Over the course of these various page critiques I have been occasionally accused of over-tinkering and impossible-to-please, and so it pleases me to have an entrant where I don’t have too many suggestions!
I think this page is in strong shape, and I like this especially: it takes its time and lets the setting unfold. It doesn’t try to be overly shocking or clever or try to pull the rug out from under us. It’s just a well-written, confident opening.
And that is perfectly fine.
Now, I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t have SOME suggestions, which are below. Overall I thought there might be a bit more room for giving more of a hint of Cass’ personality and mindset (I’m not quite sure why she’s so jumpy), and there were some sentences I’d rejigger to improve the flow. I also think there’s room to give the man a bit more personality by giving a sense of why he gruffly sneaks up on her with “This is Private Property” but then doesn’t seem to care that she’s there.
But overall I think this page is in a good place. Well done.
TITLE: Something in the End
GENRE: Women’s Fiction
Cass walked closer to the rocky Newfoundland shoreline to take more photos. Everything around her was worth shooting. Even the rusted boats had a certain rough charm; every mark on their hulls told stories in some language Cass couldn’t understand I like this a lot and think it gives nice insight into her personality, but I find the semi-colon a little awkward and wonder if it would work better broken up into two sentences.
She walked out onto a deserted pier and continued snapping photos No need to mention taking photos twice in the same paragraph. Gulls circled overhead as fishermen started unloading lobster and crab from crates stored on their decks or below. Cass was thankful for her telephoto lens, allowing her to take photos from a safe distance. She wasn’t sure if the locals would see her presence there as an imposition. Maybe more of a hint of personality or explanation here? Without more context it’s tough to know why she’s so nervous. Is she just nervous being a tourist?
“This is private property.”
The gruff voice behind her caused Cass to jump “caused Cass to jump” feels a little awkward. Maybe just “made Cass jump?” or “Cass jumped when she heard the gruff voice behind her?”. She turned and saw a man strolling down the pier toward her. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know,” she called back, struggling to keep her voice even. As he neared she could see he wasn’t very old, maybe ten years older than she was, with dark hair and a few days worth of beard some other description here (I suggest moving the beard description below).
“No harm. Just letting you know.”
“I’ll go,” she said as he came closer. He was tall, broad-shouldered, with a square jaw, visible despite his short beard through a few days worth of beard (no need to mention the beard twice).
“Stay and keep shooting if you’d like. Makes no difference to me. If he doesn’t care why did he gruffly say it’s private property? Should there be a hint of softening when he sees he made her nervous? It could give more of a sense of his personality, even if he’s a minor character” He walked past her and climbed down a short ladder to a boat below. Cass watched, intrigued already apparent. She had the urge to take his picture but wasn’t sure if he’d mind. Something she couldn’t quite put her finger on stopped her from asking.