The wonderful and talented Shelley Watters is hosting another awesome contest on her blog in which the prize is a ten page critique by Judith Engracia of Liza Dawson Associates literary agency. Ms. Engracia is a literary assistant who is building her client list, and she’s actively seeking middle grade and young adult. And since she has a husky named Grendel, I bet she’ll want to know that I took two semesters of Old English in college! 🙂
So the way this works is, I post my first page (approx. 250 words) here today. Over the next three days, the other contestants in the competition can come here and offer their comments and critiques (and I’ll go visit their blogs too). That’s actually my favorite part of a contest like this; I’ve met such great people this way! Even if you’re not participating in Shelley’s contest — maybe you’re one of my loyal readers 😉 — I’d love to hear what you think of my first page. I have put it through some changes recently and I’m still considering what to do with it, so I’m ready and willing to hear everyone’s comments.
With no further ado, the first page of “Finding Kate: The True Story of The Taming of the Shrew” a YA historical fiction, complete at 49,500 words:
Oh, the weekly torment of market day. The entire village gathered on the green at the center of town to buy and sell, to visit with neighbors, to chat with friends, to flirt, to laugh.
I detested market day but Father, as the self-appointed most important man in town, insisted that I go as an escort for my younger sister, Blanche.
I detested Blanche, as well.
At the intersection of High Street and Church Street, the center of the town of Whitelock, there is a broad, grassy common area. Carters and merchants from all around would set up their carts on the grass, vying for the best spots in the shade of ancient apple trees. Merchants who had businesses in town would open wide their doors and set baskets of wares on their front steps. Within an hour after dawn, the market would be as alive with activity and sound as a beehive. And just as a beehive has its queen, this market had my sister Blanche.
One’s eyes were drawn to her; it was impossible not to notice her. She stood beside a fruit carter’s wagon, one hand lightly on the rough wood. Her pink lips were parted in a smile revealing her perfect teeth, her hair cascaded over her shoulders in waves, and her eyes gleamed golden brown, a perfect complement to the honey of her hair and peach of her skin. Around her were gathered her followers: the two Eleanors, three Alices, three Margarets and three Marys of Whitelock who formed her little flock.