Saturday, June 25, 2011

Shelley Watters' Birthday Blowout First Page Contest

Here's a great contest I thought I'd join and promote. Check out the details here:

The contest is open to YA, middle grade, memoir, pop culture non-fiction, and womens commercial fiction. If I'm going to share my first 250 words, so should you. Hurry! :) And feel free to critique my work. Come on now, I can take it.

Genre: Humorous Women's Fiction
Word Count: 55,000

It all began with a dimple, and not just any dimple. One so big and deep, you'd hardly notice the smile next to it. I didn't know that falling in love with that seemingly endless hole in my future husband's cheek would be the cause of all my life's grief and happiness. On any given day I'm either cursing that dimple or kissing it.
My husband Aaron and I are married for three years before we decide having kids is a good idea. It takes a few months to get pregnant, but, impatient as I am (future kids cure me of this), I get really sick of waiting for a missed period. I mean, really, just stop already!
Finally I am late. By ten minutes. So I quickly do my business on my dollar store pregnancy test and wait for those double touchdown lines to appear.
Still waiting.
Three minutes feel like hours, and I've read the directions so many times that I wonder if the French version might make more sense. When nothing appears in the magic white window, I think I've wasted another dollar. Angry and disgusted, I toss it into the garbage. 
If only there had been a camera installed in our bathroom (there wouldn't have been--we're not that type), I might've seen my husband visit the toilet shortly after me. While there he finds the pregnancy test and without reading any stupid instructions, discovers I'm pregnant.


Stephanie Diaz said...

I really like this! Love the opening line, and the ending makes me want to read more. The one thing that throws me a little is the switches between past tense and present. They feel jarring. Do you really need the present tense? It might flow better if it were all the same.

Also, the tense of the lines in parenthesis pulls me out of the story again. I like the words, it's just the tense that makes me stop for a second. Something think about :)

And thank you so much for taking a look at my first page!

Jeff King said...

I like the voice, and the flow of the story keeps me reading.
But, the one part left me wondering why: “It takes a few months to get pregnant,”

Why state this, and then take the next two paragraphs talking about the waiting and nervousness of getting pregnant. After I already know she is pregnant, I kind of lose my interest in it.

It might seem small, but it affected the way I perceived the rest of the work.

Christina Garner said...

The first two sentences are wonderful. I'd have liked a little more about the hubby before we get to the desire for kids. We start with him, but then move away a little too quickly. Maybe a sentence or two about how that dimple looked when they stood at the altar, or when he proposed... Just my two cents. Very nice writing overall. Good luck with the contest.

Rebecca Kiel said...

I love it when i read something and it makes me smile. Nicely done.

Jeanmarie Anaya said...

I really liked this!
I do agree with Christina that maybe that dimple should have a little more story to it. Like maybe it features in the scene where her husband shows her the positive pregnancy test? Maybe he's smiling then? Just trying to see how to tie that smile/dimple in with the rest of the first chapter.

Good luck with the contest!

Lori M. Lee said...

Great voice, and I love the opening. However, I think there's a tad bit too much back story here, particularly the attempt to get pregnant. You can move the reader right into the anxiousness of waiting and tell us later that it's taken them a few years to be ready.

Thoroughly Modern Mommy said...

Funny that we have similar topics :) I agree with the others- the tense switches are a little confusing, and I couldn't tell if they were intentional. I probably have a bias, since my whole book is about trying to get pregnant, but I did think it was confusing that the narrator just mentions trying to get pregnant so casually. Interested in reading more, though. Perhaps we should exchange some excerpts, since our topics are so similar? Thank for stopping by my entry and commenting!

Rachel said...

Jeff - You are so right! I will fix this. Thanks for the insight.

As for the tenses, I know its awkward. I say the word "began" in the first sentence because "begins" just sounded wrong. It's sort of like I'm starting to tell a past story and then jump right into the present scene. I'll repost an edited version and see what you guys think.

Thanks for the great advise!