Thursday, April 1, 2010

First Page Excerpt

Since this blog is dedicated to my writing and what can be found in my books, it seems fitting that I start using it for blogfests. Now, for the rare few who may not know: a blogfest is an even setup by someone who has a blog based upon an idea. Then other people with blogs, like me, sign up to take part in that particular idea. I've taken part in 4 different blogfests so far, all of which can be found on my other blog (writing blog). They were, and in almost but maybe not correct chronological order: Fight Scene Blogfest (my first fight scene ever), No Kiss Blogfest (had characters almost kiss but not quite), PG Love Scene Blogfest (yep, a love scene meant for a younger audience, kind of) and the most recent one of Alternate Version Blogfest (take a scene and rewrite it so that it's very different). All of these were fun and can still be found on the blog.  There will be even more in the future, though I'm going to do most of them on here from now on, instead of the other blog.

Today's Blogfest
First Page Blogfest
The idea is to post the first page of a current, past/whatever, work in progress. Only real rules are that well, it's the first page (not the middle or last) and that it's not very long (because it's supposed to be one page, not the whole first chapter). The length rule is set at about 24 lines, but I'm assuming there is a tiny bit of leeway since a document line and some people's blog page lines won't have the same lengths. But mine won't be too long so no worries.

The novel that I'll be using for this particular blogfest is my one of very few YA books. It's fantasy/sci-fi (Okay, I'm not quite sure the exact genre) involving a teen boy and genetic mutations. At the moment I'm working on the rewrite, first one, in which I'm changing the POV from first person to third person. Chapter one is the only chapter that has been rewritten do to a different novel distracting me for the month of March. Current WIP title is Tattle Tell and I think it's much better than the first draft title of Ephram's Defiance. I could tell more details about the overall book, but think it will be more interesting to see any reactions to just the first page and no extra details. Without further ado, here is my entry.

First Page from Tattle Tell

"Look what I can do."

A shiny copper coin spins across the school lunch table, almost grazing Ephram's left knuckle. He glances up from the book he is reading as he waits for the first bell of the day to ring marking the start of the school day. His stomach sinks at the sight before him.

Levi stands on the other side of the table, a group surrounding him while he holds his hand above the spinning coin. As he concentrates, the coin changes directions. The spin slows down to an almost impossible rotation speed before increasing again.

Only one thing could give Levi that ability and that one thing makes Ephram uncomfortable. It's a sign of mutation. Under any other circumstances, he would feel relief to find another one like him, but that's not the case. Only one thing happens when he sees someone else with a genetic mutation and that one thing was a report to the men in suits.

"What do you think, Eph-man?"

The use of Levi's nickname for him brings Ephram's attention back to the moment. He looks up at Levi as he tries to come up with a good response. "Uh, yeah. Neat." He did his best to hide the fear that had started to build within.

It was only a matter of time before the suits would be at Ephram's parents' house and he'd have no choice. He had to tell them whenever he saw any new mutant activity no matter the age, type of mutation or any possible association. His friendship with Levi wouldn't be enough to keep him from having to tell. All he could do is hope that he would come back; not all returned.


Charity Bradford said...

Nice. I like the "hope that he would come back; not all returned." That's really foreboding.

I'd keep reading.

Portia said...

Poor Ephram! I get the since this little guy is carrying a heavy burden. Nicely done. A very engaging start.

Simon C. Larter said...

Oh, yes. The "not all returned" line is a great way to end a first page. Conflict set up right from the get-go. Nicely done.

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

hmmmm...quite interesting. You caught my attention and make me want to turn the page! good job!

The last line is great!

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Laura Canon said...

I like the set up. One minor pick -- shouldn't "was reading" be "is reading" in the first line?
(Sorry -- I know it's probably just a typo.)

sarahjayne smythe said...

Nice job of setting up the last line, which is a great way to make us turn another page. :)

Dawn Embers said...

Thanks everyone for the comments. It's great to see that people like the page, and even better about the last line.

Thanks Laura. You're right. I saw that when editing before this was posted and I saw that but didn't change it. Not used to writing in present but it's now fixed.

sally apokedak said...

Very ominous.

I love the kid's name and his nickname. You've made these kids seem real to me in such a short space.

roxy said...

I liked this. It's so well written and has good conflict from the start. Great beginning!

Elaine AM Smith said...

I loved this idea and the boys in particular
I found this section hard to follow:
Only one thing happens when he sees someone else with a genetic mutation and that one thing was a report to the men in suits.

Past tense through out?

Tara said...

This is a great premise. Loved the last line. I'd keep reading.

Amy Jo said...

Very interesting idea! I'm curious about Ephram's genetic mutation and his own experience with the men in suits. I'd definitely keep reading to learn more. Great job!

Kelly Lyman said...

I love the ending: not all returned. Great way to end it and make the reader to want to keep reading! Great job. Thanks for participating.

Anonymous said...

Wow, my mind is racing trying to figure out what's happening. I would definitely turn the page!

Dawn Embers said...

Thanks for all the comments. I am happy for any of them and will consider any comments on the text in general.

This was fun and look for more blogfests in the future.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

What a great first page, Dawn. You managed to convey a sense of childlike wonder stabbed through with tension and dread. Not easy to do.

I believe an agent would turn to page two. I know I would.

What is good that Ephram thinks like a boy would. Suits. Great way to anchor the sense of youth versus authority that really speaks to the young readers who would be turning the pages. A good job.

Come check out my own first page and see what you think. Have a healing weekend. Roland

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your feedback, I really appreciated.

I REALLY liked this! I like your main characters voice. And I say kudos to using present tense. I would absolutely keep reading.

Hosting Last Line Blogfest, details on my site.

Abby Annis said...

Love this premise! Wish I could turn the page. Great job! :)


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