First 500 Words: Devil Vs Alpha (The Millennium Wolves 01) by Sapir Alexandra Englard at Inkitt

Original:

London, England

May 16, 2014

The clock ticked midnight and I closed my eyes, letting the sound of the Big Ben echo through the square, the neighborhood, the quiet city of London. The sound was rich and bombastic, carried away by the slapping wind, and I would’ve smiled at its familiarity had I remembered what it was like to smile from the heart.

Another sound invaded the quiet while the bells began to diminish. That sound was rougher, rugged, that of a motorcycle. Across the square from where I was sitting, a bike appeared, its rider draped in dark leather clothes, thinking himself to be a cool gangster, but I knew better. He rounded the square dramatically, riding over puddles on purpose so he could splash water like the little kid he was, and then stopped right next to me. Show-off, I thought disapprovingly as he removed his black helmet and, as if he was in a hair-conditioner commercial, flipped his dark gold hair so the silky locks wouldn’t simply be messy, but orderly so. Then he opened his gold-flecked brown eyes that seemed like molten honey that melted many a woman, and gave me a grin full of dimples and sin.

Killian Darrow was nothing if not a charming son of a bitch, but no one should underestimate him; he might be a pretty boy, but he had a mind sharper than a scalp, held ruthlessness within that he mostly concealed, but let pop out here and there. All in all, though, he was good people, and he was one of mine. That, including his intelligence and the excellent job he was doing for me, made him of deep value to me.

He was also my ward.

“You look just the same as you did a couple of years ago,” he said as a way of greeting while I rose to my feet. He scanned me from head to toe and back, and his lips curled into a mocking smirk. “Your fashion statement also stayed the same.”

I glanced down at my black hiking pants, black cape on top of black, baggy tee, black hiking boots, and black scarf and gloves, and knew he was right. “It’s necessary,” I responded dispassionately. “It helps me blend better.” Because if I were to wear what I truly wanted, I would’ve attracted too much attention, and that wasn’t acceptable.

“I know that,” he said, tucking his hands in the pockets of his leather jacket. “I just wish I could see you in other clothes, because as far as I’m concerned, your wardrobe consists of this outfit only.”

He wasn’t wrong but talking about my attire was not the reason we were meeting tonight in such a secluded part of the city, with no one around but us. “Killian,” I said, giving him my hard stare, the one that had once made his knees shake, but now only made him arch an eyebrow. “While I love talking to you after so long…

What Works: The first two paragraphs are about as perfect in introduction of a first chapter as one could ask for, and is particularly refreshing in a Prologue which is usually just a fancy word for Infodump. Unfortunately, the prologue turns into that after the first 500 words, but it starts out great. Still, the last line of the first paragraph stabbed me in the gut, the second paragraph made me smile, and the first sentence of the third paragraph almost made me laugh out loud.

What Needs Work: The story kind of drags after the first two paragraphs, the writing gets less sharp, and nothing actually happens in this chapter except for a frustratingly vague conversation and then a giant infodump. There are also some romantic overtones, which, considering that the MC is Killian’s ward and she’s known him since he was 16, could be pretty creepy, depending on how old the MC is. In my version, I’ll probably focus on editing a lot of unnecessary or repetitive description and/or dialogue. 

My Version:

London, England

May 16, 2014

The clock ticked midnight and I closed my eyes, letting the sound of the Big Ben echo through the square, the neighborhood, the quiet city of London. The sound was rich and bombastic, carried away by the slapping wind, and I would’ve smiled at its familiarity had I remembered what it was like to smile from the heart.

Another sound invaded the quiet while the bells faded. The new sound was rougher, rugged, that of a motorcycle. Across the square from where I was sitting, a bike appeared, its rider draped in dark leather clothes, thinking himself to be cool, but I knew better. He rounded the square dramatically, riding over puddles on purpose so he could splash water like the little kid he was, and then stopped right next to me.

Show-off, I thought. He removed his helmet and, as if he was in a shampoo commercial, flipped his dark gold hair. Then he opened eyes the color of molten honey and gave me a grin full of dimples and sin.

Killian Darrow was nothing if not a charming son-of-a-bitch, but no one should underestimate him. He might be pretty, but he had a mind sharper than a scalpel, and a ruthlessness that most people who met him would never even glimpse. All in all, he was good people, and he was one of mine.

“You look just the same as you did a couple of years ago,” he said as a way of greeting while I rose to my feet. He scanned me from head to toe and back, his lips curling into a smirk.

I glanced down at my black-on-black outfit of hiking pants, cape, baggy tee, and hiking boots. I shrugged. “It helps me blend.”

He acknowledged my response with a jerk of his head and another full-body scan.

“Killian,” I said, giving him my hard stare, the one that had once made his knees shake, but now only made him arch an eyebrow. “While I love talking to you after so long…

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