You might recall last week I mentioned a cool contest that could get your first 250 pages in front of an agent along with the offer to have said first page critiqued by Dianne and yours truly .* Libby bravely took us up on the offer and here is the first page to her novel, TOUGH GIRL. My comments will be in purple and do head over to Dianne's blog to see what she had to say.
Reggie’s finger stiffened over the nozzle of bug spray as she slid (as in icy? Slid indicates slippery which puts me in mind of ice Or maybe it's slimy..) slowly across the surface of the playground. The can felt cool and light. There wasn’t much poison left, (do you need the word poison? It felt a little awkward) just enough to rid herself of an incredibly annoying pest.
Her feet moved in a gliding motion, (gliding, too, reminds me of ice, which is fine if that's what you want your reader to think.) careful not to disturb any rocks or kick up dust. Her invisibility cap kept her hidden from the crowd surrounding the basketball court, but they might notice if she disturbed the world around her. She’d found the cap in a yard-sale. It was red and faded and made her completely invisible as long as no one looked at her. Oh! Wait. I want to know much more about the incident of finding the cap of invisibility at a yard sale. Surely there must be more to that tale!
Reggie inched closer and closer to the court, her eyes only breaking from her target to scan for debris below. There were rumors that the playground was once covered in grass, but it had been (watch your tenses) killed by trampling feet and neglect long ago, leaving only pebbles and litter for the children of The Apartments to play upon. (Here's another hold-on-just-a-minute moment. What are The Apartments?!) A dry condom lay just beyond the toe of her scuffed sneakers.
It was sun bleached a tannish color and blended beautifully into the world around it. If it hadn’t been torn open, leaving a dangling piece flapping in the wind, she may not have noticed it. Reggie shuffled to her left, careful to avoid the rumpled heap of paper-thin prophylactic. It was disgusting, but nothing to fear. What little use it served was done with, and now it was just another piece of refuse to avoid on her path to vengeance. I'm not sure about these last two sentences. Unless the condom is a symbol for her of something - something in her past, something lost, something thrown away - I wouldn't harp on it. I'd move on.
As for those hold on moments, I want to know lots more about the cap of invisibility and The Apartments. Those two things have whetted my appetite for more. Not to mention the pests. I'd focus on these elements. They could be a way to introduce the reader to Reggie's world.
Excellent beginning, methinks :)
* aka we of the infamous first impressions.