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Author Topic: KIM- 13 lines, want fedback
Member # 8575

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'I would give anything to be home right now,' thought Kim Allen, disgustedly. 'Twelve more hours to go before we'll even leave here, and then another hour of driving before I'm actually home. If I had a car, I would be so gone right now.... I would have left two days ago.... Man, if I had known it was going to suck like this I never would have come.'
Seventeen-year-old Kim was in the middle of the last night of a four day, three night camping trip with the Young Women in her ward. Morning seemed so far away. ‘This has been the worst camp experience ever,' she continued to think. 'Being stranded in the woods with Ryan and Bryan for four days would have been less horrible.’

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It's a lot of repetition of the same idea that Kim hates camping. Is it really that important that I understand how bored she is to be camping?
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It might be more "showing" to rewrite this scene as a conversation with a ward mate who's trying to get to sleep and is tired of the MC's moaning. And to parrot hteadx, use less repetition.

If there's a real reason why she wants to get back home, perhaps work that in. Perhaps you did, if Bryan and Ryan are the reason.

I *think* 'disgustedly' should be 'disgusted'. As written, it seems to imply her thoughts were disgusting, when you mean to imply that she is disgusted with her situation. I'd just drop the word in either case; it's not needed.

[This message has been edited by WouldBe (edited August 04, 2010).]

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We really need some sort of setting here. You can show us she is camping instead of telling us she is.

For example: "Kim rolled over in her sleeping bag as close to Jenn as possible, but the rock still dug into her spine." or "Kim tripped on a rock and stumbled to the ground, her backpack striking the back of her head."

The point is we have no context for Kim's complaining. You tell us she is camping, but what is she doing at the moment? What just happened that makes her realize she hates camping so much?

But I honestly think you are starting in the wrong place. A girl hating camping isn't the most hooky beginning. JMO.

Good luck with this.

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Without repeating the above comments, I felt a bit of question arise when Kim was wishing she had a car so she could already be gone, but is camping with women from her 'ward'. Not knowing what the ward actually is leaves me to assume it is a thing she is confined to. However, the possibility that she could be hanging with Ryan and Bryan takes the heat off the knowledge that she is 'in a ward'. So now the ward seems like a lighter thing than what I picture a ward to be. So that the correlation between car and ward seems like wishful thinking, but only as an assumption on my part.
Why are the words 'Young Women' capitalized? Proper name? Just checking.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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DRaney, a "ward" is what LDS people (Mormons) call a congregation, and Young Women is their organization for teenage girls.

You make some good points in that if the story is intended for others than LDS, tj5to1 needs to use different, more generally understood terminology.

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And I believe that just flipping the paragraphs would make it flow easier even without a rewrite.


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Kim is LDS Fiction, and I am planning to publish with an LDS publisher. DRaney and Kathleen do make a good point about using more general terms, but I'm going to hold off on that for now.
Since I would have to explain why she hates being where she is, and since flashbacks are not recommended, here's another go:
Seventeen-year-old Kim Allen climbed out of the mini van and looked around at the familiar campground. A smile crept across her face as memories of previous trips to this site stepped forward in her mind. The fresh air, wildflowers, and trees smelled so good that Kim enjoyed a few deep breaths before she went over to the trailer that held everyone's luggage and tents.
This will be her sixth year camping with the Young Women of her Ward, but her first time camping without Jody Pringle, her best friend since nursery. Kim had a good feeling about it, though; because Sandy, Dottie, and Jasmine (all eighteen) had invited her to tent with them.
With the way the mid-morning sun trickled through the trees, the future looked bright. But, Kim would soon regret coming.

[This message has been edited by tj5to1 (edited August 11, 2010).]

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And to anyone who wants to know who Bryan and Ryan are, they are Kim's ten-year-old twin brothers. If you're a girl whose ever camped with little brothers in that age range, and to say that camping with them would be better than camping with the Young Women, you know this experience has to be bad.
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Zack Zyder
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I'm not LDS, but I knew what ward was. I also caught the whiff of sibling rivalry and knew she was referring to her "evil" (i.e. obnoxious) brothers--I assumed younger brothers.

I take it that the protagonist grows less shallow and gains a soul--metaphorically speaking through the story.

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Zack Zyder
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Just curious--what are some LDS publishers?
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Deseret Book Press, Covenant Communications, Cedar Fort, Shadow Mountain,... there's more, but I can't think of them off the top of my head. It's a niche market, where a bestseller usually means only about 10,000 copies sold, but there are the occasional exception that reach the million copy mark. It's not the route to go if you want to make a lot of money, however, since there are fewer submissions,(about as many as submit to WOTF) it's a good way to get published.

And there are a lot of authors that once they have an established LDS readers pool, find it easier to switch to national publications, because the bigger publishers know that they are bringing their readers with them.

If anyone is interested in more information about LDS Fiction, check out this,


And if you want to go that route, feel free to email me. We have an email group for LDS Fiction writers (three of us so far) and would love to hear from more.

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I would say drop us in the middle of a scene where she is experiencing her misery, like sitting on a cellophane wrapped toilet seat or taking the Beehives on another stupid snipe hunt or listening to the mean girls blubber around the campfire at a T. meeting. And then have her talk about how miserable she is and where she'd rather be.
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Chris Northern
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My take is this: there's nothing wrong with the 'thinking' parts of this, it rings true and is engaging enough. But I think MAP is right, though I don't personally like the term 'showing.' "Sixteen year old"... etc puts me (reader) solidly outside and I need to be inside; something needs to be happening to place me (reader) in the scene. Her dealing with a sucky detail would be enough to begin with. I mean, you have me thinking with her mind just fine, now I (reader) need to be seeing with her eyes and feeling with her hands/body, hearing with her ears.
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