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DOGGONE VOICE: PEREGRINE

Friday, 29 June 2012  |  Posted by Brenda Drake
 

Title: PEREGRINE
Genre: YA Science Fiction (Space Opera)
They tell me I’m one of a kind. But only by the process of elimination. The elimination of everyone else on my planet.
Some call me a miracle. Some, a liability. To most, though, I’m a…
“Freak!”
I open my eyes to the holo on the gym wall, tuning out the jeers of my potential classmates. Virtual trees whiz past and a dirt road stretches for miles, but my focus is on the luminescent text floating above the scenery: 24MPH.
I blink hard. Still there.
“Can you go any faster?” the evaluator asks without lifting his gaze from his handheld.
I’m not sure. This is the first time I’ve been allowed to run post-incident. And allowed really isn’t the right word. He gestures for me to pick up the pace and my feet obey. The track hums as it gathers speed. Teal flyaways slip from my ponytail and cling to my face. I try to slick them back,but they keep falling. Behind me, a few applicants snicker so loud it’s meant for my ears. Others whisper, unaware that I can hear their comments. About my appearance, my performance, what little chance I have of passing this eval.
It’s not a distraction. It’s fuel.

Enrollment to CS137 is guaranteed only to the top three applicants, which makes for serious competition. As one of the most prestigious public schools in the capital, it’s a favorite among local politicians and their families. It was also the easiest to forge my way into.

Filed: Misc, Workshops

7 Comments
  • Leigh Ann says:

    Oooh! Space opera!!! And teal hair. I love her.

    Overall, this first person present voice is really nice. I like that you’re using the MC’s thoughts to communicate what’s normal and what’s weird – “I blink. Still there.” Tells us a lot about the MC through what would ACTUALLY be her thoughts.

    For first person present, I’m not sure the way to start is with the kind of self-reflective statements you’ve got at the head of the page. I want to live events with this MC, not hear sweeping statements about what people think of her or what “they say.” Does that make sense?

    You’ve got an infodump paragraph here at the end, which is FINE, as long as it’s well –placed. Which it is. You’re telling us “it’s fuel” – (another nice turn of words that tells us a lot in the VOICE of the MC while saying little) and then explaining why.

    Very well done! Wheee!

  • Marieke says:

    Love this start, it reminds me a bit of ENDER’S GAME. Also, I’m always game for a premise like CS137’s 🙂

    The voice here is strong, focused. And in this case I don’t just mean focused in the sense of tight prose, but I also love that the MC is very focused. “It’s not a distraction. It’s fuel.” LOVE that.

    As far as I’m concerned, you could get rid of the first two paragraphs, because they draw me out of the story. They feel out of voice too. For the rest of this first page, I feel like I’m right there with the MC and that’s exactly what you want.

    GREAT job!

  • Avery Marsh says:

    I’m capable. I keep telling myself that as my soles thunk on the track. I’m capable. I’m strong. I’m more than they tell me.

    More than a patient. More than a liability. More than a…

    “Freak!”

    I open my eyes to the holo on the gym wall, tuning out the jeers of my potential classmates. Virtual trees whiz past and a dirt road stretches for miles, but my focus is on the white text floating above the scenery: 24MPH.

    I blink hard. Still there.

    “Can you go any faster?” the evaluator asks without lifting his gaze from his handheld.

    I’m not sure. This is the first time I’ve been allowed to run post-incident. And allowed really isn’t the right word. He gestures for me to pick up the pace and my feet obey. The track hums as it gathers speed. Teal flyaways slip from my ponytail and cling to my face. Behind me, a few applicants snicker so loud it’s meant for my ears. Others whisper, unaware that I can hear their comments. About my appearance, my performance, what little chance I have of passing this eval.

    It’s not a distraction. It’s fuel.

    Enrollment to CS137 is guaranteed only to the top three applicants, which makes for serious competition. As one of the most prestigious public schools in the capital, it’s a favorite among local politicians and their families. It was also the easiest to forge my way into. Considering that and everything else I’ve gone through to attend this evaluation, I have to place.

  • Brenda Drake says:

    I like this new opening. I would remove “More than a patient” to have a bigger impact for “More than a liability. More than a …” The voice is great until we get to that last paragraph. It pulls me out of her head. I’d rework it and put her voice into it. Sort of like…

    ‘I have to make it. Competition is tough. Only the top three applicants are guaranteed enrollment into CS137.’

    Or something better in your voice.

    I really like this premise. This opening page and the voice made me want to read on. Great job!

  • callmebecks says:

    I like an MC that’s active and focused, and you definitely have that here. I think that focus aspect could be played up even more.

    IN-LINE CRITS
    I’m capable. I keep telling myself (Suggest changing it to just “I tell.”) that as my soles thunk on the track. I’m capable. I’m strong. I’m more than they tell (On the other hand, there’s the double-use of the tell verb, too…:) ) me.

    More than a patient. More than a liability. More than a…

    “Freak!”

    I open my eyes to the holo on the gym wall, tuning out the jeers of my potential classmates. Virtual trees whiz past and a dirt road stretches for miles, but my focus is on the white text floating above the scenery: 24MPH.

    I blink hard. Still there.

    “Can you go any faster?” the evaluator asks without lifting his gaze from his handheld.

    I’m not sure. This is the first time I’ve been allowed to run post-incident. And allowed really isn’t the right word. (This aside feels out of place to me because it kind of so quickly goes “Oh, I don’t know – oh, wait, I can!” It might just be me, but I’d suggest cutting it. It undermines that wonderful directness and focus that we’re getting everywhere else from this character.) He gestures for me to pick up the pace, (added comma) and my feet obey. The track hums as it gathers speed. Teal flyaways slip from my ponytail and cling to my face. Behind me, a few applicants snicker so loud it’s meant for my ears. Others whisper, unaware that I can hear their comments. About my appearance, my performance, what little chance I have of passing this eval.

    It’s not a distraction. It’s fuel.

    Enrollment to CS137 is guaranteed only to the top three applicants, which makes for serious competition. As one of the most prestigious public schools in the capital, it’s a favorite among local politicians and their families. (I agree with Brenda – this part pulls me out a bit.) It was also the easiest to forge my way into. (Okay, this hooks me right here. Forge? So there’s a whole fake-identity issue in the works here? If so, I almost want that closer to the top because it comes with all sorts of awesome and intriguing potential layers.) Considering that and everything else I’ve gone through to attend this evaluation, I have to place.

  • Jade Hart says:

    Hello, Brenda.
    I’ve been searching hi and low for your email. I wanted to ask if I could spotlight you as a inspiration for next Monday on our Joint Blog: Falling4fiction? It would be a few questions, but you have inspired me more than you know and it would be awesome to have you on! 🙂 Let me know. Jadehart88 @ hotmail dot com

  • Brenda Drake says:

    Jade, I’m so flattered. Of course, I’d love to. I’m emailing you.

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