Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Critique Tuesday: An Awesome First Page From PitchWars

Jessie’s Bullets: Cock It and Pull It.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014
  • __4.9__ lbs. over/under Goal Weight (yes it was water weight yesterday)
  • 1050     Calories Consumed Yesterday (I had to fast for a life insurance exam so I skipped a meal...that sucked.)
  • __1__ Units of Caffeinated (had to keep by blood and other bodily fluids clean for the exam..TMI)
  • __80   Minutes Spent Writing (got tons done)
  • _1__Culinary Delights/Disasters Created With Own Hands (green smoothies with overdose amounts of vitamins 2x...I'm sick of everyone being sick)
Critique Tuesday:
First pages are like tattoos. Great ones can get you a lot of positive attention:
 Look at that cute little peekaboo tattoo on Keith Urban's chest. Very sexy.

And a bad tattoo (or even worse, several bad tattoos) can get you knocked on your A-word:
Call me crazy, but the neck tattoo doesn't do it for me. Not sexy.

So how do you make your first page sexy? Subtly irresistible and flat out desired? I'll give you a VERY good example. 

As mentioned before, I am participating as a Mentor in a writing contest called PitchWars. One particular first page absolutely blew me away, and I want to share it with you. By B.A. Wilson:

“Have you made your decision, then? Are we really going to do this?” he asked, while slowly, delicately tracing a finger back and forth across her bare back, from the tops of her shoulders all the way down to the gentle curve of her hips. She looked so gorgeous and vulnerable, sitting there with her shirt off, clutching his sheet to her chest. It was almost shocking how different she seemed in that moment.  
“I know this is a big step for you . . . for us,” he continued, resting his long caramel fingers on her pale shoulder, “and the first time can be a bit scary and unsettling for everyone.”
“I’m not afraid,” Andy declared boldly, reaching up to cover his hand with hers. They had agreed, almost a year ago, that they would mark the two year anniversary. A promise was a promise. Besides, she knew they were both ready, and there were no age restrictions or even any real laws among the unauthorized.
“Tell me what you want from me, beautiful,” he said, spinning her stool around to face him. He’d been calling Andy that every day for two years, but she still wasn’t used to hearing it.
Andy shot him a wry smile, and then she slid her right hand down into the pocket of her black cargo pants, still clutching the sheet to her chest with her left. She pulled out a tiny scrap of folded paper and held it out to him, palm up. He raised an eyebrow in surprise.
            When he took the paper, Andy closed her eyes, unable to look at him while he read it. She knew he would be shocked. After all, it had taken her months to decide what she would write on that tiny scrap of paper.
Here are some of the reasons why this first page works so well for me:

  • It's a mysterious situation. I know it's an intimate and sensual scene, but I'm not sure where it's going. I know where I want it to go, but I have my doubts...and that is a good thing because you better believe I am going to keep reading to find out!
  • There's no info dumping about the world they are in, but with a few terms like "the unauthorized" and clues about clothing like her "black cargo pants," I'm getting a very good sense about who and where they are.
  • I like the diversity established by the contrast between her pale skin and his darker caramel skin. 
  • I like how she is clutching his sheet her bare chest. The word clutching tells me that she's not all together comfortable with the situation that she is facing, but yet "a promise is a promise." Ahhh, so intense!
Really, I could go on and on about how tight the writing is, how fresh the concept is, but really...the writing speaks for itself.  Don't you want to know what she wrote on that tiny scrap of paper?

You'll have to wait until B.A. Wilson lands her agent, sells her book, and then publishes it to the world! Or you could just email her and ask to read it ;)

Jessie With A Shot At The Night


  1. Thank you so much! I can't tell you how much I appreciate you! I feel like I need to send you a Best Mentor of the Year crown and sash.

    Those comments you sent on my first three chapters spiraled me into an editing frenzy that has made my writing, especially my dialogue, so much stronger throughout. I didn't know if I could love the story more, but I do. I can't wait to finish it up and see what people think about the changes. :)

  2. Ah! Tease, tease, tease! And very awesome!!

  3. Stunning opening page, B.A.!

  4. This was amazing. I'd love to read more.

    1. Thanks! I'm finishing up an edit before the final round of PitchWars next week, but I'd love to get some more reader feedback after that! Just send me an email at bawilsonwrites [at] gmail.com if you think you might be interested. :)