Updated YA first page :)

Post excerpts from your works in progress and give feedback to your fellow writers.
lmitchell
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Re: Updated YA first page (Ronnie Gold) :)

Post by lmitchell » June 10th, 2010, 3:46 pm

Good voice. I also really like your character name. It is unique.

You showed me flashes of your MC's personality with how she reacted when placed in the advanced class and I believe you hit the nail on the head with the concept of a teenage girl deciding to reinvent herself. (I remember doing it as a teen.)

I also really liked your description of, "the perfect light shade of brown. Much lighter than mine." It is simple but it conveyed to me that Ronnie feels that normal amount of insecurity about her appearance, i.e. the other girl had the 'perfect' shade of brown.

Nice.

otherside89girl
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Re: Updated YA first page (Ronnie Gold) :)

Post by otherside89girl » June 10th, 2010, 4:55 pm

lmitchell and wildheart, thank you for your input!

wildheart - I am basically still a teen.... (I'm 20, and rather sad not to have an excuse for teen angst anymore). So those teen girl emotions/insecurities are still very fresh in my memory. :)

wildheart
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Re: Updated YA first page (Ronnie Gold) :)

Post by wildheart » June 11th, 2010, 5:57 am

Hey I am twenty also! And yes, I would have to say all my memories are very fresh as well. Then again, I still have many of those same insecurites as well.
http://wildheart90.blogspot.com/
A mother. A writer. A dreamer.

otherside89girl
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Re: Updated YA first page (Ronnie Gold) :)

Post by otherside89girl » June 12th, 2010, 8:57 pm

Oh! I thought you were older (because you're a mother)! But yes, I still feel like a teenager in most respects, for sure.

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Regan Leigh
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Re: Updated YA first page (Ronnie Gold) :)

Post by Regan Leigh » June 13th, 2010, 1:48 am

I'm giving feedback without reading other's crits, so I'll stick to my own thoughts. I usually read and comment as I go. You didn't say how detailed or tough you want it, but I try to just write as I think so I don't filter my comments too much. :)
otherside89girl wrote:*Updated*
My (almost complete but as yet untitled) WIP is a YA novel aimed toward teen girls. I took your helpful suggestions and revised my first page! I'm currently going through my first full edit. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!!

The novel is about a teenage girl, Ronnie Gold, and it follows her through her freshman and senior years. It's sort of a YA romance so it talks about her and her best friend and their teenage relationships. (Haven't written a query yet or I would share some of that with you!)
Well, critique away!


As soon as I walk through this door, I will officially be a high school student, I thought. Finally.
I stood outside the door of my first class, even though it was cold and drizzling. This was typical first day of school weather for Seattle – or in my case, Dumont, a little suburb most people haven’t heard of. This felt a little telly/as you know bob. I peered nervously through the tiny window in the door, my breath appearing in puffs in front of my face. Why didn’t anyone else look like a freshman? I was also a little thrown because my hs had the classrooms and entrances indoors, but with this I was trying to figure out if she was standing outside a building or just a classroom. Sometimes I'm slow, though. ;)

I thought about scanning the room for potential friends before choosing a seat, but as soon as I opened the door I was overwhelmed by fluorescent lights and a heating vent blowing into my face. I looked up to see a classroom full of older students, seated around plastic tables, staring at me. I collapsed into the chair closest to the door, dropping my backpack with a loud whump. Might be a good place to use a stronger verb for the dropping rather than saying whump.

“Last but not least,” the teacher said, pausing to peer at his clipboard. “You must be Ronnie, our freshman.”

“Oh, um, yeah. That’s me.”

What exactly did he mean by “our freshman”?

“You must already know a lot about photography to be in my advanced class,” Mr. Mildy continued.

There was a general rustle as more people turned to look at me.

“No, actually, I meant to sign up for freshman photography…” I could feel my face burning.

How had I registered for the wrong class? I had barely started high school and I was already making mistakes.

“Ah, the digital photography class,” he said, rubbing his bald head. “Well, you’ve gotten yourself into a real photography class. Congratulations.”
And he handed me a syllabus.

As I waited for the blood to drain out of my face and return to the rest of my body, I glanced around. Some of the students already had cameras with them. Great.
Mr. Mildy started telling us what would be expected of us this semester, with a lot of photography jargon mixed in. I kept my eyes on the speckled plastic tabletop.

I clearly remembered signing up for this class at the beginning of the summer. My best friend This may totally be a style/individual thing, but I'd rather you just say Jem here and let me figure out the bff status. In first person, you want it to be more intimate and in their head, right? So when you think of your best friend, do you think best friend? Does that make sense? May just be my issue. lol :) Jem and I were sitting on my bedroom floor, our school forms scattered over the carpet. We were excited about our brilliant decision to go to the “artsy” school, Chimakum. Dumont has two high schools, and everyone from our old middle school was zoned for Lake High. Going to Chimakum meant we could get a fresh start, meet new people. It had seemed like the best idea at the time… Jem busily consider a diff verb rather than adverb as much as possible signed up for theater and choir, while I randomly selected classes from the list: drawing, painting, photography.

Sitting in Mr. Mildy’s class, listening to the monotonous hum of his voice and the rain dripping into mud puddles outside Oh, I like this a lot and think you could really play up description here. Like how the hum of his voice merged with the sound of the rain kind of thing., I realized I was not an artsy person. I didn’t know how to draw, or paint, or take pictures. I kind of had this idea that when I started high school I would just become someone else; a confident world-traveler type with art and poetry radiating from her fingertips. In this classroom, under the fluorescent lights, I felt very out of place, and very much the same person. I felt like I would always be Ronnie Gold; no more, no less.

I noticed the hum had gotten louder. Apparently, Mr. Mildy had instructed the class to discuss something. Chairs scraped against the floor as the other students leaned across tables to talk to each other. I looked up at my tablemates sheepishly, but none of them paid me any attention.

The girl across from me was waving a lazy hand in the air, emphasizing something she was saying about driving to the city to take pictures of homeless people. I examined her as she talked. A place where I'd say just show her examining, not say it. Esp b/c it's 1st person.Her hair was straight, long, and the perfect light shade of brown. Much lighter than mine. I absently tugged my curls, which barely grazed my collarbone, and turned to the girl on my left. She was pretty, with black almond-shaped eyes, freckles, and stick-straight hair. She smiled a lot. I wondered what Mr. Mildy had told us to discuss.

I was distracted by someone laughing behind me. I bit my lip to keep from smiling. It was infectious, a real belly laugh, and the low tones of the person’s voice were strangely pleasant. I stole a stealthy look behind me. The laughing boy’s face was obscured by a black hood. Under the table, I noticed he was also wearing black pants, tucked into big black boots. Raising my eyebrows, I turned back to face my table.With this paragraph, I wanted more. I really liked how it made her smile even when she wasn't feeling like smiling and how she turned to find out who it was. But then you describe him physically without showing her reaction or thoughts other than she decides to turn around. I think you can play this up and show some big understated moments.
Hope I helped even a little. take it all as my opinion and not fact. ;) I'm a wanna be published writer, not a professional editor. :D
Overall, I liked it and think you can do a lot with it. Good job. :)
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otherside89girl
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Re: Updated YA first page (Ronnie Gold) :)

Post by otherside89girl » June 15th, 2010, 6:38 pm

Thanks, Regan! You pointed out things no one else has yet. Very helpful.

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