Wednesday, November 2, 2011

first impressions - Waiting for April

From Jaime Loren, a paranormal romance. My comments are in purple and Dianne's can be found here

My life is a web of endless days, with periods of silent darkness my only indication that time is still moving.  Others sleep. Those unlike me, who age and fall ill – they sleep.  The darkness gives them time to recover from the fatigue and hardships the daylight presses upon them. For eight hours of their day they are allowed to forget about their troubles, and enter new worlds where anything can happen. Worlds where they can see and hold loved ones who are no longer with them. Worlds where they can go back in time and change their future. Does this mean that when they dream they actually can change the past and thus the future? Or does it mean the narrator doesn't dream? Interesting! The only thing I might like added is something about our narrator to help us connect with him/her.

If I could sleep, I’d dream it was 1729 again, and I’d save April Anne Fletcher. Hmm, I wonder who she is and why she’s so important to the narrator?

And I wouldn’t have failed her another thirteen times since. 


Every morning I stood in the hallway of Harvard’s Quincy House, waiting to discover if April was still alive. Today – the first day of our summer vacation – was no different. But this morning there was no light spilling out from under her door, nor had she answered when I’d knocked. Considering she could sleep through a severe hailstorm, these observations alone didn’t necessarily strike fear into my heart. No, it was the fact she also had a terrible habit of meeting her maker that sent me racing down four flights of stairs and into the courtyard. I checked my cell phone again. No text messages. No calls. My chest tightened.  I admit I’m a little confused by this paragraph. The narrator is waiting to discover if April is still alive, which suggests that her death is imminent. But then the narrator mentions how soundly she sleeps as well as the fact that she has a habit of meeting her maker (don't we all, eventually?). I wonder if we might need more of an explanation of how things work in this world before this paragraph? And I say this because I'm interested and wouldn't mind an entertaining bit of back story. Of course, the next page may very well do that...

I’d only just scrolled to her number when something slammed into my back.

Very interesting beginning. Makes me wonder if we'll be visiting 1729, or any of the other times after - which would be very cool since I love historical. I'll just mention once more I hope we'll be getting to know the narrator soon in order to connect with him (?), make us really care what happens next.


  1. You pose some very good questions to consider. It's interesting the way things can be interpreted. A smidge of clarification could clear some of the things you mention right up.

  2. I left more detailed thoughts at Dianne's, but I just wanted to say: well done!

  3. Gave you the Liebster Award.

  4. Angela, I agree.

    Matt, thanks :)

    Buffy, thanks!

  5. The opening is intriguing--at least the lines about wishing it were 1729 and saving April. THOSE are hooky lines; I'd start there rather than the general musings for the long opening paragraph. But that's just my opinion.

    Anyway, nice story and good run-down of it. Thanks!

  6. I think you're right, Carol.

  7. Marcy, thanks again for having me on the blog today! I'm so grateful for your feedback. I promise the next page sheds light on the MC! :D As for the historical aspect, my crit partners weren't too keen on my story jumping between times (I did have chapters going back to 1729). Maybe, if I land an agent, they'll allow me to expand and do that. *crosses fingers* :D

    Angela, the feedback here and on Dianne's blog has certainly helped me determine what needs to go, what needs to stay, and what needs to be clarified. So very helpful!

    Matthew, thanks again! Loved your feedback over at Dianne's! I might have to submit my query to your blog, soon! :P

    Carol, those lines have definitely been shifted to the start, and I've done away with the musings! I'm really pleased with what that leaves!

    Thanks so much to all who have provided feedback! I'm looking forward to finishing these edits, and getting stuck into querying very soon! :D

  8. And wow, I have used far too many exclamation marks today ... !!! :D

  9. I do like how Jaime left us with question. We want to know why April needs saving. Also, I agree with your comments, there are confusing parts that need to be addressed. For me, not a paranormal reader, I need to understand some of the basics in the world you're creating.

  10. Hi there,
    I am just popping in from Alex's insecure writers group and it's taking me to get around everybody's blogs and say "hi". I will pop by your blog as often as I can. Nice to "meet" you.
    Eve. :)

  11. Interesting analysis! Always neat to see other's interpretations and what others do.

  12. Based on these excerpts, I'd have to read this book, trusting that the author will lead me into world she envisions. I liked the flow of the language and that often leads me into a book even if I'm not sure about the direction it's going.

  13. @Jaime -- Why did your critique partners dislike you taking the story back to 1729? That would be the most interesting part for me!!!

    Sorry, just tired of seeing historical bashed. Pet peeve.


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