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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » Isabelle and the Fairies

   
Author Topic: Isabelle and the Fairies
valeriejka
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This is a children's book. I've written about 20,000 words. How do the first 13 lines sound?

Thanks in advance!

Some people thought that Isabelle Berberdown was rich because she lived in such a big house. She wasn’t, of course. The house had belonged to her grandparents, and her grandmother’s grandparents. The Berberdowns hadn’t bought the house—they had inherited it. Isabelle’s parents worried, sometimes, about finding the money to keep the house in shape, but they did their best. Still, many of the floorboards and steps creaked, and sometimes the pipes made loud groaning noises when the faucets were running.

Isabelle loved her house. She loved the rambling rooms, the wood floors, the big staircase, and the creaky back stairs. She loved hearing her mother’s stories about growing up in the house and knowing that she slept in the same bed her mother had

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited September 28, 2010).]


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LDWriter2
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Not too bad, I tried to recall some of the openings of children's books I've read. This seems to fit. I'm not sure about the "She wasn't" sentence though and some sentences seem a little long.

You might try getting rid of the wasn't and had. In adult novels, I'm told, they make the sentences too passive. I don't know if that applies to children books however.

You have the feelings there and a hint of mystery which is good. Everything pretty much is okay.

I've probably missed a couple of basic points but that's what I think of the opening.


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MrsBrown
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What age group is this story intended for? I'm not sure the younger crowd would be hooked by the house and the parents worrying about it's upkeep. It is nicely written, but perhaps too slow of a start, especially for kids.

[This message has been edited by MrsBrown (edited September 28, 2010).]


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valeriejka
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Thanks for the input. It's for upper elementary girls, although I'm not sure if the reading level isn't too low. My own kids (ages 9 & 11) are enjoying it, but reading it very quickly. They haven't read this part, yet. At one point, my 11-year-old asked if Isabelle was rich because of the house.
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MrsBrown
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Ah, well, let your target audience decide! Sounds like the story appeals to your kids. Do they have friends who don't know the story yet, who could read your 13 lines?

I don't see any nits in it.


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