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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » I, A Twelve Year Old Killer (First Thirteen)

   
Author Topic: I, A Twelve Year Old Killer (First Thirteen)
Leona12
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This is my first time using Hatrack and I'm sooo excited! Here are the first thirteen sentences of my current muse story! Please critique and don't hesitate to be brutal.

I've always felt it must be rather comforting to be the murderer. You're the only one who knows no one is trying to kill you. I couldn’t be more wrong. I’ve read enough stories. Why don’t I ever pay attention to when the wrong-doer gets defeated?
I, Hazel S. Morgan, admit to having killed Amber Kuehner. But I didn’t kill the others. I swear. Well, I guess a killer’s word doesn’t mean much to you, or anyone for that matter. Just let me tell my side of the story, okay?
I think the first death was on the thirteenth. Yes, that was it. Friday the Thirteenth.


At the beginning of each chapter, the main character is talking straight to the reader, and I don't get out of there for two more sentences. The following are the first thirteen sentences skipping the part where Hazel talks straight to the reader.


“Taylor’s dead!” wailed Sarah. The two were once best friends, but Sarah broke it off when Taylor started smoking. Amber bit her lip, staring in horror at the still body.

NOTE FROM KATHLEEN:

You are allowed 13 lines of manuscript text for each chapter. Not 13 lines and then 13 more lines. Sorry.

[ July 17, 2013, 08:31 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

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wetwilly
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I really like that first "what it's like to be the killer" paragraph. Interesting ideas and consequently an interesting character (or at least, at this point, I'm led to believe she's going to be interesting). My only concern: is she talking very long after the fact here, or is she still twelve? Because the diction feels more like the musings of an an adult or at least older teen to me.

The next thirteen is confusing and unengaging to me. I think it is too many characters introduced too fast with no memorable attributes to set them apart, so it's just a list of names, and I won't remember which is which.

A thought I just had: if her age is important (12 year old killer), maybe establish it up front in that 1st section?

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arriki
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You began with an interesting first sentence.

I've always felt it must be rather comforting to be the murderer.

But the rest of the sentences seem a bit incoherent.
You don't make your point well. It's bit tricky, and I can't point to the exact words that don't work. But -- to me -- they don't.

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Leona12
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Thanks for the critique!

As an answer to why her musings are kind of adult-ish is my character is going through a life situation that's forcing her to mature,

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wetwilly
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Awesome. Precocious children can certainly work (Ender), as long as it's intentional. Some people are just really bad at writing a child's perspective, and they just end up writing adults disguised as children.
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Jed Anderson
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I'd stick with the voice of the original 13. It's stronger and more compelling. We, as the reader, are allowed into the killer's mind, it's more personal. Switching to a 3rd person will diminish that effect because of the distance from the characters.
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SASpencer
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I like the first line, but try making it more concise for better impact. Felt and similar words may not be needed because the character is already expressing the feeling.
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