Wednesday, July 20, 2011

First Words Workshop

To see how the workshop began, read THIS post: An Analysis of First Pages.

Here is this week's 50-100 word (anonymous) MIDDLE GRADE entry:

The day Miss K asked me to play a violin solo- in front of the entire Benjamin Harrison Middle School Orchestra- my head swelled like a puffer fish. Too bad I didn’t grow fins and flippers. Stuff like that comes in handy when you’re entire musical career is about to drown in the deep end of a swimming pool.

“Everyone listen up,” Miss K says, tapping her baton against my music stand. “Grace is going to play a selection from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, the Mozart piece for this year’s All-City auditions.” My heart leaps. “Take it from measure one.”

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My thoughts are in red:

The day Miss K asked me to play a violin solo- in front of the entire Benjamin Harrison Middle School Orchestra- my head swelled like a puffer fish. Too bad I didn’t grow fins and flippers. Stuff like that comes in handy when you’re entire musical career is about to drown in the deep end of a swimming pool. This is excellent. One typo: your.


“Everyone listen up,” Miss K says, tapping her baton against my music stand. “Grace is going to play a selection from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, the Mozart piece for this year’s All-City auditions.” My heart leaps. This makes me think she's excited, and based on her head swelling like a puffer fish (above), I'm going to assume she's a bit proud of herself (which I love because it's different and can work if she's relatable). If not, and she's nervous here, then I'd go for another physical description. “Take it from measure one.”

I have no recommended changes. I think this is GREAT as is.

I know the writer wondered whether the first para should be past or present tense. Stina and I agree that it's okay in past tense, considering that her opening of the book is the introspection/foreseeing part. But feel free to disagree, readers.

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Stina's thoughts are in blue:

I love the voice in this entry. It’s a great start. Not too much back story, and we get a taste of who the character is.

The only "problem" I found when reading this is that it sounds like the main character has an inflated ego (my head swelled like a puffer fish). I’m not sure what you were going for. I’m guessing it wasn’t this since people dealing with ego trips are the last to admit it (if they ever do).

Other than that, I loved this start.

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Two different views to take or leave. Thank you for the great entry!

Readers, feel free to give your two cents, if you want!

11 comments:

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Man, I can't believe I missed that typo. :P

Christina Lee said...

Seriously, YOU of all people! :D

Jen Daiker said...

Stina and Christina you two crack me up!

I LOVED THIS. I'm curious to know the title and I'm dying to know what the whole book is about. I think the changes suggested were perfect, I've got nothing else to add except for a great first opening! Job well done!

Christina Lee said...

Jen, the title is GLUB (great, right?)!

Christine Danek said...

Great first words. Great piece. Well done. Nothing to add.
Typo. I missed it at first too. I was to involved in the story. :)

Sarah Pearson said...

But I want to know what happened when she was playing :(

Maddy said...

Interesting exercise! My thought was excited too. You can swell up with pride, but it doesn't mean you necessarily have a big ego.

storyqueen said...

I would definitely read more of this book. There is a voice there that I would follow wherever it wanted to go.

Shelley

ps--Christina, thanks for bidding on my book! You made my day!!

Janet Johnson said...

What a fun entry! I would keep reading. :)

Christina Lee said...

Storyqueen,

Well of course I would. If anyone is reading this, please click on this link and bid on Shelley's picture books, if you can (it's for a good cause): http://nightofthegivingdead.blogspot.com/2011/07/signed-copies-of-good-knights-rest-and.html

Theresa Milstein said...

I love the voice too. The part about the fish and swimming pool is excellent. Great start!