First Page Feedback: Dear Dead Drunk Girl

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Dear Dead Drunk Girl by Holly H.

Original:

 

CHAPTER ONE

An End. The Beginning

If I were Ellen Rodman I’d be the kind of girl that gets off on putting check marks in perfectly square little boxes drawn in the left hand margin of my notebook.  The boxes would line up one beneath the other in a straight column without depending on the red perpendicular stripe. Each check an accomplishment, a thing I controlled and managed. Shit, I’d even give myself a gold star when I got to the bottom of a page to commemorate all the things I’d done.

But I’m Mary and I’ve never been a list girl…more of a fly by the seat of your pants and hope there isn’t a split in the ass of my jeans girl. I got by…it wasn’t pretty…more of a well-maintained chaos…I did my best though…I had good reason to always try.

Anjulie. She’s my six-year-old sister. Twelve years younger than me and adorable in every way imaginable. Her delicious milk chocolate skin and deep brown eyes were a sharp contrast to my blond hair and blue eyes. Although we had different dads, our bond was stronger than any other in our family.

Anjluie smiled at me when she saw me, like an involuntary reaction. At six, her smile included two missing teeth and a new freckle on her lower lip. She hugged me with all her might and I hugged her back the same. She was my heart fearlessly parading around the world. She deserved nothing but the best. But what she had was me.

Brenda's Feedback

CHAPTER ONE

An End. The Beginning [Well done. This is so simple and succinct, but says so much about the story.]

If I were Ellen Rodman instead of Mary (last name), I’d be the kind of girl that gets off on putting check marks in perfectly square little boxes drawn in the left hand margin of my notebook. The boxes would line up, one beneath the other, in a straight column without depending on the red perpendicular stripe. Each check would shine as an accomplishment, a thing I controlled and managed. Shit, I’d even give myself a gold star when I got to the bottom of a page to commemorate (celebrate?) all the things I’d done.

But I’m Mary and I’ve never been a list girl…more of a fly by the seat of your my pants and hope there isn’t wasn’t a split in the ass of my jeans girl. I got by…it wasn’t pretty…more of a well-maintained chaos…I did my best though…I had good reason to always try.

Anjulie. She’s mMy six-year-old sister. Twelve years younger than me and adorable in every way imaginable. H, her delicious milk chocolate skin and deep brown eyes were offered a sharp contrast to my blond hair and blue eyes. Although we had different dads, our bond was stronger than(topped, beat out, surpassed) any other in our family.

Anjluie smiled at me when she saw me, like an involuntary reaction. At six, her, a smile included with two missing teeth and a new freckle on her lower lip. She hugged me with all her might, and I hugged her back the same. She was my heart, fearlessly parading around the world. She deserved nothing but the best. But what instead, she had was me.

I really like this opening, Holly. You do a great job showing us who Mary is, or at least how she sees herself, through contrast. We see how she operates in the world, that she believes herself to be somewhat of a mess, and that her whole heart is taken up by her sweet little sister. And while she and Ellen are just flat-out different, she and Anjulie are different and yet somehow the same.

As always, your voice shines, and these few paragraphs are quite efficient in the way they set up character and a clear sense of foreboding. Already, we know something bad is going to happen, Mary is going to try her best and fail. And already, I care, because Mary cares so much.

Mostly, I worked to combine/condense related thoughts and eliminate the passive voice when I found it. By nature, you’re an efficient writer, and you reveal a great deal in smart, subtle ways. Each passive construction offers you the opportunity to do even more of that. Each time you rephrase to make the sentence more active, or blend sentences into stronger thoughts, you work in more power and meaning.

Thanks so much for sharing this with us, Holly! You’re doing awesome work!

-- Brenda