Strange Fire - First Page

Title: Strange Fire
Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 104,000

Chapter One

The Story of Florence Vaine

I was born to be a victim.

     I was born to be weak. I was born to be abused. I was born to be a prisoner. I was born to gaze at my shoes and not be able to get the words out. I was born to be dragged up instead of brought. I was born to kill my mother in the process of being born. I was born to be the target of my father's hate. But still, I was born. Doesn't everything that is born deserve to live?
     The one daisy growing on the patch of grass outside of my grandmother's doorstep indicates the truth. Everything that is born does deserve to live, but that doesn't mean that these things that are born are going to get what they deserve. Because I am sitting on the step and looking at the daisy, just as my father storms out of the house and stamps the defenceless little flower into the ground. Crushing living things seems to be his speciality. Or maybe just poisoning them slowly.
     I barely know my grandmother, and yet he is abandoning me here because he doesn't have time for me anymore. I should feel liberated. But I don't. I must have become institutionalised by his brutality somewhere along the way. How could it be possible to be sad about getting away from a tyrant? I am being freed by a cruel and evil dictator, and yet, I feel let down.

6 responses to “Strange Fire - First Page”

  1. Kristi says:

    I honestly think your story should begin with "the one daisy" or at the most, put "I was born to be a victim" and then go into the daisy line. I think it would be much stronger that way. You can intersperse the other facts later on, but get right to the meat of it with the lovely line about the daisy. That is the part that sings and you want to be sure your reader gets there without getting bogged down in the "i was born" I love, love, love the rest of it. Again, I think the story starts with the daisy. poignant and lovely. good luck.

  2. Sarah says:

    There's a lot of really meaty, interesting stuff here. It makes me wonder quite a bit about what comes next. Agree that the daisy is the meat of the story, but I'm not certain about placement. Just a quick edit for clarity:

    "Everything that is born does deserve to live, but that doesn't mean that these things that are born are going to get what they deserve."


    "Everything that is born does deserve to live, but that doesn't mean that everything gets what it deserves."

    Just a little more readable.

    But, I like your work! Very cool.

  3. Lori says:

    I disagree with Sarah on the line she changed, but just my opinion. The daisy is very telling and I do want to read more.

  4. lissawrites says:

    My suggestion (and perhaps you don't agree, and that's fine) is to split up the second paragraph into groups of three and litter them throughout the first page. I think that would give it more impact if we keep coming back to that recurring line rather than it being all lumped together in one paragraph.
    Good luck!

  5. Beth Yarnall says:

    I agree with Kristi. The image of the daisy being crushed is a powerful metaphor for how the heroine has been treated by her father. Switching up the paragraphs would give the beginning more punch. Well done. You have a great voice.

  6. Pat says:

    Great!! I like it..

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