Story Saturday – First Page Rewrite

Hey guys! It’s me again (Asma)! Okay, so I read all of your comments and they really helped, super big thanks to Jessica Brooks and Adriana. So I rewrote the story and decided that my main character should be a girl.

I did my best to give you guys a visual background of where she is in the beginning, and I gave her a name (I can’t believe I didn’t give my MC one in the first draft!). So tell me if its better and if I should move on to the next part! Thanks guys!

You cannot escape me, girl. I get what I want, when I want it and no one can defeat me. My race has lived in the shadows for too long. Humans shall fear me and you will help me achieve this power. You will fight. You will scream. But in the end I will have you, for your blood is essential. And you’ll have nowhere else to run.

I drop to my knees, the cold dirt seeping moisture through my frayed pants. My head throbbing. I came out here to escape the tight confines of the dark dorms. The moon shines down on me, illuminating everything in an eerie glow of white.

It was happening more and more. The…voice wants me, the same way it had wanted my parents. My parents hadn’t fought it, and they told me not to either, they said no matter what, it would capture me, but they were wrong – I escaped and they… they disappeared. I know I can’t run forever, soon enough, the creature will come and take me as if I am his. But until then, I will practice, each day growing stronger, ready to fight the creature, and live the life that is mine.

I feel as though I am living in an hourglass, each day the sand slipping more and more, as though counting down to the day I’ll be taken. But I won’t be taken. Each day I improve. I can fight with a sword as easily as I can walk.

I will be lethal.

A shadow looms over me and my hand reaches for the short sword hanging loyally in a sheathe by my side.

“It’s me, Dove. I’m guessing it happened again?” Darius asks, standing above me. He is the only one I have told about the shadow race. The only one who listens and actually believes me.

“No,” I lie. He worries too much. His unnervingly light grey eyes say he doesn’t believe me, but he doesn’t push.

“You should go, before the Keeper makes her rounds.” Darius squints around us, no doubt assessing our surroundings in that acute way of his. Tonight is his shift, along with a couple of other students. I nod and climb to my feet, my legs are like jelly, barely supporting my weight. I hate how different I am from the other students, jumping at the slightest noise, reaching for my sword when I hear the faintest whisper. I shake my head in disgust. I’ve been going to Keridan for five years now, ever since I was 10 – when I first started hearing the voices, and I’m still weak. Still afraid.

Sometimes I wonder if there are others who can hear the voice, the race of shadows, others who live in fear that one day they’ll be taken. The pink and white flowers that hang on the fruit trees surrounding the school do nothing to cheer me up. I finger the hilt of my sword and glance at Darius, who watches me intently. As long as he is by my side, as my trainer and friend, I’m confident of hope.

I slip quietly into the girls’ dorm and into the bathroom. Each of the dorms has one shard of glass in the bathroom, serving as mirrors. I stand in front of the mirror, looking at the ghost of a girl before me, with limp brown hair and haunted green eyes. A shell.

I sigh and turn away. I’ve always hated mirrors, showing you what you already know. I slide into my bed and stare at the bottom of the bed above me. Dark splotches cover the dark cardboard supporting above, showing the age of this ancient place. I pull the covers up to my chin and roll over on to my side. I turn off the lamp and close my eyes. It isn’t long before sleep pulls me under again. And throws me into darkness, filled with the voice.

Copyright Asma Faizal


Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply


    March 2, 2013

    This is really great, Asma! I love the improvements from last week. I love that her name is Dove since it holds connections to war and peace and she is in the middle of her own “war” with the voices.

    Being the first comment here, I don't know what other people will say, but here is my advice for you: move on. I'm sure someone can say something about this that needs to be tweaked, but you do not want to get stuck at this part forever. Move onto your next section. Once you have a full draft you can revisit this section to see if everything fits.


  2. Reply

    Jessica Brooks (coffeelvnmom)

    March 2, 2013

    MAJOR improvements, and I love the MC as a girl, it just *fits*! :)

    1. I love that the sword hangs loyally. She has a relationship with her sword. She trusts it.

    2. This is minor. WAY minor.

    His unnervingly light grey eyes say he doesn’t believe me, but he doesn’t push.

    His unnerving light grey eyes say he doesn't believe me, but he doesn't push.

    See? The “ly” doesn't even have to be there! (I notice these because I tend to use way too many “ly”s. And notice that removing it pulls the reader in just that much closer into the present time of your MC?)

    3. You're doing a great job of showing she is a normal person. First, she has plans: to be lethal, no less. Second, even though she wants to be strong, there's a fear she can't yet control. Third, she has someone to depend on to help her through it all.

    4. I LOVE THE LAST LINE… give us MORE!!! :)

    Also, what Britta said is exactly what came to me the other day, too, and I planned on saying it today (thanks for the reminder, Britta!). Work on this first layer, note what people say, decide if it works for you or not, and move on. Otherwise you'll spend a whole lot of time fixing a few paragraphs (and that's what revisions later on are for!)

    YAYYYY, Asma! Loving it so far! :D

    <3 Jessica

  3. Reply

    Kailia Sage

    March 3, 2013

    I actually read the first part and this is a great improvement. I agree with Britta: Dove seems to be the best name for your MC and it has so much symbolism behind it! Darius is a character I'd like to hear more about but I'm glad you're only giving us tid bits about him!

    I still can't believe your twelve! Your writing is great! Keep it up!

  4. Reply

    Adriana (BooksOnHerMind)

    March 4, 2013

    It feels very different with a girl MC now. I kind of like it that way. This is even better than the first time around! :D

    “As long as he is by my side, as my trainer and friend, I’m confident of hope.” – the first part is good but when you get to the “I'm confidant…” part it sounds a little strange. Hmmm… maybe rearrange it a little. I confidently have hope or I'm confidant with hope. Just the of part sounds a little weird to me.

    “I stand in front of the mirror, looking at the ghost of a girl before me, with limp brown hair and haunted green eyes. A shell. ” – this part didn't have the same affect on me that it did last time. I think it's “A shell” part.

    last first page: “I stand in front of the mirror now, looking at the ghost of a boy before me, hair dark, and eyes haunting. He is nothing more than a shell.” – I think it's just because I liked the “He is nothing more than a shell.” It sounded more distant like the person in the mirror was somebody else. Someone they didn't want to know.

    I like her name and the name of the school. I think you improved a lot. I'm really excited to see who's behind the voice and maybe how she's trains with her sword or other students.

    I agree with Britta that you shouldn't get stuck revising this page forever. Since this page is about done you might want to add that section to next time or maybe you are absolutely fine with how your revision goes so you don't need any more outside help. And you can add the second page with the revision if you need to. Whatever makes you feel comfortable (: