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Jessica *The Lovely Books* (jessybabe) | 74 comments Chapter 1: Death’s curve.

Great, it’s starting to rain, how cliché. Guess I will open my umbrella, since it is the only black thing I have at this funeral. Black is for mourning, and I am definitely not mourning. “So sorry about your father, dear” an old lady said to me as she was rubbing my shoulder. “He was such a young man, good man he was” another woman said to me as she grabbed my hand. My father was young; he was forty-four when he died, but I guess she didn’t know my father well enough to call him a good man. As the preacher said he is in a better place now, I tried not to laugh. In fact I was trying not to laugh the whole time. It is funny what people say at funerals, like they will get some reward for saying the most sympathetic thing. I watch all of them, wiping their eyes full of tears, blowing their nose, all I can say is bravo, an act well done. I have not shed a tear since I first found out about my father’s death. Wonder if anybody here even notices that my eyes are the only dry eyes out here. Probably not, they are too busy trying to outcry each other to see which one the preacher confronts first. But the fact is, he is not worth my tears, or anybody else’s. I mean, I haven’t seen the man in ten years, wow, ten years. I found myself in deep thought, so when my aunt Cindy came and put her arm around me it made me jump and let out a yelp.

Now that everybody has finally left the house I can now breathe and stop pretending like I lost a father. These people, family I guess, have not seen me in ten years yet they only want to talk about when I was a little baby girl, not ‘hey kid, where have you been the last decade?’ Oh well, guess I am use to it. As I start to walk to where my old room once was, I run my fingers on the walls. I could still hear the screaming, like the walls kept it in all these years. If only I could forget the fights that happen in this very hallway. In front of my door while I was once a child. Maybe that is what really started my messed up life. I stop in front of my door not sure if I can enter. Instead, I trace the outline of the door with my fingertips; I use to do this a lot when I was younger. Maybe it was a nervous thing. The door still smells the same, burnt wood with old rusty paint. The whole house still smells the same for that matter, nothing like the good smell of beer and cigarettes to get the morning going. As I walk back into the living room my mom is standing looking out the window. I can hear her talking to herself, but cannot make out the words. I thought about going up to her and giving her a hug, telling her it wasn’t her fault, but she wouldn’t care. My mom and I never got along; I was the outcast of the family, an only child. I was born when my mom was only sixteen. You would think that would make us great friends, but it’s more like arch enemies.

It’s night time now and the rain hasn’t let up. Still pouring, pounding harder and harder against the windows. We have the same leaks we had ten years ago so I tried digging out pots to put under the hole so the water wouldn’t run through the house. “Your father never got around to fixing the roof, actually he never got around to doing much after you left” my mom said in her quite, almost shy voice, it was the first thing she has said to be since I got there this morning. “Well, maybe I can hire a roofer for you to come out and look at it for you” I replied, even though I knew she wouldn’t accept the offer. “No, I can take care of myself” she says without even looking at me. My mother and I are somewhat alike, as much as I hate to admit it. We like to do things ourselves, it makes us feel proud.
..





Ok guys Please give me feedback, my friend is writing a book and wanted some feedback on the first chapter and how she can make it better! Want honest opinions please.


message 2: by Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey) (last edited Nov 17, 2011 01:59PM) (new)

Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey) (mybookboyfriend) | 197 comments Without any back ground on the genre, I'm intrigued. I wonder how old this girl is. If I tried to figure it out, maybe I could base it on the dad's death age and the mother's age at her birth. But I haven't and I’m tired. I don’t feel like doing math.

I wonder what the falling out is and why the dad mourned losing his daughter yet somehow they let her go. The girl seems like she's somewhat successful in life if she offers to fix something for her mother. So I want to know her story.

In the end, I would want to read more.


Kel (Faerie-bookworm) (faerie-bookworm) | 111 comments Interresting so far. Maybe add a bit more description of what the characters look like but other than that I'm kinda hooked and really would like to read more.


Jessica *The Lovely Books* (jessybabe) | 74 comments Terri- the girl is actually 23-25 somewhere in between there. She will go into her story in the next few chapters! The book is called run wild and it's definitely YA. This will actually take place when she's a kid. Like roughly 13 or 14. Can't say anything else cause you'll have to read it! It's great.

Kel-thanks for the suggestions! Much appreciated:)


Jessica *The Lovely Books* (jessybabe) | 74 comments Oh yeah it's about a teenage runaway escaping from abuse, can you take a wild guess who from?


Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey) (mybookboyfriend) | 197 comments OH! A tear jerker then! I think I'm going to hate the mother now because I can feel that she allowed this to happen by turning a blind eye.

I hope there is hope for the girl. Well, I guess she seems like she made something of herself. I just mean that it won't turn her against love. I'm a sap that way.


Jessica *The Lovely Books* (jessybabe) | 74 comments And along the way she finds love and herself.


Btw please tell people to read this so she can make changes!


Jessica *The Lovely Books* (jessybabe) | 74 comments Terri wrote: "OH! A tear jerker then! I think I'm going to hate the mother now because I can feel that she allowed this to happen by turning a blind eye.

I hope there is hope for the girl. Well, I guess she..."


Yeah I don't think I'll like the mother either!


message 9: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte Abel (charlotteabel) | 8 comments Hi Jessica,

I hope this feedback helps your friend. Be sure to tell her to stay true to her vision, use what's helpful and forget the rest.

Love the first line! It grabs the reader right away and starts the questions flowing. That's exactly the kind of hook you want.

The second sentence feels a little stiff. Try I'll instead of I will. Unless the character is very formal, like the preacher, use contractions.

Get rid of as many "ly" adverbs as possible. Substitute stronger verbs. (Something I'm still working on myself ;-)

Internal dialogue: When thinking of their own relatives, most people think of them as "Mom" or "Aunt Suzie" instead of "my mom" or "my aunt." I think your MC would probably still think of her father as "my father" since there is so much emotional distance between them.

The "Oh well, guess I'm used to it" line makes her sound a little whiney. I'd just drop it.

Only use dialogue tags when needed for clarity.

For a YA novel, the paragraphs seem a bit long. Dialogue from different characters should always start a new paragraph.

I'm a writer, not an editor, so I think it'll be easier for me to "show" you what I mean. It's not necessarily the "best" way, or even a "better" way. And it's most definitely not the "only way" but here's how I'd do it...

~***~

Great, it’s starting to rain, how cliché. I open my umbrella, the only black thing I own. Black is for mourning. I'm at a funeral, but I'm not mourning. [Keep everything at the funeral in present tense]

An old lady says, “So sorry about your father, dear” as she rubs my shoulder.

Another woman grabs my hand. “He was such a young man ... a good man."

My father was young; only forty-four when he died, but she didn’t know him well if she thought he was a good man.

When the preacher says, "He is in a better place now," I try not to laugh. In fact, I was trying not to laugh the whole time. It's funny what people say at funerals, like they'll get some reward for saying the most sympathetic thing. I watch all of them, wiping their eyes full of tears, blowing their noses. All I can say is bravo, an act well done.

I haven't shed a tear since I first found out about my father’s death. Wonder if anybody here even notices that the only dry eyes out here are mine? Probably not. They're too busy trying to outcry each other. Maybe it's a game to see which one the preacher will comfort first.

My father is not worth my tears, or anybody else’s. I mean, I haven’t seen the man in ten years. Wow. Ten years. I'm deep in my own thoughts when I feel an arm slide around my waist. I jump and let out a yelp, but it's only Aunt Cindy.

These people, family I guess, haven't seen me in ten years yet they only want to talk about when I was a baby. No one says, ‘hey kid, where've you been the last decade?’ I'm relieved when everyone leaves the house. I can breathe again -- and stop pretending I lost a father.

I walk to my old room, running my fingers on the walls. I can still hear the screaming, as if the walls kept it in all these years.

[There's a lot of powerful stuff in this next paragraph. "Show" us in a scene instead of telling us what happened. Even if you have to do it in a flashback (which should usually be avoided)]

I wish I could forget the fights that happened in this very hallway. Maybe that's what messed up my life. I stop in front of my door not wanting to enter. Instead, I trace the outline of the door with my fingertips, remembering ...

[This might a good place to Insert a short flashback, if it's not too early in the story. The door is an excellent bridge.]

The door still smells the same, burnt wood with old rusty paint. The whole house still smells the same for that matter, nothing like the smell of beer and cigarettes to get the morning going.

I walk back into the living room. Mom is standing, looking out the window. I can hear her talking to herself, but can't make out the words. I thought about going up to her and giving her a hug, telling her it wasn’t her fault, but she wouldn’t like it.

Mom was only sixteen when I was born. You'd think that would make us great friends, but it’s more like arch enemies.

It’s night time now and the rain hasn’t let up. Still pouring, pounding harder and harder against the windows. We have the same leaks we had ten years ago so I dig pots out of the kitchen to put under the holes so water doesn't run through the house.

“Your father never got around to fixing the roof." Mom's voice is quiet, almost shy. "He never got around to doing much of anything after you left.”

It's the first thing she's said to me since I got here this morning. “Well, maybe I can hire a roofer. Just to come out and look at it for you.” I knew she wouldn’t accept the offer, but I asked anyway.

“No, I can take care of it myself.” She doesn't even look at me.

Mom and I are somewhat alike, as much as I hate to admit it. We like to do things ourselves, it makes us proud.
~***~

I really liked this sample and think you have a great story with awesome sensory details. I wouldn't have spent so much time editing it if I didn't like it. In fact, I should be working on my own revisions!

Good luck, and let me know when the book's published!

Sincerely,
Charlotte Abel
.. Enchantment by Charlotte Abel


Jessica *The Lovely Books* (jessybabe) | 74 comments Thank you Charlotte!! I knew I could count on you. I'll let her know about your feedback!


message 11: by Jori (new)

Jori | 3 comments Hey guys, I am the friend, I don't know how to use this thing and Jessica made me join, but thank you guys for the input! The chapter is actually not finished yet and still a work in progress. Thank you Charlotte, I am horrible at the editing thing, but this will never get published, just something I do in my down time.

Thanks,
Jori


Jessica *The Lovely Books* (jessybabe) | 74 comments You better publish!


message 13: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte Abel (charlotteabel) | 8 comments You're welcome, Jessica. I just hope it's not "too much."

Is she a new writer? If so, I recommend she get a copy of "Character and Point of View" by Orson Scott Card. (I couldn't find a link to it on GR but it should be available online)

Writing Fiction For Dummies by Randy Ingermanson was very helpful as well and covers a broad range of topics. I find something new every time I read it.


Jessica *The Lovely Books* (jessybabe) | 74 comments Nope not too much at all! Jori is actually a college student and writes in her free time. She doesnt actually think her book could be published, but I think differently.


message 15: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte Abel (charlotteabel) | 8 comments Jori wrote: "Hey guys, I am the friend, I don't know how to use this thing and Jessica made me join, but thank you guys for the input! The chapter is actually not finished yet and still a work in progress. Than..."

Hi, Jori!

We must have posted our comments at the same time. Editing is so different from writing, especially when it's your own work.

WHEN (not if) you decide to publish I highly recommend hiring an editor. I can't believe all the typos and "stuff" mine finds even after I've made all of my own corrections.

Don't give up! Keep writing and keep sharing your stories.


message 16: by Jori (new)

Jori | 3 comments Yes, I can tell editing is much different from writing. But yes, if I ever publish the first thing I would want to do is hire an editor. I will definitely have to check out that book you recommended! Thank you!


message 17: by MeMe Belikova (new)

MeMe Belikova First lady Ivashkov (AliceBelikovReads) | 949 comments I loved it and want to keep reading! I really hope you find The courage to finish this book, alil more description of the characters would be great other than that it was a attention grabber! I'll be looking out for this book!


message 18: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany (tiff0505) | 52 comments This is good, I like it and I too, am wondering what happened between her and her mother. Where can we read more?


Jessica *The Lovely Books* (jessybabe) | 74 comments Alice & Tiffany- if you guys help me keep pushing Jori to finish she will!! The storyline is great! Go add her:)


message 20: by MeMe Belikova (new)

MeMe Belikova First lady Ivashkov (AliceBelikovReads) | 949 comments Jessica wrote: "Alice & Tiffany- if you guys help me keep pushing Jori to finish she will!! The storyline is great! Go add her:)"

Will do! Maybe I can bug her about it too lol (in a good way).


message 21: by MeMe Belikova (new)

MeMe Belikova First lady Ivashkov (AliceBelikovReads) | 949 comments Jessica wrote: "Alice & Tiffany- if you guys help me keep pushing Jori to finish she will!! The storyline is great! Go add her:)"

Will do! Maybe I can bug her about it too lol (in a good way).


message 23: by Tanecia (new)

Tanecia  (books101) | 3781 comments Mod
Okay I'm a reader not a writer so I cant really give you some awesome advice on editing like Charlotte did :). The beginning really was an attention grabber and I caught myself giggling because "she" kept making snide comment's of how she was not in mourning of her father's death and it seemed like she would rather be somewhere else and being there was a pain in the ass! Excuse my language lol but it also got the wheels turning in my head of what happened between her and her father and the falling out between her mother. From what I just read which had little background I would love to read more! The main character seems sassy, and most likely has a sense of humor(just a guess). I really hope you finish this book Jori!!!! It sounds like you have something good here! :) Just my opinion and a few others....


message 24: by Tanecia (new)

Tanecia  (books101) | 3781 comments Mod
Another thought- I forgot to comment on the girl's mother. ain't she a Beeeee! Her daughter cared enough to offer to pay for something and the mom reply's "I can take care of myself"!!!!! The mother should be the one offering after all if she did let her husband abuse her own flesh and blood. You should really finish this because I would love to see how she gets through this with no family behind her....


message 25: by Jori (new)

Jori | 3 comments Haha thank you! I will try to work on it some more, but probably wont be until after exams. I really do want to finish it though!


message 26: by Tanecia (new)

Tanecia  (books101) | 3781 comments Mod
You should and good luck on exams I know how stressful they can be.


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