February 16, 2012

1st Page Contest

Jamie Ayres is hosting a first-page contest on her blog, to be judged by author Heather Burch. Five random winners will receive a personal critique from Ms. Burch.

Following is the first page of my current Work-in-Progress.  

Wish me luck!

-Cheryl


Angela Beebe’s heart raced as she flung open the bedroom closet door. It'd been over a year since Scott's murder. Why did Detective Bauman want to meet with her again, he already had her testimony? There was nothing more to say. She flipped through the hangers until she found her favorite blouse, needing the extra boost of confidence it provided.
Her thoughts drifted back to the last time she’d seen her husband alive. She hated the sheer white dress he’d insisted she wear. Despising the way it clung to every curve, stopping at the top of her thighs and molding tightly against her bottom. Its deep V neckline and low-cut back exposing more than it concealed.
A shudder rolled through her at the memory, the unending despair at being forced into the role of Scott’s trophy wife. …Standing outside the den, her stomach churned and acid burned her throat. Just one more night and then she would be free. Everything was set for her escape. She and her grandmother would soon disappear. Somewhere Scott would never be able to find them. With a determined lift of her chin, she opened the door and stepped inside to face the monster in the room.

17 comments:

  1. Ooh, so many questions!! Great first page, Cheryl! Good luck :)

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  2. Wow. this is really intriguing and well-written. It has some great hooks in the beginning that pull me in and make me want to keep reading to find out what happens.

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  3. I agree with Alice. The hooks are great - I definitely want to read more!

    Good luck!

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  4. Very nice opening. There are a lot of great hooks.

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  5. Very nice first page, Cheryl. Best of luck.

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  6. Nice first page. Makes one wonder about the death as it sounded like she was running away, not committing murder... interesting hook.

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  7. Hello Cheryl!

    Good set up to the story, you hooked me in more when it started to look like she had killed him. My only suggestion is to rework that critical first sentence. Perhaps remove, "unseeingly." I am not opposed to adverbs, but maybe not in sentence one. Also, the term "worried her lip" is unique, but vague (to me anyway, maybe it's regional). I assume she's biting it?

    Best of luck!

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  8. Thanks for the feedback, Sharon. I must have changed that first sentence a million times before I published it! Your comments were appreciated :>)

    -Cheryl

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  9. Hi, Cheryl.
    Great job!
    My only comment is that I think you can strengthen both your opening and ending hook, but I would definately keep reading here!

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  10. Very interesting first page!

    Some suggestions:

    Angela Beebe stared into the closet and chewed at (at not needed) her bottom lip.

    Why did Detective Bauman want to meet with her again, he already had her testimony? - this is a run on. Why did Detective Bauman want to meet with her again? He already had her testimony.

    She flipped through the hangers, looking for a blouse to boost her confidence before the meeting. - dangling phrase. The phrase is refer to her, not the hangers. I would move the phrase to the beginning of the sentence.

    Hope this is helpful!

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  11. Wow, some serious intrigue here. Great hook with all the questions. I am dying to know how terrible Scott was and how he deserved to die, because I can already tell he did. Nice work for one page!

    I know you have already worked on your first line a lot, but I have to urge you to re-think it. First lines are extremely important and all this says is that here is a girl who takes some time deciding what to wear. I instantly have the thought that she is shallow and perhaps indecisive. Standing alone, this sentence says nothing about your book. Maybe start with a sentence about how big this day is. Just a suggestion. Otherwise, your writing is really strong.


    She had hated the sheer white dress he’d insisted she wear.

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  12. Thanks for all the great feedback and comments!

    I'm enjoying all the 1st page reads! Good luck to everyone :>)

    -Cheryl

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  13. I'm intrigued!

    Can I play the 'What If' game with you? What if you started the story with her planning her escape? I'm more interested in that than what she's going to wear to see the detective. That's just an alternative for you to consider, though.

    I wish you the best of luck!

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  14. I'm intrigued by the premise but I'm not crazy about the flashback on a first page even though it is intriguing. Maybe try Lindsey's idea about starting with it as that is very intriguing. or is there a way to get that across without the flashback? Maybe you could open with this line: All she'd wanted was to escape. Now she was suspected of murder.

    Only thing that threw me was that question near the beginning. It sounded strange to my ear to have the question mark at the end of it. Maybe break it into 2 sentences with a question at the end of the first?

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  15. Wow, you are a very talented writer! My only suggestion is to watch your use of 'had.' Editors flag those pesky 'passive' words. ~Good luck & thanks for playing!!!

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  16. Thanks for stopping and all the feedback. I originally had a prologue for her 'abuse' section, but decided it didn't really work...so, I moved it into a flashback. It' not very long, and I don't have another one until well into the story as she's sharing some details with the hero.

    I'll think about all the suggestions.

    Thanks all!

    -Cheryl

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