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Translucent - YA Science-fiction


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#1 ballplaying

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 11:10 AM

Here are the first 250 words; any kind of feedback is appreciated.  Thank you!

 

Harold and Christi Byrd woke up to the sound of their daughter screaming.

 

When a baby wakes up crying in the middle of the night, it’s usually nothing more than a routine disturbance that will dissipate in a minute or two, if you were lucky.  Harold and Christi Byrd had been parents for eleven months now, and were quite well accustomed to the screams and the noise, even if Karena did better than most babies when it came to being calmed down and soothed.  Most of the time when she threw a nocturnal fit, which was perhaps once or twice a week, she would be snoring gently within less than a minute, having worn herself out through her own shrill cries.

 

              But not every night is like most nights.

 

On the night in question, the Byrds stayed in bed for a moment, partly to see if the wailing would cease and partly due to a lack of desire to get up.  It didn’t cease.

 

              “I’ll go get her,” Harold said, standing up from the bed.  Christi said nothing as he slipped on his slippers and shuffled down the dark hallway, rubbing his eyes.  He entered the nursery and walked over to Karena’s crib.  The room was dark, but he knew its layout by heart, and was used to navigating it without the use of his eyes.  Besides, there wasn’t much furniture save a small chair lying between the crib and the opposite wall.



#2 Springfield

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 03:27 PM

Here are the first 250 words; any kind of feedback is appreciated.  Thank you!

 

Harold and Christi Byrd woke up to the sound of their daughter screaming.

 

When a baby wakes up crying in the middle of the night, it’s usually nothing more than a routine disturbance that will dissipate in a minute or two, if you were lucky.  Harold and Christi Byrd had been parents for eleven months now, and were quite well accustomed to the screams and the noise, even if Karena did better than most babies when it came to being calmed down and soothed.  Most of the time when she threw a nocturnal fit, which was perhaps once or twice a week, she would be snoring gently within less than a minute, having worn herself out through her own shrill cries.

 

              But not every night is like most nights.

 

On the night in question, the Byrds stayed in bed for a moment, partly to see if the wailing would cease and partly due to a lack of desire to get up.  It didn’t cease.

 

              “I’ll go get her,” Harold said, standing up from the bed.  Christi said nothing as he slipped on his slippers and shuffled down the dark hallway, rubbing his eyes.  He entered the nursery and walked over to Karena’s crib.  The room was dark, but he knew its layout by heart, and was used to navigating it without the use of his eyes.  Besides, there wasn’t much furniture save a small chair lying between the crib and the opposite wall.

 

First, this is a waking-up scene, which you really don't want.

 

Second, you've got a bunch of tense switches that read oddly.

 

Third, and most problematic really, this is wildly overwritten. This is basically 250 words saying:

 

Harold and Christina waited a minute to see if their daughter's crying would stop, but when it didn't, Harold got out of bed, shuffled to the nursery and navigated toward Karena's crib in the dark. 

 

Thirty-five words.



#3 lnloft

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 08:53 PM

I read the 250, and then peeked at what Springfield said, and my take was basically the same. Starting with waking up scene is often an instant-reject. And the changes in tense were super distracting. You need to fix that.

 

If you feel you absolutely HAVE to start your story at this point, consider having Harold or Christi unable to fall asleep/reading a book in bed/dozing but not actually asleep yet. Heck, if it fits with your style, set it up that maybe things were about to get kinky. They can still be in more or less in the same situation without them actually waking up as the start of your book.


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


#4 michaelblaine

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 08:44 AM

I'd be interested to see where this leads - mainly because I'd probably recommend that you skip this whole scene and jump to the thick of the story.  Will the baby's waking up in the middle of the night affect your novel's plot?  If not, I'd leave it out altogether - or perhaps make a brief mention of it and be done.  If, however, your book is about a baby whose crying magically reanimates the dead in an ancient graveyard hidden in their backyard (for example) - then maybe consider reworking the scene to incite a stronger emotion.

 

Like the two previous replies suggested, it's not be the best idea to use the first few paragraphs to describe someone waking up.  Keep working on it, though!  



#5 JMB

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 05:04 PM

I agree with Springfield’s comments.

#6 rhwashere

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 02:30 PM

Here are the first 250 words; any kind of feedback is appreciated.  Thank you!

 

Harold and Christi Byrd woke up to the sound of their daughter screaming. (Opening with a character waking up is a little cliched. I might try opening just a second after that, with Harold or Christi debating whether to get up or stay in bed.)

 

When a baby wakes up crying in the middle of the night, it’s usually nothing more than a routine disturbance that will dissipate in a minute or two, if you were lucky.  Harold and Christi Byrd had been parents for eleven months now, and were quite well accustomed to the screams and the noise, even if Karena did better than most babies when it came to being calmed down and (redundant) soothed.  Most of the time when she threw a nocturnal fit, which was perhaps once or twice a week, she would be snoring gently within less than a minute, having worn herself out through her own shrill cries(Just trimming any unnecessary words; it's implied she wore herself out through crying)

 

              But not every night is like most nights. (Good; and now the tension begins...)

 

On the night in question, the Byrds stayed in bed for a moment, partly to see if the wailing would cease and partly due to a lack of desire to get up.  It didn’t cease.

 

              “I’ll go get her,” Harold said, standing up from the bed.  Christi said nothing as he slipped on his slippers (you sure you want to use slipped and slippers so closely together?) and shuffled down the dark hallway, rubbing his eyes.  He entered the nursery and walked over to Karena’s crib.  The room was dark, but he knew its layout by heart, and was used to navigating it without the use of his eyes.  Besides, there wasn’t much furniture save a small chair lying between the crib and the opposite wall.

I like the slow-building tension you have here. I would definitely keep reading. The only suggestions I had were more nit-picky than anything else.

 

Hope this helps! If it does, please take a look at my 250 words: http://agentquerycon...-revised-41218/


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





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