I would like to play a little game that really only benefits me :), but I could use some help and opinions and honestly feel free to say what you think. As you know I have done 2 workshops on my beginnings (2 different beginnings) and did not receive great reviews. So I'm brainstorming and doing some messing around and would love to hear what you think!
I'm going to post 3 different beginnings, just a few paragraphs each. You comment and tell me which you like best or none at all if that's how you feel. Do you connect with Sophie? Do you feel anything? Would you keep reading?
Ok here goes:
#1-This is my original starter-Preface critiqued by Mary Kole with some tweaks
I shouldn't have followed him, but I couldn't let him go without me.
I didn't like the look in Jaxen's eyes when he came to tell me goodbye, though I didn't know that's what he was doing. I struggled not to run into his open arms, the fear on his face held me back.
"I love you, Sophie," he said for the first time. "I have to go now. I'm so sorry."
Without a word I let him walk away. I watched until his tall form became nothing but heat waves on the horizon. My heart shattered with each parting step. I wanted to scream and beg him to come back to me...but I didn't.
And now I lay with blood pooling in a sickening puddle beneath me. I wasn't ready to die. I wasn't ready to leave him.
#2-The original chapter 1 start-not good feedback from Miss Snark's first 25
Wind carelessly messed his blond hair as he swooped in behind a herd of cattle. Sunlight sparkled all around him and I found myself frozen, staring in wide-eyed fascination. Like a movie scene playing in slow motion, he leaned low over his white steed, moving as one with the impressive creature. Chiseled muscles strained against a t-shirt stretched too tight across his chest.
A gust of wind from the running cows whipped my hair from beneath my cowboy hat, assaulting me with the stench of dirt and manure. He pulled hard the reins, the horse skidded to a stop mere inches from me. Dust swirled around me. I couldn’t blink, afraid he would disappear before I could memorize every feature.
Dangerous black eyes stared down, sending shivers of awareness through me. I lifted a hand to my forehead to block the bright light. That hauntingly familiar gaze traveled from the tip of my worn cowboy boots coming to rest on my too-full lips. I couldn’t read his expression. It was hard and soft all at the same time.
His mouth quirked up at the corner, but his eyes remained piercing, “Watch yourself,” he said, his voice tight and controlled.
My knees went weak and my mind exited the real world. Strange tingling sensations rippled through my stomach and I stumbled backward just out of the way of a stray cow.
And #3-Brand spankin' new-never been critiqued
I wished I could go back to the time before the accident when I was happy and carefree. Before my brother’s death devastated the whole town. Before my parents curled up into a little ball and let the world pass them by.
But I couldn’t find that girl anymore. I wasn’t her. She wasn’t me. And try as I might, I could not move on. His memory hung in every corner of every place and I could not escape it.
I had become that person, the girl that every one coddles with the sympathetic smiles and the “How ya doin’, hon” pats on the back.
I didn’t want to be her. I wanted to flourish, to grow wings and fly far away. Away from the never-ending rain and my parents who had forgotten they had a second child, a less popular and outgoing child, but she still needed their love.