Miss Snark's First Victim
Strong opening. I'd suggest this revision: Elaine heard raised voices through the door and the unmistakable sound of fist meeting flesh, followed by a muted grunt. The original phrasing seemed a little clunky with "through the door" at the end. The second sentence seems a little more tell than show.
Hmmm...I wonder if you could show how 'paralyzed with fear' she is instead of tell. We don't know enough about her or the situation to care this much about such a 'serious' situation. Also, you could make it better by getting rid of the 'and'. Split the sentance up. It will make it more dramatic that way.
The only thing wrong for me here is that the key setup info comes last. As it is, we only know if she heard something. For me, it's better to start with her.Here's an example of how your great opening might draw me in quicker (sorry to have taken liberties with your prose): "Elaine pressed against the door, paralyzed with fear. She heard raised voices and the unmistakable sound of fist meeting flesh, followed by a muted grunt."
Intriguing, but needs a little more polish. I agree with Vincent Kale's suggestions.Can you show us how she is paralyzed with fear?
As is, this fight might be something she just stumbled into and doesn't care about. And then we get to the last sentence and learn otherwise.If you show her fear first, (don't say she was paralyed with fear. Show it.) the fight in the other room has more power, because we'll know how she's seeing it.
I agree that "through the door" weakens the impact of your first sentence. Perhaps reorder the second sentence to "Fear paralysed her." This makes it a bit more active. You've chosen a good place to open.
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