Tuesday, July 13, 2010

4 #4 JayceeKaycee

The shriek of my cell phone in the quiet classroom meant only one thing: the killer had found us again.

My fingers fumbled, palms slick with dread, but I had to answer on the first ring—that was the rule.

I raised the phone to my ear and was out of my chair even before I heard my mother’s panicked command: Run.

With shaking hands I stuffed my books and notes into my bag—we could leave nothing personal behind; that was another rule. I raced past the scowling teacher, knowing every minute, every second, brought the killer closer.


  1. Wow, I love this beginning! Action and danger from the first moment will definitely draw a reader in.
    I do have a couple of suggestions. Even though the first sentence is kind of a "hook" I feel that it detracts from the power of the scene by explaining too much, too fast (ie: the killer had found us again). I would much prefer to have the phone ring, then have your MC react with dread and by the rules- on the first ring. Right away you've got an unusual reaction to an otherwise normal event. The reader will immediately want to know why.
    Then increase the intimacy- I want to hear the mother's voice as dialogue. "Run," my mother said. And maybe find a word or two to show the panic in her voice, rather than tell us she gave a panicked command.
    Also I would love more specific details to ground us in your MC's world and tell us a bit more about him or her- I raced past Mrs. Trenton who gaped at me over a copy of "A Tale of Two Cities". How the teacher reacts can tell us what kind of a student the MC usually is: quiet, low profile I'm assuming :)
    I would save "the killer had found us again" for the end of this powerful scene.
    This is a really terrific beginning and sounds like an exciting premise. Good luck!

  2. I loved this opening so much, it was my number one pick. I have to know more about this story. In my opinion you shouldn't change a thing in the first five lines.

  3. Very action-y from the get-go. I too would like to experience firsthand the mother's command, to make it more immediate and compelling. I had a bit of a question mark with "shriek" of a cell phone; it's just not a word I would associate with a cell phone ring (most teens don't have their cells set to shriek-kind-of sounds anyway--they have 'em set to Top 40 clips usually). I AM intrigued as to why there is a "rule" about answering on the first ring. Something is obviously going on! Good start.

  4. There's a lot to like here. If I could suggest anything, I'd like to see a little internalization. Especially since you have the story in 1st person. What's running through your MC's mind while this is happening?

    Love the action, though. I'd definitely keep reading :)


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