This will be my first time participating, and I'm rather excited about it. There is an option on the site in the "Edit Novel Info" to post a synopsis and excerpt of your novel. I'm eager to share mine, and just as eager to hear yours as well. I realize not everyone has gotten this far yet, but I find it good motivation and recommend you give it a shot if you haven't already.
Here's mine. Looking forward to reading yours!
Travel back in time two million years, to the Pleistocene epoch, where a small band of hominids struggles to survive against ferocious predators, harsh climates, and a mysterious presence that stalks their journey across the African continent.
...J’jogo let his eyes wander over the beast. He had never seen one this close before. It prowled through the grass as silent as Wind, with hunched shoulders and ears drawn back. Its coat was like Zebra, but colored differently, with brown stripes stabbing through dark yellow fur. On its side was a white diagonal mark, which J’jogo thought looked like the swipe of a spear. The hind legs flexed at the end of the body, short and compact, folding diagonally like coiled springs. The bones in its back raised with each shift of its weight, jutting up beneath the muscled hide. Dark quills of hair bristled from its neck, shoulders, and head.
Its strong forelimbs moved teasingly through the grass, pausing now and then, only to jerk back into motion. “Like Mantis,” thought J’jogo, remembering the spiny insect he had watched one afternoon as it stalked its tiny prey. But J’jogo was most interested in the pincer-like teeth that jutted from the two corners of the creature’s mouth. So vicious were these canines that animal’s jaws could not contain them. They stabbed through the air, osseous sabers of death, so notorious that the clan signed them as two index fingers bent downwards from the mouth. It was the sign of Fang Cat, and was almost always accompanied with one palm sliding away from the other.
J’jogo felt angry at himself for being so careless. Ga’an had taught him better. “Know,” Ga’an had once said, touching his own head. Tilting a hand back and forth in front of his eyes, this was the motion for “where”. Clasping his palms together, he then slid one hand away, the gesture for “flee”. Moving a finger in a full circle, this meant “time”. And Ga’an had made many circles. He repeated the signs until the message was clear. “Know where to escape at all times.” And here J’jogo was, tangled like Snake in a heap of dry, crunching brambles, within pouncing distance of a hungry Fang Cat. He tried his best not to move.
...The animal’s tail flipped back and forth like a short, furry whip. J’jogo watched the creature raise up from its crouch. He saw its ears roll forward and relax. It took a step forward then suddenly paused, tilting its head up to the sky. What was it doing? The creature bobbed its head in small, jerky motions, and J’jogo’s eyes grew wide when he realized what was happening.
It was sniffing.
Could it smell him? J’jogo looked down to make sure his cutting stone was still there, nestled in the boar-hide pouch strewn across his chest. That’s when he noticed them. Specks of dark red, like swollen ladybugs, peppered his body. They were drops of blood. His blood. All over his arms and torso. The brambles! They had scratched him and now his scent was in the air...