Tuesday, July 6, 2010

7 #38 Julie Musil

This day is going to suck.

Across the street, a military car parks in front of MJ’s house. Army officers step out of the car, adjust their uniforms, and straighten their caps.

Another soldier has died, and I hope these guys have the wrong address.

They follow the path leading to MJ’s front door.


  1. Interested to see how this plays out. Also, maybe the MC could have a feeling here: Dread, anxiety, fear? Something as they slowly walk up to MJ's drive. Good luck! :-)

  2. Hmmm. You grabbed me with your first line, but I wonder if it might be more effective further down. The rest of your scene is so compelling, I don't think you really need to grab the reader so dramatically. I've already got an idea of your MC's emotions, his character, and what's at stake here, just by reading the next sentences. Big kudos to you on accomplishing so much in 5 sentences!

    I think if you changed your verb tense in lines 2-5, and brought your last line up more, you'd be on the money.

    Here's what I'm thinking:
    "Another soldier, dead. Army officers just got out of the military cars parked across the street, outside MJ's house. I saw them adjust their uniforms and straighten their caps, and now I'm watching them follow the path leading to MJ's door. I'm hoping these guys have the wrong address, but I know this day is going to suck."

    I'm interested. You've got me hooked.

  3. Melissa, thanks for your critique!

  4. Hi, Julie!
    I feel similar to what Melissa said. I love this opening and I'd love to see where it goes, but I think the opening line should come later.

    Something like:
    I take one step out my front door and I see the car parked in MJ's drive. I freeze on the porch steps. It's just like in the movies and I'm praying that's what this is. Or that they have the wrong address. A military officer steps out of the car. He adjusts his uniform and straightens his hat. I already know what he'll say before he knocks on the door. Another soldier is dead.

    But better, because you can do better. :0)

  5. I'm with Suzanne in that I'm hoping for a little more internalization here. This day sucks - sure. When I get a flat tire, that sucks. But when someone I know dies? That's a whole different level of suck. I need to feel that level here - or at least the anticipation or fear of what's about to happen.

    Interesting premise, though! I'd definitely keep reading.

  6. L.J. and Cole, these are very good points. Thank you!


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