February 25, 2011

This is one of the opening scenes in my story. Does it draw you in, or does it bore you?

“Take one step onto our isle and it will be the last thing you ever do.” Hippolyte yelled in warning. The men stopped rowing. The messenger stood in the gently bobbing boat and called back “Queen Hippolyte! I bring a message from Lord Laertes. He says that the year he gave you to consider his marriage proposal is spent. I am to return with your answer. Will you have his hand, or will you choose to suffer the consequences of refusing him?” 
“Wasn’t the disappearance of his last messenger answer enough? Pride ill fits a man. Laertes wants the prowess of being the first man to wed an Amazon, and the Queen no less. Does he also hope to gain our fealty in the process?” Hippolyte muttered to her companions.
“The king also asked me to remind you that we will release a beast as fierce as the chimera on you if you choose to reject him.”
“I have a better answer, Herald.” Hippolyte called back. She pulled out her sword and tilted her arm back. She flung the sword at the Herald. It flipped through the air in a hypnotizing arch and severed the Herald’s arm before he had the sense to move. He screamed piercingly and collapsed backward into the water writhing about. Lyka and the two Amazons beside her used the time while the men were distracted by Hippolyte’s sword to rush to boat and silt the throats of the five guards that accompanied the Herald.
Hippolyte waded out into the blood tinted water and caught hold of the remaining man. She pulled his face close to her and hissed, “I believe Laertes is not lying about sending a beast to plague us. He may be loathsome, but he is no idiot. He wouldn’t call such a dangerous bluff. My spies have informed me that the people of Athens, at least, believe that Laertes does indeed have a mighty monster with claws that drip venom. But he made the mistake of taking his sweet time waiting for my reply. All the while we have been preparing for battle. Let him send his beast. We will feast on its flesh before coming for his head.”


  1. This beginning absolutly dragged me in. The descriptions were excellent and the Amazons seem like strong and intelligent women who can certainly fend for themselves. I would love to read the entire story and see if they defeat the beast.

  2. I think that something like this is an excellent way to start a story, without a boring introduction that just "sets the scene" but makes the reader wanted to give up reading it. I liked it.

  3. This is a great openig scene. Dialogue is one of the best ways to open a story, and following it up with descriptive action, some informative detail and a good amount of characters really works. I'd love to read the rest of your story not only to find out who comes out on top in the end, but also to see what the whole marriage proposal is about and how that ends up.

  4. I thought this was an excellent beginning to story. It definitely dragged me in. I love how the dialogue truly help to show you what the Queen is like. The action was excellent as well. I would love to read the whole story.

  5. I enjoyed the characterization of the Queen. I think you created a very believable character.
    The story didn't completely draw me in, however, probably because of line skipping, which you should have done every time new dialogue starts to keep the story's pace up. Also, using words like "yelled" instead of "said" is unattractive, as it covers up what is being say by how it's said.