Writing the first three pages of an Amazon story

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crazy cats lady
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
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06 Jul 2018, 8:33 am

I wrote the first three pages of a girl who learns she's an Amazon and fights evil trolls. Can you give your HONEST opinion?

A tunnel.
On the edge of the park.
Gaby had found the tunnel by accident. She was shooting feral cats videos on her cell phone in a remote part of the park. A silvery cat with orange ears and golden eyes leapt in the sagebrush and slunk deep. Gaby crawled in the bushes after it, cellphone at hand, and found herself staring at a round, uneven open mouth of a tunnel that was hidden between the sagebrush bushes.

Drawn by typical mammal curiosity, she crawled closer and peeked inside. The entrance was large enough to slide in. There were no stairs, and the earth slopped down, the walkway wide and tall enough to walk upright. The tunnel was dimly lit, and blurry objects littered the ground. Shuffling footsteps sounded in the distance.

There was someone in the tunnel. Who was he? What was he doing there? Was it a loner like her, or maybe a weird person? Was he homeless, an outlaw?

The only way to get an answer to her questions was to enter the cave and see for herself. She started toward the cave and hesitated, but then she realized she didn't have a choice. If she backed off, she'd be admitting to herself that she was afraid.

"You're a coward." Her mother's voice reverberated in her head. "You're weak. You're a stupid girl. You can't do anything right."

Shaking her head as if to chase the words out of it, Gaby stepped into the tunnel. Immediately she pulled up her t-shirt and covered her face, gagging on the decaying smell of moss and the rotten stench of garbage.

She maneuvered her way around half-eaten sandwiches and piles of clothes that lay in a heap on the floor and slipped on a hamburger wrapper, landing hand on her knees in the dirt with a hollow thud that echoed off the moss-covered walls.

She held her breath until she thought her lungs would explode, afraid someone would hear the sound of her breathing. She listened for voices or footsteps, but the cave remained silent.

Gaby tiptoed forward, careful not to make any noise. The sounds of the park, the flowing river and singing birds, muffled and then disappeared as she made her way deeper inside the tunnel.

It was longer than she'd expected, and its walls were covered with graffiti, the words misspelled and distorted so badly that the words have lost their shape, texture, and taste.

'The sity is ours,' the graffiti announced. 'This is our world.' There was a badly drawn painting of a skull with crossbones and next to it the words 'Humans, biware.'

The last graffiti sent a chill down Gaby's spine. She shivered in the August Californian midday heat and wrapped her arms tightly around her shoulders, ducking her head to avoid flying bats. Some hung upside down from the low ceiling.

And they weren’t the only living creatures in the tunnel.
Shadows moved ahead, and muffled voices sounded deeper in the tunnel.

Gaby inched forward. She had to prove to herself she wasn’t a coward, a helpless herbivore and a potential victim. She slithered along the wall. Her arm rubbed against its slimy surface, and she snatched her hand away and kept tiptoeing forward, bending her knees and taking cover behind piles of clothes, rusty ovens, and broken chairs. She didn’t have to duck too much because she was small and slender for her twelve years.

The voice grew stronger, and the shadows turned to shapes. She fell to her knees between two plastic bags full of clothes, under a bunch of bats that hung from the ceiling. She peeked through a narrow gap between the bags that smelled of mildew and mothballs.

With her limited view, she saw a few grownups and a dozen teens ranging from age fourteen to seventeen. Some slumped on the dirt floor, and some sat on rusty dishwashers, refrigerators, and ovens. They were deep in conversation.

A sixteen year old boy with a bulbous nose stood up. "Them girls be no threat to us, man." He stuck long, curving fingernails resembling surgical knives in his snakeskin belt. "Them only girlies. They ain't be stopping us from gitting our right revenges."

"Hell, yeah, Soljin," a teen boy with black hair that fell in a triangle on his forehead said tentatively. "That be teaching them humans to be setting their house elves on us."

The creature called Soljin marched toward the black-haired boy, and the kid flinched. Soljin stopped a few feet away from him and started rapping. "We be pulling on the swapping in the cover of the dark/but it ain't no walk in the park. Them house elves are fierce/and their screams the murkiness pierce."

The creatures clapped and whooped, their voices echoing off the walls hollowly, like coyotes responding to their leader's wail. Soljin raised his hand, and the boys fell silent immediately.

Soljin's voice was the only sound in the tunnel. "The baby's cries echo off our musty walls/and our magic dipped in intense darkness can swallow a human whole." Soljin's dirty blond hair was so short that he could've been mistaken for bald from a distance. He had pointy ears.

Fear gripped Gaby's heart with an icy hand, and a knot formed in her stomach. What magic? These were obviously powerful and dangerous creatures.

Soljin threw back his head and screeched in a raspy voice, "Them house elves be trying to protect them human babies. They ain't nothing but humans' slaves. But they be brave, I be giving them that."

A stocky teen boy with a nose that looked like it'd been broken too many times spoke. "They brave 'cause they be nannies to the human babies, and 'cause it takes more courage to risk your life than take care of one of our changelings."

The creatures roared with laughter. Soljin's sharp Adam's apple stuck our grotesquely, traveling up and down his throat like a razor.

He said, "Them elves be causing us all that trouble and stuff. They be sealing our tunnels and setting black bears, bobcats, and rattlesnakes on us, but I got something on them." He began rapping. "Your deepest fear I can tell/and on this, I put a spell."

Now can you tell the truth without trying to be polite.
Thanks


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Fnord
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06 Jul 2018, 8:47 am

Where's the backstory? Who is Gaby, and where did she come from? Does she have a history or did she simply come into existence inside the park? Why is she interested in cats? How can cell-phone technology exist alongside of the fae and their magic? Why do the fae speak like stereotypes out of an 'Amos & Andy' skit?


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purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis.”

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episode "The Mark of Gideon" (ep. 3-16, 1969)


crazy cats lady
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
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06 Jul 2018, 9:32 am

Fnord wrote:
Where's the backstory? Who is Gaby, and where did she come from? Does she have a history or did she simply come into existence inside the park? Why is she interested in cats? How can cell-phone technology exist alongside of the fae and their magic? Why do the fae speak like stereotypes out of an 'Amos & Andy' skit?


Thanks. That helps. It's informative.


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Fnord
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06 Jul 2018, 12:30 pm

crazy cats lady wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Where's the backstory? Who is Gaby, and where did she come from? Does she have a history or did she simply come into existence inside the park? Why is she interested in cats? How can cell-phone technology exist alongside of the fae and their magic? Why do the fae speak like stereotypes out of an 'Amos & Andy' skit?
Thanks. That helps. It's informative.
Uhh ... those were questions. Answers, please?


_________________
 
“I must acknowledge, once and for all, that the
purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis.”

— Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, in the Star Trek
episode "The Mark of Gideon" (ep. 3-16, 1969)


crazy cats lady
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

Joined: 3 Nov 2017
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Posts: 69

07 Jul 2018, 7:09 am

Fnord wrote:
crazy cats lady wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Where's the backstory? Who is Gaby, and where did she come from? Does she have a history or did she simply come into existence inside the park? Why is she interested in cats? How can cell-phone technology exist alongside of the fae and their magic? Why do the fae speak like stereotypes out of an 'Amos & Andy' skit?
Thanks. That helps. It's informative.
Uhh ... those were questions. Answers, please?


Oops
Gaby has parents who are verbally abusive, that's why she spends most her time in the park. She loves cats because she's shy and insecure with humans. This is an urban fantasy, and in that genre, there are all kind of magical creatures in a regular city.


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Fnord
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07 Jul 2018, 11:32 am

crazy cats lady wrote:
Fnord wrote:
crazy cats lady wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Where's the backstory? Who is Gaby, and where did she come from? Does she have a history or did she simply come into existence inside the park? Why is she interested in cats? How can cell-phone technology exist alongside of the fae and their magic? Why do the fae speak like stereotypes out of an 'Amos & Andy' skit?
Thanks. That helps. It's informative.
Uhh ... those were questions. Answers, please?
Oops. Gaby has parents who are verbally abusive, that's why she spends most her time in the park. She loves cats because she's shy and insecure with humans. This is an urban fantasy, and in that genre, there are all kind of magical creatures in a regular city.
Suggestion: Could you expand on these? Like, a few paragraphs (a "prequel" or forward) on how the fae and the mortals came to occupy the same reality. Then follow up with a typical morning when Gaby interacts with her parents ... then a short segue as Gaby travels from her home to the park.


_________________
 
“I must acknowledge, once and for all, that the
purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis.”

— Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, in the Star Trek
episode "The Mark of Gideon" (ep. 3-16, 1969)


crazy cats lady
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

Joined: 3 Nov 2017
Gender: Female
Posts: 69

07 Jul 2018, 11:10 pm

Fnord wrote:
crazy cats lady wrote:
Fnord wrote:
crazy cats lady wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Where's the backstory? Who is Gaby, and where did she come from? Does she have a history or did she simply come into existence inside the park? Why is she interested in cats? How can cell-phone technology exist alongside of the fae and their magic? Why do the fae speak like stereotypes out of an 'Amos & Andy' skit?
Thanks. That helps. It's informative.
Uhh ... those were questions. Answers, please?
Oops. Gaby has parents who are verbally abusive, that's why she spends most her time in the park. She loves cats because she's shy and insecure with humans. This is an urban fantasy, and in that genre, there are all kind of magical creatures in a regular city.
Suggestion: Could you expand on these? Like, a few paragraphs (a "prequel" or forward) on how the fae and the mortals came to occupy the same reality. Then follow up with a typical morning when Gaby interacts with her parents ... then a short segue as Gaby travels from her home to the park.


Good idea. Thanks.


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Blog about Asperger based on my personal experience growing up, https://aspiegirlblog900040703.wordpress.com/