Jessica Shirvington’s new novel, Entice, tells the story of Violet, a 17-year-old who is anything but ordinary. Violet is a Grigori: part angel, part human, and she’s tasked with protecting the human race from vengeful exiled angels.
Inspired by the quotes that open each chapter of Entice, we asked you to write a short story based on of a quotation. Your votes gave us the ten finalists from which Jessica Shirvington and her editors at Sourcebooks chose the winners! Check out the winners below, and be sure to congratulate your fellow Figs!
A note from Jessica Shirvington and the Sourcebooks Fire editorial team:
One of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do as a writer is make your characters believable so that their emotions and decisions have an impact on the readers. Each of the writers in the short stories we reviewed did an amazing job of creating wonderfully realized characters in a very short amount of words. Kudos!
Jessica says: This story really got under my skin—in a good way. I was really excited to find out what was going on.
First of all, it was very well written. You set the scene beautifully—your descriptions well written without going overboard. Restraint is one of the most important things a writer needs to show.
In particular it was the first two thirds of the story that I enjoyed the most. I liked the ending too, but the beginning really intrigued me. You developed the state of mind of the protagonist really well and whilst I wondered, I didn’t think I had her all figured out. Most of all, I sympathized with her and found myself wanting everything to work out for her.
Overall I really liked how you constructed the story—I can still see the footprints in the snow!
Sourcebooks Fire says: Intriguing, well written, mysterious. The imagery here was fantastic. I felt as though I could see every scene in my head, and the idea of the fox mask is original and eerie.
Jessica says: Impact, Impact, Impact! I really loved this short story.
The first half was a nice build up. The story really warms up from the point where the mother arrives home and is looking at the picture. It is at this stage that as a reader, I found myself wanting to know more—wanting to know why.
The end, discovering the painting . . . Fantastic! As I said at the beginning, major impact.
The mark of a clever story, written well, is when it stays with the reader after they have finished. Well, yours stayed with me so much that I later read it aloud to my husband, and then later again to a friend.
It was interesting to watch their reactions—in both cases their interest really heightened in the final third—a sign that you can pace a story well, and when I read the final line, my husband’s eyes bugged out! Well done!
Sourcebooks Fire says: Great perspective and great ending. I’d love to know more about this mother/daughter relationship.
Jessica says: Loved the premise of this short story. When I finished it I wanted to know more!
You developed Belinda’s character so well. I could sense her ‘wrongness’ throughout, even when she doesn’t understand it herself. It would have been easy to have let her seem completely normal and timid but you gave her that inner voice that would be with her regardless of her memory being there or not—really smart!
The other thing I liked was that you put so much of the backstory into the scene’s action and dialogue, saving readers from a drawn out retelling. It kept the pace moving forward which is so important.
Sourcebooks Fire says: Great dialogue and suspense. I was right there with Belinda wanting to know what awful thing she could have possibly done.