Friday, June 3, 2011

first impressions #2 - Transforming Silence

Our second submission of the month comes from Em Salgado. This is the first page of her YA Paranormal. My comments, as always, are in purple. Go here to see Dianne's comments.

April, 1992

“Excuse me, are you Jack Thorn?”

I turned around and there was a short, reed thin man staring at me with a timid look on his face, as if he was afraid I’d say no. Or was he afraid I’d say yes? I shrugged my shoulders and answered, (period, I think) “I am, and you are?”

He took a quick step forward, entering my personal space and making my defenses rise. (I don’t think you need this because we all know what happens when someone enters our space. or, better yet, show us what happens) His face gained a mischievous grin and he said, “My Queen wishes your company, if you’d just stand still a moment,” and with that he flicked his bony fingers in my face and I felt cold liquid (splashed maybe? Land seems a little weak. I’d like to see a stronger verb here.) landed in my eyes. And I shortened this up to cut to the chase.

“Hey what’s your problem?”

I rubbed (rubbed what? I’m guessing eyes but I think it should be clear) as a burning sensation went straight to my brain. My whole head felt on fire for a moment. Then, just as suddenly as it started, it stopped. I opened my eyes and looked around for the skinny jerk so I could punch him in the face, but he was gone seemed to be nowhere in sight. (rule #4: Use definite, concrete, specific language.) The sound of someone clearing their throat made me spin around. Oh, and those aren’t my rules, they’re rules I read on someone else’s blog.

Suddenly I was face to face with an emaciated, green colored thing that resembled the man from before. His thin smirk was creepy on his face, complete with pointed chin and skin that looked stretched so tight it might tear at any second. He put a bone thin finger to his lips and when he giggled the sound was harsh and biting like rocks crashing into each other. I think you could cut the word count in this paragraph to make this whole scene more immediate. Just a thought.

“If you talk to me now, people will think you’re crazy. Only you can see me at this point in time. Follow me for answers, or stay here looking like you’ve seen a ghost. The choice is yours.” Now we’re getting somewhere :)

The only other thing I'll say is that few people would be eager to follow some creepy green guy unless given a very good reason. You might want to hint at what sort of answers green guy is offering in order to make the reader believe that that the mc would follow. On the other hand, your page two might very well address that so... take anything I've said with that in mind. And remember, this is a single opinion only. Dianne may have something entirely different to say. 


  1. Hey, thank you for the critique!

    I didn't realize I talk so much. Haha! You gave me a lot to think about and I thank you. ^_^



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