Friday, July 30, 2010


This is one scary monster, but easily outdone. I remember him getting a manicure and a new hairdo from that pesky rabbit. I found him so endearing I thought of him in my closet not Jason Vorhees or Michael Myers. Bugs was so smart.
Noah Bradley is no Bugs Bunny and his monster scares the crap out of me. I have had the distinct pleasure of working as Tammy Lee's critique partner for the past year. I know this story, I love this story.

This opening has been through quite a few ringers. And Tammy worked hard today polishing her up. Let her know how she did, if it still needs anything. But, I believe it's just right. Then again, I am biased.
Thanks ladies and gents, ye did a great job. JAWS sends her regrets. She is on her way out of town. Lucky me, all by me lonesome. The blog is mine. Mu ah ha ha ha!


Mondays were a bitch and today was no exception. Noah cut the engine. The sudden, stilled quiet hung like an omen in complete symmetry with what lay ahead. What he would bear witness to. Sweat beaded his brow as he slid from the Jeep and adjusted his sunglasses.

He glanced to the rear bumper making sure he’d pulled far enough ahead of the crime unit vehicles and checked to see if other cars could pass without sideswiping him. Satisfied, he grabbed the door, dropped his head and drew a deep breath. The crisp autumn air did little to alleviate the dread.

His nerves were fast becoming as bare-threaded and exposed as most of the long branches stretching over the road. Soon, the days would get shorter and the nights longer. But it wasn’t like he didn’t have anything to occupy his time.

He had a monster to catch.

One who liked to use a knife, who liked the solitude and privacy this part of Sumner County provided with its farms and miles of dense forest.

A perfect place to dump a body. Noah slammed the door.

Third Monday, third murdered woman.

“Hey, buddy, I need you to get back in your car and keep moving.”

Noah flashed his badge at the young patrolman. “Bradley. Homicide.”


  1. Thanks, Mart. I am officially done with the first page for awhile. LOL I have read it and changed it so many times, I'm probably causing more harm than good. LOL

  2. Tammy has strict orders to move from the first page. ORDERS! At the end of the day Tammy, it's your baby. These are all suggestions. Now that being said, this page is DONE SON! No more touchy.

  3. Tammy,

    Here goes...I like the other version better. It was more you, different from other things we read. Your unique way of writing had me enthralled even without the sensory details. It's just my opinion (which means diddly) but I would go back to the last version and only add a few details, leaving almost everything else the same.
    Don't get me wrong, there are some great lines here and some very good storytelling but the other version held itself apart from others. I'm not sure this one does that for you.

    These lines were great BTW:

    One who liked to use a knife, who liked the solitude and privacy this part of Sumner County provide with its farms and miles of dense forest.

    Great way to add to the imagery and still tell us about the bad guy.

    The crisp autumn air did little to alleviate the dread.

    Again, you've managed to squeeze imagery and characterization into one measly sentence.
    You, Tammy, are such a unique writer and we all know that's a hard thing to do.

    Just my opinion, I hope it helps in some way :)


  4. Hmmm, good point Anne. If the new version doesn't sound like Tammy, it's no good then...

    Either way. She's forbidden to tweak this further until the book is finished. She'll never get it done.

    But I agree Anne, if its not sounding like her, then the old way may be better. I will stew for her. As her CP she CANNOT take one more look at this.

    Oh, what have I done sacrificing her...

  5. Charli, you're too funny. LOL I love ya and I have loved every suggestion offered. Would welcome more and never bat an eye. I just painted my living room a nice shade of red. I like red. LOL And the beginning will most likely shift and change a bit, just not much today. LOL

    Anne, your opinion is more than diddly!!! I am grateful and humbled. Revisions are a process. You have to try several on to find the right fit. People, friends like you and Charli and everyone at Rom-Critters and those who offered their time and honesty on AJ's and charli's blog provide the sounding block, the brainstorming needed to find that right fit. Could you imagine doing it all by yourself? I coudn't, not since my first crit. So, a big THANK YOU to everyone. Please keep the ideas coming. I'm all ears!!!

  6. Tammy, when you are once again allowed to touch your first page (don't want to upset JAWS and Pickles!), I have one (tiny) suggestion. The term bare-thread ought to be bare-threaded when used in that context.

    The Cleaner, signing off.

  7. I preferred the earlier version too. It had character.

  8. Catherine, I noticed a few mis-spells. LOL Thanks.

    Liza, thank you for stopping in, I'm grateful.

  9. I really liked the new one, was fabulous at setting, tone, and overall spookiness. I LOVED it. So there. ;)

  10. Thank goodness for the cleaner. JAWS and I tend to make a mess. LOL. Great catches Catherine.

    I re-read the old one. And get was peeps are saying. I am super biased reading all ten-thousand variations of this opening.

    Being that everyone has mixed feelings, guess its up to Tammy. But she's gets hung up on these things and doesn't write anything new. Hence the orders. LOL.

    I think its the 2nd and 3rd sentence of the opening paragraph (which were my suggestions) that may be throwing the whole vibe off. Any thoughts people?

  11. Tammy, you rocked it lassie! LOVE IT. Cannae wait to read the rest of the treat ye sent JAWS' way. Up at the lake, sketchy net, will check in with Charli and ya'll when I can.

    AnneN, the sentence, The crisp autumn air did little to alleviate the dread., is so grand because it was one of me changes, lass! He he he :-)

    Thanks to all for stopping by, Tammy, ye are the best!

  12. No, I cannot imagine what would it be like to do this all by ourselves :) Glad that I have all of you.

    BTW that's what Kaycee always said about me. I worked and worked and re-worked the first chapter. :) This time I'm working on a contemp which doesn't seem to need all the reworking. Thrillers need to be right in the first chapter. Your setting the stage for the rest of the book. I'm doing a plot arc and finishing this one before I jump into changing everything. But with contemporary, not every scrap of information is essential to the plot. LOL
    How many chapters do you have?


  13. Tammy,

    Good job here, but it's true that some of the unique voice of the original got lost. Don't throw the shoe, but when you're allowed to tweak again, try combining both. :) The voice of the first with the imagery/atmosphere of the second.

    Great attempt though! Well done!

  14. AJ, Thanks, you have a great mini-vacation. Be safe...

    Anne, I have 17 chapters done. I'm currently way back at the beginning again. I relised I was moving the story faster than I should have so I am slowing things down. LOL

    Thank you, Zee. If I can find the right combination, I think it will turn out to be a very good first page. LOL

  15. He had a monster to catch.

    Noah cut the engine. The sudden quiet hung like an omen in complete symmetry (Is the word symmetry in your heroe's voice?) with what lay ahead, what he would soon witness. Sweat beaded his brow as he slid from the Jeep and adjusted his sunglasses. Mondays were a bitch and today was no exception.

    Why bury such a great opening line four paragraphs down? Also, use words and phrases in the heroes POV (narrative) that he would really use.

    Good page. I am intrigued and would like to read more. Jill