First Page Feedback: Untitled #6

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Untitled #6 by Nick V.

Original: 

Andreas entered Boston’s Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park at midnight. As he walked through the gate he saw a lone figure by the water, looking out toward Boston Harbor.

“I’m Andreas Pantheras,” he said in a firm voice, as he approached the stranger, his hand extended. “You have something for me?”

The man’s craggy face was colored by the water’s reflection. It was stern with hard unreadable eyes. He ignored Andreas’ outstretched hand.  When he spoke, Andreas recognized the man who’d called three days ago. Dressed in a black suit and fedora the enigmatic figure melded into the water behind him.

“You’re asking too many questions, Mr. Pantheras,” the enigmatic figure said.

“I’m a lawyer, I get paid to ask questions,” Andreas snapped back, “and I’m damn good at it. Do you have something to help me or not?”

The perplexing figure let out a labored sigh and said, “No, not to help you…,  to silence you.”

Andreas went cold and attempted to flee, but was impaled on a slender knife that appeared out of the darkness. The stiletto sliced below Andreas’ sternum, taking his breath away in a final ragged gasp. The assassin’s left hand smothered Andreas’ last whimper for help. The killer rammed the blade upward piercing the bottom of Andreas’ heart. His last sensation was the thick smell of his killer’s breath, his last sight the man’s round stubbly face. He went to his knees then fell face first to the concrete, but Andreas didn’t feel the impact.

 

 

Brenda's Feedback

Andreas entered Boston’s Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park at midnight. As he walked through the gate he saw a At midnight, Andreas Pantheras approached the lone figure by the water, looking staring out toward Boston Harbor. “You have something for me?” he said, his hand extended.

“I’m Andreas Pantheras,” he said in a firm voice, as he approached the stranger, his hand extended. “You have something for me?”

The water’s reflection colored the man’s craggy face, was colored by the water’s reflection. It was stern with hard, unreadable eyes. He ignored Andreas’ outstretched hand. When he spoke, Andreas recognized the man who’d called three days ago. Dressed in a black suit and fedora, the enigmatic figure melded into the water behind him. [What does this make Andreas feel? We want a steady build of emotion, and an unexpected feeling here would amp things up even more. What if this blending effect calms him at first? Then, when he recognizes the voice, the emotion can change and intensify.]

“You’re asking too many questions, Mr. Pantheras,” the enigmatic figure he said.

In his voice, Andreas recognized the man who’d called three days earlier, and he [some emotional reaction?]. “I’m a lawyer. I get paid to ask questions,” he snapped back. “And I’m “I’m a lawyer, I get paid to ask questions,” Andreas snapped back, “and I’m damn good at it. Do you have something to Can you help me or not?”

The perplexing figure let out a labored sigh. and said, “No, not to I can’t help you…, to I can silence you.”

Andreas went cold and attempted to flee, but was impaled on a A slender knife that appeared out of the darkness. The stiletto sliced below Andreas’ sternum, taking his breath away in a final ragged gasp. T as the assassin’s left hand smothered Andreas’ any last whimper for help. The killer rammed the blade upward, piercing the bottom of Andreas’ heart. His last sensation was Wrapped in the thick smell of his killer’s breath, his last sight gaping into the man’s round stubbly face . H he went to his knees, then fell face first to the concrete, but Andreas didn’t feel the impact. all sensation gone.

Thank you so much for sharing this opening page, Nick. You did a really great job creating both a mood and some terrific suspense. From the very beginning, we have tension, and the stakes really couldn’t be higher for Andreas. For me, the task here was to tighten and intensify the language, as well as rearrange sentences for greater effect and eliminate passive constructions. I also wanted a bit more emotional context, with some specific responses/reactions in certain areas, which would then create an even greater escalation of tension.

Nice work overall. You’ve definitely piqued my curiosity with this beginning, I would absolutely read on from here.

Thank you again for submitting. I wish you all the best.

--Brenda