Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Entry 3 Artemis Grey

Title: Thornbriar
Genre: YA Fantasy Retelling
My Name: Artemis Grey
Email: Greyvaledesigns(at)gmail(dot)com


Most Ladies get china sets for their wedding. Beauty got a Beast with multiple personalities and a cursed magic kingdom nobody believed in.

Second Line:

Instead, the black shaft of the arrow passed through her ruby curls as she staggered sideways.

First 250 of Second Chapter:

Beauty spent the duration of the remainder of her journey sequestered in the shadows of Liivan’s coach. The Senior merchant attended her for an evening meal and for breakfast the following morning but otherwise let her be. She did not again ask about the possibly bestial Woodlord. Part of her truly wanted to, for would it not be better to know of what she faced? But then, in a way, it didn’t matter. She would be marrying him regardless.

It was much easier to uphold her fierce determination and bold resolve within the shelter of the coach. The peculiar way in which the Altheans had moved around her made all the more sense now. They had seen from the moment she’d been introduced that she did not fully understand her own situation.

Her cheeks burned to think of it but when she spoke to Liivan, it was with easy elegance and lovely smiles. The strange people of Althea might think her a simpering, foolish maiden, but Beauty would make the most splendid Queen they could have ever imagined. Her beauty had brought her this far, it would serve her yet.

Selene did not have the same spine on the matter. Of course, Selene was plain, in manner more than feature. Her demeanor only dimmed what would have else wise been a comely enough face. Beauty had no patience for the quailing of her handmaiden and might have left her standing beside the roadway if it wouldn’t have caused talk later.


  1. Pitch:
    Pretty good. If you could expand just a little without adding a lot of words, I think you could make the pitch stronger.

    Second line:
    LOVE it! I mean, it's exciting and dangerous. I want to know what happens next! :)

    First 250 words:
    The voice reminds me of Cinda Williams Chima's Demon King. I like books that use simpler words because it sounds like someone telling you a story. But with your voice, it's harder to follow. I'm assuming that's the voice you want and that's fine. There are plenty of people that enjoy this type of voice. I'm just not one of them. I think this will be a great story and I'd love to keep reading, even if it's not my type of book.

  2. I love your title! I like how it’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but the title is unique.

    Pitch: I love your second sentence, but I’m not as sold on the first, especially because the 250 words make it seem like she hasn’t met the beast yet. If it’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling, shouldn’t the wedding come at the end? Not saying it has to, but something about that first line of the pitch makes me think the book starts out with the wedding, which the 250 words shows that it doesn’t.

    Second line of 1st paragraph: I like this! It’s interesting and active. I don’t know if I like “ruby curls” but that’s just a personal preference.

    250 Words: My biggest critique for this is that the sentences are wordy at times. It felt like I was stumbling through some of them, trying to find the end. I felt there were places that could be tightened. For example:

    Beauty spent the duration of the remainder of her journey… -- “the duration of the remainder” felt repetitive to me. I would omit “the duration” and just say “Beauty spent the remainder of her journey…”

    She would be marrying him regardless. –You could tighten this by changing “be marrying” into “marry”

    Other than tightening it up a bit, I don’t have much to say. The language was pretty, and I feel like you did a good job with the time period. Also, I like that Beauty is kind of a snob, and that she’s aware of her beauty. That’s a nice twist from the original.


  3. I'm intrigued by the pitch, which suggests that Beauty's challenges will be more related to ruling the kingdom and less about learning to love the Beast.

    I very much like the initial description of her handmaiden, plain in manner more than feature. Otherwise, though, I do agree that some of the sentences feel wordy and a bit unwieldy. I understand that this may be the way that Beauty thinks, but I would tone it down as much as possible in the first few pages and let the reader gradually adjust to the style.

    Good luck!

  4. I like how concise your pitch is; it's a great elevator pitch that prompts one to ask for more details. So I wouldn't mess around with it too much, but I would like to know the stakes for your Beauty.

    2nd line: Very descriptive and rich! Question: did she stagger as the arrow flew or because the arrow flew toward her? That is, was she trying to avoid the arrow or did she just happen to stagger as it passed through her hair? Because it sounds like the latter.

    250 words: The language and diction seem written more like a period piece to me, which probably fits well with the period/genre. But I found myself rereading and stumbling over it a bit. So you may want to look at tightening the language here if you've intentionally made it somewhat formal. Also, duration of the remainder is redundant. If you say "the remainder" or "the duration", it is sufficient.

    Good luck with the contest!

  5. Liked the pitch. Love a good re-telling of a Fairy Tale.

    Great second line, Someone's trying to kill her! Yikes! And I liked the ruby curls.

    First 250: agree with Ashley regarding duration and remainder. choose one. And I agree with everyone about tightening it up, paring words. For example, I might re-write the first paragraph like this:

    "Beauty spent the remainder of her journey sequestered in the shadows of Liivan’s coach. The Senior merchant attended her at meals but otherwise let her be. She did not ask again about the supposedly bestial Woodlord. Part of her wanted to. But then, it didn’t matter, did it? She would be marrying him regardless."

    I also really liked how we discover that this Beauty is NOT going to be like any other we might have encountered before.

    Good luck :)