Friday, September 9, 2011

first impressions - Gypsy Dolls

Our last first impression of the month comes from Sheri over at Writer’s Ally. This is the first page of her YA paranormal, Gypsy Dolls: Carnival of Souls. My comments are in purple and you can see what Dianne had to say here.

Chapter 1 ~ Siphon

The last thing I expect to see is a dead guy. Great opening line.

Buses idle by the curbing. Newly falling mist dowses (should be douses – according to my dictionary) the vapors of diesel fuel, but does nothing for the sting in my eyes. My eyebrows ram together. Lines on my forehead mangle like wrinkly lettuce. (hmm, I’m not sure about this image) With one eye cinched, I peer at the collage of jocks and their cheesy girlfriends (what makes their girlfriends cheesy?)  huddled across the cramped parking lot, their figures miniaturized with all by the distance between us. I squish their shrunken heads between my fingertips and thumb, imagining their faces deflating. (lol) It’s not like the splat of their heads would make a mess; there’s nothing between their ears but air and arrogance. One girl yells my name and gives me a perky wave. Not big on socializing and in no mood anyway, I slosh my combat boots in the puddles of September, switching my mashing fingers into a peace sign, and trudge past. It’s safer…for her. My fiery attitude needs to cool down.

Being accused of stealing tends to make me angry. Sure, I’ve had a slight bout with sticky fingers in the past—but that’s in the past. I’ve done my time at the Hinckley School for troubled teens, so Sue Rogers can take her surely (should be surly) accusation and stuff it. What would I want with her hairbrush anyway? Any idiot knows I only need her hair to concoct a good hex. I wonder if this might make it clearer: ‘Any idiot knows I only need a single hair to concoct a good hex.’ ?

Waiting in line, I glance down at the patchwork of miscellaneous cracks in the pavement, each tangled crevasse looking as befuddled as I feel. My life isn’t exactly the poster pinup for the successful teen in today’s America. Actually, today’s America is hard to define since the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012 unearthed a new prophetic timeline and the CST—Council for Subconscious Thinking—was created a year later and implemented in schools to broaden the human psyche. Now, Elders—the government’s idea to guide Generation Alpha into utilizing more brain power, but I define as mind breachers—float around, poking their brainwaves and opinions where they don’t belong. (like the phrase mind breachers) The adult population is so wrapped up, thinking mankind dodged the End Times, they’ll agree to anything. They think we’ve been reborn, given a second chance—I’m thinking the umpteenth chance. Apparently, the Holocaust, Darfur, wars throughout history, and the escalating crimes that rock our world are only near End Times.
Living in the land of the free really isn’t free—at least of mind, anymore.
I’ve crossed out a few things I thought were unnecessary or confusing, imho.. Otherwise I liked this first page. We get a feel for the character, the strange times she’s living in, as well as a hint of magic. Definitely interested to see where this is going.


  1. Haha...thanks for correcting douses. Great critique, Marcy. Thank you for letting me use your keen eyes. I do have a question for you, though. The first line, do you think I should elaborate more here about that guy or scratch the opening line and reveal him later? Honestly, at the end of the chapter the reader is introduced to him.

  2. I left more detailed thoughts at Diane's, but I just wanted to say I really like this for a first page. I mean there are some minor things to fix, of course, but the important thing is that I would read on.

  3. Thanks, Matt. You're awesome. And again, Marcy & Dianne are gems for doing this!

  4. I'm kinda slow so please take what works and trash the rest. There seems to be a lot going on here. She clearly doesn't like the preppy crowd and she seems like she's just pissed in general. The second paragraph stumped me. I think a transition is needed. One moment she's thinking about squashing heads the next about stealing. Then we are given a big chunk of world building. I kinda want to go back to the 2nd paragraph and find out about hexing. =)

    And then by the end I totally forgot about the dead guy.

    I would read on just to see where your going with this. Good luck and please remember this is just my 2cents.

  5. Great great great! I'm in love with Sheri's book! When does it come out? :(


    Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?

    YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell coming fall of 2011!

  6. Hi, Marcy,

    I liked your suggestions. I popped over from Sheri's blog. You have keen insight especially picking out the misspelled or used words. Terrific suggestion on reworking the "good hex" sentence.

    When you have the time I would love you to crit my first page. Please let me know.


If you're interested in my blog I'm interested in your comments.