Monday, October 15, 2012

Revised First Page for Curiosity Quills

Well, some wickedly wonderful super villains and minions stopped by and critiqued the first page of my manuscript: Corrupted. I have taken these critiques to heart. Here is the greatly improved result. Thanks to all! Especially to Krystal Wade for a fantastic line by line. All of you rock.

First Page of CORRUPTED
The tracker in my forearm beeped at 3 a.m., yanking me from a peaceful sleep. I stared at it for a moment, wondering whether the GPS or microphone prompted the warning. When the words “…the gunpowder, treason, and plot…” blared fuzzily through the television, I concluded it was not a malfunctioning GPS and panicked, leaping from my broken-down couch to turn off the television.

How did it unmute?

I frantically searched for someone besides myself to blame. My gaze rested on the loathsome remote, which I had apparently fallen asleep on, forcing the volume to rocket out of control. I never watched television - interesting television - with the volume on. I chose to read subtitles, because any buzzword repeated too many times would undoubtedly trigger an inquiry and a Screener to monitor me for days, until The State realized I wasn’t a threat. Or worse, it could prompt a full-fledged investigation. If my house was raided, I would be dead without question.

Heavy knocking assaulted my door and my heart stopped. The oxygen fled the room in an instant. This was it. I was going to die. The Enforcers would come in, find my stash of contraband, then shoot me on the spot…if I was lucky. My heart pounded relentlessly against my ribcage. It felt like little razors lined the inside of my throat, drawing blood with every ragged breath. I shakily climbed the steps to the main level, covering the opening to my hidden room with a floor tile and a rug, in case the Enforcers at my door were less than thorough. The barrage on my front door continued, and I stopped for a moment at the entry, took a gasp of air, then opened it.


  1. Minion stopping by...The Super Villains have been extra awesome with these 1st page critiques so I will just add my quick two cents.

    You use "trigger" in back to back sentences and reference "heart" (heartbeat/heart stopped) in back to back sentences. Perhaps instead of trigger you could use "foment" or something similar.

    I think there are a couple of lazy verbs such as "came" and "left" you could replace. I really liked the imagery of the razors in the throat but I think you could leave "it felt like" out of the sentence and maybe think of another adjective for "little."

    Overall I found this first page intriguing and it did leave me wanting more. I am sure our badass Super Villains will have a more astute analysis!

  2. As I've said before, I really like cyberpunk, and I think you have some neat things going on here. I did have one suggestion: consider how the first page would read if you took out the third paragraph entirely. I think it reads better, actually-- not to say that the third paragraph is unimportant, it just slows things down ever so slightly. At least to me, those details (the remote, interesting television) are all questions that can be answered later. Instead, capitalize on the sense of panic and immediacy that you've created here.

  3. I love it! Congrats for your Pitch Live round 2 winning!

  4. It's an exciting opening, but I was distracted by some fixable details. If the TV was blaring, why did the beeping tracker wake her up instead of the television?

  5. Thanks all! Off to do a couple more revisions. @Sharon-That's a good point about the blaring television; I actually just added that word in...but you're right; it doesn't make sense! lol

  6. Very exciting! The tension is mounting continually! I really like it. :)

  7. I love the pace and first person narrative!