Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Would You Read On? hosted by Diana Flegal

Welcome to Would You Read On? 

This week's First Page is the opening to a Historical novel. We welcome your thoughts. Please comment below if you would continue reading on.  

Nicodemus, Kansas

Spring, 1885

      Some folks said he was crazy, others saw him as plain evil but most folks just avoided Gideon McCoy and understandably so. When he rode through a town it was hard to decide which held your gaze more, the man or his horse. Each distinctly seized your attention and together they made a remarkable spectacle.
     In this small Kansas town it was unusual to see a man so pristinely garbed wearing such an expensive white shirt and black trousers under a long black overcoat. His fancy gun belt trimmed in silver pulled your eyes to his pearl handle six shooter. More of an odd occurrence was for the man to be a recognized gunman and a Negro. With unashamed impudence he led his steed down the main street of the town.
     The horse was a fine-looking tannish blonde with a bleached colored mane and tail, equally eye-catching and rare. The animal’s legs were outstanding, long and thick with hoofs uncommonly sturdy. He was indeed a magnificent beast trotting with the same imposing dignity his rider exhibited. The pair moved unhurriedly down the street taking in the distant view of an endless blue sky and tall prairie grass swaying in the warm breeze.
     The extravagantly embellished saddle was not only quality leather but had the rider’s name inscribed across the back. There would be no mistaking he was the infamous Gideon McCoy credited with walking away from over fifteen gunfights leaving his opponents sprawled dead in the dirt.

Would you read on?

Last weeks brave author was Jessica Nelson. 
Please check out Jessica's book, Love On The Range  Love Inspired Historical and stop by her website for a visit.


Kimberly Rae said...

I really like historical fiction, so I would be curious about what was going to happen. It would be good to take out the "you"s in there--they kind of trip up the reader by bringing us back into the present. And I'm not big on descriptions of horses, but that might be just me. =)
Happy writing!
Kimberly Rae

Anonymous said...

Although the writing is good and
expressive, there's too much description and basically nothing else. The story needs to start.

Anonymous said...

I am intrigued with the character, but the opening scene was laborious to read IMO.

Anonymous said...

I agree about the "yous". It takes me out of the setting. The descriptions are nice, but I'm waiting on some sort of clue as to where the story is going. I would probably read on, though, to see the conflict being set up.

Anonymous said...

I loved the description and felt the author is leading on with a nice balance of description and potential menace.

sally apokedak said...

Wow. Very interesting character.

And yet I think this need to be tightened a bit.

The voice of the narrator is sophisticated--"pristinely garbed" and "unashamed impudence" "imposing dignity" "extravagantly embellished" and I think you can keep that high-brow flavor and still cut the redundancies.

The writer tells us he's pristine then shows the white shirt. I thinks she could cut "pristinely" and speed things up. She could cut the other adverbs and adjectives above, too. Impudence implies unashamed, dignity implies imposing, and embellished implies extravagance. They are not synonymous, but they are close enough to feel redundant. They weigh this opening down.

Just the words "impudence" and "dignity" and "embellishment" are enough to show us the narrator is educated and thoughtful.

I think this is an intriguing opening with an interesting character and I want to read more. If the writer would read and apply Noah Lukeman's FIRST FIVE PAGES this opening would sing.

Timothy Fish said...

I think it makes for a nice opening, keeping the pace laid back like we want from a western. The one criticism I have is that there is too much closure at the end of the page. We see him ride into town and but at the end of the page we see his back. No one is afraid of a man's back, no matter how many gunfights he's been in. I say, cut the last paragraph and replace it with something that will show us the threat he is to these people. Make us fear.

Sharon A. Lavy said...

I was hooked with the first sentence.

The following prose I take as the character's voice and am trying to adjust to it.

I am not tripping.

Yes I would turn the page.

I don't know if the robot catcher is going to let me post this week or not.

Rick Barry said...

I'd probably read on. Paragraph #1 successfully baits the hook and sparks curiosity about this unique character.

There are some mechanical needs, but none that couldn't be touched up fairly simply.

Jeanette Levellie said...

I love it that he's a black gunfighter who wins, dresses like a king, and rides an expensive horse. But I'd like some dialogue, to give us a glimpse into his character. Even a sentence or two would help me want to read on.

I'd give it another two pages, then if it was more of the same kind of discription, I'd not read on. If it had some action and dialogue, I'd read further.

Anonymous said...

I love historical fiction, and yes, I would read on! I want to know what makes this pair so unique and why they are riding into town. I agree with a few of the other comments on techincal details, but I could see the story in my mind, and I liked what I saw.

Lynn Donovan said...

Yes I'd read on. The first line hooks me and the first paragraph sets the hook. I realize how unique an educated and sophisticated black man would have been in this time frame and I want to know whats going to happen. My only criticism, since its just an exposure to the first page, is there is no hint at what's the story about other than the genre. But it looks like a good read to me! I didnt trip over "you's" had to go back and look for them when read comments. LOL!

Kristi Bernard said...

I have visited Nicodemus Kansas. I live in Kansas not far from there. Most of the town is gone but just being there awakened my curiosity. I would read on.