8.28.2005

Crapometer volunteer #1


Friday of Memorial day weekend was the official start of the summer
charter fishing season in Homer, Alaska. I stood on the deck of the

Sadie Hawkins with a navy blue baseball cap on my head. The cap
labeled me as
The Captain. After a quick visual to make sure
everything was spic and span, I glanced at the group approaching my
boat, nodded, then fainted.

Over the years, I'd had plenty of reasons to faint. Such as the day Jack
McDonald, my husband, disappeared from our boat. Or the day the search
and recovery was called off. But I'd been steady and stable during those
two weeks of hell.


blah blah blah



No, it was when my husband returned my nod, five years after his death,
that I fainted.


Now HERE is where it gets interesing. This is your lead. All that other stuff is just exposition. Start with the gripper.


Since fainting was new to me, I was shocked --in a passed out way -- when I
heard all the commotion going on around me.


more blah blah blah



Lucky for me, I didn't hit the deck. No, I fell into Jack's waiting
arms. When I could finally pry my eyes open, I planned to have a little
chat with him about that. How dare he disappear for five years only to
return and have me fall into his arms.


now we're back to something interesting.
Notice that action = interesting to me?


Mingled with the sounds of gulls squawking, was, "Oh, God, Sadie." His
voice was soft and filled with concern.

He lowered me to the deck. "A rag. I need a rag," he said with urgency.

Why? Had I stabbed him with the bait knife before I keeled over?


It's not crap, but it's not as honed as I'd look for. Go back and use that bait knife to really pare away.

One thing you did really well was avoid a lot of description of hair and eyes and flawless skin which is what usually bogs down narrative early on.

I'd read on.

8 comments:

kitty said...

Why? Had I stabbed him with the bait knife before I keeled over?

A great line! Keep that type of humor.

Bernita said...

I am obviously going to be damned when my turn comes.
I like this opening page,with a few VERY minor word or sentence changes - the who/what/when/where and why - and thought it was neatly done, concise and without strain.
Gloom.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Miss Snark. The filet knife would work better for this. It's better at preserving the meat, while removing the junk.

Bernita said...

Duh! Read too fast. Missed the blah, blah edit.The neatly done was done by Miss Snark.

Anonymous said...

Bernita, I'm not sure if I follow your comment.

The first page is exactly as it's on my computer. There wasn't a blah, blah edit.

If I misunderstood your comment, where it appears you thought Miss Snark edited out the boring, well, no. She didn't leave out anything that I sent to her, except my name. She left in the exposition, which is where my writing was threatening to work like a fine sleep aid.

Bernita said...

Ok, so the blah, blah was her opinion, not an indication of material omitted that was whatever.Sometimes I am a bit dim.
However, I liked it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Bernita. Miss Snark did nail me on one of my biggest flaws. I tend to resort to exposition too much.

At a local writers' conference they had a session on first pages. It was as eye opening as these samples here.

Miss Snark read further than those on the panel would have if it had crossed their desks. One editor said she rarely makes it past the first sentence. This is an editor who only accepts material submitted from agents.

There it is, our writing has to grab Miss Snark and then it has to grab an editor, too. From the first sentence to the last word.

I think I'll see if I can find my own gin pail. ;-)

Bernita said...

I'll pick up some bicardi and join you.