Monday, October 1, 2007

Monday Mania: First Page

Introducing our Monday Mania submission. One of our readers submitted the first page of her novel. Feel free to make comments, but please keep them constructive.

Critique Archive 0004:

"If you’re hoping to see the Prince, you won’t. He isn’t returning from his trip until this evening."

The amused voice startled Adelicia from her thoughts at the tall workroom window. She turned to face Wynne’s wide smile. "Me?" Adelicia exclaimed, pointing to herself with one hand. She tossed her delicate needlework onto the worn oak table beside her. Then, clasping her hands to her heart, she turned back to the window and gazed forlornly at the rolling hills in the distance. The gentle rain on the glass heightened the melodramatic effect as she said with a slight tremor in her voice, "I confess—you’ve discovered my secret." Adelicia turned to the other seamstresses with a flourish of her skirts and held her arms out helplessly before them. "But what mortal woman could resist the possibility of capturing even the smallest glimpse every maid’s fantasy: the King of Conceit; His Majesty, Lord of Arrogance?"

Adelicia took a few long strides across the room and laid her hand on Wynne’s shoulder with a melancholy sigh. With a slight break in her voice suspiciously resembling a giggle, she finished dramatically, "But alas, I fear the Prince will never love any maid more than he loves his looking glass." Laughter erupted from the other seamstresses, followed by applause as Adelicia fell into a magnificent swoon on a nearby chair.

The laughter in the room gradually died down. Wynne turned to Adelicia with a wry smile. "Deny it as some will," she said, "every woman in this kingdom has some hidden dreams about the Prince."

Adelicia sat up from her theatrics and raised an eyebrow at Wynne’s remark as she brushed a stray wisp of her golden red hair from her eyes. She picked up her needlework from the table in a handful. "Don’t judge others by yourself, Wynne. My dreams consist of more than well-rehearsed charm and a handsome face."


Josi said...

The biggest thing that struck me is that I have no idea what POV I'm in. Is it a narration? Am I in the Wynne's POV or Adelica (might be wrong name). Though you have great setting and description, and the dialogue shows sarcasm, I was nearly half way through the page before I was sure she was being funny. By adding a few lines of her own thoughts, or that it IS sarcastic, then reader doesn't have to guess and it makes a lot more sense.

Also, you used the word melancholy twice, which is redundant for a word that is not very common.

You show a good grasp for writing, in that you use characterization, setting, and humor well, but by giving a solid POV you allow the reader to get closer to your character and not feel left out.

Good luck!

Heather B. Moore said...

This beginning immediately pulls you into the story. And while the main character is melodramatic, we see her character peeking through. Consider replacing the "exclaimed" with "said." Also, some of the adverbs stuck out: melancholy and dramatically (we don't need to be "told" it's dramatic, the dialogue does that for us). And sighs are melancholy by nature.

I also wondered if the people of the court would make so much fun of their prince. Wouldn't this be considered an offense?

Overall the first page does its job and gets us interested in the story by pulling us right in. Nice work.