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Short Prologue of YA book: geared towards older youth

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Old 03-08-2014, 07:24 AM
Dylan.Fort (Offline)
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Default Short Prologue of YA book: geared towards older youth

Hey all! This is the prologue of a book of mine. I don't want to spoil any further information that's later in my book, because I want to see if this prologue gets people interested to keep reading. It's written in third person, but after the prologue the rest of the book is written in first person through a completely new character that's not introduced here. It's slightly provocative, but important for the rest of the book. Let me know what you guys think


CIA Headquarters, Department of Intelligence

Caleb sat typing on his computer, his desk piled high with files and papers to be pilfered through. The memo he was about to finish was to go out to his colleagues to announce the new policies within the office. Many of the others were on afternoon break, but working through break was a staple for him.

Being still relatively new, even though he joined the team about seven years ago, Caleb felt disjointed from the rest. Solitude and quietness pleased him at most times, but it had been a couple of weeks since he’d been in the private company of a woman. He longed to feel the gentle skin of a woman, yet none of the women he met at bars or even through online social networking pleased him; except Darla. She worked in the same office as him.

He was finishing up his memo when he heard the sound of stiletto heels on the tile floor. Speak of the devil, he thought. Soon, the sound stopped behind him and he felt her hands massage his shoulders.

“Working through break again?” Darla asked. “You’re missing the action in the break room.”

“You know that I don’t like anyone here and that no one likes me,” Caleb responded. “And I have work to do.” He put a hand on top of hers and turned around to face her in his chair.

She smiled and straddled him, still massaging his shoulders. “But you like me, don’t you?” she asked. “Why don’t you come over again tonight? Alex will be gone at work.”

This time, Caleb smiled and moved his hands up and down her legs. “Maybe. If I get this work done.”

She frowned. “You know, you should really take a break once in a while. Always working.”

“That’s what you’re for, right? My break?” he responded. “Now, what did you say about something going on in the break room?”

“Oh! Well apparently the other facility has finally started working. You know, the newly instated Direct One?”

Caleb’s face turned to confusion. “I thought from past CIA bulletins that Direct One might be a failure because they couldn’t find a way to get started on whatever they’re working on?”

She started rubbing his chest and said, “Well I guess not anymore. Whatever has got them started is beyond me. So much for the Department of Intelligence. Now… how about we talk about tonight?” Her hand worked its way down and she grabbed his crotch.

Caleb jumped and gave a smirk. “Count me in.”

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Wilards, Maryland

Jessie was on his way to the grocery store to pick up some noodles and sauce for the spaghetti his mother was going to make for that night’s dinner. Having just received his license about a week ago, he delicately and slowly parallel-parked along the road of the grocery store when he arrived and headed inside.

“Hello there, Jessie,” said the storeowner.

“Hey there.” Jessie replied. He always loved the fact that in a small town, everyone knew your name. He headed for the pasta aisle and grabbed a bag of noodles and some sauce.

“Excuse me?” A man asked, coming up beside him.

“Yes?” Jessie asked. He noticed the man’s leather jacket and Rolex watch and raised his eyebrows. I don’t even have enough money in my savings to pay for a watch like that, he thought.

“Where can I find the cereal?” The man replied.

“Over on aisle five, by the breakfast food.”

The man nodded with a slight smile and turned, walking away.

I didn’t know rich people like that even lived here! Jessie thought as he placed his items on the counter to pay. With his groceries bagged in hand, he left the store, checking his rather lackluster watch in comparison to the man’s to make sure he was going to be home in time for his mother to prepare dinner.

He approached his car which was parked beside a black work van and a red Mustang. Eyeing the Mustang as he was unlocking his car, he jumped as he heard a voice behind him.

“Thanks again, boy, for helping me in the store.”

Jessie turned around and saw the man with the leather jacket sitting in the driver’s seat of the black work van with the passenger window rolled down, his watch dazzling in the sun’s glare. He must have noticed he startled Jessie, because he said, “Oh I’m sorry, boy! I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Jessie shook his head and gave a small smile. “Just surprised me is all. You’re welcome.”

Jessie turned to get in to his car when the man spoke again. “You like that Mustang there?”

Facing back towards the man, halfway in his car Jessie said, “Yeah, she’s a beauty. I wish I had the money to get one.”

“Uh huh,” the man replied. “Well I got one back at my place if you wanna go for a ride in it? I can take you there right now.”

This took Jessie back by surprise. “No thanks, mister. I have to get home and bring this food back for my mother.”

The man nodded. “Nice lady she is. Your father has quite the temper though.”

Jessie felt of prickle of fear spike up his spine. “What do you mean?”

“Please get in to the van, Jessie. It’ll make it easier for all of us.”

“How do you know my name?” Jessie whispered. “And who’s ‘us’?”

Just then, the side door to the van opened and two men in black jumped out, grabbing Jessie and covering his mouth to stifle the screams that began to emit. They hurtled him inside and clamped his limbs down, putting a knife to his neck and closing the door. Jessie felt the van lurch and begin to drive away.

Jessie squirmed but one of the men punched him and he fell silent with a cry of pain, tears falling down his face.

“Quiet!” the man said.

“Now, now. Not too much pain. He has to be useful to us.”

Jessie squinted his eyes, one on the verge of becoming swollen and saw a third man sitting in the back. He wore a tailored suit, with slicked-back hair and a finely trimmed beard.

“What are you going to do to me?” Jessie asked. “What about my parents?”

The tailored man smirked. “They will be fine if you comply, Jessie Merly. We’re very excited to have you with us. You’re going to be the start of something so powerful and revolutionary that it could quite possibly change the world as we know it.”

The man’s smirk faded and he snapped his fingers. Jessie felt a prick in his arm from a needle and suddenly, his world went dark.

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Old 03-08-2014, 11:54 AM
erinranning (Offline)
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for me section one is highly male-oriented, which is fine, but the boys' YA category is quite a small market and all the groping puts it firmly out of the interest bracket of teen girls, from my pov. Nothing of real plot interest happens here. The program that has been reinstated (if I understood) needs to be the main focus, not some friends-with-benefits thing-on-the-side. This isn't just any scene, it's one that needs to win readers over.

part two. there's something happening, which is what most openings that fail are missing, tbh. If it's moving, that's good. the pace moves fairly quickly too. On the other hand the characters are fairly generic. My first thought was to make the abductee a special needs man, perhaps autistic. that would really make his perspective on being abducted interesting. The villain needs to be a stand-out too. Quirks, interest. More can be done with it, much more. Unless you want it to be generic - there's a market for everything

Last edited by erinranning; 03-08-2014 at 11:57 AM..
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:06 AM
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sentences like this can stop the reader

Being still relatively new, even though he joined the team about seven years ago, Caleb felt disjointed from the rest.
After seven years on the team, Caleb still felt like the new guy, and didn't fit in.
If you surrender a civilization to avoid social disapproval, you should know that all of history will curse you for your cowardliness - Alice Teller

If John of Patmos would browse the internet today for half an hour, I don't know if the Book of Revelations would be entirely different or entirely the same.
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