Tuesday, October 28, 2014

First Page Critique #1

Hey, everyone! Here is my first post for the first page critiques. Thanks so much to everyone who has already sent me one. I know it's only the first page, but I hope you guys will find this helpful :)

First Page:

My parents got married two weeks after they graduated from high school. One year later they had my sister Sherry. Two years after Sherry, Valerie was born. Three years after Valerie, I was born.

My mother had children relatively easily; so, following the classical human pattern, they decided to go after one more child, hoping, of course, it would be a boy. Disaster! My mother did get pregnant, and the child was a boy; but my mother got an abortion because the baby was literally killing her.

I am told my parents reacted very differently to this tragedy, and their reactions would affect my life far more than my sisters’. You would think my mother would have become depressed by this loss. She didn’t. After a period of mourning, she snapped right back. She regained her health and continued her life.

My mother’s sound mind and behavior was a good thing for my sisters and me, because my dad fell into the deep end of the psychic pool. He was like King David mourning the death of Absalom. He was inconsolable. Family and friends could not comfort him. Even doctors were of little help.

I am one of the people who helped him come out of his depression. It’s true, but it’s not like cute, little me came up to my depressed father and said, “Daddy, I love you. Won’t you smile for me again? There’s a beautiful rainbow outside the door.”

No, it didn’t happen that way. You see, my dad is a gung-ho golfer. He even watches it on TV for fun, and he dreamed of playing golf with his son. That dream was lost, but at some point my father must have said to himself, “Well, I do have three living children, and one of them does show some interest in golf. If I can’t play golf with my son, I’ll play golf with my daughter.”

So Daddy took me at an early age and turned me into a golfing fanatic, and as a little girl I swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. I loved the attention my dad gave me, and I loved it that my older sisters would not get near a golf club.

Daddy was an excellent teacher. He taught me the classic Byron Nelson/Ben Hogan golf swing. He always bought me the best equipment, all fitted for my size. Plus, he indulged me with golf outfits galore. (I later rejected dressing like a girl on the golf course—too much work.) When he took the family to Scotland and Hawaii, he spent a lot of his time playing golf with me. As a ten-year-old in Hawaii, I would astound strangers with my long, straight drives. I loved to hear them say, “Wow! Mozart on the links!”

Laying aside all this materialism and pride, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed being on a beautiful golf course with my father. There he would tell me the secrets of his heart, as if he were talking to himself. I learned his thoughts about God, his family, and the world. I knew—probably even before my mother—when Daddy’s business was good and when it was bad.


I feel that there is quite a bit of telling in the first page here. For instance, the reader doesn't really learn much about the other sisters (also, the narrator isn't yet named), or her mother (we only really learn that she was able to handle the death of her son better than her husband); also, many readers might not be familiar with Byron Nelson/Ben Hogan golf swing, so you perhaps you could explain its significance (does her dad think it's the best golf swing? where did he learn it?). We are given a lot of information within a few paragraphs, but it's only snippets. For example, the narrator mentions a trip to Hawaii in only a sentence. I do like the father's love of golf was able to help him somewhat recover from his loss, and that the narrator enjoyed spending time playing golf with her father, but you might consider working on showing the reader how this was a bonding experience for them. 


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Jordy! Good info. I'm constantly reminding myself to sprinkle chunks of information throughout the story instead of trying to cram it all in right off the bat. :)

~D~ (The turret awaits you...) said...

Are you still taking first page submissions?

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