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Thread: 1st Chapter YA

  1. #11
    i really ;ove the universal truth part at the beginging really hooks you, I can only guess where you are going with it and if it is where i think then i feel it fits in well. but i agree with a few of the previous points made especially the firetruck? was this to replace a swear word? but for me there wasnt enough but i would really love to read more

  2. #12
    I have to agree with others that the opening paragraph is really intriguing and makes me want to read more. However, when the next paragraph starts with "My twin sister.." I do get a little confused. I can only imagine that the opening paragraph is describing things to come, but things that are also subjective and might not actually be so. This opens a lot of possibilities, so I have to say, again, that opening paragraph is great. Good job!

  3. #13
    hi!

    the question of colours is not about agreeing that what you're looking is an arrangement of light you have always agreed is called "red", it's more about whether any two people can guarantee to be perceiving it in the same way - ie. to be actually experiencing the same effect. It's very difficult to describe a colour beyond light and dark and comparisions to objects that usually come in that colour.

    is this your opening? knowing that the sister is either already dead (i imagine it's this one) or soon will be, is an intriguing point for the opening. However, sitting in classrooms with little action (depending on how long) can lose people. I want to know more though - the dynamic of having an undead in the family might be interesting.
    Last edited by erinranning; March 14th, 2014 at 12:12 PM.

  4. #14
    I really do like the engaging and realistic voice of the main character. I also think it's quite refreshing to have a male as your protagonist and to be using a first person narrative (I just find that there are so many stories being told through the eyes strong girls but not many boys atm). I would really like to continue reading this so please keep posting

  5. #15
    Member A_Jones's Avatar
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    I like this kind of writing, it is very laid back and comfortable. I like being in his head. Yes I was confused as well by how short this was. I am not a believer in smudging up your story because you gave yourself a word goal but just to let you know the average YA chapter is 3000 words. There have been MANY wonderful writers who have not followed that rule. Cornilia Funk will sometimes write a 200 word chapter. And if for some reason you don't know who that is (for shame) she wrote the book INKHEART.

    Thank you for your creativity!

  6. #16
    Your beginning struck me as the beginning of an essay, not a story. I actually looked up at the top of my screen to make sure I had not accidentally jumped into the non-fiction forum.

    And I can't yet identify your main character. Is it the sister or the brother? Editors are always telling us to begin with a dynamic, attention-getting introduction to the main character and the problem s/he is facing. We've all seen excellent deviations from that rule of thumb, but at this point in your story, I would prefer the rule of thumb over any deviations, clever as they may or may not be.

    For example, if the sister is your main character, I'd recommend you begin with "My sister is hot."

    If the brother is your main character I recommend you begin with the part where the teacher hands him a detention slip, which foreshadows the beginning of his problems.

    But I really like the flow of dialog, description and narration. There's just something animated and appealing about it. Look forward to the rest of your story.

  7. #17
    I agree with yellow mustang on the philosophic start. I got what you were going for, and I liked it, but it's a strong statement that might lose you some readers who just don't see things from that perspective. I get it though, we say the sun rises and sets, but it's the planet moving not the sun... what about universal truths, like death

    Is the second section supposed to occur before the philosophic one?
    I liked the voice
    I assumed the POV character was a female, till the teacher said monsieur

  8. #18
    That final line of the first paragraph was killer. As other replies have already said, I really enjoyed the character's inner voice. You can really get a sense of his temperament and personal philosophies through the inner dialogue. He sounds full of snark and deadpan humor and every bit like a real teenager. I applaud how you managed to convey this with such brevity.

    One thing I do want to note though is that I was slightly confused about the timeline. The first paragraph is in present tense and states the sister is dead, but then we continue into the classroom, which is also in present tense, where she's alive again. There's some inconsistency in general regarding past and present in your description of the classroom.

    Also, while you make an effort to keep it short, I feel like the classroom scene could be spiced up a bit more. While the flow is decent, there's nothing particularly entertaining about a high-school kid zoning out on his teacher.

    That aside though, I really am intrigued and think you have the beginnings of something great here!

  9. #19
    I had some confusion as to who the main character is. Takes a bit before we find out they're boy/girl twins. Maybe he could scribble something in his notebook that lets us in on that fact. He could scribble his name maybe before squiggling his pretend notes.

    While I don't have an issue with the first part, because I got what you were going for, it does have that essay feeling. I didn't have an issue with his sister still being alive and walking into the classroom. I figured you were now going to tell us what all led up to her death.

    I don't usually like stories written in the present in this way, but my interest is captured despite. I'd read this story.
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  10. #20
    As others have said - i loved the last line of the first paragraph. I then assumed that we went back to when she was alive in the next paragraph.

    However, it then gets a bit fluffy. I assumed that the voice was female, probably as the comparison of beauty to the twin sister didnt transition well to a male?
    I did feel it was lacking detail, just a few words here and there make a massive difference.
    The firetruck - i assumed this was a replacement for a swear word but didnt understand. I would definitely revisit this.

    But all in all, good start!

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