GENRE: YA Contemporary
My brother Raj and I stood amongst the trees at the edge of Signora D’Agnelli’s driveway watching her limousine disappear into the dusky evening. When we could no longer see the taillights, Raj shot me his sly grin. Instead of forcing a smile in return, I picked up one end of the ladder he’d purchased at a hardware store in Rome. He grabbed the other end and we jogged up the gravel driveway towards Signora’s villa.
In autumn, the terrain on the Italian coast was perpetually wet, but by the time anyone thought to scout around for footprints in the muddy earth, Raj and I would be long gone.
Hmmm... This is intriguing. I have no idea what the two characters are up to, but I want to know. What is clear is that this takes place in Italy and what the terrain and weather's like.ReplyDelete
I agree, this leaves us with a sense of place, and a bit of intrigue as well (without being too vague). Well done.ReplyDelete
I honestly can't think of anything here to nitpick. This is great. It's not my 'thing' that I read, but I can still say that I think it's well done. It tells me all the important details, grounds me in the setting without any 'as you know Bob' stuff, every word seems to have a job that it does... I like it.ReplyDelete
Great opening! I get an immediate sense that the MC is conflicted about what they're doing, though Raj is more mischievous and excited about it. I'm super intrigued to see what happens next. The only thing I might do is get rid of "he’d purchased at a hardware store in Rome," unless that detail is relevant later. Nice job!ReplyDelete
I really enjoyed this. The only part that felt clunky was the purchased in Rome detail. If it's only meant to set the scene, I don't think it's necessary, since there are plenty of other clues. I'd read on. Great job!ReplyDelete
Good job setting the scene! It leaves us waiting for the action that is soon to come!ReplyDelete
Yep, pretty much loved this. Nothing felt rushed, but little gems like "instead of forcing a smile" allowed for just the right edge to add the kind of subtext that always keeps me reading. Nice job!ReplyDelete
What a wonderful opening. I want to know what they're after inside the villa! You let us know this is not an impulsive act, since Raj bought the ladder in town. I also like the way you slipped in the season in such a seemingly off-hand fashion. Well done!ReplyDelete
Yep. You nailed this opening. I can't think of anything to be critical of except (as another commenter said) ditching the lengthy "that he'd purchased at a hardware store in Rome". I see you might need this to show that the break-in is premeditated, but I think you could at least ditch "at a hardware store" to tighten things up. After all, that's pretty much where people purchase ladders, right? :-)ReplyDelete
Nice intrigue here, good sense of place and time, and I love the subtle hint of tension when your MC doesn't force a smile.
Really nice work. I'd read more.
Christina (entry #15)
Something's up. :) I like the sense of mischief.ReplyDelete
You did a wonderful job of grounding the reader in the setting of the story, and the excerpt definitely gives off a contemporary feel. I especially love the last line, because it is intriguing, and would make me want to read on.ReplyDelete