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  1. #11
    The first three lines are a mismatch. You start out with the first person, casual, but the second sentence sounds like a writer. Then the third sentence totally switches gears.

    I always have trouble reading clips posted in forums because it destroys the formatting. Dunno why, it just makes the text look wonky.

  2. #12
    Can you exolaun the title?

  3. #13
    The title is supposed to be a play on the phrase 'My Fellow Americans'

  4. #14
    That's an awful lot of assumptions from a very short first chapter

    Alas, fiction is subjective, otherwise, 50 shades would be in the trash heap where it belongs.

    I get that these themes may not be original, but what is nowadays? Everything we read and watch is merely a combination of different inspirations.
    And to paraphrase Neil Gaiman, 'No one has a market on your voice, for example, there's a reason Tarantino movies are successful, his ideas have been done a million times but no one does it like he can because he has his own style and voice. And at the end of the day, a lot of writers sound like other people before sounding like themselves.'

    Thank you for your time for reading my work

  5. #15
    Admittedly, I'm no great writer. All my edits here are just my opinions on changing sentence structure, to something I think would flow a little better. Take what you want, ignore what you want. Just offering an opinion.


    Quote Originally Posted by M.R Steiner View Post
    I completed this book at about 75k a few months ago. now it's time to edit. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Chapter 1: Growing pains


    I've grown my first claw today. It's not something that I'm happy to admit, in fact it's terrifying.

    Wide eyed horror is the only look I can give as I stand in front of the bathroom mirror. All focus pulls me towards the unfamiliar reflection of my thumb where a long sharp curve pokes out instead of a nail, belonging to something more like a cat, or a hawk.

    It's getting worse, how much longer can I hide this?

    Two knocks strike the closed door behind me.

    "Samara?" Mom calls. "Honey, you're going to be late for school."

    She can't see me like this.

    I'm tight lipped, the screech of the opening drawer to my left bounces off the tile walls in my hectic search for nail clippers, scissors, anything.
    A screech bounced off the wall as I opened the drawer in a hectic search for nail clippers, scissors, anything.
    "What's taking you so long?" she asks.

    "Just a second," I yell.

    Another thump hits the door.

    "Samara, what's wrong?"

    "Nothing, I'll be right out..."

    My hands keep twitching, unable to separate the mounds of boxes and cotton balls inside the drawer. I can't even find a file.

    What the hell am I going to do?

    "Samara, open this door now."

    The handle begins to twist. She knows something's wrong.

    "Don't come in Mom."

    "Why?"

    "I'm not dressed, alright?"

    Her words becomes a babble of vowels, my rising heartbeat drowns out the world as I plunge my new claw into the round grate of the sink's plughole.
    Love this
    "That's it, Samara, clothed or not, I'm coming in."

    She'll ask to see what's in my hand if I hide it.

    The door's hinges creak open past my ears
    . I'm out of time.
    Not sure how I would change this, but it seems a little awkward to me.

    If anyone finds out about this, I'm finished, just like the others.

    There's no other option. One final surge of panic forces me to press my thumb backwards. The claw bends then snaps.

    My pain filled yelp fills the bathroom. I hear Mom rushing up behind me. But all I can focus on is the blood dripping red spots against the white sink.
    But all I can focus on is the red spots staining the sink. (I think the fact that its blood is implied enough through the red spots imagery.)
    "Honey, what happened?" she asks.

    A press of her palm ruffles the bathrobe hanging on my shoulder, prompting me to face her curly haired reflection in the mirror.

    "Just a hangnail-" The pain stammers my sentence. "-I tried to get rid of it and had a little accident."

    "Let me see."

    She pulls my hand close to her face, the raw patch of flesh now blessedly claw free.

    "Oh, honey, that looks bad."

    "I'll be okay, I just need to get a bandage around it."

    "Want me to-"

    "No Mom, I can handle it."

    We glance at one another, her concerned expression shifting to a smile.

    "Okay honey, I get you're tougher than you look, just like me. You even kind of look like I did when I was your age."

    Really, you had claws too?
    I can't let on what I really think or feel. Instead, my mouth moves to mimic her grin, covering up the panic inside.

    "It's true Samara, I mean... yeah, I have curls, your hair may be straight as an arrow, but you get that black shine from me. Those green eyes are your Dad's though, god rest his soul."
    I like this, pointing out the contrast in their looks, but I would have done it outside of dialogue. Something like "It's true Samara, I mean... yeah, I have curls" She ran a hand down through my hair, straight and shoulder-length, while her's curled up around the ends. "But you get that black shine from me."

    Her sad reminder sends a sinking feeling in my gut, leaving me to ponder if my father was the reason this change is happening to me. Even trained doctors don't know why some people turn Feral while others don't.

    "Maybe you should have the day off school honey? Just in case one of those monsters picks up your scent, the news says that those animals can smell real human blood a mile away." "real" seems unnecessary to me

    "No, it's okay, besides our school's got the National Guard outside. They wouldn't dare attack, what place could be safer right?"

    "Those beasts don't think like regular folk anymore-wait a minute, I just realised something."

    She goes quiet then glares at me with a slanting brow.

    Does she know the truth?

    "Samara, I think you're the first kid in history to not jump at the chance for a day off school?"

    I force out a laugh, my voice sounding half hysterical as I say, "Guess I'm just a devoted student."

    "Then you'd better get ready, the bus will be here soon. Put some ointment on that thumb before you bandage it though. I'll put your breakfast on the table."

    She walks out into the hall. I listen to each of her footsteps. The patter of her slippers gets far enough away for me to slam the door shut.

    I'm safe for now. All that stress over almost being found out turns my legs stiff, making me lean against the wall as a huff of relief passes my lips.

    "That was close."

    I still have to see if anything else has changed overnight.

    My clammy grip wraps around the cord of my bathrobe. The knot unfurls. My shoulders hunch to drop the pink fabric to the floor.

    "Oh god, it's worse than I thought..."

    The mirror shows my striped fur tail as it unwraps from around my waist like a belt-my first physical symptom-not at all new. What is new, however, are the striped patterns just under the skin of my stomach.

    How much longer till Mom finds out? Sooner or later, everyone will know the truth.

    I'm Feral.


    Overall, I really like it. It's an interesting idea.

  6. #16
    I actually like that first sentence as a hook. It made me want to read on. And I like your general style as well. Keep in mind that not every "rule" applies to every situation. Tell has its place. I suggest you gather feedback then analyze it. If you don't agree with it, try to determine why you don't agree with it. That exercise in and of itself can be very useful.

  7. #17
    Thank you so much for the comprehensive review Those are all really good points I will definitely take into account during the next draft.

    your rock

  8. #18
    You are quite right, while others may not like the hook, I always try to make my stories hit the ground running, which in YA is very important

  9. #19
    I thought this was a cool beginning. You set up a character, a conflict and some mystery, all good things to have in the beginning.

    Quote Originally Posted by M.R Steiner View Post
    I completed this book at about 75k a few months ago. now it's time to edit. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Chapter 1: Growing pains


    I've grown my first claw today. It's not something that I'm happy to admit, in fact it's terrifying.

    Wide eyed horror is the only look I can give as I stand in front of the bathroom mirror. All focus pulls me towards the unfamiliar reflection of my thumb where a long sharp curve pokes out instead of a nail, belonging to something more like a cat, or a hawk. --I don't remember who said it, but they said the first and the second paragraph don't amtch up, and they are right. The moods are completely off, and why is she staring at the reflection and not the real thing? Maybe just cutting off the 'Wide eyed horror..." would fix the mood. But you don't want to lose that she's in the bathroom because that sets up the setting. Maybe something like: My wide eyed reflection in the bathroom mirror stares back at me in disbelieve, focus pulled towards the unfamiliar reflection... Then you have: "Belonging to something more like a cat, or a hawk --- on a different sentence. So: It's something belonging to a cat, or a hawk, not a teenage female.

    It's getting worse, how much longer can I hide this?

    Two knocks strike the closed door behind me.

    "Samara?" Mom calls. "Honey, you're going to be late for school."

    She can't see me like this.

    I'm tight lipped, Period the screech of the opening drawer to my left bounces off the tile walls in my hectic search for nail clippers, scissors, anything.

    "What's taking you so long?" she asks.

    "Just a second," I yell.

    Another thump hits the door.

    "Samara, what's wrong?"

    "Nothing, I'll be right out..."

    My hands keep twitching, unable to separate the mounds of boxes and cotton balls inside the drawer. I can't even find a file.

    What the hell am I going to do?

    "Samara, open this door now."

    The handle begins to twist. She knows something's wrong.

    "Don't come in Mom."

    "Why?"

    "I'm not dressed, alright?"

    Her words becomes a babble of vowels, as my rising heartbeat drowns out the world as and I plunge my new claw into the round grate of the sink's plughole.

    "That's it, Samara, clothed or not, I'm coming in."

    She'll ask to see what's in my hand if I hide it.

    The door's hinges creak open past my ears. I'm out of time.

    If anyone finds out about this, I'm finished, just like the others.

    There's no other option. One final surge of panic forces me to press my thumb backwards. The claw bends then snaps.

    My pain filled yelp fills the bathroom. I hear Mom rushing up behind me. But all I can focus on is the blood dripping red spots against the white sink.

    "Honey, what happened?" she asks.

    A press of her palm ruffles the bathrobe hanging on my shoulder, prompting me to face her curly haired reflection in the mirror.

    "Just a hangnail-" The pain stammers my sentence. "-I tried to get rid of it and had a little accident."

    "Let me see."

    She pulls my hand close to her face, the raw patch of flesh now blessedly claw free. -Did it tumble down the drain? I think you should add that somewhere, because she'd be freaking out if it laid coated in blood on the counter

    "Oh, honey, that looks bad."

    "I'll be okay, I just need to get a bandage around it."

    "Want me to-"

    "No Mom, I can handle it."

    We glance at one another, her concerned expression shifting to a smile.

    "Okay honey, I get you're tougher than you look, just like me. You even kind of look like I did me when I was your age."

    Really, you had claws too?
    I can't let on what I really think or feel. Instead, my mouth moves to mimic her grin, covering up the panic inside.

    "It's true Samara, I mean... yeah, I have curls, your hair may be straight as an arrow, but you get that black shine from me. Those green eyes are your Dad's though, god rest his soul."

    Her sad reminder sends a sinking feeling in my gut, leaving me to ponder if my father was the reason this change is happening to me. Even trained doctors don't know why some people turn Feral while others don't.

    "Maybe you should have the day off school COMMA honey? Just in case one of those monsters picks up your scent, PERIOD the news says that those animals can smell real human blood a mile away."

    "No, it's okay, besides our school's got the National Guard outside. They wouldn't dare attack, what place could be safer right?"

    "Those beasts don't think like regular folk anymore-wait a minute, I just realised something."

    She goes quiet then glares at me with a slanting brow.

    Does she know the truth?

    "Samara, I think you're the first kid in history to not jump at the chance for a day off school? PERIOD"

    I force out a laugh, my voice sounding half hysterical as I say, "Guess I'm just a devoted student."

    "Then you'd better get ready, the bus will be here soon. Put some ointment on that thumb before you bandage it though. I'll put your breakfast on the table."

    She walks out into the hall. I listen to each of her footsteps. The patter of her slippers gets far enough away for me to slam the door shut.

    I'm safe for now. All that stress over almost being found out turns my legs stiff, making me lean against the wall as a huff of relief passes my lips.

    "That was close."

    I still have to see if anything else has changed overnight.

    My clammy grip wraps around the cord of my bathrobe, I'd maybe also talk about the now droplets of blood staining it. The knot unfurls. My shoulders hunch to drop the pink fabric to the floor.

    "Oh god, it's worse than I thought..."

    The mirror shows my striped fur tail as it unwraps from around my waist like a belt-my first physical symptom-not at all new. What is new, however, are the striped patterns just under the skin of my stomach.

    How much longer till Mom finds out? Sooner or later, everyone will know the truth.

    I'm Feral.


    I like the ending, and the start. I think you have a grand idea here, someone trying to hide their slow turn into being a Feral. I do think you can add some more detail here and there, and give us some follow through, like with the injured hand, did she wad it up in toilet paper, or something? Then the snapped off bit, I'm thinking Hawk talon which is pretty big.
    "When in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand." - Raymond Chandler

  10. #20
    Thank you so much for your time and effort to help me improve this I'll put your suggestions to work posthaste in my next draft

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