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Monday, July 25, 2011

First 200 words of my novel

Okay I know I promised to start the parenting section this week, but something really cool came up and so I am going out on a limb again. Here is the first 200 words of my 80,000 completed fantasy novel. Please take a look at it and give any feedback you would like. This is the first novel or anything that I ever wrote. It is what got me started writing. I finished it in about 3 months and have been working on it ever since :) Tomorrow I will post my first section on parenting.

The Order of The Rose:

A loud bang on the front door woke Tom. A short pause was followed by another loud bang on the hard oak. Tapping sounds came as high heeled shoes crossed the marble floor of the foyer. Tom slid out of bed. A sharp click from the latch echoed through his bedroom as the heavy door opened. Tom clenched his blanket and ran to the landing above the large hall. His small hand grasped the white bar as he saw a woman and man talking to the maid, Anna.
“We must see your mistress at once,” the woman said.
Tom wondered who the woman was. She wore a red dress, and her long black hair caught the glow of the chandelier. The man that was with her was bigger than anyone he had ever seen before. The man’s short beard was neatly trimmed and light reflected off of his shaved head. His long sword moved slightly on his black suit as he shifted his weight from one foot to the other.
Anna walked back down the hall and the woman turned to whisper to the man. Tom wondered what they were so quiet about. A few minutes later, Mother hurried to the woman, holding her hands out.

So there you have the first 200 words. Once again any feedback would be helpful. Thanks for all of your support.


  1. Congrats on the first 200 words it seems to be the making of a good book.
    Good luck with the rest.


  2. Now I am curious about the strangers .......

  3. woohoo! so when does it come out man?

  4. I have been lucky enough to read the whole thing. I really like it!! Good luck!

  5. You've got my attention. I'm wondering about Tom's age, and the time period. Whether the 'black suit' is a modern-day suit or older garb. And if the red dress signifies something about a rose. Way to draw me in!

  6. Intriguing! I'm curious about Tom and, of course, the strangers--great excerpt!

  7. I think there's too much description to wade through before the reader really understands what's going on. 'Tom woke up. He opened his door and went onto the landing. There were people there he'd never seen.' Other than this, you spend a lot of time describing sounds -- i thought someone else opened Tom's door, I thought someone was banging on his bedroom door ... you need to be a bit clearer and realize that reader can't hear what you hear.

  8. In order to get readers to all of your good parts sooner, you might want to consider killing some adjectives, especially those that I'm not sure Tom can see. For an example, please see the suggested rewrite of the first few sentences:

    Tom jerked awake. He heard another loud bang then the tapping of high-heeled shoes.

    Tom slid out of bed. The sharp click of a door latch echoed through his bedroom. Tom clenched his blanket and ran to the landing above the large hall. Two strangers, a woman and man, were talking to the maid, Anna.

    “We must see your mistress at once,” the woman said.

    The rest just keeps pulling me in deeper with raging curiosity. I'm turning that page!

    P.S. I'm a new follower. :)

  9. Nice job. I like how you focus more on sounds than on sight, which is the sense I always fall back on. (This story is awesome by the way. Don't let Josh say otherwise. I wish my first story were this good.)

  10. Overall I liked this.

    A loud bang on the front door woke Tom. To me this reads passive. I would have Tom as the subject of the sentence.

    A short pause was followed by another loud bang on the hard oak. Another passive sentence. Maybe After a short pause, another loud bang pounded on the hard oak.

    Tapping sounds came as high heeled shoes crossed the marble floor of the foyer. Could be tightened to High heeled shoes tapped across the marble floor of the foyer.

    Go through and remove any extra words and passivity and this will be much tighter and more suspenseful. Good luck!

  11. Awesome first novel!

    I would like to see Tom as the subject of the first sentence. I agree this could use some tightening. Cut out your extra words. We don't need sentences like "Tom wondered who the woman was." We should get that on our own because it's from Tom's pov and he hasn't used any names.

    Good luck!

  12. Clear setting, lots of intrigue and I definitely wanted to know who these people were!! I'd tighten up that first paragraph, cuz it's the most important place to hook your reader (and agent ;-)) I'd also lose the Tom wondered who the woman was, and Tom wondered what they were so quiet about, as you "show" this without needing these.

    You have a lovely blog!

  13. Good start! I would watch for redundancies, like using Tom's name three times in the first para, and 'the man' as a start of two sentences in the second para. Also, try to eliminate simple words like 'was' and replace with more exciting verbs.

    I really like that you start with action and a mystery, and the glow of her hair in the chandelier is nice. Good luck!

  14. I like the mystery at the beginning. It's a great hook. I agree with everyone else. I would tighten and cut out half the description. A little goes a long way.

    My other thought would be to cut your paragraphs into smaller choppy sentences. It speeds up the pace and adds tension.

    Good luck!

  15. Good start. I could relate to that little boy. I liked Michelle's comments for improvement & think you use Tom's name too many times. Good luck:)

  16. Interesting! I would start with 'Tom slid out of bed.' etc.

    You've got my attention and I want to read more. I've published two picture books and my WIP is a YA historical fiction. Isn't that first novel both difficult and fascinating?
    Good luck.

    Thanks for following me. I've followed you back.
    Happy writing,


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