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Monday, January 14, 2013

First Page Critique - Thinking of You


My week on Unicorn Bell is almost up, technically, it's already up, except for on the West Coast. :) I enjoyed posting my feedback for our volunteers, and I have two more left who submitted before I closed for submissions for the week. So, to make room for Charity to begin her weekly posts, I'm moving my last two submissions to my personal blog, sharonbayliss.blogspot.com, on Monday and Tuesday. I hope to see you there!

And without further ado, the first page of Thinking Of You.

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Title: THINKING OF YOU
Genre: YA/NA light sci fi


To save them.

The Enclosure stood alone as if other buildings were afraid of catching its disease.
Cool. The too still air gave it away, highlighting the absence of those locked inside. I'm not sure what that second sentence means. Smooth walls, windowless until the top floor, covered up the ominous feel as well as makeup on a dead person. I really like this analogy, but smooth windowless walls don't really seem to fit the analogy of being "make-up". That just sounds like a basic description of a place. I would think "Make-up" would be like paint or landscaping or decorations they used to try and make it look nice.

A sea of waving grass went all the way to the cityscape just visible in the distance, a narrow road to the Enclosure the only thing brave enough to break through it. And the two of us. Crouching so our borrowed white uniforms wouldn’t be seen. Watching and waiting.

Aside from those sentences that weren't clear to me, this is a great start. It's a fantastic image with strong visual descriptions, just make sure those descriptions are concrete so the reader isn't guessing what they're supposed to see.

“Rebbsie. Look.” Tass pointed, indicating a box truck puttering down the road. The food shipment. Monitoring the Department’s records had paid off. Boarding the truck far enough away from the building would keep the eye level cameras that bordered the road from seeing us. It was our way in. Our first step in saving the last living members of our species, the Controllers or Trols for short. Their name for us, but we had no other. This last sentence feels like it's missing something. I know you probably don't want to go into too much detail here, but I think it would be helpful to replace "their" with a more solid description. Who is "their"?

My body erupted into motion, knowing the plan before I did. Ground flew under my feet as I ran. My legs stretched, the muscles pulling taut. It felt wonderful after squatting in the grass for so long. Strands of my dark hair flew in my face and I shook my head, trying to clear my field of vision. The pouch that hung from my neck thumped against my chest. Without looking, I knew Tass was behind me just as, without me telling her, she knew what my plan was. This last sentence was awkward to me. I understand what you mean, but I had to read it twice.

We were going to hitch a ride.

An intriguing start! As I mentioned earlier, you have some strong imagery and you do a great job of keeping the reader in the immediate scene. The immediacy draws me in, and I would certainly keep reading.
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Now it's your turn! Please provide your feedback in comments:

Title: THINKING OF YOU
Genre: YA/NA light sci fi



To save them.

The Enclosure stood alone as if other buildings were afraid of catching its disease. The too still air gave it away, highlighting the absence of those locked inside. Smooth walls, windowless until the top floor, covered up the ominous feel as well as makeup on a dead person.

A sea of waving grass went all the way to the cityscape just visible in the distance, a narrow road to the Enclosure the only thing brave enough to break through it. And the two of us. Crouching so our borrowed white uniforms wouldn’t be seen. Watching and waiting.

“Rebbsie. Look.” Tass pointed, indicating a box truck puttering down the road. The food shipment. Monitoring the Department’s records had paid off. Boarding the truck far enough away from the building would keep the eye level cameras that bordered the road from seeing us. It was our way in. Our first step in saving the last living members of our species, the Controllers or Trols for short. Their name for us, but we had no other.

My body erupted into motion, knowing the plan before I did. Ground flew under my feet as I ran. My legs stretched, the muscles pulling taut. It felt wonderful after squatting in the grass for so long. Strands of my dark hair flew in my face and I shook my head, trying to clear my field of vision. The pouch that hung from my neck thumped against my chest. Without looking, I knew Tass was behind me just as, without me telling her, she knew what my plan was.

We were going to hitch a ride.

1 comment:

Laura Stephenson said...

I've seen this query around before, and I believe I mentioned then that "Trols" popped me out of the immersion, because it makes me think of hulking, green, toothy people. My biggest advice would be to change the short name for Controllers. Otherwise, I agree with Sharon's advice, and that other than those things, this has great action and hook.