Dragon · My Stories

The Writer’s Voice – Contest Entry #63

For those who don’t know, this is my entry into The Writer’s Voice contest.
Improved version added 23rd May 2012.
Dragon
Adult Fantasy
Query

Maayin, the eighteen-year-old adopted daughter to the lord of Byron’s Peak, has learnt she is the last of the free female dragons. She has spent all of her life looking like and thinking of herself as being human. This ignorance is a minor setback for the council, who plan to use her to prevent the extinction of all dragonkind. Whether she wishes it or not.
Heedless of their intentions, Maayin is desperate to prove she’s nothing more than human and return to her home. Her struggle against accepting the truth brings her to Jaimin who has his own reservations about keeping her imprisoned. He accepts the mantle of tutor only to keep her from Teero, an elder more willing to destroy Maayin’s spirit in favour of obeying the council’s plans.
Racing against the council’s deadline, Jaimin fights to hide his growing feelings towards his charge. While he’s not above disobeying the council’s orders on teaching Maayin to fly, it’s another thing to go against the ancient law that forbids them from being together. And there’s Teero’s unrelenting presence waiting for him to err.
When Maayin catches wind of the council’s scheme, she flees and falls right into the grasp of the dragon clan responsible for slaughtering her kind. They also intend to use both her and the other females they’ve kidnapped. Whereas Maayin’s own idea for the future involves more freedom and no dragons, she will have to rely on Jaimin’s help if either of them is going to live long enough to escape anyone’s plans.
DRAGON, complete at 70,000 words, is a standalone Adult Fantasy novel. Told in alternating POVs of Maayin and Jaimin.
First 250 Words

Maay hummed as she worked the old loom, the dull clack of wood like a lullaby to her ears. Sunlight blazed into the solarium, its normally stifling heat cooled by the wind blowing through the open windows.  She cocked her head to the sound of footsteps echoing through from the open door on the other side of the row of potted plants. Men. It had to be for their boots to hit the stone with such a racket and the occasional, punctuating clink of metal.
Frowning at the woven threads before her, she idly looped another through the strands. It almost sounded like guards. What would they be doing here? Not many men came into this quarter of the castle, mostly servants with their soft shoes and irritating tendencies to blend into the background.
She glanced over her shoulder. Her gaze perused the room, settling on the plants that separated the solarium from the outer room and screened the bulk of the sunlight from those first entering. They bobbed in the breeze, their green leaves bright and inviting. You’re imagining things again. Why earlier, she could’ve sworn she’d heard the flap of massive wings. Was that why the men were here?
Perched on the edge of stood, she held her breath and strained to hear anything other than the tramp of boots. Birdsong drifted in on the breeze, the flit of tiny wings filling the void between their tweets. Maay sighed. Probably a duck. And the men were likely emissaries on their way to greet one of her siblings.
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26 thoughts on “The Writer’s Voice – Contest Entry #63

  1. Thanks all. I'll be needing that luck. I'm terrible at counting my failure rates and I know my chances were never high. Less now there's more people.

    @Donna Hole: Now I'm uber-curious about your plotless story, for there must be a plot if you've a story. Have you tried writing a synopsis? Or breaking down the chapters into points. I had to do that for The Rogue King. The outcome there sort of blindsided me with a big “DUH!” ^_^
    Plus, if you can get her done, I hear there are 25 more spots coming up tomorrow.

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  2. Greetings Aldrea. Very interesting premise, it immediately raises a number of questions in my mind – and for a query – or a back cover – that is a good thing.
    I think the concept of a dragon, who believes she is human, and in human form is very smart – it opens up so many avenues for suspension of disbelief. Great query and fine writing, good luck!
    Of course, you do realize you will be wracked with guilt when your entry nudges mine out of contention for a slot on one of the four teams? Save yourself those terrible pangs of conscience and withdraw it now! 🙂

    Like

  3. Eighteen-year-old adopted Maayin is not human. As Maayin is the last female dragon, the council plans to use her to prevent the extinction of all dragonkind. Whether she wishes it or not.

    Jaimin has reservations about keeping Maayin imprisoned and becomes her tutor to keep her from Teero, an elder willing to destroy Maayin’s spirit. Jaimin soon falls for Maayin. While he’s not above disobeying the council’s orders on teaching Maayin to fly, it’s another thing to go against the ancient law that forbids them from being together.

    When Maayin catches wind of the council’s scheme, she flees and falls right into the grasp of the dragon clan responsible for slaughtering her kind. They also intend to use both her and the other surviving females. (Wait, I thought Maayin was the last female dragon so how are there other surviving females?) Whereas Maayin’s own idea for the future don’t involve dragons, she will have to rely on Jaimin’s help if either of them is going to live long enough to escape anyone’s plans.

    I think you need to have a stronger hook at the end. Also, it would probably be best to have the entire query be from Maayin's POV, instead of having some in Jaimin's. Does she also have feelings for Jaimin? What is the main conflict? What are the obstacles and stakes? Focus on that at the end and your query will be stronger. Good luck!

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  4. I'm stopping by to comment from the Query Roundtable. Sorry I'm late on this. I had some other commitments that completely interrupted my rounds of the queries.

    Personally, I was a little bit confused with the premise of the story. How did Maayin think she was human, if she's a dragon? Was there some kind of enchantment that altered her appearance? Are dragons shapeshifters? Is “dragon” a title, and not necessarily a large, fire-breathing, winged lizard? Or do dragons take human form when interacting with humans? How does she find out that she's really a dragon? Isn't she surprised at all by the revelation? You say that she goes about trying to prove that she's really human, but I don't get the sense that she ever really questions her dragon nature, just that she doesn't want to embrace it. If she truly thought she was human, how did “they” convince her so easily?

    Did she have to leave her own world to deal with the dragon issue, or do dragons and humans co-exist in this reality? (Are the members of “the council” human or dragon? Or something else entirely?)

    Remember, you don't have to give your entire plot summary in the query. Focus on the main character, what she wants/needs, and the major obstacles that stand in her way. (Why doesn't Maayin want to be a dragon? What are the stakes?) Narrow down your focus, and that should allow you to be more specific in the points you do mention.

    I hope this helps!

    p.s. I also wondered, with Nicole (above) how there are other surviving females, if Maayin was the last surviving female dragon? – and I agree with her suggestion that you keep the query with one POV, if at all possible.

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