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#1 yawriter

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 08:32 PM

I decided to write a new beginning chapter.

 

Version #8- New version are always posted here! 

 

     It was like the chemicals in his brain were tired of balancing. A crazed look now permanently lived in his icy, grey eyes. As soon as he clambered up the fence and fell into her parent’s back patio, Alice frantically stood from her lounge chair. It was then that she knew she’d never again be able to admire the glittering stars alone every Saturday night. He knew her routine too well. 

     Alice watched his dark hair fall over his sweaty hairline as he tilted his head down without breaking eye contact. “Seth? What are you doing here? Get the hell out,” Alice threatened.

     His chest heaved up and down as if he had sprinted the three miles from his house. “You think you can just end things with me? And that’s it?”

     “Yes,” Alice blurted while her confidence unexpectedly plummeted.

     “Do you know who I am?” His mouth hung open like his bottom lip was getting too heavy to hold up.

     Mindfully deciding not to answer, Alice took a measured step back.

     “I am the only person who has been there for you when all your friends decided to drop you. I am the only person who you can trust. I am the only person who can love you—who can love a messed up nobody like yourself. I am the only person who will ever appreciate your dull and bland performance in bed. After all the effort I put into this relationship, you want to just throw me aside? This is why you’re alone.”

     “Get out, Seth,” Alice breathed, letting the last shred of courage leave out her mouth with her words.


Edited by yawriter, 10 July 2018 - 11:29 AM.

Query- The City's Whispers: http://agentquerycon...critique-back/ 

Query-TOOWCHM: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

Synopsis- The City's Whispers: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

First 250 words: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

 


#2 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 09:54 AM

           Counting down the seconds to the end of a laborious week, Alice clocked out, grabbed her belongings, and rushed out the backdoor of the frozen yogurt shop. Pepperoni pizza, a steamy shower and her comfy bed motivated her feet to plod forward faster than usual.

            However, when she approached the front door, the voices of her screaming parents penetrated through the wall with strength this could be left out. "Penetrated" is already a strong enough descriptor word. Keys in hand, her chest caved with anxiety as she listened to the two of them go at it. You could omit this.  It's a bit unnecessary since we see them fighting right after.

            “You did this to me, Charles! You single-handedly made me feel completely worthless,” her mother screamed.

            “If you hadn’t shut me out for so long, none of this would have happened, Martha.”

            “Go ahead. Blame me even though I wasn’t the one sleeping with someone else!”

            “Keep it down. Alice will be here any minute.”

            The arguing circled, which had her stepping back. She kept listening until the ground beneath her rocked with intensity. She deserved peace and quiet after cleaning up vomit on the bathroom walls of the yogurt shop. Instead of letting the sadness leak tears over her cheeks, she took the stress and set it on fire. Turning her attention toward the dark, silent street that led away from the chaos trapped her in an unforgiving impulse to flee. This is a bit awkward The further she sprinted down the endless road, the more her tension seemed to melt away.

            After an easy mile, Alice’s feet slowed into an ungraceful walk. Her fatigued muscles pulled at her aching joints, urging her to sit and rest. There's lots of adjectives in this sentence. Slowed, ungraceful, fatigued, aching.  I'd pare them down, and possibly look through the rest of the manuscript for them as well. The millions of shining stars and the symphony of crickets doused the remaining stress that the run hadn’t already extinguished.

 

Thanks for the critique on mine :) You use a lot of descriptor words in places where it starts to bog down the story.  Just cutting out a few here and there would help loads with the pacing.



#3 yawriter

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 09:00 AM

Version #2


Query- The City's Whispers: http://agentquerycon...critique-back/ 

Query-TOOWCHM: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

Synopsis- The City's Whispers: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

First 250 words: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

 


#4 lnloft

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 03:54 PM

Version #2

 

           Counting down the seconds to the end of a laborious week, Alice clocked out, grabbed her belongings, and rushed out the backdoor of the frozen yogurt shop. Pepperoni pizza, a steamy shower and her comfy bed motivated her feet to plod forward faster than usual.

             However, when she approached the front door, This feels very rushed. Like one instant she's leaving work and then the next she's at her front door. There's no transition, which makes the first paragraph feel very extraneous. I would either start with Alice walking up to the front door, or slow the start down a little bit. Maybe add a paragraph where she's walking home. She plugs in her earbuds and mouths along to Katy Perry, waves to old Mr. Jones as he brings in his groceries, pauses to enjoy Mrs. Smith's flowerbeds, which were blooming beautifully that spring. Whatever helps to establish Alice's character and how she's feeling that day. the voices of her screaming parents penetrated through the wall. Keys in hand, her chest caved with anxiety as she listened.

            “You did this to me, Charles! You single-handedly made me feel completely worthless,” her mother screamed.

            “If you hadn’t shut me out for so long, none of this would have happened, Martha.” I feel like you don't need their names here. People actually use names when speaking a lot less than writers seem to think, and I'm especially imagining that they're not going to be saying their names when screaming at each other. So it really feels like you've put the names in there mostly for the benefit of the reader, but we know who says what from your dialogue tag of "her mother screamed", and you'll have plenty of time to provide names later.

            “Go ahead. Blame me, [Comma inserted. Either way is fine, but I think the rhythm of the dialogue works better with the comma, since it makes sense for Martha to take a breath there] even though I wasn’t the one sleeping with someone else!”

            “Keep it down. Alice will be here any minute.” This line feels very calm compared to the others, like they're screaming at the top of their lungs, and then Charles just kind of says this with maybe some insistence but not much else. Which is especially bizarre to be hearing, since if he's saying it instead of yelling then Alice shouldn't be hearing it from outside. If you're looking for hypocritical humor, I guess you could add some exclamations so that he's yelling at her to keep it down, but otherwise I would look for another line for him to say, especially as the arguing apparently keeps going.

The arguing circled, which had her stepping back. The ground beneath her rocked with intensity This feels like an overwritten way of saying that she swayed (I think that's what you mean). Which also seems a bit of a strong reaction for her to have to something that I'm assuming is fairly common, if unpleasant. as she kept listening. She deserved a quiet place to rest after cleaning up vomit on the bathroom walls of the yogurt shop. Instead of letting the sadness leak tears over her cheeks, she took the stress and set it on fire Again, feels overwritten as she fled down the street and away from the chaos. The further she sprinted down the endless road, the more her tension seemed to melt away.

            After an easy mile, Alice’s feet slowed into an ungraceful walk. Her muscles pulled at her aching joints, urging her to sit and rest. 

So, just to make something clear, I DON'T ever read romance. And I think some of the things I'm picking apart here might be more acceptable in romance. I don't really know, but hopefully you know your genre better than I do, so you can better judge when maybe things are acceptable. Either way, I do still feel that the transition between the first and second paragraphs is too abrupt, although honestly the whole thing might be a little rushed. It's okay to slow things down a little and set the scene. Good luck.


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


#5 Quillaby

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 08:56 PM

Version #2

 

           Counting down the seconds to the end of a laborious week, Alice clocked out, grabbed her belongings, and rushed out the backdoor of the frozen yogurt shop. Pepperoni pizza, a steamy shower and her comfy bed motivated her feet to plod forward faster than usual. The rhythm of this second sentence is too similar to the first, which means it's not exciting to the reader's ear. "Plod" is also contradictory to rushing.

             However, when she approached the front door, the voices of her screaming parents penetrated through the wall. This is awkward. I can tell you've tried to avoid saying "door" twice in one sentence, but the reader literally pictures Alice standing in front of a wall. "...the voices of her screaming parents" is also a rather melodramatic, round-about way of saying her parents are shouting. Rough suggestion: when she approached the house, her parents' shouting penetrated the doorKeys in hand, her chest caved with anxiety as she listened. I like the phrase "her chest caved with anxiety", but its impact is dulled by an over-stuffed sentence. I would cut "Keys in hand". Or go for the pure show-don't-tell approach with something like: Alice clutched her keys to her chest.

            “You did this to me, Charles! You single-handedly made me feel completely worthless,” her mother screamed. You just used the word scream.

            “If you hadn’t shut me out for so long, none of this would have happened, Martha.”

            “Go ahead. Blame me, even though I wasn’t the one sleeping with someone else!”

            “Keep it down. Alice will be here any minute.”

The arguing circled, which had her Alice stepping back. The ground beneath her rocked with intensity as she kept listening. She deserved a quiet place to rest after cleaning up vomit on the bathroom walls of the yogurt shop. When you use a word like "deserved" this early, before I've emotionally invested in Alice, I knee-jerk to finding her entitled and whiny. You'll get a better reaction if you tell us she wants peace and quiet, not that she deserves it. Instead of letting the sadness leak tears over her cheeks, she took the stress and set it on fire as she fled down the street and away from the chaos. This is very awkward. Sadness doesn't leak. And "setting her stress on fire" actually doesn't tell me how she's feeling. It could mean she's angry or in denial or dissociating. This is the problem when you try to get too fancy; the meaning gets lost in the fluff. The further farther she sprinted down the endless road (except it's not endless), the more her tension seemed to melted away.

            After an easy mile, Alice’s feet slowed into an ungraceful walk. Her muscles pulled at her aching joints, urging her to sit and rest. You just said it was an easy mile, but this reaction contradicts that.

 

Your main issue is over-writing. Using more, longer, or fancier words does not mean you're conveying more emotion or a stronger visual. When I'm editing, I constantly ask myself WHY have I used this word? WHY have I included this sentence? WHY have I told the reader this? It helps me identify what needs to be there versus what's pure fluff.

 

Good luck with the revisions.



#6 yawriter

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 10:21 AM

So, just to make something clear, I DON'T ever read romance. And I think some of the things I'm picking apart here might be more acceptable in romance. I don't really know, but hopefully you know your genre better than I do, so you can better judge when maybe things are acceptable. Either way, I do still feel that the transition between the first and second paragraphs is too abrupt, although honestly the whole thing might be a little rushed. It's okay to slow things down a little and set the scene. Good luck.

 

 

I agree. I had stuff in between the first and second paragraph before, but I ended up taking it out. It seemed unnecessary. I'll go back and revisit. Definitely taking things you've said into consideration on my rewrite. Thank you for really helping me between the query and the beginning of the story! Is there anything I can help you with?


Query- The City's Whispers: http://agentquerycon...critique-back/ 

Query-TOOWCHM: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

Synopsis- The City's Whispers: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

First 250 words: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

 


#7 Bkrasnik

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 02:46 PM

Version #3

 

      Alice rushed out the back door of the frozen yogurt shop. The seven-hour shift had her yearning for left-over pepperoni pizza, a steamy shower and her comfy bed. (Good) She pulled (out her) ear buds from her purse and stuck only the left one in. As she walked home, she jammed to a mix between The Beatles and One Republic, which always relaxed her.

      When she approached the front door, yelling from inside the house caused her to yank out her ear bud and listen.  (this is too wordy.)

     “You did this to me! You single-handedly made me feel completely worthless,” her mother screamed.

     With words made of daggers, her father spat, “If you hadn’t shut me out for so long, none of this would have happened.”

     “Go ahead. Blame me, even though I wasn’t the one sleeping with someone else!”

     Alice's chest caved with anxiety. The ground beneath her rocked. All she desired was a quiet place to rest after cleaning up vomit (People eat yogurt and go to the bathroom to vomit on the bathroom walls? That's odd. Not believable, so I would delete.)  on the bathroom walls of the yogurt shop. Instead of letting the sadness transform into tears, she took the stress and decided to let it fuel her. Plugging the headphones in both ears (there is too much focus on these headphones--they are becoming a bit of a distractor to the story), she cranked up the music and fled down the street, away from the chaos. The farther she sprinted down the endless road, the more her tension melted away.

     After a mile, Alice’s feet slowed into an ungraceful walk. Her muscles pulled at her aching joints, urging her to sit and rest. With a quick tug on the white wires, her ears were freed from the pounding bass.

 

 

Your writing style is decent, but it definitely needs editing before you send it to an agent. Go through it and see all the extra stuff you can delete. I second Quillaby on what she said about evaluating what every word and sentence brings to your story. You need to make sure everything is adding value and propelling the story and characters forward. You need to ask yourself, is this sentence developing my character? Is it progressing the plot? Is it creating imagery that is necessary for my story? And remember, that using more simple and straightforward sentences is not a bad thing. Being concise is good. 


Have a moment to offer up some very much appreciated feedback? :)

My Young Adult Dystopian Query: http://agentquerycon...ate-on-post-15/


#8 yawriter

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 03:32 PM

Your writing style is decent, but it definitely needs editing before you send it to an agent. Go through it and see all the extra stuff you can delete. I second Quillaby on what she said about evaluating what every word and sentence brings to your story. You need to make sure everything is adding value and propelling the story and characters forward. You need to ask yourself, is this sentence developing my character? Is it progressing the plot? Is it creating imagery that is necessary for my story? And remember, that using more simple and straightforward sentences is not a bad thing. Being concise is good. 

 

Thank you for the help! More editing on the way. I've worked at a yogurt shop for 7 years...it happens more than you think lol...sadly.


Query- The City's Whispers: http://agentquerycon...critique-back/ 

Query-TOOWCHM: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

Synopsis- The City's Whispers: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

First 250 words: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

 


#9 TheBest

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 03:33 PM

Alice rushed out the back door of the frozen yogurt shop. The seven-hour shift had her yearning for left-over pepperoni pizza, a steamy shower and her comfy bed. She pulled ear buds from her purse and stuck only the left one in. As she walked home, she jammed to a mix between The Beatles and One Republic, which always relaxed her. 

(I like how you open with conflict)

      When she approached the front door, yelling from inside the house caused her to yank out her ear bud and listen. (This sentence is awkward. break it up, or find a way to streamline it.)

     “You did this to me! You single-handedly made me feel completely worthless,” (Reword this. Single-handedly usually isn't used in the context of making another do something. Maybe "Single-handedly tore this family apart?") her mother screamed.

     With words made of daggers (GREAT imagery!), her father spat, “If you hadn’t shut me out for so long, none of this would ever have happened. (Or had to happen)

     “Go ahead. Blame me. , Blame me, even though I wasn’t the one sleeping with someone else!” (I think some of this angry dialogue would be better if it was shorter and sharper. But it's a good place to open, for sure.)

     Alice's chest caved with anxiety. (Great imagery!)The ground rocked beneath her rocked. All she desired wanted was a quiet place to rest after cleaning up the yogurt shop's vomit covered bathroom. Instead of letting the sadness turn to tears, she took the stress and decided to let it fuel her. Plugging the headphones in both ears, she cranked up the music and fled down the street, away from the chaos. The farther she ran, the more her tension melted away.

     After a mile, Alice’s sprint slowed to an ungraceful walk. Her muscles pulled at her aching joints, urging her to sit and rest. With a quick tug on the white wires, her ears were freed from the pounding bass. (Love how much time we spend in Alice's body! Very intimate.)

 

​It's definitely coming along! My biggest suggestions are to cut awkward or wordy sentences so that everything flows. The dialogue could also be a tad shorter and punchier. But I absolutely adore the imagery. Gives us a good sense of Alice. It's really intimate, especially for third-person. Great work!

 

You can find my first 250 here: http://agentquerycon...-back/?p=357717



#10 yawriter

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 03:49 PM

Alice rushed out the back door of the frozen yogurt shop. The seven-hour shift had her yearning for left-over pepperoni pizza, a steamy shower and her comfy bed. She pulled ear buds from her purse and stuck only the left one in. As she walked home, she jammed to a mix between The Beatles and One Republic, which always relaxed her. 

(I like how you open with conflict)

      When she approached the front door, yelling from inside the house caused her to yank out her ear bud and listen. (This sentence is awkward. break it up, or find a way to streamline it.)

     “You did this to me! You single-handedly made me feel completely worthless,” (Reword this. Single-handedly usually isn't used in the context of making another do something. Maybe "Single-handedly tore this family apart?") her mother screamed.

     With words made of daggers (GREAT imagery!), her father spat, “If you hadn’t shut me out for so long, none of this would ever have happened. (Or had to happen)

     “Go ahead. Blame me. , Blame me, even though I wasn’t the one sleeping with someone else!” (I think some of this angry dialogue would be better if it was shorter and sharper. But it's a good place to open, for sure.)

     Alice's chest caved with anxiety. (Great imagery!)The ground rocked beneath her rocked. All she desired wanted was a quiet place to rest after cleaning up the yogurt shop's vomit covered bathroom. Instead of letting the sadness turn to tears, she took the stress and decided to let it fuel her. Plugging the headphones in both ears, she cranked up the music and fled down the street, away from the chaos. The farther she ran, the more her tension melted away.

     After a mile, Alice’s sprint slowed to an ungraceful walk. Her muscles pulled at her aching joints, urging her to sit and rest. With a quick tug on the white wires, her ears were freed from the pounding bass. (Love how much time we spend in Alice's body! Very intimate.)

 

​It's definitely coming along! My biggest suggestions are to cut awkward or wordy sentences so that everything flows. The dialogue could also be a tad shorter and punchier. But I absolutely adore the imagery. Gives us a good sense of Alice. It's really intimate, especially for third-person. Great work!

 

You can find my first 250 here: http://agentquerycon...-back/?p=357717

 

Thank you! I actually used a lot of your advice on this next draft. 


Query- The City's Whispers: http://agentquerycon...critique-back/ 

Query-TOOWCHM: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

Synopsis- The City's Whispers: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

First 250 words: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

 


#11 TheBest

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 03:08 AM

Alice rushed out the back door of the frozen yogurt shop. The seven-hour shift had her yearning for left-over pepperoni pizza, a steamy shower and her comfy bed. She pulled out the ear buds from her purse and stuck only the left one in. As she walked home, a mix between The Beatles and One Republic soothed and relaxed her. [Intro flows much better now!]

     Approaching the front door, angry voices from inside the house grew louder.

      “You have made me feel completely worthless. Congratulations!” her mother screamed.

      With words made of daggers, her father spat, “You shut me out. You!

      “So that gives you permission to sleep with someone else?” [Dialogue is much stronger now!]

      Alice’s chest caved with anxiety. The ground rocked beneath her. [Love these short sentences] All she wanted was a quiet place to rest after cleaning up the shop’s vomit covered bathroom. Instead of letting the sadness turn to tears, she took the stress and decided to let it fuel her. Plugging in the other ear bud in, she cranked up the music and fled down the street, away from the chaos. The farther she ran down the endless road, the more her tension melted away.

      After a mile or so, Alice’s feet slowed into an ungraceful walk. Her muscles pulled at her aching joints, urging her to sit and rest. With a quick tug on the white wires, her ears were freed from the pounding bass. She plodded forward, thinking about going to her best friend Tammy’s house as she always did to escape the troubles of life, but tonight was different. She felt different.  [Love this short sentence at the end.]

 

​This is really coming along! Flows very nicely, everything more organic now. My biggest suggestions are just a few sentence structure tweaks. Good luck!



#12 yawriter

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 12:35 PM

I decided to write a new beginning chapter. I need help! Thanks!~


Query- The City's Whispers: http://agentquerycon...critique-back/ 

Query-TOOWCHM: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

Synopsis- The City's Whispers: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

First 250 words: http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

 


#13 Kjcloutier19

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 03:08 AM

 

 

I decided to write a new beginning chapter.

 

Version #8- New version are always posted here! 

 

     It was like the chemicals in his brain were tired of balancing. A crazed look now permanently lived in his icy, grey eyes. (These first few sentences seemed disjointed and out of place with this paragraph. I think it would fit better at the beginning of the second paragraph.) As soon as he clambered up the fence and fell into her parent’s back patio, Alice frantically stood leapt from her lounge chair. It was then that she knew she’d never again be able to admire the glittering stars alone every Saturday night. (This sentence is awkward) He knew her routine too well. 

     Alice watched his dark hair fall over his sweaty hairline (forehead?) as he tilted his head down without breaking eye contact. “Seth? What are you doing here? Get the hell out,” Alice she threatened.

     His chest heaved up and down as if he had sprinted the three miles from his house. “You think you can just end things with me? And that’s it?”

     “Yes,” Alice blurted while her confidence unexpectedly plummeted.

     “Do you know who I am?” His mouth hung open like his bottom lip was getting too heavy to hold up. (I don't understand this - is he pouting? Is he trying to look tough? Is he drugged and literally can't hold his lip up?)

     Mindfully deciding not to answer, (You don't have to tell us she's decided not to answer. You tell us with her silence) Alice took a measured step back.

     “I am the only person who has been there for you when all your friends decided to drop you. I am the only person who you can trust. I am the only person who can love you—who can love a messed up nobody like yourself. I am the only person who will ever appreciate your dull and bland performance in bed. After all the effort I put into this relationship, you want to just throw me aside? This is why you’re alone.”

     “Get out, Seth,” Alice breathed, letting the last shred of courage leave out of her mouth escape with her words.

Interesting start to your story! It just seemed a little disjointed at the beginning, and there were just a few other nitpicky things I noticed. Best of luck! If you have the time to check out my post, I'd really appreciate it. :) 

 

http://agentquerycon...words-of-novel/







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: romance, alice, rule breaker, womans fiction, adult fiction, love

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