Here are the first 400 words from The Gazelle, by S. Wolf.
The final colors of the day were draining over the horizon, as the pair watched through the smattering of tiny sand fly corpses dotting the windshield.
I like the colorful language, but personally, I’m not a huge fan of the distanced POV. But that is just me.
Their conversation had been engaging since she had joined him in the car several hours ago, but when the evening sky blossomed into a fiery display of reds and oranges, they shared it in silence. Now, all that remained of the majestic show was a thin ribbon of fire that snaked its way behind the looming mountains.
Nice descriptions. I’m not very hooked yet... but I’ll keep reading.
Thomas glanced over at his lovely passenger, her obvious delight in the spectacle adding to his attraction towards her. Her being here, watching it with him, enhanced his own enjoyment. What made it especially poignant for him, was knowing that this would be the last sunset she would ever see.
Oh, here we add in some ominous feeling with that last sentence. Is he a killer? A vampire? This does make me want to read more.
I’m also glad we pulled out of the distanced POV to Thomas’s POV. Personally, I would rather just open in Thomas’s POV. He’s the more interesting character here anyway, and I don’t think it adds anything to create this narrated beginning, only to switch into Thomas’s mind in a few sentences. But I do tend to like starting in third person limited, so you can take this with a grain of salt.
One thing that I think would strengthen this would be to take out the ‘telling’ and change it to ‘showing’. I’ll give you an example. ‘Her obvious delight’ is telling us she is delighted. I’d rather see this. How does he know she’s delighted? Maybe her eyes light up and she’s smiling. Let the reader come to their own conclusion about her delight.
After the last colors faded to gray, Thomas said, “I'm getting some water, would you like another bottle?”
“Love some,” Kat replied, and then asked, “Don’t you have anything stronger?” She leaned forward and resumed her preoccupation with the car radio, which she had been fussing over since they had driven out of range of the San Antonio stations two hours ago.
I like her fussing with the radio. This tells me she’s kind of flighty like that. I can also see him coming up behind her with a pistol as she fiddling with the dial. *Evil grin*
“Nope, just water,” he replied as he reached between the seats to the cooler in the back. “Besides, you’re a bit under the drinking age anyway.”
“That’s cold Tommy,” she said as she rotated the tuning dial, the radio responding with varying levels of static. “I thought we were friends.”
I wonder if there’s a knife in the cooler.
“Nice try,” he grinned as he held the steering wheel in one hand and groped behind him into the cooler with the other. “But we're in the middle of the Texas desert, and the last thing I need is some redneck state trooper tossing me in jail for giving alcohol to a teenager.”
“Probably a smart choice,” she said, still focused on the radio, but then turned and looked at him with a grin, “Your cellmates would just love a pretty boy like you.” She pursed her lips and blew an exaggerated kiss in his direction.
“You got that right,” he said, returning the smile. He pulled his arm back, holding two bottles of Evian still dripping from the ice in the cooler. Taking a moment to examine them, he placed one in his cup holder, and handed her the other.
Awe, no knife. The thing keeping me going here is the one sentence about this being the last sun set she will ever see. I’ll keep reading to see what he meant by that. The rest wasn’t too interesting, but I can cope with the mundane stuck in with the eerie feeling that he’s going to chop her into little pieces at any minute. Nice job!
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