Fie Eoin Friday: Fie Eoin

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Today I have a special treat for you. Instead of backstory or cut scenes I have the actual, current version of Fie Eoin. It’s a pitch for Brenda Drake’s contest, and the rules are as follows (you still have time to sign up and participate – I’ve actually posted this two days early, with permission):

On July 17 post a 35-word pitch (logline) and the first 250 words of your manuscript on your blog. Get feed back from your followers, and then hop around and critique the other participants’ entries. When you’re ready to post your entry, come back here and post it to the entry post. It will be up on July 17, and you’ll have until 11:59 PM EST on July 20th to enter it. The girls will then read each one and pick the top three that caught their attention.The ones they would pick up and buy in a book store. The winner will receive a 10 page plus a synopsis critique, and two runners up will receive either a 10 page or a synopsis critique from the fabulous Cassandra Marshall agent intern/editor/cover art designer/writer extraordinaire.

Sounds pretty stinking awesome doesn’t it? So, without further ado, let me pitch Fie Eoin to you. Would you read it? (More importantly, will you crit it over the weekend? Especially the log-line!)

Log-Line: “Twin sisters fight to reunite after one is sold to their enemy. The betrayal runs deeper than they imagined, and Kindra’s quest to save her sister could jeopardize everything else she holds dear.”   “When her sister is sold into slavery, Kindra must fight to win her back. But their chief’s betrayal runs deeper than she imagined, and Kindra must choose between saving her sister and saving the tribe”

Fie Eoin

Fwap!

Tears sprung into the young woman’s eyes as the ends of the whip sliced through her back.

Fwap!

Her dirty, broken nails pressed into the boulder in an effort to keep from rocking forward. Flecks of new and old blood spotted the pocked rock – flesh sacrifices to the war God, Eoin, for centuries.

Don’t cry out, Kindra Odion, don’t you dare make a sound, she lectured herself as she braced for the next blow. She tried to remember how many strokes the man before her had taken before he was allowed to come away from the boulder at the base of the cliff. Six? Nine? Before she could grasp a number the whips came down again and she gritted her teeth to keep silent.

Fwap!

The final whip had only one thick thong, tipped with a large arrowhead. The men whipping her had the advancements of metal at their disposal, and Kindra thanked Eoin that ceremony dictated the use of traditional stone tips for the whippings.

The chant eased into silent anticipation as the crowd waited for her response. One by one Kindra pulled her aching fingers from the boulder and stretched them, frowning at their complaints before turning to the man with the whips. His eyes were cold, and she stared back at him without flinching.

“For Eoin’s grace I gladly bear
the sacrifice that brought me here,
to face the rock and whips of thee
unsheltered by the
Gods of three,
so that today for
Them I stand
before you as my own grown man.”

 

NEW VERSION:

Kindra Odion pressed her dirty, broken nails into the boulder to keep from rocking forward as the whips came down on her back. Flecks of new and old blood spotted the pocked rock – flesh sacrifices to the war God, Eoin, for centuries.

Don’t cry out; don’t make a sound, became her mantra as she braced for the blows. She tried to remember how many strokes the last man had taken until he was allowed to come away from the boulder at the base of the cliff. Six? Nine? Before she could grasp a number the whips came down again and she gritted her teeth to keep silent.

Fwap!

The final whip had only one thick thong, tipped with a large arrowhead. The men of the Seven Tribes knew the art of metallurgy, and Kindra thanked Eoin that ceremony dictated the use of traditional stone tips for the whippings.

The chant eased into silent anticipation as the crowd waited for her response. One by one Kindra pulled her aching fingers from the boulder and stretched them, frowning at their complaints before turning to the chief holding the whips. His eyes were cold, and she stared back at him without flinching.

“For Eoin’s grace I gladly bear
the sacrifice that brought me here,
to face the rock and whips of thee
unsheltered by the
Gods of three,
so that today for
Them I stand
before you as my own grown man.”

With an ironic smile at the last line, Kindra thought the creators of the ancient chant had never anticipated a woman joining the Warriors of Fie Eoin.

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Published by

Rebecca Enzor

Rebecca Enzor is a chemist in Charleston, SC who writes Young Adult and New Adult Fantasy and Magical Realism. Repped by Eric Smith of P.S. Literary.

44 thoughts on “Fie Eoin Friday: Fie Eoin”

  1. That’s actually a very catchy beginning. I would definitely keep reading (although I might be a bit biased since I’ve been reading your Fie Eoin posts for a while :).

    The log line though is a bit confusing, to me:
    .
    When a priestess is sold to the enemy, her warrior sister struggles to reunite them (them referring to the sisters? For a moment I thought the enemy was involved in this). But what if the cost (cost of what- cost of reuniting the sisters?) is a battle for the tribe itself (I assume by tribe you mean Fie Eoin, but others might not know that. Also, does battle refer to a war or else for Fie Eoin’s survival)? Who else might she lose (do you mean to imply she’s going to lose her sister and the tribe?)?”

    What if you begin the log line with your MC- the warrior sister: A warrior girl struggles to find her priestess sister when she is sold to the enemy of their tribe. As she fights for her sisters freedom, she realizes the end cost might be the destruction of Fie Eoin, etc..

    Totally discard all of those thoughts if you think they stink 😉

    1. Glad you like it! I’ve had people say that it’s too violent for the beginning of a book. To which I basically reply: wuss. 😉

      Oh, I do like that log-line better! I’m so horrible at summarizing Fie Eoin in a short space. Unless it’s in limerick form, of course 😛

    2. Maybe “Twin sisters struggle to keep their relationship together after one is sold to their enemy. But when it comes to civil war will they chose reuniting the tribe, or each other?”

      Something in that last line sounds funny, but I can’t figure out what to do with it.

      1. Ohh, that beginning is sooo much better! I think it sounds funny because it’s a question, usually those are hard to get right. There should probably be something mentioned about the tribe and civil war before that last sentence too, otherwise that info comes out of nowhere.

        Maybe: As the sisters fight to reunite, civil war Civil war threatens to tear their tribe apart and they become forced to choose between each other and Fie Eoin.

        What about that??

  2. I think the beginning is catchy. It also surprises me, because my first thought of someone getting whipped is punishment, not that it’s a ceremony or rite of passage. It also comes across as something unique that a woman is undergoing it, since the pledge she makes uses the word “man.” (I don’t know if that’s true or not.)

    As for log-lines, they do suck, as does the synopsis. Okay, after reading the above and G+ comments, here’s my feeble attempt. I think the log-line should be less about plot and more about theme. Maybe. Again I say, these suck.

    “Two sisters fight to reunite after one is sold to their enemy. The betrayal runs deeper than they imagined, and Kindra’s quest to save her sister could jeopardize everything else she holds dear.”
    (That’s 33 words.) (And also might be a bit melodramatic.) Sorry. Are you getting too much input yet? 😛

    1. So, I know you already saw me say this on Twitter, but YOU ARE A GENIUS! And there is no such thing as too much input 🙂

      And yeah, I had to cut the last sentence of that scene, because it went over 250 words, but it says “With an ironic smile at the last line, Kindra thought the creators of the ancient chant had never anticipated a woman joining the Warriors of Fie Eoin.” 🙂

  3. Anything for a fellow chemist. One word of warning here. I’ve only been writing for a couple of years and I’m still on my first WIP. I’m a slow writer. So take my suggestions with a large grain of sodium chloride.

    “Tears sprung into the young woman’s eyes…”

    “Sprung” doesn’t seem natural to me. Perhaps “Poured” would work better?

    “Flecks of new and old blood spotted the pocked rock – flesh sacrifices to the war God, Eoin, for centuries.”

    The last part seems the tiniest bit awkward. Perhaps “Flecks of new and old blood spotted the pocked rock, from centuries of flesh sacrifices to the war God, Eoin.”

    “Don’t cry out, Kindra Odion, don’t you dare make a sound, she lectured herself…”

    “Lectured” sounds pretty professorial in the middle of a whipping. Perhaps “scolded?”

    “The final whip had only one thick thong,…”

    Got a bit confused here. Did she only receive three whips or did you jump forward in time to the end? In either case, I’d make it more obvious. I was completely surprised when Kindra got up and turned to the person whipping her. I thought she was calling a halt to the ritual.

    Otherwise, a nice flow without too much description. Keep it up!

    1. Thanks for all the feedback! I did have to shave it down a bit to get the scene in with only 250 words, so I can see were you got confused with the whips. There used to be several “fwap”s in there 🙂

      And I do like scolded better 🙂

      1. No problem. It’s pretty depressing that I can take the time to crit someone else’s work, but still can’t get around to posting to my own blog in a timely manner. Arrrrgh!

  4. Your logline is quite catchy.

    My only suggestions on the opening sample would be to consider eliminating the sound effects of the whip and watch out for repeated words. You have “before” used a few times in the paragraph beginning “Don’t cry”

  5. Is the whole book in Kindra’s point-of-view, or both of the sisters? If it’s just Kindra, I think that she should be the subject of the first sentence in your logline, instead of the “twin sisters”. Also, “the betrayal” is a little vague. Who’s betrayal? You don’t necessarily have to give a name, when I need some indicator. This is my suggestion:

    When her twin sister is sold into slavery, Kindra must fight to win her back. But [so and so’s] betrayal runs deeper than she imagined, and Kindra’s quest to save her sister could jeopardize everything else she holds dear.

    Probably not the right wording, but you get what I’m saying.

    Your excerpt is great. It has a gritty, dystopian, fantasy feel. What genre is this, just out of curiosity?

    1. They share equal time as POV characters. The next scene is Kaye’s and then once she’s sold away it goes back and forth by chapter. Based on this and other feedback, the log-line will definitely be changing… AGAIN! 😛

      It’s Fantasy (light fantasy – the only really fantastic thing is that Kaye has wings, because their tribe is descended from the Faye. Other than that – no magic, no dragons, nothing crazy :P)

      Thanks for reading! I’ll be stopping by your’s very soon! 😀

  6. I like your logline, but I don’t quite understand what selling a sister to an enemy has to do with betrayal. Did someone betray them and that’s why she was sold? Or was she sold because she or her twin betrayed someone else? Also, I want to know what ‘everything she holds dear’ is. Her sister? Other family? Friends? Her way of life? The fate of the world? Maybe try for a little more specificity.

    One of my few complaints with your first 250 words is that saying Kindra lectured herself doesn’t make a lot of sense given the pain she’s enduring. I would maybe eliminate her thoughts and try to show them through how she responds. I don’t know too many people who would be in good condition to think straight if they were being whipped, so unless she’s wildly exceptional I would give her reaction some thought.

    I really love the rhyme at the end, but I’m not honestly sure in what context you’re trying to use it, just because the excerpt ends with that. We don’t know who says it, or if she’s thinking it, or what the significance entirely is. If there’s a way to cut one or two sentences above to give us one sentence of clarification there, I’d consider it.

    Other than that, job well done. I’d read on.

    1. Unfortunately the scene is over 250 words, so I had to cut the last sentence after the chant: “With an ironic smile at the last line, Kindra thought the creators of the ancient chant had never anticipated a woman joining the Warriors of Fie Eoin.” I’ll see what I can do about cutting some of the above to get that line in.

  7. You know, I have written and rewritten loglines and I just think they’re impossible. So with that in mind, your logline has intrigued me. Your excerpt is SO GOOD. I love it. I want to read it. Well done!

  8. The only thing I dislike so far is the bit in the logline about betrayal. There’s no explanation for why it is a betrayal–who is being betrayed, who betrayed them. Otherwise, I would read this book in a heartbeat.

    One reason I love this contest–finding other awesome fantasy writers.

  9. Not a huge fan of the logline I’m afraid. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I get the being sold part, but the betrayal has lost me. Plus, I think you should open with your central character (Kindra???) Maybe try something like ‘Kindra fights to reunite with her twin sister after she is sold to their enemy. Betrayed by XXXX, Kindra’s quest to save her sister from XXXX could jeopardize everything she holds dear.’

    In the text, the one thing that really sprang out at me was that you used ‘sprung’ in the place of ‘sprang’.

    Also, the sequence of the lashes wasn’t that clear. I thought she’s only had one, but you mentioned three.

  10. Really intrigued by the excerpt. The end left me thinking that maybe this was a ceremony for men only (traditionally), and that her taking part was not a popular thing. I got a good bit of her character and some initial conflict here. Good job.

    My only real comment was that, in the beginning, I would use her name instead of “the young woman” (it’s from her POV, so she’d use her own name, right?) and then not use it in the subsequent narration (which felt more like “here’s her name, by the way”). Earlier would feel more natural.

    As for the pitch, we really need a hint of the world. I assume contemp until I read otherwise, and although I can assume some sort of historical or fantasy setting, there’s NO indication there. Just a place name, a mention of Eoin, or something like that would help.

    1. You are right! Unfortunately the scene is over 250 words, so I had to cut the last sentence after the chant: “With an ironic smile at the last line, Kindra thought the creators of the ancient chant had never anticipated a woman joining the Warriors of Fie Eoin.”

      Thanks for the help with the rest 🙂 I’ll take all the feedback I can get!

      1. You know, there are a lot of contests, etc., that limit to exactly 250 or less. Maybe you can cut out a few words and get the count down so that the missing line is in the 1st 250. Besides, it helps get it closer to the beginning, drawing people in sooner. 😉

        1. That up there is actually 259 words, but I wasn’t going to cut out the last nine words of the chant. I figure most people will read the entire first scene if it’s short, they don’t just read exactly 250 words and then say “well, enough of that!” ;P

          I did use to have it at about 250 words, but then I had to add some stuff in because the book changed 😛

  11. I think you made great improvement on your pitch there! The new version is very good.

    The excerpt reads pretty good. I might try shortening the sentences that indicate her thoughts while she is being whipped? It seems like the whipping would keep her thoughts quick and to-the-point, maybe even incomplete.

    Good luck!

  12. With all due respect to the other posts, just a note about the tagline and just my personal bias- avoid cliches (i.e. “risk losing everything she\they hold dear”). Cliches immediately turn me off as a reader. Therefore, my preference is to keep the choice between the sister and tribe. I think the other comments about it sounding like the book is just from Kindra/s POV are valid. You could include something about wings. 😉

    1. At this point I’ve only written Kindra’s POV for the second half >.<

      But what do you think about losing FWAP? I wept. (well, I didn't weep, but I was sad :P)

      If only the pitch could be longer I would have added "oh yeah, and WINGS." 😉

  13. I agree with the choices that you made in order to revise it to what it is now. I’m intrigued, and it makes me want to read more, which is what this is all about. The log-line was killing me, too, and I like what you’ve done with yours.

  14. Hi! Last minute comment before the contest closes. I actually meant to comment earlier, but my internet went down. I almost panicked before I saw that it came back on today 🙂

    I read both versions of your pitch and your first 250 words. I really like the changes you made! In fact, everything I was going to comment on was addressed in the changes, so I have nothing much to say other than good luck and good job!

    Cheers,
    Ashley Maker

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