Chapter 1

I typed up what I feel is fit for chapter one, let me know what you guys think! Should I add a little more, take somethings out? Don’t be afraid to send some feedback my way! See any typos? Point ’em out! That way I can edit it and hopefully not make the same mistake twice(it’s always likely). Thanks in advance for any and all help!

The Sheriff

Chapter one: The accident

Shoving her suitcase into the trunk of her navy blue ford focus Crystal knew it had to be done.  She snatched up the gas can he always made her keep in her car and trudged back up the driveway into the house. Entering the kitchen she stopped, looking at her now dead husband.

“It had to be done.”

She whispered to herself as she grazed the bruises scattered across her face and arms with her fingers.

Shaking her head she drenched the body and surrounding area in gasoline. Tears came cascading down her face as she lit the match and threw it directly onto his clothes. Running outside and jumping into her car, she sped down the road, not even bothering to look back at the flames.

The First thing Crystal did when she merged onto I-15 was ditch her cell phone and GPS out the window. She had seen the shows, those could be tracked. She had to escape; there was no going back now. Crystal had no destination; she didn’t care where she wound up. So long as the city lights of Los Angeles vanished from her rearview…for good.

The sun moved across the sky as the road passed beneath her moving vehicle. Crystal continued to drive until her eyes began to droop.


She screamed as her eyes snapped open.

A large wolf had stopped in the middle of the road. Crystal slammed on her brakes and swerved, narrowly missing the beast. The Ford Focus careened off the road and stopped only when it collided with a tree. The last thing she remembered before passing out was a howl that seemed to travel across the night.

“Sheriff what do we do?”

“Call an ambulance. I’ll see how bad she is.”

The voices drifted past the fog in her mind bringing Crystal back into consciousness. She flinched as a bright light was shone in her face.

“Take it easy.”

A brisk voice commanded.

She attempted to ask what had happened but the words barely formed in her mind before fading away.

“You’ve been in a wreck.”

She wondered who such a voice could belong to. As the sound of sirens became within earshot Crystal tried to open her eyes once more, hoping the flashlight wouldn’t be shone in her face again. It seemed whoever the person that was speaking to her was no longer nearby but it was too dark and she was still too groggy to really tell. The pains of her injuries were beginning to make themselves known as her brain started to receive the electrical signals. Crystal leaned forward onto the steering wheel willing the ambulance driver to go just little bit faster.


How would you format the dialogue? Anything you would do differently that might make the chapter flow better? Where could I add more detail?  Just a few questions I have for y’all!

2 thoughts on “Chapter 1

  1. The first thing I would do is give objects some more agency. When she spreads the gas another sentence could be about the chugging of the gasoline against the sides and the deep internal reverberations. Give the reader a break from a single point of agency so that it isn’t she did this or that.

    Dialog is always left justified.

    Finally, just because it’s in third person doesn’t mean we can’t know what is going on in her head. Take for instance:
    “Take it easy.”

    A brisk voice commanded.

    She attempted to ask what had happened but the words barely formed in her mind before fading away.

    This could become.
    “Take it easy.”

    The brisk voice commanded.

    Murmurs from the officers crowded out the vague thoughts collecting in her head. Words floated and faded like flotsam while her head rested against the steering wheel. She stirred to see who was talking but the pain in her neck resisted any attempts to turn. Who was that man came to the fore. With effort she twisted her head to the other side to grab a glimpse, but they were behind her.

    You probably don’t even need “brisk”. It’s easy for an amateur to overwrite dialog that I find cumbersome already. But you can use more description. Even a little more violence in the car crash. The entire first chapter is filled the drama of murder and escape and should be overflowing with violence and adrenaline as well as what the character is thinking.

    I hope that helps. Those are my two cents on writing.

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