“If I had to do it all over again, I would not have chosen this life. Then again, I’m not sure I ever had a choice.” Great opening line followed up by a furious chase as the MC runs off with a chunk of raw meat he stole from the butcher who is hot on his heels.
With this chase, the author has the perfect venue for giving us a great point of scene by including the sights and sound of the marketplace while the action keeps us in its grip.
We also discover Sage, the main character, is an orphan and that knowledge is imparted in a very slick way: it’s his target, his home base, where he knows he can find places to hide.
Then, of course, we have the butcher. There is some dialogue between the two, but mostly threats on the butcher’s part. So now we have two characters.
A man rescues Sage just as the butcher catches him and starts into beating and kicking him. His rescue is in the form of paying for the roast Sage stole with some extra cash for the trouble he caused. The man takes him to the orphanage where we find his name is Bevin Conner and he’s there to adopt Sage. Now there are three.
Last, but certainly not least, is Mrs. Turbeldy, the head of the Orphanage for Disadvantaged Boys. That makes four.
The number of characters introduced is one of those “just right” numbers. Every one of them helps move the story forward while giving us information and background in a straightforward and useful way. And it’s all done in eight pages.
There’s a lot of the first chapter I’m leaving out. A lot of information is presented in those few pages, but every word moves the story forward and that’s what it’s all about.
I’ll be studying this chapter at length, checking the tempo and beats, timing the flow. There’s a lot to be learned from this writing.