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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Would You Read On? hosted by Diana Flegal

Today, another brave author has offered up the first page of his/her book.

Please read and comment below. Would you read on or not?


First Page:

One rap, more of a punch than a knock, banged the outside door, then silence. RJ sprang from the bed. His feet hit the floor in time with Beau's warning bark. He had his jeans on and his flannel shirt buttoned when he opened the farmhouse portal. The worn granite step glowed in the halo of the outside lamp, but no one stood in the spotlight.

The blue merle pressed against his master's leg, his deep growl vibrating his entire body.

"What is it, Boy?" he whispered, then cleared his throat.

RJ opened the storm door and stepped out. The stone's chill seeped into the soles of his bare feet. The fog horn moaned in the damp night air. The dog plunged into the darkness. RJ followed, eyes straining into the gauze of fog wrapping around his world. "Who's there?" he called.

The muffled whack of the storm door catching the breeze answered. "Probably a bat," he said. "Come on, Beau." The dog whined and ran back to the steps. RJ pivoted and halted in mid-stride.

An arrow skewered the weathered blue door. Beau ran his nose along the projectile, growling once again. RJ's eyes touched the arrow, his hands clenched at his sides. The barbed tip and polished fiberglass screamed hunter. A professional but not a perfect shot, it sat off-center near the base of the door. A white sheet of paper uncurled from the shaft just behind the razored prongs.

"Back, Beau," he commanded, but the dog's questing nose nudged the paper and it dropped to the step.

RJ jerked his sleeves over his hands and picked up the limp roll. He flicked off the wet piece of tape and unfurled it.

Hey, Home Wrecker



Would You read on?

Last weeks courageous author was Carole Brown. You may learn more about Carole and her writing by visiting her on her blog, Sunnybank Meanderings.


12 comments:

Timothy Fish said...

No, I wouldn't read on. I made it through the first paragraph. When I read a story, I want to fell like the author is sitting across the table from me and telling the story. This piece tries too hard. I can't imagine the author would use the same words if they were telling this story to a friend over coffee.

Jeanette Levellie said...

That last line makes me curious, but the writing leading up to it is a bit stilted, and many of the sentences begin in the same way: a bow ran, RJ's eyes touched, Beau ran his nose. If you could vary the sentence structure so the cadence flows smoothly, you might be able to fix it.

Or, start the story with the arrow barely missing his temple as it hits the door.

Then I'd read on.

cjames@claricejames.com said...

Yes, I would read on! As I read this author's first page, I made some comments based on my first impressions. Hope my comments help.

• “One rap, more of a punch than a knock:” I would change this to: “A knock, more like a punch, shook the door.”
• “sprang from the bed:” Maybe change this to a phrase not so overused.
• “His feet hit the floor in time with Beau's warning bark.” Good clear sentence.
• “Portal:” Did you mean this to sound sci-fy-ish? It seems out of place.
• “The worn granite step glowed in the halo of the outside lamp:” Nice.
• “The stone's chill seeped into the soles of his bare feet. The fog horn moaned in the damp night air. The dog plunged into the darkness. RJ followed, eyes straining into the gauze of fog wrapping around his world. ‘Who's there?’ he called:” You’ve set a great scene here.
•“A professional but not a perfect shot, it sat off-center near the base of the door:” Good clue?
• “. . . the dog's questing nose:” Delete questing.
• “Hey, Home Wrecker:” You’ve hooked me here!

Oh, yes, I would read on!

Cheryl said...

Like Jeanette, I am captured by that last line, but not sure that makes me want to continue. As I read, I was unsure of the genre. At first I thought contemporary, but the farmhouse "portal" and fiberglass arrow made me think futuristic.

I like the idea of the arrow narrowly missing his head coming first.

Sarah Thomas said...

I was thrown off by the word "portal," too. Is the author looking for variety? Or is it really a futuristic opening? I love the idea of the arrow just missing RJ. The opening is just okay now, and a near miss would give it a nice shot of excitement.

As for reading on? I'd probably give it another paragraph or two before deciding. I'm on the fence.

Davalyn Spencer said...

"Portal" threw me. Does the writer mean "window"? I thought it was a historic setting until I read the word "fiberglass."

I would read on to answer a few questions, but if the story didn't promise more I would stop.

Linda Glaz said...

You know what I think might help each week? To put what genre we're reading. That would take away a lot of the comments about it would work for this one not for that one. Make sense? I just think it would make for better clarity on whether or not we would continue reading.

Katherine Hyde said...

I would not read on. It's overwritten, leading to jarring juxtapositions like "the farmhouse portal." I never saw a farmhouse with a portal. Farmhouses have plain old doors. And they do not have fog horns.

The tone makes me think the main character is a professional spy or something, so when the message begins, "Hey, home wrecker," I'm jolted into wondering what kind of story this actually is.

Codependency Caring or Controlling said...

In my Bucks County rural neighborhood we never called our farmhouse doors portals. And that was the visual I had in my head, a farmhouse in Bucks County,PA. But when he said a fog horn I knew it was not a PA Dutch farmhouse setting. I am sure as the story goes on we will learn where this farmhouse is located, in Maine, Nova Scotia or other seaport location. Based on the closing line, I would definitely read on.

kay Moser said...

I would read on, and I hope this author continues this storyl (Definitely change the word "portal.) If I may make one suggestion--I was confused about where the arrow landed and how the man missed it when he first walked out.

Kristen Joy Wilks said...

I like the situation, the last line is very interesting. It needs to be cleaned up though for me to want to continue. Some awkward description and wordiness. Pick the best stuff that sets the scene without losing me, then I would be able to read on without worrying that the rest of the book would be just as choppy.

Sharon A. Lavy said...

The last line makes me want to turn the page. If the cover and the back cover blurb had caused me to pick up the book in the first place, I would read on.