I've been dying to have someone critique the first chapter of Anabel and Paul. I know there are writers who say you should never share what you are writing until you are done, just in case your critic discourages you from continuing. But - like any Taurus, I need validation. I need hugs and diamonds and literary critiques. Just to know if it's all worth my while.
Anyway - I finally gave it to a friend of mine from college. She gave me to courage to continue. Some of the flaws she pointed out in the chapter were sections that already weren't sitting well with me, but I still felt married to them. It's nice to have someone say - Just cut that out and it will be so much stronger.
Also - she marked the following paragraph as one that she really liked. I went back and read it and - I mean. Not to toot my own horn (but to toot my own horn), it's pretty damn good. I can hardly believe it came out of me. To set it up - the following paragraph exhibits how badly Anabel wants a baby, how strongly she believes a baby will save her marriage, and you also get a taste of how her isolation is causing her to lose her mind.
"So she would tell of the sun and moon and the stars. Of the creek and the way she could feel the cold currents change against her naked skin. She would tell of the first time a man touched her. Of the day she met Paul and the day she fell in love with him, the day they got married. The day they moved into the house on the mountain. Of the days he began to work at his desk longer and longer and speak less and less. The sheer isolation of the world they had built around them. When she lost the sun and moon and stars to the void in the sky. And of the day she had a baby and brought their family together. Brought the stars back, one by one. Brought the moon back in his waxing state. And the sun. Then the baby brought the sun. They saved the world this way, the three of them."