Hello, these are the first thirteen lines from my novel. It is a near future SF/Coming of age involving conspiracies and genetic manipulation. I am not writing specifically for a YA audience.
Thank you for any feedback!
** Every Friday his mother’s hair smelled like flowers. And Stan took a long sniff while he scrunched his toes on the bathmat in the moonlight. He knew from her breathing sounds she was smiling.
She took his hand and guided it to the brush she had hung in her hair. As he pulled, gently, gently, her hair flowed beneath his wrist and crackled with sparks. He screeched. She laughed. Then a loud crack.
Her cool hand cupped his cheek. “Did it get you?”
“I’m Ok.” Stan fumbled for her hands, for the brush. He hopped, and she held him lightly on his sides.
“Where do they come from?” he asked.
“They come from the air.”
“The air! There must be millions! One more time!”
**REVISION Stan stood in the dark bathroom holding his mother’s hairbrush and scrunching his toes on the bathmat. On Friday evenings her hair smelled like flowers. And this Friday evening was no different.
Moonlight streamed through the blinds over her shoulder as Stan leaned over and sniffed her head. She rubbed his bare back, and he knew she was smiling.
She took his hand in hers and guided the brush to her hair.
“You’ll love this,” she said, “gently now.”
Stan pulled gently, and her hair flowed, smooth and cool, beneath his wrist. The moment he thought it wouldn’t happen, her hair erupted in pops and sparks. Stan squealed with delight, and his mother laughed.
Is Stan blind? He's fumbling for hands, and the brush, he tells his mother is smiling by her the sound of her breath; that's all telling me he's blind. But the PoV reads like close 3rd person, and we're told about moonlight in the second sentence, which someone who's blind wouldn't notice. That little disconnect forced me to read the passage three times before I got what was going on.
And I'm still a bit lost. "He screeched. She laughed. Then a loud crack." If this is static electricity, I'd imagine the loud crack and the screech would happen at about the same time. Certainly the crack would happen first if they weren't simultaneous. I'm not even sure if "screeched" is the right word. It makes me think of a drawn-out scream, while a shock is instantaneous and I'd expect the reaction to it would be brief as well.
If it's not static electricity, then I need a lot more help to understand what's happening.
"He hopped" seems like a random action. I don't get the stimulus or reasoning for it or what he hopped on to or from.
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So, I didn't think blind, I thought Mom was invisible. Blind probably makes more sense, but what can I say? My mind goes weird places. Liked some of the details, like Stan scrunching his toes into the bathmat.
Don't know how Stan could determine his mom was smiling from the way she breathed.
You've placed an interesting tableau in my head with this 13, but I'm given conflicting information. The opening words, Every Friday, implies that Stan regularly helps his mother with her hair, so why does static electricity seem like a new discovery to him?
Clarify what's happening and you'll have me hooked.
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