Opening Paragraph #2

Stacy’s (some type of descriptor that indicates wet) blue jeans still (delete “still”; rarely is it needed) clung to her legs around the knees. The bathroom floor was finally (delete finally) mopped and the toys put away. Now she fought angrily (don’t tell us this; show us by describing her actions)with her stupid wet pants as she tried to (passive) pick up various pieces of small clothing strewn up and down the hall. (New paragraph) “That’s it,” she thought, “I’ve got to remember to change into my junky shorts BEFORE the kids get their bath. Man, I’m never gonna…” (needs transition; drop “but suddenly”) but suddenly, a little (a whimper is little; redundant) whimper of distress caught Stacy’s ear. She stood still for a moment, then her eyes darted towards a closed bedroom door as she heard the whimpering again, coupled with a different sound — giggles. “Oh dear,” she rolled her eyes as she marched to the door. “This is not going to be good.” (If I heard whimpering and giggling, I wouldn’t roll my eyes. That’s mild exasperation. I’d be off to save whoever is whimpering, and fur would fly. Also, I need some type of cue as to what she’s going to find. Sibling teasing? Or torture?)

Critique: Watch out for passive voice and clear transitions. It’s much better to show us that she’s frustrated, angry, whatever by describing what her body is doing, rather than telling us what she is feeling.

Would I ask for more? No. But I might read a few more paragraphs.

2 thoughts on “Opening Paragraph #2”

  1. Okay…who has been in my house at bath time!!!??? I have to vote for this one and the mother who wrote this. I can completely feel for her character, including the soggy, heavy, wet pants! Can’t you just feel them clinging to you? I vote for this one.

  2. I, too, would like to vote for the Soggy Bottom-of-Pants Girl. It’s a great tactile description. Also enjoy the tingle of suspense at the end.

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