Revised!

I finally got around to revising my first page, as posted here for Michelle Hauck’s first page critique blog hop.  It’s taken a lot of time, a lot of thought, and a lot of quiet to get something figured out, but I think it’s good.  It’s longer, but less wordy, and hopefully, more showy and less telly.  Either way, it wouldn’t be what it is without your input, so thank you very much!

I’ve posted the revision at the top of the original post (clearly marked so you know what’s what), and would love some comments on the revision as well.  Because, you know, we writers are nothing if not insecure.  But on the off chance that you don’t feel like digging back through ten days of blog posts, I’ve also posted it for your reading pleasure below.

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“Please, your Highness, have mercy.  I beg you.”

“I would very much like to, sir,” Prince Vegin said.

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It’s excerpt time!

Fifth WatcherThat’s right, today’s the day where you get a sneak peak at The Fifth Watcher, Book One of Melissa Barker-Simpson’s Worlds Apart series.  But how did this story come to be?  Well, let’s hear it from the author herself:

I wrote the Fifth Watcher during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) last year. It’s taken a while to get it ready for publication, but there are a few reasons for that. The novel was originally written in third person perspective, and during the first edit I decided to change it to first – not an easy task!

The premise for the story came to me following a discussion with my sister about alternate realities. I saw the protagonist of this tale clearly in my mind and Audrey Montgomery was born. I didn’t give much thought to the  name, it’s who she is. My grandmother’s name is Audrey too, and though both are strong, formidable women, I didn’t base the character on her.

As I like to do…

First page critique blog hop!

The lovely and talented Michelle Hauck is running a blog hop to critique first pages and I am super excited to be taking part!  If you’d like to join in the fun, here’s the post with all the details.  Methinks the first page of The Price of Mercy could use a bit of help, but I’m not entirely sure where, so if you’ve got ideas on what would take it from blah to AMAZING, please, drop ’em in the comments below!

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Revision (The revised version is a bit longer than 250 words (think ~280), but I wanted to include everything I covered in the original entry, so you get an extra thirty words of fun). 🙂

Adult Fantasy

“Please, your Highness, have mercy.  I beg you.”

“I would very much like to, sir,” Prince Vegin said.  Light filtered into the gallery through twin rows of stained glass windows, exaggerating the poor farmer’s haggard appearance.  “I sympathize with you, but drought or no, you’ve still got taxes to pay.  I cannot simply let you go.”

“Your Highness, I’ll do anything – anything at all – only let me go back to my family.”  Dirty tears carved grooves through the layers of grime on his face, but hope shone in his eyes.

Before Vegin could reply, the chamber’s heavy wooden door burst open.  The prince flinched as his father stalked into the room, the queen trailing behind him.  King Tol’s gaze swept the room as the court fell to its knees.  The guards scattered about the room stood a little straighter, not wanting to provoke the king’s famous temper.  The peasant trembled before him, suddenly afraid for his life.  The prince groaned inwardly – he hated fighting with his father, especially in public.

“Vegin!”  Tol’s voice boomed through the chamber.  “If you’re not going to sentence this man, I’ll be more than happy to do it for you.”

The prince’s eyes narrowed.

Do you want to sneak a peek?

Anná Artwork by Hazel Butler

Anná
Artwork by Hazel Butler

If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that I was tagged in another writing game by my friends Afe Smith and Valerie Willis.  The idea for this one is to share the first sentence from the first three chapters of your current WIP.  I chose to share three lines from The Price of Mercy (Book One of the Lokana Chronicles) and it’s sequel, Fog of War (Book Two of the Lokana Chronicles).  As always, titles – and lines, for that matter – are subject to change because, well because I’m a writer (read: perfectionist) and I’m my own worst critic.

Chapters One, Two, and Three of The Price of Mercy start out like this:

1. Dirty tears carved grooves through the layers of grime on the poor farmer’s face as he fought and lost the battle for his dignity.

2. Vegin pulled the rough brown hood lower over his eyes as he sauntered through the dusty marketplace.

3. She ambled down the steps, lost in thought.

<!–more While Chapters One, Two, and Three…While Chapters One, Two, and Three of Fog of War start off like this:

1. Anna Martoka snuggled into the embrace of her fiancé, John Briant.

2. A month passed.

3. Anna stumbled on a tree root.

I have yet to revise (for the dozenth time) FoW, as I’m currently stuck on revisions for TPoM.  But I’m up to Chapter Six now, which is huge progress, given that Chapters Five and Six did not heretofore exist.  I still have a lot of work ahead of me with these books, but hopefully I’ll be able to finish revisions by the end of the year and start querying again in January (I know, I know, I’ve said that the last couple of years, but this time, I’m gonna make it happen).

And who knows?  Maybe this time, I’ll catch someone’s eye…

What are you working on at the moment?

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

The Lokana Chronicles, an excerpt

Since I’ve finally managed to get things finished up with The Lokana Chronicles for the time being, I thought I’d share a couple of excerpts with all you lovely folks.  The first chapter is available here, but these tidbits come from a little further into the story.  Happy reading!

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After months of siege, the royal army was exhausted; both supplies and morale were low and getting lower.  It was noon when the Zealot army broke through the city gates.

***

Anná
Artwork by Hazel Butler

Henry crouched next to the door, but all he could hear at first was the murmur of muffled voices.  He waved a hand at John to be quiet as he pressed his ear closer to the door.  Where’s a glass when you really need one? he wondered silently as he tried to make out what was being said.  Voices suddenly rose.  Henry recognized Vegin’s as the loudest.  “They’re talking about Anná,” he whispered.  It had taken both brothers a long time to acclimate their tongues to the change in pronunciation.  “Something about Ravenna…”  Henry’s breath caught in his throat as he realized what was happening.

John tapped his brother on the shoulder, worried.  “What is it?  What did you hear?”  But Henry didn’t move, didn’t respond.  He just sat there, stunned, the same way he’d done a hundred times before as a kid playing freeze tag.  Only this time, they weren’t kids.  And this was no game.

(c) 2012.  All rights reserved.