Opening Paragraph #6

Kylee pulled her knees tighter into her chest and tightened the grip of her arms around them. The cold of the cement she sat on was creeping through her worn jeans, chilling her flesh. How had she gotten herself into this mess? What was she going to do now? (Move these questions...) Cold was seeping through the worn-out tennis shoes as well. Her socks had too many holes in them to hold any of it (define "it") out. (...here.) (New paragraph) A snow began to fall, gently drifting (be more descriptive; "gently drifting" tells us. Use the senses to show us) onto her hunched shoulders. A car pulled into the parking lot (what parking lot? tie it back to Kylee; also, if the doesn't stop because of her, it should just pass on by), its headlights playing across the side of Kylee's bent head. Kylee didn't notice it. She remained in her hunched position, shivering. Where could she go? She had nothing anymore. Her car had broken down finally on the freeway several miles away and she had managed to walk this far but could go no further. This rest stop, somewhere outside of Flagstaff, Arizona, was her last stop (stop/stop--delete one).

Critique: You start well, but then it weakens. The last sentence is okay, but could be much more powerful. The paragraph does start me asking questions--What's going on with the car? Who's in it? Why is she running away? --and that's good, but it's not strong enough to keep me asking them.

Would I ask for more? Depends on the query and synopsis that came with this paragraph. How old is she? That would be key for me. If I was having a patient day and the Q & S were good, yes, I might ask for more. But if I had a whole stack of submissions to get through and it was already a frustrating day, no I might not.


W.L.Elliott said...

This one has my vote.

(I want to read the rest of the book now...)

Anonymous said...

1 vote.

Anonymous said...

This is a great description of quiet desperation. I'll put in a vote for it.