For our second day of First Impressions, we have Elizabeth Arroyo, author of The Second Sign, who blogs over at Chandara Writes. This is the first page of her NA Sci-fi/Dystopian. Author Dianne Salerni - who can be found over at In High Spirits - is also critiquing this same first page at her blog and you can see if we agreed on our crit - or not! Your comments are always welcome and if you're interested in submitting, check out my sidebar for the FAQs.
Morph could almost forget that Earth was a dying planet. It looked normal from space: a bright blue sphere with a stable atmosphere. Most of its natural resources, including humans, had been depleted as the Earth crumbled in on itself, unstable and volatile.
Morph turned to the cyborg. Its sole purpose to record and retrieve information, Aislyn, priest and executioner, listened when you thought you were alone and backstabbed you to Crux with the information. Morph could forgive it since it didn’t have a conscience. “Aislyn, how are you?”
“I am well, thank you. This way.” Aislyn led him into the circular chamber hovering between Earth’s atmosphere and space. The Needle.
The blackness of space jolted Morph’s nerves. Shyla had demanded his council eighteen times in the last six months, and he’d denied her until now. Keeping the supply ship from him had convinced him of her power. As leader of the world government, Shyla was not used to waiting. She was going to be pissed.
“Well, well, it’s about time.”
Morph drew a smile on his lips and turned to the shadow figure outlined in red. “Hello, Shyla.” He had to admit, though never to her,
that he was relieved she decided to use a holograph. It had been three years
since he’d last set foot on the Phoenix where Crux had settled. Since his
“I thought you were dead,” she said.
Okay, so now to my suggestions for making this a better first page:
Morph could almost forget that Earth was a dying planet. It looked normal from space: a bright blue sphere with a stable atmosphere. But most of its natural resources, including humans, had been depleted as the Earth crumbled in on itself, unstable and volatile. Here is where I would insert how this happened and/or what caused it. You don't need a big long paragraph, just a few short sentences will do.
Its sole purpose to record and retrieve information, Aislyn, priest and executioner, listened when you thought you were alone and backstabbed you to Crux with the information. I had to read this sentence a few times before it made sense to me. At first I thought it was a fragment but I think reworking the order of words would make a big difference, like so: Morph turned to the cyborg, Aislyn, whose sole purpose was to record and retrieve information. It listened when you thought you were alone you were alone and then back-stabbed you to Crux with the information. Not perfect but better, I think. Also, Aislyn is a feminine name which would suggest the cyborg might have a feminine appearance and thus be referred to as she. Referring to it as it is fine, but just remember, you'll have to do so consistently throughout.
The phrase 'demanded his council' felt odd, too, since it implies Morph and Shyla are on equal turns but the fact that she withheld the supply ship suggests otherwise. Demanded a meeting might be better.
Lastly, I might save the 'since his mother died' for when Morph goes down to earth (I'm making the assumption here that he will be going down) and sees the place. That might be a good opportunity to use those words to lead into some backstory.
I like the use of certain words like Needle and Crux, which, while they aren't explained, suggest enough to satisfy the reader but also make her curious to find out more - especially about Crux. What is it? Who is it? Some sort of Government entity? Something else? I want to know more! And who is this Shyla person in red?!
Thank you Elizabeth for submitting your first page. I hope my suggestions/comments helped, and I hope my readers will chime in with theirs.
Happy Monday all!