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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » Jeremiah Jericho: Allowance - 1st 13 lines

   
Author Topic: Jeremiah Jericho: Allowance - 1st 13 lines
J_Jammer
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It's a YA Urban Fantasy.

It's sitting at 106,032 words. I know, I know. That sounds daunting, but it's fine. I'm editing. I'm not going to get it any lower than a 100,000 words. It did start off with 130,000 words when I finished the first draft.

This is ultimately going to be a trilogy.

Here are the first 13 lines:

Thunder rumbled.

I turned to Dustin. “Did you hear that?”

“What?”

“Thunder.”

He rolled his eyes and pointed outside. “Clear as a cheerleader’s head.” He tapped his temple. “You might have issues.”

“Good morning, Moirae Hellhounds,” said Vice Principal Deunny over the too-loud-for-the-A.M. speakers.

I laid my head on the table, wanting, willing myself to pass out so I didn't have to hear her. She hated anyone with balls.

I have those.

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kmsf
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Opening with a sound, thunder, and dialogue only is ok, but I would make sure any revisions keep the lines which reveal context very close and tight. I am having a hard time drawing the picture with the information given in the first two lines. That may be the effect you want, I don't know for sure.

The line “Good morning, Moirae Hellhounds,” said Vice Principal Deunny over the too-loud-for-the-A.M. speakers. pulled me out of the story because the voice is disembodied. I've never heard it before and have no inkling who it could be from prior experience with the characters.

This may be a YA thing, but I think the ain't-got-no-word-for-it word is a bit hackneyed. This feels too much like a charm offensive from the author. I'd be more immersed and convinced if the narrator expressed the idea describing a physical or emotional response to the irritant.

I like the set up of seemingly intractable conflict and Dustin's response.

We have an insecure MC, trapped in a conflict he can't escape.

Cleanly written. But for the hyphenated word, I would read further. But you had better get to that "Thunder" again soon, or you would lose my trust as a reader.

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J_Jammer
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Thanks kmsf.

I like reading what others think about what I write. I onow I don't have to change anything, but questioning me on what this or that means or how it reads makes me defend it in my mind. And if I can't, then I have to figure it out and fix it. It's a good stress test.

To answer some of your questions. Yes it is YA thing. I also make up my own words by combining two through out the book.

I knew the thunder beginning would be considered what you pointed out. What you say is true. But thunder means something in this book. It happens prior to a reoccurring event.

If you have a suggestion on how to make it far more unique than me having a character state they heard nothing that'll be very helpful. I could make a comment about how clear it was, but I thought the dialogue showed that.

I have a question: from these lines what do you know so far?

What I assumed us shown is...

1. They're in school.
2. My MC heard something that didn't happen.
3. He's cranky.
4. He's a he.
5. Dustin is an honest friend.
6. Possible mental issue dispite joke.
7. VP is not liked by MC.
8. The school isn't normal. Hellhounds is not something a public school would allow.

That's what I thought I conveyed. You see differently.

Thanks again. You had good points.

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Thengel
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I read a little YA, but not a lot. My first impression is I'm not fully pulled into the story, and a little confused about some things. I like the first line because it sets a mood for me, and I'm starting to feel like I'm in the setting.

The line "clear as a cheerleader's head." My first thought was Dustin was making fun of the POV character because he was stating the obvious. I had to read again. Is the thunder real, or does the MC just hear it?

I was a little confused in the second to last line because it took me a second to figure out who "she" was. The Vice Principal, right? I'm not sure why this was confusing to me. It might be because of the use of the familiar pronoun, I thought it would be someone actually physically near him.

The last reaction to the Vice Principal seems interesting. I'm wondering what the history between those two characters is.

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