A Slice of Life Post: Feedback on First Pages

WRITE. Every day in March write a slice of life story on your own blog. SHARE. Link your post in the comments on each daily call for slice of life stories here at TWT. GIVE. Comment on at least three other slice of life stories/blogs.

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you! I’m back again with another Slice of Life Post. Today, I’m asking for some feedback from all you talented people. I’m posting the first page of my WIP. I’ve written the beginning two ways, and I’d love to hear which page you like better. Which one grabs your attention the most and pulls you into the story.

I’ve never done this before and I’m kind of nervous. 🙂 Any feedback you can give me would be greatly appreciated!  Leave a comment and let me know what you think. :).

Photo credit: ukgardenphotos via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

 

First Page One

Chapter One

Mia disappeared on the second Monday of summer vacation. I remember it like it was yesterday, the sticky heat and the heady aroma of wisteria as we traveled through the woods. The forest our parents forbade us to enter. Too dangerous, they’d said. Supposedly, homeless people congregated in the area near an old well, but I’d never seen them and neither had Mia. So we ignored our parents’ warnings. In all the youthful wisdom of seventeen- year-olds, we figured nothing had ever happened in this forest, or in our boring little town of Cloverdale for that matter.

It was the heat that drove us to the woods that day. The cover of the trees looked so cool and inviting we couldn’t resist, but even in the shade there was no escaping the paralyzing temperature. Sweat rolled down my back, soaking into my denim shorts. The damp waistband rubbed against my skin, making me irritable. The humidity was getting to Mia, too. I could tell because she made a dig at me, hit me at my most vulnerable spot. That’s when it all started to unravel.

“I’d give anything to be riding in an air-conditioned car right now, Claire.” She gave me a dark look as she wiped her brow.

“That’s mean.” I averted my gaze as my face grew hot. I didn’t think I could get any hotter, but here it was happening.

“Oh, don’t be so sensitive. I was just making a simple statement. It has nothing to do with your issue.”

 

Photo credit: m01229 via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC

 

Second First Page

I knew something had gone terribly wrong when I discovered Mia’s pink flip flop lying in the middle of the trail. My heart jumped to my throat as I picked it up with trembling fingers. This was so unlike Mia, she’d never leave her sandal in the woods. She’d consider the act a desecration of the earth.

Searching the area, I pulled out my cell phone and punched in her number. I waited for that spirited voice I knew so well. All I got was a single beep informing me my phone was out of juice. I almost threw it in the woods. How could Mia get so far ahead of me? Especially in those flip flops? Correction. One flip flop. We’d only been separated for sixteen minutes.

She couldn’t. I was Claire Peters. Cross country star. There’s no way she’d out pace me. I stiffened as anxiety exploded through me like a current of electricity. I took a quivering step forward and called out to her. “Mia!” I cocked my head, listening.

The only answer I received was the far-off squawk of a blue jay. I peered around me, searching for a flash of blue from her T-shirt or a glimmer of her dark curls between the leaves. Nothing. The warning our parents gave us burst through my brain like hot lava explodes from a volcano.. Don’t go in the woods. They’re dangerous. Dangerous. Dangerous.

 

There they are. Which first page grabbed your attention more? Which one made you want to keep reading? If neither one peaked your interest, let me know that, too! Please leave a comment! I appreciate your feedback!

If you’d like to read other Slice of Life Posts click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Lisa Orchard

I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.
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36 Responses to A Slice of Life Post: Feedback on First Pages

  1. Amy says:

    Hi LIsa! I seem to connect to the second draft more so than the first. Could be because I am a runner and my daughter ran XC in high school. I felt like the first draft lacked clarity or development of the animosity between the two girls but the second draft left me wanting to read on…where is Mia, why were the girls in the woods.

  2. cmargocs says:

    The second draft is more suspenseful, but I like the insight (and hook–why is Mia digging at Claire?) of the relationship issue in the first draft. Any way you can combine the two?

  3. Adrienne says:

    I connected to the first. The opening line in the first grabbed my attention more and I like they way you set the scene of a hot summer’s day that started off normally. I want to know what happened between the car ride and Mia’s disappearance.

  4. Alan Tucker says:

    The first definitely creates more intrigue than the second. Although I’d delete the “I remember it as if it were yesterday” as that removes suspense and makes it sound like the incident happened many years ago and the narrator is remembering it wistfully.

  5. I thought both of them were well done, but I gravitated toward the first, with its suspenseful setting and beautiful prose. The writing was simply lovely, Lisa. (I might swap out “homeless people” for “vagrants”?) It struck me that the second one felt very much like a modern YA, but the first could be MG, YA, or adult with its high literary quality.

  6. sharonledwith says:

    Yo, girl! I loved the first line of the first page, but if were talking about getting into the action of the novel, then the second one is better. Jump in with both feet, sans the pink sandals! LOL! Perhaps borrow from the first one for the setting. Great job!

  7. Wow, they are both so amazing. I connected with the first one. I felt like I was beginning to relate to the characters much quicker. So well written, both of them. 🙂

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      Thanks so much. I prefer the first one myself, but I know that the YA market wants to get right into the action. That’s why I’ve been on the fence regarding the beginning. I’m working on combining the two. I appreciate your kind words and thanks so much for your feedback. It is definitely helpful. 🙂

  8. Wow, they are both intriguing, but I think the first captured me a bit more. I liked the backstory about the parents not permitting them to be in the forest. I liked the contrast – the first sentence that tells of something very out of the ordinary and horrible and the following sentences which tells of the normalcy of the two girls ignoring their parents.

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      Thanks, Lisa! I appreciate your input.I’m struggling with which way to go, but it sounds like most people like the first one better. I’m trying to come up with a combination of the two that’s just as intriguing. 🙂 Thanks again for your input, it’s greatly appreciated!

  9. Tara Smith says:

    I caught between the two – but the first one has writerly layers that appeal to me more. Bravo for being brave and sharing your work!

  10. cweichel says:

    I liked both for different reasons. I liked the second because of the immediacy of the situation. It felt like it was happening in the here and now. But the first provided more background knowledge. As someone else before me has mentioned, is it possible to integrate the two?

  11. Both are great but the second one got you into the action faster. I think the suggestion of combining them is good, if you can manage it, but I think the second would grab a reader more firmly…

  12. I connected to the second more, as it made me want to read on.

  13. joanneeddy says:

    Always glad to help! They both have strengths. The beginning of the first reminded me of “The Judus Child” by Carol O”Conner an excellent (adult) mystery writer. The first line grabs you…good setting in the forest..and I like the foreshadowing of the “issue.” The second jumps into the action and the pink flip flop is ominous. I like the thought insertions in Two. I agree with one commenter, seems a bit more YA, but feels a stronger beginning. I agree a merger of the two would be good….a bit more action than Take One, a little less of its narrative, and a bit more setting and foreshadowing than Take Two. Good luck…let us know what you choose! Jo

  14. I like the second one better, because it puts you in the action, but I like the information stated in the first. I think a combination would work well. 🙂

  15. Clive says:

    I prefer the first, it’s more descriptive and sets more of a context for what is about to come.
    (But I’m not an author, so what do I know?!)

  16. I preferred the second opening, but since both openers are effective, the real question is this: what kind of story are you writing?

    Openers make a promise to the reader. The first promises a more introspective look at a girl’s life, the second is more action-adventure. Which is a better fit for your tale? I’d go with that one. 🙂

  17. Bernadette says:

    Lisa, I like the first. Although both are suspenseful and well written, I felt the first was more unique. Wishing you the best of luck with this writing.

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