Friday, December 2, 2011

first impressions - Fix Your Life

Judy sent us this first page of her nano project, which could be magic realism, or perhaps fantasy. Judy can be found at Everywhere I go. If you want to see what Dianne had to say about this piece, go here. My comments are in purple (or is it pink?).

Chapter 1

     “Move the bus! Move the bus!” Part of me wants a dialogue tag here. Part of me doesn’t.
     The crowd had gathered early to see what the crew of the reality show, Fix Your Life!, had done to our house in the week they’d had it under wraps. As the bus revved its engine, the volume increased.
     The over-sized bus began to roll lethargically (I’m not sure if I like the word lethargically as it implies volition, which the bus wouldn’t have.) away for the big reveal, and the crowd grew more frenzied. Then, as one, the chant became a collective gasp, followed by a cacophony of dismay.
     Dexter, the host of the show, yanked my blindfold off and said, “Ta da!” He danced in front of me like a deranged elf, (love this image) darting from one side to another so fast that I had trouble taking in what was across the road. Then I saw it. It was the same house we’d moved out of a week ago, but in much, much worse shape. Uh oh. What happened?
     I whipped around to find the rest of my family, but there was no one else there. Not my family, not a crowd, no one. Even the bus had disappeared.
     “Come on! It’s so cool. I know you’re going to love what we’ve done,” Dexter cackled. (another great word. I’m getting more and more creeped out by Dexter) He grabbed me by the upper arm and dragged me across the street. His grip was unnecessarily (adverb, consider another word, maybe, or just cut it) tight. I could feel his long fingernails (ok, this has definitely done it. Dexter IS a creep – of some kind…) digging into my flesh. (if you wanted the previous sentence to read more actively: His long fingernails dug into my flesh.) I stumbled across the street, trying to keep my feet heading forward while twisting the rest of me into a pretzel to look behind at the empty lot that had been chock-full of people moments before. Where did they all go? I think shortening this up increases the tension – imho.
     My foot hit the curb and I would have gone splat if Dexter hadn’t had such a vise-like grip on me. “Watch your step, little lady. Watch your step.” And I hate that he calls her little lady. It so condescending.

I’m not a fan of reality shows so I think it's perfect you've got this creepy Dexter guy hosting. He is so icky and disturbing I would want to find out what’s up with him. Is he actually human? And what happened to her house? Her family? I can see a lot of different ways this could go. Definitely a great beginning.


  1. Certainly does hook you in

  2. I already commented on Dianne's blog, so I won't repeat. I do like the tension created here, just a little leery if this is a dream.

    Nicely done!

  3. My second book starts with a thought that doesn't have a 'dialogue' tag. Or would that be thought tag? And who doesn't dig a deranged elf?

  4. Good critique. I already commented on Dianne's post, so I won't repeat what I wrote there, but I do agree the writing is more powerful without the adverbs.

  5. Again, wonderful edits. I was nervous about reading the critiques you and Dianne wrote, but I'm so glad I sucked up my courage. Thank you again.

  6. Oh Dexter...what ills aren't thou a part of?

    Very good opening page. Certainly would drive me to read more.

  7. Great critique. It is creepy and because of that is a very hooky opening that makes me want to know more! I just hope it's not a dream! :)


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