Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 5, 2011

Free Fall Friday

Time to start writing a first page for our next first page prompt. Next week I will post the four pages that were evaluated by agent, Liza Fliessig. On Aug. 19th I will announce the next agent reading and critiquing four First Pages. You have until Aug. 22nd to send you first pages in to be considered. Please send them to Kathy (dot) Temean (at) gmail (dot) com and make sure you put “FIRST PAGE PROMPT – DARK GLASS FOREST” in the subject line. The four results will be posted on September 2nd.

I want to thank Adam Hunter Peck for giving me permission to use his fabulous illustration for our prompt.Betsy Devany’s thoughts are below the illustration. Good Luck!

It is nice to be back for Free Fall Friday! Thank you, Kathy, for filling in while I attended to family business in NC, and then spent a glorious week with the Highlights Foundation in Chautauqua, New York. If you can ever go to Chautauqua, do it! Your life will be forever changed.

When Kathy sent me the choices for this week’s post, I knew my decision right away. Hunter Peck’s illustration of a red-haired girl reminds me of my oldest daughter, but beyond that, I was intrigued by the movement of her hair, the black satchel slung over her right shoulder, and the tunnel-like entrance of the ice-blue trees.

If Mr. Peck’s illustration were a first page (minus words), you have what you need to pull the reader into the story: character, place, mystery, and intent. You have a girl on a mission, who is heading into a forest of ice-blue trees, carrying a small bag and a black satchel. And don’t forget the bluish colored bag in her right hand. What is she carrying and why? By the movement of her hair, you know it is windy, yet the trees are as still as a block of ice. A trace of light cuts through the forest roof, causing a reflection of the girl’s long legs. Alone, she wears a sleeveless dress, seemingly unprepared for harsher weather.

Study this image. Ask yourself, why is she here? Why is she alone? What are the contents of her bag and satchel? Is she looking for someone or something, or is she running away?
I want to know. Desperately. (In fact, I cannot help but write a response to this image, myself.)

Take Hunter Peck’s illustration to heart. Breathe life into the story, whatever it is meant to be. Write a first-page with power and conviction. Intrigue the reader.
For those of you interested in reading about my Chautauqua experience, I will have a post for each day I was there. The process of sorting through my notes and the pictures I took has been arduous (mostly because of the thousands of photos), so here is what I have so far.   Happy Writing!!  Betsy

Talk tomorrow,



  1. OOOOOoooo, I LOVE this illustration! I think I may actually write one, it’s so inspirational 🙂 Thanks, everyone 🙂


  2. Fabulous illustration-so intriguing. In the blistering heat of August, the picture gives a welcome respite. Just to view it depresses the temperature by 10 degrees.


    • Red Squirrel,

      I can tell you this, going to Los Angles for the SCBWI was a welcomed relief to the heat. It was in the mid-seventies every day and you needed to wear a sweater at night.



  3. I have to tell you—I really enjoyed writing with this as an inspiration 🙂 Thanks again, everyone!


    • Donna,

      The National SCBWI Conference was great, but I’m exhausted! Fell down some stairs the first night at Steve’s and was in so much pain the whole time that I m happy to be home. Took the red-eye after Lin’s After-Conference Party and didn’t get one minute of sleep on the plane, but have had no problem getting the job done since I’ve got home.

      Talk soon,



  4. Oh, Kathy 😦 I absolutely HATE the luck you often have with stuff like this 😦 It puts a damper on the whole thing, to say the least! I hope you were at least able to enjoy it enough to feel it was worth going 🙂 And I REALLY hope you can relax a bit now that you’re home.



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