Wednesday, February 5, 2014

First Impressions -



Today's first page, an NA Fantasy, comes from Colleen Myers. She doesn't have a website yet but you can find her on twitter @ColleenSMyers. My comments will be in purple and you can see what Dianne Salerni thought about this first page by visiting her blog, In High Spirits.

PROLOGUE

I snarled (technically people don't snarl, but I'm being a bit nit-picky)and swung my blade at Xade as he danced out of the way. He moved back across the translucent bridge of the spaceship towards the helm sliding sideways. I tracked him, waiting for my shot.
My breath came out in pants, chest heaving.  I rubbed my face on my sleeve as I flicked my hair back.
Xade glared at me as he curled his lip. "You think you can kill me, Coree?"
I sprang at him as he stumbled back and batted me away.
"I’ll kill you. I’ll kill you all!" I declared.
Xade sighed wearily and motioned to the men around us who stood silent witness to our fight. "Fine, I am done with this game." 
All three of them closed in on me but I remained focused on Xade, my tormentor. Though they all had the same pale hair, pale white eyes; I always knew him. It was his eyes, the look in them that said he liked to hurt women.  The Imani consider themselves superior but they get off on the same things as every other psycho in the universe.
He pulled a syringe from his pocket.
No.
I backpedaled into one of the men. He grabbed my hand and twisted, disarming me. Another held my arms back over my head as I writhed and screamed and yet another grabbed my legs. Xade strode forward and inserted the needle into my jugular, depressing the plunger.
My vision blurred. "No not this again. Please."
"No not this again." he agreed. "This is our last and final gift to you, the gift of innocence. You won’t remember the time you have spent with us. You can die happy and unaware, ignorant of your potential.” I jerked in their hands at the mention of death.
Xade noted the movement with a smug smile as he leaned close to me and whispered. “See, we believe you, we believe that there is nothing that will stop you from remembering and seeking vengeance. No matter what drugs we give you, no matter the gifts we lavish on you, you won’t stop your crusade and we are tired of your ingratitude.”
“Gifts,” I spit out as my body dropped out of their arms and fell to the deck with a thud. “Torture, experiments, pain. None of those are gifts.” I tried to roll away as my vision completely deserted me and my head grew foggy.
The last thing I heard was their laughter as Xade pushed me off the ship onto the mountainside and whispered “fly free.” Just a thought...

My first thought is that although this is a prologue (which I've heard are a no-no although I personally have never objected to prologues and always read them) it's a great set up. Lot's of things have happened to Corree that we, the reader, don't know about, except that it was unpleasant and there were gifts involved that Corree may not quite understand yet. I suspect chapter one will begin with Corree somewhere without any memory of what came before and that the story will be about her finding out who she is, who she was, and what those gifts are. This is also a great set up because we are immediately on Corree's side. Bad things have been done to her which makes us sympathetic toward her character and for me, that's the number one thing to get me involved in a book; make me like the mc, make me want to find out what happenes to them, want to follow them through whatever they're going to go through.
Nice beginning!

Now, what are your thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Do you have any comments that might help Colleen make this first page better?  


9 comments:

  1. I like it! Very tense. And some prologues are fine. I had one in my first book. (Although not in the other two.)

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  2. what do you mean people don't snarl? :)) With some people that's the only way of communication :)
    And that green eye scared the coon's tail out of me....

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  3. I agree- great set-up. And I really don't understand the issue with prologues - I always read them, too!

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  4. I liked it! It was smoothe and fast paced. Excellent job!

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  5. I like it too. My only suggestion is there are a lot of physical, action details that may be overkill. Pick one or two and then move on. Example: "I backed into one of the men. He wrapped his arm around my neck and squeezed. By the time Xade inserted the needle into my jugular, I struggled to breathe."

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  6. Nice gripping beginning! I like! Eh, if anyone objects to it being a prologue, just call it chapter 1 or Before, or something else. ;o) I really liked the part when they brought out the syringe--very effective.

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  7. The dog in your header photo looks really cold.

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  8. Get rid of the 'as' s - things happen in sequence in fiction, not simultaneously. It's very gripping. Why not make it chapater 1?

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  9. Just a thought - you establish Xade as her personal tormentor, more important than the others. Because of that, I think it might be more effective if he said "See, I believe you..." instead of "we believe you". Keeps his importance elevated.

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