Friday, May 6, 2011

first impressions #3

Our third and last first impression of the month comes from 8th grader Dylan (I'm thinking he's the one with his arms around the dog). He's a friend of Gabbey, Dianne's daughter. My comments are, as always, in purple.

The Second Capital (as of now) I really like this title.

Vanastia is in total chaos—and by total, I mean armed “guards” patrolling streets at all times of the day, regular violent changes of power, and corrupt government leaders.

The worst one is the government’s military leader—Charles Ventur Bronan. An odd man to begin with. Very paranoid—which I guess could be justified. He pretty much orders peoples’ deaths every day. Eventually someone is going to get him.

He has, “Civil Guards” as he calls them—always armed, untrained but just too happy to shoot you dead with their supplied guns. They’re all goons, mindless followers of all his malicious deeds. People talk about the things that he does in secret, and as soon as Bronan’s guards walk in, everyone is silent.

Of course the government covers all these cruelties up—this one’s a weapon malfunction, this one’s a freak accident. But nobody believes them. They government guarantees they’re just there to keep us safe. But why do they need full-automatic guns in public places? Do they really expect us to believe we’re going to get attacked in the middle of a grocery store?

The worst part of the guards is there punishments. If they hear you say anything against any government official, they beat you. Such was the case as I walked down the street to the market square where numerous vendors sold their goods. Two guards approached an elderly man, cursing at him as loud as they could. Their words where law. The first of the two seized the man as he turned to flee and held him firmly in place. The man whimpered.

The second guard grabbed the man’s left arm and twisted it behind his back. A loud crack resonated through the square and the old man moaned. Everyone was silent. Slowly I backed out of the gruesome scene and back to the street I had just arrived from. The Civil Guard proceeded to snatch the man’s other hand and twist it behind his back. There was another crack and blood stained the man’s shirt as the soldiers pushed him to the ground and left him to bleed out.

I wanted to help him—and under normal circumstance I would. I had done so several times before. But the Civil Guards would probably gun me down. Oh, yes I had caused trouble with them, and they all knew my face well.

Ordinarily I might go line by line and cross out and replace and suggest. But I wanted everyone to be able to read this as Dylan wrote it. Because really, the only thing this needs is a more active voice in a few spots. Not everywhere, because I think this beginning needs to be a mixture of both. I think the real story is hinted at by the last line: "...they all knew my face well."

One cannot help but wonder what he's done to make himself so well-known. 

This is a very interesting first page and it makes me want to know all kinds of things about this place and how it got that way as well who the narrator is and what his story is. In the words of someone who saw this piece by accident before I intended to post it: "This is a remarkable piece of writing! Dylan is the real thing, i.e. a writer."


  1. This is a fantastic segment, Marcy. And to Dylan, wonderful job! I'll simply ditto Marcy's comments, except I'd like to add that the opening line is really good. It gave me just enough to ponder and want to read on. :)

    Happy Mother's Day, Marcy. (Got an award for both you and Dianne on Writers' Ally, today. )

  2. Awesome!!! Dylan, I am very impressed. If I didn't know before I read that you are in 8th grade, I never would have guessed - yes, that person who read this post early is right. You are definitely the 'real thing!' And I love your use of emdash through out!

    And I'm with Marcy - great title!

  3. thanks Sheri and Marisa for stopping by and checking Dylan's sub out. Pretty darn good for an eight grader!

  4. Thanks for sharing this with us! Love the title, too!

    I hope you have a great weekend!:)

    YA Paranormal Romance Darkspell coming soon!


  5. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    I want to read Marbury lens too. Tell us what you think later!

  6. I like that an 8th grade young man can make a full grown man "whimper". such is the power of the pen. Well done!


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