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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » Unbreak My Heart

   
Author Topic: Unbreak My Heart
Stranger
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Could someone read the first 20 pages and an outline of the rest of my story? I've posted only the first 13 lines here. If you are interested, please let me know. I'm trying to get this book published. Thank you [Smile]

Genre: Romance/ Teen Fiction

Words written so far: 10684

Thirteen lines:

"I...I really like you, Kan," she said quietly.

Then she blushed, though she hoped it would be hard to tell due from the dark tone of her skin. She stood there in front of him, barely restraining herself from playing with her fingers. She was too scared to look up at him, her head bowed so low that the entire length of her braids, from the top of her scalp to where they curved at her neck, could be seen.

It was very quiet. So quiet that they could hear the sounds of other high school students talking and laughing in distant parts of the building. Early afternoon sunlight filtered in through a window to her right. Anyone watching them from the other side of the glass would have just thought they were talking like they usually did.

Summary:

A story of six different people and how their love lives get entangled. There is Maxx Lawler, a college student who is in love with his class-mate, Jessa Dixon. Kanoa Reyes, who once broke someone's heart. Zenon Hayes, who is a basketball player in love with his teacher, Pippa Hart. And Skylar Rivera who may not be the person he wants but may very well end up being the person he needs.

[ August 27, 2012, 02:14 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

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Denevius
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is the first 20 pages the first chapter? either way, i'll read the first 20 pages.
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Stranger
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That would be almost 4 chapters minus 2 pages and 2 lines. A prologue and 4 complete chapters would make 22 pages. Is that still okay with you? [Confused] Oh and thank you so much for the offer. [Smile]
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Denevius
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yeah, the full 22 pages works. just send it whenever, my email is on my profile.
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Jess
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With this thirteen, I love the details. I love how you tie in the sunlight to later her feeling like she is too hot. For your genre, I think you've started your story in the perfect place. Nothing like being in high school and having one of those confessing the feelings talks with someone you feel affections for. It's a tense time and a perfect place to hook your reader.

My main issue is there seems to be some pov issues. First, she can't see herself blush. She can feel the heat rising up in her cheeks.

"her head bowed so low that the entire length of her braids, from the top of her scalp to where they curved at her neck, could be seen."

This shifts POV too because she cannot see the back of her head (but I do like how you show us she has braids instead of telling us).

"So quiet that they could hear the sounds of other high school students talking and laughing in distant parts of the building."

Two thoughts here. Hearing the sounds of the other students means that it isn't quiet.

Also, if she's a high school student, I'm not sure if she would refer to the other kids as high school students. Maybe just students. If you are worried that the reader will think they are college students then show us they aren't. Mention the tardy bells, or the annoying can't-drive-yet freshmen, or the school bus or the principal or lockers.

"Anyone watching them from the other side of the glass would have just thought they were talking like they usually did."

This line is confusing because as far as the reader knows, they are talking like they usually do.

"Her eyes suddenly felt hot"

When I first read this line, I was confused because eyes don't blush, but now I realize you mean that burning, might cry feeling. This is a good detail, maybe just pair it with something else so that the reader isn't confused like I was.

Hope this was helpful.

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Stranger
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quote:
Originally posted by Denevius:
yeah, the full 22 pages works. just send it whenever, my email is on my profile.

Okay, I've sent it. Thank you.

quote:
Originally posted by Jess:

My main issue is there seems to be some pov issues. First, she can't see herself blush. She can feel the heat rising up in her cheeks.

"her head bowed so low that the entire length of her braids, from the top of her scalp to where they curved at her neck, could be seen."

This shifts POV too because she cannot see the back of her head (but I do like how you show us she has braids instead of telling us).

"So quiet that they could hear the sounds of other high school students talking and laughing in distant parts of the building."

Two thoughts here. Hearing the sounds of the other students means that it isn't quiet.

Also, if she's a high school student, I'm not sure if she would refer to the other kids as high school students. Maybe just students. If you are worried that the reader will think they are college students then show us they aren't. Mention the tardy bells, or the annoying can't-drive-yet freshmen, or the school bus or the principal or lockers.

"Anyone watching them from the other side of the glass would have just thought they were talking like they usually did."

This line is confusing because as far as the reader knows, they are talking like they usually do.

"Her eyes suddenly felt hot"

When I first read this line, I was confused because eyes don't blush, but now I realize you mean that burning, might cry feeling. This is a good detail, maybe just pair it with something else so that the reader isn't confused like I was.

Hope this was helpful.

Thank you so much for your post. I've been told already by someone else on another site about the POV thing and I changed it. Is it really not possible to know that you are blushing without seeing yourself? Because I can [Wink] . And if your head is bowed that low, is it not possible to a person to guess how much of them can be seen? Because I can [Big Grin] .

As for it being quiet, should I mention that it was quiet where they were standing? Because the other students are at a distance? And I didn't want the reader to waste time trying to figure out they were in high school because what was happening in this scene was very important. Should I really change that?

Um...what else? Oh yes, them talking like they normally do. Wouldn't the reader know there is a confession going on from the first line and not a normal conversation from her behaviour? And her eyes being hot, did you mean I should add another descriptive word with that?

Again, thank you so much for your post. I want to make this perfect but unique enough to catch the eye of a publishing agent. [Smile]

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Jess
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Hmm, yeah you can tell you are blushing without seeing it, but usually you know it be how it feels.
I think mostly the pov things I pointed out could make sense as you explained it, but it sort of jars the reader for just an instant. It makes the reader hesitate and think, "wait, whose head am I in?" You want your reader immersed in your story [Smile]
I can totally see what you mean about the quiet. Either way, it's your story and your call on that. I can see it both ways.

Hmm the high school line. Maybe ask some people with high school kids or listen in on some kids speaking to see. If kids don't use the full term high school students, then saying it how they say it will strength the voice. (It's been a few years since I was in high school, so I can't remember exactly--I'm just going with my gut).

As for the eyes being hot, when I first read it, I thought you were referring back to her cheeks and it was connected to her blushing. I'd be stronger to clarify that her eyes weren't hot from staring at the sun or anything like that, but from almost crying. something like feeling a tear at the corner of her eye, or that icky salty, snot feeling that runs down the back of your throat when you are about to cry. or even a sniffle.
As for as the they are not talking, maybe its the way it's worded. Technically they are just having a conversation. Also as a reader, for all we know, they could have this same "Do you like me conversation" every day. It seems strange that she would assume that all the other students know that she sits there and talks to him everyday unless they have epic conversations or fight alot. (but then thinking about it, don't most teenagers think some one is watching them all the time and they have to be perfect because those watchers will notice every hair out of place?) Hmmm maybe think about that one. It could be a subtle way to show us more about your character.

But of course, my thoughts are just my thoughts. [Smile] Consider them and change what you feel needs to be changed.

Good luck!

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Denevius
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hey stranger, i got back to you with this today. let me know if you got the email.
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