Brenda Drake's "Can we guess your character's age" Contest Entry

Hello everyone! I am participating in Brenda Drake's contest where we are supposed to post our first 250 words and people try to guess the character's age and see if the voice matches the age. Thank you everyone for any and all comments, and without further ado, here's my entry:

The two initiates gawked at me as one would at a gutted animal dying in a corner — with equal parts revulsion and pity. Both girls wore their hair pulled back, exposing the swirling gold tattoos at their temples that flaunted their standing as Nobles of Hel’s Court. The blonde one met my eyes and sneered – delicately, of course, nothing more than a curl of her lip.  

I arched an eyebrow, daring her to give breath to the word lurking behind her teeth.

Come on, say it. Say it to my face, you little brat.

Bastard. The word everyone thought but never said. The word I’d been reading in everyone’s eyes since I was five, that shone through despite their graceful manners and false smiles.

The blonde, proving she did have some sense, dropped her gaze and turned to her companion. And yet I could still hear the unspoken words like a whisper scuttling through the dark corners of the Sanctuary’s antechamber.

The Stark bastard.

The wooden door tucked in the corner, invisible if one didn’t know where to look, opened. The attendant who’d been ushering initiates since early morning stalked out. He glanced at the scroll containing the list of all those who’d scheduled their Pledges for today. His icy gaze raked over us from under his thick glasses. 

“Liese kerrah Mayre?”

The blonde sprang to her feet, grace forgotten in the wake of excitement. Of course she was a Mayre. I thought I recognized that particular shade of blonde and patronizing disdain.

Please, guess away, and good luck to all contestants!


  1. YA fantasy or dystopian? I'm guessing 17.

    Nice job. Strong writing. I got a sense of time and place and I already hate the blong Mayre.

    My only thought is random, really, and applies to many of the openings I've read. I've noticed a lot of YA novels open with some girl hating another girl. Could you open your MS with a more action-packed scene that's not about girls hating each other?

    Good job and good luck! :)

  2. 16 is my guess.

    Sorry, but I'm really tired of seeing the typical evil/bitchy blonde character...

  3. I'm going with 17. Actually, I got the feeling the MC was a boy, but I'd also like a little more action at the beginning. Other than that, I loved the voice!

  4. Ooh, very neat beginning. I'm going to guess sixteen. I love the visuals--the golden tattoos, the sneering girls.

  5. I really enjoyed your intro. I'd say 16.

  6. Is this a male pov? I got that vibe too, which is my favorite pov btw.

    I'm thinking 16.

  7. I'm thinking 16 because of the teenage insecurity of being a "bastard child" and the issue with the blonde girl. Great voice and good start!

  8. I'm thinking boy POV and maybe 17 years old. Sometimes I was a little confused about who was speaking.

  9. I am going to guess 17 or 18, just because I think the MC (not sure if its a girl or boy thought girl until I read other people say boy) seems older than the blond girls.

  10. This sounds almost exactly like my 15 year old nephew. As in he actually has an internal narrative, except he keeps sort of speaking it out loud. Walking around with him is a real laugh.

    Strong writing I think, but I would start with something less internal, and more action. Keep at it, you're going places.

  11. Greetings!

    I'm hopping over from GUTGAA and wanted to visit some blogs before the fun begins! Nice to meet you...you have a lovely blog!

    Donna L Martin

  12. I'd say 16-17 and there are a few word choices that make me think the MC is female. Also, there is a lot of description in this but it feels as though we have just missed the action?