Friday, October 5, 2012

first impressions - Redefined

Our final first impression of the month comes from Julia who can be found at Diary of a Word Nerd. This is the first page of REDEFINED, with my comments in purple. To see what Dianne had to say about this first page head over to her blog, In High Spirits

Most seniors from Keene County High School didn’t stay home on Friday nights to babysit their moms, but I did. Nice set up. I instantly want to know why.
Dad called while Billie and I were working on dinner.  I hesitated before I answered, wishing for the millionth time that my dad had a normal job.  Something predictable, nine to five. 
 “Hi Cat,” he said, “I’ve got a patient here who has been in labor for hours, and we’re worried about her blood pressure.  The baby is starting to show signs of distress.  This could be a long night.”
I held the paring knife up in midair.  “You’re not coming home, are you?” I asked. Should this be a question? Or more of a statement? Just asking.
“I’m afraid not for awhile.”
 “But I made plans to go to the football game tonight.”
“I’m sorry, Cat.  I really need you to stay with Mom.” 
I slammed the knife down to the cutting board.  “Fine,” I said, and hung up.     
“Dr. Tierney working late?” Billie asked.  
“Yes,” I said, chopping tomatoes more violently than normal.  Then I got an idea.  “Hey, Billie, are you busy tonight?”
She dropped the towel on the counter, looked at me over the top of her reading glasses.  “Your daddy hired me to help your mama during the day.”  She glanced at her watch.  “It’s already past five.  I’ve gotta help Earl castrate cows in the morning, and then we’ve gotta move some hay.  These old bones need to get in bed early tonight.”  She pointed a thick finger at me.  “And you need to stay here and do what your daddy asked you do to.”
           I slid the tomatoes into the salad bowl.  “Fine.”

Hmm. I'm not finding much else to comment on. Let me read it again...Nope. That's it. That first line hooked me and made me read on to learn a little more about our narrator, as well part of the mystery: Dad is a Doctor - Obstetrician, I'm guessing - which leaves Cat as caregiver in his or Billie's absence. The setting is the kitchen which gives me a visual without a lot of description to slow the action. I hear the tomatoes being chopped. This is great scene building imo. Plus I still need to know why mom needs help so I have to read on - or would've if there had been any more!

Nice job. What do you guys think? 


  1. Not bad at all. I was looking for the "read more" link! lol

    Yes, nice job indeed. Keeps a reader wanting more.

  2. I think it's really good as is. And I'd change that question to a statement as well. She'd sound more annoyed if it were a statement.

  3. Yes. This is good. The visuals are great. It makes me wonder why her mom needs to be babysat.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  4. No point in repeating what I already said at Dianne's place, so I'll just say I think Julia has a great beginning.

  5. Yep. If this is how Julia writes for the rest of her story, I'm in! Great job Julia!

  6. Thanks everyone! The comments at the other blog suggested that Cat seems too angry, self-centered. Perhaps readers would bond more with her if she was more sympathetic. Any thoughts? I appreciate the feedback!

    1. I personally didn't get that. Cat struck me as a normal teenager who was mad that she was going to be stuck home on a friday night - again. And since we don't know what the scoop is with mom yet we don't know whether this is normal teenage anger at the situation or if there's something more to it. Which is why I'd read find out!

      But this points out why it's a good idea to have more than one person read your manuscript before submitting.


  7. Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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