Monday, 14 July 2014

The Resurrection of May Mabel McTavish by Allan Stratton

Mary Mabel's decision to kill herself wasn't taken lightly.

This is about all one can expect from an opening line. We have a character, a problem based on previous problems as of yet unknown. This line raises questions which is what a hook is all about. Why would this person wish to commit suicide? What happened in her life to want to take such a drastic measure; moreover, this decision wasn't taken lightly - she's obviously put a lot of thought into it, which raises more questions.

The next line establishes some queerness:

She'd considered it off and on ever since she was ten.

A child contemplating suicide makes said child/character readable. The rest of the paragraph describes setting but it isn't the boring type of setting that makes an opening fail, you know stuff like: It was a sunny day. We are introduced to the Academy for Young Ladies, Gothic with turrets, parapets, gargoyles and bats. Unfortunately, after paragraph 1 the narrative slides into a little too much back story for a page 1.

First thing said:

"Devil child."

The dialogue hereafter is well written, to the point and moves story forward and reveals character.

I like the title, even though it may not mean what I think it means, but that is fine for titles, even preferred, as there's nothing like a title to provide a little misdirection.

If it weren't for all the back story so early on, this opening would score higher.

Verdict: Pass

Theodore Moracht

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