Saturday, June 25, 2011

The First Page of On Fallen Wings

Until I'm published, there's one sure way to pull writing samples from my laptop to the web. Contests. I love them. The fabulous Shelley Watters has them often and I appreciate her format. I enjoy the interaction and love the feedback. I'm entering her latest offering, so that gives me an opportunity to share page one, again. If you're reading these 250 words for the first time, please share your thoughts. If you read them in an earlier post, here's a chance to enjoy them one more time.

On Fallen Wings.

The Darkness Between Trees

For as long as I could remember, Faeries had danced at Stone Meadow.

I loved dancing and the night was perfect, like a dream. I was innocent to its graces. Raising my arms, I leaned my head back to absorb glowing blue rays on my face and hands. I closed my eyes and caressed the cold tips of grass with my feet, repeating the familiar sway of my steps. As a frosty wisp of air stirred me from my trance, I swept my gown in a circle and spun to kneel where my young sister, Leila, sat watching.

She reached up and parted a long strand of hair from my face. “That was wonderful,” she said. “Are you nervous for tomorrow?”

“Oh, yes.” I fell to the grass. “I can’t believe this is happening.” I covered my face with both hands and cried out with joy. “My Day of Promise, at last.”

Leila rolled onto her stomach and leaned on her elbows, propping her chin with her palms. “What is it like to be in love?”

I grinned at her curiosity and stretched my arms straight. “It’s like dancing barefoot in the meadow under moonlight,” I told her. “Love tickles your toes and then climbs to your heart.” I rolled on the grass. “It spirals toward your fingertips as you spin and spin. Then it reaches up to the moon, grabs its rays, and pulls them down like a warm blanket.”

Leila sighed. My sister’s wide eyes revealed their wanting.


  1. I thought the writing was very descriptive and lyrical. Good job. You created a mystical environment well. My suggestion would be to try to bring some tension in to this beginning so we want to turn the page. Good luck!

  2. I like the organic quality of the dancing paragraph. You did a great job capturing the quality of movement.

    The jump from the first sentence to everything that follows is a bit tricky. Are they fairies? Or, is she going to dance with fairies?

    Aside from that, I like it. It's happy and hopeful, which is nice. I'm sure things get upended later, but you did a great job setting up the pins.

  3. Love the dancing and how we're pulled into the conversation between sisters. I'm confused by the genre. It feels MG to me or maybe young YA. I'm also thinking that they're probably fairies, but not certain. I agree with the tension comment. Maybe give us a bit more hint as to what will happen tomorrow night. ;)

  4. poetic, nicely done. very real dialogue between the sisters. You might give more of a hint as to what tomorrow holds.

  5. I really liked this. You have a very descriptive way of writing that I enjoy. I especially liked "As a frosty wisp of air..." - nice.

    My only pick would be the flow from the first sentence to the following paragraph. Otherwise, I'd keep reading.

  6. Is "Fairies" really a proper noun?

    I mean, "humans" isn't. Neither is "bears", or "penguins." "Avengers" is, but I don't think your fairies are a superhero team.

    Really, really nice character and world building. I instantly see where they are, what they're doing, what their relationship, and feel the joy coming from your protagonist... so much so I probably don't need that line about her covering her face with her hands and crying out in joy. Just string the dialogue that separates into one interrupted piece of quotation.

    Nicely done, sir! Keep it up! - Tom H.

    Check out my first 250!:

  7. This is a very lovely opening. Great language and imagery. So is she a faerie then if she's dancing in the meadow?

    I was innocent to its graces. I don't know what this sentence means and I'm wondering if it's supposed to be foreshadowing or alluding to something that I'm just not getting? It's a pretty sentence, but it doesn't mean anything to me, which makes it just feel like filler. But, again, that's just me! lol

    Beautiful writing!

  8. I enjoyed the sense of pleasure and sisterly connection, and was fully drawn in to the dance of being in love. The first sentence does seem disconnected from the rest, though. You could say she's a Faerie, or you could say "I loved dancing in their footsteps" to let us know she isn't.

    I do think you'll get reactions that this is YA (is it?) unless you bring tension into the first page.

  9. I enjoyed wondering whether or not the main character is a fairy. (THis reminds me of the beginning of the Hunger Games in that we didn't know at first whether the main character was male or female.) The writing is engaging and has a beauty in its own right.

    The editor is crazy if she doesn't ask for your first 10 pages, at least.

  10. I remember this entry from the last contest, and I really liked it. Has it changed a little? It seems to me it has. It's still beautiful and you've introduced enough elements early on to get me to want to turn the page.

  11. Thanks for the excellent feedback. I'm off to enter!

  12. It is a wonderful skill to match such lyrical style with a fantasy story. It elevates the whole novel. Normally I would like some sense of tension or conflict in the very beginning but it works also to create an idyllic setting and then threaten it somehow. Nicely done.


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