Okay, you (may or may not) know the RULES.
Apparently three or four of you do. But just in case, here they are again.
There are only 3: (If you want more details, read this blog post here: http://ghpolisner.blogspot.com/2010/12/friday-feedback.html) otherwise, just follow along.
I would like the following feedback (and will offer the same to you if you post an excerpt for me to read in the comments):
1. If it is the first few paragraphs of a novel – today it is NOT, so skip to 2. – tell me if it "hooks" you enough to make you want to keep reading, or not. If yes, why? If no, why not?
2. What works for you, draws you into the piece (if it does) and why?
3. What doesn’t work for you (if something doesn't) and why?
If you would like the same feedback, please post your brief excerpt at the end of your comment (and tell me what it is -- e.g. opening to a novel, short story, poem, etc...). Please post no more than 3 -5 paragraphs, 5 if they're short, 3 if they are long. If there's more, I will only read the first 3 -5. If the comment gets too long, feel free to reply in two separate comments. If you are a student from a particular class, please identify yourself as such. If not, let me know how you found me.
Today, I am posting another piece from my WIP (Work In Progress) In Sight of Stars (upper YA, 16+). It's from p. 67-68. It is severely unedited, but still up for grabs. Hope you enjoy.
“It’s awesome, Klee, really. Can you believe I’ve never been here?”
The line to the observation deck isn’t long. I guess the city’s too cold and, with the holidays long over, it’s mostly New Yorkers left, who don’t tend to frequent the building. We wait for our turn to board the elevators to the promenade on the 86th floor, which is where you can go outside.
If you’ve never been on the observation deck of the empire state building, you really should go. I’m telling you, eighty-six floors up in the air is way different than thirty or even forty.
When we step outside, the wind blasts our faces. A mist hovers, shrouds the dusky sky. The city sparkles below like some hazy, drugged up Oz.
“You know those are clouds?” I say to Sarah. “We’re as high here as the clouds.”
“It’s amazing. I can’t believe I’ve lived an hour from the city my whole life and never been up here. That my parents never took me here.”
“Most New Yorkers don’t,” I say. “Especially not the city ones. It's here, so we take it for granted. Like it’s some place that only tourists go. Same with the Statue of Liberty. But my father, he used to take me up all the time. The city through the mist, how it forms those lights and halos? Well, it always reminded him of a Van Gogh painting.”
“Well, whatever. It's just awesome,” she says.
There’s a waist-high wall all around, and above that, an enclosure made of diamond-shaped bars that lead to vertical steel bars that curve above our heads, but don't obstruct the view. Above that, it’s open to the sky. The truth is it feels like if you wanted to, you could easily squeeze out between the bars.
There are at least two dozen other people up here with us. Sarah takes my hand, and pulls me around, following the curve of the wall, trailing her fingers along the grates and wedging us between bodies to look out at things.
Each several steps reveal a completely different view of the city. On two sides, the city is dense with buildings as far as you can see, the north-south avenues weaving between them, heavy with traffic, white streamers of headlights filing in one direction, fiery orange processions trailing off in the other. On the east-west sides, the buildings give way to the water, the Hudson and New Jersey, to the west, and the East River and Staten Island and Brooklyn on the east.
When we reach the east side, Sarah stops and leans against the metal grates and tips her head way back so that her hair slips through the grates and flies loose in the air. Her eyes are open, glued to the sky.
“My head is in the clouds, Klee,” she says, but it’s hard to hear her words in the wind. I move close to her so I’m pressed against her thighs. “You should do this. Put your head back. There’s nothing above us. It feels like we’re in heaven.”
I move beside her and tilt my head back and watch the illuminated mist swirl by. It's disconcerting as it moves, feels as if the whole building sways along with it. I close my eyes against it, but then open them again. Suddenly, I wish the grates would give way and release us both, send us sailing into the cold night sky. Like Icarus falling from the sun.