kill her first.
    *seems to say the same thing. no? maybe? As "hunting Shane"

  2. I like the first 250. Hints at a troubled past, sets up an initial conflict and the story is off and running.

    How about tightening up the tagline with a question for the second sentence.
    "Arianna has been hunting HER NEMESIS, Shane, EVER since she THREW her first spell. BUT, CAN SHE fall in love with the ONE she is prophesied to kill?"

    Good luck with your story.

  3. Love the set-up of this, the combination of something mundane, like boarding school, with the idea of some alternate, shadier life. I can't decide if having the tagline there is changing my opinion of the first few paragraphs - I want to know more about the spells/magic side of the world within your introduction; I feel like the one hint of her background is a bit of a tease. But on the other hand, without the tagline, would I be bothered? And maybe this is something that's returned to a page later (the trouble with short excerpts like this). In any case, good job - my interest's piqued!

  4. I really like how you are unfolding Arianna's past. You have mystery, but of the "quick turn the page" type rather than the "throw the book across the room" variety. You have a good starting spot so far as I can tell to launch us into the story.

    Insofar as the tagline, I had to reread to understand what "until" was modifying. The meaning wasn't clear. I see others had the same problem.

    I am not sure you are using "thunked" correctly. It is an intransitive verb so can't act directly on an object (the duffle bag). You seem to be using it as a synonym of "dropped." Sorry to go all grammar nazi on you, but your first line is soooo important. Perhaps a little change: Arianna dropped her dufflebag with a thunk (noun now...) And in that vein, "homeschooled" is usually spelled as one word. Not always, so I suppose that's your call.

    I had a little trouble with the roommate's motivation. All the girls would know they don't have a choice. It just doesn't make sense as is. What does the roomie expect to gain by her behavior? The mean girl thing would be to lay claim over as much of the room as possible (perhaps only shares a tiny sliver of the closet or leaves no room on bathroom counter for toiletries).

    I'm a bit unenthusiastic about the eyes clashing line. It's a little convenient for getting across eye color. More importantly (to me): When I see bodily objects acting independently of their owners, well, I always have a silly vision in my head. In something like: "The duke's eyes rolled up and down her graceful figure" I see disembodied peepers...

    Good luck!

  5. I loved your tagline. It's what drew me to your post. And your title is awesome!

    As for your 250 words, Arriana's 16 boarding schools is intriguing, but I would cut down the backstory as much as possible. Not remove it, but just keep it shorter. And I liked the conflict that you set up, first with her want to graduate, secondly with her conflict with her new roommate.

    Good luck!

  6. I have to say that I like the back-story. I like knowing what I'm getting into right away. The only detail I'd leave out is when you mention the green eyes twice, and perhaps rethink the word "thunk." Great!