Here is another wonderful visit from an aspiring author…and another great blog-buddy from The Writers Alley. Please join me in welcoming Mary Vee.
Not only are Mary’s blog posts for The Writers Alley insightful, she also keeps a consistent blog of her own, filled with beautiful retellings of Bible stories for kids (and all other ages J) You can visit it at http://mimaryvee.blogspot.com
Now Mary, what do you think makes a great first encounter?
I’m no expert, but it seems to me great first encounters can be traced to something small or simple. Think of the fruit of one tiny seed: redwood trees, mustard, cumin, flowers, apples, onions and etc. If I can thread a small enticement into my scene and water it with sensory responses, I should grow a great first encounter.
And what do you have for us today as an example?
YA fantasy. Prince Marcus received word of his father’s death yesterday. Becoming king was not on his to-do list for at least ten years. For his protection, Marcus has been restricted to his chamber until the coronation hour.
“What can I say, Matthias? You’ve been father’s advisor all these years. What am I suppose to do? My life is destroyed.”
“I know—I know.”
Matthias spoke with the guard outside the door then nodded back to me. “I’ll see you in an hour, my Lord.”
I nodded. Great, one long hour before the coronation of all coronations designed to ruin my life. I was duty bound to stay in my chamber until servants arrived to dress me. What was I saying? Duty didn’t matter. The guard would never let me out of here, my one-hour prison, even for a breath of air.
If Father hadn’t died in yesterday’s battle, I wouldn’t be in this mess. My life—every minute of every day, will be planned to the infinitesimal detail until the day I die. “Oh, hang it all. Let someone else be king.” I grabbed the first object in reach and smashed it against the wall. I always hated that vase.
“Everything all right, my Lord?” The guard sheathed his sword.
Normally I’d have answered him, but my attention swung to someone in the hall, sneaking passed my room. I glanced a second time and realized a servant girl, no—wait, that was no ordinary servant girl—I’d seen her somewhere before–she served my mother, the queen—and she’s–
“What? Yes, I’m—I’m fine.” I glanced back at the door. She was gone. “Guard, care for this mess.”
“Yes, my Lord. I’ll call for a servant.” He turned to the right in the hall and rounded the first corner.
“Perfect.” I looked to the left and caught wisps of her chestnut hair disappearing into a corridor. Her scent of rose trailed behind in the air.
I ran down the hall, wondering why she came to this wing of the castle. I’d never noticed her in this area before. But, by the way she sneaked passed my apartment today, she knew where she wanted to go. How could I’ve missed seeing her sneak down these corridors in the past? I must have been blind. But, that one glace back in my chamber—that one brief glance of her wavy hair draped down her back, those deep walnut eyes, her lips—. Wait–there she is.
I ducked into a doorway to giver her a space. Her name. Mother spoke her name. What was it? Kathy, Karly—Katia, yes, Katia. I leaned forward in time to see her turn another corner. She weaved through chambers with exits into other rooms and down hallways I rarely visited. Did she know I was behind her?
Katia’s quiet bare feet sped her through a path she confidently traveled. Her scent of rose begged me to keep up. I stopped short of the next hallway to catch my breath. After a few pants I listened. The patter of her feet had stopped. Should I look? There was a click followed by a something scraping.
What was that sound? I couldn’t loose her now. I lunged around the corner and found her touching the wall. She looked back at me, smiled then disappeared—right through the wall.
“Wait!” I raced to where she stood. Katia? She was gone. I pushed and pressed every inch of wall where she stood desperately searching for a hole, release, anything to let me through. Nothing. Not a single clue. Where’d she go? I had to find her.
I drew in my fingertips close and breathed her sweet scent. Where are you?
Oh Mary, that was a wonderful scene. So perfect to set up a mystery. And I love YA books set in a medieval era (or fantasy). Thanks so much for sharing your writing with us.
Parting is such sweet sorrow – and I am sorry to see the end of Sizzling First Encounters.
But be forewarned – authors and readers – I plan to have a new series in the works for September, just in time for ACFW.
Please stop by for devotional blogs and book reviews until then.