This idea comes to me from another student in a Seminar in Fiction class I’m taking right now. She asked her Facebook friends to give her starting lines for stories and I thought it was an amazing idea to get a huge variety of starting points.
So here is me asking you for first lines. You can make them as mundane or as crazy as you want. Use any sort of literary device that strikes your fancy, or none at all. Tell me what you had for breakfast or invent a horrific, previously-unheard-of-and-unpronounceable monster, it’s up to you. I commit to writing a story–no length or time limit, because I’m not sure how many responses I’ll get–for every first line posted here. If I ever become a zillionaire because of your story (and even if I don’t) I will give you a shout as the source of inspiration for said story.
Being Sidhe is hard, but a Sidhe without a heartbeat?
Life is lucrative and easy for Dr. Grace Caldwell–daughter of vampire father and fey mother–until her ex-boyfriend, FBI agent Jack Montgomery, blackmails her into helping him solve a prostitute’s murder. If only she wasn’t as attracted to Jack as ever, she could concentrate on finding the murderer and get back to her regularly scheduled life. And then there’s the vampire Constantine, seductive and powerful, a family friend she’s supposed to marry…
Not much of a vampire, and clueless about her fey powers–if she has any–Grace must journey to the Sidhe and enlist the help of the fey to unravel the riddle of the murder. She and Jack might just get killed, but then, two worlds depend on her success. If she fails, both her worlds and all of humanity will descend into chaos of epic proportions.
Without further rambling from me, here’s Ms. Christman: Read more…
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I read this book for a fiction seminar class. It was readable, and not much more than that.
First, I found the constant, nested flashbacks extremely annoying. Half the time I forgot what was happening in the timeline of the book because I was buried in some flashback that went on for a chapter and a half.
Second, I had the “twist” figured out by the time I finished chapter four. For a book that had the twist so hyped, that’s a letdown. I kept waiting to be amazed by some huge revelation that just never came.
Third, the ending is lackluster. I’m not going to go into details, but let’s just say Chaon leaves way too much dangling to be left with any real feeling of resolution. A book doesn’t have to have a happy ending, but it does have to have an ending.
Fourth, the character depth wasn’t consistent. A few characters are very well drawn. Miles, for example, I really connected with. Other characters were unappealing mediocre. Lucy just never came off the page at all for me, she was flat and completely uninteresting.
Fifth, the pacing was slow. Really slow, especially through the middle of the book.
It’s prettily written. If you like flowery prose, Chaon will definitely satisfy you there. There’s a lot of lovely metaphor and some interesting delving into the idea of self that almost bears the ponderous weight of the story.
In summary, I would have stopped reading if I hadn’t been assigned this book.
I’ve got an interview today with an author by the name of Erik Lynd. He’s got a book out right now called Asylum. Here’s the description:
“I am going to tell you the story of how and why I killed my brother. You can think what you want about me afterward, but I want to tell you the whole thing. Even the things I didn’t tell the police, the things I didn’t tell my own family. I am going to tell you what really happened, the truth. But then maybe it is a fiction . . . perhaps a truth existing merely in my head. Truth or fiction, I don’t know, but I do know it’s a horror story, and I will only tell it this once.”
Forced into a psychiatric hospital by uncaring parents, a teenage boy must master the strange power within himself to overcome the horror gathering in the shadows.
Andrew Harland has been a loner since being diagnosed with schizophrenia. He is shuffled around from juvenile detention centers to outpatient clinics with expensive doctors. Nothing seems to help. His parents, desperate to have him out of the house, decide to send him off to a revolutionary new psychiatric hospital in the Pacific Northwest.
Andrew is different, and he knows it. He always has. So he doesn’t hesitate when the voices in his head tell him to climb out on a window ledge . . . Read more…
Something a little different for you today, an art feature for a fantasy graphic novel. Mostly, I talk about words here, but images can relate a story just as powerfully. I got this request and I was so blown away by the artwork that I just had to show you guys some of what this artist, Joseph Corsentino, had to offer. Here’s the description:
Time of the Faeries: Afterlight is a four-part graphic novel series that explore the origins of the Faeries, the evolution of Angels and Vampires from a common Fae ancestor, and their own unique adaptations to the modern world. It follows the alliances and tensions that develop between these three species as they struggle to protect human civilization or shape it to their will. The Afterlight follows several lines of cause and effect, revealing possible versions of the Apocalypse at the hands of all three species.
In the first book, Afterlight, End of the World, we begin at the end with the Angel Apocalypse: a dying Earth, ravaged by war, now hosts only a few scattered pockets of humanity. These last survivors are being hunted to extinction by starving Angels, their energy consumed so that the Angels might live. Below ground, a small band of shape-shifting male faeries called the Phelans struggle to protect the last collection of human life in Los Angeles and a mysterious young girl who may hold the key to their survival. Above ground, as the winged forces amass to complete their genocide, a lone Angel named Halyon struggles to understand what went wrong, and why her race now hunts the very people they were charged to protect. Read more…
I’m considering putting together an anthology of flash fiction. The idea occurred to me while I was on vacation, somewhere west of Bozeman, Montana, if memory serves. I have a title in mind, but it’s top secret! The subject would be various re-imagined traditional monster stories. I think for balance I would have to limit it to one story per type of monster and that way hopefully I won’t get all vampire stories. Nothing against vampires–you all know I love them–but the point of this would be variety!
Cover and editing would be covered by me, of course, but I’m a little conflicted about how to run submissions. Do I judge the stories myself or put together some kind of panel? Do I pay for accepted works on a per word basis or do I offer a share of the profits? On one hand, payment in advance seems much more professional. On the other, is it unfair to make money, basically forever, on someone else’s story? I mean, I know the publishing industry has been doing exactly that for a long time, but isn’t that what we don’t like about it? Of course, all of this is assuming the anthology actually makes a profit, which is probably a long shot. Authors out there: If you have an opinion on this I’d love to hear it!
In Broods news, I started the edits in earnest this weekend. So far I’ve only made it through chapter 2, but those two chapters are almost complete rewrites so I don’t feel quite so bad about my slow progress. My editor is away on vacation for the next week and a half, so the goal is to have the completed second (third, fourth? whatever) draft waiting for her when she gets back. We’ll see how that goes… I have high hopes! So far, I have to say I’m really excited about the changes. The beginning of the book suffered from a few problems that I could never quite conquer and a wonderful idea from my editor sparked several different directions that work quite well to enhance other aspects of the story.