First Page Critique

Welcome all to our first first page critique!  First off a round of applause for our first brave volunteer :).  Now before we get going here, I want to lay down a few ground rules:

1) Every comment will be moderated.  This means please do NOT resubmit it unless it has been at least 6 hours.  (I have an evil day job which means I can ONLY check this at lunch time and after work- we have a back up screener but her time is limited too).

2) Remember to use good judgment on these. This does not mean, “OMG!  I love it!” any more than it means, “This sucks”.  Make intelligent, HELPFUL comments as to what you feel works and what you feel needs work.  Comments judged to be unkind will not be posted. (again- you don’t need to gush- just don’t be mean!)

The idea with these is to help all of us see what works and what doesn’t.  This will hopefully be a regular item on our blog but only with YOUR help!

Now, on to our page!

TYPE: Hot COP Short Story 

Riding along in a cruiser while an officer makes the rounds can be an interesting or a boring adventure. Or sometimes it is beyond exciting. It’s a crapshoot.

Mia Brand had managed to find herself on an interesting one. At least, so far.

This go-round, she had been given to a male cop. Now there was an understatement.

The guy wore a short-sleeve uniform. His biceps were straining the seams. His chest was higher than hers. The shirt buttons were in danger.

He had a trim waist and lean hips. How did he keep his equipment belt from falling down? He had that routine, almost unconscious cop thing that they all did. He was forever hauling it up. Since it was heavy, anywhere from 22 to 34 pounds, she could understand the tendency of the belt to want to obey the laws of gravity and drift down his thighs. She wanted to drift down those thighs.

She had decided early in the ride-along that this was a prime specimen. It didn’t hurt that he had dark blue eyes. A chiseled jaw. A touch of 5 O’clock shadow. A blinding smile and a dimple. Dark closely trimmed hair that showed a tendency to curl. It looked soft. Not to ignore a deep voice that came up out of him and made her insides twitch.

Oh yes.

She’d been stuck in a car with a virtual Adonis, although Adonis was a blond wasn’t he?

She who had given up dating men some time back, having decided a vibrator was more useful. After all, it was always ready, didn’t make stupid small talk, and had an off switch. Men didn’t come with an off switch. Not that she knew of.

Oh this was Karma. Or life getting even. Giving up men? Ha! Try this one!

 

 

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The Romance Writers of America's San Diego chapter promotes excellence in romantic fiction, helps writers become published and establish careers in their writing field, and provides continuing support for writers within the romance publishing industry. Contact us for more information about RWASD.

7 thoughts on “First Page Critique

  1. What a great first entry into our First Page Critique program! Writer, you did a terrific job. That cop hero sounds super sexy and the heroine’s sarcastic, self-deprecating personality came through right off the bat.

    My first piece of advice would be to add some anchoring information to this first page regarding who your heroine is and why she’s a regular when it comes to police ride-alongs. I was so busy wondering about this that I had trouble keeping my attention on the sexy description of the cop.

    My second piece of advice is to urge you to consider couching the description of the copy in an action sequence. Right now, the description is floating on the page unattached to any plot element, but what if she’s thinking these things about him while he’s making a routine traffic stop or arguing with local riffraff? She could be in the car observing him hitch his belt up, for example. Seeing the hero in action right off the bat is considered an “anchoring action” and it would help add a “show, not tell” level of complexity to your writing craft.

    Best of luck to you with this piece! You definitely have the start of something good. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  2. Thanks for volunteering. This is good, but for me I’d like some sort of hint as to WHY she’d doing the ride along. I get it that the cop is a hunk, but you could convey this with a little less description. I want to get on with the story and see what happens. Good luck with this.

  3. Congratulations on posting your first page! And thanks for being the first volunteer.

    Let’s see… the idea is intriguing (Hot cop story, yes, please!), and I’m interested in the ride along concept, but I feel you get bogged down in the laundry list description of the cop. I feel you could draw in the reader more if you get to the action of the story ~ the ride along. Drop in hints of description along the way. Your entire first page is all about this cop and I feel like I’m being force-fed that he’s hot and I have to like him. I need to come to that conclusion on my own.

    I like the casual tone of the writing. I feel like I’m sitting at coffee with a friend and she’s telling me about this adventure. Some of the sentences are confusing, though. “It looked soft. Not to ignore a deep voice that came up out of him and made her insides twitch.” Huh? The hair wasn’t to ignore a deep voice? I think I know what you mean, but it pulled me out of the story.

    Also, the first sentence is a bit clunky. How about ‘Ride alongs are crapshoot.”? You’ve got some good stuff in there, but it’s mired down by passive voice and too much description.

    What happens on the ride along?! I want to know. Dead body? Sex in the cruiser with the hot cop? What???

    Again, thank you for putting up your first page for critique. I hope this helps. Write on!

  4. I like this set up a lot, and Mia seems like a fun character to follow, but I think the opening would be even stronger if there was some interaction between Mia and the cop. Maybe consider interspersing Mia’s thoughts with some dialog that shows the cop’s attitude toward her?
    Great job, and happy writing!

  5. First of all, I love your writing style and the sound of your prose! You have a great story to work with here! I think jumping into the interaction between characters or the action in the scene might be better than starting off by “telling” or describing the situation too much. But that being said, you have the perfect set up for a really fun story! 🙂

  6. I agree with everything already said. I’d just like to add that the sentence “This go-round, she had been given to a male cop” had me wondering if Mia was a dog. Which didn’t work at all with her appreciation of how sexy the male cop is! Great job and thanks for breaking the ice and going first!

  7. I want to really thank our brave and talented volunteer! Excellent start on this one, you’ve got an awesome voice coming through on it.

    And thanks to all who have done comments.

    Marie

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