View Full Version : Character Introduction/Opening Page

May 21st, 2012, 06:41 PM
I am very new to this. Before I waste a lot of time writing, I would love it if someone could just read my character introduction/opening page, and tell me if I am descriptive enough, or to much. In general, do I have even enough writing ability to go on, or should I wait til I learn more. I know that is hard to tell from a small portion, but hopefully it is enough to see if I am on the right track. Thanks in advance.

The Barn

“It's hard to believe it has been fifty years now.” said Charles in a low, barely audible tone.
His wife Thelma responded as she ever so slightly nodded her head.
“It sure is. Lord, it surely is.”

The two set in the front room of the old farm house with the silence only being interrupted by the small crackles from the fireplace. Both filled with sadness, just passing time, on a day they neither one want to remember or ever forget. Losing a child never seemed to get any easier even after all the decades that had passed.

Charles was getting “old” as he would put it. He was now seventy seven. His face showed the typical wear of life on a farm. He adorned the usual attire of a farmer wearing a red and black flannel shirt and a pair of old faded bib overalls. One look at his feet could tell a story as his boots showed many of scuff and scrape from the days he has spent raising crops. Charles Connolly was proud of his Irish heritage, and would remind people from time to time that his last name translates into
“fierce as a hound.”
He would always give a look after he said it like he meant it.
He was the kind of man who shaved everyday, and only took his old hat off long enough to comb his silver hair back over.

Thelma, on the other hand, was a bit younger, as he put it. She was a mere seventy three. Thelma was also very typical of being an old farmers wife. She wore the expected long floral print blue dress, and could be seen often with a white apron around her waist. It seemed as if she modeled her look after the old farmer and wife paintings you might see in every antique or thrift store in the mid-west. Being on an Indiana farm all of her life sort of crafted her this way. She did though, have a bit of a wild side. Every since her daughter, June, introduced her to a Starbuck's Latte she had to make a trip or two a week into town to “get some things.” She wasn't much for all of this new stuff like cell phones and computers, but “what those people do with coffee” was just fine.

May 21st, 2012, 07:00 PM
First critique - where are your line breaks? Two different conversations don't happen on the same paragraph. Could just be a formatting issue, but check into it. Also, the whole thing is one paragraph - wickedly annoying to read in this format.

Why all the ..............? An ellipsis in not intended to be elongated, nor should you want to. Also, avoid using them all together; commas, semi-colons, and periods work just as well, and look a helluvalot better.

You're missing periods in the dialogue by Thelma, and you're not capitalizing properly.

both mostly quiet

Don't be wishy-washy. That's an awful statement. They didn't talk too often but they did. ? Why not just straight up say there was silence between them, extending from issues with his ED? Be more direct.

The two set in front of the small crackling fire, both mostly quiet, just passing time on a day they neither one want to remember, or forget.

This sentence is structurally wrong, and also lacks quality. "The room was silent, save for the crackling of the fire. The day had been one of tragedy, a loss so great that neither could bear to make movement, in fear that, aside from the terrible memories sustained this day, more tears would be shed."

As a general note, you're missing a few commas throughout, but I don't want to correct each individual one. I once read a fantastic book on commas, and you'd be surprised how it could fill the pages. However, as another note: everything, commas, colons, semicolons, periods, ellipsis, hyphens - they can all be used for structure, and for effect. There are also pauses associated with these typographical symbols, just note the pause you give whenever I use a comma.

I didn't finish, I feel you need some work. Just know that you shouldn't be discouraged, as all authors start where you have; also consider that you're able to write words down, which is an ability half of this planet is bereft of, perhaps more.

Cheers, and good luck. Hope you continue your journey, and use the Writing Forums more often to discover yourself through writing.

May 21st, 2012, 09:11 PM
Thanks, that helps.