I really needed this challenge because I think I've revised all the voice out of my WIP. It's awful! Here are the first 250 words of my sci fi adult novel SENDEK. Yes, I keep coming back to it because I can't give up on it yet since it is still improving. :)
Please be brutally honest with anything you see that pulls you out of the story. Look for voice. Is it there? I'm going to be reading the 100+ entries and will come back to respond as soon as I can...and make adjustments/improvements to this. I can email them in to be judged and possibly win a critique from the awesome agent Natalie Fischer.
Note: I've posted an alternate first 252 words. Is this better than the original? The backstory that is in this is very important and needs to be established right away. Unfortunately, my MC doesn't have any friends or family to talk to, so it has to come out this way. I tried to pare it down to the barest necessity. All thoughts appreciated, cause you guys are awesome!
New version after reading comments--While other girls dreamed of ponies and boys, I dreamed of fire and pain. By the time I turned seven, I knew the dreams foretold my future. I understood they were a gift, a chance to save myself if I could find the way. Those dreams shaped my life, and it’s up to me to stay alive.
The last of Sendek’s three moons had set, but I didn’t need their light. My legs knew the way and moved me instinctively up the tree-covered hill. The moss, soft and cool under my bare feet, carried the promise of relief. With only moments left before the double suns crested the horizon, I ran faster and reached the clearing at the top. My muscles twitched as I stared at the light of Gneledar below me. The small city was aglow with activity, and as I watched the skylanes filled with transports.
Is it safe? I asked the trees around me.
YES. Their deep calm filled me and I knew they would continue to protect my secret.
The first sun rose beyond the village and light bounced off the metal and glass of the city in a glaring shower of light. Tendrils of light pushed their way into the shadowy places at the base of the buildings chasing away the darkness. As the second sun climbed into view, I called the light to me.
My lungs expanded as I inhaled the energy of the suns. Synapses fired and blood pumped the pure life through my veins.
Original--Joharadin, known to most of the world as capital of Algodova, but I know from dreams that it’s where I’ll meet my death at the hands of scaled demons. The nightmares have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Because of them, I’ve avoided the city all my adult life, but if I want to keep my job with the Space Exploration Foundation I’ll move there today.
There’s always the hope I’m crazy, but if not, this will be the last time I drink the sunsrise from my secluded hilltop.
I breathed the cool morning air, felt the ache of every muscle in my body. Each dream drains me of energy and leaves me bruised and battered. Only one thing heals the damage. Sendek’s double suns at sunsrise.
The last of Sendek’s three moons set an hour ago, but I didn’t need their light. My legs knew the way, moving instinctively up the tree-covered hill. The moss, soft and cool under my bare feet, carried the promise of relief. With only moments left before the double suns crested the horizon, I ran faster and reached the clearing at the top. My muscles twitched as I stared at the light of Gneledar below me. The small city was already aglow with activity and the skylanes filled with transports as I watched.
Is it safe? The thought filled my mind and pushed out to the tree line.
YES. A deep calm filled me and I turned to the sunsrise.