Monday, December 17, 2007

Monday Mania: First Page

One of our readers submitted the first page of her novel. Feel free to make comments, but please keep them constructive.
Critique Archive 0014:
PROLOGUE
(April of last year)


In 1864, Gregor Mendel published a study revealing the results of an experiment that used ________ to determine the principles of genetics.

A. Pisum sativum
B. Garden peas
C. Legumes
D. All of the above


I rolled my eyes and circled ‘D’. This was a trick question since Pisum sativum and legumes were each terms for ‘pea.’ The question was especially tricky since you not only needed to know the correct answer (peas), but you also needed to know that the other two choices were still, technically, peas.

Pencils swished and tapped and, for one student directly behind me, screeched against paper; there were mutterings and the occasional deep sigh; the smell of sweat and fear was thick in the air.

I finished the last question of the section I was on (the two major kingdoms of unicellular organisms are: C. Protista and Monera.) and sucked in a deep breath, stretching my arms above my head and letting my gaze travel across the room. Because the final took so long, the two honors classes had been combined and the students seated in alphabetical order.

The twenty tables in the testing room were arranged in two symmetrical rows. The tables were designed to seat four people but with the scratch paper, calculators and extra pencils each student brought, plus snacks and water bottles, the tables were pretty crowded with just three of us at each one.

I was in the first seat of the first row, second table. This was because my last name was Bean. Abigail Bean. Next to me was Riley Porsche Bennett. I glanced at her out of the corner of my eye. She was the kind of pretty that made your breath catch in your throat. The kind that made you want to ask her to be still and not speak for a moment so you could just look at her. She had long, silky brown hair that was pulled back into a stylish ponytail. Her eyes were ice blue and her lips were full and naturally pink. Yeah, she was pretty, but she was also meaner than a deadly parasite and dumber than a single-cell organism.

3 comments:

Crystal Liechty said...

There are no comments because it is so brilliant, there's nothing more to say! ;)

Heather B. Moore said...

Crystal, you just blew your cover. You already know what I think :)

Consider changing the PROLOGUE to CHAPTER ONE. Some agents don't like prologues. So at least do your homework on that account.

Annette Lyon said...

It's that busy Christmas thing keeping comments away.

Very cute opening--love the humor. I'd tighten it just a tad, though. I started wandering, wondering when we were getting to the point.