Thursday, February 18, 2010

First Page Friday, #2

Here's another round of first pages. Please leave feedback in the comments section!*

I slapped blindly at the blue button two more times before I could make myself sit up, transfixed by the sliver of sunshine slicing across the floor. I’d actually slept, I realized. I hadn’t expected to, sure that I would be replaying every word, every touch on an endless reel in the hours until I saw him again.

His laugh.

His hand on the small of my back.

His eyes. Always the blue, blue, blue of his eyes.

Instead, I’d slept like the dead.

Caroline popped up from the top bunk as I stepped gingerly out of bed. “It’s about time you got up. How was it?” she whispered loudly, glancing over at Amy sleeping peacefully, her requisite eyemask and earplugs firmly in place.

“It was amazing,” I said, truthfully.

She smiled broadly, clapping her hands together. “When did you get home? We went to bed around two and there was definitely no sign of you.”

“I was late, although don’t get too excited. That wasn’t why,” I warned. “Speaking of, I’m going to kill you.”

“Why? What did I do?” Caroline asked, her eyes widening.

“I’ll tell you the whole mortifying story later, but I just happened to pull out your condoms with my wallet at the restaurant. I thought I would die,” I said accusingly. My face flushed, remembering the horror I felt as the bright blue packet hit the stark white tablecloth.

Caroline’s hand flew over her tiny mouth to stifle a giggle. “Oh shit. I’m sure you were appalled. What did he say?”

“He was cool about it,” I said with a tired smile. “He didn’t think I should kill you.”

“You shouldn’t. You’ll both thank me later. So, when do we get all of the juicy details?” Caroline asked eagerly.

“Later. Much later. I’m going to class and then taking a nap,” I said, heading for the bathroom.

I shut the door without waiting for Caroline’s reply, looking in the mirror as I turned on the shower. My eyes were bright, a combination of exhilaration remembering last night and the anticipation of seeing Dylan again this morning. Thinking about seeing him, my stomach contracted and I purposely ignored the unfamiliar desire I felt swelling in me. I had never had such a physical reaction to someone before, which both thrilled and terrified me. My God, I was insane. He hadn’t even kissed me.

*If you'd like to submit your own first pages, please see this post for more information.


Steph said...

I really like it. I think that you could make the first paragraph more immediate, like: "I hit the silver button, but this time instead of rolling over I sat up." I really loved the conversation. I loved the way you hinted at things but made the reader guess and then at the end shot our guesses out the window. Very clever, fun, and easy to read. I know for older grades you don't have to show the problem right away, but the there was no hint of trouble in this page. If there is any kind of trouble small or large that you can hint at, I would suggest that you do so, but really great job!!

Sarah said...

So sorry it took me all day to comment!

I agree that the writing is nice and tight, and the mix of long and short sentences is engaging. I feel like I have a good idea of what both characters are like.

I agree with Steph that you might be able to bring a bit more conflict in, though you do hint at it in the last sentence. All that passion, and he hasn't kissed her!

I wondered- though this may come soon after- is she worried about whether he likes her as much? You know that horrible insecurity one feels when she's crazy about someone, but not yet sure if he returns it?

Well done- and again, I'm sorry for taking so long to comment.

Michelle said...

I like the characters, and how you've just jumped into a conversation with them. It definitely has a YA feel to it.

Watch the adverbs on your dialog. We have no reason to think your MC is lying, so we don't need to know that she said something "truthfully." Try taking out most of the adverbs, and if your verbs and dialog are strong enough, you'll find you don't need them.

I'd also hesitate to begin a story with a character waking up in the morning. I've read that editors find that overused.

I agree with Steph, in that you haven't yet presented us with a problem. While I found this enjoyable to read, there's nothing really grabbing me in a "What happened next?" way. Other than this budding romance, I don't know what this story is about.

Good images of sunshine slicing across the floor, and the roommate sleeping with the eye mask and earplugs. The condoms falling out of the purse was endearing. I could see readers responding to that kind of embarrassing situation.

Andrea Franco-Cook said...

Your first page is well written. Great job with the dialogue and interesting imagery. However, I think it may be lacking the necessary action to draw the reader in. I agree with the rest here, if there is conflict in your story it should be introduced. Great job.

Lisa said...

Oh, this is so YA! I didn't mind so much that a larger conflict wasn't introduced right away. The romance was enough to draw me in at first, but of course a hint of conflict would make this first page stronger.

Like Sarah, I wondered if the main character was at all worried that Dylan might not like her as much as she likes him, especially when we find out they hadn't even kissed. Great way to hook us, by the way!

I agree that you might want to stregthen the verbs and thin the adjectives/adverbs.

I was struck by all the blue in this first page--the blue alarm button, Dylan's blue blue eyes, the bright blue condoms. Unless there's some specific thematic reason for so much blue, I suggest you cut the other blues and only keep Dylan's eyes. The image of his eyes is more powerful if I'm not connecting them to an alarm clock or condoms.

Andrea Franco-Cook said...

Hi Sarah,
I'd like to submit my first page for First Page Friday Critiques. If possible, could you let me know what I need to do???? Thanks for hosting such a cool event.