Page Critique Tuesday 6/13

Offer up your page (or query) for Nathan's critique on the blog.
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Nathan Bransford
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Joined: December 4th, 2009, 11:17 pm
Location: New York, NY

Page Critique Tuesday 6/13

Post by Nathan Bransford » June 12th, 2017, 5:38 pm

Want to see how your editing approach compares to mine?

Below is the page up for critique on the blog on Tuesday, June 13th. Feel free to chime in with comments, create your own redline (please note the "font colour" button above the posting box, which looks like a drop of ink), and otherwise offer feedback. When offering your feedback, please please remember to be polite and constructive. In order to leave a comment you will need to register an account in the Forums, which should be self-explanatory.

I'll be back on Tuesday with my own post on the blog and we'll literally be able to compare notes.

If you'd like to enter a page for a future Page Critique, please do so here.

Title: The Musician
Genre: Literary Fiction
Aaron opened his eyes, but he could only see dark. Small spots of cold—snow—pelted his face. Pain shot though his ribs. He tried to suck in air, but his chest—something pushed on his chest. Huge. Heavy. Immovable.
Am I dying?
How long could I go without breathing before passing out or dying?
A deathly, otherworldly silence enveloped him like an isolation booth.
Where am I?
They had been on the bus, driving through the Berkshire Mountains. The five men were all talking about the gig they had just played in New York when Danny, the driver and their manager, let out a cry. The bus lurched and the next thing Aaron knew, he was tossed in the air, multiple items in the bus flying and hitting him.
He slipped between substance and shadow as recent and older events whirled and tumbled in his mind, just as he and some of the equipment had in the bus. Cele. If only he had known what to do when he realized she wanted an abortion. Maybe he could have gotten there in time to save the baby. If only he had known sooner. Hitching a ride with Danny to get out of Dalhart. bussing tables at the diner. London. Amsterdam.
* * *
On a warm August night in Nashville, 1963, Aaron Cronan arrived at Manchester’s bar. He, Cal, and Cele were the house band until July of that year when Aaron took work at a local studio.

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Joined: June 12th, 2017, 6:03 pm

Re: Page Critique Tuesday 6/13

Post by WriteGirl » June 12th, 2017, 7:10 pm

The first thing that comes to mind is that the opening is disjointed. The author has tried to cram too many things, including backstory, into the opening graphs.

Consider that the first question your reader might ask is "what's going to happen to Character next?" Character has just been thrown from a bus, and is lying in the snow with (perhaps) broken ribs and something on his chest that is heavy enough to (apparently) inhibit his breathing. How can you make the reader feels his pain, confusion and panic? How would you feel in that situation? What would you do in a situation like that?

Consider adding details to provide atmosphere. Is it day or night? Dawn or dusk? Is it the dead of winter or nearing spring? Did the bus careen off a highway or a rural road? How is Character dressed? Does he have a cell phone, and if so, is there service? Is he concerned about his friends who were also on the bus?

This is a great starting point. I would encourage the author to flesh it out with specifics that will draw Reader in and give Reader a reason to care about Character and what happens to him next.

Please keep in mind that this is just one writer's opinion. Take what works for you and leave the rest. And keep writing no matter what!

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