Friday, February 17, 2012

First Page Critique

Jamie Ayers is hosting a First Page Critique contest where you post your first page on your blog and then hop around to the other entrants to read and comment on their first page. Five people will receive a critique from author Heather Burch who has a debut book called Halflings. You can read Heather's interview and more information about the contest on Jamie's blog here . You have until Wednesday to email Jamie and post your first page for critiquing.

Here is my first page of MY PROTECTOR: THE CALLING

Going to the river was forbidden. I knew this, yet it didn’t keep me from stepping off the gravel path or walking into the field.
My heart banged against my ribs. The space in my lungs folded in on itself. I sucked in a shallow breath, enough to nearly taste the crisp grass beneath my feet.
Stop your feet, Eri.
The early moonlight sparkled off the few remaining patches of snow, even it knew better than to dwell there.
A gong sang out across the village, ringing through my insides. The warning bell.
Half way between the nearest cluster of cabins and the safety border, I glanced over my shoulder to find the dark smudges of people fleeing for refuge, their shouts dying across the distance growing between us. I should have turned back. But the charcoal sky and inky river invited me forward.
An overwhelming need tumbled and collided like the rapids crashing against rock. Conflicting thoughts swirled through my head and I reached up to steady myself, squeezing my eyes shut against the confusion. I pressed my hands over my ears, begging the pounding inside to leave me alone.  “Please stop, please stop, please stop, please stop, please stop—”
A current of adrenaline flooded my core. The blood tsunami in my veins propelled my legs faster, rushing through the forbidden, content to ruin me. My brain searched for one sane thought, something to stop my muscles from carrying me out there.
Suicide. This is suicide.
Something broke through the tree line. Blurry with speed, eerily dark within the dusk, features impossible to decipher.
A blanket of anger draped over my world, muffling sound, wrapping me in rage. 

What did you think? Any feedback would be awesome, thank you!!!


  1. Definitely compelling... I like your writing style--tight, you know your stuff. Thanks for sharing, Hope!

  2. Wow, you've gotten me to care from the first page & that's a hard thing to do! Reminds me of The Hunger Games a bit, which I love of course. ~Hope you win the critique from Heather Burch or her new book, Halflings:):)

  3. Great opening Hope - I love your description. It probably helps that I'm a bit of a fan of charcoal-coloured skies! ;)

  4. Yay :) go Hope :) I love your front page :) Dying to read it.

  5. I really love the first line. It is very gripping, and then it just keeps building from there. Excellent stuff!

  6. Good job! I think you've got too much description, bogging you down a bit, but I'm intrigued, and I want to keep going to find out what's going on!

  7. Hi Hope!

    I know I've read this a few times before, and I feel like you've made some good edits. It's a gripping scene, very scary. You could probably do without the line, "The space in my lungs folded in on itself."

    For some reason, this line felt awkward to me, "The blood tsunami in my veins propelled my legs faster, rushing through the forbidden, content to ruin me." But I think it's because the comma didn't register in my head and I kept reading forbidden CONtent. It could just be me!

    Best of luck!

  8. Ooh, good stuff. Loved the descriptions and the mood, emotion and sense of danger.

  9. Great first page! I'd suggest you add a semicolon to this line, though:
    The early moonlight sparkled off the few remaining patches of snow; even it knew better than to dwell there.
    Good luck!

  10. Wow, this is really amazing. I think I might have read this in an earlier draft and I LOVE what you've done with it. Seriously, I can't find a damn thing wrong with it except I want to know more!

  11. I'm intrigued, but also a little confused. Consider giving a little more of a hint about what's going on. Lovely descriptions, though!

    I wish you the best of luck!

  12. You have a way with gorgeous descriptions, way to draw us in! :)
    Thanks for sharing,

  13. I really like this!

    I would tighten and combine the first two sentences: Going to the river was forbidden, yet it didn’t keep me from stepping off the gravel path or walking into the field.

  14. I *need* to know what just broke through the tree line. ;)

    Good luck, Hope!

  15. Intriguing first page with great descriptions and imagery! I agree with Sharon, I got hung up on that same line too: I read it as CONtent and had to reread it a couple of times to figure out what you meant.

    Around "An overwhelming" it seemed to slow down a bit with the description, but it all seems necessary. Maybe shorten the sentences to pick up the pace?

  16. You give lovely descriptions! They are SO vivid. My only concern is that I got so wrapped up in your beautiful words that I missed some of the meaning of the overall piece.

    I don't write nearly as well, so take this suggestion with a huge grain of salt. Think about the essence of the scene and what you want the reader to know and decide which descriptions are unnecessary.

    You've got a very compelling start - I do want to know what that "something" is!

    Good luck!

  17. Very compelling... you've got a knack for descriptions and setting the mood, which is what I look for when I'm reading. My only thought is I hope the answers come pretty quickly after this first page--it's hard to not know! :D Nice Hope, you've definitely got the skills, girl. :D

  18. Very intense opening! I love the descriptive language you used to set the scene and the mood.