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The Princess of Mythric

The cold pricked her skin mercilessly like a thousand needles. A blanket, soaked with sand and bits of sea draped over her shoulders. Her feet ached with a dull, unfamiliar pain that crept up her legs and seeped into her bones.
One more step.
Next to her, black, glassy waves churned and beckoned her to return.
One more step.
The sweet-salty air of the ocean water reminded her of something, but what? A figure emerged from the darkness, making its way toward her. She gasped and with one last step, collapsed onto the broken shells of the calloused shore.


Michael Phillis's picture

Not only are you a natural writer but you have a keen talent for revision, knowing what to keep and how to strengthen, sometimes with just the addition or subtraction of one word. I love this opening and I can't wait to read more of your work!

Marcy Doyle's picture

I liked this opening. Really great choice of words, and expertly paced. My comments below will seem like I'm nitpicking, but they are just my unfiltered thoughts as I read through it critically.

1) Second sentence: I like "..bits of sea" a lot.

2) Third sentence: it is unclear whether the pain just started, or is something she experiences with each step. How about adding "..with each step she took."?

3) Fourth and sixth sentences: if you are trying to say that she is mindlessly plodding along in a confused state, I think "Another step" might work better. I thought it read better.

4) Fifth sentence: I like it a lot!

5) Seventh sentence: I would remove "..but what?"

6) Eighth sentence: it implies that the figure is clearly visible, since it "emerged" from the darkness. If the intent was to say that a moving figure could be discerned in the darkness, maybe it would work better to say something like "There was movement in the darkness, making its way toward her."

7) Last sentence: "...calloused shore" - beautiful..

Hi Marcy!
Thank you so much for these thorough comments. I really appreciate them! I've been going over them for days!

Shuja Dalip's picture


I want to keep reading just to see more of your awesome writing (never mind the story) :-)

"...bits of sea..." is so simply and delicately put yet tells us so much. It is a lovely opening.

One thing I wondered about was the narrator saying One more step. It seems to imply that the girl has a specific destination in mind. However, it also seemed to me that the girl was confused and unfamiliar with the place she finds herself in the the scene.

Hi Vanessa -
Thank you for the feedback! One more step implies the latter - that she is confused and unfamiliar. She's concentrating on just taking another step to where? - she's not sure.

i had to share this one on facebook. just loved how you worded the descriptions!

Very sweet - I appreciate it! Thank you!

Hey it's been awhile since the last post. And what a treat to come back and see read this one! The language is mature, restrained, and subtle, and I really liked that...and it works! Most of it has a dreamlike quality to it. I didn't care too much for this section though (The sweet-salty air of the ocean water reminded her of something, but what? A figure emerged from the darkness, making its way toward her.). There's nothing wrong with it, but it pales in comparison after being spoiled by the rest :-)

Thank you so much for the feedback, Milano! I appreciate it!