Wednesday, May 1, 2013
The Writer's Voice
**UPDATE: I was picked for the agent round of this contest! Go Team Krista! You can read my revised entry here.**
It seems I'm one of the lucky 150 to make it into the next round of a rather awesome and exciting contest, "The Writer's Voice." (You can read about it here.) Thanks so much to all of the people involved in putting this contest together! You guys are awesome! :)
(A note to my regular followers: two blog posts in one day? I'm sure you're as shocked about it as I am! I suppose it was bound to happen someday.)
And now, without further ado, here's my entry!
Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 91,000
Seventeen-year-old Caya Filar, like everyone else in her city, sees only in grayscale. Colors exist as magical energy, once worked by Luminaries like her father. But when a prince, terrified of magic he couldn't see, slaughtered the Luminaries and stole the king's throne, colors became something to fear.
Now little better than an outcast, Caya steers clear of the king's guards. She knows they're eager for any excuse to brand her a Luminary and execute her, whether she can see color or not. And there's no chance of leaving the city with guards patrolling the walls, murdering anyone who tries to flee. Keeping her head down, she works in a shop to feed her family—at least until the shopkeeper's son proposes. His respectable name might help her overcome the stigma left by her father's Luminary magic.
If only the stone in her engagement ring had stayed gray.
Every day as I left to work, Avara tried to make me feel guilty and I tried to make her feel useless. It was a daily routine for us. I kept my head high and my shoulders back as I made my way to the grand foyer, knowing she was there.
Sure enough, I was only about halfway down the curved staircase when I heard her usual sound of disgust. "Stubborn as ever," she said softly, and I followed her voice with my eyes. She was leaning against the doorframe of the parlor, arms crossed over her stomach.
"Not stubborn." After months of the same argument, my voice came out flat and disinterested. "Just not in favor of starving to death."
"You're making things worse. You have to see that."
"Yes, because so many people were clamoring to marry us before I took a job."
She glared at me. No matter how many times I used the line, she had no response. Yet she still picked the fight, pretending nothing had changed in the six years since King Elun stole the throne from his brother.
The uprising happened the night of Avara's debut ball, ruining her plan to be betrothed by midnight. She'd known Elun's guards were coming for our father, hunting down anyone who could see the colors of magic. But all she'd cared about was getting a ring on her finger, no matter the cost.
If she hadn't argued for so long, we probably all would've gotten out of the city alive.