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Monday, April 29, 2013

CHAPTER 1- MOM DROPS THE ULTIMATUM (part one)


Yay! We have a submission! This first chapter is brought to you by Joan and here is part one:

      I’m not going to talk about my binge eating disorder, because it’s disgusting. Whoever doesn’t think eating a dozen donuts, five hamburgers, a family size bag of chips, and a liter of coke within two hours isn’t disgusting…omg; that DOES sound disgusting! I feel full just thinking about it.
     Congratulations. Text me. I love collecting weirdos.
     It’s probably because of the good old rule, (I might use a colon here instead of a comma) that perfectly healthy people can never fully put themselves in the shoes of someone with an eating disorder. The rule is true, believe me. Which has led me to believe that you can never understand what is feels like to have cancer unless you have cancer, to mourn over the death of a parent if you don’t have a dead parent, etc. (This is a good point) Meaning that the “put yourself into another’s shoes” is complete bullshit. Because you can’t until you are that other person. There’s no pretending.
     I just don’t want to talk about it too much because no one likes to hear disgusting things.

 First off I'm going to assume this is YA because of the chapter title and base my comments on that assumption. I also hope that you, dear readers, will chime in and let Joan know what you think of this opening. My feeling is that while I'm not completely hooked - mainly because neither eating disorders nor people with them interest me greatly - I do think the narrator has a great voice. It's a little snarky ("Congratulations. Text me. I love collecting weirdos.") but not too much ("Meaning that the “put yourself into another’s shoes” is complete bullshit. Because you can’t until you are that other person. There’s no pretending.").  
Now, what do you think? 
And please come back tomorrow for part two of this first chapter!


   

16 comments:

Alicia Willette-Cook said...

My first thought is much thee same as Marcy's. Love the voice, but I'm not quite hooked yet. Mainly because ok...not gonna talk about the eating disorder. Fine. What are we gonna talk about? What's this about?

Alicia Willette-Cook said...

Oh, I forgot to add that the "No one likes to hear about disgusting things" may not hold up. :) I know a few doctors/emt/nurses types that ALL they like talking about is disgusting things. :) I think that may be a bit subjective maybe.

Patchi said...

Not hooked but intrigued. I'd give it another few paragraphs to see where the story is going.

Charity Bradford said...

I'm not hooked yet either but I'm curious where this is going to go. Here are some of my first thoughts:

1. A lot of people don't like it when the narrator talks to the reader (me), but this is subjective and some people do. I prefer to forget I'm reading and if the narrator keeps talking to me it pulls me out of the story.

2. The narrator does have a fun snarky attitude.

3. While you make some good observations in paragraph 3, I don't see how that is moving the story along. It's just delaying the conflict that we need to hook us. And if you cut paragraph 3 you should cut the 4th.

In essence, don't talk about what she thinks about empathy, but put me in her head so I can be her and understand. Make sense?

Gina Gao said...

This is a very nice start! I am also interested as to how this story will continue.

www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

Huntress said...

Point One: I'm hooked. Very Hooked. Excellent Voice.
Point Two: I stumbled over several places.

She/he starts by saying 'I’m not going to talk about my binge eating...' then go on to talk about them. Not a big deal but I am feeling especially cranky today (menopause: what a trip) so saying you won't do something and then doing it made me snarl.
Having pointed this out, Do Not Change It. It is only my reaction...and lack of meds no doubt.

IMO, I feel there are some sentence structure problems. Don’t take this as written in stone however. Just my opine.

My suggestions:
I’m not going to talk about my binge eating disorder, because it’s disgusting. Anyone who thinks eating a dozen donuts, five hamburgers, a family size bag of chips, and a liter of coke within two hours isn’t disgusting, congratulations. Text me. I love collecting weirdos.
It’s probably because normal people don’t understand eating disorders. This leads me to believe that you can never understand what it’s like to have cancer unless you have cancer, the loss of a parent if you don’t have a dead parent, etc. Meaning that the “put yourself into another’s shoes” is complete bullshit. Because you can’t until you are that other person. There’s no pretending.
I just don’t want to talk about it too much because no one likes to hear disgusting things.

These suggestions clean up the extraneous words, cut 'which' and edited the secondary use of the phrase 'put yourself in another's shoes'.
All of this is Opinion Only. *bg*

Btw, did I mention that I was hooked :)

Huntress said...

"text me. I love collecting weirdos" is fantastic!

cynthiarox66 said...

I'm so glad that it hooked you! Thank you much for your detailed critique. It's very helpful (since I'm still in first draft mode) to know what parts of the writing needed a little cleaning up :) Thanks again!!

cynthiarox66 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cynthiarox66 said...

Alicia, thank you for your comment! I had deliberated on whether or not to make the MC an unreliable narrator. In the end, I thought it was more realistic for a person to *pretend* to gloss over something ugly that consumes her life.

cynthiarox66 said...

Thanks for your advice, Charity! I totally get your qualms about the fourth wall--breaking was a tough decision. Hopefully, it works out :)

cynthiarox66 said...

Thank you! Your blog looks fantastic, btw ^.^

cynthiarox66 said...

Thanks for reading giving it a few more paragraphs. I appreciate your honesty :)

Charity Bradford said...

It can work and lots of people love the conversational tone. Good luck!

Huntress said...

Since you had mostly long sentences in this excerpt, try mixing them up with short sentences. Quick information. Hooky stuff. Then insert a longer sentence that gets down into the meat of the subject.

Liza said...

First off, this is a fresh topic. Hooray! And the voice, as folks commented above works too. I might think about changing that first sentence to "I don't like talking about..." which then eliminates all the "you say you are not going to bu, but yes you are" comments. I get stuck right away though, on the word "whoever." Just my thoughts of course, but I'd try something like: After all, even I recognize that eating a dozen donuts, five hamburgers, a family size bag of chips, and a liter of coke within two hours borders on disgusting. But if you don't agree, congratulations. Text me. I love collecting weirdos." LOVE that line. The third paragraph doesn't seem to be going anywhere, and you don't want to slow a reader down so early, but it's hard to say without reading more. Watch out for extraneous words, probably, never, complete. Eliminate them and see if it reads more "direct." In all though, great idea, great voice. Keep going!