Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pubbles vs Plebes: Round 2 (YA Urban Fantasy)

For our second PvP match, we've got Chapter 1 (non-beginning) sections from two YAUF books. Can you spot the pubble(s)?

Entry 1:

Apinya reached toward the cold pile of deadwood and asked the fire to
come, her breath misting in the mountain air. Warmth spread from her
heart to her shoulder, her arm, her wrist… until Aunt Nit viciously
slapped her hand.

“I’m cold,” said Apinya, rubbing her reddened skin.

Nit frowned. “Use matches. Or better yet, pound some rice.”

Apinya had hoped to avoid that, but she knew better than to disobey
Aunt Nit directly. Picking up her schoolbag, she walked the dirt road
between homes of woven bamboo. At least Aunt Nit didn’t lecture her
on the importance of staying hidden or pretending she was someone she

Pounding rice was hard, but it wasn’t the work that bothered her, nor
the occasional mocking she received from the other students. It was
the isolation, the reminder that in a village of hundreds – even
working alongside each other – she was different. And there was
nothing she could do about it.

The rhythmic pounding of the rice pestles could be heard over a kilo
away. It took days to husk the rice from a single field, so the whole
village helped in turns. Children who were old enough worked before
school, pushing the pestles up and down with their feet for over an
hour sometimes, then again in the evening when their homework was

Entry 2:

Mark traced his fingertips over the strange runes, and a twinge of excitement rippled through his body. Eager to continue the adventure, he stepped through the trees.

Upon emerging from the archway, he heard the noises. He was unable to make out distinctive voices, but there were many of them, and it sounded like hearty, joyous singing.

Creeping as silently as he could, he approached the chorus of voices, moving deeper into the undergrowth, pressing aside outreaching tree limbs that sought to block his path and protect the denizens of the forest.

Deeper into the woods he traveled, his way lit by a mass of fireflies signaling their mates. Trying desperately to be silent, twigs cracked and leaves crunched under his weight. Perhaps the creatures of the forest would teach him to move silently as they did.

His house far away now, little more than a memory, he began to feel as if he had been birthed here, living his young life among the trees and the earth, cradled within the leafy arms of the forest. How he longed to make this dream real, to banish his true life to some nether-region, replace it with one free of school and homework and all the complications grown-ups seemed to accumulate as they grew older. None of that would be found here, he knew.

We will be back tomorrow to reveal the Pubble(s), whilst the brave and willing plebe shall remain anonymous. Feel free to make comments about our experiment or the two pieces, but, as always, be respectful and courteous of your fellow writers.


L. T. Host said...
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dolorah said...

Did I miss the post where you explained what Pubble(s) and Plebe(s) are?

I'm seriously behind on my blog reading. These were cool shorts.

I like how they start out using their magic, and introduce the characters. I think I'm in a minority when I say I like knowing a character a little before being dumped in an action scene.

Not sure what I'm looking for, but I liked them.


Joshua McCune said...

Hi Donna -- yeah, I probably should have linked to the original post explaining the experiment.

A pubble is a published work, what have you... a plebe is, well, not (yet). So, which of these two (or both) are pubbles? I can see how the esoteric nomenclature can cause confusion (and hopefully invokes visions of tribbles :)

Thanks for participating.

Rick Daley said...

I voted for entry 1, I thought it was more tangible.

dolorah said...

Thanks Josh.

I voted for #1 also, it seemed just a little cleaner - more polished. But #2 was the more interesting entry.