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First 250 words of my manuscript - I critique back


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#1 pigeononthemoon

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 01:11 AM

Update 5/18: This thread is five months old and I'm no longer critiquing back, as I'm currently working on a different project. Thank you everyone. <3

 

Chapter One

 

My mother and sisters were outside, a quartet of redheads inattentively guarding my boxes of tripods, camera cases, and Bowie records. My mom was adjusting her sun hat; my littlest sister Angie had ice cream dripping off the tip of her nose. It was a bright hot day in late summer, and almost all of my favorite people were here to help me set up my dorm. I should not have felt like I was at a funeral.

 

“And lover boy comes back again.”

 

Ansel was leaning against my door like he’d appeared from thin air. He had a few more piercings than he’d had last May, and his pants looked like two separate accordions eating his legs, but I was relieved to see that he hadn’t drunkenly gotten a face tattoo or lost any limbs during summer break. You never really knew with Ansel.

 

“Hey, man.” I cringed, sounding bleak even to my own ears.

 

“Still got it, I see.” He pointed to my wrist.

 

The world’s most threadbare bracelet was attached to my wrist. I’d grown too big for the bracelet a few years ago, so I’d had to lengthen the braided hemp with a few safety pins.

 

I pressed it to my lips. “I never change, do I?”

 

“Like a sad old dog waiting for its master,” Ansel agreed happily. “What’d you do this summer?”

 

Took pictures. Helped my mom run her summer camp. Thought about Will. Wrestled with my old high school friends. Thought about Will. Taught the summer camp kids how to make spaghetti. Saw Will at a grocery store when I was collecting ingredients for aforementioned spaghetti.



#2 rhwashere

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 03:01 PM

I like the voice and the imagery you have here. I'm curious as to who Will is, which would keep me reading (though I don't know why the MC is called lover boy; maybe that would be answered later). 

 

The only concern I have is that (according to what I've read) your first chapter should be more intense with either action or drama, and sparse on description (unless it is important to what's happening). I don't know how true that advice is, though, considering every "expert" seems to have a different opinion.

 

I say try what you have here and see if any agents bite. If not, maybe try to spice things up a bit.


Please feel free to critique my query: http://agentquerycon...51718/?p=356935


#3 pigeononthemoon

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 08:42 PM

Thank you so much! I really appreciate that advice.



#4 CavalierdeNuit

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 06:57 PM

Chapter One

 

My mother and sisters were outside, a quartet of redheads inattentively guarding my boxes of tripods, camera cases, and Bowie records. My mom was adjusting adjusted her sun hat; my littlest sister Angie had ice cream dripping off the tip of her nose I don't like this image. Did she have her nose in the ice cream like a puppy? My sister Angie had ice cream dripping from her knee/elbow sounds better to me, or choose a body part that indicates the ice cream is anywhere but up. It was a bright hot day in late summer, but I felt like I was at a funeral.,and almost all of my favorite people were here to help me set up my dorm. I should not have felt like I was at a funeral.

 

“And lover boy comes back again.” Who is saying this? A bird?

 

Ansel was leaning against my door like he’d appeared from thin air. What door? Was she seeing her above-mentioned family outside her window? He had a few more piercings than he’d had last May, and his pants looked like two separate accordions eating his legs, but I was relieved to see that he hadn’t drunkenly gotten a face tattoo or lost any limbs during summer break. You never really knew with Ansel.

 

“Hey, man.” I said. I cringed, sounding bleak even to my own ears.

 

“Still got it, I see.” He pointed to my wrist.

 

The world’s most threadbare bracelet was attached to my wrist. I’d grown too big for the bracelet a few years ago, so I’d had to lengthen the braided hemp with a few safety pins.

 

I pressed it to my lips. “I never change, do I?” Is she saying this with the bracelet pressed to her lips? 

 

“Like a sad old dog waiting for its master,” Ansel agreed happily. “What’d you do this summer?” 

 

It might be better at this point if she simply tells Ansel what she was doing.

 

Took pictures. Helped my mom run her summer camp. Thought about Will. Wrestled with my old high school friends. Thought about Will. Taught the summer camp kids how to make spaghetti. Saw Will at a grocery store when I was collecting ingredients for aforementioned spaghetti.

 
Hope this helps!


#5 Casanuana

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 10:51 AM

I'm slightly confused, which can happen in first person, if this character is a guy or a girl. From 'lover boy' I imagine it is a guy. With that impression are they supposed to come off a bit more feminine? Absolutely nothing wrong with that at all, just checking to make sure it is the impression you mean to be sending. Perhaps have most of the last lines be dialogue. For instance:

 

"Took pictures. Helped my mom run her summer camp." Thought about Will. "Wrestled with my(some?) old high school friends." Thought about Will. "Taught the summer camp kids how to make spaghetti." Saw Will at a grocery store when I was collecting ingredients for aforementioned spaghetti.

 

Just a thought.


I am far from an expert but I am willing to give my opinion and share what I have learned.

 

my First 250: http://agentquerycon...sy-current-wip/

 

my Query: http://agentquerycon...antasy-revised/


#6 1cezman

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 04:26 AM

Chapter One

 

My mother and sisters were outside, a quartet of redheads inattentively guarding my boxes of tripods, camera cases, and Bowie records. My mom was adjusting her sun hat; my littlest sister Angie had ice cream dripping off the tip of her nose. It was a bright hot day in late summer, and almost all of my favorite people were here to help me set up my dorm. I should not have felt like I was at a funeral. (Nice little hook. Has me asking why straight away)

 

“And lover boy comes back again.” Is Ansel saying this or the MC?

 

Ansel was leaning against my door like he’d appeared from thin air. He had a few more piercings than he’d had last May, and his pants looked like two separate accordions eating his legs, but I was relieved to see that he hadn’t drunkenly gotten a face tattoo or lost any limbs during summer break. You never really knew with Ansel.

 

“Hey, man.” I cringed, sounding bleak even to my own ears.

 

“Still got it, I see.” He pointed to my wrist.

 

The world’s most threadbare bracelet was attached to my wrist. I’d grown too big for the bracelet a few years ago, so I’d had to lengthen the braided hemp with a few safety pins.

 

I pressed it to my lips. “I never change, do I?”

 

“Like a sad old dog waiting for its master,” Ansel agreed happily. “What’d you do this summer?”

 

Took pictures. Helped my mom run her summer camp. Thought about Will. Wrestled with my old high school friends. Thought about Will. Taught the summer camp kids how to make spaghetti. Saw Will at a grocery store when I was collecting ingredients for aforementioned spaghetti. Love the reiterattion of thinking of will. Explains the funeral mentioned earlier without saying too much. Nice.

 Nice little beginning for what I assume is a YA romance? Has a real Stephanie Perkins vibe to it. Nice.


Would really appreciate a little feedback on my first 250 words: http://agentquerycon...ya-sci-fantasy/


#7 Emily804

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 02:53 PM

Chapter One

 

My mother and sisters were outside, a quartet of redheads inattentively guarding my boxes of tripods, camera cases, and Bowie records. My mom was adjusting her sun hat; my littlest sister Angie had ice cream dripping off the tip of her nose. It was a bright hot day in late summer, and almost all of my favorite people were here to help me set up my dorm. I should not have felt like I was at a funeral.

 

“And lover boy comes back again.”

 

Ansel was leaning against my door like he’d appeared from thin air. He had a few more piercings than he’d had last May, and his pants looked like two separate accordions eating his legs, but I was relieved to see that he hadn’t drunkenly gotten a face tattoo or lost any limbs during summer break. You never really knew with Ansel.

 

“Hey, man.” I cringed, sounding bleak even to my own ears.

 

“Still got it, I see.” He pointed to my wrist.

 

The world’s most threadbare bracelet was attached to my wrist. I’d grown too big for the bracelet a few years ago, so I’d had to lengthen the braided hemp with a few safety pins.

 

I pressed it to my lips. “I never change, do I?”

 

“Like a sad old dog waiting for its master,” Ansel agreed happily. “What’d you do this summer?”

 

Took pictures. Helped my mom run her summer camp. Thought about Will. Wrestled with my old high school friends. Thought about Will. Taught the summer camp kids how to make spaghetti. Saw Will at a grocery store when I was collecting ingredients for aforementioned spaghetti.

 

I like it! I had to read it twice to understand, but because it is a beginning, and only 250 words of it, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's too confusing, because with a lot of stories you have to read more before you can get into the flow of them. It definitely has a YA feel. I like your metaphor about accordions. 


Query Compatibility YA sci-fi: http://agentquerycon...lity-ya-sci-fi/


#8 W.P.

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 02:06 PM

Chapter One

My mother and sisters were (stood?? ---> just feel like the verb "to be" is pretty weak here.)outside, a quartet of redheads inattentively guarding my boxes of tripods, camera cases, and Bowie records. My mom was adjusting her sun hat; my littlest sister Angie had ice cream dripping off the tip of her nose. ((I like the imagine you're painting here)) It was a bright hot day in late summer, and almost all of my favorite people were here to help me set up my dorm. I should not have felt like I was at a funeral.

“And lover boy comes back again.” ((who says this??))

Ansel was leaning ((leaned? ---> the simple past is much stronger than the continuous form)) against my door like he’d appeared from thin air. He had a few more piercings than he’d had last May, and his pants looked like two separate accordions eating his legs ((hard time picturing this. might just be me though))), but I was relieved to see that he hadn’t drunkenly gotten a face tattoo or lost any limbs during summer break. You never really knew with Ansel.

“Hey, man.” I cringed, sounding bleak even to my own ears. ((only now did I realise that it was Ansel who had spoken and that the main character was the "lover boy"))

“Still got it, I see.” He pointed to my wrist.

The world’s most threadbare bracelet was attached to my wrist. I’d grown too big for the bracelet a few years ago, so I’d had to lengthen the braided hemp with a few safety pins.

I pressed it to my lips. “I never change, do I?”

“Like a sad old dog waiting for its master,” Ansel agreed happily. “What’d you do this summer?” ((at this point I don't know where they are or what they are doing or how close they are to each other. It's all dialogue. We need some description.))

Took pictures. Helped my mom run her summer camp. Thought about Will. Wrestled with my old high school friends. Thought about Will. ((made me chuckle)) Taught the summer camp kids how to make spaghetti. Saw Will at a grocery store when I was collecting ingredients for aforementioned spaghetti.




Short but fun! :D I really enjoyed reading it, especially the last paragraphs.

I think it could be improved by adding some descriptions during the talk with Ansel, and by keeping the beginning "tight" and to the point. I think the focus isn't all too clear. Simply because the first paragraph is about the family and about moving in, then the rest is talking to Ansel and becomes about Will. Meaning, you don't spend enough time with either "idea" or "thought" and so the reader might get lost with the "purpose" or "direction" of the scene.

Anyway, I hope some of this will be of help. :)

Link to my 250 words: http://agentquerycon...renuo-children/

#9 yawriter

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 08:10 PM

Chapter One

 

My mother and sisters were outside, a quartet of redheads inattentively guarding my boxes of tripods, camera cases, and Bowie records. My mom was adjusting her sun hat; semi colons are more for lists, so instead I would do (, and my littlest sister...)my littlest sister Angie had ice cream dripping off the tip of her nose. It was a bright hot day in late summer, and almost all of my favorite people were here to help me set up my dorm.This would be a great place to establish setting. The school would help us with where the MC is.  I should not have felt like I was at a funeral.

 

“And lover boy comes back again.”

 

Ansel was leaning against my door like he’d appeared from thin air. He had a few more piercings than he’d had last May, and his pants looked like two separate accordions eating his legs,I like this!  but I was relieved to see that he hadn’t drunkenly gotten a face tattoo or lost any limbs during summer break. Good! I like that you've established his recklessness. You never really knew with Ansel. 

 

“Hey, man.” I cringed, sounding bleak even to my own ears.

 

“Still got it, I see.” He pointed to my wrist.

 

The world’s most threadbare bracelet was attached to my wrist. I’d grown too big for the bracelet a few years ago, so I’d had to lengthen the braided hemp with a few safety pins. I personally don't know what a "threadbare" bracelet is or if it has some special meaning behind it. Perhaps a little more description? Who gave it to him? Did he make it? Did he find it? Or is this something we'll find out later?

 

I pressed it to my lips. “I never change, do I?”

 

“Like a sad, old dog waiting for its master,” Ansel agreed happily. “What’d you do this summer?” Wait is the rest of the family still setting up his dorm? I may have missed that in the very beginning, or are they all there while him/her and Ansel are talking?

 

Took pictures. Helped my mom run her summer camp. Thought about Will. Wrestled with my old high school friends. Thought about Will. Taught the summer camp kids how to make spaghetti. Saw Will at a grocery store when I was collecting ingredients for aforementioned spaghetti. So many characters have been introduced that I'm confused...who is Will? Is the MC a boy or a girl? I know this is only 250 words, but feel like these things should still be established. I really do like how you presented Ansel by the way :) These are JUST my opinions. Great job! Link to my first 250 is at the bottom! I hope this helped!






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