Tuesday, June 29, 2010

9 #40 Carol Riggs

No…no way. She couldn't be seeing this.
Rylee Spencer made a strangled noise and a comment that was unrepeatable in polite company. She frowned at the closed bathroom door. Was it too much to expect, to get up this morning and be able to get into the bathroom?


  1. I like the voice here. I also like the name. I think it's fine as is, though if you wanted to you could start with Rylee Spencer made a strangled noise and go from there. She's clearly very dramatic. :)

    Just a thought here - perhaps frowned is too simple for the dramatic tone - Grimaced? IDK, just thinking aloud here. Nice though!

  2. I like this beginning too. It makes me wonder why getting into the bathroom is tough...big family? And why is that day special? Makes me want to know more.

  3. Hey, thanks gals, for the feedback. Interesting what Lisa says about frowned vs. grimaced (or something less simple). An editor read my first chapter and commented that Rylee was too melodramatic so I toned her down--she HAD been glowering at the door. LOL I think it's about finding the very fine line between a dramatic teenager and a Drama Queen. I do answer those very two questions Julie wonders about, in my next few paragraphs. Btw, the storyline is listed on my website (carol riggs (dot) com.

  4. I'm biased. I love your MC's name. I love it so much that I gave it to my youngest daughter (same spelling and everything)... My Rylee is also very dramatic!

    Okay, the first thought that ran through my mind is why the door being closed is such a big deal, followed by the same question Julie had. Is there something important about that day?

    If it is, I want to know. Not necessarily details, something as simple as adding ‘not today’ after ‘she couldn’t be seeing this’ would do the trick.

    Great voice, great job!

  5. Carol,

    I agree with everything said before, but I would go one step further. Instead of "I couldn't be seeing this," you could jump straight to saying she couldn't believe so-and-so was hogging the bathroom already/still/again. Then add that "not today" tag in there somewhere or something similar.

    But this is a strong, compelling opener. Great job!

  6. Hi Carol,

    The first line does hint at something more ominous, more unbelievable than a closed bathroom door, which, probably tells us a lot about your character. Dramatic is right! And everyone is right, it makes the reader wonder what is so special or different about THIS day. I'd keep reading just to find that out.

  7. Hi Carol! I think your first line has the potential to be powerful "No…no way. She couldn't be seeing" but when we get to "this" is fizzles out. Is there a reason you're not telling us what she's seeing - or is it the closed door that has her in a tizzy? If so, just say it :) Also, unless this is a historical, I'd say "Rylee Spencer made a strangled noise and cussed under her breath." The polite company bit, while cute, isn't something you're going to find a lot of teens saying.
    BTW - overly dramatic characters are my favorite!

  8. I think your opening definitely gives a great sense of Rylee’s feelings. I think you could eliminate the sentence with the “strangled noise” and “comment that was unrepeatable in polite company” – it feels a little awkward and forced. Other than that, the opening is evocative and Rylee’s voice is clear.

  9. Great first lines. I really liked the first one. It made me want to know what she was seeing. And then I want to know why she needs to get in the bathroom so quickly. Her voice is good.


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