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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Description - first page

"From two-thousand feet, where Claudette Saunders was taking a flying lesson, the town of Chester's Mill gleamed in the morning light like something freshly made and just set down. Cars trundled along Main Street, flashing up winks of sun. The steeple of the Congo Church looked sharp enough to pierce the unblemished sky. The sun raced along the surface of the Prestile Stream as the Seneca V overflew it, both plane and water cutting the  town on the same diagonal course."

Here is a short descriptive passage written by someone who shall, for the moment, remain nameless. What I would like you all to do is read it a few times and tell me what you think. What do you like about this? What sense about the story do you get from this beginning? And if you do know who wrote this, keep it to yourself for the moment. I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on this paragraph before I reveal the author.

I have a few thoughts about it but I'd like to hear what you think first.

Oh, and I'm still open to critiquing anyone's descriptive paragraph/bit or if you have one you're proud of send it to me and I'll post it.


Matthew MacNish said...

I like it. I love the metaphor, and perhaps I'm a sucker for aerial views, but I can really picture this hamlet. If I had one complaint it might be that I don't know how to say the model of the plane. I assume it's "Seneca Five," but I'm not positive.

Huntress said...

I skimmed then stopped. Went back and read this submission thoroughly.
No, 'thoroughly' is incorrect.
I immersed myself into this paragraph.

I can 'see' the town, winking in the sunlight, fresh and clean.

The MC seems in a reflective mood, not annoyed or depressed. But open for anything to come.

Huntress said...

btw, I have no idea who the author is.

Charity Bradford said...

Something about the first sentence bothers me, but I love the rest of it. I think its because the bit about the MC taking a flying lesson interrupts the flow for me.

Otherwise, I can see the flashes of light from the traffic and the sparkle off the river. I'm curious because of the following word choices:
sharp, pierce, raced, cutting
Those are some strong words that are directly opposite of the "trundling" cars.

Angela Brown said...

After the first sentence, I could visualize everything quite well. I'm not a crafty person so "something freshly made and just set down" probably flew over my head while it may have a poetic tone for another reader. This entire descriptive passage puts the power of word choice on vivid display. I mean, I can really see the unblemished sky (love that since it steps away from cloudless). So much about this passage is wonderful.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

The description of freshly made really springs with the description of the rising sun. I like this. It immerses me in a readily made atmosphere so that I can enjoy the characters and their goings on as if I were there with them.

mshatch said...

Seneca Five sounds right to me.

mshatch said...

It is a long sentence.

mshatch said...

and yes, those ARE some interesting word choices, aren't they?

Brooke R. Busse said...

Yeah... I can't concentrate on what I think of this passage because I'm jumping up and down and biting my lip because I know what's about to happen and oh my gosh I wanna say it but I can't! -deep breath- This is the first book I read by this author and I must have liked it because I read the ginormous thing and then started running for anything else I could get my hands on. Haven't even made a dent in the pile yet. ;)