I'm looking for a critique on the first thirteen and at least one more who is interested in a chapter exchange. I'm up to 34k words on this one and I tend to go slowly with my schedule so patience is key. Thank you for your time!
(1st Version) Rowan shivered as she stood in the corner and peered out into the gloom. He stood but a few feet from her, within arms reach if she wished to strike. The cool metallic handle of the dagger she clutched at her chest almost burned in anticipation. As it was she could hardly breath, dared not. Her throat was swollen shut and her limbs were frozen in terror. She shivered not only from fear but from the permeating cold seeping through the room. She had placed her free hand over her mouth to keep the small puffs of breath from giving her away. She shrank into the corner, trying to get further away from the imposing figure in front of her, desperately wishing she could melt into the mottled stone at her back.
(2nd Version) Rowan trembled in the corner, peering out of the gloom. The cowled figure loomed before her, within armís reach if she dared to strike. The daggerís hilt burned in anticipation as she clutched it to her chest. She struggled to breath, throat swollen shut and limbs frozen in terror. Swallowing her fear, she shivered; a permeating chill seeped into the room. Placing her hand over her mouth, she concealed her smoky breath and shrank further into the corner, wishing she could melt into the stone at her back. He stepped into the moonlight that shone through the window. His face was nothing but shadow, tunic displaying an obsidian Phoenix wreathed in flames. The same Phoenix was etched into the banners draped upon the walls.
[This message has been edited by Wylde (edited August 29, 2011).]
[This message has been edited by Wylde (edited September 08, 2011).]
I'm intrigued by what is going on here, which I'm guessing is a girl sent to kill a big guy when she is obviously not an experienced assassin.
I might suggest getting rid of unnecessary words in your sentences, which is something I'm working on, too. It helps me as a reader, because instead of reading a lot of little words like "of," "had," "as," "into," "from," etc., I can get to the good, meaty words like "shiver," "strike," "dagger," and "terror."
The little things: -arms reach -> arm's reach -While 'metallic' can mean 'containing metal,' I think it is most often interpreted as 'having a metal-like appearance.' It might be clearer if you said 'the metal handle' if it is made of metal. -I think you are missing a word, possibly "but," in your fourth sentence.
Like I said, I'm definitely interested in the action! I want to know what happens next.
I like the idea and the flow of your style. I could see it very clearly in my mind. The only sticking point for me is that I want to know who "he" is. Tell me. If the character knows, then it's okay for the reader to know too. I'll care more about her situation if I know why she's so frightened first. Other than that, good job.
You definitely have my attention. Only reading 13 lines brings up many questions that could very well be answered in your next paragraph which I think would be essential and satisfy the current feeling of incompleteness.
The questions are basic, Who is she? Who is he? Why should I care if she succeeds or fails in this assassination attempt? (if that is what's really happening) This intro would work well for me as long as those questions are answered very soon in the story.
I think it's great and I definitely want to read on.