Dianne Salerni author Dianne Salerni author Dianne Salerni books Dianne Salerni blog Dianne Salerni Appearances Dianne Salerni contact Dianne Salerni teachers
Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | First Impressions: OUT OF TOUCH

First Impressions: OUT OF TOUCH

robin selfieThe next author sharing a first page for your First Impression is Robin from Your Daily Dose, making a return visit with OUT OF TOUCH, her paranormal mystery romance. Robin was here in August and has made substantial revision based on our feedback. Now we get to see what she’s done with the page!

***

It was astonishing, when a person actually thought about it, how little a resume revealed. For instance, whenever I touched an emotionally charged object, I saw and felt everything that person did. There was not one word about this “gift” littered in amongst my vast and dismal Job History, Experience, or Education. I closed my eyes and pondered that bizarre fact, as well as the exhilarating idea, that my visions, for the first time, were not going to ruin a job for me. I was Julia Roberts becoming my own Pretty Woman and I gleamed shiny as a newly minted silver dollar. I traced my finger over today’s date on my calendar and was tempted to write down “promotion” to inspire destiny to hurry.

Roger Brown stood over my desk. My boss. “Gigi, can I see you in my office please?” I smoothed down my suit jacket and tried, with a modicum of success, to erase the goofy grin painted on my lips. Destiny had arrived wearing a golf shirt and Polo and wanted a private meeting.

He settled into his chair, cleared his throat, and fidgeted with his name plate. When I sat down the sharp pain in my thigh caught me off guard. I groped for the offending object and was assaulted by a vision when my fingers made contact.

I was swamped by desperation and lust. I saw my co-worker, and biggest competition for the Publicist position, Bambi, half naked. Roger tore off his clothes in an effort to catch up. When he dropped the cufflink, the connection was severed.

I stared at my hand, and the cufflink, in horror. I wanted to take a bath in rubbing alcohol.

“….understand that Bambi is more qualified for the promotion,” he said.

Bile rose in my throat. Bambi stooped lower than I dreamed possible to beat me out of a promotion. And Roger… it disgusted me that he fell for Bambi’s obvious move to pull herself up the ladder. I shook my head in an effort to erase the scene of them together.

“I realize that this is a tough break,” Roger said, “but refusing to accept it doesn’t change anything.”

“What?”

“I know this is a disappointment. “

This was more than a disappointment. This changed how I felt about Roger as a boss. As a man. As a human being. “You and Bambi have sex….” Time stopped. My brain reconnected to my mouth and I sat there frozen in horror. I wanted to suck the words back in, but it was too late. The damage was done.

***

I can really see where Robin has taken the feedback on the prior first page and used it to improve this scene! She expanded Gigi’s anticipation of the promotion and the transition from her desk to Roger’s office. Picking up the cufflink is now an accident – since normally she would avoid touching an object that might trigger one of these visions.

I also like the new opening line about resumes. It will neatly tie in the scene at work with Gigi’s paranormal ability. That said, just stating Gigi’s ability in the second sentence is not the way to reveal it. We should learn about Gigi’s ability when we see it actually happen.

First of all, I’d like Robin to expand that resume idea in the first paragraph a little. Hint at dark secrets that can be hidden behind job history, experience, and education – without giving away exactly what Gigi’s resume fails to reveal.

Secondly, I want a slightly longer transition into her first vision. When she sees the cufflink in her hand, there should be a brief moment of horror. Oh no. I shouldn’t have touched that. This might be followed by disorientation as the vision takes hold.

As for the vision itself, is Gigi seeing and feeling everything from Roger’s point of view? I don’t get that sense, because “I” in the vision still refers to Gigi. It might help if we know where Roger is (behind his desk?) and where Bambi is (sitting where Gigi is now? On a couch in the office?).

Finally, at some point after this whole scene with Roger plays out – perhaps when Gigi is being escorted from the building with her desk contents in a cardboard box – Robin can return to that resume idea. Bambi’s resume doesn’t say, for instance, Will sleep with the boss for promotions. And Gigi’s doesn’t say, Gets visions from emotionally charged objects. That will lead right into the flashback about how her visions started (which I know from peeking at Robin’s first chapter comes next in the story).

Readers, what do you think? Robin, thanks so much for sharing your revisions with us! You are much closer now, and don’t get discouraged about having to tweak some more. I think the first page of every one of my stories gets re-written more times than the rest of the manuscript put together! (And that’s before an editor gets to it …) Please see Marcy’s feedback of this page on Mainewords, and you can find Robin at Your Daily Dose!

5 Responses to First Impressions: OUT OF TOUCH

  1. I already commented at Marcy’s blog, but I had to stop by here to see what words of wisdom were offered here. Great input, Dianne.

    Tell ya what, this first-page critique if a fabulous service. Thanks to both of you guys for doing it.

    Robin, it’s getting better and better. Keep going.

  2. Some good suggestions. I like the idea that she’d be horrified she touched it. I thought it was a big improvement on the first one.

  3. Joanne Fritz says:

    This is great. I enjoyed reading it. The only thing that confused me was the POV of the vision (as Dianne mentioned). Is she a disembodied spirit watching them get it on? It would make sense to have her see through Roger’s eyes, since it’s his cufflink.

  4. Angela Brown says:

    Having this as my very first impression, I can say that I really enjoyed it. I realy felt the story started at “Roger Brown stood over my desk.” I wonder if it would be possible to weave in a bit of the resume touch as part of her thoughts on the way to Roger’s desk?

  5. Robin says:

    Thank you for the suggestions! You and Marcy are FANTABULOUS!!! And everyone else who offered up a thoughtful comment or opinion…:)