Monday, March 26, 2012

Surprise Agent Invasion #6

Genre: YA Post Apocalyptic
Word Count: 68,000


Fourteen-year-old Eri sprints into the night seeking a beast that wants nothing more than to feast on her flesh. She knows this is suicide, but she can't deny the pull. The Calling is too strong. As the beast’s claws reach for her throat, a Protector slices off its head, saving Eri from a bloody death.

The Protectors are River Island’s only defense against the monsters roaming the darkness. The clandestine guardians use the Calling—the internal link to the man-eating beasts—to watch over the village. Being a Protector is an honorable, secretive position, and one only fit for men.

As the link grows within Eri, she finds herself repeatedly drawn beyond the borders, hoping to satiate the rage flooding her veins. But without proper training, the beasts will destroy her. And as a girl, Eri’s not allowed the education to become one of the Protectors.

Beast encounters increase. Villager deaths rise. Eri must secretly learn the skills to fight before there's nothing left to fight for.

Readers of Kimberly Derting's THE BODY FINDER and Maggie Stiefvater's THE SCORPIO RACES will connect with Eri’s journey—a girl shunned from the only profession that can give her the tools to control her inexplicable connection to seek out evil.

First 250:

Going to the river was forbidden. I knew this, yet it didn’t keep me from stepping off the gravel path or walking into the field. The early moonlight sparkled on the few remaining patches of snow. Even it knew better than to dwell there.

My heart banged against my ribs. The space in my lungs shrunk. I sucked in a shallow breath, enough to nearly taste the crisp grass beneath my feet.

Stop, Eri.

A gong sang out across the village, ringing through my insides. The warning bell.

I glanced over my shoulder to find the dark silhouettes of people fleeing for refuge, their shouts dying in the distance growing between us. I should have turned back. But the charcoal sky and inky river pulled me forward.

An overwhelming physical need tumbled and collided like the rapids crashing against rock. Conflicting thoughts swirled through my head. I squeezed my eyes shut against the confusion and pressed my hands over my ears, begging the pounding inside to leave me alone. “Please stop, please stop, please stop, please stop, please stop—”

A current of adrenaline flooded my core. The blood tsunami in my veins propelled my legs faster. My brain searched for one sane thought, something to stop my muscles from carrying me out there.

Suicide. This is suicide.

Something broke through the tree line. Blurry with speed, eerily dark within the dusk, features impossible to decipher.

A blanket of anger draped over my world, muffling sound, wrapping me in rage. 

1 comment:

  1. I really like the plot of this story and thought the protagonist's self-destructive drive (which could be channeled into saving her village) could make for a really fascinating character.

    I had some trouble with the imagery in your first page, though. You have the moon sparkling on the few remaining patches of snow, then even it knew better then to dwell there, but what does that mean? The moon? The snow? The snow's not retreating for safety, it's melting, I assume. Just not a good image.

    Then you have her sucking in a shallow breath, then state enough to nearly taste the crisp grass. Wouldn't that be a deep, full breath if she can taste the grass? It seems contradictory.

    The blood tsunami was just messy. I get what you're going for, though. Use metaphors and similes sparingly, and when you do so, they need to be spot-on perfect. She wouldn't be experiencing a tidal wave of blood through her body, though the adrenaline might be flooding her veins.

    The creature approaches her through the dusk, but at the start of the scene, moonlight is sparkling off of snow, so dusk is long over. Again, be very precise with your images and be consistent.

    I hope my comments make sense. Keep in mind that often, simple is the best choice. Try rewriting some scenes without any excess description and see if they flow more naturally.

    Good luck with everything!