Wednesday, August 7, 2013

first impressions - MEDITATIONS

For our final first impression, we have the first page of MEDITATIONS, a YA Thriller from Larissa. You can find her here: Creative Memories Consultant, FCCWP Handbell Choir Director, Her Blog, Twitter My comments will be in purple and you can check out what Dianne Salerni had to say over at her blog, In High Spirits.

Friday 8:30pm

I’m not sure what wakes me up first, the pounding in my head, or the coolness of the concrete floor I’m lying on. (first clue: concrete floor as opposed to a bed - interesting...) A moan escapes my lips and echoes around the room. (Would it echo? Or does it depend on what the walls are made of? Just asking.) As the throbbing slows and my eyes adjust to the dim light, I take in my surroundings.
What the hell is going on? I have no idea where I am. The room is bare and completely gross, the floor covered in dust and dirt.
I place my hand flat in front of my chest and push myself to a seated position. The familiarity of the motion I use in yoga every day usually calms me, but now my head just pounds harder, and my heart pounds with it.
Where am I? I search my memory. I had finished the yoga class, and decided to walk to the musical, and then…. I don’t know. My entire body shakes with a surge of adrenaline, and my breathing speeds up.
I have to calm down and figure out where I am. I breathe in slowly through my nose, and cough when the smells of the place register. It smells like something died in here. Or lots of somethings. I try breathing through my mouth instead, but that only dulls the stench. Good sensory details.
Shaking my head, I attempt to stand, but my legs give out. As I sit back on my heels, I try to pierce the gloom with my eyes. It makes my head throb worse, but it’s the only thing I can do right now. Tears of frustration prick my eyes, and I blink them back. Crying won’t help.
My eyes adjust and I can make out a door in the wall in front of me. I drop to the floor and crawl to it. Using the handle, I pull myself to my feet. Please open, please open. I twist the doorknob. It won’t turn.
I twist again, turning the knob back and forth. It doesn’t budge. My heart and head pulse in unison, and I feel an athsma attack starting. (Yikes, talk about making things even worse ...) What’s going on?
Yanking on the handle, I yell," Hello?" There's no response, so I bang on the door with my fist. "Hey!" I press my ear to the door and listen. Not a sound.

My thoughts: Wow. That's quite a first page! I have no idea what's going on but I definitely want to find out. I like this set up, the way the narrator is slowly trying to figure out what happened, how she was doing her normal daily thing before this moment, and that suddenly it looks like she's been kidnapped AND is about to have an asthma attack in addition to everything else. Does she have her inhaler with her? Is she going to pass out? Has she been kidnapped? or is there another explanation? And if she's been kidnapped who did it and why? If not...what the heck is going on?!

I would have to turn the page.

Your thoughts?


  1. At first I thought the pounding in her head was due to a hangover, but being kidnapped is much worse!

  2. I loved it and have nothing to add.

    Question: Can you send any first part of a a chapter 1?

    Hugs and chocolate,

  3. Definitely an interesting set up.

  4. I liked it too. Well done, Larissa! :)

  5. Loved it and was left wanting to read more.

  6. Lots of intensity in this one.

  7. Damn....that's a good start!

  8. I'd turn the page too! I'd be sitting on the edge of my seat, holding my breath and waiting to see what happens! Awesome start.

  9. I think this is a really cool set up. I'm intrigued. I did not understand the meaning of this one line, "I try to pierce the gloom with my eyes" - this could totally be me though.

  10. I truly love this. I already commented over at Dianne's place, but I have one additional comment. The sentence saying the room is bare and gross and the floor covered with dust and dirt... Instead of saying that, why not show it? Maybe the dust would make her sneeze. Maybe when she reaches out her hand, she touches a spider web or huge dust ball. Maybe a roach skitters across her arm.

    Again, I think this is a super beginning. Great job, Larissa!

  11. Oh yes! I'd definitely turn the page. A lot of mystery and tension. Great emotion.

  12. Definitely a sense of urgency! I'd have to learn more too! Just a nitpick tho--the line "tears of frustration prick my eyes" .... not sure what it is, whether redundant or wordy, but it didn't settle right with me as I was reading.
    Otherwise, nice work, Larissa! :)

  13. Oh, I totally agree. Must turn the page! Excellent start. The only thing I'd take out and replace is "gross." Maybe something more specific. Is it the dirt that's gross? Spider webs? Mold? Slime or something else slick on the floor? That's a great opportunity to give us a feel of the room she's in.

    Great opening page, and Marcy, great notes!

  14. I'd definitely turn the page. There has certainly been a ticking clock established, as well as rising stakes. The word "gross" distracted me. Maybe a different choice? Or more description. Gross can be shown.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  15. Sorry I'm so late replying! I totally didn't realize it was posted already. I blame the first week of school.

    Thank you so much for your comments. I will definitely be tweaking the first page, but it's great to know that it's doing it's job! :)


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