This week's first page critique is here! Thanks to this brave author for being willing to submit to our critique. Feel free to comment below if you want to add anything to my assessment.
If you would like your first page critiqued, email the first 250 words of chapter 1 to lisaphillipsbks(at)gmail(dot)com
Clementine twirled for her daddy in their silver and amethyst castle ballroom. She grinned with her muzzle’s stretchy lips. Like all canine beings, she had dog fur and dog nails as well as a dog-like head, but she was shaped more like a human, really. Of course, her Jackal Princess costume wasn’t even her real digital skin, but it was fun to pretend.
Her soft, shiny, two-piece dress had a three-layered pink skirt that hung low on her waist, exposing her fluffy tail. Underneath her dress, she wore a bra with six cups. Her costume was thirteen and able to become a truly exotic creature: a mommy.
She danced around and around with Papa Tutor, who was dressed up as King Zindar. Like the rest of the Jackal Kingdom’s royal family, their costumes had black manes that connected to their tails. From the neck down, their fur was yellow with black streaks on their sides and a circular black patch on their chests. The fur on their faces was red-brown but sprinkled with gray.
Papa-as-Zindar nuzzled her forehead. You need to go home, sweetheart.
Boo. This was home—well, along with her Labran family’s village. She clung to her Jackal daddy and said in Spanish, “I’m staying here with you, Papa.”
First the technical stuff: there's a line of dialogue in the second to last paragraph that needs quotation marks. Other than that, I was kind of blown away by this introduction to a story that I'm fairly sure isn't going to be anything like any other story I've read before! Mostly I was reading slowly to absorb all the details of this mysterious world.
Which is fine--who doesn't love a good fantasy story?--so long as you don't give the reader too much "storyworld" up front. I still need to be drawn to the personal aspect of the story. The detail is rich, but a little overwhelming. What I do love, is the twirling and then the sheer yearning at the end. She doesn't want to leave, she wants to stay with Papa forever. That touches me.
Wow! Great job, author.
Lisa Phillips is a wife, mom of two littles and author. While the kids are at Grandma's, she writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense novels. Her first book, The Ultimate Betrayal, will be released from Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense, summer 2014. You can find out more at www.lisaphillipsbks.com