Sunday, October 12, 2008

Little Help Please-Your Opinion Matters to Me

I am looking for a little feedback on the opening pages of my first novel "A Sea of Whispers"

Please give me your honest opinion on how it makes you feel and if you would continue to read the book. It is so important that the opening pages draw the reader in. Your opinion matters to me, so tell me what you think. Is there something I should add, delete or change. Don't be afraid to say what you really think- I need honesty.

A sea of Whispers

Beyond the sunken gate, tucked within the garden wall, lies a secret. This secret waits in silence for those who seek answers to the mystery within. It is protected by vines that never sleep and flowers that spew a luring bouquet. The salty air blows past the secret garden and whispers truths to a past filled with lies.

Chapter I

The space between sleep and consciousness is a little uneasy for Tally. She never knows if within those moments she will open her eyes to the comforts of her cottage or the terror of the day that she lost her innocence. Her nightmares are so vivid that the scent lingers inside her nose for several minutes after she wakes. Sight is the strongest of our five senses but scent evokes memories like nothing else can.

She licked her lips, no blood, it was just another dream. Her chest rose and fell hard as she drew in a deep breath and let it out again. Still struggling for a reason to open her eyes, Tally exposed the windows and looked out across the rainy skies. It was the kind of day that she would rather close the shades and just sleep. This wasn’t possible today, it was important that she made an effort, especially today. She dressed in her favorite white blouse and charcoal grey pants that buttoned down the side and rested at her ankles with a two inch cuff. Not her best look but she would make it work. The pants were trendy back when she bought them several years ago but now that was debatable. One peek in her closet was telling; it was obvious that it had been far too long since she paid attention to the way she dressed. There was a time when looking stylish and attractive wouldn’t have been an issue or even a thought in her mind. She’d been blessed with something special; her charisma came naturally and without effort. But times had changed as the years passed. As Tally looked in the mirror she couldn’t help but notice the dark circles below her eyes and subtle hints of grey hair that seemed to have crept up over night. After she fell madly in love with the man of her dreams she stopped paying attention to the way she looked. It never occurred to her that it mattered anymore or that David would notice and fall out of love with her. As an ocean breeze blew through the open window and graced her cheek; she glanced down at her worn out shoes on the cold floor. The soles were tattered and the leather, worn with age, had lost most of its color. She wished she had something better, but she was alone now for the first time in her life and new shoes were not an option. Tally hoped that she could pull it off and no one would notice that her clothing revealed a woman who had lost herself years ago. She felt relieved as she stepped through the door and noticed that the rain had stopped. A break in the weather meant that she could leave the old car stationary and cruise down the road on her vintage bicycle. The breeze on her face and wind sailing through her hair was her favorite way to launch the day. She felt good as a wall of steam rose from the sandy soil and wrapped her body in a comforting way. Off in the distance her eyes met the most beautiful rainbow, stretched across the sky. It was spectacular but then so was everything else outside her quaint little cottage on the edge of the sea.

Tally looked at the tremble in her hands; she was nervous. It had been a long time since she started a new job. She couldn’t remember what it felt like to be the new girl fumbling her way through a task while hoping that no one would notice. Desperate to live up to her dreams, her mind longed for the day that she would be free from the daily nightmares. But these dreams were always there no matter how far she ran to escape them. Life was going change now that she found a place where she could lose herself, far away from her past. The landscape was different, people were different, even the air smelled different in this stretch along the beach. Tally vowed to leave her past in West Virginia, no addictions, no secrets, no more lies. This wasn’t a good time to be thinking about her past but she couldn’t keep the memories at bay. As she jumped on her bicycle and headed up the trail, the memories flooded her mind like a river that had found its way around the dam.

I appreciate your comments.



  1. Guard your loins...

    This is telling. In essence your character is sitting and thinking. The writing is good, don't get me wrong, but there's nothing happening. Yes, she's moving around getting dressed for the day, but why is this important to the story. Start where the action starts and you can get the backstory in later. Where does the conflict pick up? Who is the antagonist in this scene?

    Just throwing some thoughts out there.

  2. I am not really a writer so critiqueing is not easy for me. But I do notice errors in spelling in terms of how a word is used in the sentence. So before you get too far in your story there are three I want to call to your attention. First paragraph,"inside her nose" instead of "inside her noise". Second paragraph, "years passed" instead of "years past" and in the last sentence "around the dam" instead of "around the damn". In all three instances spell check would not catch those because all are actual words. Spell check to my knowledge does not catch words used in the wrong content. I hope that helps. But for me it is enough to draw me into the story to find out what is going to happen and where she is going on her bike. Good luck with your writing!

  3. Hi Mya, you are a very brave gal posting the first chapter of your book on your blog. My husband is writing a novel set in WWII and he won't even let me take a peek!

    I don't know enough about writing to critque . . . but I will offer my comments. I actually like the clothing details as it shows this woman doesn't have the money to buy a new outfit for her first day of work. She is trying to look professional and put-together without a new wardrobe. I feel her stress. . . trying to appear calm and cool while hiding all those emotions (yet to be revealed).

    I found the lead in paragraph prior to chp.1 a bit flowery perhaps. The whispers, gardens and wind songs.

    I'm ready to read chapter two :)

    Good work! Karen

  4. Hey Mya!
    Girl, you are a talented drew me in and I can't wait to find out more about this story. You have the ability to describe the scenes so well, I feel like I was really there. You are off to a wonderful start. Congratulations...I hope I will get to find out more about this story....follow your dreams, you are gonna write a great book...I can tell! Have a great evening!

  5. P.S. I don't even read much...except magazines and the Bible, but you really made me interested and curious about what's gonna happen in this woman's life and what had happened in her past. Just thought I'd throw that in there!

  6. Hi Mya,
    I love your writing! That's an echo from months ago when I commented. You are so descriptive, and you speak of a life that I can only imagine...the boldness of setting out on a new life by the sea with "tattered" shoes...but, can she really escape from West Virginia? To me there is the story's conflict. I have a vintage beach cruiser bike so, of course, that just reaches out and makes the story so personal to me...A nice vignette...Can't wait to read more!!! Just get those "uncensored" thoughts on paper...A thorough proofreading later can clean up any misspellings, etc. The basic premise of the story is what matters at this point. Your "forshadowing" is holding my interest. KUDOS!!!

  7. I'm quite ready for the rest of the book.... hold tight those dreams, this book will be good. xx


I am so happy you stopped by for a visit. Your comments are important to me. Leave me your thoughts and always follow your bliss.