Welcome to day four of After the Madness Workshop! Shelley Watters, Erica Chapman, the writers at YAtopia, and myself will critique the first 250 words of two brave writers’ manuscripts per day for the next seven to eight days. There are four blogs joining in to offer up suggestions. Click on my partners’ sites in my sidebar to view the other critiques.
And next up is …
B-7 Melanie Conklin
B’s notes: It’s really important to have a stellar first sentence. This one isn’t bad, but why not her big brother? It’s his best friend, right? Where’s her brother? Why does it matter that her brother’s best-friend ignored her. I’d make this sentence tighter and hook us. Why don’t middle school friends count. Going into high school, your friends from middle school mean the world to you.
“Hey, Katie.” Brian whispers, trying to get my attention on the sly.
B’s notes: I’d lose the first ‘Indian Summer’ reference and have Brian tell her about it. It shows us his character – he knows something she doesn’t.
B’s notes: I remember the pitch for this one, and I was intrigued by her physic gift. The writing is good here, but I think you need to add something more to this scene to draw the reader in. Maybe a little humor. The setting isn’t unique here, and I’m not hooked yet. If you’re going to start off in a class room, you’ll have to have something unique happen to set it apart from all the other manuscripts that start off in classroom settings. Does your story really start here? I’ve had to cut entire chapters before to get to where my story actually started.
I hope this helps!
Remember this is subjective and others’ may feel differently. So I’ll now pass it on to the readers to critique. Please leave your comments, and remember the rules of critiquing … be nice, which I’m sure you all will be, but I have to say it … you know.