In honor of her birthday, author Shelley Watters is hosting yet another awesome contest on her blog, and this time, the prize is a critique by Victoria Marini of Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents, Inc. Ms. Marini is actively building her client list, focusing on young adult and women’s fiction.
I’ve done this before. In fact, I did this about a month ago in Shelly’s last contest. The way this works is, I post my first page (approx. 250 words) here today. Over the next few days, the other contestants in the competition can come here and offer their comments and critiques. This weekend I will be camping in the beautiful Rocky Mountains so I won’t be able to bop around to the blogs, which makes me very sad. I always love seeing what everyone else is writing and I get to meet such interesting people out there in the blogosphere! However, I hope you’ll still read and enjoy my work, even if I can’t read and enjoy yours.
What I am posting here today is the revised first page after the comments from last month’s contest, so if you visited me during the last contest, this will seem rather familiar but also different.
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 49,100 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.
Every Monday, carters and merchants from all around set up their carts on the grass of the broad common, 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 was 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. I had abandoned her as soon as we arrived on the green, and yet she was a constant nettle under my skin. There she stood beside a fruit carter’s wagon, one hand lightly on the rough wood. Her pink lips were parted in a smile revealing all 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.