Wednesday, January 28, 2015

First Five Sentences #1

TITLE: Darkheart
GENRE: YA Adventure

If Jun had known she was going to spend the afternoon on a boat she would have worn a dress less susceptible to wind. Maybe something more structured, business-like. That way there would be no misconstruing this little get together today. As it was, she clutched her bright blue skirt to keep it blowing around her legs instead of upward as she followed her parents up the ramp and onto what Haman called a minship. In other words, a small house made to float on the water, that rocked enough to make you sick, with less space and amenities than an actual house.


  1. Great job describing the skirt and holding it down. I would read on to find out more about the reason she is on the boat.

  2. I love the fact that you set the scene *and* give us a tidbit about Jun in the very first sentence. Voice comes through clearly in the following sentences, as does an idea of Jun's age. Last sentence is FANTASTIC -- just enough sarcasm there to make me like Jun. Nice job.


  3. Love the voice in this, the MC's discomfort with her skirt, and the hint of conflict you give us right off the bat (no misconstruing this little get together). One little niggle from me on setting - I actually thought she was on the boat at first, so when she started up the ramp to the 'miniship' (a term I don't know) I thought she was going from one area of the house boat to another. I got it on the second read-through, though :) Could just be me, but if others have trouble, you may want a quick reference to the fact that she's on the dock. Great job!

  4. I also thought she was already on the boat, just FYI. Another FYI, I don't think you should use "boat" and "ship" interchangeably. They are different things. So if she's boarding a minship, she should call it a ship.

    Anyway, there are some great details here and you give a good sense of place, but I actually think your MC sounds more like an adult. Others got the YA voice, so maybe it's just me, but your second sentence sounds especially adult-like. Teens don't typically think of business attire. So I would work on bringing more youthfulness to your voice. Otherwise, it's a great way to start!

  5. I want a comma after "boat" in the first sentence, but I like it so far. I agree about the business attire if she's a teen, but we don't know how old Jun is yet. For all we know, Jun could be 55 and following her 90-year-old parents up the ramp. Then again, Jun could be a Young Republican teen and regularly dress in navy blue polyester suits. We don't know just yet.

    Which is fine. Right now, I am drawn in by the setting (wind, water, boat, Jun's discomfort) and ready to read on. I will admit to never having heard the term "minship" , but our marina days were a while ago. However, I remember the wind and rocking well, so good job!

  6. Your MC has a very distinctive voice- nicely done. And the setting is very clear and well described. I'd suggest putting in a detail that clearly shows she's off on an adventure, not just going to a party.

  7. I am grounded in the setting, but not really the character. First of all, I kind of want your fourth sentence to be your first sentence. I love the visual of her holding down the blue dress as she follows her parents. You can reword that to be a dynamite sentence that conveys a lot about your character - her modesty, her dread of the situation, etc. Trade for something that tells us what she's feeling - stomps, dawdles, stumbles. Your verb choice can tell the reader a lot about your character's state of mind *and* make it more interesting to read.

    But as it currently opens, you have a disconnected first three sentences. She wishes she hadn't worn a dress since she was going to be on a boat. But, then she wishes she was wearing something else because... the dress conveys a social event and she wants it to be all business? Did she not know where she was going OR why she was going there? Maybe so, but it's reading right now like you're changing your mind about why she wishes she hadn't worn a dress.

    And, unfortunately the last sentence reads like a dictionary entry. If you must introduce a new word to us in your first paragraph, explain it in a narrative style. Tell us how Jun feels about having to go on a minship, and how she's afraid the claustrophobic space and rocking motion could make her ill.

    Thanks for sharing your work!

  8. I like it. I would also like to know why there's a party on a boat. I don't see what genre this is clearly, except for YA.

  9. I thought this had a nice ease into the story with some details to orient setting and place without sounding info-dumpy. The character explains enough that she's in a new place, with hints of what's to come. I really liked this.