Friday, September 30, 2011

The Very First Page of a Novel

I just found this in one of my many notebooks. It is the very first "page" of Goblin Shark Rising. I wrote this just about a year ago. I thought it would fun to share, if you can read it, that is! I even doodled that little shark at the top, which looks more like an old sock.

Below is the first page of the finished product. My publisher will have the first chapter of the novel on their website soon, which is so exciting! What do your first pages look like? Hopefully, they are MUCH neater than mine!

Have a great weekend, everyone! ;)

Chapter One -- The Federation

            Susur cut through the water--seething. Shaking with rage, he tore after the fleeing shark. He was positive it was a Frill. Its snaky tail snapped around a turn as he pursued it. Maybe it was fate that he'd stormed out of the Federation Summit when he did, now he could prove to his father and the Federation once and for all that the Frills were cold blooded murderers. Plunging after it, he even smelled the rotting flesh in the Frill's teeth--shark flesh. He soared around a rock column, dead-set on catching the creature.
Growling furiously, Susur sped through the gloom. Where did it go? Eyes darting, he hurled his body to the right, just seconds before his snout would have smashed into a stone outcropping. He grunted in pain as his gills slapped the rock. A Frill had eluded him once more! It almost felt good--the pain. Lately, all he heard from everyone around him was 'no'. No, you cannot hunt alone. No, you cannot leave Federation borders. And finally, no, you're wrong about the Frills--in fact completely off the mark. At least the stinging pain was something other than a no.
The Frill was nowhere to be seen. Gills throbbing, Susur slowed his pace. He descended deeper into the canyon. Perhaps he could sniff out a trail.
The Goblin Sharks had concealed themselves deep within Tokyo Canyon for centuries. Secreted away for so long, many of his kind had grown lazy, allowing themselves to be captured--a great discovery for the human scientists--the elusive Goblin Shark. 'Living Fossils' of the sea, the humans called them. A prehistoric species touted to be over one hundred million years old. He'd heard from the Great Whites and others what the scientists did to sharks, poking and prodding them--dismembering their bodies--dissecting them. 
Then there were the fishermen, to be fair, a far simpler sort than the scientists, but just as deadly, eying the Goblins as a whole new source of revenue--greedy fishmongers. Collectors would pay hundreds of thousands of yen to possess the retractable jaw of a dead Goblin shark dragged up by a fisherman's net. And if a fisherman ever managed to a catch a live Goblin...well...what human wouldn't want to try the fresh flesh of this unknown shark--this ancient, exotic species? Humans seemed to rip hungrily into any sea creature set in front of them, the more out of the ordinary the better.
Susur's concerns with the Frill Sharks started months back. The slippery serpent like creatures, who looked more like eels than sharks, had honed in on Federation territory with grisly intent. At first, he thought they were just another nuisance, scavenger sharks looking for scraps, but soon, the body count rose. Susur knew they were a lethal threat--even if the elders refused to believe him. Several dead Federation sharks had been found around the outskirts of the canyon. He easily recognized the unmistakable bite marks from their endless rows of jagged teeth. His father told him many species could make those marks, but Susur knew better. If slain sharks weren't enough to make his father take action then what was?  


  1. Wow Hilary, I didn't realise you are medic. Their writing is just as bad, take a look at the next prescription from your doctor. LOL


  2. You've come a long way, baby!!! Wow and awesome :O)

  3. How funny. Yes, it does look like a sock. :) I've written two books so far that I'm trying to get published and I also have little notebook pages full of drawings and character notes and story ideas. Maybe one day I'll be published and post them for all to see. :)

  4. Jack, I know, right? My dad and brother are both doctors and their handwriting is HORRIBLE! Must run in the family. ;)

    Diane, it's crazy how a piece of paper like that can lead to a published novel!

    Rachel, I should make shark sock puppets for the book launch! ;) And I hope to one day see your scrap of paper on your blog too!

  5. Love the finished first page! Already I want to know what's going to happen next. Excellent job Hilary.

  6. Thanks, Bish! I'm so nuts about this book! Just a little more to go and off to my editor! I'm terrified about her feedback!

  7. How did you decipher that?! :)
    Love your first chapter. You write so beautifully.

  8. Kelly, I'm officially taking you everywhere I go! You are an awesome confidence builder! It's rarely rare that I can't make something out, but it has happened! ;) You know you're sloppy if you can't make out your OWN writing!!!

  9. I love this! It's going to be another great one!! :)

  10. Thanks, Jemi! I have six more days with it and then off to my editor! Gah! ;)

  11. hi miss hilary! woweee! i love that first page for sure. you know i love the sea so for sure im gonna love this book. susur and me are gonna be friends! as long as you keep writing such exciting and cool stuff i dont need to read nothing else.:)
    ...big mega shark sized hugs from lenny

  12. Lenny, you are awesome! Yes, you and Susur should get along great! Yuji, the 13 year old boy in this book, sort of reminds me of you! :)

  13. Wow, Hilary...What an exciting start to your book. You are well on your way o=to being able to give up your day job. :) WTG!


Leave me a message after the beep...BEEP!