Friday, December 9, 2011

Guess my character's age!

Brenda Drake is hosting an awesome blogfest/contest!  Check it out here

(source)





Here's the idea:  writers post the first 250 words of their manuscript to their blogs, and everyone tries to guess how old the main character is.  I think it's a great idea!  So here goes...





(NOTE:  THOUGH I DON'T INTEND TO POST REVISIONS HERE, THESE FIRST 250 WORDS HAVE ALREADY UNDERGONE SIGNIFICANT CHANGES.)
        Caspric looked down at the servant blocking the door.  “Why exactly can’t I come in?”
        “I have orders from Sir Drake that you’re not to be allowed.”
        “Oh really?” said Caspric, raising a dark eyebrow. “Well, although you take orders from Sir Drake--" He reached around the servant and put his hand on the door knob. “I don’t.”
        Caspric stepped inside the library and inhaled the familiar smell of old paper. Shafts of sunlight beamed through the dusty air. 
        Drake sat at a table perusing a thick volume.
        It was clear that they were brothers—both tall and dark-haired, with handsome, sharp features that made girls swoon—but the difference in clothing was almost enough to disguise this.  Drake wore a red silk vest over spotless white sleeves and had a ruby-studded ornamental dagger in his belt.  Caspric wore a plain white shirt, open at the collar and barely tucked into his pants, which, like his boots, were dappled with mud.  He was still sweaty from a morning of sparring practice. 
        “What possessed you to open a history book?” Caspric said, peering over his brother’s shoulder. “And why do you have someone guarding the door?”
        “Go away,” said Drake. He flipped the page, sending up a poof of dust.
        Caspric frowned.  “You never read.”
        Drake traced his ring-laden fingers down a column of text.  He closed the book and grinned up at Caspric.  "I do today." 


So what do you think?  How old is Caspric?  You can guess for Drake too, if you think you can from such a quick view of him. 

Also, constructive critiques are welcome.  :)

15 comments:

  1. This is way more difficult than I expected! They're obviously fairly young, but that could be anywhere from teens to thirties. I'm just going to guess in the middle and say twenties!

    I like it though! Your writing is very good :)

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  2. Hmmm.... I have a much older feel to this ... like late 20s .. 28? 29?

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  3. Tough indeed. But for some reason I sense early- to mid-20s. Interesting opening, I'd like to read more.

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  4. I'm guessing 18 for Caspric. He seems like the younger brother. I really like your opening...just enought description and action to keep you turning the page. :)

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  5. I'm thinking 18 or 19 for Caspric. YUM, he sounds dreamy!!!

    Thanks so much for following me :) I'm also following you now.

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  6. 15-16 for the younger brother, 18-ish for the elder.

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  7. This is so weird to guess - because I feel like I have it... then I feel like I'm so so so wrong.

    I'm going to guess 20 for Caspric. I think his darker features and sparring reminds me of someone who is a little bit older. I'll say 17 for Drake. For me - it's the grinning/teasing each other that makes them a seem a bit younger. But, who knows, they could be like that as brothers. At least, it doesn't feel like they are older than this.

    I'm already curious as to their relationship.
    One question though - does the servant try to prevent Caspric from getting in or just say "you aren't allowed"? It seems odd that he doesn't try to physically stop him or something. Just wondering ^_^ Or maybe having something about the servant moving out of the way.

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  8. Thanks to everyone who's giving feedback! These are some really good things to think about.

    And it's so fun to see what age you guess hehe

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  9. I'm guessing 18 for Caspric--he sounds awesome!

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  10. I wanna say 21 :)

    Reminds me of the Salvatore brothers on Vampire Diaries.

    Oh, I just drooled a little bit. :)

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  11. My guess for Caspric is 19 and Drake seems more like 24 or so. The historical setting always makes it hard to guess, but they still act like brothers in their later teens or early twenties. The setting is cool.

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  12. Caspric: I would guess late teens because of the reference to "girls" and not women. Maybe 17

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  13. This is a difficult one, but I like the voice. I'd say 18?

    Denise

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  14. I'm a little late, sorry. I was away from my computer for the weekend. But I want to return the favor.

    I have no idea what age your main character is. There is not enough voice or clues for me to figure it out. Your writing in nice and clean and flows well. Good job!

    I think this is an interesting beginning, but if you want an honest opinion, opening the book with a detailed description about the two brother's looks is a little slow and uninteresting. Just something to think about.

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  15. @Julie: Thank you for the feedback.

    I don't disagree that it's hard to tell Caspric's age from the first 250 words. This contest made me realize that I don't get "into his head" for about a page after the story starts. I have, however, already revised the opening to elaborate on the servant's attempt to keep Caspric out of the library, which I believe establishes the voice much more immediately.

    The description was a result of many people suggesting that I say what the brothers look like sooner and in more detail. My recent revision pushes it farther away from the opening, so that might lessen the effect, but I will definitely consider approaching their initial description in a different way.

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