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Monday, August 5, 2013

SERENITY - critique

This week I'll be critting the first two chapters of Connie Michael's NA Contemporary Romance. You can find her at Loco for Libros. My comments will be in blue and I hope you'll add yours...


SERENITY


I couldn’t believe she showed up drunk or high or hung over or was here at all.  Whatever she was (what was she? This doesn’t make sense to me) she had sniffled and wailed through the entire service, continuously running her hand under her nose to wipe up a stream of snot.  Static had her dress bunched up around her knees and her hair was askew even though I could tell she had tried to do something with it.  What was worse was her current boyfriend, and I use that word loosely, came.  (As written this sentence strikes me as awkward. Maybe just cut the word 'came', since if she's seeing him, he's obviously there.) She hated my grandmother and now she had the audacity to cry at her funeral.
 I hated my mom. Wow, strong statement.
Quill put an arm around my shoulder and pulled me under his oversized umbrella.  I didn’t cry.  I loved grams but I’d ran out of tears years ago.  I couldn’t even remember the last time I cried but I was sure it was connected to my. Connected to my…?
I wouldn’t give her my tears again. Give who tears? Grandma or the hated mother?
“Ren would you like to say anything?” asked the pastor.
I looked over in his direction, my eyes taking a moment to focus.  Quill nudged me with his shoulder. I might reverse the order of these two sentences.
            I shook my head.  “No.  Thank you.”



My thoughts:   I don't know this mc very well yet but in this first page I've learned two things for sure; she loved her grandmother and she's got some serious mom issues. Is this what the story will be about? Her resolving that relationship and becoming less bitter, finding love? And who's Quill? A relative, bf? This is a very emotional beginning.

Your thoughts?


4 comments:

Huntress, aka CD Coffelt said...

I couldn’t believe she showed up drunk or high or hung over or was here at all. (I’d pick one ailment and quit) *cut-Whatever she was* She had sniffled and wailed through the entire service, *cut-continuously* running her hand under her nose to wipe *cut-up a stream of* snot. Static had her dress bunched up around her knees and her hair was askew even though *cut-I could tell-this type of phrase is one of my pet peeves. Just go on with “she had tried to do something about it.”

(Suggestion: Cut the word ‘had’ as much as possible. Use it once to establish tense if you must, then assume the reader now knows the scene took place in the past.)

*cut-What was*Insert- ‘Even’ worse was her current boyfriend, and I use that word loosely, came. (Suggestion: Cut ‘came’ and say, ‘was picking his teeth at her side’ or however you want to employ a role for him) She hated my grandmother and now she *cut-had the audacity to cry* Insert-‘bawling like a two-year-old’ at her funeral.


I hated my mom.

Quill put an arm around my shoulder and pulled me under his oversized umbrella. I didn’t cry. I loved grams but I’d *cut-ran-insert ‘run’* out of tears years ago. I couldn’t even remember the last time I cried but I was sure it was connected to my. (note the overuse of ‘was’)

I wouldn’t give her my tears again. (Suggestion: This is real close to being an echo. It is a very powerful statement but it is lost because it appears so soon after the preceding paragraph. Can you cut some the previous reference to crying to highlight this better?)


“Ren would you like to say anything?” asked the pastor.
I looked over in his direction, my eyes taking a moment to focus. Quill nudged me with his shoulder. (suggestion: I agree with Marcy. Switch these sentences but also consider clarifying them. Edit the unnecessary words/thoughts. Suggestion: Quill nudged me. My eyes took a moment to focus on the pastor.)


I shook my head. “No. Thank you.”

Alicia Willette-Cook said...

Hmm. This is a tough one as there's not really a whole lot to go on. I'm not sure if it's YA or MG. But the voice in this sounds Really judgmental to me...just a tad Too much so. In a teen kinda way. Which kinda makes it hard for me to feel for the the mc.
Other then that so far not much going on that I am worried about. Can't wait to read tomorrows!

Patchi said...

I found the MC a bit whiny too, but the main point of the mother issues came across really well. I like Huntress's rewriting suggestions. But I might start with:

[I couldn’t believe she showed up at all; she hated my grandmother. Now here she was drunk or high or whatever, wailing through the entire service.]

Then you'll establish the setting before digging into character.

mshatch said...

I like Patchi's suggestion.