I'm still working on the title (Reaver and Gravesend High are the candidates right now) but here are is the first 13. You guys are always right on with your critiques so I'll let you do your thing. It's a re-worked draft of Reaver and The First Day if anyone wants to go digging around for them.
And thank you!
Predawn light reached through my window and tinted my gauzy curtains pink. I was already awake pacing my room in the tank top and shorts I’d fallen asleep wearing. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was being watched. More than watched. Hunted. My stomach tightened at the rightness of the word.
The alarm clock on the floor blared to life and I jumped. I kicked it with my heel until the noise died. I needed to get out. We had been in Colorado for all of two months, and it was time to find out just how well I’d adjusted to the altitude. I slipped on my sneakers without bothering to untie them first and dug around my closet until I found the only jacket I owned. I ran my fingers through my hair and pulled it back into a pony tail to keep it out of my eyes.
This is my first critique and please remember it's by a guy who thinks he's writing a novel having not written creatively since high school.
I like the beginning and the end "..the rightness of the word". Most likely a problem with only reading the first 13, but it seems like the mood stops..probably doesn't if I could read more. You are showing me how she feels, by her jumping at the alarm clock..but I do that sometimes when I'm not feeling watched. So maybe show more fear...maybe looking around and listening.
By testing the altitude I'm assuming she's going running.
@Trisha. I like this. Technically it's pretty solid. Nice descriptions, adjectives, and use of senses. (light, pink, watched, blared)
I agree I'd like to know why she's hunted. Not sure if it's possible to work in this early, but see if you can.
Is it important she fell asleep in a tank top and shorts or is that mood? If mood/character then OK, but not sure if it's strong enough. She's a runner that hasn't run. Maybe she's been hiding? If that's the case, might she fall asleep in a sports bra and running shorts? A few extra words, but stronger character.
She grabs a jacket, but not long pants. It's very early morning, and Colorado in altitude, so it could be cool for that reason. Hopefully it's explained more later what time of year it is. (just mentioning this as an observation, not saying it belongs in 13)
Does she break the clock? I can't turn mine off by kicking it. Having her break it might add to the tension, but I would need to know more about why this morning instead of any other over the last two months. Maybe "they finally found her". Maybe she has to run. Tell me as soon as you can why she "needed" to get out. Maybe she's just stir crazy. Maybe the eyes are watching her home and running can free her up.
I know you've written the story already, my previous paragraph was meant to show some of the things passing through my mind as I read. AKA I want to know what happens next. AKA I would read on.
Hi, Trisha. My first critique here, so pay me no never mind. I like it. Though I will defer to more experienced writers, I disagree that you immediately need to tell why the subject feels watched/hunted. You bait the reader and make them want to know. I would read on. You probably want to answer that question in the first few pages, but not necessarily the first few lines.
Posts: 7 | Registered: May 2010
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I really enjoyed reading this, so you must be having fun writing it. I too am hooked to see what happens next, to find out just what she is afraid of.
If you do want to include a bit about how, or by what, she is being watched then you could make a quick note about something she hasn't noticed. Maybe a shadow passes by the window when she's turned away, or maybe a dark figure moves in the woods as she leaves her home. Or maybe it's something different alltogether.
Also, it seems as if she goes from a fairly paranoid emotion suspecting that someone is stalking her to a somewhat casual one where she goes for a jog. You might want to include how frazzled she is somehow. Maybe she forgets to wear her jogging shoes, or maybe she's holding her alarm clock as she leaves (she'd have to pick it up of course), or some other details that shows that her mind is elsewhere.
Hope this helps. Either way I think it is well written, and if you confinue to have fun writing it, then others will have fun reading it. Good luck.
Axe - When she mentioned that she was using her heel to kick the alarm clock I took it to mean that she was more 'stomping' on the alarm clock (mildly) to hit the snooze button rather than right out kicking it.
[This message has been edited by rahmuss (edited June 02, 2010).]
I've been out of town (and away from my laptop!) so it was nice to come home and see a few new comments. Yes, the main character is more lightly stomping her alarm's snooze to shut it off. And I did have a lot of fun writing this book. I'm on the re-write now and it's not as fun, but I'm getting there. Thanks for the comments! And I'll do what I can to show she's frazzled, because yes, she is absolutely distracted by what she feels is "hunting" her.
Posts: 184 | Registered: Jun 2009
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I really like this story, Trisha. I'm sorry I haven't finished your critique yet. I really will try working on that tonight, because I really like Reaver, from what I've read.
This is a great opening, IMO. And I honestly can say I really like how you have that part there: Hunted. It keeps the suspense going. Like, hunted by what?