Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Haunted Writing Clinic: First Page (v2)

We meet again, fellow Minions and Super-Villains! After a busy week, I am trying to play catch up with the writing clinic. I am seriously hoping to finish critiquing the first pages that are out there, but in an effort to show you guys I am listening I decided to start my catch up session by doing some revisions on my first page.

Before I get to it, I want to thank each and every one of you for your comments. There might be some changes that I decided against making (and truth be told I might not even stick with this version of the first page--I'm just toying with it right now) but I do appreciate your input.

And now for the revisions (which I am totally writing by the seat of my pants right now):

Varrick's eyes narrowed behind his sunglasses as the shoulder of an acne-riddled football player bumped into him. He turned his head ever so slightly as the boy began to protest. His hormonal outrage quickly shifted into a sort of strangled cry in his throat as he looked up at Varrick's broad shoulders and muscular build. His eyebrow lifted over the line of his dark shades and that was enough to send the boy scurrying. If he had lowered his sunglasses, the boy would have probably wet himself.

His normally blue eyes were now jet-black, a signal that his ward was scared. Fortunately for him, Ariana was only scared of getting caught at the moment. He scanned the area to assess where she might be. At this hour, the football stadium was littered with kids. A group of girls were running on the track that encircled the grass of the stadium, ponytails bouncing as they chatted with one another. When he noticed the cheerleaders edging the track, he knew where she would be and marched over.

He cocked a brow as the girls began chanting in time with their moves. Sure enough, directly in front of them in the stands stood Ariana with camera in hand. She was wearing a dark blazer over a cream top, giving the same curtaining affect her jet black hair lent to the light skin of her face. She noticed him and lowered the camera, revealing a scowl. She sat down on the stands, digging around in her bag for another roll of film as he walked across the bleachers to stand before her. He felt the fear that had allowed him to track her fade, predictably shifting to anger. He glanced to the sky as if to ask for aid in dealing with the teenager and the temper she had inherited from her true mother.

"How'd you find me?" she asked briskly.
Varrick couldn't help but let out a gruff laugh. "You're the only teenager I know that sneaks out of the house to come back to school after hours." 
He didnt bother to add that her fear of getting caught sneaking out served as a sort of honing beacon for him, allowing him to track her as long as they were on the same world. Ariana's goody-two-shoes nature had caused more than a few false alarms in her teenage years as she began to sneak out. Her twin sister, on the other hand, was on the opposite end of the spectrum. Zelene was too brave for her own good, rarely feeling real fear even when she was actually in trouble.
Needless to say, being Cyneward to the twins was a bigger job than he had imagined when he was called.
"Well," she said as she zipped her camera bag closed with a little too much force, "maybe I wouldn't have to sneak out if my freak show parents would loosen the reins just a bit."
"I understand that you're mad at them—“
Her deep set lavender eyes snapped up to his. "They told you? Good. Now maybe you'll understand why I hate them so much."
He sighed, suppressing a groan as he took a seat on the stands beside her. He pulled off his sunglasses, revealing a set of Caribbean blue eyes that were both impatient and understanding at the same time. "Look, Ariana—“
"No," she interrupted, "you look! I have worked my butt off for the past four years so that I could get into a good college. A really good college, Varrick. Like NYU or UCLA. And now they aren't even going to let me apply! How unfair is that! I'm getting ready to turn eighteen and they think they can rule my life once I'm an adult! I hate them!"
He placed a calming hand on her shoulder. "No, you don't." 


  1. Howdy!
    I actually really enjoyed your first page. I think you might spare a line explaining what Cyneward means, as not everyone will be privy to the information both you and I know about Varrik. Also, I think it would be worth explaining why Ariana's parents won't let her apply to a good college, as it is most parent's dream for their kids to have ambition. Even if it's something stupdi like, and they won't even let me apply to college because of the 'exorbinant application fees' just a tiny taste of what her foster parents are like and why they would be refusing her application. Other than that I was just a little thrown off by your first little para.
    I think its because you have him narrowing his eyes at an action of someone else before we know the action. Maybe if it was "The shoulder or an acne-riddled football player smashed into Varrick's. He narrowed his eyes as the kid started to protest." I just think as it is now, its not very clear and you want to reader for have a great perception of your story from the very start.
    Those are my thoughts! Overall, I really liked it! Your writing is tight and the story seems interesting right out of the gate. Good luck!

  2. Well written. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and your encouraging comments.