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Chang and the Transdimensional Carrot (Closed)

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#21 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 10:46 AM

Totally understandable.  I think the biggest issue I'm having is that Jack has an odd feeling all day that something is off, and then as his day progresses, everything goes wrong.  So trying to bridge together his emotional and physical conflicts is proving to be difficult.  I'm going to throw up my slightly earlier version, going more into detail about why Jack mentally feels off before I get into the physical action.



#22 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 10:49 AM

Slightly different version.  As always, will critique back :)

 

Something was wrong with Jack. Or rather, something was wrong with his perception of reality today. He had a terrible, underlying impression a great dimensional shift had occurred, and his farm was at the hub of it. The feeling had taken hold like an invasive weed, its roots spreading deep as the morning progressed. It gripped him tight as he stood inside the empty chicken coop.

 

Grimacing, he held a hand up to his nose. Although he had been starving, the decrepit smell of the coop baking in the afternoon sun was enough to turn his stomach. He usually gathered the eggs after breakfast, but there had been an emergency this morning: the farm’s temperamental potato digger was refusing to cooperate. Jack was the only one on the farm capable of fixing it. Before he knew it, the entire morning passed by and he had missed lunch.

 

It wasn’t just time that seemed to be slipping away, he reflected as he collected the eggs. It was as if the entire world was as well. His wife joked during breakfast that he must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Jack merely rolled his eyes at this. With his arthritic knees, lower back pain, and hip replacement, he had been waking up on the wrong side of the bed for the past decade. 

 

Jack Avens did not feel like he had woken up on the wrong side of the bed; rather, he felt he had woken up in the wrong bed, period.



#23 W.P.

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 12:50 PM

Slightly different version.  As always, will critique back :)

 

Something was wrong with Jack. Or rather, something was wrong with his perception of reality today. He had a terrible, underlying impression a great dimensional shift had occurred, and his farm was at the hub of it. The feeling had taken hold like an invasive weed, its roots spreading deep as the morning progressed. It gripped him tight as he stood inside the empty chicken coop.

 

Grimacing, he held a hand up to his nose. Although he had been starving, the decrepit smell of the coop baking in the afternoon sun was enough to turn his stomach. He usually gathered the eggs after breakfast, but there had been an emergency this morning: the farm’s temperamental potato digger was refusing to cooperate. Jack was the only one on the farm capable of fixing it. Before he knew it, the entire morning passed by and he had missed lunch. ((I like this paragraph so much better! I wonder why this isn't the first paragraph. This one is immersive and engaging. The other does intrigue me because it tells me something will happen, but that is sort of implied when we read stories. If something bad doesn't happen, then what was the point? Anyway, I feel like this is a much stronger paragraph and is super immersive. Loving it))

 

It wasn’t just time that seemed to be slipping away, he reflected as he collected the eggs. It was as if the entire world was as well. His wife joked during breakfast that he must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Jack merely rolled his eyes at this. With his arthritic knees, lower back pain, and hip replacement, he had been waking up on the wrong side of the bed for the past decade. (((made me chuckle)))

 

Jack Avens did not feel like he had woken up on the wrong side of the bed; rather, he felt he had woken up in the wrong bed, period. ((love this sentence! really makes me want to keep reading.)

 

 

Very interesting! :) My only thought is this: I'm not sure the first paragraph is doing its job. Now, I don't think stories need to start with a bang, in fact, I love the start of this story. I like how I can feel there's something coming, but we're not in a rush to get there. But I feel like the first paragraph is a bit... distant? The rest feels immersive and pulls me in. But the first paragraph is so "abstract" that it doesn't do it for me. I think abstract works after the right amount of "concrete" set up, if you know what I mean. 

 

I think you could start with the second paragraph: Jack in the coop. And then when you reach the part where he remembers his morning, you could mention that whole thing about his unease and the "invasive weed"metaphor (really think that metaphor works perfectly for this character).  But this is just my opinion.

 

Writing is so subjective. What may not work for me might be exactly what someone else loves. :) 

 

Hope this helps.



#24 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 02:36 PM

Thank you so much :) I do somewhat agree with you regarding the first paragraph.  I did have a version that started with Jack right in the coop, but the problem is, I use variations of "something was wrong with Jack" throughout in the manuscript, and I'm afraid if I don't use it as the opener, it won't stick with the reader.  

However, I'm going to mull over if there's a way I can stick that first paragraph a little later on.  Maybe if I stare at my computer screen long enough a miracle will happen.



#25 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 12:09 PM

Slightly different version.  As always, will critique back :)

 

​Hey, dude, returning the favor! 

 

 

​Remember, show don't tell - Something was wrong with Jack. Or rather, something was wrong with his perception of reality today. He had a terrible, ​here you begin to show - underlying impression a great dimensional shift had occurred, and his farm was at the hub of it. ​( this part sounds like it's from your story - The feeling had taken hold like an invasive weed, its roots spreading deep as the morning progressed. It gripped him tight as he stood inside the empty chicken coop. 

 

- focus on a query from a logical standpoint. This query sounds like an excerpt from your story.

A query should - OH WAIT, I GUESS THIS IS NOT A QUERY. 

 

Grimacing, he held a hand up to his nose. Although he had been starving, the decrepit smell of the coop baking in the afternoon sun was enough to turn his stomach. He usually gathered the eggs after breakfast, but there had been an emergency this morning: the farm’s temperamental potato digger was refusing to cooperate. Jack was the only one on the farm capable of fixing it. Before he knew it, the entire morning passed by and he had missed lunch.

 

It wasn’t just time that seemed to be slipping away, he reflected as he collected the eggs. It was as if the entire world was as well. His wife joked during breakfast that he must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Jack merely rolled his eyes at this. With his arthritic knees, lower back pain, and hip replacement, he had been waking up on the wrong side of the bed for the past decade. 

 

Jack Avens did not feel like he had woken up on the wrong side of the bed; rather, he felt he had woken up in the wrong bed, period.


Preston Copeland

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Twitter: @pcopeland2345

Email: pcopeland2345@gmail.com


#26 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 12:16 PM

Very interesting! :) My only thought is this: I'm not sure the first paragraph is doing its job. Now, I don't think stories need to start with a bang, in fact, I love the start of this story. I like how I can feel there's something coming, but we're not in a rush to get there. But I feel like the first paragraph is a bit... distant? The rest feels immersive and pulls me in. But the first paragraph is so "abstract" that it doesn't do it for me. I think abstract works after the right amount of "concrete" set up, if you know what I mean. 

 

I think you could start with the second paragraph: Jack in the coop. And then when you reach the part where he remembers his morning, you could mention that whole thing about his unease and the "invasive weed"metaphor (really think that metaphor works perfectly for this character).  But this is just my opinion.

 

Writing is so subjective. What may not work for me might be exactly what someone else loves. :) 

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

Slightly different version.  As always, will critique back :)

 

Something was wrong with Jack. Or rather, something was wrong with his perception of reality today. He had a terrible, underlying impression a great dimensional shift had occurred, and his farm was at the hub of it. The feeling had taken hold like an invasive weed, its roots spreading deep as the morning progressed. It gripped him tight as he stood inside the empty chicken coop.

 

Grimacing, he held a hand up to his nose. Although he had been starving, the decrepit smell of the coop baking in the afternoon sun was enough to turn his stomach. He usually gathered the ​(why is starving if he has eggs?) eggs after breakfast, but there had been an emergency this morning: the farm’s temperamental potato ​( a potato digger, too? Hunger?) digger was refusing to cooperate. Jack was the only one on the farm capable of fixing it. Before he knew it, the entire morning passed by and he had missed lunch. ​- he eats lunch, too? Remember, you said he was starving

 

It wasn’t just time that seemed to be slipping away, he reflected as he collected the eggs. It was as if the entire world was as well. His wife joked during breakfast ​(maybe you meant starving, like starving for a meal, if that's case, I would write that up top. I'm picturing a famine) that he must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Jack merely rolled his eyes at this. With his arthritic knees, lower back pain, and hip replacement, he had been waking up on the wrong side of the bed for the past decade. 

 

Jack Avens did not feel like he had woken up on the wrong side of the bed; rather, he felt he had woken up in the wrong bed, period. 

 

I just had a problem with the starving thing on the first read through.

​Keep up the good work!

 

 

Slightly different version.  As always, will critique back :)

 

Something was wrong with Jack. Or rather, something was wrong with his perception of reality today. He had a terrible, underlying impression a great dimensional shift had occurred, and his farm was at the hub of it. The feeling had taken hold like an invasive weed, its roots spreading deep as the morning progressed. It gripped him tight as he stood inside the empty chicken coop.

 

Grimacing, he held a hand up to his nose. Although he had been starving, the decrepit smell of the coop baking in the afternoon sun was enough to turn his stomach. He usually gathered the eggs after breakfast, but there had been an emergency this morning: the farm’s temperamental potato digger was refusing to cooperate. Jack was the only one on the farm capable of fixing it. Before he knew it, the entire morning passed by and he had missed lunch.

 

It wasn’t just time that seemed to be slipping away, he reflected as he collected the eggs. It was as if the entire world was as well. His wife joked during breakfast that he must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Jack merely rolled his eyes at this. With his arthritic knees, lower back pain, and hip replacement, he had been waking up on the wrong side of the bed for the past decade. 

 

Jack Avens did not feel like he had woken up on the wrong side of the bed; rather, he felt he had woken up in the wrong bed, period.


Preston Copeland

Website: prestoncopeland.biz

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Email: pcopeland2345@gmail.com


#27 yawriter

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 08:43 PM

Slightly different version.  As always, will critique back :)

 

Something was wrong with Jack. Or rather, something was wrong with his perception of reality today. When you say "today" the impression I get is that his perception of reality is never off except for this one day...is that true? If this is true, I am immediately wondering what makes today different than before... He had a terrible, underlying impression What kind of impression? Was something hovering over the farm? was it just a gut feeling, was he getting sick? ...a great dimensional shift had occurred, and his farm was at the hub of it. ​Great and strong sentence! The feeling had taken hold like an invasive weed, its roots spreading deep as the morning progressed.​Love the simile here.   It gripped him tight as he stood inside the empty chicken coop.

 

Grimacing, he held a hand up to his nose. Although he had been starving, the decrepit smell of the coop baking in the afternoon sun was enough to turn his stomach. He usually gathered the eggs after breakfast, but there had been an emergency this morning I don't think you need the colon. just a period. The farm’s temperamental potato digger was refusing to cooperate. Jack was the only one on the farm capable of fixing it. Before he knew it, the entire morning passed by and he had missed lunch.

 

It wasn’t just time that seemed to be slipping away, he reflected as he collected the eggs. It was as if the entire world was as well. Little confused on that last sentence. Are you trying to say at first that time felt like it was slipping away from him and then that the slipping of time was bigger than just him and affecting the whole world? ​There should be a separation of paragraphs here I believe. Different places and time... His wife joked during breakfast that he must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Jack merely rolled his eyes at this (rolled his eyes with derision...or something to give more of a depth to the character) . With his arthritic knees, lower back pain, and hip replacement, he had been waking up on the wrong side of the bed for the past decade. 

 

 

Jack Avens did not feel like he had woken up on the wrong side of the bed; rather, he felt he had woken up in the wrong bed, period. This is strange, so in the beginning he feels something weird..but the farm and routine of the day is still familiar to him..now he's in the wrong bed, so wouldn't there be more than just that that he notices? 

 

I really like your style of writing by the way! It's very to the point with a great descriptions and few words. Talented! 

 

 

 
My first 250 words is this link :) 


#28 JDSmith

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 05:13 PM

Slightly different version.  As always, will critique back :)

 

Something was wrong with Jack. Or rather, something was wrong with his perception of reality today. He had a terrible, underlying impression a great dimensional shift had occurred, and his farm was at the hub of it. The feeling had taken hold like an invasive weed, its roots spreading deep as the morning progressed. It gripped him tight as he stood inside the empty chicken coop.

 

Grimacing, he held a hand up to his nose. Although he had been starving, the decrepit smell of the coop baking in the afternoon sun was enough to turn his stomach. He usually gathered the eggs after breakfast, but there had been an emergency this morning: the farm’s temperamental potato digger was refusing to cooperate. Jack was the only one on the farm capable of fixing it. Before he knew it, the entire morning passed by and he had missed lunch.

 

It wasn’t just time that seemed to be slipping away, he reflected as he collected the eggs. It was as if the entire world was as well. His wife joked during breakfast that he must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Jack merely rolled his eyes at this. With his arthritic knees, lower back pain, and hip replacement, he had been waking up on the wrong side of the bed for the past decade. 

 

Jack Avens did not feel like he had woken up on the wrong side of the bed; rather, he felt he had woken up in the wrong bed, period.

 

Hmm... I've been off this site for a while; witing and such and might have different opinions than the first time I reviewed this. Is this Middle Grade by any chance? Because it kind of feels like it (don't know if that's intended LOL) I think that's because of a lack of some "showing" in the first paragraph. I love everything except the first paragraph. It just feels too rushed at the beginning. I need to see how or why it feels weird. Gimme some imagery at the beginning. maybe something about him feels off. His insides are squirming or something (I'm really bad at coming up with good examples on the fly). I don't think the sentence "Something was wrong with Jack" works as the first sentence of a book. I think you need to spend more time describing what's "wrong" with Jack. It could be slight differences in the world that he takes note of or something like that. Maybe the book should start off with the normal routine and then the next day is weird. IDK though... That could just make the beginning boring, and we want it to be enticing which is exactly what the last paragraph of this version is. 

 

The writing in this is super fun! I just think the first paragraph needs tweaking

 

Sorry for the mess of words. I just spewed my thoughts onto this in hopes to help you with your first 250


I'd really appreciate help with my query: Iris Mjolnir Spawn of War

 

First 250 words here: Woooo

 

Write on!


#29 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 06:27 PM

Thanks JD :) I made my boyfriend suffer through reading two different intros, and the one I'm posting now was considered better.  Puts most of the starting paragraph later on in the story.  It's literally a 50/50 split of people either liking or hating my into line, but I'm keeping it, as variations of it are used throughout the story.

 

NEW VERSION:

 

Something was wrong with Jack. Or rather, something was wrong with his perception of reality today.

 

Grimacing, he held a hand up to his nose. Although he had been starving, the decrepit smell of the chicken coop baking in the afternoon sun was enough to turn his stomach. He usually gathered the eggs after breakfast, but there had been an emergency this morning: the farm’s temperamental potato digger was refusing to cooperate. Jack was the only one on the farm capable of fixing it. Before he knew it, the entire morning passed by and he had missed lunch.

 

It wasn’t just time that seemed to be slipping away, he reflected as he collected the eggs. It was as if the entire world was as well.  He had a terrible, underlying impression a great dimensional shift had occurred, and his farm was at the hub of it.  The feeling had taken hold like an invasive weed, its roots spreading deep as the morning progressed.

 

His wife joked during breakfast that he must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Jack merely rolled his eyes at this. With his arthritic knees, lower back pain, and hip replacement, he had been waking up on the wrong side of the bed for the past decade. 

 

Jack Avens did not feel like he had woken up on the wrong side of the bed; rather, he felt he had woken up in the wrong bed, period.



#30 JDSmith

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 09:19 PM

Thanks JD :) I made my boyfriend suffer through reading two different intros, and the one I'm posting now was considered better.  Puts most of the starting paragraph later on in the story.  It's literally a 50/50 split of people either liking or hating my into line, but I'm keeping it, as variations of it are used throughout the story.

 

NEW VERSION:

 

Something was wrong with Jack. Or rather, something was wrong with his perception of reality today.

 

Grimacing, he held a hand up to his nose. Although he had been starving, the decrepit smell of the chicken coop baking in the afternoon sun was enough to turn his stomach. He usually gathered the eggs after breakfast, but there had been an emergency this morning: the farm’s temperamental potato digger was refusing to cooperate. Jack was the only one on the farm capable of fixing it. Before he knew it, the entire morning passed by and he had missed lunch.

 

It wasn’t just time that seemed to be slipping away, he reflected as he collected the eggs. It was as if the entire world was as well.  He had a terrible, underlying impression a great dimensional shift had occurred, and his farm was at the hub of it.  The feeling had taken hold like an invasive weed, its roots spreading deep as the morning progressed.

 

His wife joked during breakfast that he must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Jack merely rolled his eyes at this. With his arthritic knees, lower back pain, and hip replacement, he had been waking up on the wrong side of the bed for the past decade. 

 

Jack Avens did not feel like he had woken up on the wrong side of the bed; rather, he felt he had woken up in the wrong bed, period.

 

Yeah, this one works a lot better! LOL I guess you just didn't need that paragraph! *clap, clap*


I'd really appreciate help with my query: Iris Mjolnir Spawn of War

 

First 250 words here: Woooo

 

Write on!


#31 Charlie98501

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 08:28 AM

Here you go!  See below for additional comments...

 

Something was wrong with Jack. Or rather, something was wrong with his perception of reality today. I would either strike “today,” or move it to the opening sentence (Something was wrong with Jack today.)

 

Grimacing, he held a hand up to his nose. Although he had been starving, the decrepit smell of the chicken coop baking in the afternoon sun was enough to turn his stomach. He usually gathered the eggs after breakfast, but there had been an emergency this morning: the farm’s temperamental potato digger was refusing to cooperate. Jack was the only one on the farm capable of fixing it. Before he knew it, the entire morning passed by and he had missed lunch.

 

It wasn’t just time that seemed to be slipping away, he reflected as he collected the eggs. It was as if the entire world was as well.  He had a terrible, underlying feeling thatimpression a great dimensional shift had occurred, and his farm was at the hub of it.  The feeling had taken hold like an invasive weed, its roots spreading deep as the morning progressed. “impression” doesn’t seem powerful enough.  Maybe: feeling, sense?

 

His wife had joked during breakfast that he must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Jack merely rolled his eyes at this. With his arthritic knees, lower back pain, and hip replacement, he had been waking up on the wrong side of the bed for the past decade. Maybe strike this last sentence – since it is somewhat redundant with the below/final sentence – and the below/final sentence is much more powerful. You could maybe use the saved words to sneak in his ailments during an active description above – such as collecting eggs or fixing the potato machine.

 

Jack Avens did not feel like he had woken up on the wrong side of the bed; rather, he felt he had woken up in the wrong bed, period.

 

​I like it! It sets up, with a sense of mystery, impending crisis/conflict. I get a great sense of Jack from the get-go. This is well done via his daily routine, interaction with his wife - everything. I like him already.

 

I was a bit thrown off on the timeline - i.e. - He wakes up, has breakfast with his wife, after which he would usually collect eggs, but instead spends his entire morning fixing the potato machine, only getting to egg collection in the afternoon (missing lunch in the process). I think things would flow smoother if you moved the breakfast with wife bit up to where it belongs, time-wise. Then you can add the "wrong bed" line after the "roots spreading deep" line - which is a great one and begging for a zinger to follow it. Since it would only be a couple paragraphs after the breakfast "wrong side of the bed" reference, it would work. Overall, it reads somewhat like the entire timeline is contained within the morning, even though afternoon sun and missed lunch are involved. So, maybe tinker with this, to clarify the flow of time.  But: style and set-up are great!  



#32 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 10:30 AM

Thanks for the feedback :) The reason why I didn't put the breakfast bit at the top was because I don't want it to seem like a wake-up opening.  But I can also see how it can be confusing.  Time to stare at the screen some more and hope a miracle happens :P



#33 yawriter

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 07:55 PM

Thanks JD :) I made my boyfriend suffer through reading two different intros, and the one I'm posting now was considered better.  Puts most of the starting paragraph later on in the story.  It's literally a 50/50 split of people either liking or hating my into line, but I'm keeping it, as variations of it are used throughout the story.

 

NEW VERSION:

 

Something was wrong with Jack. Or rather, something was wrong with his perception of reality today. I like this one.

 

Grimacing, he held a hand up to his nose. Although he had been starving, the decrepit smell of the chicken coop baking in the afternoon sun was enough to turn his stomach I'm seeing a disconnect between starving and this smell. Perhaps put that "he gathers the eggs before I don't really care for the order of thought here. I like all the sentences, but something seems off. "Normally, he gathered the eggs in the chicken coop for breakfast. But, even though he was starving, the smell of the coop backing..." do you see what I mean? just the flow..personally.. He usually gathered the eggs after breakfast, but there had been an emergency this morning: the farm’s temperamental potato digger was refusing to cooperate. Jack was the only one on the farm capable of fixing it. Before he knew it, the entire morning passed by, and he had missed lunch.

 

It wasn’t just time that seemed to be slipping away, he reflected as he collected the eggs. It was as if the entire world was as well.too many spaces here He had a terrible, underlying impression a great dimensional shift had occurred, and his farm was at the hub of it. too many spaces The feeling had taken hold like an invasive weed, its roots spreading deep as the morning progressed.

 

His wife joked during breakfast that he must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Jack merely rolled his eyes at this. With his arthritic knees, lower back pain, and hip replacement, he had been waking up on the wrong side of the bed for the past decade. 

 

Jack Avens did not feel like he had woken up on the wrong side of the bed; rather, he felt he had woken up in the wrong bed, period. ​I don't care for the semi colon...I'm not always right about these things, but I don't think you need a semicolon here.  I'm not sure if you have over 250 words total but keep in mind that it's 250 words from "Dear agent" to "From DisgruntledWriter". 

 

Great improvements!

 

​I've made some edits to my query as well. I'd love if you could take another look at it if you have the time.  



#34 TheBest

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 03:43 PM

Something was wrong with Jack. Or rather, something was wrong with his perception of reality today. (Still strong. I might even recommend just saying something was wrong with reality.)

 

Grimacing, he held a hand up to his nose. Although he had been starving, the decrepit smell of the chicken coop baking in the afternoon sun was enough to turn his stomach. He usually gathered the eggs after breakfast, but there had been an emergency this morning: the farm’s temperamental potato digger was refusing to cooperate. Jack was the only one on the farm capable of fixing it. Before he knew it, the entire morning passed by and he had missed lunch. (like the lunch bit. Drives the humor home.)

 

It wasn’t just time that seemed to be slipping away, he reflected as he collected the eggs. It was as if the entire world was as well.  He had a terrible, underlying impression a great dimensional shift had occurred, and his farm was at the hub of it center. The feeling had taken hold like an invasive weed, its roots spreading deep as the morning progressed.

 

His wife joked during breakfast that he must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Jack merely rolled his eyes at this. With his arthritic knees, lower back pain, and hip replacement, he Jack had been waking up on the wrong side of the bed for the past last decade. (Strong characterization and humor here.)

 

Jack Avens did not feel like he had just woken up on the wrong side of the bed. He felt he had woken up in the wrong bed, period. (Still Love this sentence. I moved some pieces around to make it a tad punchier, but it's strong either way.)

 

All in all, my advice for the opening is to focus more on Jack's perception and fears than on the farm work. it's a much stronger hook and introduction to the world. Great work.



#35 lnloft

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 09:09 PM

Hey, just wanted to pop in and say I really like what you've done with the beginning. It's got good rhythm and does a lot better job of establishing things than the version I read a while back. Nice job.


Nothing to reciprocate on right now; I'm off in the query trenches.


#36 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 08:51 PM

Hey, just wanted to pop in and say I really like what you've done with the beginning. It's got good rhythm and does a lot better job of establishing things than the version I read a while back. Nice job.

 

Thank you! That means a lot. The first chapter you read was grim, and I rewrote most of it based off your feedback :biggrin: Think it's doing much better this time around *fingers crossed*







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Fantasy, Sci-Fi

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