Wednesday, December 7, 2011

first impressions - crystal milk


  Our final submission of the month comes from Elizabeth. My comments can be found in purple. Dianne's can be found here. This is the first page of Elizabeth's MG fantasy. And omg, don't you just love the cover?!


It has always been her story. I’m just there, living on the outskirts. But she changed my life. Pick a tense and stick with it :)

CHAPTER ONE

     Footsteps pounded the cobbled pavement behind me. Not good at all. A trail of marinara sauce leaked down my chin as a long piece of melted cheese flapped across my face with each step. (can he/she see where they're going?) I practically choked trying to bite the last bit of cheese while running. (I have a hard time picturing someone running scared AND continuing to eat. Just sayin...) I darted into an alley and snorted when the cheese, covered in marinara, went up my nose. (ick!) It burned! I muffled the sound with a hand over my nose. I couldn’t let them hear me. Distracted, my black t-shirt caught against a nail beside a fire escape. It tore but I didn’t stop, couldn’t stop. The footsteps became louder. So loud. Much too loud. They rattled my eardrums. I bit my lip and chanced a look back. Adjusting my eyes, I stared into the darkness. Blinking I could see through the darkness. Shadows followed, large shadows that ran across the walls. Witches.

I wonder if the whole sauce bit is necessary? If this is supposed to be a humorous tale then I would say yes. But if not then I'd probably get rid of it. Without it, we are left with what I think is a pretty harrowing beginning. Someone running scared from someone or something else, shadows, and then...witches. The narrator knows they are witches, which tells us that this world is not the one we are familiar with and that witches are to be feared. Much more interesting than spaghetti sauce - imho.

Here's what it might look like (or, the spaghetti sauce could be replaced by a bad smell - that might work):

Footsteps pounded the cobbled pavement behind me. Not good at all. I darted into an alley, muffled the sound of my heavy breathing with my hand. I couldn’t let them hear me. My black t-shirt caught against a nail beside a fire escape. It tore but I didn’t stop, couldn’t stop. The footsteps became louder. Too loud. They rattled my eardrums. I bit my lip and chanced a look, stared back into the darkness. Shadows ran across the walls. Witches. 



What do you guys think?

12 comments:

  1. Your rewrite was excellent.

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  2. Ooooh...hmmm... just was over at Dianne's to see what she had to say about this one. You're revisions certainly make it tighter and the focus on her being scared. At first I liked the idea of the pizza/pasta b/c it made it unusual and I wondered what significance it might have. So now I might say drop it, if there is no significance and go with your rewrite!

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  3. I like the rewrite but I LOVE Pizza - so can you make the pizza significant, please? If it's not pizza, can you change it to pizza? I loved pizza when I was in middle grade and I still love pizza. Pizza could sell books. Really. It is possible.

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  4. Perhaps the pizza will mean more later, but I wondered why someone who was so scared would be worried about eating a last bite....unless they were starving. Maybe that is the case. If not, it would be more logical for the character to throw the pizza and scram. The re-write is excellent.

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  5. yeah i think you're spot on. Though, now i want some pizza

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  6. I like your crit comments. I think they're spot on.

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  7. I'm glad you liked the cover :) I definitely like your comments..although I do want to keep the "pizza theme". He actually is stealing pizza to eat it. Its like a curiosity things (his family survives on souls--so the fact that he can eat real food, well it's a novelty--one that should be kept under wraps since he's only half Soul Sucker the others judge him harshly)

    oh! btw the character is a boy actually. So I guess I should find a way to make that more well-known.

    All the feedback has been great. Love the example you give me to tighten it up.

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  8. Elizabeth, glad you were happy with the crit and know what will work and what won't :) Yeah, I wasn't sure about the sex, could've gone either way.

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  9. Hah yeah. It was in 3rd person originally so I was able to go "he", but now I'm at a loss haha. Needa figure out a way.

    Thanks again! :)

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