Our second first impression for October comes from Mark Koopman, who lives in paradise (also known as Hawaii). This is the first page of his Adult novel, REVIVAL: THE DONALD BRASWELL STORY. My comments will be in purple and to see what Dianne thought of this first page, head over to her blog.
Chapter One: Waiting for the Horse
“… People are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment…”
– Hebrews 9:27 NIV
February, 2008 – Dallas, Texas
In the long, empty restroom, my reflection waits for the answer to my supposed nugget of inspiration, but I’m cautious in case the door opens and I’m pegged as a weird old guy in a dark suit.
You realize this isn’t your second chance; it’s your last chance, right?
Glancing at the door, I shake my head as the statement in the form of a question repeats itself. Leaving my unanswered reflection in ponder mode, I wave at the automatic towel dispenser, which releases a sliver (I'm not sure if sliver is the best word. What about a slip of brown paper?) of coarse, brown paper.
A little annoyed at the cheap cost-cutting measures of the swanky hotel, I wave my hands like a demented monarch until the reluctant machine parts with enough paper to mostly dry my hands. I add my small offering to a grey trashcan that’s erupting like Mt. Recycled, pull the door open and head toward the busy conference room.
America’s Got Talent had called and thousands of us (this phrase feels/sounds a little awkward to me.) descended on Dallas for this, their latest round of auditions. The guy in charge of our loose group had said we were “going up at about noon.” Looking at my Timex, there was still an hour to burn. Relaxed, (is he really? I wouldn't be the least bit relaxed - especially if it was my last chance.) I straddled a chair, with an annoying rock (A chair with a rock? I don't get this.) – changed it for another – and went through possible answers to whatever questions the three judges might throw at me during the introduction. I wanted to be ready because if I beat the infamous buzzers, I planned to use every second of stage time.
Okay, so I was being a little picky here but only because the writing was very good and this felt very tight, almost perfect. I do have two overall concerns. One is that there's a lot of snark, which is fine, but make sure you want there to be a lot of snark. The second is whether the last paragraph should be first since that's what's likely to interest the reader (the fact that the narrator is about to audition for a famous tv show) and possibly an agent. On the other hand, I do like the way the previous paragraphs introduces us to the narrator, gives us his voice, snark and all. So, maybe we should see what Dianne thought about this...or, maybe you'd like to offer your opinion, tell Mark what you think of his first page.