Saturday, June 25, 2011

First 212 words of Gateway

I'm participating in a contest sponsored by Shelly Watters and featuring literary agent, Victoria Marini. Without further ado, here are the opening 212 words of my YA Urban Fantasy novel, Gateway. Total word count for the novel is 59,000.

In the end, only the Voice remained.
I told you it would be better this way…
I was drifting, floating on something too silky to be water. It was warm, and it penetrated the deepest parts of me.
The Voice was right. It was always right. Everything finally felt soft. My sharpest edges were being worn away, melting into oblivion. I felt like candle wax before it cooled; nothing to do but let the remaining drops of consciousness slide down— 
Pain. Where did that come from? How could I feel pain when I didn't have a body anymore?
My throat. It was my throat, being stabbed, or— 
Shh… let it go. Let all the pain go. Rest easy…
For a moment I was comforted, the gentle motion of the not-quite water lulling me, pulling me back to safety.
But I was heaving. Huge, uncontrollable spasms. And then I was vomiting, although that word isn’t strong enough. I was erupting. The contents of my stomach spewed from my mouth, my nose. The wetness hit my chest, then my belly, and finally dribbled down my chin. My mouth tasted of charcoal. The warmth receded. The peace went with it.  And I knew.


  1. Very interesting. I like the rich descriptive element of this and it's very mysterious, leading me onward. Small edits I'd consider making:

    "It was warm and it penetrated the deepest parts of me." (no comma)

    "not quite water" into "not-quite-water" might make it more readable.

    Is the text change in the last paragraph intentional? I don't know that I'd do that, it might be a bit too much. Distracts from the writing. I'd keep the same text, but maybe use a line break to help separate it from what comes before.

    Good luck!

  2. powerful scene, nicely written.

  3. Thanks, Sarah, Lori. The font change is not on purpose--just blogger giving me fits, lol. I had the novel edited, proofread and formatted, and still there are glitches. You know how it goes...

  4. Great scene. It gives you just enough to spark your interest and has some great tension ... good job and good luck!

  5. This is so powerful, Christina! I love the line: "I felt like candle wax before it cooled; nothing to do but let the remaining drops of consciousness slide down..."
    I disagree with Sarah on both grammar counts:
    the comma is necessary since you have two independent clauses; if you hyphenate not-quite, don't put in a hyphen before water. I am a grammar freak, so don't be angry with me, Sarah.
    I so want to read on to know what happens!

  6. I love this. It seems like such a gentle opening despite the violence obviously being committed. I think this is just lovely. I'm also going to take a guess that it's got a vampire somewhere responsible for this. This is really good.

  7. ... ewwwwww.

    But in a good way.

    Just a formatting note: on a blog and other online single-spaced sites, I would just forget indenting and leave a line break between paragraphs. It reads better that way in this format.

    Definitely not my scene, but well written. Truthfully, this seems to more fit the judging agent's tastes than my entry. Good work!

    Check out my first 250?

  8. Excellent first line.
    Very unique and descriptive paragraphs!!!
    Good luck!
    Kelly Polark