Dawn’s Glory by C. Miller
Read the pages here.
DAWN’S GLORY opens up with an ominous and supernatural tone setting the pitch. It opens in 1934 at a plantation which is an unique and alluring setting. The prologue sets up a mysterious back story. This immediately captures one’s attention.
There is a creative transition that is effective that takes the story from the past of 1934 to the present time.
The protagonist is identified as Simpson “SIMP” as he seems to be driving the story. There is something mysterious and secretive about Simp that is interesting. He has the potential to be an intriguing and complicated character.
One of the highlights and strengths is the sharp and authentic dialogue.
The pacing in the first ten pages can be enhanced. It is not clear at this point exactly what the story is about. It is believed to be a supernatural story.
Narrative descriptions or directions can be tighter. For example if it is not relevant for the doctor to be putting his certificate on the wall then it is not needed.
The opening can benefit from clarification. On page 1 there is a description that reads “the family is urgently placing them around it” however it is unclear what “them” is and what “it” is in the description.
There is also a grandmother yelling “take that chile inside” and it may be that she is really saying take that “child” inside – but it is not exactly clear.
The ages of all the character can be more defined vs. giving an age range. There are a lot of characters introduced in the first ten pages which tends to slow the pacing down.
There are credibility issues to address. Simp arrives at the retirement home and almost immediately convinces Clements a resident to go downstairs. This character who has not been downstairs in 9 years shows no resistance to going down the elevator with a stranger.
Then Simp seems to easily call up Clements’ relatives. The idea of a man who has never gone downstairs for years and no one has visited him is very sad and very intriguing but most likely should be a subplot or theme that over the course of the storyline is developed. The audience watches as perhaps Simp bonds with Clements and coaches him downstairs vs. it occurring so quickly.
The character of Ivy is also setup as a mysterious woman and it appears she might have some special potions or herbs or is involved in black magic.
Currently there is very little tension in the story vs. the mysterious opening. Enhancing the pacing, tension and/or conflict and defining a clearer path to the identified goal for the protagonist will make for a more effective first ten pages and give the audience a stronger clue as to what the story is really going to be about.