Friday, September 30, 2011

The Very First Page of a Novel

I just found this in one of my many notebooks. It is the very first "page" of Goblin Shark Rising. I wrote this just about a year ago. I thought it would fun to share, if you can read it, that is! I even doodled that little shark at the top, which looks more like an old sock.

Below is the first page of the finished product. My publisher will have the first chapter of the novel on their website soon, which is so exciting! What do your first pages look like? Hopefully, they are MUCH neater than mine!

Have a great weekend, everyone! ;)

Chapter One -- The Federation

            Susur cut through the water--seething. Shaking with rage, he tore after the fleeing shark. He was positive it was a Frill. Its snaky tail snapped around a turn as he pursued it. Maybe it was fate that he'd stormed out of the Federation Summit when he did, now he could prove to his father and the Federation once and for all that the Frills were cold blooded murderers. Plunging after it, he even smelled the rotting flesh in the Frill's teeth--shark flesh. He soared around a rock column, dead-set on catching the creature.
Growling furiously, Susur sped through the gloom. Where did it go? Eyes darting, he hurled his body to the right, just seconds before his snout would have smashed into a stone outcropping. He grunted in pain as his gills slapped the rock. A Frill had eluded him once more! It almost felt good--the pain. Lately, all he heard from everyone around him was 'no'. No, you cannot hunt alone. No, you cannot leave Federation borders. And finally, no, you're wrong about the Frills--in fact completely off the mark. At least the stinging pain was something other than a no.
The Frill was nowhere to be seen. Gills throbbing, Susur slowed his pace. He descended deeper into the canyon. Perhaps he could sniff out a trail.
The Goblin Sharks had concealed themselves deep within Tokyo Canyon for centuries. Secreted away for so long, many of his kind had grown lazy, allowing themselves to be captured--a great discovery for the human scientists--the elusive Goblin Shark. 'Living Fossils' of the sea, the humans called them. A prehistoric species touted to be over one hundred million years old. He'd heard from the Great Whites and others what the scientists did to sharks, poking and prodding them--dismembering their bodies--dissecting them. 
Then there were the fishermen, to be fair, a far simpler sort than the scientists, but just as deadly, eying the Goblins as a whole new source of revenue--greedy fishmongers. Collectors would pay hundreds of thousands of yen to possess the retractable jaw of a dead Goblin shark dragged up by a fisherman's net. And if a fisherman ever managed to a catch a live Goblin...well...what human wouldn't want to try the fresh flesh of this unknown shark--this ancient, exotic species? Humans seemed to rip hungrily into any sea creature set in front of them, the more out of the ordinary the better.
Susur's concerns with the Frill Sharks started months back. The slippery serpent like creatures, who looked more like eels than sharks, had honed in on Federation territory with grisly intent. At first, he thought they were just another nuisance, scavenger sharks looking for scraps, but soon, the body count rose. Susur knew they were a lethal threat--even if the elders refused to believe him. Several dead Federation sharks had been found around the outskirts of the canyon. He easily recognized the unmistakable bite marks from their endless rows of jagged teeth. His father told him many species could make those marks, but Susur knew better. If slain sharks weren't enough to make his father take action then what was?  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How would you stop a demon cat who wants to eat your soul?

Cute, ain't he?
So, I'm wrapping up my latest novel, GOBLIN SHARK RISING, and it got me to thinking about bad guys and creative ways/solutions authors have "done them in" in children's literature. Sometimes, it's a very complex solution and other times the solution is so simple it doesn't even occur to the reader as an answer until it happens. And then you think, why didn't I think of that?
And yet another baddie falls to his untimely demise! 
What are some of the most creative "get rid of the bad guy" solutions you've read? What have you seen far too many times? For me, I've seen the "falling off a cliff to their death scene" far too many times!