TITLE: Life Without Clouds
GENRE: New Adult Contemporary Romance
If I wanted to choose a moment to go back and change everything, it would be that night. That one ordinary night.
As usual I was at work in the ticket office while my best friend, Vivienne, was working in the candy bar. Everything happened like it usually did. Everything, except for seeing him. I had no way of knowing the repercussions that perfectly ordinary Thursday night would have on my perfectly average life.
My shifts at The Palace cinemas were regular and the rosters were flexible around my lecture times. I was even lucky enough to be able to spend the long stretches of time between film sessions working on my assignments. The small box office where I sold the movie tickets was cosy with brightly coloured ‘now showing’ and ‘coming soon’ film posters plastering the walls. Best of all, it was isolated. The box office sat at the front of the building and, for large chunks of my shifts, I was left to myself.
The Palace itself was beautiful and one of the few remaining 1920s era Hollywood style palace theatres. A little treasure left in Darlington city amongst only a handful of old buildings. A new multiplex cinema had opened on the other side of town with low-cost tickets and considerably cheaper popcorn but its smooth lines and modern design didn’t compare with the old girl’s grandeur. A majestic staircase invited patrons upstairs and the frescos on the ceilings held their own mysteries.
Right now, this feels like a lot of telling/setting the stage, and I don't really have a sense of your MC's voice yet. I think this is a case of starting your story too soon. You opening paragraph says that there's one moment your MC would go back to change, so start there. Give us the moment. These details about the theater and what it's like for your MC to work there can be worked into the background of the scene.ReplyDelete
Great opening line. The second sentence felt a little redundant; think you can safely cut and just use the first one.ReplyDelete
The hook gets lost pretty quickly in this. You establish she's at work and then take a lot of time fleshing out detail. And the whole "this is the one night I wish I could so back to" gets lost. I'd cut a lot of the details and get back to why this night is important. Your last paragraph I think you can cut (or move it somewhere else further along your opening).
So far we know this ordinary night turns out being important, but we don't know why. You give us "Everything happened like it usually did. Everything except seeing him." But then go nowhere with it. Him who? Obviously, he's important. What happened with him? Him changing things seems to be your hook, so fill us in. You can sprinkle imagery and other things in, but since you started with that great hook, make sure you don't lose us. Your reader will want to know what happened that night.
Like the commenters above I love the first line. I'd suggest jumping over the rest and getting right into that moment or at least the lead up to that moment and not spend time on the description of the theatre and her job there.ReplyDelete
I agree with the others. I like knowing the MC would like to change that night. I think that first paragraph is really good, and then I'd like to see some thing happening, some forward movement of the story or seeing the MC in action. The theater description is great, but I think it would work better sprinkled in between your MC's actions. Good luck!ReplyDelete
The dramatic opening pulls me in, but I find that I'm impatient to meet the subject/hero at the center of the change. That impatience led me to skim your lovely description. Could you bring him onstage, and dribble in descriptive bits during their meet-up?ReplyDelete
I agree with the others that the opening line is a great hook. In order to maintain that sort of tension, at least in the opening, it might be a good idea to spend less time on setting and more time on the character. For example, you might consider introducing more about what she wants that she isn't getting. What are the stakes? You have a lovely writing style!ReplyDelete
Sorry, I found this all backstory and setup. There wasn't anything to draw me in and make me want to turn the page.ReplyDelete
I also thought a whole paragraph dedicated to the description of the theatre was a waste of precious first page real estate.
It’s a bit slow here. I’m not sure if this is where the story truly starts, especially since it feels like we’re being told that her life was so average, if she could only go back, etc, rather than feeling for her by having lived the life-changing events alongside her. It’s also not particularly gripping to tell us about her shifts and routine at The Palace, or the history of the building. We don’t need all this info within the first 250 words, but could use some emotion, action, or personality shining through here to draw us in. The MC could be an interesting character, but that’s getting a bit lost with the quiet start.ReplyDelete
Just show readers its a typical night. They will assume so until shown otherwise. Delete all uses of the words usual/usually and ordinary and average. Readers like to be pulled into a novel that will show them something extraordinary. Good luck!ReplyDelete
Something needs to happen here. Give us one tiny detail, a crumb, that something is different about this night (rather than telling us it is ordinary). It could be as simple as the ticket booth was left unlocked, when it was always, always, locked. Just an example, not sure of the overall tone of the book, but it will make us ask why? and keep reading. Good luck!ReplyDelete