Here is the first 1000 words of my story Royalteen. My classmates and lecturer have both looked at it and I got some useful and some silly comments back. My lecturer said that I should put more visual imagery in as she can't 'see' the setting very well. That is a valid point. I also recieved a lot of 'show not tell' comments. However, she didn't seem to understand that Damien says 'Mother' instead of 'Mum' because he is a creepy suck-up who likes to act older than he really is to impress his elders. She also said that I should lower the target age group to 8-11 year olds as Prudence's voice sounds young. I don't agree and don't want to change it but also don't want to lose marks. So here is the version I gave in yesterday. Notice how it has changed from the first 500 words.
Princess Prudence’s Royal Decrees
5. All maids should be nice and friendly not total bitches.
4. Governesses should teach interesting things like reading and history, not how to wave like a princess.
3. Annoying younger brothers should not be allowed inside the castle.
2. Parents are not allowed to be bossy and controlling, even if they are King and Queen.
1. And finally, there should be no arranged marriages!
They’ve arranged a marriage for me. My parents are so frustrating; they’re always bossing me about and telling me what to do. If you think your parents are bad, try having the great King Cedric for your Dad and the beautiful Queen Annette as your Mum. Seriously, they never stop telling me what to do, from ‘don’t bite your nails, Prudence’ to ‘stand up straight, Prudence’. One time they even told me to stop tapping my foot in public, it’s not my fault that the royal band was playing some really good music that day. And now they’re telling me to get married! That’s right, I’m not even 16 yet and they’re already trying to marry me off to someone. Not even someone good looking, they’re going to give me away to Prince Percy, and I’ve met him before at a Royal Ball, and believe me they don’t call him the Pimply Prince for nothing. Sometimes I wish I had evil step-parents, like in those fairy stories, who would just lock me in a tower and never talk to me again.
But no, they’re always coming into my room and talking to me, even when I would rather be on my own. I mean, Mum burst into my room, without even knocking.
‘Prudence, I know this is a lot to take in, but it’s not as bad as you’re making it out to be,’ she said. I had thrown a bit of a tantrum after they had told me the news, it wasn’t very princessey of me – my governess would have been very disappointed. It wasn’t much, just a bit of yelling and foot stomping.
I sat at my dressing table, looking at my Mum in the mirror. ‘I thought after you had an arranged marriage you wouldn’t want your daughter to go through the same thing,’ I said. I could feel tears springing in my eyes. I don’t usually cry but it had been a rather hectic day. ‘I thought you would understand.’ Mum sat down on the bed and patted beside her, beckoning me to join her. I got up from my dressing table and sat down next to her; sure, parents can be annoying, but they’re also always there for you when you’re upset.
‘I do understand, believe me it was hard when I had to marry your father. I was your age and he was 21 but I knew I had to do it for my country; Esteria needed protection and Adruhal promised it. It was the best decision I made, and I know you’ll do the right thing, too.’ She squeezed my knee and I could feel the tears spilling over. Before Mum could say anything else my annoying little brother barged into my room. If anyone can make you feel worse its horrible siblings, especially when they’re simpering creeps like Damien.
‘Here you are Mother, I’ve been looking for you all over.’
‘What did you want, dear?’
‘Well, after Prudence’s dramatics earlier I wanted to let you know that I would do anything for Adruhal, even an arranged marriage.’ As he spoke he gave me a slow smirk. My tears dried up instantly. Mum smiled at him and patted the other side of the bed. He sat next to her and snuggled in close. He’s only two years younger than me but he always acts like a little baby around Mum; little git.
‘I know you would do anything, dear, but Prudence is the eldest so it’s her responsibility right now. You’ll have your time soon.’
I threw Damien a smug smile. He’d been trying to outdo me ever since he could walk. I remember once when I was given my first tiara and the next day I had seen Damien wearing it. That was the first and last time I’m ever letting Damien near my crown.
Mum then gave both of us a hug. ‘I must be off, darlings, there’s a lot to be done before Prince Percy arrives.’ As soon as the door shut behind her Damien turned to me.
‘I don’t know why anyone would want you to be Queen when you throw hysterics like that,’ he sneered at me.
‘I don’t know why anyone would want you to be prince when you look like the back end of a horse,’ I replied coolly. ‘Now get out of my room.’ Before he had time to retort I grabbed him by the collar of his blue tunic with one hand, opened the door with the other and shoved him out into the hall, slamming the door closed.
I turned, collapsed on to my bed and pulled the curtains around me. My parents told me that this marriage would be perfect as it would unite Adruhal and Minadrill. I do want what’s best for my kingdom but I also want to marry for love not convenience. It sounds really silly but I always imagined marrying someone tall, strong, and handsome, who is caring and brave. I admit it; I’m just imagining Raymund. I know he’s only a knight but I figured that when I was Queen I could alter the rules a little bit and marry him instead of a prince. Prince Percy would be arriving any day now and I would never get to live out my Raymund fantasy. Unless I was to take my riding lessons a little early today, maybe I would bump into him at the stables. With no time to waste I threw back my bed curtains and changed into my horse riding outfit; it was still a dress as my governess would be outraged if I were to wear trousers. It was a plain, more hardwearing dress, that wasn’t very flattering. It was made out of a stiff dark green fabric that gathered thickly around my tummy, making me look twice my normal size. It wasn’t the best outfit for Raymund to see me wearing but it would have to do.
I hurried down the many corridors of the castle, my riding boots clomping with every step. Once outside I tied my auburn hair up and half ran, half walked to the stables; I didn’t want to look too keen. I was around 100 yards away from the stables when I saw him. His blond hair gleamed in the afternoon sunlight and his armour perfectly sculpted to his well-built body. His laugh was like the song of the phoenix and it was only then that I realised he was with somebody. A short girl, with strawberry blond hair, wearing a plain simple dress with a white apron laughed along with Raymund.