Monday, May 6, 2013

first impressions - Butterman (Time) Travel Inc.


Our last first impression this month comes from PK Hrezo, who you can find at her ever so fabulous blog - her A-Z villains were a blast!  Here is the first page of PK's YA scifi, BUTTERMAN (TIME) TRAVEL INC. My comments will be in purple and do head over to Dianne Salerni's blog and see what her thoughts were on PK's first page.







 When people hear I’m remotely homeschooled (spell check tells me this is two words) in the year 2069, two things happen: first, they pause, wait for me to say I’m joking. When that doesn’t happen, their eyes glaze over with forced courtesy and they smile, nod inwardly, cringe at their social faux pas (this jarred me a little because the narrator would not know the inner thoughts of other people - unless she's a mind reader. I'd delete this and maybe either add what kind of smile, or some other reaction that would show what the people were thinking. Plus this is a 45 word sentence which is pretty long - says the Queen of the long sentence.) because if I’m not allowed to attend school centers, then I must be special and they just aired it out in the open. Not special as in gifted intelligence, but the other kind of special—the euphemism for those socially awkward weirdos and cataclysmically disruptive doofuses. Sometimes I play along, stare intensely at them til sweat beads on their foreheads, you know, make them shift in their own clothes while guilt wells up from their core. Always good for a laugh.
Truth is, I’m hardly what you’d consider challenged. Okay, so I’m better online than I am in person—ninety percent of teenage America is too. But contrary to popular (and presumptuous) belief, being homeschooled from remote locations doesn’t always mean you’ve been assigned there from the school board because of social disorders. My isolated northern Alaskan station is by choice—my parents run their business here. And there’s not a soul today who wouldn’t jump at the chance to trade places with me. Mark my words. Take that to the bank, and all that jazz.
 My screen flashes with a call and I point to my screen, gesture to answer. Been waiting for this one. VIP customer my parents say. More VIP than usual, which would make him VVIP. In other words, he’s made of money and Mom and Dad want some of it. “Butterman Travel, Incorporated. Hello, Mr. Van Nuys. What can I do for you?”
 A silver-haired man with nice skin (rich skin) fills the video screen. Distinguished appearance, but regret taints the twinkle in his eye. I know the type. We get a lot of them. Old farts with more money than life could ever let them spend, desperate to fix some gaffe from their past that either got them punked or punked  someone else at some point.(I'm not sure what that means) And when they’re this close to heaven’s door, time is the one thing they can’t buy.  
Unless they come here.

Love this last line. It tells me immediately that Butterman Travel is not your average travel company and it makes me want to read on. I also like the narrator's voice. She (I'm assuming) sounds a little jaded, older than her years, no doubt due to the people she deals with, like Mr. Van Nuys. I do wonder whether all the bit about being home schooled is necessary. Will this fact play an important part in the story? If so then by all means keep it. But if not, I'd let it go because it just delays the moment when we realize that Butterman Travel offers more than a simple trip somewhere. And that's the part that's interesting. 

What do you guys think of PK's first page? Agree with my comments? Have some of your own? Want your first page critted? We still have two openings left for June so if you're interested just shoot me an email :)

15 comments:

  1. Thanks Marcy! Tells me exactly what I need to do. Been contemplating chucking that first part and now I know for sure! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I enjoyed this- especially when it gets rolling and I love the voice. The only thing I'd explain is why being homeschooled from a remote location would make people associate the fact with her mental/physical/social capacities. I mean, the 'remote location' says it all. She doesn't really have a choice, does she? I'd either expand on that or give a reason why living somewhere remote would have a negative connotation in that setting.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks everyone! Great advice. :D

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very interesting. I'm hooked. Agree with Marcy about the whole home schooled thing. A brief mention might be enough, but other than that; WOW!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Really good feedback, Marcy. The voice does come across as older, but what an intriguing story. Well done. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. wow. what a great first page. And that last line really does hook you in!
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. My father is a huge time travel fan, PK. I'll have to tell him about your book, and I'll have to read it myself. I wish I would find a courage to write such a book. They're fun to read.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I like the voice and the quirkiness of the main character, which I get from the whole homeschool thing. I'd love to read on b/c I'm already hooked.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I left a long comment over on Dianne's blog, so I won't go into so much detail here! :) But one of the things I mentioned over there was the story really could start with the third paragraph, which is pretty much what you said, Marcy! And Pk, I think you can find a way to work in that home-school info later, so you can still keep some of those snarky sentences we all love.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I already commented at Dianne's place, so not much more to add here, other than to say, "Good critique, Marcy!" You were spot on about the sentence in the first paragraph. I completely missed that.

    But I still love this start. It ends with a great hook.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great critique, Marcy.

    PK- sounds like a great idea. I'm wondering just what is so important about the homeschooling and why today seems to be so special.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you everyone for stopping by and commenting!

    ReplyDelete

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