Opening Paragraph #20

Paige sat as far away as possible from the driver of the spiffy (no–if she’s in that much trauma, she’d hardly reference the car as “spiffy”–and neither should the author. It minimizes what’s coming next.), new mustang she’d just spent a horrifying hour in. Both hands gripped the door handle in anticipation, and as the car approached her house, she opened the car door and watched the blur of gravel below her. As soon as the car slowed enough that she was reasonably sure she wouldn’t break her neck, she stumbled out of the prison. She scuffled to her front door, her quivering hands holding tight to her belly in an effort to keep the pain and nausea at bay. She picked up her pace when she heard footsteps behind her. The boy came up beside her and walked nonchalantly, as if this was just any normal date on any normal Saturday night. As if. (new paragraph) “I had a nice time,” he said, casually, rubbing his hands together. (new paragraph) Paige gasped and pushed hard on the door. She didn’t use the kind of language that comment deserved. He reached out and grabbed her arm. She stiffened, frozen with fear. (new paragraph) “Can I call you?” She yanked her arm out of his grasp, stepped inside, and slammed the door, wincing at the possibility that her parents might have heard.

Critique: Another one that made the first cut. It didn’t make the finals because I got mixed signals. My first thought is, she’s been raped. But then there was the confusing and trivializing first sentence (spiffy). Also lost points because it’s several paragraphs. This could be good, or it could be same old girl-recovers-from-trauma-all-men-are-scum book. I need to know more.

Would I ask for more? Yes. Depending on the query and synopsis, I’d probably ask for a full.

Author: LDS Publisher

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8 thoughts on “Opening Paragraph #20”

  1. Thanks to you readers for the votes, this was very encouraging! I almost didn’t submit, afraid that I would only be discouraged. Thank you also, LDSPublisher, for the critique, it was right on target. I didn’t like spiffy either, upon re-reading it. It was a poor attempt at showing irony, but should have been removed once a more dramatic tone was set.

    I can’t say I’ve ever read an all-men-are-scum book, so I’m not sure what those are like, but this part of the story is actually the prologue, with chapter one picking up as the grown woman and her teenage daughter return to the town many years later. The mother struggles with conflicting emotions of having run away from a place she loves, while the daughter uncovers her mother’s secret past. It involves a natural disaster (the daughter is stranded when the town is cut off by flooding), and an old love rekindled.

    This was a much longer comment than intended, but there you go – that’s how it is with writers. Thanks again!

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