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Chang and the Transdimensional Carrot (Fantasy) *will critique back*

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#1 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 01:43 PM

 Newest version in post 29     :smile:

 

I know it's the norm for stories to begin with a bang, but my story starts with an old, farmer dude waking up, going about his normal routine, and then having it all go horribly awry.  There is no instant shazam.  I guess I'm just wondering if this is even interesting at all  :blink: (PS - this is a little over 250 because it cut off awkwardly, don't kill me.)

 

Something was wrong with Jack.  Or rather, something was wrong with his perception of the world today.  His wife, Fern, joked he woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.  Jack merely rolled his eyes at this.  With his arthritic knees, lower back pain, and other rheumatic aliments which plagued him after years of farming, he had been waking up on the wrong side of the bed for the past decade.  

 

Jack Avens did not feel he woke up on the wrong side of the bed; it was more like he woke up in the wrong bed, period. 

 

The morning begun like any other, jolted out of his sleep at five in the morning to the rooster crowing.  That orange feathered son-of-a-bitch — for reasons beyond him, had acquired the name “Terrance Smithers” — attacked him on several occasions when he went to collect eggs from the chicken coop.  Most of the time, he was able to sense the impending assault and kick the offensive barnyard fowl aside, but the last encounter caught him off guard.  The scab on his leg was still healing and he was positive it would leave a scar. 

 

He peeled himself off the mattress, every joint in his body aching and popping in protest.  He shuffled over to the bathroom, his boxers too loose around his boney hips, his t-shirt too tight around his midsection.  He remembered when he was younger, seeing his father and grandfather with the same figure he now adorned and wondered how it was physically possible to grow that way.  It was too possible, he found out later in life.  It seemed his body was squeezing the fat and muscle mass out of his legs and depositing it right to his belly.  He felt like a macabre sausage with too much of its contents stuffed into the top half of the casing.

 

Something was wrong with Jack.  Or rather, something was wrong with his perception of the world today.  His wife, Fern, joked he woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  Jack rolled his eyes at this.  With his arthritic knees, lower back pain, and other rheumatic aliments which plagued him after years of farming, he had been waking up on the wrong side of the bed for the past decade.  

 

Jack Avens did not feel he woke up on the wrong side of the bed; it was more like he woke up in the wrong bed, period.  The world was strange today.  Colours were muted, audio seemed delayed, everything felt like it didn’t quite belong. 

 

The morning began like any other: jolted out of his sleep at five in the morning to the rooster crowing.  That orange feathered son-of-a-bitch — who had acquired the name “Terrance Smithers” — attacked him on several occasions when he went to collect eggs from the chicken coop.  Most of the time, he was able to sense the impending assault and kick the offensive barnyard fowl aside, but the last encounter caught him off guard.  The scab on his leg was still healing, and he was positive it would leave a scar. 

 

He peeled himself off the mattress, every joint in his body aching and popping in protest.  He shuffled to the bathroom, his boxers too loose around his boney hips, his t-shirt too tight around his midsection.  He remembered when he was younger, seeing his father and grandfather with the same figure he now possessed and wondered how it was physically possible to grow that way.  It was too possible, he found out later in life.  It seemed his body was squeezing the fat and muscle mass out of his legs and depositing it right to his belly.  He felt like a macabre sausage with too much of its contents stuffed into the top half of the casing.



#2 PureZhar3

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 11:47 AM

I know it's the norm for stories to begin with a bang, but my story starts with an old, farmer dude waking up, going about his normal routine, and then having it all go horribly awry.  There is no instant shazam.  I guess I'm just wondering if this is even interesting at all  :blink: (PS - this is a little over 250 because it cut off awkwardly, don't kill me.) ​HOW DARE YOU????!!!  :smile: 

 

Something was wrong with Jack. Or rather, something was wrong with his perception of the world today. ​I like this. His wife, Fern, joked he woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. ​Super minor, but I don't know that "this morning" is necessary. Jack merely rolled his eyes at this.  With his arthritic knees, lower back pain, and other rheumatic aliments which plagued him after years of farming, he had been waking up on the wrong side of the bed for the past decade.  

 

Jack Avens did not feel he woke up on the wrong side of the bed; it was more like he woke up in the wrong bed, period. ​I like this whole ramble

 

The morning begun ​began - otherwise, it should be "had begun" like any other​: colon here jolted out of his sleep at five in the morning to the rooster crowing.  That orange feathered son-of-a-bitch — for reasons beyond him, had acquired the name “Terrance Smithers” ​this interruption is good but doesn't flow well— attacked him on several occasions when he went to collect eggs from the chicken coop.  Most of the time, he was able to sense the impending assault and kick the offensive barnyard fowl aside, but the last encounter caught him off guard.  The scab on his leg was still healing​comma and he was positive it would leave a scar. 

 

He peeled himself off the mattress, every joint in his body aching and popping in protest.  He shuffled over to the bathroom, his boxers too loose around his boney hips, his t-shirt too tight around his midsection.  He remembered when he was younger, seeing his father and grandfather with the same figure he now adorned and wondered how it was physically possible to grow that way.  It was too possible, he found out later in life.  It seemed his body was squeezing the fat and muscle mass out of his legs and depositing it right to his belly.  He felt like a macabre sausage with too much of its contents stuffed into the top half of the casing.

​I like this! I wouldn't say it's boring, even though not much is happening. The voice captures me :) you have an admirable writing style


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#3 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 05:19 PM

Thank you :smile: And thanks for correcting a few grammatical things as well - I have dyslexia so I don't think I'm ever going to properly nail down this grammar thing by myself.

#4 Ztwist

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 07:32 AM

The sassy, curmudgeonly attitude comes through really well right away. I like this line a lot: Jack Avens did not feel he woke up on the wrong side of the bed; it was more like he woke up in the wrong bed, period. But it seems like you are taking a risk with a "waking" opening and stressing the bodily decrepitude which might alienate a reader. There is no sense of how his perceptions of the world are different today but maybe that comes through soon. Your reader feedback has been great though (I see from the Query post), so obviously you are somehow hitting the right note, everyone wants to know what happens next, and the entertainment factor is strong. 

One quibble with the use of adorned - - the figure adorns the person, the person doesn't adorn the figure. Maybe just say wore?

Oh, and nothing says over forty like two spaces after a period (as I once heard).  :tongue:



#5 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 09:34 AM

Oh, and nothing says over forty like two spaces after a period (as I once heard).  :tongue:


*puts on reading spectacles, throws out back reaching for hard candies on desk, shakes fist belligerently at nothing* but... but... I’m in my twenties, young man!!

 

Maybe they’ll think I’m a seasoned professional who knows what they’re doing, bahahhaa.



#6 Ajax

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 12:15 PM

Something was wrong with Jack.  Or rather, something was wrong with his perception of the world today.  (I like the tone here; makes me question instantly and I want to know more. These are great opening lines.) His wife, Fern, joked he woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  Jack rolled his eyes at this.  With his arthritic knees, lower back pain, and other rheumatic aliments which plagued him after years of farming, he had been waking up on the wrong side of the bed for the past decade. (The descriptions feel robotic. Where is this scene taking place? All this feels trivial, but maybe this is your character introduction?) 

 

Jack Avens did not feel he woke up on the wrong side of the bed; it was more like he woke up in the wrong bed, period. (Literally?) The world was strange today.  Colours were muted, audio seemed delayed, everything felt like it didn’t quite belong. 

 

The morning began like any other: jolted out of his sleep at five in the morning to the rooster crowing.  That orange feathered son-of-a-bitch — who had acquired the name “Terrance Smithers” — attacked him on several occasions when he went to collect eggs from the chicken coop.  Most of the time, he was able to sense the impending assault and kick the offensive barnyard fowl aside, but the last encounter caught him off guard.  The scab on his leg was still healing, and he was positive it would leave a scar. 

 

He peeled himself off the mattress, every joint in his body aching and popping in protest.  He shuffled to the bathroom, his boxers too loose around his boney hips, his t-shirt too tight around his midsection.  He remembered when he was younger, seeing his father and grandfather with the same figure he now possessed and wondered how it was physically possible to grow that way.  It was too possible, he found out later in life.  It seemed his body was squeezing the fat and muscle mass out of his legs and depositing it right to his belly.  He felt like a macabre sausage with too much of its contents stuffed into the top half of the casing. (The voice is great here. The whole sample should have been this way, imho.) 

 

The most important thing missing here is a strong emotional hook. Consider starting the story with the last section (protagonist wistfully remembering his father and grandfather.) 

The prose could use more sophistication. It's all readable, but I'm sure that's just the basic requirement. Also, the sample could use more emphasis on tone to set the right mood. If this is a sci-fi fantasy, the opening needs to reflect it or at least make a hint. Right now this reads like a contemporary novel about illnesses. 



#7 JDSmith

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 03:13 PM

I know it's the norm for stories to begin with a bang, but my story starts with an old, farmer dude waking up, going about his normal routine, and then having it all go horribly awry.  There is no instant shazam.  I guess I'm just wondering if this is even interesting at all  :blink: (PS - this is a little over 250 because it cut off awkwardly, don't kill me.)

 

 

Something was wrong with Jack. (I don't know why but this opening sentence leaves me uneasy. It's almost too simple. I think there's a way to convey the same message that something in the world is wrong today without saying this) Or rather, something was wrong with his perception of the world today.  His wife, Fern, joked he woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  Jack He rolled his eyes at this.  With his arthritic knees, lower back pain, and other rheumatic aliments which plagued him after years of farming, he had been waking up on the wrong side of the bed for the past decade.  

 

(I like how you go about addressing the strange ongoings in this passage. If anything, you could leave it out of the beginning and just mention it here) Jack Avens did not feel he woke up on the wrong side of the bed; it was more like he woke up in the wrong bed, period.  The world was strange today.  Colours were muted, audio seemed delayed, everything felt like it didn’t quite belong. 

 

The morning began like any other: jolted out of his sleep at five in the morning to the rooster crowing.  That orange feathered son-of-a-bitch — who had acquired the name “Terrance Smithers” — attacked him on several occasions when he went to collect eggs from the chicken coop.  Most of the time, he was able to sense the impending assault and kick the offensive barnyard fowl aside, but the last encounter caught him off guard.  The scab on his leg was still healing, and he was positive it would leave a scar. 

 

He peeled himself off the mattress, every joint in his body aching and popping in protest.  He shuffled to the bathroom, his boxers too loose around his boney hips, his t-shirt too tight around his midsection. (Good description. Very gooood) He remembered when he was younger, seeing his father and grandfather with the same figure he now possessed and wondered how it was physically possible to grow that way.  It was too possible, he found out later in life.  It seemed his body was squeezing the fat and muscle mass out of his legs and depositing it right to his belly.  He felt like a macabre sausage with too much of its contents stuffed into the top half of the casing.

Besides the very beginning, I like these first 250+ words. I'd continue reading.


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

 

First 250 words here: Woooo

 

Write on!


#8 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 10:46 PM

Besides the very beginning, I like these first 250+ words. I'd continue reading.


Haha - it's funny you say that, because the first line is from a song lyric my brother absolutely hates, who was the first person to read my story. I put it in there just to irriate him. I never gave it much thought till now - perhaps I will revise it now :)

The prose could use more sophistication. It's all readable, but I'm sure that's just the basic requirement.

I don't think you would enjoy the rest of my very un-sophisticated, basic prose throughout the story then :wink:

#9 A.M.Rose

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 05:02 PM

If you are looking to submit this to agents/publishers you might have trouble starting with the character waking up. It's considered cliche, and it normally turns a lot of agents/publishers away. 

good luck. 


A.M. Rose

Author of Road to Eugenica - Available 2018 from Entangled Teen 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


#10 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 08:07 PM

If you are looking to submit this to agents/publishers you might have trouble starting with the character waking up. It's considered cliche, and it normally turns a lot of agents/publishers away.
good luck.

*sobs internally* You are so very right. I didn’t realize how much agents despised opening with a wake up until googling it just now. Oh boy. Time for some chapter reshuffling to do. I will be eternally grateful you pointed this out :)

#11 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 06:14 PM

I'm hoping I can get a bit of feedback on my new beginning before I hit the query trenches.  Extenstive googling showed that starting with a wake-up can be an instant rejection, so I've shuffled around my first chapter, to avoid said blasphemous intro.

 

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

 

“Chang!”

 

His voice echoed across the fields as he searched for his missing dog, but he did not see her at her usual spots, poking out amongst the potato plants, or scampering alongside the pea trellis.

 

“Where are you?”

 

He would have given anything to have this horrible sensation of reality being knocked off-kilter to go away.  It had left him exceptionally curmudgeonly, and he knew Chang’s disappearing act was going to be the final event to set him over the edge.

 

His knees felt like two rusted hinges, squeaking in protest with every step he took, the large gash on his calf stinging profusely.  The wound was the aftermath of a rooster attack this morning when he went to collect eggs from the chicken coop.  That orange feathered son-of-a-bitch — who had acquired the name “Terrance Smithers” — tried to pick a fight with him on several occasions already.  Most of the time, he was able to sense the impending assault and kick the barnyard fowl aside, but this encounter had caught him off guard. 

 

After he informed his wife, Fern, about the poultry skirmish, she sympathetically joked he must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed.  Jack rolled his eyes at this.  He did not feel he woke up on the wrong side of the bed; it was more like he woke up in the wrong bed, period.  He had a terrible, underlying impression that a great dimensional shift had occurred, and his farm was the hub of it.

 

 

Jack’s voice echoed across the fields as he searched for his missing dog.  He never once suspected she was not on the farm at all.

 

“Chang!”

 

He did not see her at her usual spots, poking out amongst the potato plants, or scampering alongside the pea trellis.

 

“Where are you?"

 

It also never occurred to Jack Avens that his dog left this reality all together.

 

He was growing increasingly agitated.  He had been exceptionally curmudgeonly all day, and he knew Chang’s disappearing act was going to be the final event to set him over the edge. 

 

His knees felt like two rusted hinges, squeaking in protest with every step he took, the large gash on his calf stinging profusely.  The wound was the aftermath of a rooster attack this morning when he went to collect eggs from the chicken coop.  That orange feathered son-of-a-bitch — who had acquired the name “Terrance Smithers” — tried to pick a fight with him on several occasions already.  Most of the time, he was able to sense the impending assault and kick the offensive barnyard fowl aside, but this encounter had caught him off guard. 

 

After he informed his wife, Fern, about the poultry skirmish, she sympathetically joked he must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed.  Jack rolled his eyes at this.  He did not feel he woke up on the wrong side of the bed; it was more like he woke up in the wrong bed, period.  He had a terrible, underlying impression that a great dimensional shift had occurred, and his farm was the hub of it.



#12 1cezman

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 03:46 AM

I've read both openings and gotta say I loved the first a bit more. The second seems a bit too on the nose. The first was subtle, hinting at things happening without giving too much away too early. 

 

"Something was wrong with Jack. Or rather, something was wrong with his perception of the world today." These two sentences really pulled me in and had me ready to follow Jack on his journey to discover what the problem is. 

 

"He never once suspected she was not on the farm at all." In the second, while this line is also a good hook, it's a bit more distant. Whereas the first hints through Jack's emotions and leaves me wondering if its just emotions or something more, this line just comes out and tells me what is happening, leaving me less inclined to read on.

 

 

 

"It also never occurred to Jack Avens that his dog left this reality all together."  This is another line that gives way too much away. I don't know, I'm just not a fan of the omniscient narrative because if not done right, it can feel like too much telling and it kind of does here.

 

Personally, I wouldn't have changed the first opening as drastically. Keep the first two sentences then maybe go into the whole looking for the dog thing as an explanation to why he feels his perception of the world is different today. Maybe he's looking for the dog in the house, his wife asks why, seen as the dog is never allowed in the house, he gets annoyed with her for no apparent reason, she uses 'the wrong side of the bed' as an idiom then you weave in him feeling like he woke on the wrong bed and so on.

 

The notion of waking up on the wrong bed rather than the wrong side of a bed had me hooked and dying to know more almost instantly. Loved it.


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


#13 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 01:09 PM

I've read both openings and gotta say I loved the first a bit more. The second seems a bit too on the nose. The first was subtle, hinting at things happening without giving too much away too early. 

 

The notion of waking up on the wrong bed rather than the wrong side of a bed had me hooked and dying to know more almost instantly. Loved it.

 

I totally agree - I liked my first sentences much better as well.  And I hate foreshadowing, but I thought "well, fuck it, I'll just go all in."

I've gone back and readjusted the opening to begin with that, then lead to Jack looking for his dog.  Thank you for your advice :)



#14 CavalierdeNuit

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 07:14 PM

Start the story with this magical sentence please!

 

Jack had a terrible, underlying impression that a great dimensional shift had occurred, and his farm was the hub of it.

 

“Chang!” Jack said. Because who is saying this? A bird?

 

He would have given anything his non-arthritic knee (perhaps?) to have this horrible sensation of reality being knocked off-kilter to go away.  It had left him exceptionally curmudgeonly, and He knew Chang’s disappearing act was going to be the final event to set him over the edge.  Terrance Smithers--that orange-feathered son-of-a-bitch--had tried to pick a fight with him on several occasions already.

 

“Where are you?” His voice echoed across the fields as he searched for his missing dog, but he did not see her at her usual spots, poking out amongst the potato plants, or scampering alongside the pea trellis. 

 

I'd have him find something crazy other than his dog at this point. Give us clues as to what is going down at his farm. 

 

I believe you can cut some descriptions here as well as adjectives and adverbs. Remember, show don't tell. But overall, I want to know what is going on at Jack's farm. I love a grumpy old farmer as the protag. I cut and pasted sentences I found to have a strong voice going on. I love that description of his sausage body.



#15 ShatteredSmooth

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 08:32 PM

I'm hoping I can get a bit of feedback on my new beginning before I hit the query trenches.  Extenstive googling showed that starting with a wake-up can be an instant rejection, so I've shuffled around my first chapter, to avoid said blasphemous intro.

 

Something was wrong with Jack.  Or rather, something was wrong with his perception of the world today. Your first line definitely hooks me.

 

“Chang!”

 

His voice echoed across the fields as he searched for his missing dog, but he did not see her at her usual spots, poking out amongst the potato plants, or scampering alongside the pea trellis.

 

“Where are you?”

 

He would have given anything to have this horrible sensation of reality being knocked off-kilter to go away. can you show this sensation a little more? It had left him exceptionally curmudgeonly, and show this? and he knew Chang’s disappearing act was going to be the final event to set him over the edge.

 

His knees felt like two rusted hinges, squeaking in protest with every step he took, the large gash on his calf stinging profusely.  The wound was the aftermath of a rooster attack this morning when he went to collect eggs from the chicken coop.  That orange feathered son-of-a-bitch — who had acquired the name “Terrance Smithers” — tried to pick a fight with him on several occasions already.  Most of the time, he was able to sense the impending assault and kick the barnyard fowl aside, but this encounter had caught him off guard. This made me laugh

 

After he informed his wife, Fern, about the poultry skirmish, she sympathetically joked he must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed.  Jack rolled his eyes at this.  He did not feel he woke up on the wrong side of the bed; it was more like he woke up in the wrong bed, period.  He had a terrible, underlying impression that a great dimensional shift had occurred, and his farm was the hub of it.

 

 

 

I like the voice and a lot of the line, but I don't feel grounded in a scene at all, and that is problematic for me.



#16 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 09:13 AM

Hi Shattered - thanks for your comments.  This is an old version that I scrapped because I hated it, ahha.  But I do appreciate the crituque... it's nice to know what wasn't working about it.  I hated it, but I couldn't figure out why I hated it and you give me some insight. 



#17 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 10:43 AM

Sucker for punishment here.  Revised version #256,891.  Let me know why everything I'm doing is wrong, and I'll return the favour  :biggrin: 

 

Something was wrong with Jack.  Or rather, something was wrong with his perception of the world 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 abandoned chicken coop.

 

He finished collecting the eggs, going to the door of the coop.  Pressing his ear against it, he listened for any signs of movement outside.  The resident rooster — Terrance Smithers — was highly protective of his hens.  Jack supposed this was a good thing, although he was dismayed to find Terry considered him the flock’s biggest threat.  He had been attacked by the rooster several times this week alone.

 

Jack Avens would not be the victim of another ambush. Shifting the basket of eggs to his other arm, he inched the door open.   A scan of the run revealed Terry was at the far end of the fenced enclosure, ostentatiously displaying his chest for the females to admire.  There was more than enough time for Jack to make it out before he was even noticed.

 

Bounding across the wood chips, he was halfway to the gate when he heard an aggressive squawk, accompanied by the ruffling of feathers.  Turning, he saw a pair of beady, amber eyes meet his grey ones.  Terry scuttled forward, letting out another squawk, closing the gap between them.  Jack’s breath hitched in his throat as he lunged for the gate, but it was too late.



#18 MICRONESIA

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 06:26 PM

Sucker for punishment here.  Revised version #256,891.  Let me know why everything I'm doing is wrong, and I'll return the favour  :biggrin: 

 

Something was wrong with Jack.  Or rather, something was wrong with his perception of the world today. "The world today" automatically makes me think he's talking global politics or something. Maybe just say "his perception of existence?" Of reality? 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 abandoned chicken coop. "Abandoned" makes me think there are no birds here at all. It also makes me think, "Well, if the coop is abandoned, the whole farm probably is, too. Why is he tending to an abandoned/neglected farm? Is he crazy in another way, too?"

 

He finished collecting the eggs, going to the door of the coop.  Pressing his ear against it, he listened for any signs of movement outside.  The resident rooster — Terrance Smithers — was highly protective of his hens.  Jack supposed this was a good thing, although he was dismayed to find himself considered biggest threat.  He had been attacked by the rooster several times this week alone. So it's not "abandoned." See how one little word can throw a reader?

 

Jack Avens would not be the victim of another ambush. Shifting the basket of eggs to his other arm, he inched the door open.   These gaps between sentences are noticeable. A scan of the run Awkward phrasing. revealed Terry was at the far end of the fenced enclosure, ostentatiously displaying his chest for the females to admire.  There was more than enough time for Jack to make it out "Make it out" has a double-meaning here... but the fact that it's a double-meaning makes both meanings unclear. before he was even noticed.

 

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DIMENSION-ALTERING STUFF?

 

We should have been clued in a bit more by this point. Your coyness isn't working here.

 

Bounding across the wood chips, he was halfway to the gate when he heard an aggressive squawk, accompanied by the ruffling of feathers.  Turning, he saw a pair of beady, amber eyes meet his grey ones.  Terry scuttled forward, letting out another squawk, closing the gap between them.  Jack’s breath hitched in his throat as he lunged for the gate, but it was too late.

 

See my last comment. I know this is a SHORT intro, and I'd definitely keep reading, but I think some readers might already feel messed with. 

 

Get to the inter-dimensional stuff sooner. That's what a new reader will be clinging to. After all, it's what you promise from the first line! You give us a big tease early, but the bait-and-switch bathos falls flat. 


A Darkness in Spring (query | synopsis)


#19 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 09:18 AM

Thank you so much for your feedback :) A slightly earlier version I had of this went more into how Jack is feeling, but then there's the dilemma of getting to the physical conflict at the start because people get bored reading about an old man having an existential crisis in a chicken coop, haha.  I'm wondering if I omitted the transdimensional line entirely, and just started saying that he's feeling off, does that entice the reader enough in the intro without failing to deliver the goods?

 

So, for example: Something was wrong with Jack.  Or rather, something was wrong with his perception of reality today.  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 abandoned chicken coop.

 

As for the abandoned line, it's abandoned because it's in the middle of the day, and the chickens would be out of the hot coop and in the shade of the run.  I guess this is one of those times where I should focus less on technicalities and omit the word. I can see how that comes off wrong.



#20 MICRONESIA

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 10:00 AM

I'd just say "empty." No confusions there. To me, "abandoned" means I'm leaving it behind, never to come back to it. If I stash my bike somewhere new for a few days, I wouldn't say I "abandoned" it.

 

I feel like you need to say SOMETHING about the interdimensional thing... one that ties in with the rooster attack. It just feels like a non-sequitur. Like you're pulling the rug out from under the reader. An agent might think, "Okay, so that line DOESN'T tie in, huh? Grrrrr..."

 

I guess it's mainly that I don't see the connection between "observation" and "thing happening."


A Darkness in Spring (query | synopsis)






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