It’s First Friday and we’re looking for feedback!

Welcome to First Friday!

As always, this is an interactive post and your participation is what makes this exercise valuable to all of us.  Please read the submission and then offer your constructive commentary by replying to this post.  Replies will need to be approved before they will appear.  If I am at my desk, they will be approved quickly.  If not, I will review and approve as soon as I can.

Below is the first page from Rosemary Angelo. Thank you, Rosemary, for stepping up to the plate and participating in First Fridays!

If you would like to submit a “first” (first page or first look) for a future First Friday, please email it to easternpascbwi@yahoo.com.

Mikey and the Mysterious Conductor
The train museum was one of Mikey’s favorite places to visit. But today, he just knew there was a ghost in the museum. The conductor on the steam train ride had told him there was a ghost train. Everyone heard the ghost’s whistle when they stopped on the tracks for a few minutes.
   Now, Mikey was zigzagging his way through a maze of huge brown and black train engines with Mom, Granny, and Grandpop. Usually, Mikey imagined the engines were smiling at him. Today he imagined they were chasing him!
   Mikey always worried about Grandpop because he used a wheelchair and couldn’t move very fast. Today, Grandpop had a new wheelchair he could drive very fast.
   “If the ghost shows up, Grandpop can zoom away.” Mikey said to himself. He smiled and felt better. Silly ghost train!
   When Mom and Granny went to the souvenir shop, Grandpop took Mikey to his favorite locomotive–a very old steam engine. Mikey climbed up into the engine with some other kids. He pretended to shovel coal into the firebox, blow the whistle, and drive the engine. He had so much fun  that he forgot all about the ghost train.UNTIL he climbed down from the engine. That’s when he heard a strange whistle and did not see Grandpop.
   “Grandpop!”
   No answer. Mikey ran toward the back of the engine but stopped when he almost collided with a man standing there.
   “Whoa there, engineer! Where ya running to?”
   Mikey looked up into the smiling face of a tall man with a dark, swirly mustache wearing a train conductor’s suit.
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4 Responses to It’s First Friday and we’re looking for feedback!

  1. Jackie Dilworth says:

    Hi Rosemary, After reading your first page I came away not feeling connected with your story’s characters. You are doing a lot of ‘telling’ in the third person. Would this story work if it was told by Mikey himself? Why does Mikey imagine the engines are chasing him? Help me get involved and become emotionally attached to Mikey. If today he just knows there is a ghost in the museum then let me feel the hair stand up on the back of Mikey’s neck! Happy Ghost Hunting!

  2. Elizabeth Loane says:

    Hi Rosemary,

    I liked the story and I did feel connected. I think the first paragraph is a little confusing. I would think about switching the first and second paragraphs, start with the action to suck us in, and then explain why. Start with, ‘Mikey zigzagged his way…’

    The only other suggestion I have is to be a little more powerful, perhaps this is what Jackie was trying to touch on. For instance the part where Grandpop goes missing, maybe you could try, ‘That’s when he heard a strange whistle and Grandpop was missing’, or, ‘was no where to be found’. ‘and did not see Grandpop’, does not grab our attention.

    Otherwise this is a great start. I felt connected, definitely felt the hook and wanted to read more.
    If you’re interested in giving feed back I’d love to hear your comments on my piece, Wild Peace, posted here on the blog as well.

    Good Luck!

  3. Jackie Dilworth says:

    Wow, totally agree with Elizabeth’s comments. I read your piece over again starting with the second paragraph and the story was off and running.

  4. Rosemary Angelo says:

    Thanks very much for all the feedback on my story! I will be toying around with it and incorporating the suggestions to make the story flow better.
    Thanks again!

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