Square Editor: Victoria
Working Title: N/A
This prison cell has twenty-two vertical bars – the same number of Kings Antova has had in its existence as a nation. The symbolism has not escaped me, though I’ve got a hunch it’s purely coincidental.
One bed was thrown into this cell for me to rest on while the King “deliberates.” As I lay on this bed, I consider how much nicer it is than the one I’ve got at home. No wonder so many of us commit federal crimes: the lodging is fantastic.
I stare at the lock on the door across the cell. Had they not stripped me of everything off my back, I know I could easily pick it and run away. The clothes they gave me to wear, including a pair of slippers to avoid the concrete floor, are itchy but warm. Sanitation was probably the main reason for these slippers, but I’m trying not to think about it too much.
On my way in, I noticed that there are far too many cells to be plausible; my hallway goes down at least one-hundred meters, and that’s not to say this is the only hallway. As far as I can tell, though, I’m the only person locked up in the royal dungeon right now. I try to imagine a time when all these cells would’ve been necessary, but I can’t.
While I entertain the idea of my brother rushing down here to save me, I’m startled by a masculine voice.
Strong Points -
Right away you've built up your setting without an info dump, and you did a spectacular job of that. There are just enough tidbits for us to understand where our main character is and what sort of atmosphere the MC has been living in, but you haven't outright told us anything, and you didn't begin with a butt-load of exposition and background information. Instead, I love that you've weaved it into the beginning of the story.
You've also captured the feeling of the cell really well, and raised plenty of questions. Why is the MC the only one in the royal jail? Why is the kingdom in such a poor state? Will the brother save the MC? What is the king "deliberating" about?
Just as well, already I have a pretty good idea of your character. They're not panicking, and everything is level-headed observation, even bitter in some places. That alone says a lot about their disposition and their situation, as well as what kind of person they are, and I feel that's much more important than knowing their name, gender and age.
Some Tips -
Honestly, I had a lot of trouble finding tips to help you out! You did such a good job with your opening, but there must always be room for a little improvement, right?
I think you can hone your description just a little bit more. You've started with some basics in the different senses, such as the itchy, warm clothes, and the fact that the bed is more comfortable, but those are descriptions that are still a bit vague and can yet be unpacked. Does the bed cradle your MC? Is it so fluffy it swallows them up? Does it smell of the people who used it last? Are the sheets clean or stained? 'Nicer than the one I've got at home' gives us something to imagine, but it doesn't paint a very vivid picture. If sanitation is a problem, is the cell stinky?
These are just suggestions, you don't have to take any of those ideas to liven up your description. But I believe you can breathe more life into this world you've created. As of right now your cell is a bit vague, a little blurry. Give us a clear picture, even if it's just a few extra words here and there woven in just as you did with your exposition.
Would I keep reading?
Yes! The questions you have me asking are killing me!