Thursday, April 22, 2010

50 Words #43

TITLE: A Mad, Wicked Folly
GENRE: YA Historical


The pottery jug shatters against the wall, porridge oozes down the cement walls of my prison cell and splatters onto the floor. With that one defiant act I seal my fate. But it matters not. I’m willing to take my place among the other women who have come before me.

17 comments:

Steve Hall said...

Fairly well hooked, although I'm not a fan of present-tense, especially when coupled with first-person. One little nit: I would prefer "women who have gone before me"--at least, the context implies they're past-tense.

Crystal R. said...

I agree with Steve and think I'd read on a bit farther to see just why she's stuck in jail.

Jean V. Ryan said...

I'm not really into present tense, but the image has me hooked.

Jill Wheeler said...

Hooked, hooked, hooked. I like present tense.

Anonymous said...

I love it.

H. Grant said...

Your opening hooked me.

A few nitpicks:

The first line is a run-on sentence. I would add a connecting word or two or break it into two sentences.

"With that one defiant act I seal my fate." This is kind of an overused phrase. It would be okay buried in the story, but this is your opening. Can you say it in your own words?

Good luck!

Lia Mack said...

now, as much as I like the action and am hooked, the opening sentence is waaaaay too wordy. Tighten it up a lot, make it REALLY strong. Then you'll gain more fans.

TKAstle said...

I agree with most of the other comments. Overall - mostly hooked.

Love the title.

jjdebenedictis said...

I'd read on, but the language seems stilted. I recognize that's intentional and is meant to imply the time period. However, if this is YA, then I assume the protagonist is a teenager, and I have trouble buying into a teen speaking with such rigid pomposity.

Jane said...

I'm really interested in this, but the formality of "it matters not" kind of threw me.

Amanda the Aspiring said...

I agree with Steve's "nit", and "But it matters not" is jarringly formal, but otherwise, I loved it and would definitely read more.

JP said...

Hooked, mostly. A nice image to start with, but I agree about the formality.

Also, I would look at your use of passive voice. "I shatter the pottery jug" vs. "the pattery jug shatters" perhaps? More active = more engaging IMHO.

Sarah Laurenson said...

The first sentence works better as two for me.

I'm sort of hooked.

Claire said...

Present tense really bothers me, but it can be done well. "women who have come before me. . ." Sounds like women are lining up in front of the MC. Should it be "gone?"

Iris said...

Fairly hooked. I think present tense is a bad idea, though. Also, the voice sounds self-possessed and mature from those few sentences, which makes me wonder if we are really talking YA.

Vicki Tremper said...

I don't automatically hate 1st person present tense, but I haven't seen it before in historical fiction. I'd need to read more to be sure how I feel about it, but I would read more. I'm intrigued!

Mystery Robin said...

Really love the title. I think first person present works great in YA - the Libba Bray trilogy used it to good effect. This feels like a very formal tone which reminds me of The Forest of Hands and Teeth right now. I'm interested to see where you'll go.