I have two beginnings to this novel. It is not finished, but it is at about 50k words.
Genre: Speculative fiction Target audience: early to mid-teenagers
quote:Three ancient solicitors, in tattered wig and gown, were gathered in a dark chamber. Two had their heads together, crabbed over a desk as they examined a parchment by lamplight. The third, who was blind, waited nearby.
Another man -- the client -- stood just beyond the circle of light and watched them.
Eventually one of the readers fixed upon a name in the text. He paused, placed his finger on the spot, then glanced at the client. ‘An heir?’ he said.
The client nodded. He stepped forward. "And you said you'd taken care of it.”
This section is only a page long then we go to ostensibly to the story proper.
Is it worth reading on?
Can you comment on pacing and staging? What do you infer about setting, period etc?
Thanks in advance.
[This message has been edited by Andrew_McGown (edited August 20, 2009).]
What you have essentially then is an ultra-short prologue and thus my question is, is there a better place to start? The other thing that caught me was the first sentence being passive and whether or not this is true of the grammar, it seemed that the tense was odd. I'm not good with that and I can't put my finger on why it struck me, but it did.
My impression is that there is an heir that should have been killed by the guy there but he's screw-up and didn't do the job which will interfere with the plans of the lawyer-types... In and of itself, it's not overly original but could be fun if handled well.
Target audience: early to mid-teenagers. Suggest starting with the teenage MC with whom your readers will relate. Old men may be a turn-off for them.
In my opinion, I prefer prologues to give the names of the characters, unless they are nameless people (like an army or a squad of soldiers, or maybe even your solicitors). The client seems like he might be important, and should be named.
I picture Britain or America in the 1700s(?), with a horse-drawn carriage waiting outside the door.
[This message has been edited by MrsBrown (edited August 20, 2009).]