It's time for another First Impact Critique, where we take a look at your queries, first pages, back cover copy, and more. You want to make an impact right from the start. We're here to help you do that.
If you'd like to submit your first impact material, send it to firstimpactAE@gmail.com. Details here.
Remember, anyone who offers their comments this month is eligible for either $10 for Amazon or B&N OR a 20-page critique from me.
week we have the first page of a sci-fi novel from Patricia Moussatche. Some of you may remember critiquing the query for this one. My overall thoughts are at the end. As always,
this is all just my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
UPDATE: Patricia has a revised version of the first paragraph in the comments.
Catrine blinked as her eyes adjusted to the
brightness outside the school building. She should have worn a hat. She
glanced at David, who had closed the heavy wood door behind them. Her
best friend’s smile was as bright as the afternoon light. This was the
first time either of them had left the school since their enrollment at
the age of two. They were both eighteen now, but David looked ready to
conquer the galaxy.
“Maybe we should go over your speech one more time,” she said.
His smile dimmed. “We went over it five times on the way here.”
And you’re still forgetting to mention that the tutors will be
traveling to the pupil’s home planet. That’s the whole point of the
“Do you want to give the speech?”
Her inside twisted in knots. “No.”
"Then stop fretting. If the council hadn’t liked our idea, they wouldn’t have requested an audience.”
probably read the proposal once. You’ve read it a dozen times and you
still forget some of the details. I should have made you write it.”
David's smile returned. “Then it wouldn’t have been perfect.”
Or written at all, she thought.
I've actually read an earlier version of this (Patricia was one of the lucky winners of the 20-page critique). So keep in mind that I have more of the backstory in my head than a new reader might.
I really like the banter between them. It feels natural, shows off the characters (especially Catrine), gives useful information without being obvious about it, and it even makes me smile in a couple of places.
I'm less certain about the opening paragraph. It feels slower and less interesting to me. I don't think it should be cut necessarily, because it grounds us, but it didn't shine for me like the dialog did.
What do the rest of you guys think?