Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Prologue to an Untitled Novel

So, I've been kind of absent lately, and will probably be more so over the next few weeks. I found out about a writing competition for young writers (aged 18-25) and am trying to write a novel to enter. It's not going too badly, I have the first 5,500 words. I need 4,000 initially, and then between 50,000 and 90,000 if it goes through to the next stage, so I have a lot to write. I'm not assuming it'll get through, I just like to be prepared. Can you imagine how horrible it would be if they asked for the full manuscript and you didn't have it? Much worse than them saying no after you'd spent a few weeks working on it.

Anyway, I'm not telling you what competition it is, because quite frankly I don't need any more competition (but I'm sure a lot of you are familiar enough with Google to dig it up for yourselves), but I thought I'd post the prologue here. To show off. No, just to prove that I am writing something, even if I'm not writing blog entries. Comments and constructive criticism are much appreciated, and if you have any thoughts on a title, I'll love you forever. It's a YA novel. So, here goes...


Something was wrong. Kinley slowed to a halt, looking around her nervously as her brother and sister carried on ahead of her. The undergrowth crunched beneath Titus’s shoes, the cloth bag over his shoulder starting to grow damp with the blood of the rabbits they had collected from the traps. Little Pip practically danced around him, chattering away, the muddy roots from the rattis fruit leaving dirty marks on her dark dress. Titus turned, noticing she was no longer with them, but she didn’t move to join them. Something was very, very wrong.
            When Pip stopped talking, aware of the change in her siblings, Kinley heard it more clearly. Voices. Angry voices. She and Titus exchanged worried looks and then hurried on, wanting to get back to their father. They hadn’t been gone long, he’d sent them out to check the traps and gather some greens less than half an hour ago, but it wasn’t safe to linger in the woods. It wasn’t safe to linger anywhere. It wasn’t until they reached the edge of the trees that they realised their mistake. They saw their father being marched out of the tiny wooden house, surrounded by guards in the familiar dark green uniform. 
            Kinley instinctively clamped a hand over her sister’s mouth, and then froze. They watched as their father was pushed down onto the road, as he struggled into a more dignified kneeling position, as a guard put a gun to his forehead. Kinley felt Pip screaming against the palm of her hand, but they were far enough away that the guards wouldn’t hear the muffled sound. Keeping her hand where it was, she turned her by the shoulder so that their wide eyes met.

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