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Monday, May 6, 2013

Shadow of Time...(part two)

part two...my crit

The motorcycle driver was clearly a Navajo from the reservation. His red-brown skin was dark and offset by the white of his sleeveless shirt. (Was his skin red-brown, or dark? I'm thinking red-brown...) He had a small hair braid on one side, a turquoise bead and a red feather decorating the bottom. That feather had to be the symbol for one of the local clans. Her once-best-friend on the reservation, Emily Begay, also belonged to the Feather Clan. (This sentence implies that the cute guy belongs to the Feather Clan but the one before just says he belongs to one of the clans, not which one.) Emily should be about twenty-one by now, just like Ben. Hopefully she’d run into Em this summer.
Or into him, perhaps. (yeah. That's what I'd be hoping, too!) She kept staring at the Navajo motorbike owner as he entered the small building of the gas station. He had an absolutely divine body.
Oh well. She’d better stop drooling and daydreaming about meeting him again. In all likelihood, Mister Local Hunk was going to stay far away from her, her incompetent vocal chords and her desperate stares.
Just to make sure, Hannah completely filled up her Datsun so she wouldn’t be short on fuel anytime soon. When she was done, she went into the building and got in line for the pay desk.

There. The Navajo guy had just paid for his gas. He stuffed the receipt into the pocket of his jeans and sauntered to the exit, passing the shelves with chewing gum and candy bars. And then, out of nowhere, he looked her right in the eye.
“Hi.” His voice was deep and beautiful and just as impressive as his looks. He stared at her through his tinted sunglasses, a hint of a smile on his face, like he was amused by some private joke.
Hannah looked up at him dumbfounded. Wow. He wasn’t blanking her. He was still talking to her. So maybe she should talk back.
  “Um – hey,” she stammered feebly and stared at him all owl-faced. (Love that - I have a cat who gives us the wide-eyed owl look so I know it well!) For a moment, it seemed he wanted to say something more, but he didn’t. He just gave her another sunny smile before leaving the building. Navajo Hunk started his motorbike and put his helmet on before tearing off at break-neck speed.(Now that's typical boy behavior, lol)
She groaned inwardly. Way to go with the conversational skills. Where was her language? A comatose patient could have come up with more syllables than that.
Hannah paid for the fuel, her face like thunder. She sped the last couple of miles to St. Mary’s Port, praying there were no speed cameras installed anywhere. If she didn’t get there soon, she would starve to death in her car or eat herself up out of frustration.
It would be nice to cook a big meal together with Ben. Or maybe they should go to the local restaurant. Ben wasn’t famous for his culinary talents, and the last thing she needed (Why? The word need doesn't work for me here. Do you mean 'the last she wanted to do now was to slave away in the kitchen by herslef...?) now was slaving away in the kitchen herself. Hannah fumbled around in her bag to find her phone. One missed call, from her brother. She phoned him back.

“Heya sis!” Ben picked up on the second ring. “Where the heck are you?”
I’ll be there in ten minutes. Where the heck are you?” That sentence seems out of place to me.
“On the beach. Where else? I’ll come home and help you unpack.”
“Okay, cool. See you soon!” She clicked off.
When Hannah turned into the driveway next to the log cabin, Ben was sitting on the stairs leading up to the porch, smoking a cigarette. His dark-blonde hair had already turned a lighter shade in the sunlight. He was wearing a big, showy pair of sunglasses that were hiding eyes just as bright-green as hers.
“You’re here!” he boomed enthusiastically, jumping up and giving her a bear hug.
“Hi bro. How’ve you been the past few days?” 
“Incredibly hot. I’ve been on the beach a lot.” Ben dragged Hannah’s suitcase up the stairs, while she carried two heavy bags with food and toiletries. She put the food in the kitchen and walked to the door of her old bedroom.
Opening the door, she fell silent for a moment. Everything was just as she remembered it. The big, comfortable bed in the corner, the sturdy table against the wall, the flowery curtains in front of the window looking out on the lake – it was like no time had passed at all. 

There were only two things that bothered me about this second section, and they're both easily rectified. One is that there's some extraneous information that isn't entirely necessary - imo. Cutting these bits would help with the second problem, which is pacing. For me, it's slow, especially for a YA book. I have a solution, but I can't tell til we get to the last page because it's a spoiler - not that some of you haven't guessed how this chapter will end. Anyway. That's really it for me. What do you think? Is the pacing slow for you? Have a comment for the author? If so I hope you'll share :)


Alicia Willette-Cook said...

For YA this pacing still seems a tad slowish. Though it has picked up from the first section.
The first paragraph needs to be edited. We don't really need to hear about Emily yet. It kinda felt like she was all OVER the place in that first paragraph. You know in the movies where the main character is staring off into space and the side kick slaps them and yells "FOCUS!"...yah. :) The run in with the guy is very realistic. Loved it. Good flow, good character, good voice. Then BAM...it stops. I don't think you need the phone call with the brother. It really breaks things up unnecessarily.
I do like how when she gets to her old room it stops her. I get that way too when I go "home". Really good! I would read on!

Patchi said...

I agree with the comments above. A bit too much internal thought. And the phone call would feel more purposeful if her cell rang in the gas station just after the guy said "hi." He's only hearing her side of the conversation, so he won't know he's talking to her brother. She could even say something like "I'll be there in 10 min. Love you, bye," because she's trying to get rid of her brother, but it comes off wrong. Just to make things more awkward ;)

Charity Bradford said...

Okay, so I was right she is older. If you make this adult paranormal (still wondering how that will come in) the pacing is closer to okay. YA you do need to grab their attention immediately, adults will give you at least a chapter to build your world and introduce the characters.

There were some spots in the conversation that I think you could cut--"Hi bro." We already know he's her brother and even if you would say it in real life we don't need it here. And I call my brother bro too. :)

All in all I like the way I'm getting to see inside the MCs head and how she thinks before we get to the conflict. I do agree that a line here or there could be cut to get us to that conflict faster though.

Huntress said...

Lots of internal thought going on here. I call this technique "what I want the reader to know about the MC". Try 'showing' some of these traits since 'telling' or internal slows the narrative.

Try cutting those 'ly' words. And as Marcy says, 'dark' is just not needed.
which reminds me, avoid the word 'just', lOL.

I don't feel a lot of action here but maybe that is because of the internal gumming up the works.