I am so behind *shakes fists at July and August NaNos*... but here goes *takes a deep breath*:
: You have such a way with visuals, taking me right there in the room with them, but there were bits that reminded me a little too much of the opening of Matched, which I think someone else may have mentioned, but really it's my only issue with it. When I read further on the longer version posted elsewhere on the forum, the differences stood out and made me want to keep reading. Very cool idea.
: I can relate to your protagonist, but I agree with the other critiques. And I know what you mean about editing first chapters to death. I can't stop!
The pressure of getting it perfect can be overwhelming.
: Thanks for such a helpful critique. I can do better! I promise!
I'm drawn into the world you describe in your story's beginning. The first few lines threw me off as I wondered whether Keturah was a horse or a dragon, but I appreciated her more as I read on. I love strong female characters.
: Hilarious premise. I think your character could probably think some of the things he says instead, making the scene more believable. (I know his grandpa's old and all, but does he really have to remind him how old he is? And if so, why?) I'd like to get more of a sense of who he is, and what opinions he'd be too afraid to share with his grandfather, because they have the potential to be such an interesting duo.
: I like the tone and the conflict sounds compelling. The only thing that stood out was the line about him not really listening right before all of the things he listened to. A simple sentence change to something like he wasn't really listening but little snippets caught his attention, something about the totalitarian government on the Rorian moon, blah, blah, blah. But seriously... what is
going on with the Rorian moon? Now I'm curious.
: Your opening paragraph rewards the patient reader with awesomeness. You could've slammed us with the second paragraph first, but I like that you start with a strong ethereal visual and end in aburpt hilarity. The second paragraph is a little jumpy, but the idea is original and entertaining.
: It piqued my curiosity, but the bouncing from character to character without any real sense of the protagonist was a little confusing. As a former
avid tantrum thrower, there's something so endearing about Yaten. And thanks for the comment.
: The first line of the letter is a bit jarring once you learn it's a wife speaking of her husband's demise, and to his brother no less. But maybe that's the kind of person she is--not one to soften the blow. It sounds intriguing, none-the-less. And even though it doesn't seem like my preferred genre, I'd keep reading.
: I absolutely loved the first paragraph, but the suspense kind of died down in the second. It's not bad, I just think it could be moved further down. I want him/her to keep venturing further, to describe more about the surroundings and what they fear is lurking around them.
: I. Love. It. I do wish there was a little more of your character's POV in the first paragraph, but... wow.
: Ok, this is the most spectacularly out there thing I've read in a while and that alone compells me to continue. Love your voice. Your characters and their world sound fascinating. And your talent for writing really shows.
: I know I need to stop gushing and be a more productive critiquer, but it's absolutely fantastic. So funny. So well written.
: Thank you so much. And you're right about needing to address the classmates.
I shall get on that... uh... almost immediately. How many more of these things do I have left?
: The first three paragraphs were my favorite. I had a sense of Jo's personality right away. But after that, I felt a little starved of the character I'd come to like just a few lines before. I wanted to hear her conversing with the customers or interacting in some other way before the exposition of the store and all that.
: The setting pulls me into the story. I want to know why he's in the closet. But I wish I could hear more of what he's thinking in relation to the scene. Maybe a quick internal grumble about his hair before moving on to more suspense/action. And yes, wavy like Russell Brand is definitely sexier than curly like Weird Al or Kenny G, which is where my mind went.
: You managed to pack so much of your character and her voice, her settings, and conflict into such a tight (well written) spot.
: The world you have created and the backstory are enchanting, but when I'm reading YA, I prefer more action/interaction at the get go. If I'm transported to a magical kingdom, the first thing I'm going to do is get up and wander around, while at the same time wondering how I got there... not necessarily lay there thinking about stories about my dad and all that, which is great and well written, but maybe fits better further in the chapter.
: I'm finding myself comparing it to Percy Jackson (maybe because I rereading the Lightning Thief). In the first chapter, Rick Riordan begins with Percy's warning about being a half-blood and then leads into Grover getting picked on. I bring this up because with your opening, I want to like the character, but I don't know enough about him. He gets picked on, but why? I think the description of torment could be condensed somewhat to give more room to hook the reader with your character, his world and the reason behind his struggle.
Babs in Paradise
: Poignant scene, wonderfully written, but a few things jump out at me. Who asks if she's ready? Who say's Aqua let me? O-she? I assume it's her father and O-she is Oceanna's nickname, but only after rereading a couple times.
: No words. Well... except those. And these. *bows*
: Nice introduction to your characters voice and inner/outer struggles, but I think some of the exposition could've been added in later. The scene is relatable and enlightening at the same time, the suspense draws me in, and I enjoy your writing style.
: I thoroughly enjoyed everything about your opening. Two thumbs up.
: A very attention grabbing, scene/character/struggle defining beginning. Just two little nitpicks. I feel like the second line is overwritten considering the immediacy of the scene. Do we need to know that the parking lot is hard packed dirt? And shot a mercury filled shot sounds redundant. Blasted a shot, fired a shot, unloaded a shot, etc. might sound better. Otherwise, considered me pulled in.
Phew. That took... *looks at the clock* all freaking day. But! I'm caught up. More please!