Author Topic: Review of a first page - please?  (Read 1679 times)

SuzieHarris

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Review of a first page - please?
« on: August 18, 2006, 01:59:48 PM »
ok guys,

Here is the first page of my novel. It's called 'Forty, Fiesty and Finished'. I would like to hear your thoughts.

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My divorce had left me penniless and without purpose. I had custody of the twins, but he had custody of the bimbo that had taken my place and my home. She showered in my bathroom, cooked in my kitchen, and slept with my husband in our bed. Bitch. I tried hard not to be bitter, but it was hard not to when your whole life had just fallen apart. My mind wandered, trying desperately to find a reason for his betrayal. I was no angel, but I thought I had been a good wife. Could I have been so wrong? No, he was just a rotten bastard that couldnít keep his trousers zipped. I hoped he would catch some incurable disease and his knob would fall off! I smiled to myself; it would be no great loss if it did. He was terrible in bed anyway.

     I pulled up at my motherís home. She had agreed to have the twins while I took a trip up to the loch to get my head together. I had managed to hold on to the cottage on the shore of Loch Lomond, which was something I guess. It was a small something too, considering we had been married almost twenty years and I had given birth to his children; very painfully I might add.

     The twins were almost fifteen now. A difficult age without having to see your parents do battle over you as if you were a piece of cheap furniture. So far they had proved to be remarkably resilient, however the scars were clearly there just below the surface, but struggling to stay hidden. Their father couldnít see it, he was blind to everything except Lady Muck. Ok, the bitterness was sneaking back again, but geez this man really takes the biscuit. He canít see his children are in pain because all he can see is 42DD on a bimbo that looks like a Barbie doll on speed. Leave her outside too long and the bin men would try to recycle all that plastic.

     Yep, you guessed it. I am not coping with this divorce very well. Iím a forty-something, single, well-used, emotional train wreck. Ok it's official, life over, last stop; time to get off - well almost, possibly - nope, definitely.

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So, let me have it. What's it like as a first page of my novel?

Suzie x
« Last Edit: August 18, 2006, 02:13:56 PM by Suzie »

Offline writing is hard

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Re: Review of a first page - please?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2006, 02:41:06 PM »
I'm no expert at conversational prose, so take these with a bigger grain of salt than you usually would!  This is all nitpicky because there's nothing big that I can at all complain about!  Well done.

"I tried hard not to be bitter, but it was hard not to when your whole life had just fallen apart."

I would get rid of the first 'hard'.  It seemed awkward to me.  If you want to accentuate not being bitter, I might suggest 'I tried not to be bitter, I did, but it was hard not to be when your whole life had just fallen apart.'  (I also added a 'be' in there.)

"No, he was just a rotten bastard that couldnít keep his trousers zipped."

I would change the 'that' to 'who'.  It almost always sounds better to me, but especially here with the conversational tone of the piece.

"I pulled up at my motherís home. She had agreed to have the twins while I took a trip up to the loch to get my head together."

This part is a bit strange to me because I don't know how long ago the divorce took place.  If it was recent, it doesn't seem like she would just drop off the kids she had fought so hard for.  Since we don't yet know the timeframe, this just kind of stuck out at me, but I'm probably the only one.

"A difficult age without having to see your parents do battle over you as if you were a piece of cheap furniture."

The transition between 'A difficult age...' and '...without...' seems missing or something.  I would add one word and change another: 'A difficult age even without having to watch your parents do battle over you as if you were a piece of cheap furniture.'  Or maybe 'A difficult enough age without...'

"So far they had proved to be remarkably resilient; however the scars were clearly there, just below the surface, but struggling to stay hidden."

I would take the 'but'.  'however, the scars were clearly there, just below the surface, struggling to stay hidden.'  or

or change the 'but' to 'and' 'however, the scars were clearly there, just below the surface and struggling to stay hidden.'

"Their father couldnít see it; he was blind to everything except Lady Muck. Ok, the bitterness was sneaking back again, but geez this man really takes the biscuit. He canít see his children are in pain because all he can see is 42DD on a bimbo that looks like a Barbie doll on speed. Leave her outside too long and the bin men would try to recycle all that plastic."

This is my favorite paragraph.  The last line is especially wonderful.

"Ok it's official, life over, last stop; time to get off - well almost, possibly - nope, definitely."

I love this last sentence as well.  Expertly constructed.

Again, I apologise for all my nitpicky crits.  It's how I go over my own work and it's the only way I know.  Can't wait to read more of your submissions.
Why?

Offline Donnettetxgirl

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Re: Review of a first page - please?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2006, 03:09:42 PM »
Suzie, good job. Way to describe her pain commically. You had me laughing.

Donnette

SuzieHarris

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Re: Review of a first page - please?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2006, 04:04:06 AM »
Hi guys,

Thanks for the comments. I have taken what you said on board. This is the first draft, but I can see what you mean so thanks for pointing it out.

Donnette, I'm glad I made you laugh. I wanted to portray the humourous side of bitterness. We all have these feelings when we are dumped so why not laugh about it  ;D

Suzie

Offline Tamara

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Re: Review of a first page - please?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2006, 04:27:39 AM »
I liked your first page.  You have a wonderful way with description.  This line is my favorite and couldn't have said it any better.  No, I don't think anyone could have said it better.  Fabulous.  I read it over several times because it was so good!! ;D

Quote
He canít see his children are in pain because all he can see is 42DD on a bimbo that looks like a Barbie doll on speed. Leave her outside too long and the bin men would try to recycle all that plastic.

I am anxious to read more.   Good job!

later,
tamara :D
I tap my fingers on the table to the rhythm in my soul
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Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend,
Inside of a dog, it is too dark to read.   
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Offline Elodie-Caroline

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Re: Review of a first page - please?
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2006, 06:22:11 AM »
Hi Suzie,
I can see any woman who's coping with a divorce, or even break up for that matter, relating to this, it's really good. I have no criticism or any ways that I could tell you what to put whatever: except:

If the woman is 42 DD, that makes her a really fat woman, not actually a Barbie doll; if she were 34 DD, that would sound much more like it ... surely the hubby isn't going to leave his wife for someone built like a tank? lol  ;D

With the divorce: I've never been divorced and never had any children, but from what I see everywhere, the mother and the kids always get to keep the house. Or maybe there is some underlying crafty reason how the husband managed to keep hold of it that you're going to get in to later? The divorce judge always seems to look more favourably on the wife than the husband, whether she be to fault or not.

Sorry; I'm the kind of person who picks at bits in films too, it's just the way I am.

Ellie

Lin

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Re: Review of a first page - please?
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2006, 07:40:39 AM »
Hi Suzie,

I loved it because I know you well and your voice comes over here in style!!   Keep it going and hope you get pulbished (as you usually do!!)  Well done a signed copy for Lin eh?

Nice to see you are writing again after your house move.

All the best
Lin

SuzieHarris

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Re: Review of a first page - please?
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2006, 09:15:45 AM »
Hi all,

Ellie, I spotted that too - silly me. You will be pleased to know she has also had breast adjustment surgery to a mere 34DD, and shed 10 stone to be perfect (UK) size 12! lol. Also there is a piece of information about the divorce that is to be revealed yet. It explians why things were divided in such a way.

Lin, Thanks for the feedback. I actually never stopped writing all through the house move. I have work for WCCL and several ghost-writing works on the go as well as my own books. I am writing my novel and a non-fiction book with a very well known celebrity. Onwards and upwards!  ;D


Suzie x
« Last Edit: August 19, 2006, 09:28:42 AM by Suzie »

Offline Elodie-Caroline

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Re: Review of a first page - please?
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2006, 09:20:05 AM »
LOL Suzie ...It sounds like they found her a 'twin' sister inside of her; now the hubby gets two bimbos for the price of one! hehehe  :D

Ellie

Offline Writers Block

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Re: Review of a first page - please?
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2006, 09:25:16 AM »
Hi Suzie

I like the title too.

I laughed at this, very funny, yet a very well portrayed mix of feelings.  Appropriate to both men and women, I think as long as one can be considered the main injured party.

Quote
My divorce had left me penniless and without purpose. I had custody of the twins, but he had custody of the bimbo that had taken my place and my home.
- i have no issues with the had, except the final one.  They serve to add emphasis I believe.  If i remember correctly that should be which or perhaps whom - depending on circumstances.   That is normally used for inanimate objects, although as a bimbo, inanimate object might be not too far from the truth. ;D

perhaps try: (edit:changed it slightly)

My divorce had left me penniless and without purpose. I had custody of the twins, but he had custody of the bimbo. The Bimbo that now resided in my home.

- a way of using that, and a subtle suggestion she was less than human. ;D


Quote
Could I have been so wrong? No
- I would break the paragraph here.  Perhaps even have the question on it's own line, new paragraph with no, adds emphasis.


Quote
shore of Loch Lomond
- I like the paragraph this is from, the only thing that grabs me, probably as I am a fan of the original film is that: The Highlander was born on the shores of Lock Lomand in 1543. (presuming I've remembered it correctly of course)  If I have remembered it correctly, perhaps change the Loch. ;)

Quote
He canít see his children are in pain because all he can see is 42DD on a bimbo that looks like a Barbie doll on speed. Leave her outside too long and the bin men would try to recycle all that plastic.
- very funny, conveyed they pain message very well because of it.


Quote
- well almost, possibly - nope, definitely.
- finish is very good, think this over does it though.

Its strange but, actually as a man, I can relate to what you wrote.  There wasn't a bimbo for me to hate, perhaps might have been better if there was, who knows.

Let me know when it's published, I may just buy a copy. ;D

« Last Edit: August 19, 2006, 09:27:10 AM by Writers Block »
I tend to critique in a harsh manner. Please remember it is not personal, but how I prefer anyone critiqueing me to be. It is far more useful IMO.

WB

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Telcontar

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Re: Review of a first page - please?
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2006, 09:32:03 AM »
Hi Suzie,

I must be honest, this isn't the sort of work I'd usually read, but I do think it is a very good piece. I particularly like the line:

A difficult age without having to see your parents do battle over you as if you were a piece of cheap furniture.

I think there is a very important message here, far too often in cases of break up the kids are used as pawns in some silly point-scoring game, when in fact the welfare of the kids should be the most imortant thing in the minds of both parents.

If that one line gets the message across, it would be worth all your effort in wrting the story. Good luck with it, I'll certainly read more.

Dave.

Offline Writers Block

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Re: Review of a first page - please?
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2006, 09:38:00 AM »
Hi Suzie,

I must be honest, this isn't the sort of work I'd usually read, but I do think it is a very good piece. I particularly like the line:

A difficult age without having to see your parents do battle over you as if you were a piece of cheap furniture.

I think there is a very important message here, far too often in cases of break up the kids are used as pawns in some silly point-scoring game, when in fact the welfare of the kids should be the most imortant thing in the minds of both parents.

If that one line gets the message across, it would be worth all your effort in wrting the story. Good luck with it, I'll certainly read more.

Dave.

I agree with Dave, I noticed it as I was going through, but forgot to comment with the points I was trying to make.

I tend to critique in a harsh manner. Please remember it is not personal, but how I prefer anyone critiqueing me to be. It is far more useful IMO.

WB

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

SuzieHarris

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Re: Review of a first page - please?
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2006, 09:56:25 AM »
Again,

Thanks guys for all the input. All valuable comments!

WB, I used Loch Lomond because I used to live there so later in the story I can describe the place with authority :)  And, if Highlander was born there that proves what a beautiful place it is hehe.

Suzie x