Thursday, May 3, 2012

"The Writer's Voice" entry: Skyborne

Summary:

Shiloh is a quiet, bookish young woman who spends her days lost in the stories of Abraxas, a world of magic, adventure, and dozens of gods.  When a monster from those stories attacks her hometown, she discovers the tales are very real.  Shiloh finds a hidden book of magic and uses it to destroy the creature, but before the monster’s body finishes twitching, a goddess of Abraxas arrives with dire news:

Three dark gods have shattered Abraxas, and they sent the creature to attack Shiloh’s home.  Only a mortal can restore Abraxas, but to reach it, someone has to break through the stars.  Shiloh was born floating and has never touched the ground, and she now understands why: she must fly, as she is whom the gods named Skyborne.

Breaking through the stars takes Shiloh to new worlds above her homeland, to conquered cities, snow-bound mountains, and a desert ruled by corrupt mages.  But the dark gods have reached these worlds as well, and will try to stop Shiloh at every turn.  Along the way, a dark-skinned woman named Alexi helps Shiloh escape one of the dark gods’ traps and then joins her, eager to help Shiloh overcome the dark gods and see what lies beyond her own world.

However, Shiloh and Alexi don’t know the whole truth.  The worlds they travel through will become the dark gods’ prison, and that prison must be lifeless.  Every time they leave a world behind, it is charred to ashes in their wake.  When they discover everyone they have ever known is dead, they must decide: restore Abraxas, or turn their backs on the gods who deceived them.

SKYBORNE is an adult fantasy novel complete at 128,000 words.




First 250:

    The librarian’s panicked cry shattered the library’s silence, and Shiloh slammed her book shut.  A chill ran through her.  Hannah would only scream in the library for one reason: another barbarian attack.

    Hannah dashed into the oak-walled alcove, and shouted, “Shiloh, we have to leave!”  She grabbed the back of Shiloh’s chair with shaking hands and pulled.  “Come on, come on!  We have to get to the fortress.”

    “I didn’t hear the bells,” Shiloh said, and floated off the chair before Hannah yanked it out from under her.  She slid the book she’d been reading back onto a nearby shelf, and started pulling other tomes from it.  “Let me get something to read, if we’re going to be in the fortress all day--”

    “There’s no time for that!” Hannah interrupted, then glanced around the small room as though afraid something would jump out and bite her.  She peered behind two of the tall bookshelves, and to the octagonal window high up on one wooden wall.

    Shiloh nodded, then picked up a pack made of thick canvas and started stuffing books into it.  If the barbarians made it past the wall, they’d set the town aflame.  She couldn’t risk that.  Not with these books.  When Shiloh tried to force a giant leather-bound tome into her bag, Hannah caught her wrist.

    “I told you, there’s no time!  We have to hurry!”  Hannah turned and headed for the room’s doorway, her long skirts flying back behind her.

23 comments:

  1. You still shaking from the sign up? I am, crazy widget.

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    1. No bloody kidding. @_@ The widget didn't show up until I'd clicked the reload button halfway to oblivion. But it worked!

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    2. Yeah, the widget didn't show up until I clicked on the comments, I happened to notice it was still open. My hair must look like I just stuck my finger in a light socket!

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  2. Shiloh being born floating is really neat! I almost wish you'd opened with that in the query :) Good luck!!

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    1. Thank you! I did start with that in earlier drafts of the query, but a friend helped me realize it would be better to focus on the story from the beginning, not just one aspect of the character. ^_^

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  3. I agree, Shiloh's floating was an awesome touch to your world! I liked that part a lot. I love how this is in a fortress setting, and your world sounds very intruiging. Good luck in the contest!

    SC (#159)

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    1. Thank you! The fortress is actually a very small part of the story; Shiloh's travels take her all kinds of places. But she always floats, that's been part of her character for a long time. ^_^

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  4. Whoop! another Adult Fantasy Author! I think I've managed to find 4 others in my random flitting from blog to blog!

    Good luck!

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    1. Thank you! YA is what's hot right now, true, and Skyborne could fit in that category as well. But I figured I'd go with what I know. ^_^

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    2. Love the name Shiloh. Good luck!

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  5. Good entry! Good luck in the contest! -April, #61

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  6. Hi Mason, I'm visiting your blog from the Writer's Voice Contest (entry #58), and I wanted to wish you the best of luck! Nice to meet you.

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    1. Thank you! Nice to meet you too, and good luck with your story; it sounds very interesting.

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  7. Love this premise! Good luck!! :D

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  8. How very interesting - some unique twists in this premise. I like it. Good luck!

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  9. Interesting! I think I would love Shiloh. Good luck!

    ~entry 68

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    1. Thank you! Always good to hear people find the main character interesting after only a few words. ^_^

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  10. Very nice. :) Best of luck, Mason!

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