Saturday, October 16, 2010

First 250-Words Blog-Fest

I've never participated in a blog-fest before, but couldn't resist Elle Strauss' offering. This is one I can do! 

The first 250 words of my novel have changed so many times (hopefully improving with each draft!). I'd love to hear your comments. Don't worry, I can take a hit! Hope you enjoy. :)


After an hour of drills, Prince Bob felt like a rug on beating day. Repeatedly falling off a horse will do that to you. 

Instead of concentrating on the exercise, he debated excuses to get out early so he could sneak off to the library. Forgot to make his bed? Ate some turned meat at lunch? Or keep it simple by fainting?

"Go!" Commander Peter called.

The line of cavalrymen shot forward. Bob dug in his heels, already several paces behind. He raised his sword, leaned in to strike . . . and miscalculated. Again.

Bob struck air. His balance shifted, and the dummy smacked him in the head. For the fourth time that day, he landed flat on his back.

Laughter echoed from his comrades. 

"Who knew a dummy could fight so well!" Friederick called. 

Bob sucked in the pain that pulsed from his back. He thought of Charming, his brother, telling him to stick up for himself and forced a grin. "Is that you, Friederick? Well I'll be." He jerked a thumb toward the dummy. "I could have sworn that was you."

Silence spread as Friederick’s posse congregated around them.

Friederick scowled down at him. "We'll see who's laughing when they appoint new captains. Or will king daddy pull strings again?"

"Like Lord Léon does for you?"

In a practiced move, Friederick leaped from his horse and unsheathed his sword. "Why don't we just see who deserves to be captain right now."


Terri Tiffany said...

Good action to start and a good way to hear his voice and character. Only suggestion is the lines about laughter echoed and silence spread are too similar in too close of proximity.

Anonymous said...

It makes me want to read on to see what happens next and I really hope that poor Bob succeeds. :O)

Joanne said...

It's nice in that it shows a vulnerability with Bob, right from the beginning. It makes him sympathetic to the reader, and we're rooting for him already!

Jessie Oliveros said...

Well even if Bob is not handy with a sword he can sure dish it out. I don't like Frederick. I think he's probably ugly with a big nose. Good job on your hook!

Lenny Lee said...

hi miss janet! this is gonna be a really exciting story for sure. you already got a conflict going and im hoping that prince could get better at fighting and fix that freidrick guy. i just got only one thing that pretty much bothered me right from the start and thats the princes name. bob just doesnt sound so princely to me. i could rather cause you like bob he could be prince robert cause thats lots more royal and it could fit better with the other names. i could want to read the rest of this story. :)
...hugs from lenny

Roxy said...

Love it, Janet! So fun and entertaining. I liked this character right away, and I would definitely read on to see where your creative mind was taking the story. Well done.

Summer Ross said...

I was pulled into this right away- I really want to know what happens, great starting conflict!

Francine Howarth said...


Ooh, nice opening scene: plenty of action and friction between MCs, and a dual in the offing! :0


Stephanie said...

LOL!! I love that Prince Charming's brother is named Bob!!! It really tells a lot about them without saying much...Charming is the star, the popular one, while Bob is simple and plain and clumsy! This is a great start! I really like it!!! I do wonder at the ages of the characters though...are these teens???

DL Curran said...

You made me laugh when the dummy hit him. And I like the conflict with Frederick - I'd read on to find out what's going to happen. Great opening!

Shallee said...

Excellent! I got a good sense of Bob's character, the tone of the book, and I loved the conflict that was immediately set up. I would keep reading for sure!

Anonymous said...

Ooohhh! Wonderful opening! You've got drama, conflict and believable characters. Plus, it's interesting! Great way to reel the reader in!

Unknown said...

This is an excellent opening. I immediately get a sense of the character, his quirkiness and troubles. The voice sounds lighthearted and fun with a promise of adventure. I'd read on!

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

This is a good opening. I think it has all the elements.

Marieke said...

I really enjoyed this! Would definitely read on :)

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Yay, I finally get to read about Bob!

I really like it. I was momentarily confused about Friederick, but sorted it out pretty quickly. I didn't know where he was when Bob started talking to him. But I like their sparring and this is a great opening action and introduces the characters well. Good job!


Anonymous said...

Very funny and I'm already rooting for BOB and not the dummy

Brenda Drake said...

I'm hooked and I'd read more. I can imagine clumsy Bob getting into precarious situations throughout your story. I've totally sympathized with him, which is good. Great job! :D

Alexandra said...

Instantly likeable story.

Sigh. In a minute, you can tell you're reading a good writer.

Simplicity of words, quick on action.

Oh, I'm just going to shut my computer off and give up for the night.

Yes, you are a good writer. All you need for a good story right here, within a minute.

Mastery of the language, so evident.

Thank you.

Rachael Harrie said...

Great beginning Janet. I really like how you gave such a insight into their voices and conflict in such a few short lines. The names gave me pause - I wonder if you're doing a fairytale spoof? Would definitely keep reading.


Jennifer Hoffine said...

The dummy fighting line is great!

The second para seems to slow things down some (for me, at least). It might flow better if you fit that in later...maybe right after the dummy line while Bob's still on his back?

Anonymous said...

I love this. There's an instant conflict -- and already, you feel sympathetic toward Bob. And the ending is very much heart-stopping.


WritingNut said...

Wow, I loved it! Great beginning :)

Laurel Garver said...

Oh, hooray, I hoped you'd share Bob with the world. I'm loving him all over again! I think this is a bit different starting spot from the version I got to see back in February. I like where you're jumping in, though. Nicely done.

Carolyn Abiad said...

Very nice! We all like Bob here.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

This flowed well. I'm rooting for Bob, though I fear for him too.

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