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Rhapsody in Gray (NA Fantasy) - Revision 21JUN18


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#1 Quillaby

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 06:29 PM

REVISED VERSION (21 JUN 18):

 

Hi again,

 

After reading the feedback here and from a couple of first chapter crits (thanks, folks!), I've made some amendments. Do they strengthen/clarify the sample or kill it?

 

 

-----

 

        Eve was sure the wind chimes were laughing. Her vast collection fluttered in the morning breeze, creating a symphony of glasswork giggles and seashell snickers.

        “It's fine, Eve. You're fine. This is all super, totally fine,” she said, cringing into her bedroom mirror. After some mental bullying, she repositioned the scissors. The blades bumped against her temple as she made a final, hesitant snip.

        Done, she shook her head like a dog out of a bath, then watched in horror as a cloud of gray hair floated to the floor. Eve was eighteen, not eighty -- this was so not fine. With an ear out for footsteps, she frantically swept up the cuttings and hid them beneath layers of trash in her wastebasket.
        
The wind chimes twittered in glee.
        
Sighing, Eve coiled what hair she could into a bun, then secured the blonde mess with her tuning fork. Uneven chunks frayed out of the knot like puffs from a loofah. A disaster, but at least she'd cut all the gray out.

        Again.
        
When Eve finally dragged herself downstairs, she found the living room in its usual Wednesday morning disarray. Musical instruments were strewn about the place: a guitar here, a clarinet there, and her family's pudgy floral sofa was covered in everything from maracas to xylophones.
        
Their first student hadn't arrived yet, so Eve's parents were messing around on the keyboard with a George Gerswhin duet. Of course, Mom and Dad were butchering the poor song. Their hands criss-crossed wildly over the keys as they tried to steal each other's chords, and if they were actually singing, Eve could hardly tell amidst their squeals and breathless laughter. They only stopped when Mom dramatically collapsed onto the keyboard in surrender.

 

 

----------------------------

 

 

Hey all,

 

I've been obsessing over my first chapter for an obscene amount of time. I'm at the point where I'm just changing the same word back and forth and shuffling commas around. But it could be I'm worrying about dirty dishes while the house is on fire. Just can't tell anymore.

Genre is new adult fantasy. Thank you in advance for your feedback!

---------------------------------------

 

        Eve was sure the wind chimes were laughing. Her whole vast collection fluttered in the morning breeze, creating a symphony of glasswork giggles and seashell snickers.

        “It's fine, Eve. You're fine. This is all super, totally fine,” Eve said, cringing as she repositioned the scissors. The blades bumped against her temple as she made a final, hesitant snip.

        Done, Eve shook her head like a dog out of a bath, then watched in wide-eyed horror as a cloud of gray hair floated to the floor. This was so not fine. With an ear out for footsteps, she frantically swept up the cuttings and hid them beneath layers of trash in her paper basket.

        The wind chimes twittered in glee.

        Sighing, Eve coiled what hair she could into a bun, then secured the blonde mess with her tuning fork. Uneven chunks frayed out of the knot like puffs from a loofah. A disaster, but at least she'd cut all the gray out.

        Again.

        Downstairs, the living room was in its usual Wednesday morning disarray. Musical instruments were strewn about the place: a guitar here, a clarinet there, and her family's lumpish floral sofa was covered in everything from maracas to xylophones.

        Their first student hadn't arrived yet, so Eve's parents were messing around on the keyboard with a George Gerswhin duet. Of course, Mom and Dad could never just play a song. Their hands criss-crossed wildly over the keys as they tried to steal each other's chords, and if they were actually singing, Eve could hardly tell amidst the squeals and breathless laughter. They only stopped when Mom bodily collapsed onto the keyboard in defeat.



#2 Bkrasnik

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 02:32 PM

Hey all,

 

I've been obsessing over my first chapter for an obscene amount of time. I'm at the point where I'm just changing the same word back and forth and shuffling commas around. But it could be I'm worrying about dirty dishes while the house is on fire. Just can't tell anymore.

Genre is new adult fantasy. The protag is very much straddling the line of adolescence and adulthood (19 y/o). Thank you in advance for your feedback!

---------------------------------------
 

        Eve was sure the wind chimes were laughing. Her whole vast (to make it a little more concise, pick either vast or whole) collection fluttered in the morning breeze, creating a symphony of glasswork giggles and seashell snickers.

        “It's fine, Eve. You're fine. This is all super, totally fine,” Eve said, cringing as she repositioned the scissors. The blades bumped against her temple as she made a final, hesitant snip.

        Done, Eve shook her head like a dog out of a bath, then watched in wide-eyed horror as a cloud of gray hair floated to the floor. This was so not fine. With an ear out for footsteps, she frantically swept up the cuttings and hid them beneath layers of trash in her paper basket.

        The wind chimes twittered in glee.

        Sighing, Eve coiled what hair she could into a bun, then secured the blonde mess with her tuning fork. Uneven chunks frayed out of the knot like puffs from a loofah. A disaster, but at least she'd cut all the gray out.

        Again.

        Downstairs, the living room was in its usual Wednesday morning disarray. Musical instruments were strewn about the place: a guitar here, a clarinet there, and her family's lumpish floral sofa was covered in everything from maracas to xylophones.

        Their first student hadn't arrived yet, so Eve's parents were messing around on the keyboard with a George Gerswhin duet. Of course, Mom and Dad could never just play a song. Their hands criss-crossed wildly over the keys as they tried to steal each other's chords, and if they were actually singing, Eve could hardly tell amidst the squeals and breathless laughter. They only stopped when Mom bodily collapsed onto the keyboard in defeat. (I like this last sentence, but I also feel like it might be a little bit of an exaggerated reaction given the context of the situation.)

 

This is really good. You have a very beautiful writing style and you created a vivid image in my head of your scene. Even though nothing really is going on just yet, I still found myself intrigued and would want to keep reading. I don't have many comments to give, because I just can't find much ways for you to fix this, except the two things I noted. Really good job and good luck!


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

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


#3 Quillaby

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 03:24 PM

Thanks, Bkrasnik! I appreciate your notes. You're right; vast collection works just as well. This is why I need fresh eyes on this stupid chapter!  :humph:.



#4 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 04:30 PM

Hey all,

 

I've been obsessing over my first chapter for an obscene amount of time. I'm at the point where I'm just changing the same word back and forth and shuffling commas around. But it could be I'm worrying about dirty dishes while the house is on fire. Just can't tell anymore.

Genre is new adult fantasy. The protag is very much straddling the line of adolescence and adulthood (19 y/o). Thank you in advance for your feedback!

---------------------------------------
 

        Eve was sure the wind chimes were laughing. Her whole vast collection fluttered in the morning breeze, creating a symphony of glasswork giggles and seashell snickers.

        “It's fine, Eve. You're fine. This is all super, totally fine,” Eve said, cringing as she repositioned the scissors. The blades bumped against her temple as she made a final, hesitant snip. I would just use "she said". There's three "Eve"s all close together here.

        Done, Eve shook her head like a dog out of a bath, then watched in wide-eyed horror as a cloud of gray hair floated to the floor. This was so not fine. With an ear out for footsteps, she frantically swept up the cuttings and hid them beneath layers of trash in her paper basket.

        The wind chimes twittered in glee.

        Sighing, Eve coiled what hair she could into a bun, then secured the blonde mess with her tuning fork. Uneven chunks frayed out of the knot like puffs from a loofah. A disaster, but at least she'd cut all the gray out.

        Again.

        Downstairs, the living room was in its usual Wednesday morning disarray. Musical instruments were strewn about the place: a guitar here, a clarinet there, and her family's lumpish floral sofa was covered in everything from maracas to xylophones.

        Their first student hadn't arrived yet, so Eve's parents were messing around on the keyboard with a George Gerswhin duet. Of course, Mom and Dad could never just play a song. Their hands criss-crossed wildly over the keys as they tried to steal each other's chords, and if they were actually singing, Eve could hardly tell amidst the squeals and breathless laughter. They only stopped when Mom bodily collapsed onto the keyboard in defeat. This is awkward, see if you can rearrange the wording.

 

Apart from those two qualms, this is lovely :)



#5 Quillaby

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 04:49 PM

Thank you! The repetitive name issue was one of the things I was specifically wondering about.

 

And I'm two for two on the awkward last line. Better get fixin'



#6 RobotKitten

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 06:19 PM

Overall, I think this is lovely. There are a few minor things I'd change, but I like how you show her emotion

 

---------------------------------------
 

        Eve was sure the wind chimes were laughing. Her whole vast collection fluttered in the morning breeze, creating a symphony of glasswork giggles and seashell snickers. (This is so pretty!)

        “It's fine, Eve. You're fine. This is all super, totally fine,” Eve said, cringing as she repositioned the scissors. The blades bumped against her temple as she made a final, hesitant snip.

        Done, Eve shook her head like a dog out of a bath, then watched in wide-eyed horror as a cloud of gray hair floated to the floor. This was so not fine. With an ear out for footsteps, she frantically swept up the cuttings and hid them beneath layers of trash in her paper basket.

        The wind chimes twittered in glee.

        Sighing, Eve coiled what hair she could into a bun, then secured the blonde mess with her tuning fork. Uneven chunks frayed out of the knot like puffs from a loofah. A disaster, but at least she'd cut all the gray out.

        Again.

        Downstairs, the living room was in its usual Wednesday morning disarray. Musical instruments were strewn about the place: a guitar here, a clarinet there, and her family's lumpish (I'd say "lumpy") floral sofa was covered in everything from maracas to xylophones.

        Their first student hadn't arrived yet, so Eve's parents were messing around on the keyboard with a George Gerswhin duet. Of course, Mom and Dad could never just play a song. Their hands criss-crossed wildly over the keys as they tried to steal each other's chords, and if they were actually singing, Eve could hardly tell amidst the squeals and breathless laughter. They only stopped when Mom bodily collapsed onto the keyboard in defeat. (I'd say something like, "But when Mom collapsed onto the keyboard in defeat, there was only a terrible, crushing silence." Pull out the feeling of "first there was all this wonderful, joyful sound," and contrast it with the shock of the silence... and what that implies.)



#7 Quillaby

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 03:22 AM

Thanks, RobotKitten :). I'm definitely getting I need to change up that last part! 



#8 lnloft

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 08:51 PM

Hey all,

 

I've been obsessing over my first chapter for an obscene amount of time. I'm at the point where I'm just changing the same word back and forth and shuffling commas around. But it could be I'm worrying about dirty dishes while the house is on fire. Just can't tell anymore.

Genre is new adult fantasy. The protag is very much straddling the line of adolescence and adulthood (19 y/o). Thank you in advance for your feedback!

---------------------------------------
 

        Eve was sure the wind chimes were laughing. Her whole personal preference, think it sounds a little smoother without vast collection fluttered in the morning breeze, creating a symphony of glasswork giggles and seashell snickers. Try saying that five times fast.

        “It's fine, Eve. You're fine. This is all super, totally fine,” Eve said, cringing as she repositioned the scissors. The blades bumped against her temple as she made a final, hesitant snip.

        Done, Eve shook her head like a dog out of a bath, then watched in wide-eyed horror as a cloud of gray hair floated to the floor. This was so not fine. Between this line and the dialogue, we're already getting a nice idea of Eve's voice. With an ear out for footsteps, she frantically swept up the cuttings and hid them beneath layers of trash in her paper basket.

        The wind chimes twittered in glee.

        Sighing, Eve coiled what hair she could into a bun, then secured the blonde mess with her tuning fork. Uneven chunks frayed out of the knot like puffs from a loofah. A disaster, but at least she'd cut all the gray out.

        Again.

        Downstairs, Just noticing the tendency of starting the paragraphs with a one-word clause. "Done, Eve shook her head..." "Sighing, Eve coiled her hair..." "Downstairs, the living room was..." The fact that it's standing out suggests it might need to be varied up. the living room was in its usual Wednesday morning disarray. Musical instruments were strewn about the place: a guitar here, a clarinet there, and her family's lumpish floral sofa was covered in everything from maracas to xylophones. This was a bit of an odd transition. Did Eve come downstairs? I assume so, but we never quite knew where she was to start, and we never saw her come downstairs, so it feels more like we're in a movie where the camera has cut from Eve in her bathroom/bedroom/wherever down to her parents playing the piano, with Eve still hanging out upstairs.

        Their first student hadn't arrived yet, so Eve's parents were messing around on the keyboard with a George Gerswhin duet. Of course, Mom and Dad could never just play a song. Their hands criss-crossed wildly over the keys as they tried to steal each other's chords, and if they were actually singing, Eve could hardly tell amidst the squeals and breathless laughter. They only stopped when Mom bodily collapsed onto the keyboard in defeat. I won't harp on what others have already said on this sentence.

This is a nice start. I do already feel like I have a sense of the characters. I have this odd thing where I struggle to connect with musically-inclined characters, but yours come across as fun and friendly, so right now I'm off on a good start with them. You have a good idea for details without getting bogged down in them, and your voice is strong. I think my biggest critique is to have some sense of where Eve is cutting her hair, because the mention of the wind chimes almost makes me think she's out on a balcony or something, but I don't think that's right. I'm intrigued enough by the fact that Eve has gray hair that she needs to hide for some reason. Good job.


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


#9 Quillaby

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 09:15 PM

Thanks, Inloft, that was all great advice. I'm glad you mentioned the "where is she?" thing, because that's yet another specific concern I had. I originally outright stated she was in her bedroom, but wondered if I could get away with taking it out. Question answered!

 

And thanks for the encouragement  :smile:



#10 yawriter

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 10:51 AM

Hey all,

 

I've been obsessing over my first chapter for an obscene amount of time. I'm at the point where I'm just changing the same word back and forth and shuffling commas around. But it could be I'm worrying about dirty dishes while the house is on fire. Just can't tell anymore.

Genre is new adult fantasy. The protag is very much straddling the line of adolescence and adulthood (19 y/o). Thank you in advance for your feedback!

---------------------------------------
 

        Eve was sure the wind chimes were laughing at her (It might be more impactful). Her whole vast collection fluttered in the morning breeze, creating a symphony of glasswork giggles and seashell snickers. Do wind chimes have seashells on them? 

        “It's fine, Eve. You're fine. This is all super, totally fine,” Eve said to herself, cringing as she repositioned the scissors. The blades bumped against her temple as she made a final, hesitant snip. I don't understand this image. First, I don't really know what she's doing here. Is she making a wind chime?

        Done. Eve shook her head like a dog out of a bath, then watched in wide-eyed horror as a cloud of gray hair floated to the floor. ​Okay she's cutting her own hair... did you mean for it to be a little illusive at first? Going from the wind chimes, to her cutting her hair, I was under the impression that she was building wind chimes.   This was so not fine. With an ear out for footsteps, she frantically swept up the cuttings and hid them beneath layers of trash in her paper basket.

        The wind chimes twittered in glee.I don't know if you need this...you know your story better than me of course. Are the wind chimes important later in the story? 

        Sighing, Eve coiled what hair she could into a bun, then secured the blonde mess with her tuning fork.Love this line.  Uneven chunks frayed out of the knot like puffs from a loofah. A disaster, but at least she'd cut all the gray out...again.

        Downstairs, the living room was in its usual Wednesday morning disarray. Musical instruments were strewn about the place: a guitar here, a clarinet there, and her family's lumpish floral sofa was covered in everything from maracas to xylophones.

        Their first student hadn't arrived yet, so Eve's parents were messing around on the keyboard with a George Gerswhin duet. Of course, Mom and Dad could never just play a song. Their hands criss-crossed wildly over the keys as they tried to steal each other's chords, and if they were actually singing, Eve could hardly tell amidst the squeals and breathless laughter. They only stopped when Mom bodily collapsed onto the keyboard in defeat. I actually really liked these last two paragraphs :) 

 

Thank you for the help on Pieces of Alice. I revised it with your revisions in mind. I'm happy to take a look at your next version whenever you'd like. Just let me know. These are all just my opinions, you don't have to listen to any of them if they are not helpful to you. Cheers!



#11 Quillaby

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 07:24 PM

Thank you for your feedback, everyone! I've posted a revision up top.






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